BLOG: A Father's Perspective
[Note: This is the sixth in a series of blogs exploring the characters, writing process, and behind the scenes of THOUGHTS & PRAYERS.]
When I first start to think about a character, I write a brief biographical sketch to get to know and understand the person. Some of this bio ends up in the novel, and some doesn’t.
As a character, Mike Moran was fun to write, especially the scenes when the tough guy melts in the presence of his daughter and when his love for his wife causes him to do things he otherwise wouldn’t have agreed to. Although I’m a woman writing from a husband/father’s point of view, I can imagine Mike’s motivations and his emotions because I’ve known a few hard-headed men like him in my time! Writers are observers, and we live vicariously through our characters.
A retired Army colonel and an engineer by training, he takes a problem-solving approach to life. He’s a guy prone to action, not one to ponder a decision too long or dwell on nuance. He gets things done. Even though his tours of duty in Iraq left him with anxiety and bad memories, he never sought counseling. It was too touchy-feely and that’s not what real men do.
He works for a defense contractor in a similar job to what he did in the military. His salary, combined with his Army pensions, afford his family a comfortable suburban lifestyle.
An expert marksman, Mike owns several pistols, rifles and an AK47, and enjoys shooting for fun at ranges. A supporter of the second amendment, he believes guns are necessary to protect his home and family in the event of a home invasion or rioting. He wonders if there may be some truth to the allegation that the New Town school shooting never happened, just fake news and a hoax dreamed up by the gun control nuts.
His marriage to Lisa is traditional; she’s a stay-at-home mom and runs the household with military efficiency. Mike very much cares what Lisa thinks and her happiness is important to him. They have three children. Older son Connor has followed in his father’s footsteps and is stationed in the Army in Germany. Younger son Patrick is still in college, and Mike worries that his professors are indoctrinating him with liberal ideas.
Their daughter Caitlyn, their surprise baby, much younger than her two brothers, is his princess. He always thought he wanted only sons until she came along. He thinks everything she does is amazing. He finds it hard to deny her anything, a source of argument between him and his wife. He thinks she is the prettiest, smartest, most lovable girl ever. Caitlyn has this tough guy wrapped around her finger.
He likes to be in control, but when Caitlyn is shot, he’s thrown into a situation he can’t control. He couldn’t protect his daughter when she was in school, and that makes him angry, but also ashamed. His warrior instincts kick in. He wants justice—and revenge.