My debut novel, Hunter, Book One of the Valiant Series is set to be released on April 30th, so today marks one week until it’s released and I couldn’t be more excited. I know it’s not Saturday, but due to launch week, every day this week I’m going to write a new blog posts giving you detailed, inside looks at the characters of Hunter.
Today’s character is the main male lead, Jared.
Jared is a Hunter and killing is all he’s ever known… That’s something most of you have already heard if you’ve been following my blog tour. Well, I’m here to tell you a little secret and give you an exclusive, inside look into Jared’s character – one that won’t be seen anywhere else.
To start with, in Hunter, his eyes are probably his most famous trait and even throughout the entire Valiant Series, readers have always recognized him from his red-gold eyes. What you probably didn’t know was that his eyes weren’t always red-gold. In Forgotten, his original eye color is revealed and it also shows how his eyes changed colors…as well as why.
As a young boy, Jared always had to be strong for his mother. He grew up without a father, knowing that his father had been taken to Zagerah around the time he was born, so he never had the chance to get to know him. Deep inside, this caused him a lot of pain and a desire to know his father and even anger at Zagerah and the Aretul for tearing his family apart.
A tragic event struck his household and this event is mentioned in Forgotten. A blessing came of it and in the end, Jared loved his younger brother very much. Jared was the type of person who cared more about others than himself and he was constantly taking care of his mother and younger brother, making sure they had enough to eat to get them through hard times. His mother did what she could but their whole village was always so downhearted. Every house hold there had suffered a loss – the loss of a father, brother, son, uncle, cousin, friend… The list went on and on.
One incident that Jared never told his mother was when he and his next door neighbor’s son went out hunting. Both of their families hadn’t had food for several days and it was winter, so they couldn’t even grow crops in their gardens. The Gredi – guards who work for the Aretul who are the ones who take the men and boys to Zagerah – were patrolling nearby.
As Jared and his best friend were walking, Jared stepped onto a bear trap that he hadn’t seen. Unable to control himself, he cried out in pain, alerting the Gredi to their position.
Jared’s friend tried breaking him free, but the trap was made of metal and he couldn’t. The poor boy grabbed his bow, determined to try to fight the Gredi. Jared told him to go, so he did.
Averella’s father had been hunting at the time, trying to find food for his wife and two children, especially his sick son, Gabriel. He heard Jared cry out and ran to see what was going on. The Gredi guards closed in on them, but Averella’s father hid them both.
By that time, Jared had passed out from pain and blood loss. He woke up at home, never knowing who had saved him or how. He received word the next day that his friend had been taken by the Gredi. His friend’s mother killed herself that night; she had already lost her father, brother, and husband in previous years and the loss of her son was too much.
Jared never forgave himself and he tried to push it away and pretend it never happened. Every day, Jared passed Averella’s father and their house, never knowing that the man had saved his life.
Then, of course, Jared himself was taken. It was another winter years after that, a time when his brother was on the verge of starvation. He went out to hunt… and never came back.
Naturally, I can’t spoil everything in the books – not Forgotten, the short story introduction to Hunter and especially not Hunter itself. What I can tell you is that Jared was on the run for two years. Two whole years he had evaded the Hunters more times than almost any of the previous Hunter-potentials.
Like they do with all the Hunters, they took him and brought him to the labs on the outskirts of Zagerah, beyond the quicksand. There, he met Malik as they were both experimented on and turned into Hunters. Forgotten explores this side of it too, which is where you get to see how Jared became the character we know at the beginning of Hunter.
In a way, Jared was thankful for the two years on the run, because it reunited him with his father, however short the time was. After the labs, Jared had no memory. He was basically an empty vessel, a weapon for the Aretul to use. They sent him on his first mission.
From then on, every day, Jared’s entire life focus was about hunting and killing. Stalking prisoners. Finding them, killing them. Doing it over and over again. Every day. Killing. Hunting. Stalking. Killing. Killing. Killing.
For nine years.
Until, of course, one day, a new prisoner, Dalex, shows up and things in the prison start to change.
This is where we come in at the beginning of Hunter. Jared’s a killer and being a killer is all he’s ever known. He doesn’t even know what family is, let alone remember his own.
So throughout Hunter, Jared is the male lead and one of the several antagonists in the book. While Averella’s secret is pretending to be a man so she could try to find her sick brother, Gabriel, in Zagerah, Jared has a secret of his own. He pretends to be a prisoner, for the sake of getting closer with the prisoners and toying with them before he kills and betrays them.
Neither of them know the truth.
The first four people to comment on this post will win a free printed character card with Jared’s picture on it!
You’ll be able to read more about Jared and find out what happens next on April 30th.
Also, if you want more exclusive bonus content like this about Hunter, enter my giveaway. The winner will receive a DVD about Hunter, a poster of Hunter’s cover, and a refrigerator magnet about Hunter’s cover too! Join now!