Who Are You?

Who Are You?

Posted on August 2 by Janet Kellough
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When you start to write a book, you need to decide some things, the most interesting of which is “who.” “When,” “where,” and “what” usually sort themselves out at the beginning, because it’s hard to write anything without deciding “who” first. “Why” can come much later, especially for me, because I don’t do detailed plot outlines. But in a series, “who” becomes a dynamic question.

When I began writing the Thaddeus Lewis Mystery series, I thought “who” was self-evident. After all, Thaddeus Lewis was a real nineteenth-century saddlebag preacher, and his autobiography provided details of what he was like. Except the real Thaddeus and the fictional Thaddeus soon diverged. I needed a detective figure who questioned everything, even his faith, and relied on his own talents and instincts rather than trusting everything to God. Thank goodness I made it clear from the beginning that I was writing fiction, because my Thaddeus was soon confessing that he’d got the wrong end of the stick, that he’d made a hasty judgment, that he was willing to bend the rules a little to solve the crime, and that he wasn’t always right. I liked my Thaddeus much better than the real one. As the series progressed, I grew more and more fond of him.

I have done some truly terrible things to Thaddeus. I’ve drenched him in blood and covered him in sweat. I’ve broken his arm, bashed him on the head, nearly drowned him. I killed his daughters and his wife and sent him into a deep depression. I’ve alienated one son and given another a secret so terrible that he may never be able to confide it to his father.

But it wasn’t until I reached the latest book in the series, Wishful Seeing, that I fell deeply in love with Thaddeus. Ironically, it happened because I broke his heart. For the first time since his wife’s death, he shows an interest in another woman. And she rejects him. No, more than that, she disdains him. This lovely, lovely man who is decent and compassionate and thoughtful, and, oh yeah, really quite handsome in a stern kind of way. Well, okay, she’s married already, but still, how dare she?

Except that she didn’t do it. I did. And having made Thaddeus question everything he believed to be true about himself, I felt an overwhelming need to make it up to him. And I will, in the next book, in a delightfully scandalous way. You can count on me, Thaddeus. I’ll find a way to rescue you every single time, because I love the man you’ve become. And I can hardly wait to see what I do to you next.

Janet Kellough

Posted by Kendra on October 30, 2014
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Janet Kellough

Janet Kellough is a professional storyteller who has written and appeared in numerous stage productions featuring a fusion of spoken word and music. Her previous books in the Thaddeus Lewis series are On the Head of a Pin, Sowing Poison, 47 Sorrows, and The Burying Ground. She lives in Prince Edward County, Ontario.