February 9, 2021

Spotlight on Kurtis Warde for #TirgearrTuesday

A lot of my characters are derived from my previous experiences and perspective. The rest comes from the characters themselves. To be an author, you need to embrace an outside-the-box attitude. Not everything is logical. Sometimes you hear voices in your head, and it doesn't mean you have a mental health condition. Although you might. There is a proposed correlation between creativity and mental illness. Studies have shown that mental health conditions, like bipolar disorder and major depressive disorder, are significantly more common among artists (Kyaga, Simon; Landén, Mikael; Boman, Marcus; Hultman, Christina M.; Långström, Niklas; Lichtenstein, Paul (January 2013). "Mental illness, suicide and creativity: 40-year prospective total population study". Journal of Psychiatric Research. 47 (1): 83–90.). So, whether I can attribute the voices in my head to a creative muse or a mental illness, I listen to those voices. They are my characters. They are an expression of myself.

Kurtis Warde from A Wizard's Choice was a difficult character to write. Mostly because we had a disagreement over his use of coarse language. I don't really swear. I don't suppress the urge; I just don't want to say "bad" words. Perhaps connected to my upbringing as a "good girl" or the great variety of other words at our disposal. Language is a form of self-expression so I won't judge your choices, but there are some words and phrases that may garner a tsk-tsk from me though...

Kurtis was very angry. His anger came from a deep-rooted place, and he needed to express himself loudly, coarsely, without reserve. So, I let him. I let him get everything out. His emotion poured from him like water from a faucet.

It gushed. It cascaded. And it was cathartic for both of us. It made me face the fact that I had been angry too. I'm not angry now. And neither is Kurtis.

Kurtis, like all characters, grows during his journey. He learns things about himself and his world. He has to face great suffering in order to do so.

During one of his hardest moments...


He squeezed his eyes shut. “My grandfather died yesterday.”

“I’m so sorry, Kurtis. I didn’t realize he was ill.”

“He wasn’t.” Kurtis opened his eyes, staring past Alina. “I killed him.”

She gasped. “What?”

“Well, technically I didn’t. But it’s my fault he’s dead.”

“I’m sure that’s not true.” She placed her hand on his arm. “Whenever a family member hurts, we all suffer from the what-if guilts.”

“It’s a little more complicated than that. The family tree location spell?”

She nodded.

“It led my grandfather’s killers right to him.”

“You can’t blame yourself for this.”

He narrowed his gaze. “Perhaps I blame you?”

“You’re hurting now and looking for something to take that pain away. You came to me. Your grandfather’s death was a tragedy, but not my fault or yours.”

“I don’t know what to do. That lost feeling I had before? Well, it’s nothing compared to the fucking gaping hole I feel now.”

He clutched his chest, gasping for breath.

She wrapped her arms around his neck, holding him close. “Don’t keep it in. Scream. Swear. Let it out. I can take it.”


This sentence eloquently conveys the full breadth of the raw emotion running through him. He's devastated, and he knows how badly "worse" can really feel. It's not the "black moment" of the story, but his grandfather's death was a pivotal one for him. The only familiar and consistent thing in his life is painfully ripped away, leaving him stranded in a strange new world. Sometimes, you need a curse word or two to get the point across.

Interested in learning more about Kurtis? A Wizard's Choice, The Magicals Series Book #2 is available now. The next book in the series Alina's story, A Fairy's Quest, will be released soon.

Dreams or duty? Leaving The Circle would give wizard apprentice Kurtis Warde the freedom to follow his own dreams, and to pursue vampiress, Dee. But there is unrest in the magical world—a long-time feud between wizards and fairies—that threatens everyone Kurtis cares about.

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