and sharing thoughts
Defining a Protagonist
When Tina Whittle, author of Deeper than the Grave, the new book in her Tai Randolph series, challenged me to write about a protagonist in one of my books, I chose to write about Grace St. John from The Vessel of Scion. I regretted that decision very quickly, because she’s a complex character to define. But here goes.
Grace St. John began life as a Cajun man, but the plot didn't work with a male protagonist. He morphed into a 26-year-old woman who lived a strange isolated life in an old Louisiana house called Belle Inconnu.[Beautiful Stranger] Tante Jeanne Marie and two men named Pierre and Marcel were her constant companions until she reached the age of 16. Then they took her to Narbonne in the South of France aboard a luxurious private jet.
There, she lived in a luxurious chalet, spending all her time with a local boy named Luc. The inevitable happened. As soon as Tante Jeanne Marie learned Grace was pregnant, they boarded the jet and flew home to Belle Inconnu. A woman named Bridget joined them and cared for Grace through her pregnancy. Her only memory of the birth was an IV that put her to sleep. She woke with no baby, no Tante Jeanne Marie, and was told she must forget the whole experience.
She settled into a quiet life, practicing advanced martial arts and weaponry under the direction of Pierre and Marcel. Love came along when Arnaud, a mysterious older man with an accent she couldn't quite place, arrived.
On an autumn night in 2003, armed men invaded Belle Inconnu and killed Pierre. They seemed intent on killing Grace as well. She fled with Arnaud on the same private jet that flew her to Narbonne. Bernard, the pilot, seemed to know all about her. The plane was stocked with supplies that included a wardrobe for her, complete with her favorite lingerie, all a perfect fit. Creepy.
Arnaud presented her with a new passport, and a new identity. She must become Madeline Grey. During a brief time in Rome, she had vivid dreams of another life as a small girl named Tamara with a younger brother named Jesus Justus. They and their mother saw their father, The Teacher, crucified, and fled to the mountains in the South of France for safety.
The day after the dream Grace and Arnaud visited cardinal Malachi, who asked how they faired under the moon. She learned about the Cathar prophecy of the moon of remembering, which would bring dreams of past lives to reincarnated Cathar martyrs. It would appear on the night of a lunar eclipse when the moon aligned with the planets to form a six-pointed star in the heavens. That took place on November 8th 2003, the night of her dream.
At a restaurant north of Rome, she met some of Arnaud’s friends. Fiona seemed hauntingly familiar, which disturbed her. A messenger rushed in to tell them of an assault on a stronghold and the kidnapping of a little girl named Tamara. The men immediately rushed Grace and Fiona away and flew them to an isolated island in the North Sea where she was hidden away in a mysterious place they call the fortress. They believed it to be the only place on earth where she would be safe.
She learned more about her identity, and the identity of the kidnapped child. Arnaud is grand master of an ancient order that has protected her bloodline since before the time of Abraham, and will continue until their purpose is fulfilled. Grace gradually changed from the pliable, protected girl from Belle Inconnu, to a warrior in her own right. Pierre and Marcel prepared her well. She came into her own with the refusal to remain hidden away for safety.
Her reunion with Luc, and the demands of her heritage, threatened her relationship with Arnaud, but love triumphed in the end. She proved to be a worthy partner in the order, even when things got bloody. She became part of a covert order that fights a stealthy secret battle that includes a false pope, a conspiracy by an alliance of powerful men to rule the world, and failing governments worldwide.
When the call came to return to the fortress, She arrived with a battle scarred but victorious group of champions who finally realize what they, and those gone before, have fought for through thousands of years. The world will never be the same, not for Grace, or anyone else Check out The Vessel of Scion on Amazon.com, and read more of her story. and don't forget to leave a review.
Now I must issue the challenge to two fellow writers. The two I pick are Jaden Terrell [ http://www.jadenterrell.com.]
and Raymond Atkins. You will love hearing about their characters.
I've been many things in my life and if I'm lucky I hope to become many more things before I leave the world. Today, I'm a priest, an author, a literary agent, and mentor among other things. This page will contain my thoughts and on any given day, it might reflect any of those identities.