Behind the Tales by Aurora Peppermind

Martus understands the desire to forget the past. After all, until recently he stole to support his makeshift family. His boyfriend, Hal, has a history of losing control over his dragon transformations and causing destruction neither of them likes thinking about, and even his little sister, Elsaben, is struggling to harness her magickal gifts.

But personal issues must be pushed aside when Martus’s wealthy patron hires their group to find her son, the legendary hero Fitzy. Is he in trouble or just sick and tired of the burden of fame? Perhaps his estranged sister, Mel, can help them track him down.

An already difficult mission becomes an uphill battle when their demons refuse to be ignored. Even Mel is keeping secrets, and all of them are about to discover that forgetting the past won’t stop it from catching up at the worst possible time.

There are three very unique characters in my book that have very different points of view and really different ways that I can get into their heads so I thought today it might be fun to look at my first main character, Martus, in a little bit more detail. Martus is probably the character who I view the series as being most about his life so before I wrote anything or even plotted out what was going to happen in the book, I thought it was really important to get to know him as best as I could.

The beginning of the first book starts out with him at the very end of his criminal life, but I decided to write out a few scenes of Martus in his pre-book days to just get a really good sense of his character. I’ll probably never actually use the scenes for anything else, but it was a really interesting exercise. It was while I was writing his thoughts during these scenes that I really discovered Martus’s motivation. At the start, I knew he was a criminal, I knew he had a little sister, but I had never merged these thoughts. As I wrote more about Martus for my own benefit I started to understand his personality myself and see how he was more of a lovable rogue than simply a person who did bad things because he liked to. That could be interesting too, but for this story, this character, it wasn’t who he was.

Martus is really just trying to make his way in the world and he really wouldn’t do anything he does – besides, maybe, stealing a loaf of bread here and there to get by – if it wasn’t for his little sister. Even when their parents were still alive, Martus was always Elsaben’s protector. Before she could even walk she would crawl around and follow him everywhere he went. When his mother was pregnant he would talk to his little sister all the time, just waiting to be a big brother. Although his role has almost transferred into that of Elsaben’s parents, he perhaps has slightly looser morals than a real mother or father would. Maybe he should consider the way that his job endangers her or the fact that if he died she would have no one to take care of her.

But he’s also still, in many ways, a child himself. Yes, he’s almost into adulthood, and he’s certainly grown up faster than most should have to, but he doesn’t always know the right thing to do, he doesn’t always know what’s going to cause the least problems. He’s just feeling his way through and kind of stumbling into whatever he thinks will help himself, his sister, and, eventually, Hal, be safe and happy.

When I first started Beneath the Scales, I was a little worried about Hal and Martus. I thought they might clash. In some ways they are diametrically opposed, but in some ways they’re very similar. Would they bond over their similarities, or constantly fight over their differences? The answer is a little mixture of both, like a lot of couples, I think. Of course they don’t always get along, but I knew that as soon as Martus realized that Hal had actually taken care of his little sister, and saw that he was a gentle soul, maybe similar to how Martus would have turned out without his difficult circumstances, there would be a spark there. And when I actually wrote them together I was right, and that spark got me so excited that what I had at first intended to be a standalone book simply had to be expanded on. Within probably halfway through my original draft of the first book, I realized I needed to sketch out a series plot for these two.

I love Martus and his family dynamic in a very unique way. He’s also one of my characters that, as I write him, surprises me the most with, when I get into his head, what he would actually end up doing in situations that I predicted would go very differently. I hope he can surprise and delight everyone who reads it, too.

About the author

Aurora Peppermint writes sci fi and fantasy young adult books and is very friendly, she promises. Aurora Peppermint is a teenage girl with a real passion for spaceships. For a long time, she wanted to be the people on the spaceships, and she still does, but now she’s thinking it isn’t so bad to be the one making them. Her dream job is Ghostbuster, and her second dream job is what she’s doing right now. She is a huge fan of anything involving or centered around the word ‘chocolate’, and you can usually find her baking something somewhere in New York. She has a small, tight-knit group of crime fighters who read her books and slap some sense into her when she’s been up for more than twenty-four hours. Most of the time she’s at a concert or convention or something else that begins with ‘con’, but when she isn’t seeing the world you can find her bouncing between Central Pennsylvania and Staten Island.

Behind the Tales by Aurora Peppermind
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