I suppose the reason why I delayed a little in posting was that Ian… sigh… Ian is very close to my heart. I put more into him than I expected and he ended up being a mash up of a band of teenage boys that I am privileged to know.
When I created Ian, I needed a very snarky kid. He had to be resourceful, resilient and have a core of genuine kindness that is rare (and that he keeps pretty well hidden). At the beginning of The Warrior’s Return, Ian was short and scrawny. He was an asthmatic who got lost in the Nevada foster care system. This beginning came from two sources. Dan Fankhauser and my own son, Tanner. Dan, at the time that I was writing The Warrior’s Return, was six years old. He’d been battling asthma for years and was only getting worse. However, that kid is amazing. He is funny, creative and a bundle of energy. His spirit is larger than his tiny body and it showed through his big, bright blue eyes. That kid wormed his way into my heart faster than a runaway freight train with equal crash impact on my soul.
As Ian came in contact with magic and as he learned of his heritage and powers, he began to grow. This part makes me laugh. As I was writing the first draft, my son hit puberty like a ton of bricks. He went from a piddly four foot nine to five foot six in about six months. He was no longer my little boy and had become a man, not only in stature, but in attitude as well. Watching his transformation play out before my eyes ended up on the page.
Ian’s attitude is very specific. Again, inspiration came from my son and his friend, Spencer. Get those two boys together and you’ll get a gut ache from laughing so hard. Dry humor, snarkiness and quick wit are the core of Ian and is decision making. Despite the sarcasm, if you should find yourself in a bind, Tanner and Spencer would be the first to get you out of it. Ian is reliable to the core, appreciates loyalty in his friends and would defend the ones he cares for to the death.
This may sound extreme. It’s not. Unless you have had the privilege to know a person as fiercely loyal as the boys in my acquaintance, you’ll never quite understand what honor and loyalty means to them. While Tanner and his little brother don’t always get along, should you mess with the younger brother, you will find Tanner’s fist shoved into your face. Why? They’re family and we protect family. In saying that, our friends ARE family. Many of his friends call me “mom” and they are definitely my “sons”. It’s not a title given or treated lightly.
I can’t talk about Ian without talking about what he looks like. All of these boys I’ve talked about (Tanner, Dan, and Spencer) all have a few things in common. They have blond hair and blue eyes. This may mean nothing to you, but it means everything to Ian and the Bankhir Warriors. As I mentioned in The Warrior’s Return, Ian and Corbin look alike. In fact, all the Warriors have blond hair, glowing blue eyes and tan skin.
Lastly, I can’t talk about Ian without talking about Will Anderson. I got to know Will about six years ago. He is my youngest son’s best friend and there is something about Will that makes him stand out and it has nothing to do with his stature. At 12 years old, he is nearly six foot and every inch the athlete. While his stature is amazing, his height has nothing on his attitude, core of kindness and deeply rooted caring for everyone around him. He is the first to stand up for the right thing, against what is popular, and yet, never judges a person by their color, background or wealth. He is truly a Bankhir Warrior, both inside and out.
I dedicated Ian Quicksilver: The Cursed Dagger to Will. I did it because every kid has his doubts. It’s tempting to follow the crowd or fall in with bad friends. Even Tanner, Spencer and Dan have struggled with who they are and what they live for. It’s hard to be young in this world. All I have to say is this:
Don’t ever give in. Don’t ever give up. Stick up for yourself and what you stand for and you’ll NEVER regret it.
Next time: I want you all to meet Ari.