I've been asked many times how I get the characters that appear in my books. Funny, I've always been shy in the admission of their history, because every character that shows up, with only two exceptions are people I know, or are related to in some manner. I've always worried what some of the people would say if they knew, consequently, it isn't generally the first thing I'd choose to reveal. Most people don't see themselves as others do, and in that knowledge lies my courage to portray them as I see them, good, bad or indifferent. The easy ones to use as examples are the characters that have enviable personas, like Princess Rhylana. She was patterned after Brandi Parke, Wife and Mother to my children. In the book Rhylana portrays the very essence of what I see in Brandi, and have seen for years. She's spunky, aggressive, and kind to small children, and animals. She's a fighter, and never gives up. Queen Mother was given her persona from a very dear lady to me, and companion, Kimberly Gippert aka Ari. She's aggressive, prone to lead anyone who'll follow, (you know just to keep them safe) and dedicates her life to promoting the underdog. She'd spit in the eye of a demon, but runs from cock roaches, and can't keep herself from rescuing any and all small mammals. Tanis, the lead character, and spokesperson for the books was patterned after myself...enough said there. I'll let you draw whatever conclusions that you will. The two exceptions are characters that were designed by readers who signed up for a character contest to have their creations entered into volume one, "The Emerald Dragon". Helup Ironfold, a Blacksmith by trade and rider to Jilocasin Sybaris Cirfis was created by Jacob Overton and played a significant role in the book. He appears in later books as well. Sergei Rasputin Cosmonov, a Red Immortal Demon, rider to Volansa Spirandi Bellator was created by Joe Russomanno and also played a significant role in the book. Sergei too, has a role reprisal in later books.