There are a few things that didn’t make it into The Elder Throne’s final draft, including a character called Bumble who shall never be spoken of again. My favourite thing that didn’t make it, however, is Blossom Valerian’s (nee Blackwood) backstory.Blossom Valerian began as a very minor character who was intended to be more of a punchline than serve any actual plot purpose. She is the UnSeelie mother of Knightshade Valerian, and wife to Seelie warrior Cathal. She’s sharp, fierce and doesn’t tolerate fools gladly. In fact, she doesn’t tolerate fools at all.
I discovered her backstory when I was trying to work out her reasons for being in the Seelie Court instead of her homeland and, what started out as a ‘blowing off steam’ character history to develop a few minor characters evolved into an actual honest-to-God novella. Now, some elements of this novella are not child-friendly, but as I grew to know Blossom, I wanted to put the suitable parts of her story into The Elder Throne. The way her story plays out is of great relevance to a few of the major characters. Her actions – and those of her enemies – have a ripple effect on the main plot arc.
However, as Blossom is still a minor character, I couldn’t put her whole story in without her suddenly stealing the limelight. Instead, I found it was far more suitable for a ‘drip-feed’ sub-plot throughout the series, so I wound up taking it all out and substituting it with a short anecdotal speech:
“When Blossom defected to our side and married Cathal, everyone thought it was a ruse. Everyone thought she would murder him in his sleep, but they’ve been happily married ever since.”
As the series continues, readers will discover little snippets of information about both Blossom and Cathal, a bit like breadcrumbs that will eventually lead to two rather interesting “gingerbread houses”.
Illustration by BrettArts, Copyright K.F. Goodacre 2016