December 16, 2013 by Jen Cudmore
What can I say about Raymond? A lot! He’s one of my favorite characters (although I freely admit I’m partial to them all). He’s much different from my other protagonists because he’s much younger and more immature. With my Blue Heaven Romance, The Whispers of Angels, I wanted to show a different take on romance.
Physical features: average height and build, rather thin, blond hair.
Personality: Shy and reserved to everyone but family, doesn’t have much but he’s content, protective and loyal to his family, takes on responsibility at a young age, limited understanding of life because he’s a loner.
Backstory: Dad abandoned him before he was born, his mom struggled to survive until she remarries. Raymond’s stepdad doesn’t like him and often gets rough with him and his mom. The photo above is similar to what I picture of the Foss family home (I cannot read the credit on the image, so if you can, let me know so I can site the photographer. I found the image on Pinterest. Thanks!)
Creative Process: Initially I envisioned a young boy in baggy overalls walking down a dirt road with a toddler on his shoulders. His other siblings walked along with him, listening to his jokes and stories. He appears happy, but he’s really quite nervous about his mother’s sickness, which is why he’s heading to town to find the doctor. (This exact scene wasn’t needed in the story, since it technically happened prior to chapter 1.)
Very few teenage boys enjoy spending much time with little kids, which makes Raymond different. He’s had such a hard life that I wanted to give him something special to make up for it, so I gave him Eliza. But it couldn’t come easy or he might not appreciate her as much. Just like in real life, his struggles could either make him stronger or he could fail. Raymond is drawn to Eliza, his pretty neighbor, but being near her terrifies him. He doesn’t want to see her disapproval, and when she insists on being friendly, he doesn’t know how to talk with her. Over time, he begins to understand true love. You can read more about Eliza here.
Raymond’s greatest quality is that he encourages readers (and the author!) who had an easier life to be grateful and not take their circumstances for granted. It could always be worse. If you hang in there, the good will come to you.
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