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Thursday, January 22, 2009

The Man of my Dreams

It seems logical to write about Dorian and Phaedre, the two lead characters from Soul Keeper. However, logic is something I am rarely afflicted with, so, I’m actually going to tell you about a very minor character from the story, and how he ended up making his presence known to me.

First off, Soul Keeper wasn’t the first book I sat down to write, but it was the first that I finished. I didn’t have a particularly clear outline of the book, so I suppose that’s why the door was left open for Roman to enter. I knew the plot, the ending and pretty much how they got there, but I guess my subconscious decided that something was missing.

One night, I had one of those short, vivid dreams that literally bring you out of the bed. In the dream, I was riding a bus. We were on a route that wound through San Francisco’s Presidio, near Baker Beach. The bus stopped and I get on. (That’s the odd logic of dreams…) I took a seat next to the doors and looked at the man sitting across from me.

He was frightening. He was dark, but I was unable to decide what his ethnicity was. His hair was shaved close to his scalp, and he wore a dark, expensive suit. He wore sunglasses, so I couldn’t see his eyes, but I knew they were silvery-green. He was huge. Even sitting, his knees pushed out into the aisle. He was handsome in his way, but very, very intimidating. He then smiled at me, and with that smile, I knew this was a good, safe person.

We got off the bus at the same stop, and he paused as though he didn’t recognize where he was. I realized that he was lost. He gave me a slip of paper with an address on it, and we walked to that address together. He knew that his name was Roman, and he knew his home was nearby, but he couldn’t remember how to get there.

Roman was brain-injured.

He might have been inspired by someone I’d met a few years back. Perhaps he represented the head injury I’d suffered myself years ago. Whatever the case, Roman very quickly found his place in Soul Keeper. For me, he represents things lost and gained. For Phaedre and Danae, he is safety in a very real and literal sense. For Kaine and Dorian, he represents the failure of the Equis to take care of their own.

Every character in the book is reflected by how they dealt with Roman’s injury.

What I found most interesting about the character is his grace. Roman carries a heavy burden, but never grieves over the loss of the person he once was. His family and friends grieve for him. Roman simply moves on. He has a very real appreciation for his life in spite of the hardships that he experiences. Roman can’t read well, but has discovered a genius for computer skills. He can’t handle a pencil or tell his left from his right, but earned a living as a bodyguard and security expert. Sometimes the frustration is there, but he always manages to set it aside and adapt.

Roman reminds me of patience and persistence. He reminds me not to judge others. Roman reminds me to listen to my inner voice.

I’m not quite certain which direction Roman will travel, but I have every intention of going along for the ride. Literally. Did I mention that he’s a shape-shifting centaur?

You can read about Roman, and all the other magical creatures in Soul Keeper, coming very soon to New Concepts Publishing.

If you’d like to know more about me, please come and visit!

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