Meet the characters of Firebrand
In my previous post I mentioned I’ve written three short stories that explore the backstories of certain characters from my novel–today I’d like to introduce you to them, as well as some of the rest of the cast! (The ages noted are how old the characters are at the beginning of Firebrand, in 1860.)
Firebrand is told from two alternating perspectives. Meet the protagonists:
Saoirse (Seer-sha) Callahan is a fifteen-year-old Irish girl who lives with her broken family in north Texas. She wants nothing more than to see her family whole again, but her independent spirit and quick tongue often hurt more than help matters. She’s also a secret abolitionist, and when she’s not sneaking out to forbidden prayer meetings with the enslaved men and women of Brookfield, she dreams of ways to see her best friend Abigail set free.
Westleigh Kavanagh, also fifteen, lives in western Pennsylvania. Orphaned at birth, he was raised by the local bachelor sheriff, and knows very little about his birth-parents. He’s a quiet, idealistic boy who struggles between his desire to go to college and see the world, and his fear of leaving his adoptive father, David, alone. Westleigh tends to see the best in everyone, and is trusting to a fault.
Other characters (by location):
Declan Callahan: Saoirse’s older brother, age eighteen. Declan is a taciturn and ill-tempered, and spends most of his time away from home working for their neighbor, Nathan Reeves. Declan and Saoirse have never gotten along well, but their relationship is all but irreparable since their brother Aidan died. They blame each other for what happened, but nobody seems to be willing to face the truth.
Brian Callahan: Saoirse and Declan’s father, age thirty-six. In Ireland, Brian was a landlord. Now he struggles with a dying farm and a mountain of debt, both inherited from his brother. Once a proud man, Brian now spends most of his time locked in his study with his whiskey, leaving his nephew to run the farm.
Caitríona Callahan: Saoirse’s mother, age thirty-five. Cait is as fragile as she is beautiful. She rarely leaves her room, unable to cope with the loss of her son, or their life in Ireland. She tries to be a mother to her children, but she hardly knows how to handle her far more spirited daughter, and she cannot bear the painful reminder of Aidan’s loss every time she sees Declan.
Jack Callahan: Saoirse’s cousin, age twenty. Half Cherokee, half Irish, Jack’s father was Brian’s older brother. Now an orphan, it’s up to Jack to help his uncle and cousins adjust to life in Texas, and keep the farm from falling into ruin. Not quite fitting in wherever he goes, Jack mostly keeps to himself, when he’s not busy keeping Saoirse out of trouble.
Abigail: Saoirse’s friend, age twenty. Abigail is the sister Saoirse never had, but she’s also living in bondage on the Callahan’s farm. She wasn’t born in slavery, but she keeps her past closely guarded. Only Jack–her secret sweetheart–knows the whole truth. Calm and wise, Abigail is the spiritual leader of those that meet in the woods for forbidden prayer meetings. Nothing seems to frighten her–except for her former master…
Nathan Reeves: The Callahans’ neighbor, and wealthiest man in Dove Hollow. Age forty-two. Nathan Reeves is also the Callahans’ landlord, and is overly concerned with how his tenants run their farm. He’s constantly sticking his nose into everyone’s business, and has a special grudge against Jack Callahan. He appears harmless on the outside, but Jack and Abigail know better.
DOVE HOLLOW, PENNSYLVANIA
David Kavanagh: Westleigh’s adoptive father, age thirty-six. David is an Irish-born former sailor who retired from a wild life on the sea to focus on raising Westleigh. Though he is a generous and good-humored man, David remains a mystery even to those closest to him, and rarely talks about his life before coming to America.
Allison Horner: Westleigh’s best friend, age seventeen. Allison is the mayor’s mischievous son, and is usually found dragging Westleigh along to whatever trouble he’s causing. He’s oftentimes silly, always friendly, and fiercely loyal to his friends.
Lucy Bischoff: Thirty-two years old, Lucy is the unmarried daughter of the local pastor, and the town’s unlikely physician. She is intelligent, confident, and kind. She’s the closest thing Westleigh has to a mother, and has been a good friend to David for fifteen years, but Westleigh sees something more between them (though neither want to admit it).
That’s all for now! There are more characters I’d love to introduce you to, but you know, spoilers and all.
Don’t forget to check back Monday for the release of David’s story: The Outcast!