First and foremost, if you haven’t read The Hunted, my addition to the Human 76 Fragments of a Fractured World anthology. You may want to stop now. There may be some spoilers in the following blog post.
The following post is all about the lead character and his story, how Waya came to be.
The name Waya is Cherokee for Wolf. Also something I used in his mutation, his wolf like eyes. And really anyone who is familiar with much of my writing…a wolf in some for is almost always represented somewhere in my writing (pretty much there is either a wolf, raven/crow or dragon always present in some form or another). Here Waya himself is meant to be a wolf, a predator in his own right especially in his youth.
I wanted Waya to be a character, who had a dark past. He was born innocent enough but he was taken captive by the very sort of men he is being hunted in this story. And for awhile, he was trained to be like them, to fill their ranks. So in his past he has done dark and horrible things that may not have been by choice but they are there. And one of the things that brought him out of that world and into the almost peaceful existence was love. Olathe is part of the reason he escaped and started a new, very different life than the one he was trained into. Olathe herself also shares much the same story as him, Ahyoka being their true savior in turning them into better people. He knew what kind of men they were that were hunting him, not just cannibals, but cold blooded killers. Men who just wanted to destroy anyone who they crossed paths with.
In appearance I wanted Waya to be someone when you picture him, you’re wary of him. Not someone you would trust on approach and in this world he would almost seem villainous. His thick messy beard. His braided and matted hair with as much gray as his youthful black. He is a rugged looking man. Thin but muscular, and almost serpent like with his frame and movements, hence part of why Ghabrie uses the phrase she does about a serpent shedding their skin.
For those who may be curious about the other two characters, Waya’s family or more particular their names.
Ahyoka means “she brought happiness” (also Cherokee).
Olathe means “lovely” (also with native american origins).
I think it may go without saying that I may have other stories to tell in this world, maybe a view back on Waya’s past as well as where he and his family go at the end of The Hunted. Do they find the peaceful community he tells his daughter about at the end of the story? Or will his dark past come back to haunt him? Guess time will tell.
Again I feel like just pointing out how amazing the whole experience of working on Human 76 was. And how truly amazing the book is, biased as an opinion as it is. I didn’t truly realize it myself until I had a physical copy of my own. You should get a copy as well and let us know what you think!!