Introcucing the characters in my WIP Frienemies.
First up is my protagonist, Fawn Jackson. As the story opens she is seventeen years old in the year 1873. Her father was caucasian; her mother was Shawnee. Her brother, Gray Eagle, looked Shawnee but chose to follow his father’s culture as far as lifestyle and religion, but his room was decorated with Shawnee blankets, pottery, and emblems. Gray and his father were killed during the Civil War.
Fawn looked like her father with the red hair of his Irish ancestors, the freckles, and inherited the combined temperament of both of her parents. She is a mixture of insecurity and determination, stubborness, resentment, and good manners. She clings to the Shawnee religion, wanting to identify with a mother she never felt connected to.
Nana, her father’s mother, lives with her. Nana is severely arthritic at the age of sixty-five. As with Fawn, she has suffered the loss of her son, her grandson, and most recently, her daughter-in-law.
Fawn and Nana live in Lerona, West Virginia, in a hollow (pronouced holler by West Virginians), which means a rift or seam between two mountain peaks. All of the property in the hollow is owned by Senator Jeb Browning. The land was cheap after the Civil War and the newly elected senator bought up the property to keep developers from taking over. He grew up there and wants it preserved.
There are minerals in those mountains: coal, natural gas, and the possibility of other ores and minerals. The mineral rights all belong to the residents of the hollow.
As the story opens Fawn is attending a finishing school in Richmond, Virginia. The tuition was paid by the senator per an agreement he made with Fawn’s father as he lay dying on the battlefield. Fawn knows nothing of this arrangement and she feels like a charity case–and hates it. Senator Browning promised Fawn’s father, in a signed document which is in his files in his office on his ranch, that Fawn, her mother, and Nana would be taken care of. Fawn’s father had given the senator a piece of paper authorizing him access to the family coffers, which are in a bank in town.
While she is at school Fawn receives a telegram that she is urgently needed at home. Her mother has been in an accident.
What do you think you would do if you were suddenly thrust into the position of having to find work to care for an ailing grandmother, take care of the gardening, the household chores, and try to find out what reall happened to your mother–all at the age of 17?