Of course, getting to focus on playful characters is a huge help in re-establishing my long-ignored writing groove. For those of you who've read Tilt (and for those of you who haven't, get on it!), Mayor Bentley had two daughters who were 16 and 11 then and were referenced several times in the story but were sent to Ostano with their mother to escape before you ever got to meet them. In God of Gods, the girls play a much more integral role and, I have to admit, have absolutely won my heart. I keep finding myself giving them new reasons to appear in a scene simply because they have a youthful energy that propels the story along and sometimes makes it move in directions I didn't originally intend. Ali and Andi Bentley have somehow wound me around their fingers every bit as much as they have their father and I honestly cannot wait to see where these girls lead me next.
Want to meet them? Here's a quick snippet of a scene I'm working on now set during the festivities in Sarano celebrating one full year of recovery after the Tilt that nearly destroyed them:
“Stop fidgeting, Spunkster,” Ali admonished Andi, leaning over to whisper in her ear, “people will think you have fleas!”
“Will not!” Andi whispered back, rolling her eyes dramatically. She always pretended to hate it when her big sister called her by her nickname. “And it’s not my fault. This stupid dress itches too much.”
“Mine does, too,” Ali conceded. Mona had definitely been a little carefree with the tulle when she put these celebration gowns together for the girls. Granted, in the King Jared II box, the most elite private box named for the theater’s most historically renowned patron, their fidgeting was probably more than concealed from any prying eyes. But with this being the first formal event since before the Tilt – not to mention the first official event without their mother – Ali thought it would be best if both Bentley girls were the perfect models of office tonight. Especially if Ali was going to get away with that little side project she’d bribed Mona to finish for her…
“You know what, Spunkster? I’ll bet I can go way longer than you can without scratching,” Ali whispered conspiratorially to Andi. “In fact, I could probably go all the way through the show until we got home,” she added with a shrug, as if nothing could possibly be easier.
Andi eyed her suspiciously. “You couldn’t,” she challenged.
“Could. I’d even bet an entire tray of caramel fudge taffies that I could. If, you know, you like that sort of thing.”
Andi’s eyes lit up like two perfect green moons. “Those are my favorite!”
“Really?” Ali asked in mock surprise. “Well, if you can go all night without scratching, it sounds like I’m going to have to make you a tray as soon as we get home.”
“Before bedtime? Mona would have a fit,” Andi giggled.
“Then it’ll have to be our secret,” Ali winked.