I cherish the characters I write about. I almost wrote “people” there instead of characters. Because for me, they are people who live and breathe and have opinions about cereal and how to steep tea. Finbar, one of the main characters in “The Lights of Portballintrae” has been in my head for years. He showed up one day in a story not his own, and after that, I kept seeing him, as if he was waiting for me. Not in a creepy way, but in a way that told me he had a story that needed telling.
And I told it. I spent a solid year uncovering his story, until he, Ella, and Jim, were not characters, but people who suffer from the same sins and love and flaws and heartbreak that we all do.
But now… Their story is written. I’m looking for an agent to accept it, so a publisher will publish it. It’s a long road, and will probably be longer, but I’m no longer with them every day.
The storytelling part of their story is over. In some ways, it feels like losing a friend, one who is dear to you. I love these three characters. I’ve had a hard time letting them go. My dad keeps asking, “are you working on your new book yet? Keep writing.” He’s right.
And this week, I’ve finally started.
I don’t know Darcy Riordan as well as I know Finbar Ashe. But I know if I keep writing she’ll tell me her story. The one she wants me to tell.