Everybody wants to be liked, right? Would you say that goes for fictitious characters as well? Not necessarily.
Initially, Daniel Eames, my own 8th great uncle, was going to be the protagonist of Letters to Kezia, and even though he was a bit of a rake, I hoped my reader would still root for him. As it happened, the female character took center stage. Similarly, I didn’t want her to have all the personality of a cardboard cutout and I hope I was successful in bringing some dimension to all my characters. That, as a writer, is one of my biggest challenges.
I try to give my characters flaws; selfish, impatient, crude, whatever. It’s so fun to breathe life into a fictitious character! I consider mannerisms and habits. I imagine my reader seeing in her mind’s eye my character in full period attire scowling, crying, desperately holding back laughter. If a reader tells me, “I can see everything happening in my mind,” I know I’ve done my job!
When I was younger, I wrote very wishy-washy stories where everyone lived happily ever after because I didn’t want to be too hard on my characters! Isn’t that silly? They’re my characters to do with as I wish! So it really helped my writing when I decided to flesh out my characters and make them more human.
So, as you read Letters to Kezia, I hope your mind will be filled with images of Colonial Connecticut. I want you to see the people, smell the campfire smoke, feel the rough-hewn wood, taste the venison and hear the birdsong. If I’ve succeeded, I hope you’ll decide to check out my first novel, Puritan Witch, and look for my continuing stories in The Puritan Chronicles!
About the Author
PENI JO RENNER is the author of the IPPY award-winning novel, Puritan Witch: the Redemption of Rebecca Eames. Originally from North Dakota, Peni now lives with her husband in Maryland where she is currently researching for the third book in the Puritan Chronicles series.
About the Book
It is 1693 in Hereford, Connecticut, when Mary Case, the spinster daughter of a Puritan minister, finds herself hopelessly smitten by the roguish thief, Daniel Eames. Betrothed to a man she does not like or love, she is soon compelled to help Daniel escape from jail. Suddenly, she finds herself on the run, not only accused of being Daniel’s accomplice, but also of murder.
The fugitive pair soon finds solace-and a mutual attraction-among the escapee’s Algonquin friends until two men from Daniel’s dark past hunt them down. After Mary is captured and returned home to await trial, a tragedy takes the life of her younger sister, revealing a dark secret Mary’s father has kept for months. But just as Mary learns she is pregnant, she makes a horrifying discovery about Daniel that changes everything and prompts her to develop an unlikely bond with his mother, Rebecca, who soon saves Mary from a shocking fate. It is not until years later that her daughter, Kezia, finally learns the truth about her biological father and family.
Letters to Kezia shares a courageous woman’s journey through a Puritan life and beyond as she struggles with adversity and betrayal, and discovers that loyalty can sometimes mean the difference between life and death.