Saturday, 7 February 2015

Beautiful People: Valentine Edition (oh no)

Beautiful People is a linkup hosted by Cait @ Paper Fury and Sky @ Further Up and Further in, where writers answer questions about their books/characters. And as all the florists are trying to remind us, Valentine's Day is here. It's the shipping post, guys.
Which isn't too good for me, because Winner Takes All boasts only 3 canon pairings, none of which are very romantic. I'll just stick with the least spoilery one: Ylen and Eamon.

1. How long have they been a couple? They started dating thirty-eight years before the story begins, and were married for twenty-two. They were never much of a couple.

2. How did they first meet? Presumably in school. Not many people get to go in Delenno, but Eamon is a Qihrin (i.e. elite) boy and Ylen was pretty enough to be worth educating. They go to watch a play on Chinese New Year sorry, first newday, along with Talisa, another main character.

3. What were their first thoughts of each other? Ylen was looking for a Qihrin husband since forever and was flirting shamelessly. Eamon was struggling between Ylen's beauty and her Delennian (i.e. subpar) heritage.

4. What do they do that most annoys each other? Eamon is annoyed when Ylen risks his reputation and his standing in social hierarchy. Ylen is only not annoyed when Eamon is giving her money.

5. Are their personalities opposite or similar? Similar, definitely. They both seek power as a means to comfort. The difference is that Eamon was taught to assert himself while Ylen has been trained to hide. This changes.

6. How would their lives be different without each other? Without Ylen, Eamon would probably disinherit their half-blood son and remarry a Qihrin lady. If Eamon left Ylen, she would have to go into hiding since she was Talisa's closest friend, and Talisa is deemed a traitor to the royal family.

7. Are they ever embarrassed of each other? Ylen was embarrassed of Eamon when Talisa, a Delennian, ruled. Eamon is embarrassed of Ylen now that the Qihrin royal family is in power.

8. Does anyone disapprove of their relationship? Every Qihrin and their cats. Cross-cultural marriages are not encouraged in Qihrin-ruled Delenno. Hell, cross-cultural marriages weren't encouraged in Delennian-ruled Delenno.
9. Do they see their relationship as long-term/leading to marriage? Well, they're married. (For now.) Eamon thinks he's stuck with Ylen. Ylen still needs Eamon's protection. Anyhow, Ylen is too smart to get into a one night stand with someone as crafty as Eamon.

10. If they could plan the “perfect outing” together, where would they go? Away from each other.

So that wasn't very romantic, which says a lot about Winner Takes All. Honestly, I'd have loved to do another pairing instead, but they're both intensely spoiler-y.

If anyone can guess the other pairings in the comments, I'll answer a question about that pairing! So randomly pick two names from the first chapter! And how do you want the Ylen/Eamon ship to end? Who kills who? They both die? They make up? (Yeah, right.)

24 comments:

  1. I am so disappointed because I so enjoy when married people are like their #1 secret agent for the other, but apparently that will not be the case. :( That is okay. They are adding tension to the story, and maybe somewhere there is some evil princess the crown prince is married to and they can be perfect and evil together and kill the world.

    (Okay, okay, I know, I'll stop.)

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    1. Um. No. I think that would be a fun dynamic to write, but only if they don't actually love each other. I have one that might be similar in a future work? And sorry to disappoint you, Heather, but Ciaran is not getting married to any evil princesses. In fact, there are no evil princesses. But if there were, they would be smart enough to kill Ciaran first.

      Oh no, don't stop ;D Thanks for dropping by!

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    2. BUT ALYSSA. LOVE IS NOT SMART, IT IS SMITTEN. AND IF THERE WAS AN EVIL PRINCESS WHO WAS SMART ENOUGH TO KNOW HE WAS USEFUL AND WEAK ENOUGH TO FALL FOR HIS OWN STRENGTH HE COULD TAKE HER AS HIS OWN AND THEY COULD CORRUPT THE LAND TOGETHER.

      *head hangs*

      Sad.

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    3. ... I am persuaded. Maybe in a spin-off or a sequel. (Yes, there's a sequel.)

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  2. Oh, this book sounds fun! I love a bit of political intrigue, and this sounds like it has plenty! I'm really enjoying this Beautiful People gig :) Thanks for sharing!

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    1. Oh, yes. Winner Takes All is basically political intrigue bundled into a dystopian world. Yep, Beautiful People is really fun :D Thanks for reading, Liza!

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  3. Interesting way to build a story -- it really gives you a front row seat into the conflicts between your elite and subpar.
    Future of Ylen and Eamon...hmmm...maybe something could come up that both of them hate...maybe they could resentfully have to be on the same side of the issue...not to make up with each other, of course, but they have to agree to work together to "fix" the issue that they both hate. They'd still hate working together, but...maybe forge a temporary standing of mutual goals.
    Killing each other? I would say that if the author wanted them to kill each other, she would swing the political/social climate in some way that one of them decided it was possible. However, the other one, being just as smart, would see it coming and plan a counter-attack. Odds are, they would die together. Unless you wanted to pursue the change that would come from only having one parent left...which could also be interesting.
    Cool story, Alyssa. :)

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    1. Thank you so much! Actually, a similar-ish thing does happen in WTA, because their son gets into danger. However, Ylen and Eamon have a difference in priorities which results in them silently resenting but still ignoring the other.

      Hmm, yes, that could be a possibility. I'm not saying much more because spoilers, but I'd say Ylen would definitely see any attempt on her life coming. Thanks for dropping by! :D

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  4. One word: Cats.

