Blog Hop / Brenna Gallagher / Characters on Couches / Howl / Impartials and Immortals

Characters On Couches: THE HOP IS HERE!

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That’s right, y’all, it’s couch time!
To recap quickly on what we’re doing with this blog hop: As the title suggests, we’re putting our characters on the couch and sending them off to therapy however we please! (Normally, a little thing called ethics would play a role, but as writers, we like to just skate around that in instances like this.)
There weren’t really any rules. You just had to send your characters to therapy in whatever way worked best, whether through an old-school psychiatry session, or journal-writing, or a letter to a friend from the character’s point of view, because let’s face it, what the characters will tell each other is not the same as what they’ll tell us. When your post is done, you put it up on your own blog (or in the comments if you don’t have a blog!) and add yourself to the linky list so that we can all hop from couch to couch and see what we each learned about our characters!
In case you can’t tell, I’m excited about this blog hop. Not just because it’s the first one I’ve hosted, although that definitely plays a part, but because I had so much fun writing the sessions—both the original one that sparked the hop idea and my own session for the hop itself. I learned things about my characters, big revelations in some cases and tiny but significant details in others, and I am beyond excited to see what you guys learned!
So, without further ado, I give you Brenna and Mick Gallagher, a couple siblings with a whole lot of attitude. I have to admit I thought I knew them pretty well, and I still learned a couple things.
Happy couch-hopping and thanks so much to all of you for making this a) a success and b) so much freakin’ fun! Don’t forget to add your link at the bottom so we can all see your posts!
Aedhan and Fachtna may dislike each other (okay, “may” is an understatement) but at least they have some restraint. Brenna and Mick Gallagher… I’m not so sure. All I know is this won’t be easy.
I know when they’re close because I can hear them arguing. Brenna’s ringing tones make her voice carry easily, so that I can hear her yelling word for word.
“Whatever crazy scheme writer girl’s come up with, I’m not doing it! And stop trying to take my knives! I’ll probably need them,” she adds, sounding highly disgruntled.
Her brother’s reply is low and steady, unruffled by her temper (or the fact that she probably just took a testing jab at him). I can only make out the tail end: “… won’t kill you.”
Brenna’s snort says she doesn’t quite believe him, but she makes no other answer, and then the door opens.
Rather than the tidy formal outfit I wore to deal with Aedhan and Fachtna, I dressed in dark jeans and my heeled boots, in an attempt to not feel quite so pitifully short next to the Gallagher siblings. Even though that puts me up to five-ten, Brenna is still two solid inches above me, and Mick has another four inches on her. Both of them have dark hair, though hers is in a tail while his curls to just above where a shirt collar would be if he were wearing one. More marks them as siblings than the height, fighter’s builds and dark hair, though; it’s the eyes, the strong light blue of them, and the directness in both pairs. Brenna’s eyes are framed by long, thick and dark lashes that command your attention like it or not; Mick’s eyes, with shorter lashes, are still arresting—but your eyes are drawn to the scar on his face. It starts maybe an inch from the corner of his eye and slides nastily down the side of his face, curving under his jaw bone.
Brenna scowls at me while Mick stays impassive. I hold up a bin. “Weapons, please.”
“Screw you,” Brenna retorts, turning to leave. Mick puts up a hand to catch her arm as if he’d been expecting exactly that.
“Bree,” he says patiently and impatiently all at once. “What are you so scared she’s gonna find out?”
His sister scowls at him, flings the look to me even though I’m trying to keep my expression neutral. “I hate you,” she mutters at her older brother before yanking her hand free and pulling out knives—from her boots, and after shrugging off her leather jacket, from the custom-made bandolier criss-crossing her torso. One side of it holds nasty-looking throwing knives that she tosses lightly into the bin, trying to make me jump; the other keeps a sword strapped to her back, the hilt of which I can see over her shoulder. She reaches back to pull it free: it’s a wicked-looking sword with a fairly short, leaf-shaped blade that would force you to get up close before killing someone.
I doubt she’d mind.
She sees me eyeing it and grins. “This won’t fit in your bin.”
“No, it won’t. Put it in that closet there.” I point, and she glowers, but after a raised-eyebrows look from her brother, grudgingly complies, then almost as an afterthought picks up her jacket and takes a gun—small, but still lethal—from the inside pocket. I turn to Mick and hold up the bin; it’s Brenna’s turn to tease as we watch him deposit a knife and a gun.
“You forgot the one in your other boot,” she says languidly from where she’s sprawled in one of my chairs. Mick gives her a look but pulls the other knife out, drops it into my bin, and goes to sit next to his sister, lightly shoving her feet off the arm of the chair as he passes her.
“So,” I say as I sit down in front of them. “Why do you two like using knives so much? You only own three or four guns between you, but you each have at least four knives on you most of the time. Aren’t they harder to use?”
“You mean to kill with?” Brenna rephrases bluntly. When I nod, she and Mick exchange glances, then she says, “The Fae can mess with guns. Make them misfire, or get clogged, or just not work. It’s a fast way to kill, but it’s too easy to get hurt in the process.”
“Whereas with knives,” Mick puts in, more lightly than Brenna, “they have to affect the person holding the knife in order to mess with it. And that’s hard to do.”
“Hmm. Cool.” I shift my weight and my boot nudges something solid. There’s no sound, but I can all but feel the glare of the collie hiding under my desk. Iain’s not pleased at having to be the hidden, furry lie detector.
“That’s one word for it,” Brenna says dryly. She’s crossed one leg over the other, her foot impatiently bobbing. “Can I leave now?”
“Bree,” Mick warns even as I shake my head. The nickname—one that only he can use, an unwritten rule punishable by extreme pain—gives me an idea.
“Why do you call her Bree?” I ask, doing my best not to sound overly curious. Their eyes slide over to each other’s again in consultation, and Brenna gives a tiny, reluctant nod.
“The old man liked to belt out her full name a lot when we were kids,” Mick says casually. “I got the short nickname, but she was always getting her full name, and she hated it. I started calling her Bree and it stuck.”
I nod, feel the light tap on my foot that means truth. Maybe a partial truth, but truth. “Brenna hunts,” I comment next, and she nods as if to say, Duh, you knew that. I ignore her. “Mick, you’re still involved with the Fae, but you’re not an Impartial—you can’t be, you’re male.”
“Is this going somewhere?” Mick asks lazily. Brenna snorts.
“What do you do?” I ask. “When you’re not working construction, how are you involved with the Fae?”
“I clean up their messes. Fae bodies decompose quickly, at least the lower caste ones. The higher the caste, the more lasting the corpse, since higher caste ones actually merit funerals among their own courts. Those ones are best burned. But the humans the Fae affect don’t just go away, and more often than not, they can’t take care of themselves anymore. So I step in.”
A pause, then a tap on my foot. True.
“You kill them?” I interpret.
“Sometimes.” He doesn’t look concerned.
“Does that ever bother you?”
The pulling back of his lips could be called a smile, but only by the loosest definition. The eyes glint coolly. “Wouldn’t you like to know,” he drawls. Brenna smirks and eyes me as if she’s waiting for my next move. There’s no tap on my feet one way or the other, meaning Iain likely can’t interpret the vague statement.
“Last question,” I say, since I can see Brenna’s fingers casually curling into a fist, uncurling, and curling again. It’s not that she makes me uneasy; I just don’t want to be the writer who has to go around explaining that she got decked by her character. There is absolutely no way to make that not be humiliating. “What would it take for you to hide something from each other?”
Mick’s eyes flare, just a hint of fire behind the cool exterior. His lips thin and I can tell he’s not responding. Brenna, for the first time, seems to hesitate and glances at her brother. She frowns, then says thoughtfully with her eyes still on Mick, “I don’t know. I used to think there was nothing we’d hide… but it’s been seven years and I still don’t know how he got that.” She nods to indicate the scar on her brother’s face. “And don’t tell me it was a bar fight,” she adds bitterly. “I tried that excuse and Trig didn’t even believe me.”
Trig, I know, refers to another character—Rachael’s character, not mine—who we discovered has a history with Brenna. But I’m not going there right now.
“It wasn’t a bar fight, was it?” Brenna presses, and after a moment during which he spares me a poisonous glance, Mick shakes his head.
Brenna looks back to me. Her cheekbones stand out against the flush of her face, but her eyes are snapping. “Well, there’s your answer from him. I don’t hide things,” she says sharply.
“Bullshit,” Mick says softly, and Brenna turns on him, glaring fiercely, looking ready to smack him. Instead she stands abruptly, forcing the chair back several inches.
“I’m done here,” she declares, giving me a look that dares me to defy her. She strides to the closet, yanks it open and re-arms herself. Then she’s gone while Mick’s only just getting to his feet.
“Happy now?” he asks me bitingly as he goes to retrieve his own weapons. I know he’s trying to unsettle me, so I make a point of looking as bored by the weapons as possible.
“Yes, actually,” I answer, and it’s true.
What? It’s fun to cause them some discord every now and then instead of always the other way around. Besides, I did learn a few things—and unlike Brenna, I do know how Mick got that scar… but I’m not telling.

