Many of you who have read the second in the Tales of Larkin series, Larkin’s Journal, have mentioned that one of your favorite characters in the book is Fernie. I know some of you are wondering where I came up with Fernie and why I waited till the last one-third of the book to put him in the story.
I might as well admit it; Fernie was an after-thought. In my original story idea, I did not have a character like Fernie. He actually came from a suggestion that my daughter Natalie made to me after one of our family “Larkin Nights.” I had just finished reading some new chapters to the family, and we were a little over half-way through the book. Natalie came up to me and said something like, “Dad, I love the story, but it’s been pretty intense for several chapters. I think you need a funny character like Eldan to lighten things up a bit.”
I always try to listen to my best fans when they give criticism or make suggestions, but Larkin’s Journal is a prequel to book one and takes place three hundred years before Eldan was born. I had seen some videos and read some articles about Down’s syndrome kids who were really an inspiration to me. So after thinking about it for a while, I decided to develop a really happy, fun-loving character who was mentally challenged. The more I worked to develop Fernie’s character, the more I fell in love with him.
As I worked Fernie into the story, his character sort of took on a life of its own in my mind. A lot of the time, I didn’t know what was going to come out of Fernie’s mouth until he said it. I will have to admit that that there were several times that, as I was writing what Fernie was saying, I had to stop typing and just laugh. [I got some real strange looks from the family on those occasions.]
Even as I write this, I have to smile just thinking about Fernie. He’s annoying, irritating, and irresponsible, but you’ve got to love him. Fernie made writing the last one-third of the book so much fun. He’s a favorite in our family, and he gets quoted regularly.
I would be happy to answer any questions you may have about Fernie or any of my other characters. Just leave me a comment. Also, if you haven’t signed up to get my blogs, please take this opportunity to subscribe. It’s as easy as clicking the button.
Blessings to all and have a Great Thanksgiving!