Beautiful People–Parents Edition

It’s been a while since I’ve participated in a Beautiful People meme, so when I clicked over to look at it this morning, I may or may not have squealed with excitement. Because questions about parents are PERFECT for the novella I’ve just finished up, as the main character’s story is interspersed with chapters about his parents’ experiences some thirty years before.

This is a novella I started years ago, but didn’t have the ideas and interest needed to make it cool and finish it until recently–when I wrote most of it in a two-week binge-writing frenzy. Suprisingly I still like it. 🙂


It’s about a dragon shapeshifter, Torfre, who is forced to help find a magical artifact. (Sounds a little like Forged Steel, I know…what can I say? I love a good old-fashioned artifact hunt. The fact that I grew up on Indiana Jones movies is really showing here. Hopefully this is sufficiently different, as this world revolves much more around magic than the Crucible series does.) We also have a parallel story set thirty years earlier about how his parents, Kildare and Serene, became mixed up with the artifact–partially because it answers some questions posed in the story, and partially because I kind of adore Torfre’s parents.

  1. Overall, how good is their relationship with their parents? Excellent. Until they died, of course.
  2. Do they know both their biological parents? If not, how do they cope with this loss/absence and how has it affected their life? Yes, he was raised by both biological parents.
  3. How did their parents meet? Heh…funny story, that… His father, Kildare, was the head of a crew of thieves who turned to bigger and bigger gigs in order to pay off debts they all owed to various crimelords. His mother, Serene, was a solitary thief who was held under a contract for a well-known and nasty crimelord. Once Kildare’s crew become well-known, Serene kind of started interfering with their jobs, trying to get Kildare’s attention because she hoped he would have a place on his crew for her, and would help her get out from her contract. One thing led to another, and they eventually fell in love.
  4. How would they feel if they were told “you’re turning out like your parent(s)”? Torfre would be incredibly happy to hear this.
  5. What were your character’s parents doing when they were your character’s age? Twenty-three? Stealing stuff. Kildare had just put together his crew and they were planning their first big heist. Serene had been under contract for several years at this point and was starting to graduate to bigger jobs. It would be about a year and a half until they meet at this point, and another four years or so until they run into the artifact.
  6. Is there something they adamantly disagree on? Kildare and Serene believe that it’s easier for shifters to stay on the fringes of society. For them, in their early years, that meant leading lives of crime. Once they began raising a family, they sought out a solitary spot and built a farm, believing that it would be safer to raise their children away from people who would only view them with suspicion. Torfre, though admittedly a little naive, thinks that people just need to be given a chance to know and understand shifters. At the beginning of the story, he’s been living away from home for about three years and is heartily sick of having to hide the fact that he’s a shifter.
  7. What did the parent(s) find hardest about raising your character? His bullheadedness.
  8. What’s their most vivid memory with their parental figure(s)? When Tofre was about eight, and his brothers a little older, Kildare taught them how to blend in as humans. They spent a week in a city, learning to cope with all the various challenges.
  9. What was your character like as a baby/toddler? Headstrong and curious. He was into everything and demanded to know everything.
  10. Why and how did the parents choose your character’s name? Shifter tradition is that babies generally aren’t named until they’re a year or so old, to give time for the parents to pick a name that fits the baby’s personality. Torfre learned to walk at a year and three days, and also gave himself his first bloody nose on the same day, so they decided ‘headstrong’ was a good name for him.
Can’t argue with that, can ya, Torfre?

Published by H. A. Titus

H. A. Titus is usually found with her nose in a book or spinning story-worlds in her head. Her love affair with fantasy began at age twelve, when her dad handed her The Lord of the Rings after listening to it on tape during a family vacation. Her stories have been published in Digital Dragon Magazine, Residential Aliens Magazine, and four anthologies: Alternative Witness; Avenir Eclectia Volume 1; The Tanist's Wife and Other Stories; and Different Dragons Volume II. In December 2013, her short story "Dragon Dance" won Honorable Mention in a Writers of the Future contest. She lives on the shores of Lake Superior with her meteorologist husband and young son, who do their best to ensure she occasionally emerges into the real world. When she's not writing, she can be found rock-climbing, skiing, or hanging out at her online home,

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