The eyes are windows to the soul. We all have heard this, but I happen to believe it. Picking my characters’ eye color is always of the utmost importance to me.
When I wrote Desert Jewel, Milenda the Afrikan princess had bright green eyes for a very particular reason; I wanted her to stand out as unique even among her own people and also because green is the color of hope, the color of life. Milenda was hope incarnated; the hope of a better future for the less privileged ones in her nation.
Jaali is her young lover in the story. I wanted Jaali’s eyes to reflect not only the purity of his soul, the transparency of his intentions, but also his original background. Jaali was from the Northern Lands which roughly translates into the Nordic countries in our world. He had been taken by human traffickers as a child, never to see his country or his family again. But his eyes were as blue as the ocean and the sky of Scandinavia and as transparent as the ice covering of his homeland. Even though robbed of his innocence at a very early age, Jaali was pure of soul and had no malice in his heart. His pale, liquid eyes reflected that purity, not unlike that of snow-covered land.
Even Milenda’s flying lizard, Mjusi, is not immune from my symbolic use of eye color. His are large and forest green like the jungle where he dwells and the hope he symbolizes for both the princess and her mate.
Strange how a panster like me takes such pains when it comes to choose the eye color of her characters!