In Cost of Two Hands, Adele and Cry of the Storm (a horse) do not get along. Adele loves machines and isn’t really comfortable riding something with a mind of its own. Plus, there is the small matter of Cry of the Storm trying to kill her because she is going to put Jonah’s soul in a machine. Just a minor conflict.
In the Sparrow and the Star, Jonah sends Cid on a mission with a rather unsavory person. (I’m not naming names because I don’t want to SPOIL it.) Poor Cid must put up with this person when they both mutually hate one another: he’s too dirty and untrained, Cid’s too clean and prepared. Ultimately, their conflict is Jonah. They both owe him their lives. They both love him, so they want to do right by him, but they’re unsure of each other.
I haven’t really thought too much about what I’m communicating about relationships, but if I had to pin it down, it’s that friendship and family are the most important relationships. I have two obvious romances in my book, but they are mild compared to most YA and don’t take center stage. Jonah does have a special lady friend. 😊 But they are friends first before Jonah falls in love with her.
Romantic love is amazing, but true love is more like a close and loyal friendship than a burning passion. That is what my story says about relationships.
My story is also generational. You can’t know who you are without knowing where you come from and who you come from. Family is important. I show this both in a blood and adoptive family.
In The Cost of Two Hands, the antagonists are Cagen, Pain, and Fear. We don’t know much about them. A few years back when the winters started getting longer, they refused to pay for the food brought in by trains and just took it instead. This one selfish move damned Gang Gray to a slow starvation, and spurred Pain to devise a plan that leads to all out war with the other three Gangs.
In The Sparrow and the Star, Purity steps into the light, but her past is shrouded in the same fog that hides Soul and Haze. She dislikes and is distrustful of other women while she spoils and coddles the men. She is the Guardian of Purity, but for spoiler reasons, that’s all I can say about that. She’s roughly constructed on the psychological of a serial killers mother and the psychology of the Nazis.
Early on in the story, Soul gives this verse to Jonah to read. Soul hopes it will help guide the determined, battle-prone boy.
“Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends.”
It becomes one of Jonah’s great encouragement in the following dark days.
Oak, the Tree Guardian, is suffering from a broken heart. But it’s not what you think! His heart was taken by the first returning Artist, Bree. She loves trees and when Oak was in danger, he gave Bree his heart for safe keeping. Thus, Oak’s heart is broken…but safe.
My two main characters are Jonah and Sparrow. They have only met once. (I haven’t talked about Sparrow yet.) In Cost of Two Hands, Sparrow brings word to Greenhome that the Clowns are coming for their children. Jonah, though only a boy, devises a strategy to trap and defeat the Clowns with the help of the Dragons, who Sparrow rides with.
That is how they met.
In The Sparrow and the Star, their paths don’t cross. Jonah is back on the Streets. Sparrow has been kidnapped by the Clowns and taken to Metropolis-by-the-sea. But, Jonah is never far from her mind. She has a gut feeling he will be the one to defeat the Clowns.
Jonah’s best friends are Cid, Adele, Ralph and George in Book 1. The boys become friends after being on opposing sides in a messy food fight started when George picked on Adele. Their friendship is further solidified when Jonah, Cid, George, and Ralph battle the strange Clowns kidnappers from Metropolis-by-the-sea to protect their home. The boys follow Jonah back to the Streets at the end of The Cost of Two Hands.
In Book 2, the Sparrow and the Star, Jonah’s best friends are Cid, Star, and someone I’ll leave un-named to avoid Spoilers. Cid is still by Jonah’s side, but he’s lost Ralph, George, and Adele. Star is a bright light in his darkness, and the unexpected friend shows the power of being salvaged.