I’ve got exciting news for you guys today! It’s release day for Children of the Forgotten: Book One of the Anistemi by Charles Franklin! I had the chance to read an advanced reader copy of this book, and guys, I am so excited that it is now available for you all to read also, so I invited Charles to join us here today and introduce us to a few of the main characters in his story. (You all know I love characters …)
So welcome, Charles! Glad you could be here!
Hey everyone! It’s an honor to be here, so I would first like to thank Gillian for the opportunity to guest post about my novel, Children of the Forgotten: Book One of the Anistemi. I am excited to finally get it out there and into the hands of readers!
Today I want to share with you a bit about some of the main characters, who were such a joy to write. But, before I do that, Here’s a little about the story:
by Charles Franklin
In a post-apocalyptic world, most people by age thirty have succumbed to the Sickness, a mysterious deadly illness. But the Sickness is not the only enemy for Collin Mann’s city. Hordes of deranged killers live in the hills around it. With few trained protectors, the future of the little city looks bleak.
Collin, fifteen years old, buries those the Sickness consumes. Slight and awkward, he shuns warrior training, avoiding the example of his big brother and guardian.
When killers attack at the watering hole, he’s called to step forward and defend. Instead, he freezes. He’s ashamed. His people need him to fight. But can he do it? Or would a clumsy person like himself make any difference in the battle for existence?
Since he’s the main protagonist, let’s start with Collin Mann:
(You called. Here I come.)
As described in the blurb above, Collin is far from a lionhearted warrior. In fact, there are times that he struggles to find even an ounce of courage when he faces the horrors that prey upon his people. Yet, he is thrown into a war that will determine whether his city will live on or be forgotten like the rest of the fallen world.
When we first meet Collin, he is digging a grave for someone who has died from the Sickness. He dreams of what life might be like outside the seemingly endless barrier of hills that surround his secluded city, but soon buries those dreams too when he realizes he isn’t as brave as the knights who protect him and the rest of the citizens.
As the story unfolds, though, Collin finds something worth fighting for. He learns to put the welfare of others before himself. Along the way, he begins to live some of the dreams that he gave up on and he sees a few glimpses of what is left of the outside world. Who knows, he may even meet a girl!
Collin was a lot of fun to write, and I believe that he has some really touching moments during his growth. I hope you enjoy his story, too!
Next up, Felicia Youngblood:
(My Creator, what do I do?)
When the story begins, Felicia is a young school teacher in her section of the city. Little ones fill her room and learn the basic school subjects, along with a few trades and all that is known about the fall of the world.
Felicia is also single mother to her five-year-old son, Anthony. She struggles to keep up with him as he is always dashing off to adventure, causing Felicia to question her abilities as a mother. To make matters worse, she must also do everything she can to keep others from learning of Anthony’s secrets.
When she is called to step forward and help lead her people, Felicia is pulled from a life of comfort in the classroom and thrown into a seat where her every move is questioned. As the threat from the evil savages in the hills grows, she relies on the aid of a few close friends and her faith in The Creator as she readies her city for invasion.
Felicia was probably the toughest character for me to write. I wanted her to be a strong female character, but not in a physical sense. The goal was for her power to come from her faith and love for her people. Because of this, I found myself making her a little too perfect! So I had to go back several times and give her more struggle. I hope she forgives me!
And Finally… Bliss Li:
(I grow tired of your king.)
It’s a little odd how Bliss came to be in the novel. I was writing a scene where Collin is observing the goings on in the city, and as he scans things in front of him, Bliss appeared. I didn’t plan it, and had no idea who she was or what she would bring to the story, but I ran with it! And Bliss didn’t disappoint.
Where I gave Felicia more of a spiritual strength, Bliss got all of the toughness. She is tough, gritty, and…angry! Her dark past—most of which is a blur—drives her into what is an obsessive search for one thing: vengeance.
There are times in the story where all seems lost and most of the fight is gone from the citizens of the small city. This is not true with Bliss. Her fight is never gone, and the enemy often gets a quick taste of it just before she makes them an afterthought.
It was a lot of fun to write Bliss! There is so much conflict inside and around her that there is never a moment that is lacking. She has just enough sass to outshine the shadows she rose from, and when things get tough during the story, I think we will all feel a little bit better knowing that she is there!
So there you have it! The list could go on, but these are the three characters I am most excited for you to meet. I love their diversity, but also the potential for them to come together for a common cause. I hope you enjoyed learning about them and would love it if you followed their journey!
Thanks again for having me!
You can also watch this awesome book trailer!
Now, it’s your turn! Let’s chat in the comments:
- Which of these three characters would you like to read about most?
- Have you pre-ordered a copy of Children of the Forgotten?
- Can you imagine living in a world where the oldest people are thirty? How would having such a short life expectancy affect how you lived?