Finding the Voice of a Lady Knight
Reagan is the face of Goblin Fires. A half-Sidhe "Child of the Morrigan", she is both a part of the goblin Court of Autumn, and part of the Unbridled, unaligned fae. More importantly, to me, Reagan was a voice.
She started out simply as "The Knight"—a concept of a servant desperately in love with her charge, the Lady of her Court. I knew I wanted to write this story after reading Cold Days, by Jim Butcher (one of my favorite authors). At the same time, I wanted Reagan and her world to be independent and unique, not a rehash of the Dresden world.
From the beginning, I also knew Goblin Fires would be a lesbian love story, but Reagan was a more masculine gal than any of my previous characters. I tried to write her as someone who could be either male or female—if I suddenly changed all the "she"s to "he"s, the story would remain unchanged. This wasn't done so that I could eventually make her male, or have the option to change my mind... for me, it was more of an exploration of a spectrum of gender roles and gender stereotype. Even in beta reading and editing phases, lots of folks assumed Reagan was a male, even given the title of "Lady Knight".
But Reagan really started taking shape in my mind when I started hearing her. She took on the tone and inflection of Claudia Black, the actress behind Aeryn Sun on Farscape. Some days, if I had a hard time getting into the story, I read back over old sections until I could hear them in her voice again. This was how I knew whether I was writing in her true character, or if I'd wandered off the mark.
As with most characters, Reagan had her own set of quirks, which she revealed to me as the story went along. For one thing, I learned she didn't like sugar. I expected any fae creature would be gluttonous for sweet things. Reagan had another obsession, though: she loved peppermints (sugar-free ones, of course). She collects earrings and wears them unevenly—like all goblins, she has a liking for asymmetry. She's one of my few mains whom I would classify as 'lawful good': her dedication to her post goes deeper than her dedication to her Princess; she believes in the work of the Knights, and she likes what she does.
Discovering Reagan was a particularly wonderful part of the Goblin Fires journey for me. She has a personality I seriously enjoyed exploring and exercising, and I'm very happy with the journey she took me on. Though her first story is written and her first adventure finished (at least, as told from her point of view), there's still more this goblin gal has to tell me...and more thrilling tales of her work as a Knight.