What did you draw from to write Steven’s struggles with his faith and abilities?
Poor, poor, long suffering Steven. I love Steven; he’s my favorite character out of the entire cast in The Elemental Series. And I’m so happy so many other people love him as much as I do. One of the things I love about Steven is what a bright light he is in the face of so much darkness. Steven definitely has his issues and demons but he wants to be happy, unlike so many other people who enjoy their pain and anger, Steven just wants to be happy.
Steven’s struggles with his faith is an amalgamation of a lot of people I knew growing up. I was always really surprised how many Catholics, or Christians in general really, forgot how much mysticism was incorporated in their faith. I’m not going to get into the whole debate about how many pagan practices are incorporated in the various Christian faiths, that’s for another day, but there is magic in those faiths. Unfortunately people tend to think religion and the belief in magic cannot coexist in the same person. Steven’s parents are a couple of these people. This is something Steven struggles with.
For Steven, he has parents that don’t believe in magic and who also struggle with him being gay. Everything that Steven is goes against what they believe. This is the root of Steven’s struggles. I think if Steven’s parents had been secular Catholics or encouraged their children’s imaginations or were okay with the concept of magic, Steven would have had an easier time balancing his Elemental nature and belief in magic with his Catholic upbringing.
No matter how messed up parents make their kids, a lot of people always want to please their parents. Some will always want their parents’ approval no matter how old they are. Those people never want to disappoint their parents. Steven is one of these people. I understand that behavior so I understand Steven’s struggle.
I hope Steven serves as a character that reminds people it is okay to be who you are, even if it isn’t who your parents wanted you to be. And to remember to be happy.