Ed. Note ~ I read and reviewed at Honest Indie Book Reviews Jayme Beddingfield’s edgy, dark The Adventures of Miss Mind Shift in November. I loved how Jayme made main character Ruby Dawson — telekinetic bad girl with a conscience — equally powerful, frightening, sympathetic and vulnerable.
With the release of the sequel, The Death of Miss Mind Shift, Jayme explains why she gifted and afflicted her protagonist with telekinesis.
Why I Chose Telekinesis For My Protagonist: Powers for Personalities
by Jayme Beddingfield, author of The Adventures of Miss Mind Shift and The Death of Miss Mind Shift
Emerald City Nights wasn’t always a story filled with superpowers. The supernatural elements joined the story when I was about halfway through my second draft of The Adventures of Miss Mind Shift which was originally titled Here In Emerald City.
All four volumes were outlined and I was already knee deep in the first book and I just couldn’t shake the feeling that something was missing. I set it down and did some thinking. My thinking turned into a lot of comic book reading. During that time I read stacks of Spiderman and X-Men comics. One particular storyline I read several times during that time period was The Dark Phoenix Saga. Then, as you may have guessed I figured out what was missing — superpowers.
When writing a story, every aspect of the characters is worth exploring. When I discovered that the missing piece was in fact superpowers, I knew I had to choose my characters’ abilities carefully. Their personalities needed to be considered — I wanted to find them powers that complemented them — abilities that helped tell their stories.
The first power I set out to find was Ruby’s. Ruby already was dealing with the fact that the people she was closest to were terrible for her. The choices she made were far from good ones (including stealing to make a living). Ruby knew that. She was also already caught between drug-addicted and destructive Tristan and his friend Brody, who was, surprisingly enough, quite good for her.
That is what I started repeating in my head — good, bad — something everyone deals with. Decisions matter; who you surround yourself with matters. So what power could I give her that would emphasize this struggle between right versus wrong? I wrote down in one of my notebooks, “What power could pit Ruby’s mind against her body?”
Then I wrote down, “Telekinesis.”
What if Ruby’s body wasn’t strong enough to handle what her mind could do and what if her mind began to turn against her? What would the symptoms be? The story picks up after Ruby has been part of this crew of criminals (the closest thing she’s had to a family since she was a child) and has been using her powers to kill and steal for far too long. So I made Ruby unable to keep food down and gave her a drinking problem. Her body is also physically weak from using her powers, she feels drained and sick after she uses them, and as long as she keeps using her powers this will only get worse.
I throw my thoughts across the room and wrap them around the dark, glass bottle. A cold sensation runs along my veins. My mind brings the bottle closer. A sharp pain tightens behind my ears. My stomach twists uncomfortably. My hand wraps around the bottle and my mind relaxes. Warm liquid drips onto my upper lip. I reach out and touch it with my weary fingertips. I look down and see blood. A hollow feeling swirls in my chest. My stomach jerks, sending a rush of warm fluid up my throat. I heave and hunch over. I slam my eyes shut. My surroundings shift. I struggle to stand. My knees give out. I hit the floor and open my eyes.
I also thought giving Ruby nightmares and hallucinations was necessary. Ruby’s body isn’t strong enough to handle her telekinesis and her mind works against her over time.
A heavy breath warms my neck. The breathing is so loud I can’t hear anything else. I look around me. People’s mouths are moving but I can’t hear what they are saying. Where is that breathing coming from? I peel my back off the wall. The wall is gone. An opening to a cave stares back at me. My head is spinning: my stomach clenches. A deep laugh booms out from the darkness. My heart is racing. I take a step back. Two large, green hands with sharp, yellow claws reach out and grab my waist. I am being pulled in.
One of my favorite comic book characters of all time is Jean Grey, without a doubt. I could watch Jean Grey move people around like chess pieces all day. I wanted to take advantage of the medium I was using and really get into what it felt like to use telekinesis every day which is why the story is in first person present tense — to really allow Ruby to show the readers what it feels like to physically move things with the mind —
I close my eyes, visualizing being inside of the dark safe. I imagine my hand fanning out in three directions, as thin as liquid and strong as an army of powerhouses. My mind slides into the tiny space between the safe wall and its heavy steel door. With all the strength of my thoughts, I press down on the locking mechanisms and push them back into the door itself. I hear the click. I feel the give. I open my eyes. The door is open.
Emerald City Nights Volume 2: The Death of Miss Mind Shift
After years of misery and evil-doing, Ruby is out of Madison’s crew. Ruby no longer makes a living out of others’ misfortune. Ruby, Brody, and Darcy try their best to live as a family unit. During the day they act as the rest, working regular jobs and attending school. At night they disguise themselves as Miss Mind Shift, Captain Matter, and Serpentine. Known to the city as The Seattle Supers.
It has been eight months since the night Madison and Julian disappeared behind the wall of fire. For eight months The Supers have spent that time defending the streets and stopping crime. Ruby continues to use her telekinesis, weakening her body every day. Her dreams and hallucinations are now much worse. Ruby knows she doesn’t have much longer if she keeps using her powers but how can she give up such a big part of who she is? When Madison returns with a bigger threat than could have ever been imagined can Ruby hang on long enough to defeat her?
Up Coming Book Tour Dates:
1/13/14 Indie Writers Review
And on Goodreads.
Jayme Beddingfield studied creative writing at Brigham Young University. Originally from Northern New Jersey she now lives in Seattle, the city that helped to inspire her series Emerald City Nights. She lives with her husband, two children, five cats and 2 dogs. Jayme has been writing stories since grade school and has been writing professionally for about four years. Having a broken laptop when writing The Adventures of Miss Mind Shift, Jayme wrote the entire book on her iPad. She uses Pathfinder character sheets as model for her character profiles and pathfinder style battle maps to build the battle scenes that are in the series. Her love for X-Men and Spiderman played a big part in inspiring the series. Her interests include reading (favorite genres are Science Fiction, Urban Fantasy, Superhero fiction, Dystopian, and Literary Fiction), comic books (mainly Marvel), video games with strong story lines (she will be forever obsessed with The Last of Us), tabletop games, post apocalyptic universes, and spending time with her family and pets.