One of the great inspirations for the Starstone Series, was the relationship I had with my twin sister.
I know how that sounds, but every writer draw from their own life somewhat. You can only write what you know, and to some extend, even your imagination is limited to what you know. It is hard to envision something that was never introduced to your life in the first place.
I know that Cazal and Lien always had a strained relationship, and usually found themselves on different sides, whenever conflicts arose. I am not saying that my twin and me had exactly that kind of relationship, I am a writer, after all. I do make things up. But I did draw on the energy between us a lot.
I always admired her. She was the eldest, (it matters, even if it is very little,) the tallest, the prettiest, the strongest, you name it. I always faded next to her light.
Having known each other for 3 decades by now, it is kind of amazing how we have never really discussed anything personal. Nothing between us was ever spoken out loud. Much like Cazal and Lien, words always did more damage than good between us. And somehow, words were never needed. Cazal and Lien had faith in the bond between them, even if they never did acknowledge its existence.
And when Cazal in the end, did bring it up, the bond instantly shattered between them. That was a line that should have never been crossed and she did it, knowing how it would end, but desperately trying to hold on to her sister. Or perhaps, hoping to push her away, on some level. To set her free.
I swear, I have had deeper conversations with a lot of relative strangers (read: internet friends) online, than I ever had with my twin. I don’t think any of us missed it. Or needed it.
It is not a coincidence that Lien got the sword on my cover, and got to be the warrior, who always fought on the side of “right.” It is not a coincidence either, that Cazal got to be the odd one out, the hyper sensitive, lonely and sick child, who grew up drawn to the darker side of the world.
Without disclosing too much of the books, it wasn’t by chance that Lien was ready to die, not for Cazal, but for what Cazal believed in. If they were not prepared to sacrifice themselves for each other, they never really questioned the choices the other one made. Not when push came to shove.
It is not a coincidence either, that Lien was the one who had a future, when everything was said and done, where as Cazal had played herself into a corner, with no way out.
And no matter what life threw at them, no matter what came between them, they could always make each other laugh, if they wanted. That is a special kind of relationship.
On one side, Cazal and Lien was perhaps the most shallow relationship I have ever worked with, and on the other, they were the strongest. The ones that would stay together through time and space, just because they expected nothing from each other. They owed each other nothing.
I won’t lie. I had to use all my powers of manipulation to get my twin to do these pictures with me. She hates cameras, which is why for years, this has been pretty much the only picture of us I have had.
Yeah, we looked much more alike back then. Also, it really helps when you dress us the same…
I just thought it would be funny, to do something like this, because I am slowly becoming addicted to PhotoShop, and well, it’s not a lot of people you get to know for most of your life.
I say “most of,” because we have had years apart, with no contact at all.
I guess that, without saying it, it describes our bond pretty well, that I can still pick up my phone and text her after all this time and even if she hated the idea, she still showed up and had fun doing stupid pictures with me.
I am very like Cazal in many ways.
(Not all, some of the things she did, I have to distance myself from, she was her own character after all. I just saw myself reflected in her more than in most of my other characters.)
I generally don’t like people much. I rarely feel comfortable in the company of others. I am not from the “hug” generation either. I did not grow up touching people, or hugging everyone. It is still very invading for me, when ever I have to touch someone, at least if it is not someone I am really close with.
Picking up our relationship after almost a decade apart, we are not close. Hell, I don’t even remember what she told me she was working with now… At least not all of it.
And she doesn’t have horses anymore, which is why, among other things, that our relationship faded. Life took us in different directions for a long time. What I am saying is; we grew apart. And then again, we are still close, in our own way.
When I first created Cazal and Lien, I never imagined how my own life would play out. I never really imagined that my sister and I would lose touch for so long. I was 14 when I started writing on the Unicorn’s Horn, which turned out to be the 4th book in the Starstone Series. Cazal and Lien were Cassio and Linea then, and as such, reflected my sister and I, even more.
We grew up to be almost as different as Cazal and Lien turned out to be, even if we started out looking the same. Everything has changed in the last 30 years. Everything, and nothing at all.
She is still the beautiful one, the smiling and happy one, in whose shadow I easily find a home. She is still the strong one, helping others, and working for society in ways I could never do. She is still fitting in, where as I am the odd one out, sticking to my own little world, creating, writing, manipulating, PhotoShopping, hiding from reality.
She is still a vegan too. I believe that was a choice we made together, when we were very young, much to our parents dismay. Imagine the horror when we saw this bloody crow chase this poor duck and her kiddos.
We instantly responded, both of us, following the duck and her little ones to safety in a nearby lake, without discussing it. Bastard. That crow was living on a the school ground for – among others- bakers. I swear, it is not hungry. No need to chase down baby ducks.
Okay, side track, V. Nature is cruel. I know. I just don’t want to see it. Or be part of it. I preserve cruelty for my books and my poor characters.
Because once the smiles fade, Cazal an Lien was always horribly alone. Even when they were right beside each other. Most of my characters are. These are the relationships I do best, and I have no doubt where that comes from.
So, for my twin; thank you, for being a good sport about these pictures. And for responding after all these years, recognizing how important this was to me, even if I will never admit it.
I owe you one. Maybe. I know that we are counting, but I must have lost track of the score over the years.
In any case, if you ever need anything, let me know. I’ll respond. I always do. Even if I’ll put up a fight about it, just like you did. I guess we expect nothing less from us.
And I am really happy that you found happiness in your life. I swear, Lien did too, when Cazal (and I) were done making her fight our wars.