Benign schizophrenia

Well, I think I’m a bit of a convert to this blogging thing. I don’t know anyone I can talk to about writing, so it gives me a chance to blabber on about it — even if it’s only into cyberspace!
All writers are obsessive to one extent or another, I guess. You need to know everything about your protagonist, from how they drink their coffee to who all their relatives are and how they met their friends and acquaintances.You certainly need to inhabit this person, and that results in a sort of benign schizophrenia.
Captain da Silva is very much his own man, but one thing I have imposed on him is a rather progressive mindset. But then, who knows? A sailor with a polyglot crew one hundred years ago might well have tolerated all of his shipmates better than his landlubber contemporaries. Under the hardships of sail, race and color would surely take second place to seamanship on how you viewed your fellow man. That people were bigoted I can’t deny, but I think that if you had a tireless and skillful African crewman as a shipmate it wouldn’t matter a jot that the common view at the time was that black people were lazy.
On a similar topic, I dare say there were men at that time who acknowledged that  their wives and sisters and daughters were people with intelligence and talent and strength. But probably not very many. You may have wondered why my main character is a man, given that I favor strong, capable, smart, and preferably ass-kicking women. To which I can only reply that he came into my mind when a story needed him, and at a moment when he was forced to act as a hero — and I just had to accept that.
But the women around him are strong. Da Silva’s adored wife, Emilia, though she has to walk with a stick, is a talented jeweler, the businesswoman who handles his ship’s affairs, and his strength and lodestone. Paciência, Emilia’s friend, is a powerful witch, and her daughter Luzia has the ability to surpass her. And Teresa Batista, daughter of the Captain’s enemy, is fierce, strong and hot-tempered, and prone to dueling with a saber and inflicting damage upon her opponents. And that’s just in Demon Weather. If you haven’t met Tatiana, the Russian witch who’s appeared in the short stories Past Acquaintances in my first small collection, Second Sight, and Brief Encounter in the almost eponymously-titled Brief Encounters, you will make her acquaintance in the second novel…


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