It turns out that it’s unexpectedly hard to create a post about the main character of Stonebearer’s Betrayal without giving away some of the disastrous things that happen to her in the story.
I’ll do my best.
Katira Pathara is the daughter of Jarand and Mirelle, two respected members of the small mountain guarded community of Namragan. Mirelle is an herbalist and medicine woman, while Jarand works the village forge and sits on the town council. Katira has been studying medicine and healing under her mother’s tutelage since she was old enough to lift the heavy mortar and pestle. As the story begins, she is on the cusp of entering her formal apprenticeship when she turns eighteen.
Katira is levelheaded and willing to try things that are difficult. What I love most about her is in this book is she grows to overcome fears that are holding her back. She learns she can be fearless when it really counts.
In the beginning of the journey to create this world and this story, Katira wasn’t the main character. That role I assigned to her father, Jarand. Of all the characters in Stonebearer’s Betrayal, he is the only one to fall onto the page fully formed and demanding I share his story. Most authors have one character archetype that they adore to use and I’m no different. I love strong silent fighters who are world-weary, caring, and once you’ve earned their respect, willing to sacrifice. In the end, this wasn’t his story to tell which was something that took me years to figure out. We’ll talk all about Jarand in another post.
Katira, like many teen girls, made me fight and work to understand her and even now, I’m not sure of what she’s going to do next. She’s uncertain of her place, and desperate to be accepted and respected in the same way she sees the people of her community treat her mother – although she’ll never admit it.
I know what you are thinking, Katira is secretly me. Yes, and no. She’s tiny parts of me. But, on that note so are all of my characters. You can’t create a fictional character without drawing from your own experience. Katira loves the science behind how things work. She genuinely wants to help people. She’s logical. So am I.
Confession time, I was watching lots of Game of Thrones during the refining editing passes where the finer story points of Stonebearer’s Betrayal and its characters took shape. Arya Stark is such a cool character that I wanted to capture some of her struggle and spark in Katira. Katira shares her dark eyes and dark hair and both grow into something that when the story starts they would never have expected. Does Katira go off assassinating the enemies who betrayed her family? No. But she is willing to do what it takes to ensure her survival in what looks like a hopeless situation.
Let’s talk! Share your favorite “strong girl” main character in the comments. Bonus points if you share how that character has influenced you in your life.