That’s that, folks! If you’re curious about Brenna and Mick, who appear in Howl, you can check out more on it here or by clicking the tag on the side of the page. Add your links and have fun hopping!




12 thoughts on “Characters On Couches: THE HOP IS HERE!

  1. "It’s not that she makes me uneasy; I just don’t want to be the writer who has to go around explaining that she got decked by her character."That made me laugh out loud!I love your characters, and your writing, and I MUST READ MORE. I can be beta-reader?

  2. Well, I could tell you, but then I'd have to kill you.Or at the very least, wipe your memory so that you can still be shocked when it's revealed in the story. The reader learns at the same time Brenna does. 😉 She's more hostile to me because I make her do things she doesn't want to do. Mostly she's just brash and abrasive, and as Aedhan puts it, a reckless fool.Glad you enjoyed! I had fun–and Brenna's nickname, though it seems like an insignificant detail, is a good one for me to know. ^__^

  3. Glad I made you laugh! And c'mon, I'm right–there is NO way for that not to a completely humiliating experience. Especially since Brenna will gloat. To ALL the other characters. Hmmm. Howl is the third in my Impartials & Immortals series; while the first, The Sharpest Lives, is in edits, that process is a little suspended due to me being crazy and participating in ALL the things! You can check out the tags on the side in the meantime for snippets from the first three books in the series, though, and keep an eye out over the next little while… I'm planning things.. 😉

  4. Well, he IS! And Obi borrowed him too, so really… though she let him stay human. But really, do you think I'd have gotten ANYTHING from Brenna or Mick if they knew he was there?Which reminds me… I'm so dead when they find out about that… *gulps*

  5. You hid someone under your desk to be your furry lie detector? XD That was too funny. Also found it funny how you had to gather up all of their weapons prior to starting the session. Good call on your part but I guess they could have always used brute force if they wanted to take you down. (Hope you happened to have some mighty strong pepper spray on you.)

  6. Said furry lie detector is Iain. Sometimes a border collie, sometimes other things. XD He featured in the other COC session, too. And the weapons were gathered up for good reason, thanks very much! As for brute force… luckily Mick can twist his sister's arm, figuratively and literally when need be. 😛

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