I have had a problem with the storyline I’m currently mangling into a book. One of my favorite characters, Mina’s aunt Rowan, who is by reputation a strong, spirited, feisty, independent woman… err, witch… dies before we get a chance to meet her. And even as I have written the story and been amazed and entertained watching the characters of Mina, Toby, Bing and Max grow and develop right before my eyes… I’ve missed having Rowan in the mix. She’s such a smart lady, and she’s waited so very long to see Mina again. Rowan never had children of her own, and Mina was for the longest time, the daughter she never had. To separate her and Mina now that Mina is finally coming out from under the forgetting spell seems… like cruel and unusual punishment.
I can’t just re-write the story and make Rowan live. Too many factors hinge on Mina moving to Savannah, making the House on Evermore Lane her own, and finding her own way through to witchly strength. Coming into your own is something done better without a helicopter parent… in this case, a helicopter aunt. I don’t think that’s the type of person Rowan is — but the story is about Mina’s development, and it won’t be the same if she doesn’t have to be the own to create the story herself.
So my options seemed limited…. would finding and reading Rowan’s diary help make her a real character both in this story and to Mina? would flashbacks do the trick? What about having her come back as a spirit, like Esme (well, okay, nobody is like Esme, the low country voodoo queen)? Bring her back to life? Each way I came up with seemed alternately overdone, cheesy, too simple, too staid, too…. too NOT Rowan.
But I am pleased and excited to announce that I have found the perfect way to make Rowan a full-blown, card-carrying member of the cast of the House On Evermore Lane — without taking anything away from Mina’s personal growth (and witchly growth) journey. And I hope that you’re going to enjoy reading about it as much as I am going to enjoy writing about it…. Hey, Max! put that down, I’m gonna need it later…. snarky kitty!!! (stops typing, chases a laughing Max into the other room to retrieve a piece of storyline from his little kitty paws)