“Meet my Character” is a new blog hop similar to the speculative fiction blog hop, only that it allows a writer to introduce a particular character.
I already took part in this blog hop, introducing Holly di Marco from the Shattered Empire books, back in October, but since there were no takers for this weekend, I decided to do it again.
Some previous entries may be found in this round-up post at the Speculative Fiction Showcase. But today, I’m taking over the baton from Kyra Halland who introduced her character Lainie Banfrey last week.
So who is Kyra Halland? She is the writer of the Daughter of the Wildings weird western series and she lives in southern Arizona. Complicated, honorable heroes; heroines who are strong, smart, and all woman; magic, romance, and adventure; and excursions into the dark corners of life and human nature mixed with a dash of offbeat humor – all of these make up her worlds. She has a very patient husband, two less-patient cats, and two young adult sons. Besides writing, she enjoys scrapbooking and anime, and she wants to be a crazy cat lady when she grows up.
And now it’s time to meet my character:
His name is Richard Blakemore and he is entirely fictional.
2) When and where is the story set?
The story is set in New York City in the 1930s.
3) What should we know about him?
Richard Blakemore is a pulp fiction writer in Depression era New York. Just why he chose this particular profession is unknown. It’s certainly not for the money, because Richard is independently wealthy. No one is quite sure where that wealth comes from. He certainly didn’t earn it by writing pulp novels, because half a cent per word doesn’t make anybody wealthy.
Like most pulp writers, Richard can write pretty much every genre (though he does feel a bit awkward about writing romance), but his main work is a series about the adventures of the Silencer, a masked crimefighter who takes on the underworld and protects the downtrodden, motivated by the urge to make up for a criminal past.
However, Richard doesn’t just write about the Silencer, he actually dons the Silencer’s cloak, steel mask, fedora and silver-plated twin .45 automatics and goes out to fight crime.
The main source of conflict are obviously Richard’s nocturnal activities, because normal and well adjusted people don’t become costumed crimefighters. Plus, there is the pressure of living a double life and keeping it hidden from everybody except for those closest to him.
What is more, his nocturnal activities bring Richard to the attention of both the criminals the Silencer busts and the police who don’t take too kindly to a guy with a mask infringing upon their territory. Even worse, in his pulp writer persona Richard is close friends with Captain Justin O’Grady of the NYPD, who suspects that Richard might be the Silencer and is only too eager to prove it.
But Richard’s activities don’t just put himself at risk, but also those who are near and dear to him such as his butler/chauffeur/friend and occasional helper Neal Cassidy and his fiancé, socialite Constance Allen. Constance and Richard fell in love, after the Silencer saved her from a villain known as the Scarlet Executioner, and she is one of the very few people who know the Silencer’s true identity.
Finally, Richard is a pulp writer and trust me, deadlines in the pulp era were brutal.
At one point, Richard actually finds himself unmasked and accused of a murder he did not commit (for once, because the Silencer has few scruples about killing, if it cannot be prevented). He is even found guilty and finds himself facing the electric chair, but is saved at the last minute by… – well, you’ll have to read the book to find out.
Richard wants to fight crime and injustice and protect the poor and the downtrodden whom the police cannot or will not protect.
Living in Depression era New York, Richard sees poverty and desperation around him every day. And he sees criminals preying on hardworking people who only want to make a living and provide for themselves and their families. Many people see what Richard sees, but unlike most he doesn’t want to look away.
At first, he thought that writing about what he saw and writing about it in the pulp magazines that people are actually reading instead of leatherbound tomes that few can afford would be enough. But it wasn’t, so he donned the mask and costume of the Silencer to go out and do something about it.
Richard always operates out of a sense of guilt to atone for sins of his past, which he won’t talk about, not even to Constance. There are hints that he wasn’t always fighting on the side of the angels and that he was once a criminal very much like those he is fighting now.
It’s not a novel, but a series of novelettes, the Silencer series. The first story, in which Richard faces the electric chair for a crime he did not commit and has to clear his name is called Countdown to Death. Further stories in the series are Flying Bombs, The Spiked Death, Elevator of Doom, The Great Fraud and Mean Streets and Dead Alleys with more stories forthcoming. The next one has the working title Crossroads of the World. The books are available at all major e-book stores and there’s also a handy bundle available exclusively at DriveThruFiction.
7) When was the book published?
The first Silencer novelettes were electronically published in 2011, the last one to date came out in the summer of 2014. Some of the stories are reprints of stories published in various magazines in the early 2000s.
And next week? Actually, there is no next week at the moment, because we have no takers. If you’d like to take part in the “Meet My Character” blog hop, please contact me.
ETA: We skipped a week, but on Sunday, March 15, I will hand over the baton to Genevieve McKay.
Genevieve Mckay is a freelance writer, short story author, and first time novelist. She lives on the West coast with her two and four-legged family in the wilderness. When she isn’t busy creating new worlds she enjoys playing outside, riding horses and preparing for the zombie apocalypse.