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Circling towards the Characters

Most of my books circle around the character, therefore my books are character driven, not plot driven. It's how the character responds to the time period, events and trials in their worlds that intrigue me. How did someone choose which side of the American Revolution to take?

Celtic Cross, Ireland
In a colony established by pacifists, and a town with a large number of pacifists among the population, did that change how people looked at the American Revolution?

What were some of the struggles that single women faced in the Georgian Era? Were things easier or harder in the American colonies opposed to England? How were the different expressions of faith viewed?

All these questions and more circle around as I develop characters. Some of the struggles are things that I just put into the story. For example, I chose to have one character's family die from plague. She now has custody of her two nieces and nephew.

Since it worked out best as a trilogy, I focused on three different women and how they interacted both one another as well as the world around them. Three females also represent the Fates, or Moirae in Ancient Greek culture. A young woman spins the thread, a young matron draws the thread out while a older woman cuts the thread. In these stories, the thread represents life, and the Fates decide how long a life is.

To me, it seemed oddly appropriate for the three women to be connected by weaving and war. In addition, Lancaster County is a religious world. Some days it feels as though you can't through a rock without hitting a church. Into this world, I added three different Christian faiths to be represented by the three women. Three faiths, and three heritages. One is an English Catholic, one an Irish Quaker and one a French Huguenot.

Naming characters proved to be the harder part, while also being the easiest part. I knew I wanted my characters to have names connected to historical weavers, but at the same point I wanted the names to be authentic to time period as well as cultures. I chose the names Circe, Helene and Athena. All three were Ancient Greek weavers, and all three played relatively important roles in various Greek myths. In all honesty, the names suited the women developing in my mind's eye.

With the names, faith, and heritage established, the next step is to develop the personalities, so come back next week to learn how characters develop their personality.


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