    But anyway, this is totally an interesting world! Wow, somehow Ylen and Eamon's relationship reminds me of "Romeo and Juliet." I don't know why... but I'm pretty sure cats aren't involved in Shakespeare's story.

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    1. I am not sure what you mean by cats, but if you're suggesting they fight like cats, then yes. Eamon would be one of those ginger cats and Ylen would be grey or silver or black. Or maybe a tabby. (Oh dear me, why am I making up cat AUs?)

      I am fairly certain Romeo and Juliet are not quite the same as Ylen and Eamon. However, if you're talking about Juliet's character development in terms of defying the patriarchy, there is a parallel there. Thanks for reading, Grace!

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  5. Hi Alyssa! Sorry I didn't get to drop by sooner. Just been busy >.<

    I love Winner Takes All for a title. Very curious! I'd want to know what it was about. Your story seems to have a lot of intrigue and betrayal. This couple is extremely interesting to me because it's not drowning in cuteness/ridiculous romance. This is exactly how I like my fantasy! I also like the politics and cultural aspects you included in this post. Well done you. I want to find out more. :3

    I also wanted to mention that it's been about a month since the TBR Smash challenge started. How is your challenge coming along, and did you get to read The Eye Of The World? (I personally didn't read as much as I hoped, LOL.) I started a TBR Smash Goodreads group which I hope will help. I will be back again asap! =]

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    1. Hey Ashana, that's cool! I totally understand :D

      Thank you! Yeah, I'm not very good at writing fluff. (I will read endless amounts of fluff for my OTP, though.) This is basically political fantasy, minus the magic and medieval stuff, and plus some Chinese ideology and history. I don't suppose I can stop talking about WTA, so in all likelihood you will find out more on the blog.

      I don't mean to beat a dead horse here, but next week I'll be talking more about Chinese culture! And I expect similar posts will keep coming, so I hope you enjoy them :D

      Yep, I saw your Tweet! I joined the group, too. Haven't challenged Eye of The World yet -- so heavy, you know. *flinches away*

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    2. That sounds great! I find Chinese culture really interesting. If I forget, you’re always welcome to tweet me the post. I hope your novel goes well.

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    3. Thanks! I will keep that in mind :)

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  6. They both die? Haha, I love how you refer to this couple! This world sounds so interesting, and Ylen and Eamon's relationship doesn't sound very romantic, but hey that's how it is sometimes, honestly it's probably more realistic than a lot!

    Happy writing!

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    1. Hmm. Possibly. *spoilers!*

      Thank you! Yes, WTA strives for realism and incorporates significant parallels of history. However, I am slipping in some folklore references .... *nods*

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  7. Haha, this was fun to read since I already knew a bit about these characters already, yay! You're right, this wasn't very romantic, but I think it's interesting how you've set up Ylen and Eamon's relationship so that they kind of need each other in certain situations (especially politically) but generally don't seem to like each other too much. Definitely adds a different dynamic to the story! Also, your conclusion to this post is extremely ominous--death, death, or an unlikely reconciliation? Methinks this ship is doomed to sink...

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    1. *high-fives* More WTA writing link-ups will be coming! Yeah, in a way, Ylen is more reliant on Eamon, but I doubt Eamon would've made it this far without Ylen. (The latter is something I'm working on in revisions.)

      This ship is so doomed it's more doomed than, to be clichéd, the Titanic. Also, I believe that should be death, death, or death. These are all different. *nods*

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  8. Aw, this is oddly vaguely cute xD But quite interesting - I haven't seen one yet that was a really unsatisfactory (in a good way) ship, so I'm glad you did this. It's a good reminder of how not all relationships are sugar-sweet, and they can still be fascinating if they aren't :P I loooooovvvveeeee all the political intrigue that seems to be here!

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    1. Cute? Cute?!? *frantic evil writer* Nooooooo.

      Overreaction and jokes aside, I hadn't really thought of it as an 'unsatisfactory' ship, but that's definitely true. It's a marriage of convenience, definitely, even if both parties find the marriage somewhat inconvenient. And yes, WTA is about ALL the political intrigue! Thanks for reading :)

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  9. Oooh, this reminds me faintly of Game of Thrones. With POLITICS and DEATH. *cue evil laughter*

    But, seriously, this sounds awesome. In my opinion, it feels like Ylen would be the one to kill Eamen, but I don't know. It's honestly super intriguing and I feel like if I were to ever read this I'd be on the edge of my seat wondering who was going to survive the entire time.

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    1. Oh. Yes. I guarantee that more main characters make it out, okay!

      Hmm. *considers your guess seriously* Obviously not telling you if you're right ;P WTA isn't extremely focused on the conflict between Ylen and Eamon, but it definitely plays a huge role, especially towards the end. At which point this ship can sink. Whoops, spoiler. *winks*

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  10. (Let's just ignore how monstrously late this comment is, okay? Okay.)

    Anyway. I'm so glad you found it in your cold stone heart to write this beautiful, flowery, romantic description of a couple I can so obviously see will continue to be together for eternity. I ship it SO HARD already. Just... the chemistry. It's beautiful.

    /sarcasm

    Seriously, though. I love the dynamic + power struggle here. It's so INTERESTING (if not particularly romantic!).

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    1. (Hmm. Let's see. How much takeout are you offering as a bribe?)

      *gets all teary-eyes* They will sail to the end of time like the Titanic. *eyes dry and harden* Oh waaaaait.

      Thanks! I hope to show more snippets on the blog every now and then, and maybe after the bulk of revisions, I'll upload a few chapters onto Figment and/or Wattpad!

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