Q1. So tell us about Ilyana.
Answer: Ilyana is an unassuming young lady who is much tougher than she appears. She’s not one to share much of her emotions so when she does, you can tell that it’s something deep and genuine. She’s fiercely loyal to her cause and to the people in her life… Unless and until they provide her with grounds to do otherwise.
Q2. How did you come up with the character?
Answer: The foundation for this character had already started (I took over from chapter 2). I wanted to write a stoic, almost standoffish character whose seeming lack of emotion would be her own demon. I also wanted to see a female who was strong and resilient.
Q3. How much of Ilyana is like you?
Answer: Of all the characters I write for this series, she is most like me. I drew some inspiration from myself and how I handled emotion to form the basis of her psyche. So I’d say she was 50% like me. I, on the other hand, will not blindly follow rules.
Q4. What was your biggest challenge when writing Ilyana?
Answer: Striking a balance with her feelings. Although she can control the earth, she isn’t made of stone. So she has to feel and the way in which she does that has to be genuine, otherwise, she’s an empty character. I also take care when I write her powers because I try to imagine how she would deal with such a self-discovery.
Q5. What do you think people will relate to about Ilyana?
Answer: The peskiness of emotions… I kid… Or not. Maybe it’s the unwillingness to always confront feelings when they come. Also, I think they’d relate to her struggles of being patriotic and the choices that she would eventually have to make. I think she dares people to hate her.
Q6. What would you do if you had his/her power?
Answer: I’d, you know, shake things up a bit. *wink* But in all seriousness, I’d probably help with excavation in various parts of the world.