Welcome to the 9th day of the Magic of Solstice Fantasy Writers’ Tour 2015!
Follow the tour on Facebook if you haven’t already done so. Tomorrows hosts are Louise Findlay and Joshua Robertson. I’ll be sharing an excerpt from Shadow Stalker: Forbidden Love (Episode 4) and some info on how my husband and I met. 😉 Today I’ll be featuring Charlotte Henley Babb who is sharing a character portrait of Kevin Padraic Jones from 20 Hours to Charles Town.
Charlotte Henley Babb began writing as soon as she could hold a piece of chalk and scribble her name. Growing up in the red mud and sweet tea Carolinas, she was a voracious reader with widely diverse interests ranging from the classic folk and fairy tales to sci-fi writers like Terry Pratchett and Robert Heinlein. She brings to any project a number of experiences, including work as a web designer, high school teacher, college instructor, technical writer, gasket inspector, cloth store associate, girl Friday, and telephone psychic.
Her first novel, Maven Fairy Godmother: Through the Veil, won the 2014 Sharp Writ Book Award for Sci-fi/Fantasy and an honorable mention in the 2014 National Federation of Press Women Communications Contest for adult novels. Her second novel, a steampunk story of espionage and political intrigue set in an alternate 19th century U.S., is scheduled for release in late summer 2015.
About Maven Fairy Godmother: Through The Veil
A dead cellphone calls with a job offer and a promise of dragons.
Imagine if Terry Pratchett sat down with Kathy Bates to make up fractured fairy tales for Edward Everett Horton to read aloud: you’d get Maven Fairy Godmother: Through The Veil.
Down and out, Maven Morrigan is ready to give up what’s left of her self-esteem for a cup of coffee when her last chance to redeem her life comes as a job offer to be a fairy godmother. But Faery is shrinking, the other fairy godmothers have disappeared, and nothing she does turns out right. How can she put together the happily ever after each of her clients wants with her boss standing in her way?
Maven Fairy Godmother: Through The Veil is fast, fun read that shows that none of us is ever old enough to know better as we try to wish for we think what will make us happy.
These three stories were written as I was putting the concept of Maven Fairy Godmother together. I originally planned to make a series of short stories, rather than a novel, but as happens to many authors, my characters took off in their own quests.
These stories happen in the future after the first novel, which turned out to be a prequel published first. Time does not flow in a linear direction in Faery, so the future often happens before the past at least from the perspective of some other space.
Or get the stories separately:
Bubba and the Beast
Trolls need love too, but can Maven find Grizelda’s true love without her wand and wings?
Maven takes a flying leap across the gender fence to see if the grass is greener, or the straw more golden, but there are some cats who just want to tangle his/her threads.
Maven’s favorite spell backfires and turns her into a frog. How can she grant the wishes of the prince, his rogue fairy godmother mom, and frog princess Medori if she can’t even hold her wand?
About Just a Smidgen of Magic
Five short-short stories from the edge of the realm of magic–enchanted moments, realizations, answering the call and returning to the mundane.
Artifacts: Pay attention to the Mothers’ warning.
The Croning: It’s her time. Is she ready?
Not Even One Wish: No only should you be careful what you wish for, but whom you wish to.
Taffy’s Tale: A high price to pay to be fed by the Fae?
Zen of Cool: A full moon, a festival, a fool and a fiddler
A character portrait for 20 Hours to Charles Town” K.P. Jones
Kevin Padraic Jones was born of an Irish mother and a Welsh father who emigrated to New York to find work in the potato famine. The marriage didn’t last, not only because of religious differences but because it was just too hard to be poor and an immigrant even in Five Points, since the Irish didn’t like them and no one else did either. Kevin’s father left the family to find work and never returned–probably dead, or maybe out in the gold fields. Kevin’s mom, Colleen, died of typhus when he was twelve.
By then, K.P. knew all the hookers in Five Points, most of the cops, and all the Red Hares gang. He worked as a runner, taking messages and pretending he couldn’t read them. He worked for the stable, shoveling manure and feeding the horses, and eventually got into the draying trade, which kept him employed and moving throughout the city. At some point, he ran across the liquor trade, which paid off the cops and was further under the radar.
He was on the take from both groups, as they needed reliable transportation that wasn’t connected to them, and a soft-spoken, clean-faced, illiterate boy seemed the perfect one. Kevin never let on how much he knew about what was going on, and in fact acted a bit slow and easy going. He let people make him the butt of jokes, but often the jokes backfired on them.
He was taken to a street whore for his “first” time by some men who planned to promise her payment and then not pay her for doing him, but he whispered their plan to her. She made a big deal of his being a virgin, and said she’d need more for breaking him in well. She kept him long enough that he was able to get her friendship and plan a pickpocket scam to pay her more than she would make in an average night.
He was hardly a virgin, having been with older girls most of his young life. He treated the whore as if she was a lady, telling told her she didn’t have to do it, as he would get her the money either way, but she liked him and invited him to see her again.
“I know the madam at Lady Layla’s,” K.P. said, “I could put in a good word for you. I do a good bit of work for her, and you’re too nice to be on the street.”
He did speak to the Madam, and Layla thought he was adorable, a teenaged boy recommending a whore.
“She’s nice, and she’s as clean as she can be, considering. Probably not more than sixteen. I’d appreciate if you took a look.”
“Bring her round,” Layla said, “if you don’t plan on marrying her anytime soon.”
“Won’t be marrying, Ma’am,” he said. “Living for one is hard enough to do.” He took off his stupid expression to give her a direct stare, daring her to know a bit about who he was.
“You say you’ve done some work in the business, then.”
He nodded, giving her the big-eyed, slack-jawed smile that was his daily mask.
“I have work for a young man who can keep his trousers buttoned and knows when to look stupid.“
“If it’s not being with the men, I might be interested.”
“You drive for the livery stable on 14th, yes?”
He nodded again.
I need a delivery here tonight. It needs to be on the quiet, not being noticed. Can you do that?”
He nodded again. “Yes’m.”
He was 15 then, gawky, but already hard muscled and broad shouldered. If he didn’t talk much, his voice didn’t crack, and he never let anyone get to him. As he’d gotten older, it was harder to do the stupid face, and to take with a smile the mean-spirited things people did to him. He found himself against a wall a few times, forced to choose one boss over another to keep a cop or a Red Hares gang member or the Mauvertons from killing him.
But this time, he’d screwed up. Someone connected A to C through D, E, or F, and somehow, he’d been fingered. He needed out of the City, and far, far away.