I am delighted to have Carey Corp, author of The Halo Chronicles – THE GUARDIAN, here today. When I read this book one of the character who really stood out to me was Derry. You can read my review here. I asked Carey if she would like to stop by and give us some insight into Derry and how he came into being.
I wish I could say Derry is inspired by true people or a composite of kids I’ve know, but he’s 100% made up. His situation, however, is based on some kids I used to ride the school bus with back in high school.
The Boy: Derry has grown is in foster care, in less than ideal situations. When he shows up in THE GUARDIAN, he’s been searching for the main character Alexia. Alex and Derry have been best friends since they were twelve, but foster family placement has separated them. To get into the same community Alex is in, Derry allows a family with less than stellar motives to take charge of him.
I think what makes him so relatable is he’s vulnerable on many different levels.
Despite growing up in the system, fifteen year old Derry is not worldly. As a coping mechanism he’s retreated into himself, so he’s a bit childlike and sheltered. He often doesn’t have control over whether his clothes fit or what he eats, so he can’t afford to let those types of things impact who he really is. While naturally open and trusting, Derry has developed counterintuitive measures to protect himself. It’s almost as if his true self is hidden away—safeguarded until he encounters the right environment.
Once he’s reunited with Alex and in a somewhat safer situation (both emotionally and physically), he reverts back to a more open state. He also starts to close the maturity gap.
The Situation: When I was in high school a couple of kids in the same foster family used to ride my bus. All the girls shared a bedroom, as did the boys. I remember them talking about how strict their foster parents were. How they had to look after the littler kids and didn’t get to watch t.v. But what I remember most is the kids’ resigned acknowledgement that those particular foster parents were doing it for the money. That kernel became the inspiration for Derry’s foster family, the Eccles. They take Derry in because they want a teen to tend to their younger foster kids and they don’t like the look of any of the available girls. Derry accepts this because the Eccles serve his ultimate purpose. (NOTE: Alex’s foster family contrasts the Eccles as people who care deeply about those they take in.)
Like all my characters, Derry began telling me early on what he liked and didn’t like. Some of it I can trace back to people in my life, other bits are all him. Here are some of the main characteristics influenced by others:
· Star Wars geek (hubby and son)
· Prefers t-shirts & jeans; shirt slogans are more important than labels, slogans = identity statement (hubby and son)
· Eclectic taste in music, likes screamer bands (17 year-old-neighbor Ashley)
What’s next for Derry: The second book in THE HALO CHRONICLES is THE KEEPER. Although the story is still in Alex’s point of view, the title refers to Derry. Derry really blossoms in this book. He knows a lot more than he lets on, so he’s my keeper of secrets. THE KEEPER is also a reference to the quintessential nice guy and the kind of love that one builds a life around. Derry is not Alex’s first love, but he’s her soul mate. Unfortunately, he’s trapped under Gabriel’s shadow, which means there are lots of obstacles to overcome for a shot at happily-ever-after.
When I started THE HALO CHRONICLES series, I always wanted to explore the love that comes after first love. Often, it’s a much quieter, more profound love. But competing with the shadow of first love is never easy as Derry is about to discover. How do you compete when your girlfriend’s ex is literally God’s gift?
THE HALO CHRONICLES: THE GUARDIAN
High school sophomore, Alex Grabovski, is cursed with a gift: the ability to see the goodness and evil in her fellow human beings in the form of halos—rings of light or darkness—that surround the body. Her goals in life are to keep moving, find her best friend, and to remain invisible. A new foster family and new school offer her a real chance at a normal life. But in order to stay, she must accept that her gift, The Gift of the Saints, has been bestowed for a purpose and confront the overwhelming darkness she fears.
Then he appears.
Gabriel is a Seraph, a guardian angel sent in the mortal body of a sixteen-year-old boy to protect Alex at the time in her life when she needs it most. Although he is as old as time, Gabriel’s teenage form reacts to Alex in an unexpected, unprecedented way. He falls hopelessly in love with her.
When their school erupts in violence, Gabriel and Alex realize why the guardian has been sent. But can they rise above human emotions to fulfill their destinies, even if it means the outcome will rip their fragile world apart?
For more about the origin of the story and Alex’s first love, Gabriel, click here.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Originally from California, Carey currently resides four miles from downtown Cincinnati with three badly behaved pets, two delightfully challenging children, and one incredibly supportive spouse. She is a member of the Romance Writers of America (RWA) and the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI). In May of 2011, she published her edgy guardian angel story, THE HALO CHRONICLES: THE GUARDIAN (a RWA National 2010 Golden Heart finalist forYA fiction) and is hard at work on the sequel. Visit here at www.careycorp.com
Thank you, Carey. I look forward to reading the next book in the Halo Chronicles.