The character who started it all

Updated: Apr 18, 2020

My own modest rendition. Note the characteristic cane and wide-brimmed hat. He casts an aviary shadow.
Hand-Drawn Sparrow

I think that the single most important element in any story is an interesting character. Not just interesting, but relatable, realistic, and unique. The reader won't become invested in the story unless she cares about the protagonist.

Hopefully, you will all care about Sparrow.

I read a lot and have grown to care about dozens of interesting characters. Jack Reacher, Harry Dresden, Honor Harrington - the list could go on forever. I think it is only natural that an author's protagonist reflects his own qualities and limitations, and models his own personality. It's also natural to create a protagonist who is undefeatable, especially in his element.

Sparrow, as I have mentioned in other posts, emerged from a fantastic Dungeons & Dragons campaign that I was playing with a multi-cultural mix of friends while I lived in Egypt. Initially, we wanted the campaign to be about criminal enterprise - clever heists, daring robberies. The other characters were a muscled enforcer and a sharp-shooting gunslinger. My role was to be the leader, the fast-talker, and the planner.

And so Sparrow was created. For those of you who are familiar with D&D, he's a gnome and a bard. He distracts people with songs and slippery speeches, and he loves to trick people with his magical illusions. Sometimes, he was so clever that he surprised all of us.

But what define him best are not his abilities, but his flaws. Despite several successful adventures with the other characters, he doesn't call them "friends." He keeps everyone at an arm's-length, whether from paranoid distrust, or simply low expectations for their camaraderie.

He is impetuously curious, and frequently finds himself in strange and dangerous situations just by following up on some mysterious and tantalizing clue. But given enough time to create a plan, he can be more dangerous than the most deadly of foes.

And he is small. I know we all dream about being strong, smart, and successful, but that's not always our destiny. Sparrow knows what it's like to be bullied, threatened, and generally out-classed by larger and stronger people.

Finally, he loves his food and drink. This is simply my own nature, exposed in print. If my books can't make you hungry, then I don't know why I'm still writing them.

Sparrow will also be posting in this blog. Frankly, he's a better storyteller than I am. I hope you enjoy your visit to this page, and I also hope you will check out our books on Amazon!

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