In case you’ve missed the previous two character spotlight posts, I’ve been introducing several of the main characters from my upcoming historical novel, Firebrand. Last week I posted about Saoirse and Westleigh, my two protagonists.
Today’s blog is all about Jack Callahan, who you might have met already in my short story, The Orphan. Enjoy!
“Listen to what I say, carefully. Abi’s safety—the safety of this entire family—means more to me than her freedom. Do you understand me?”
Jack was actually born Liam Gabriel Callahan on May 7, 1840 to Irishman Colin Callahan and his Cherokee wife, Nita. But since Colin and Nita couldn’t agree on what to call their son, he affectionately became known as “Jack.” Colin and Nita raised the boy on a small farm in northern Texas, where their land is bordered by a large plantation run by Colin’s longtime friend, Nathan Reeves, whom Jack calls “Uncle Nate.”
Sadly, Jack’s mother dies when he’s just ten years old. With no brothers or sisters, he alone helps his father on the failing farm, waiting for the day when Colin’s younger brother Brian will leave Ireland and bring his family to join them in Texas. (see Jack’s family tree in Saoirse’s post).
A few years later, a lonely Jack meets Abigail, the young woman who’s been kept locked away in Nathan Reeves’ house. The two become best friends, though Jack is horrified by the abuses she suffers at the hand of a man he thought he could trust. (Read more about Jack and Abigail in The Orphan.)
Jack’s uncle and cousins finally leave Ireland in 1857, but by the time they arrive in Texas, Colin has died. Jack goes alone to Galveston to retrieve his family and bring them back to Brookfield. But they are so broken by their own losses, it’s up to Jack to keep the farm running, even while the Callahans are deep in debt.
1860–Now, Jack keeps his head down and continues to work the farm, trying to save them all while he prays daily for the freedom of Abigail. But with his family’s arrival, Jack now has a new task: keep his spirited and outspoken cousin Saoirse from getting into trouble.
Most days Jack would want nothing more than to run away with Abigail and never look back–but his love for his family is too strong. And he would never do anything to put Abigail or his cousins in harm’s way.
Here’s a little more I’ve discovered about Jack. Not all of it might have made it into Firebrand, but there are three more books in which to unravel his character!
- 5 words to describe him: devoted, dependable, private, guardian, practical
- Best friends: Abigail, and his cousin Saoirse
- Favorite book: The Pilgrim’s Progress by John Bunyan
- Hobbies: hunting, working in his mother’s garden, spending time with Abigail
- Favorite quote: “He has told you, O mortal, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?.” – Micah 6:8 (NRSV)
- Wishes & Dreams: see Abigail freed, restore his father’s farm, raise a family
Now, if Jack were a modern young adult:
- Favorite YA novel: Holes
- Favorite app/site: Twitter
- Hogwarts House: Hufflepuff
- Fandom: Marvel
- Superhero: Wolverine
- Video game: Halo
- Disney/animated film: Monster’s Inc.
And finally, the top 5 songs on his iPod:
- Rock of Ages (hymn)
- Grace Like Rain by Todd Agnew
- Lay ‘Em Down by Needtobreathe
- Lift Up Your Face by Third Day
- I Am by Crowder