Themes are the undercurrent of a story, giving a pulse to a character's word and actions. Without themes, a story would be nothing but a string of beautifully arranged words and punctuation marks.
Themes aren't only found in stories. They are found in the life of the writer her/himself. For instance, love is the theme of my life. Both as a writer and as a person. I didn't choose it, nor can I say I entirely want it. However, love is like water. Once released, love gets into everything. For the better or for the worst. Either way, love leaves a mark wherever it goes. Don't believe me? Keep reading to see the proof for yourself.
Beneath Scarlett Valley: The main theme of BSV is Death vs. Immortality. It's right there on the back of the book, and interwoven into almost every chapter. My main character, Cassidy, is a half-Furor. Furors are immortal creatures, given to fits of uncontrollable rage that result in bloodshed. Fire slithers through their veins, tempting them at every second to yield to its burning passion and high.
When Cassidy reluctantly joins her sister to hunt for the Source (the water that turns humans into Furors, she has to decide once and for all, which to choose. If she drinks, Cassidy will become immortal. If she does not, she will Fade (die).
Cassidy's choice comes down to love. Love for the sister she'll leave behind if she dies. Love for a human boy she can never have a future with. And love for herself--or rather, a lack of it.
Cassidy isn't the only character who faces this choice. Some you get to see played out on the pages before, others are recalled and recounted. Readers get to see the consequences. This way, it's clear that Cassidy's choice is not an easy and inconsequential one.
The Reluctant Sacrifice: There are quiet a few themes in TRS, from Sibling Rivalry to Love and Betrayal. Aubrey, the main character, is betrayed, hunted, and caged. Hers is a story of survival and hope. And that is the main theme of TRS, Hope.
Though Aubrey ditches her body and the horde of shape-shifting hunters hell-bent on sacrificing her, she can’t outrun her feelings for Joshua (her best-friend-turned-hunter). Unfortunately, he’s leading the hunt.
... the main theme of TRS, Hope
Despite this betrayal, Aubrey still runs, Jumps bodies, and to our frustration, love. She loves Joshua with a fierce love, one readers wish they could shatter with a turn of the page. But here's the thing, love doesn't go away when someone hurts us. Remember, they are able to hurt us because we love them. And it is love that fuels Aubrey's hope. Love for Joshua, a future, and a happy ending. If Aubrey let's go of that love, then in truth, she lets go of hope.
The Reluctant Huntress: Love and Betrayal are the main themes of Morgan's story. If you've read TRS, then you might be confused. Hell, you might already hate her. Here's the thing though, you've only seen Morgan through Aubrey's eyes. Of course, since it's Aubrey's story, the lens through which you look at Morgan is distorted by years of sibling rivalry, unrequited love, abandonment, and pain. TRH will give you a chance to see Morgan for yourself, unfiltered. I can't promise you'll love her, but I can promise that as she faces off with love and betrayal you will shift to the edge of your seat!
Remember, no one is the villain of their own story. A villain is simply another name for a hero committed to a bad idea. The two are often motivated by the same things. Like Aubrey in TRS, it is love that brings about Morgan's betrayal. Love leads to trust, and trust in the hands of the careless, inevitably lead to betrayal.
I would go on further about Morgan's story but it's not out yet. So, no spoilers!