How I created the protagonist of Lemoncella Cocktail

As I said in my previous blog, Lemoncella Cocktail was inspired by a story I heard in the older days. A teenager had killed his father in the attempt to protect his mother. He grew up shy and averse to challenges or confrontations. Avoiding being in the spot light seemed to be his main concern. He surprised everybody when  one day he risked his life to save a drowning girl, thus becoming a celebrated hero.

In his event there was drama; it could serve as a dynamite stick to ignite the readers’ attention in a work of fiction—possibly a thriller. Once chosen the starting point, I had to build the character of the protagonist, Patrick Carter.

The young man had to be familiar with water rescue and aquatic traumatic stress—so I made him a certified lifeguard serving on the shores of Lake Huron.gazebo

Naturally he has to be physically strong, so he is tall and muscular. He has to have another job to complement his daily income, so I made him a bartender at night.

Now, his action has to provoke some problems, right? So, what is better than saving the life of a person the mob wants to eliminate? That would put him in jeopardy, in the middle of a conflict, since now the mob not only wants to kill the girl, but also the good Samaritan who has seen who had thrown her into the river. His he married? No, he’s 25-year old and very handsome, so this offers me the occasion of introducing a bit of romance. But the girl he likes belongs to a social level much higher than his. After all, Patrick does not even have a stable job!

Why the mob wanted to kill the girl in the first place? Because she is believed to have witnessed a massive weapons exchange. Now we have crime. So, I can now present the bad guys, and the lawful group that chases them. The latter is a specialized task force, comprising members of Public Safety Canada and the Canadian Security Intelligence Service, working with the coastguards of both Ontario and the United States.

No good novel wins a prize or gain many readers without a constellation of characters—some nice, some bad—who interact with the main personas by importing a few of their problems. There is the son of a business man who is anxious to make quickly much more money than his father ever did in his life and in doing so he becomes an arms dealer; there is a very young woman who, not confident in the understanding of her family, tries to solve her problems by herself—and so she goes from one perilous situation to another; there is a seven-year old kid who looks for a father figure…

All these events, situations and characters have to tie in together, making the story flow without a glitch.

I hope I have done just that!



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