This month our blogs feature character interviews. I have chosen two secondary characters from Book 1 of my Roses & Rebels series. Clement, a known gossip regarding other people’s business, is more circumspect about revealing anything about himself. He is being interviewed by the fiery-haired serving wench, Lydia, with whom he has maintained a long-term dalliance. This is not a formal interview, but more along the line of pillow talk, a time when I believe Clement would be a little more relaxed and open up a bit, especially with someone he has known for some time and trusts to keep his secrets.
Clement takes on a greater role in Book 2 of my series. Fortunately, we get this rare opportunity to listen in and learn who the real man is behind that charming façade.
Lydia: Are you happy?
Clement: Ma chérie, of course I am happy. You always satisfy me.
Lydia: That is not what I meant. Behind your smile, I always sense sadness. Tell me honestly, have you ever been truly happy?
Clement: Maybe when I was a little boy, when my mother was alive. She loved me and we spent many happy hours together. Unfortunately, the plague claimed her life.
Lydia: That was years ago. Certainly you have known moments of joy since.
Clement: My father was old when I was born. He tolerated me when my mother was alive, but, after her death, he made it clear that I was nothing more than a nuisance. He wished I had never been born. And now that my family is gone and I am alone in the world, it is even more difficult to be happy for I know not whether anyone cares If I live or die.
Lydia: I understand your pain, for I too am an orphan. You know that I care for you.
Clement: It’s not the same. I pay you to care.
Lydia: What do you believe would make you happy?
Clement: I imagine I could never be truly happy unless the manor I was to inherit is restored to me. But the chances of that happening are nigh impossible.
Lydia: What about a wife and children? Could they make you happy?
Clement: Unlikely. I think my ability to love another was beaten out of me at a young age. A wife and children would be more of a burden unless she came with a huge dowry.
Lydia: It sounds to me like you are afraid to be happy. What are you afraid of?
Clement: My inheritance was ripped away from me under false pretenses, and the money left by my father will not last forever. I have already lost my standing among the gentry. I fear when the money runs out, I will sink into poverty and obscurity.
Lydia: Poverty does not have to be your fate. You could learn a trade.
Clement: I was not born to soil my hands. Nor could I abide facing my old peers under such humiliating circumstances.
Lydia: I hear a lot of anger in your voice. What do you find intolerable in other people?
Clement: Goodness, for I do not trust it. It is just a guise for deceit, to get you to let down your defenses so you do not suspect the coming betrayal.
Lydia: You are so callous for one so young. Do you have any regrets?
Clement: None. Only fools have regret, ma chérie. No one cared one whit about stealing from me or treating me as less. Why should I regret doing the same to another? I shall do whatever it takes to make my way in the world. Heaven help the dastard that gets in my way.
Lydia: I hope one day you find what you are seeking.
This first book in the Roses and Rebels series will be published late 2022 or early 2023. Stay tuned for the pub date!
C.V. Lee writes historical biographical fiction featuring forgotten heroes and heroines of the past. She is a member of the Historical Novel Society, Alli, and a founding member of Paper Lantern Writers. You can find her on Facebook @cvlee.histficwriter and on Instagram @cvleewriter.