Xanthe is the name of my main character in my current Work in Progress. I first wrote Wolf Moon during NaNoWriMo in 2011 or was it 2012. Anyway, I don’t remember but I’ve been in this fantasy world for a long time. It started some time before that, as part of a writing prompt. Over at Writers Abroad,my on line writing group, we have a weekly activity called ‘Monday Muse’ where several prompts are posted and we allow ourselves 20 minutes or 500 words to free write. It’s a good habit to promote and it was during one of my muses, that Xanthe was born.
I don’t know about you, but I’m a very visual person. I like to see what I write so when I’m developing a character I always look for pictures to help me build up a picture when I’m writing. Stick men (and women) don’t do it for me. Usually its a mixture, a nose from here, eyes from there and hairstyles that match my mood. This is the current picture I’m using for Xanthe, although some of the finer details are different. She’s not as beautiful as this. She has flaws, like picking her fingers and she has acne scars. None of us are perfect.
Xanthe is a displaced orphan who lives at the Wishing Well Centre for juveniles. She was left there as a baby and she is a loner, bullied by the other, more street-savvy children at the centre. She’s had several placements with families but for one reason or another they have never worked out. Either she’s been smothered with love and attention that she can’t handle, or she’s been expected to change and fit in.
Xanthe knows that she is considered different and difficult but she tries not to make any trouble for herself. Until one bully, Melanie and her cronies steal her bracelet one morning. It is July Seventh-the fourteenth anniversary since she was found. No-one really knows her birth date and she’s never had any reason or anyone to celebrate it with.
Xanthe is not like Melanie and her gang, with their obsession with mobile phones, technology, clothes, boys and make-up and this makes her an easy target. She prefers books and numbers and figures that whilst the bullies attention are on her, they are leaving the smaller children alone. Xanthe had one friend, Kit, the doctors son. He is more like her that she’d care to admit and she enjoys meeting him in Postlebury Woods, where he likes to climb trees and escape to his tree house, high in the canopy. She will not go up as she is afraid of heights.
Unknown to Xanthe, she really belongs on the Kingdom of Selene, where she has a destiny to fulfil and on the fourteenth anniversary, several strange things start to happen to her. She is convinced they are all tricks engineered by her nemesis, Melanie but she doesn’t believe that she is clever enough. Kit is the only one she trusts to help her figure things out and together they start on an adventure that will put both of them at peril.
Xanthe has little belief in herself at the beginning of the story but in her quest to discover the truth about her roots, she discovers that she does have a role in life, a role to protect others from an evil presence.