Thursday, 15 March 2012
Author Spotlight - Characters are Everything
Characters are everything.
Sounds like that slogan you hear on USA -- or is it TNT? I can never keep them separate -- they run some of the same shows!
Anyway, The Mission, my newest Tabor Heights release, is in some ways a tribute to my brother, Dean.
Tommy Donnelly, Claire's "little" brother, is very closely based on Dean, who has Cerebral Palsy and has been in a wheelchair all his life. His various physical limitations forced him to find creative outlets for interacting with a world that expected him, as physically handicapped, to be meek and quiet and slooooow. Can we say "Tiny Tim Syndrome" here?
Or -- the only other handicapped role model he could find -- end up like Igor. "Yesssss, Massster! Shall I dig up another brain for you, Masssster?"
Dean became a comedian. He learned to have a witty comeback when people made stupid remarks or just plain assumed that physical handicap = mental handicap. His strategy was to learn how to play with people's brains until they bounced around the room. Some of the things that come out of Tommy's mouth came from Dean's mouth, first. His attitude is pretty close, too.
Gimps are people, too. And even if I'm pretty sure that when he went to camp, Dean and his buddies were plotting the overthrow of the able-bodied world ... I'm proud to have a gimp in my life.
By the way, Tommy gets his own book in Year Two -- entitled "Wheels," and based on a script I almost sold to "MacGuyver." Only don't tell MacGuyver what I did with his character ........