In order to write believable characters it is always good to have pieces of you, in each character. To people who know me, it is easy to see what parts are me and what parts are contrived. It is good to have characters that vastly differ from one another, gives the story texture. But no one I know is safe really, I’ll take pieces of people I know and incorporate them into characters throughout.
*Each position on the team is associated with a color and a gem stone that is applied to a team’s mascot pin.
Na’tan is the typical controlling personality with a bit of an anxiety disorder. Everyone knows someone like this. Either a parent, a spouse, or sibling that takes on the role of a leader trying to protect everyone and stressing out on “what could happen”. This makes Na’tan a perfect Captain for the Peregrine Falcons.
I guess I do have a bit (LOL) of a controlling attribute but not the anxiety. Na’tan also has a superiority complex, an arrogance that I know I appear to have sometimes. And the feeling that I must always be in control and try to imagine every possible scenario-yeah that’s me.
Na'tan not only has a keen understanding of the smaller parts to a bigger picture, but can see how the bigger picture can influence the universe, which again, makes him an excellent Captain. Over time Na’tan had to learn, and still struggles with, letting go of controlling others. He has a tendency to blame himself if anything goes wrong, and internally beats himself up, until it is almost considered an mental disorder. Thankfully everyone on the team can hear his internal thoughts and can stop him before he goes too far.
Kealin is a girly girl, which I am not. But she is also driven to never being nailed down to anything, which is me to the hilt.
Freedom in all things is beyond important to me, freedom of belief, thoughts, even being tied physically to a place or title.
Yet, Kealin’s avoidance of anything new, is a friend of mine. Kealin will change drastically over the series of the books. Right now, she lacks confidence in everything, especially herself. In her teenage passive aggressive way, she does fight against the concept of being a part of this team because of her trust issues. Again, being forced to be on the Peregrine Falcons goes against her personality, so trusting a group of people and their abilities is currently a bit of a reach for her. But in time, she will come to trust them, and even rely on them. She is also naive and believes that everyone has a loftier goal at heart.
Cornac is that guy that knows he’s gorgeous and has no problem flaunting it and using it to influence people. Everyone knows a guy like this, the hot quarterback, the confident guy who has no problem swaggering into a room full of people, because he thinks everyone in the room either wants to be him or know him. His charisma can be construed as conceit, but let’s face it, guys like that usually get what they want. Cornac and his crude thoughts are without a doubt me. But he enjoys pushing the boundaries and finds life to be amusing. He’s very relaxed and doesn’t stress because he believes life is short. When you gotta go, then it’s time to go, so might as well try everything full throttle until then.
I suppose that is my belief as well. If you don’t try things and push your boundaries then what’s the point of living this life. But I have to say, a part of Cornac is my cat. He knows he's gorgeous, and that he can get whatever he wants with one look.
One of the hardest things I’ve ever had to do was write for Nicholas. He is considered the most intelligent and manipulative on the team. Being an Intelligence Information Officer makes it his prerogative to be this way, though I do not get into his craftiness in this book. He has to be able to subtly, psychologically, manipulate alien societies/beings to complete his team’s objective. Nicholas is required to know all the players and their culture. He appears to be the quiet contemplative type who tries to discover all sides to a theory, or person, or situation. Generally IIO are the most intelligent and use more of the brain power than the rest of their teammates. Their memory capacity is beyond measure and for good reason.
I suppose my characteristic that I add to Nicholas is I do know how to manipulate people and situations. Like I said, I didn’t get into the manipulative aspect of Nicholas in this book, I only get into his intelligence and drive for knowledge. But it is difficult writing about a person smarter than yourself. Very difficult. I know what he does-thinks-sees, yet to get it down in words that are a fair representation of Nicholas, is difficult to say the least.
Henry and his blinded belief that everyone has good intentions, has a hard time understanding those who are evil. He is compassionate almost to a fault. Henry cares deeply for everyone, not just his teammates. The only time Henry loses his temper is when a teammate willfully jeopardizes their health. But he continually tries to placate opposing personalities with his gentle disposition. He is a nurturer but finds being on a Fathis team invigorating and a testament of testing his limits as a healer. Henry is the Falcon’s moral compass and is the loving father figure everyone can rely on.
Henry is possibly the character that is least like me, but I know several people that emulate him.
Hands down my favorite character is Ray-cause he’s such an ass. In the first book he hates Kealin. In the second, he does a 180 and becomes overprotective of her. You get a feel for his extreme personality. Ray is always misinterpreted and appears to look at things in a black and white manner. He blatantly speaks his mind (his “filter button is broken”). “Tactless” would be a good word for Ray. And he fully embraces his OCD’s. Everything in his life/world must be perfectly in-order, and anything that seems chaotic and unpredictable (Kealin), he shies away from. His ego is ridiculously enormous. You may love him, you may hate him, but he is who he is, and Ray’s changing for no one. He would share similar characteristics with Sheldon Cooper from Big Bang Theory on CBS, except Ray knows how to physically fight. All his pent-up frustrations and anger, is funneled into his fighting skills, making him as lethal as a martial arts expert.
Being misunderstood is something I can relate to. Many times something comes out of my mouth is misinterpreted completely. So many times... And people always seem to believe there is an ulterior motive, but 98% of the time it’s just their suspicious mind over-thinking what I’ve said. Matter of fact, if I say something and you don’t “feel” you’re being misled, is when I am misleading a person :) (That is where my "Nicholas characteristics" comes out) And again people do seem to believe I am tactless at times (I'm just being truthful). And when I was young I used to think Sesame Street was demeaning. I couldn’t stand watching it. Of course, I didn’t know the word “demeaning” at the time, but there ya go. That is a very "Ray observation".
