April first brings with it an almost irresistible temptation to play a prank. Spoiler Alert: This is not an April Fools joke. I’ve never been particularly successful at pulling one off, so I’m not going to try here. What I am going to do is give you the opening lines of chapter 1 of The Chechen’s Revenge.
The time frame for the chapter is the first day of April. The location is downtown Ottawa, not far from Canada’s Parliament Buildings.
“It was an odd time to be in the downtown business section, unless perhaps one was homeless. So early in fact, that the public transportation system had not yet begun its daily runs. There was no activity on O’Conner Street, seen from the dark shadows of an alleyway where a very tall, lithe, dark haired man had already been standing for nearly half an hour on April Fool’s Day. The time was approaching 5 AM, fairly early even for him, especially on a weekend day, despite the fact he preferred to run before dawn most days. With no schedule calling for his immediate attention; he was no fool. This man was deliberate and not homeless.”
These few lines are the very first description of Sean-Guy O’Dwyer-Lariviere, though his identity is not revealed until a bit later in the chapter. I have to admit that I chose the date of April First as a bit of caprice. I really did want to portray Sean-Guy as a no nonsense sort of character. Yet at the same time, I thought his character should also be a bit out of the ordinary. After all, what sort of person would be found loitering in a darkened alley well before the business of the day got under way.
When I began writing The Chechen’s Revenge I wanted to create a principled character of strength. That’s important I think for an action-adventure type of novel. And I wanted a character who could not be immediately identified as a particular type of person. He needed to be just a bit conflicted, independent, inclined to do things his own way.
I think I managed to do that. I’d love to hear what you think.
I trust you’ll have a fun April Fool’s Day. May your pranks be successful.
Ron Stotyn, PhD