I’ve always wanted my own character. John D. MacDonald has Travis McGee and Arthur Conan Doyle has Sherlock Holmes. You know what I mean. They create a character that is rich and compelling, interesting to both the writer and the reader. Their personality and status quo allows for a rich variety of storytelling opportunities and like an old friend, grow old with them through time.
As much as I adore writing in other universes, and helped create one or two to share with others, I always thought I should have one or two characters to call my own. In the back of my mind, I guess I’ve been sending out a signal and have been patiently waiting to see who will walk out of the dim recesses of my mind.
At first, I thought it might be the young apprentice wizard I introduced in “Solo”, a short story that appeared Mob Magic a decade-plus back. And while I want to return to him, he hasn’t been insistently bothering me.
Instead, it appears that Gabriella Trotter, my protagonist in ReDeus has decided to inhabit my mind. When Aaron Rosenberg, Paul Kupperberg, and I began developing this shared universe, we each wanted our own character to roam with. Paul’s Junker George is out to slay the “false” gods and is hopping the globe to do so and Aaron’s cop Tom Duran seems content to operate in New York City, the one free zone on Earth.
But Gabbi is on the road. When the gods demanded worship, she knew them to be real but had trouble accepting them as true gods worthy of worship. Instead, she ignored them as best she could, covering the celebrity beat for the Seattle Times-Intelligencer, and hanging out with her girlfriends. Then, all of a sudden, everywhere she turned one god or another has been interfering with her, toying with her almost.
It was all designed to get her out of Seattle and on the road. Gabbi, who isn’t sure what to believe in, is on her personal vision quest and allows me to explore little corners of America we might not otherwise visit ion our anthologies and forthcoming novels. I like that she’s not perfect and is struggling to find a place for her in a vastly different world. Together, she and I are looking forward to seeing what’s next. On the other hand, unlike me, Gabbi’s always got one eye on the rearview mirror, uncertain when Coyote will turn up next.
Where did she come from? As Mike wrote earlier this week, Inspiration shows up unbidden and never on command. She arrived almost intact and the name quickly followed. When Carmen Carnero, now a rising comic book artist but a few years just at the beginning of her own career path, drew this first image of her, I thought she pretty much nailed her.
Gabbi’s first road trip ran here recently and soon there should be another installment from America’s highways.