Thatcher is a loner with an eccentric disposition. In the past he struggled with being different, but came to the healthy conclusion that he is who he is, and he shouldn’t care if he fit-in with his fellow Engineers. Soon, he learned to embrace his differences, making him more confident yet more reclusive. Thatcher is very relaxed and has a certain boyish charm, though can appear strange to people outside his team because of his habit of saying incomplete thoughts. Thatcher could spend days absorbed in a piece of equipment and not even realize days have gone by. Usually his emotions are so strong that they affect him physically. And he shows little interest in anything beyond his technical universe, making him appear lazy.
I can be a bit of a loner. I could spend days without talking to anyone, and it doesn’t bother me one bit. And I have gotten tunnel vision where time, doesn’t seem to exist.
Many of these characters is an extension of me but there are also pieces of people that I know. Who do I relate to the most, would be a toss-up between Na’tan and Ray.
Say I place a food order, I want this food to be “just so” (Na’tan). I like to eat one item on my plate at a time (Ray), but every so often I like to mix things up just to screw with myself (Cornac). My construed splitting of my personality makes the characters come alive in Fathis: Birth of a Falcon.
_ I kept hearing the theories that “this’ll happen on 2012”, or “that” will happen.
I thought, well what if everyone is right, and it ALL happens, the good, the bad, and the ugly. Destructive earth changes, global wars, alien wars, dimensional split, political and religious sabotage, and then the other side of the coin is humanity becoming enlightened, Rapture, mother nature cleaning the slate.
Despite the fact that majority of us would not live through it, what would happen to the survivors?
Other than plunging into the dark ages, again; how would we change if suddenly we had access to 90% of our brain power? (this is one of the theories) And of course in the book I have earthling make a gigantic accidental uh-oh, when we kill-off an alien race during the shift of 2012. But this all takes place in the past in regards to Fathis: Birth of a Falcon.
The story itself actually developed over many, many years. Scenes would play out over in my head, over, and over, and over, until one day in Phoenix, I read a book and realized I could write just as well as that author. (that book will remain anonyms) So I started writing it down. Incredibly, the scenes (voices) in my head stopped replaying once I accurately wrote them down.
Ahhh the silence-oh wait! I’m kidding, there’s at least five years’ worth of the story STILL in my head. I guess I get to stay crazy a little bit longer.
But Kealin was always there, and so was Na’tan. The other characters just weaseled their way in.
And huge majority of the flamboyant scenes are to music, all sorts of music. I guess that is how the story truly developed. Some of the scenes play exactly to the music.
And the back story about 2012, developed over time.
Some say my book is too big and complicated for a teen. Fooy! If I was given “Fellowship of the Ring” at age 10, I would have devoured it just as much as when I was 18.
What’s amazing to me is there is an even bigger story than this one (before the Breaking), that I just don’t have the balls to tackle. Maybe someday.
_ So you are the Captain of the Peregrine Falcons, is it a demanding job? If so what would you say is your most difficult task?
It is upon occasion, demanding. I’d say a daunting task of late, is keeping the team cohesive. There are seven personalities that need to mesh well together.
What is it you do as a Captain of a Fathis team?
I’m in charge of the team and the success of the mission the Command Center assigns to us. When on assignment I determine the best way to achieve our goal. For example, if I am dealing with a matriarchy on another planet, it might be wiser to let Kealin, the female on our team to speak for us, instead of our normal liaison, which would be Nicholas.
We interact with outside agencies as a liaison for the Galactic Assemblage.
But I make all the decisions for the Peregrine Falcons. The team’s safety ultimately falls to me.
I’m used to it.
Tell me about this contract with the…Galactic Assemblage?
Ha! That’s usually the first question I’m asked. It’s simple; teams from Earth patrol the Milky Way Galaxy for the Assemblage.
Why is it “teams from Earth” doing this? Are there other planets patrolling, as well?
From what I understand, we are the only planet working for the Assemblage. As to why us, well, we’re that scary guard dog behind the fence no one wants to face. They use it to their advantage. Though, so do we.
So, it’s true that alien races are afraid of us in the future?
Let’s just say, they have a healthy fear that we, as Earthlings, have no interest in rectifying this characterization.
So your saying, this fear they have of us, doesn’t interfere with your missions?
Oh no, I didn’t say that. I’m just saying, it benefits us more than interferes with our interactions with outside agencies.
Outside agencies? Aliens?
And why do they fear Earthlings?
I’m sorry, I cannot disclose that information.
For fear it may alter the future.
Ok, then…who would you say you are closest to on the team?
Hmm, that’s a hard one. I relate to each on a certain level. As a captain I must know each of my teammates as intimately as possible. This is so I can understand my team’s strengths and weaknesses, so I can use these strengths and weaknesses to benefit my team’s success on our missions.
For example Thatcher may be one of the weakest physically and mentally, yet no one can match him with his mechanical expertise, and no one can Remote View like him.
It has been interesting. Thank you for your time Captain.
No problem whatsoever. And I will schedule appointments for each of my teammates to interview with you.
Mint Chip Ice cream, Krispy Kreme donuts, homemade pizza, pralines, Chinese chicken salad...mmmmm!