Meet the Character Blog Tour
The fascinating and amazing Sarah A. Hoyt tagged me to participate in this Meet the Character Blog Tour. Her entry can be found here: http://accordingtohoyt.com/2014/09/08/meet-the-character/, introducing Seraphim Ainsling, the Duke of Darkwater. From all accounts, he is a stern personality who has a grim job as a witchfinder.
How could I resist a chance like that? It sounded like a bunch of fun to introduce you to one of my main characters. Each of them is someone I like very much. Every one of them would make good telling, but whom to choose? Well, I could hardly allow Sarah’s Duke to outrank mine, so may I present to you Lord Thomas Innes Loche Kinago, cousin to Emperor Shojan XII, hero (especially in his own mind) of View From the Imperium and the very newly released Fortunes of the Imperium, both from Baen Books?
Is he fictional or historical?
Thomas is fictional, but he has many historical literary forebears. It’s impossible to ignore the relationship that he has to Bertie Wooster, created by the inimitable and marvelous P. G. Wodehouse, in such outings as Pride of the Woosters and What Ho! Jeeves. But although he seems as overbred and feckless as young Bertie, there is a serious side to him that he inherits from another notable ancestor of equally noble rank, Lord Peter Wimsey, created by Dorothy L. Sayers.
When and where is the story set?
In the Imperium, ten thousand years from now. Humanity has spread out among the stars. Earth is no longer the center of human life. In fact, no one now is really sure where it is.
Naturally, human beings have encountered other alien races. Some of them they have learned to cooperate and cohabit with, on those planets that have proved viable for life, such as Wichus, Uctus, Croctoids and several other species. The Uctu Autocracy, where a little over half the action takes place during Fortunes of the Imperium, has been an ally or an enemy on and off for centuries. Others yet, such as the Kail, hate human beings and want them all dead. But I digress.
Thomas’s home planet is Keinolt, center of the Core Worlds and home to the Emperor, in the city of Taino. In Fortunes, he also visits Way Station 46, and Dilawe, home system of the Uctu Autocrat, Visoltia.
What should we know about him?
Thomas is a cheerful soul full of bonhomie, big plans and enthusiasms. When he adopts a new hobby, he throws himself into it body and soul. The Kinago family is ridiculously wealthy, so Thomas can indulge himself with impedimenta appropriate to his new enthusiasm, lessons, books, historical artifacts, or whatever else he wants. His previous enthusiasm was photography, for which he bought numerous cameras and processing equipment and programs. Thomas dropped photography without a backward glance in favor of superstitions. He has an impressive collection of old tomes and devices for divination. He has also designed a few of his own.
He is more than willing to share his interests with others. Does he go too far? Often. Therefore, he needs his Jeeves, an imposing presence with good sense and many, many connections among the powers that be, to pull him out of the trouble into which he blunders. That person is Commander Parsons, an old friend of the family. He has served with both Thomas’s father, Rodrigo, and his mother, Tariana Kinago Loche, who also happens to be First Space Lord and master of the Imperium space navy.
Thomas and Parsons are assigned a small scout craft and a crew of junior officers who work as a team to fulfill the tasks set them by the Emperor, Thomas’s mother, and the mysterious Mr. Frank, who is the head of covert services in the Imperium.
What is the main conflict? What messes up his/her life?
Peace was declared between the Autocracy and the Imperium only a few years before the action in Fortunes takes place. The relationship between the two interstellar nations is still tenuous. Thomas has been tasked by his cousin the emperor to approach the new Autocrat of two years to try and open up the borders between them. The holdup on allowing merchant ships in particular to pass speedily through has become ridiculously long, up to months in some cases. This has resulted in many merchants having to abandon the Autocracy as a customer base. Others, who have no choice but to finish the trip and sell their goods, are angry at the inexplicable delay. To the shock of both governments, some ships have been found to be carrying dangerous contraband, weapons of war. In the Autocracy, this means death.
On top of all that, Thomas is forced to bring with him on the journey his cousin, Lady Jil Nikorunhorn, who has gotten herself in trouble back on Taino by insulting a known crime lord to his face. Jil needs to leave town for a while. It wouldn’t have been so bad if she had come by herself, but she has brought along a gaggle of friends, some of whom seem intent on Thomas as a marriage prospect.
What is the personal goal of the character?
At first, Thomas means to study the reactions that superstitions have on people. He is very interested in the trappings and practices, but at heart, he doesn’t believe in them. He also wants to succeed in this mission for his cousin. In this era, the nobility has become rather useless, not much more than a gene pool from which the next emperor or empress will rise. Thomas has discovered that it is good to be useful. He has also discovered people who need him to rescue them, and he throws his whole heart into that goal. He is a man of honor, and deeply believes in the duty of the noble house to protect its people.
Is there a working title for this novel, and where can we read more about it?
Fortunes of the Imperium has been published as of September 2nd by Baen Books. At Baen.com, you will find on its home page “An Imperium Pursuit,” a short story featuring Thomas and several of his cousins and his younger sister, Lionelle. Enjoy it!
As I was late in getting out my invitations to my fellow writers, I’m not going to tag them out loud yet. I will add them to this post as they reply.
And here are two of them now! Please let me introduce Jennifer Brozek, in her own words:
Jennifer Brozek is an award-winning author and editor. She has been professionally writing role-playing games and fiction since 2004. With the number of different projects she juggles at one time, Jennifer is often considered a Renaissance woman, but prefers to be known as a wordslinger and optimist. Read more about her at her website: www.jenniferbrozek.com or follow her on Twitter at @JenniferBrozek.
And my dear friend, Laura Anne Gilman:
Laura Anne Gilman is the author of the popular Cosa Nostradamus novels, and the Nebula award-nominated Vineart War trilogy, plus many short stories and novellas. Her next fantasy novel, Silver on the Road, will be published by Simon & Schuster in 2015. Ms. Gilman also writes mysteries under the name L.A. Kornetsky. Find her thoughts at ℑhttp://www.lauraannegilman.net/blog-home/
And another very dear friend, Chris Quinton:
Chris started creating stories not long after she mastered joined-up writing, somewhat to the bemusement of her parents and her English teachers. But she received plenty of encouragement. Her dad gave her an already old Everest typewriter when she was ten, and it was probably the best gift she’d ever received – until the inventions of the home-computer and the worldwide web. Chris’s reading and writing interests range from historical, mystery, and paranormal, to science-fiction and fantasy, writing mostly in the male/male genre. She refuses to be pigeon-holed and intends to uphold the long and honourable tradition of the Eccentric Brit to the best of her ability. In her spare time [hah!] she reads, embroiders, quilts and knits. Over the years she has been a stable lad [briefly] in a local racing stable and stud, a part-time and unpaid amateur archaeologist, a civilian clerk at her local police station and a 15th century re-enactor. She lives in a small and ancient city in the south-west of the United Kingdom, sharing her usually chaotic home with an extended family, three dogs, a frilled dragon [lizard] and sundry goldfish and tropicals. Her website is: http://chrisquinton.com
Look for their “Meet the Character” entries next Monday.