Every reader and every author loves great characters so today for the 100th post on the Kesp Writing Blog, it is a dedication to my main characters. As an author, I remember each of them intimately and I don’t believe they will ever fade. Like good friends and family, they are with me forever!
Novel: Landed Estate
I must start with my all time favourite character to date, Susanna Westby. I am not sure why she is remaining a love of mine, perhaps it is because Landed Estate was my first novel and also I believe it is the time period the story is set in. I have a massive love for the “Big House Era” in 18th/19th century Ireland. Susanna was born into the aristocratic lifestyle and enjoyed all its trimmings, a dutiful daughter and agreed to marry without question, the handsome Eyre Westby under her father’s wishes at the age of twenty. Following her husband’s mysterious death in 1787, she is thrown into the real workings of estate management and the tangled lives of the aristocracy classes. She grows and matures over her life, perhaps most changed by the circumstances she has found herself in. She is not without flaws and an underlying dark side that reveals itself when required. Susanna’s fears for her family, her home, and her life are real, in part a reflection of the journey of the Anglo Irish. A woman of pride, she endures her own emotional rollercoaster. The only part of Susanna’s life that is not known about is between 1806 and 1826 when she moves to India with her second husband William Camwell. Only the information we have through the letters she sends home give a small taste of that life. Susanna, born in April 1760, has her story told through three different time periods in the Landed Estate novel.
Johanna Cahill & Francesco Romano
Novel: The Portrait of Isabella Simmons
This novel had certainly been challenging and its two main protagonists were both very contrasting characters with complex issues. I do not love one over the other, as each is so different, they both have amazing characteristics and traits. Both characters go on an emotional journey of self discovery and more importantly, self forgiveness.
After the murder of her father, Johanna Cahill is forced to flee her home at the age of sixteen but the moment changes her life in a way she did not understand until many years later when she is faced to deal with personal and emotional issues that she always clung to. Determined to make a good life for herself, a gift she believes she is entitled to, she has become blind to the consequences of her actions in order to attain it. Did she deserve what she got in the end? Perhaps, or it can be argued, due to her recognition of her actions in her life, this in itself is her way of absolving her sins.
Francesco Romano on the other hand, spent his youth as a fanciful playboy, painting the rich and aristocracy around Italy, Malta and Spain. A lover of men, he is seduced by Isabella Simmons, the daughter of the English Governor to Malta that would have dire consequences on his life. He never could have imagined after spending more than twenty years in jail, Francesco would end up under house arrest by his seemingly benign captor, Johanna Cahill. Francesco has become a bitter man and rightly so towards the end of his life. Crippled with arthritis, during his stay, he rediscovers his love of art through his muse, the young Bernard Cunningham, heir to the Cunningham Empire. Through his journal writings, Francesco releases the past, the harsh life and emotions he has kept hidden away allowing him once more to pick up his paint brush and live through his passions.
Dr. Elizabeth Bannon
Dr. Elizabeth Bannon Series
Elizabeth Bannon is an esteemed psychiatrist who devotes her life to her career, following the death of her husband. Her life is mundane, treating patients under the instructions of Dr. Marvin Speel at Claremont Hospital. Her life turns when tasked to treat a patient, Jacob Fontain, in which opens a door to a world she never knew existed. The adventure forces her to take actions and leave the life she once knew behind her. Jacob opens her mind to the spirit world and to love. Elizabeth realises there is much she needs to learn about herself and her past that she has denied but this is complicated further due to the new physical changes she is going through, a result of the AZ412 serum. Elizabeth is a character that at first I was slow to relate to however as she grew over the series of six novelettes, so did my liking for her. She is strong and resourceful, however, I believe her most redeeming quality is that no matter how much she grows and acquires super human abilities, she always remains a humanitarian and very grounded.
To discover these unique and complex characters in more detail and their lives check out the following link from my site:
Ben Kesp Books
Discover more on Ben Kesp, author and writer on the Ben Kesp Website.