Kiernan Kane showed up in King’s Warrior rather unexpectedly. At first glance, he could not be more different than Brant – and those differences are bound to make these two characters clash a bit (which, for many of us, makes for a lot of entertainment – often at Brant’s expense… but he could use a little lightening up from time to time).
I did not intend to write Kiernan Kane into the story. He is the only character I’ve written so far who almost created himself. I had no plans for him to step into the world of Tellurae Aquaous. However, unlike Brant, the second he showed up, I knew who he was. I didn’t know his entire story, necessarily, but I knew he was more than the bumbling minstrel he portrayed himself as. I knew he was vitally important to the bigger story. I also knew that Brant was going to despise him initially, before coming to a grudging respect, and eventual friendship.
Kiernan shows up in all four books, taking up increasing amounts of page-time. He comes and goes as he pleases. In book four, I had intended for him to remain in the background until about 75% of the way through the book, but he showed up much earlier and demanded to enter the story at a point of his own choosing. Not for nothing is the Minstrel a master story-teller. I believe his chosen moment to enter the story was far better than mine would have been.
He is the perfect foil to Brant. Where Brant is a coiled spring, Kiernan is laid-back and flexible. Where Brant is close-mouthed, Kiernan talks even when nobody is around to listen. Where Brant is always in perfect control of himself, Kiernan appears a bit gangly and awkward (though this is mostly a show). Where Brant has dark hair and eyes, Kiernan is blond. He is the light to Brant’s brooding.
Kiernan’s greatest pleasure in life is “tweaking” Brant – teasing him subtly, and challenging him with wily cunning.
When he makes his appearance in King’s Warrior, Kiernan seems to be nothing more than a humorous minstrel whose path happens to cross Yole’s. And while it is sometimes hinted at that he is more than he seems (for example: he is amused by Yole’s lie about his name and entertains himself and the reader by calling him “Y…Ian” as often as possible – giving the reader the suspicion that perhaps this strange character already knows exactly who Yole is).
The inspiration behind Kiernan Kane was my second younger brother – Kiernan get some of his personality from Evan, and the unlikely friendship that develops between Brant and Kiernan is a reflection of the friendship between my brothers.
The other inspiration behind Kiernan Kane comes from Gordon Lightfoot’s song: The Minstrel of the Dawn. A really neat factoid is that we have obtained permission to print the lyrics to that song at the start of the Fourth and Final book of the “Minstrel’s Song” series. Looking forward to that. Of course, it will be a while, as editing book 3 will be starting for me in earnest around the end of August, and I still need to send book 4 to my first-line editor.
Of course, Kiernan isn’t as different from Brant as he seems at first glance… but I can’t talk about that just yet, as it would give away too much about future books… and I gotta keep SOME things a secret!