Beautiful People - Parental Edition

     Happy May everyone! (I'm not sure if that's a thing, but let's just roll with it, shall we?) Today I'll be participating in the wonderful Beautiful People link-up created by Cait @ Paper Fury and Sky @ Further Up and Further In. It's designed to help writers get to know their characters better, so be sure to check it out!

    This month's Beautiful People focuses on parents, and so I'll be answering most of the questions about Crim's (MC of Splintered Crown) sort of adopted parents, Thekla and Xan. They took him into their home after his true parents tried to have him killed.

    In case you're wondering about Splintered Crown, here's a quick blurb:

Recovering from a bitter civil war between two princes, the nation of Cynnica eagerly awaits the announcement of the next Heir to the throne. Three royal children were sent away at birth to grow up out of palace hands, and when the time is right, the best and most suited to rule will be chosen. The other two will never be the wiser of their parentage, and Cynnica will never be caught between siblings again.

Crim is as sure he'll be the chosen Heir as he's sure he's attractive. In other words, a hundred percent. Raised under the watchful eye of a noblewoman who took him from an orphanage in hopes he'd be a prince, his only focus has been preparing to rule--and his violin.

When the Heir is declared to be a sister he's never met, Crim's life spins into chaos. What will he do now? How could they not choose him? After all, he's perfect...right?

    To the questions!

1) Overall, how good is their relationship with their parents?

    Crim's relationship with Thekla and Xan develops over the story, as he's practically strangers with them in the book's beginning. His first impression of Thekla was a good one, as she welcomed him with a tight hug, but his impression of Xan was not so much. Xan wasn't mean or anything; he was a bit gruff with the unexpected visitor.

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?

    Wow this is a tricky one to answer. Biologically, the king and queen of Cynnica are his parents, and Crim has seen them from a distance, but never personally interacted with them. He was formally the son of High Lady Paizelle--until the Heir was chosen--yet she never acted like a mother to him. As a result, Crim has this kind of hole inside him, one he always hoped the king and queen would fill. When he was younger, he dreamed of what it would be like to call them mother and father.

3) How did their parents meet?

    Back to Thekla and Xan. They met in their time in the army during the civil war, in which Thekla was Xan's commanding officer while he was her cadet. Thekla was deep undercover at the time. Their relationship turned to a friendship, and when it became deeper than that and the war heightened to its peak, things got messy. That's all I can say, because, spoilers.

So I tried to find a picture of Thekla when she was younger, but couldn't find a good one, so here's a mysterious one that you can use your imagination with
4) How would they feel if they were told "you're turning out like your parent(s)"?

    Crim would be glad, because they're tough, generous, and nice people. Heaven knows he wishes he were any of those.

5) What were your character's parents doing when they were your character's age?

    It would be a few years before the civil war, so Xan would be mourning the loss of his father, while Thekla would be starting her army training in the capital. 

6) Is there something they adamantly disagree on?

    They break into fights almost weekly over whether or not Xan should leave their farm and go into town, even for an hour. He suffered a significant face mutilation during the war--his head was shoved into a fire, and so he lost sight in one eye and all feeling on one side of his face--and fears to appear in public due to it. Thekla always tries to convince him that no one will be afraid of him, but Xan swears they will. He doesn't want to scare little children with his 'monstrous' face.

7) What did the parent(s) find hardest about raising your character?

   Well, since they didn't raise him, I'll go with the biggest challenge they had taking him in; not the persistent death threat on his back, but his drinking. After the effects it had on Thekla (more spoilers there) it was difficult to find the balance between supporting him and drawing the line.

8) What's their most vivid memory with their parental figure(s)?

   Going back to the king and queen for a second here: the queen sitting with a crowd of orphans, laughing, letting them braid her hair. For the king: carrying a tower of manuscripts and scrolls in his arms, beaming.

9) What was your character like as a baby/toddler?

   Crim was a confident toddler who thought the world could not harm him. He might have fallen down a number of stairs as a result.

10) Why and how did the parents choose your character's name?

   Just to confuse you even more, this was High Lady Paizelle's decision (I know, I know, I'm sorry Crim's parental relationships are so complicated). Crim's real name is Crimson. High Lady Paizelle chose it as it's the colour of her noble family, and so when (as she had planned) Crim was chosen as Heir, everyone would be constantly reminded of her influence in training him. The plan didn't, well, didn't go to plan.

That brings us to the end of today's post; I really hope you enjoyed it!
Do your characters know their biological parents? Why did your character's parents choose the name they did? Have you participated in Beautiful People this month? What do you think of Thekla and Xan?
Let me know in the comments and have an amazing day! <3


  1. Oh Melissa! These characters are SO GOOD!!! *jumps up and down in excitement* So glad you did the link up!


    1. Eeeeek thank you! (That was a happy squeal by the way!) I'm super glad you love my characters; I'm not sure if there's a kinder compliment to a writer. :) Thanks so much for commenting Catherine! <3

  2. I LOVE THIS. Characters with complicated parental relationships are just SO awesome because they're so much more complex. Lots of room for growth ;)

    It's kind of ironic that you did this link up on character's parents, because just last night my protagonist had a heated interaction with hers. It didn't turn out well, but it's only the start of that WIP ;)

    audrey caylin

    1. THANK YOU! XD Yes, that's what I love about them, even if their relationships are difficult to explain! Haha that is pretty ironic. Will you be doing a Beautiful People on them? I'd love to see it. :) Thank you so much for commenting Audrey! <3

  3. Oh no. Crim fell down stairs. XD Poor thing. These parent and child dynamics are really interesting! Thanks for sharing. ^ ^

    1. Haha yeah, thankfully he didn't get any brain damage! (That I know of, at lest.) XD Yay I'm glad you found them interesting! Thanks so much for commenting Victoria! :D

  4. That's a really good world-building idea that I've never thought of - raising the children without knowing their true parentage. It would mean you could have lots and choose the best, while not worrying about backstabbing from siblings because the ones not chosen will never know their true parentage. I think that's a genius idea. *must not steal* *no* ;)

    I loved reading about your characters' complicated relationships, Melissa!

    1. Aw thank you Jem! I'm so glad you enjoyed reading about them. :) Haha yes, please do not steal it! XD The way you explained it is how it *should* have worked out, but because of some meddling nobles, there had to be a few alterations to the plan... Thanks so much for commenting! <3


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