As an author I sometimes have to end the life of a key character to enable the story to be authentic to the real life data and also to move the story on.
In Book Two of the series of the ‘The Fortune Seekers’ yesterday I had this problem to creatively work through.
I posted the following post on my facebook page, teasing out ideas with author friends and my wonderful followers.
An interesting discussion followed.
Last night I had to figure out how to solve the mystery of why one major character in the second of the Fortune Seekers Series, wasn’t buried in the same cemetery, even town, as her husband and family.
-What happened to have this happen to her?
-What did she do to deserve this?
– To make it more interesting, how am I to create a disgrace that will show this?- And finally place this lovely 1860s lady into her coffin?
Last night I burned the midnight oil, creating chaos in her life that spreads ripples across the family, breaking up a marriage that has suffered many struggles. And finally her heartbreaking demise.
(End of post)
Comments followed . . .
Anne and Owen
Tell it just as you have told us. (In Book one – The Fortune Seekers – Dan and Charlotte)
Just love your way of thinking, so make it mysteriously fascinating and with drama.
You asked for it Owen!!
In my family history one of my great ancestors up and left her husband and children (the youngest being only 2 years old) and went back to the county where she came from. A few years later she remarried and had another son. I have as yet not been able to discover any divorce records as only wealthy women could really afford divorce costs.?? According to my research apparently, because of the distance during those times, people could do that and go back to pretending they were single again. The strangest thing of all though is that my Dad knew about her and even knew what had happened to her son who had unfortunately been killed in a motorcycle accident aged about 18/19. How do I tell the grandchildren that story?
When I was a child, my Dad told me about a great aunt who sailed across the sea from Ireland in a rowing boat. His tales were the spark which inspired me to write A Woman Undefeated. 😊
Me love stories written based on real experiences like that, as they make me imagine about the reality these people lived through.
Sharliey maternal grandfather moved to NZ in 1905 with 2 older brothers and his mother. It was only much later that we discovered she had left her husband and daughter in England, still very much alive. The daughter eventually went to live in Canada. Families are interesting!
Noelle hear you loud and clear.
(End of some very interesting comments)
Now for a special treat:-
Following is an unedited excerpt from the chapter when Emma faces her first challenge which leads to her demise . . .
(No spoilers, sorry)
Emma is speaking:oung Aggie is a pretty woman, the darker complexion of her mixed parentage has set her apart from other women of her age. Drovers’ who travel into Echuca and ships-hands who man the paddle boats up and down the Murray River, have noticed Aggie.
Each week we ride the horse and buggy into town for provisions, expecting to face the variety of attention from these colonial men.
‘Ignore them Aggie if you aren’t interested,’ I advise her.
‘If I am to marry one day, I must meet men, surely?’
‘Yes, that is true, but surely it’s best to wait for a good man. One who we know his background. Perhaps someone who is recommended by our friends.’
Aggie turns towards me, her face serious, saying, ‘I was born a bastard of mixed breed. Neither Aboriginal nor European. I don’t have the opportunities the white girls have for marriage.’
‘Maybe or maybe not,’ I say, ‘But for a better life you need to choose carefully otherwise your life will be horrible with the wrong man.’
One particular day a group of men are outside the general mercantile shop where we always shop. Aggie tethered our pony before assisting me from the buggy. Two young men approach us, offering their hands to assist me. I smile to thank them. Aggie stands aside watching.
‘Mam, we are new in town. May we make your acquaintance?’
I blush from the unexpected attention.
Aggie presses forward, to stand beside me. ‘Emma, are they hassling you?’ she asks, taken back by their forwardness.
‘No Aggie, I am fine.’
I turn to the two men noticing their appearance. Their clothes are clean and well fitted, but they are not men of money from the material of their garments. I am aware they are only looking at me, ignoring Aggie who is younger and prettier. This is uncharacteristic of the local men.
‘Where are you from?’ I ask.
‘Bathurst Mam. We are travelling through and know not a soul. You remind us of our comely mother who we miss dreadfully.’
