Descendant Blog Tour: Backstory that Matters + giveaway
We are happy to welcome Nichole Giles to the blog today, she’ll be talking about The Importance of the Past: Backstory that Matters (which we totes agree). BUT first, here’s a little bit about DESCENDANT…
Seventeen-year-old Abigail Johnson is Gifted.
Blessed-or cursed-with Sight and Healing, Abby lives an unsettled life, moving from place to place and staying one step ahead of the darkness that hunts her. When she arrives in Jackson, Wyoming, she is desperate to maintain the illusion of normalcy, but she is plagued with visions of past lives mixed with frightening glimpses of her future. Then she meets Kye, a mysterious boy who seems so achingly familiar that Abby is drawn to him like he’s a missing piece of her own soul.
Before Abby can discover the reason for her feelings toward Kye, the darkness catches up to her and she is forced to flee again. But this time she’s not just running. She is fighting back with Kye at her side, and it’s not only Abby’s life at stake.
The Importance of the Past: Backstory that Matters
Every story has a backstory. Unless it starts with the day the main character was born, and the day the villain or antagonist was born, every character comes to the story with a past, and that past makes our characters who they are, and explains why they make the choices they do. In Descendant, the past is important, not only for the main characters, but for a string of characters who came before them. It’s sort of an endless loop.
When Abby discovers her Gifts, she is thrust into a battle that was started hundreds of years before her birth—and which an entire culture of people is depending on her to end. So with this, we know there is a story behind this battle she must face, and there are a number of people who have come before her and sort of set things up so she will have the best chance (or worst chance—depending on how you look at it) of success. Each one of these people has a story and motivation for doing what they’ve done.
Unfortunately, in a young adult book, we really don’t get to see the backstories of all these characters, but we know they’re there, and that they matter. And when something they’ve done or a problem they’ve solved or created comes up, we find out only as much as we need to know and are then directed back to the current story.
In Descendant, there are three backstory threads that wind together and affect the current characters, who live in modern day America. The original story starts a few hundred years ago, with a number of relationships that culminated in a battle over a kingdom—a kingdom was consequently lost to all. And these important events happened long before Abby and Kye’s story begins.
In this case, the backstory could be an entire book all by itself. But that story isn’t the one I wanted to write, and I’m pretty sure that’s not the story my audience wants to read. So this story starts in current times, and you, the readers, get only the details that are important enough to mention. In essence, you get two stories for the price of one.
See how that works? What other books have you read that came with an interesting backstory?