Sorry for being so late, I get a little scatterbrained when I’m deep into writing a novel. Okay, I get a lot scatterbrained. My all time favorite character (from my own novels anyway) has several aliases so I’ll just give you what would be on his star on the 22nd century walk of fame if its still around: Sander the AI. I’ve already interviewed him, and that’s character profile enough, though. Likewise, I’ve never decided who my favorite character is from either real life or my personal library. Even if I had, that would feel a bit too much like high school.
In some ways, I’ve always been the sort of author where every new baby is her favorite. We usually choose our favorite character as the protagonist and the protagonist as the person who tells the story. The short novel I’m writing as of this posting date is tentatively titled Life After Mars? and is told by the Fowler fraternal twins, Gloria and Federica (who are unwittingly playing a prank on the reader.) The sister who answers to Gloria is the heroine and her twin the sidekick helping her tell her story for the simple reason that Gloria faces the most danger. Of course, her twin would argue that the risk of losing your twin is a higher stake than the risk of losing your own life.
Both twelve-year-old girls are curious about romantic love, but they are looking for a daddy to be their story’s hero. Their search, and the health problem, gets the attention of their actual father, Peyton Fowler, Commander of Apricot Pond. (Roughly compares to being a duke or a governor.) He begins fighting for his children’s hearts, to keep his gravely ill daughter alive, and must continue to protect them from his aristocratic world, which has refused to let him leave it.
I’ll admit, as much as the sisters have stolen my heart, their father is a surprise favorite in their story for me. It is a surprise as, when we first meet him, he seems far more likely to betray and antagonize his daughters than to be a hero they can trust enough to root for him, and fight along side him in their own tween-girl ways.
The fathers in my stories are often cold abusers, absent, or loving men of god almost too much like Christ to be real. Peyton is a deeply flawed man–his past mistakes contribute heavily to the problems he and his family are facing, and he has neglected his children, however valid his reasons for being disengaged may or may not be. Yet he’s also a sincere Pilgrim who fled the City of Destruction and left behind his parents, aunt and uncle, his ex-fiancee, and most of their Mars colony’s military-aristocracy.
In the natural, he has been forced back into his military-aristocrat world and had his civilian life with the Cruzes taken from him. The Cruzes are humble homesteaders who adopted him at sixteen by giving him their daughter in marriage. His birth family wants to see their will for his life done: for their heir to govern in the worldly way they govern and to get remarried, to the bride they’d chosen for him.
He feels called to remain faithful to his first wife and to govern as a Christian servant-leader. He struggles with how to do that in practice, and it’s illegal for him to stay married to his civilian wife after he’s been drafted. The threat of painful consequences for his family has often led him to fall into his corrupt birth culture’s practices, like lying, two-facedness, negative secrets, and bribery.
He’s had a tempting-to-hate Proverbs 31 wife’s counsel for years. In their relationship, Marisol Cruz is symbolic of the Holy Spirit and he is the struggling Christian. She’s encouraged him in the faith and helped him govern better. Yet it is his children who most inspire him to stop hiding the truth of who he is, to be honest about what he believes, and live according to God’s word at any cost.
Trouble is, it is also the consequences to his children that most inspires in him a crippling fear of faithfully following Christ’s way of the cross. He has such a critical decision to make here, he could be seen as the true hero of the novel. His daughters are more interesting narrators and arguably have the most to lose, but it could be said I’ve given the hero two young Watsons and had them tell his story, along with their own story as my twin heroines.
Right now, I’m planning to tell Life After Mars? in two volumes. I’m close to the end of the first and expect it to be 50-55,000 words. It will be a prequel series to the Web Surfer Series and meant to be lighter reading and more suitable for younger readers, though parents would need to screen it for appropriateness for their child. Ahead of the release of the Web Surfer novels, we’re releasing ten short “episodes.” The first three are out on Amazon, including “Regeneration.”
If you’re here for the blog hop, go see the participants’ list on Ruth Snyder’s blog.
[tweetthis]Creator of #WebSurfer series profiles current favorite “novelist’s children” in an #amwriting post. http://www.christsglory.com/?p=1282[/tweetthis]
Thanks for telling us about Peyton. I find it fascinating how characters have a mind of their own and tell the author who they are at times. No wonder some people think we’re crazy 😉
Yeah, my characters are that way quite a bit. Some of the shyer ones have had the most interesting lives. I sometimes end up writing backwards as side characters end up admitting to back story that would also make an interesting novel. That’s how my new series got its start. The children in my WIP are the “parents’ generation” of the main characters of the Web Surfer series. By the end of that series, his generation are parents themselves–and one of his peers is a grandparent.
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