‘Where is she?’ I ask, having a soft spot for a sad story.
‘Our mother has sadly passed. We tried to return to be by her side after hearing of her sickness. But the telegraph we received today says we are too late. She has died.’
Aggie and I are unable to hide our sadness. ‘I am very sorry. Please accept our condolences.’ I touch one of the young men lightly on his shoulder. Aggie gives me a disapproving look.
‘Thank you, mam. We appreciate your kind thoughts.’
An idea comes to me. ’We are about to have a cup of tea in the tea shop. Would you like to join us?’
I feel Aggie digging me in the ribs, but I ignore her as my thoughts are on the heartbreak the two men are going through.
We sit at the tea shop, ordering four teas accompanied by scones with raspberry jam. The young men introduce themselves as Frank and Ernest Jamieson. We have an idle conversation about general things, while enjoying the tea. After twenty minutes I rise, telling them we must collect our supplies and return to our farm. Politely they escort us from the shop, raising their hats, while thanking us for listening to their sad story.
After an hour, Aggie and I return to the buggy onto which the shop keepers have loaded our supplies. We make our return to the farm, reflecting on how pleasant the day has been.
It is mid afternoon when we hear horses galloping into the yard.
‘Must be the Arthur or Charlie home a little early,’ I say.
Aggie looks out of the window, and her face drops. ‘It’s the two men we had tea with in Echuca,’ she says, her voice tense.
‘That is strange, we didn’t tell them where we lived did we?’ I ask.
‘Not exactly,’ she replies, ‘although we did talk about the farm and such things.
‘I wonder why they are here?’
Aggies’ face has turned pale. Something is bothering her.
Footsteps are now heard coming towards the front door which is wide open, being a summers day. Aggie steps forward, reaching the door before me.
‘Afternoon ladies,’ smirks the one in front. ‘How about another cup of tea?’
‘Excuse me . . .’ Aggie says before being shoved aside by the first man who we know as Ernie.
The two of them stand before us in the kitchen, surveying the room.
‘Got anything valuable in your house?’ one demands.
My face pales, as I sense trouble. ‘What?’ I ask, ‘What are you saying?’
‘Is there anything in this house worthy of us relieving you of? Valuables? Silver? Cash? That sort of thing.’
Aggie grabs me and we retreat backwards, now frightened.
‘No, nothing. We are struggling farmers wives. Our men are hard working labourers, working from daylight to dusk as times are tough.’ I say, trying to sound confident, where as inside I am trembling with fright.
‘Is that the truth?’ the second man sneers. We both nod, too scared to speak now.
‘Then, if that is the truth we don’t want to make it a wasted ride out here to this god forsaken, arid place.’
One looks directly at Aggie, his eyes lustful, ‘ Come to Frank you beautiful half-cast bitch. I want to show you a good time.’
He strides towards us in two steps, pulling Aggie from me, and shoves her towards the room next to the kitchen. Aggie screams, pulling away, but he slaps her across her face.
‘Shut up bitch, You don’t have a say in this, so come here,’ he says shoving her into the first bedroom , and slamming the door.
I tremble, knowing I must help her. ‘Tell your brother to leave her alone.’ I plead, but the one who called himself Ernie laughs in my face.
‘I don’t think I’ll be going that Mama. I also want a taste of what you have on offer.’
‘What?’ I cry out, ‘don’t you dare lay a hand on me.’
I scan the kitchen for the poker or rolling pin, but he is too quick, and twists my arm behind my back.
‘Come to Daddy,’ he geers, shoving me around to face him, then reaching for my breasts and squeezing them. ‘Delicious!’ he sneers.
‘Don’t you dare,’ I shout, consciously aware of the screams of Aggie in the first bedroom . . .
. . . As I said, this is a teaser.
For those of you who have joined my mailing list, there are many more teasers ready to be shared from now on until this second book of the series is released about May 2017.
Join my mailing list by visiting my websites below, or placing a comment at the end of this blog.
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Or paper backs from me.
Just email me.
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