The prince that started as a very vanilla character, in a friend’s words, and then morphed into more of a rocky road ice cream. There were so many ideas and possibilities for this guy. So many ways of which he could be (and was) tormented. So many ways of which he could grow (and did). So many ways that we’d considered guiding his relationships (but didn’t).
For a brief time, before I even wrote Renegade Skyfarer, there was discussion between Mike and I in regards to Queen Violet and if/when Everett died, should Brandon marry Violet to settle the allegiance between Doldra and Aerugo. It was the working plan for awhile, until I decided I didn’t want Violet to be pushed into another marriage, and Brandon wouldn’t want to re-marry after Sapphire either. Which would leave me the dilemna on how to reach a satisfactory truce between the two nations, but I dumped that on Weston to figure out, and that worked out quite splendidly. XD
It was interesting, figuring out Brandon after being under Jaxton’s mind-control for so long. Here I had this formerly polished and sincere prince who’d experienced the worst kind of trauma and betrayal and loss, and now he was free to make his own choices, but at what cost? How much would PTSD rule him? How much of it could he fight, what support would he have, and how could I show the struggle and brokenness inside in a way that readers would sympathesize with? (And how much story plot could I fill with this, without side-lining the true MCs, Ben and Jade?)
I don’t want to give away too many spoilers, but I’m pleased with how he’s developed. He’s still got demons to fight and shadows that haunt him, but he’s moving forward. He has more than just himself to live for, and he’s able to keep focused on that. And he’s had several opportunities that make his eternity-long years as Jaxton’s pet berserker somewhat redeemable. …though he still feels no remorse for how he ended that whale scum. (And nor do I!)