Why did you choose to give your characters the superpowers that you did?
I’d have to say that when I created the characters in my head they came sort of pre-packaged- as in, with their powers already, but I definitely had a specific reason for combining powers with the kids’ personalities.
Matt, for example, was always the ‘weakest’ out of the four; not just physically but emotionally as well. Because he’d always been bullied and has really low self-esteem, I wanted to mix that up by giving him something empowering. His ability to mimic certain animal features, such as wings and claws, and have a sort of primal ‘alter-ego’ inside him is a direct contradiction to the meek and insecure aspect of Matt. I thought, this is a kid who’s never been strong in any way, and now suddenly he can probably overpower anyone who crosses him. What would that feel like? Obviously it would be liberating, it would taste like relief at first because strength can trump fear, but what happens when his animalistic side takes over? Matt is suddenly stronger than others, but at the same time he needs to be strong with himself, he needs to impose his own will over his primitive urges and instincts that are sometimes overwhelming him. All of the characters have to struggle with their powers, but I wanted Matt to struggle the most to show that he could actually accomplish it, that his own will as a human being was stronger than this new side of him. I also thought that it would be an interesting metaphor for his sexuality; Matt isn’t in the closet, but the reader can assume that at one point in his life he was, and having Matt guard himself so closely in order not to slip up and let the ‘animal’ out is something gay people can relate to. It’s challenging, having to always be on guard, and being scared of the consequences of what could happen if you slip up, but the balance Matt achieves by the end of accepting his animal side makes him all the more powerful, just like many people feel when they come out of the closet.
Rochelle was interesting because I thought, here’s a girl who has everything and can do anything and basically get away with murder because of her looks and charms and dominating nature. What if I give her more power? I gave her telekinesis because I thought it would be interesting to sort of super-size Rochelle. It would kind of blow her up to larger-than-life proportions, but the consequence of this is that she would have to learn to restrain herself, something she never really gave much thought to before having powers. So, basically, this is a seventeen-year-old spoiled princess-type who has to figure out on her own that she has way too much power on her hands, and how easily she can abuse that power. At first Rochelle thinks it’s all fun-and-games, but she does come around when she realizes that with her power, being able to move things with her mind, she could, for example, stop a beating human heart if she wanted to or break a spine. She can’t afford to be out of control anymore; she can’t afford to do whatever she wants because she’s basically too powerful. I wanted Rochelle to suddenly become this warrior of epic proportions but then make her own way down from the pedestal she’s been so used to ruling from her whole life.
Giving Daphne pyrokensis, being able to generate fire and cause things to explode was a bit of an aesthetic choice (red-headed girl with bright green eyes with flames running down her body), but at the same time, it fit with her personality. Daphne is probably the least emotionally stable of the four characters, and in a way that’s like fire, because you never know when things can blow up or how close you can get to a flame before getting burned. If Matt is the low rung of the emotional ladder and Rochelle is the top, then Daphne would be running up and down constantly. She’s not completely unpredictable like Rochelle, but when she does explode she’s probably the fiercest and scariest out of the four, and I thought this worked nicely with fire. Also, like Matt and Rochelle, Daphne would have to learn that her outbursts have really damaging consequences, probably more so than Rochelle even. A small thing might trigger Daphne, and this might set her on fire, and while Rochelle’s power is invisible Daphne’s isn’t. It’s fire. It isn’t a joke. If you can’t control a fire it will keep spreading until there’s nothing left to burn. Also, because Daphne is probably the most repressed character out of the four, she’s kind of like a ticking time-bomb, and with the power she wields you just know that’s not a good thing. Repressing feelings can only go on for so long; at some point you reach a breaking-point, and I wanted to see what would set this girl off, what would make her blow up (and literally blow up the things around her).
Jonas was the most intriguing I think because while the other three have an offensive power, Jonas has a defensive one. And he hates that. Jonas is the sort of guy who would jump in front of a bus for his friends without a second thought, and now suddenly, when he’s used to being on the frontlines, he’s stuck at the back because he can only heal himself. I thought it would be interesting to give such a selfless character a, as he himself describes it, ‘selfish’ power. Also, I wanted to shake things up a bit with a sort of gender-bender. The two girls and the gay character are the ones at the front now, leading the attack, while the straight boy, who is normally in other literature and media the one in that position, is now stranded at the back despising himself because he can’t ‘attack’ the way his friends can and can only defend himself. I wanted to explore ideas of masculinity and what it meant to Jonas to have a defensive power; would he feel like less of a man or would it hurt him because he just wants to protect his friends, regardless of his sex?
I’m not sure if readers can pick up on all the reasoning and thoughts I had for giving the characters the powers I did, but it definitely made it more interesting for me as an author to flesh the kids out and bring them alive in my mind’s eye. Their powers were not randomly chosen and are more than an extended side to them; in some ways they reflect the inner personas of these kids.
Solstice High Web Friendly Tour Schedule
So Many Precious Books July 3 Review & Giveaway
Shelf Addiction July 5 Review, Interview , & Giveaway
Heck of a Bunch July 8 Review
Jessabella Reads July 8 Guest Post & Giveaway
Saving for 6 July 9 Review & Giveaway
Romance Bookie July 15 Review
Cmfg! Books July 16 Review
Cmfg! Books July 17 Guest Post & Giveaway
Ja čitam, a ti? Jul 25 Review & Giveaway
In This of World of Books July 26 Review
Sammy the Bookworm July 29 Review
JC's Book Haven July 29 Review
Teen Blurb July 30 Review
Teen Blurb July 31 Guest Post & Giveaway
Cozie Corner Aug 1 Review
Kate Policani Writing Reviews Aug 2 Review
Every Free Chance Aug 5 Review & Giveway
Dab of Darkness Aug 6 Review
Little Book Star Aug 7 Review
Laurie's Paranormal Aug 8 Interview
Haunting of Orchid Forsythia Aug 9 Review
Between the Lines Aug 12 Review
Sweeps4Bloggers Aug 13 Review & Giveaway
Synchronised Reading Aug 15 Review & Guest Post
Book Mark Belles Aug 19 Review
Book Mark Belles Aug 20 Interview
Serendipity Aug 20 Review
Serendipity Aug 21 Interview
Networking Witches Aug 21 Review & Giveaway
Manic Mama of 2 Aug 22 Review
Books, Books & More Books Aug 23 Review
Moonlight, Lace, & Mayhem Aug 23 Guest Post
Up In the Bibliosphere Aug 26 Review
Up In the Bibliosphere Aug 27 Guest Post & Giveaway
Icy Cold Reads Aug 28 Review
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Ardash Vartparonian was born in London but raised in Buenos Aires, Argentina. At the age of 18 he began his debut novel, Solstice High, and continued writing throughout his last year of school and first year of university, where he moved back to the UK to study English Literature at Edinburgh University. Now a fourth year student, Ardash enjoys going out with his friends, watching horror movies and reading fantasy book while trying to keep up with his university work. Find out more at http://sbpra.com/ardashvartparonian/
Ardash on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/SolsticeHigh?ref=hl