If you follow me on any social media platforms, you’ll have heard me talk about my leading lady of the Cadis Trilogy. Sometimes with love, sometimes with a desire to throttle her. Seeing as how I’m about to wrap up the trilogy with Bladelore, projected for a March 2016, I’ve been giving a lot of thought about why I wrote Venn Connell.
This sharp-tongued, quick-witted, bloodthirsty assassin is introduced in book 2 of the Meratis Trilogy as someone who makes Jeff a target. When I created her, I thought she would be a fun secondary character to cause some trouble and be another tie between the first book and the second and third. It took all of three lines of dialogue for that plan to change.
Venn is easily one of my favourite characters I’ve ever written. She’s sassy with a warm centre (although don’t tell her that), arrogant with her skills with incredibly low self-esteem about who she is as a human being. How could I not write her own series after Meratis wrapped up?
Although don’t let the connection between the two trilogies fool you — you don’t need to have read Meratis in order to jump into Cadis.
Cadis has been a great writing experience for me. Venn has gone from being an angry, bitter 17 year old to an only slightly less angry and bitter 23 year old. She’s formed attachments with the Feldall family even if she won’t admit it. Against her will, she’s made friends. Remy and Will constantly push her to grow and be better, and although she fights them every step of the way, her character changes. Over the course of the three books, her development is as important if not more important than the rest of the plot (for me, anyway).
I was so interested in her history/development, that it prompted me to go back and write a prequel short story, “Heart of the City”, which can be found as part of the free welcome bundle when you subscribe to my newsletter. This story follows Venn at 13 years old. She’s been on her own for two years, having been forced out of her hometown by her entire community, including her family. She’s angry and hard, and her mentor, Lewyn Kell, encourages her to stay this way. It makes her an excellent assassin, but does little for her social life.
Having written Venn at 13, 17, and now 23 years old, I find the evolution fascinating. She’s the longest character I’ve ever written and I feel like I know her better than any of my others. I don’t condone a lot of her actions, but I admire her courage. To a certain extent, I wish I had her gumption to fly into the face of action instead of skirting around the edges where it’s safe.
From emails I’ve received, many of you feel the same way about this spunky hero. Sure, she’s crass and knows how to curse better than my grandmother, but I think she’s worth the love.
Will there be more Venn? That remains to be seen. It’s possible Venn’s niece, Naya, will get her own fantasy adventure, but it won’t be any time soon. Unless you ask for it.
Haven’t picked up the existing Cadis books yet? Follow the links for more information!
Venn Connell is bored. When the Andvellian ambassador in Margolin goes missing, she jumps at the chance to find him, but quickly learns the mystery goes deeper than one missing courtier. With border tensions rising, a man vanishing before her eyes with a relic she believed lost, red-clad soldiers out for blood, and something dark following her from the charred ruins of Treevale fortress, Venn becomes a pawn in an unseen game. Forced to confront her past and question her future, Venn knows she has to tread carefully. One wrong move and she could lose herself in the shadows, and hurl her country into war.
When Venn Connell set out from Andvell a month ago, her intentions were simple: solve a mystery, avoid starting a war, and have some fun in the process. After uncovering the secrets lurking within the Margolan palace, her adventure takes a darker path. War is no longer a question of if but of when, and the enemy is a greater nightmare than she could have imagined. Torn between protecting her family and saving her country, and forced to take on the role of leader she has tried so hard to avoid, Venn must sort out her priorities as the mystery of the Cadis warriors grows deeper, threatening the people she cares for most.