Nobody Said It Was Easy – A Q&A with Theodore Mullens

This weeks featured art is by photographer Leon Beu. It’s one of his personal favourites and it’s one of mine too. Click on the image to see more of his amazing work.

Developing a well-rounded character has been much harder than I had expected. The main character for A Gift from Aurth, Theodore Mullens, has been a bit of a tricky guy for me to figure out. I’ve done some posts with a general idea of who he is and a bit about what gives him drive but there is still so much more to learn about him.

Last week I sat down with Theodore and a coffee to do a Q&A exercise I found through Google. It was really beneficial because it gave me a better idea of who Theodore was, who he currently is and who he might become. Some of the questions got better answers then others. One question was, “Are you left handed or right handed?”. My answer for Theodore was just “Right,” which does not give me much to work with! I did, however, notice a theme starting to come up in some of the answers. When I put them all together it resulted in an revealing look into Theodore’s past. I’d like to share it with you.

TODD: Describe your earliest memory.

THEODORE: I remember the evening of a particularly hot summer day. Mom had kept the windows closed and blinds drawn to lock out the intensity of the sun’s heat. When it started to cool down outside, she opened the back and front doors to let the evening breeze blow through the house. I was lying in the hallway, cooling off in the crosswind she had made. She had settled down in her music room to play on her piano. Mom always spent her free time at her piano. I do not know what song she was playing, but it was as gentle as the air gliding across my face. At some point the smell of the breeze became sweeter, like someone had poured a cup of sugar into it. “Smells like a storm is coming,” she called to me. Rumbling in the distance confirmed it. The tempo of her song changed. It became the dark rolling clouds beginning to dominate the sky around us. Raindrops began to pour their rhythmic beat against the shingles of our house. I laid there all night, listening to my mom and the storm play out their songs.

TODD: When was the time you were most frightened?

THEODORE: One day when I was thirteen, I came home to an empty house after school. The moment I walked up to the door and did not hear any noise from inside, I knew something was wrong. It was a Tuesday and Mom taught piano lessons on Tuesdays. The house should have been alive with music. But instead, it was silent. Why wasn’t she home? My mom also had a part-time job at the grocery store in town. She sometimes switched shifts with her friend Donna as a favour, so I told myself that was what she was doing. It didn’t seem right, but it was the only explanation I could think of. I went into the music room and started to practice the song I was going to play at the recital she was organizing at the end of the month. I played for about an hour, thinking she would come through the back door at some point and tell me how proud she was of me for practicing, but she didn’t. I decided to try calling the store. She had told me not to call her there unless it was an emergency. Something about this felt like an emergency. When I called, Donna picked up. She had not heard from my mom all day, but told me she was sure Mom would be home any second. She wasn’t. At about seven I went over to our neighbours’ house to see if they had seen her. Mrs. Donaldson answered the door. I told her my mom was missing. She laughed at me and said she had seen my mom earlier in the day. She was sure Mom was just being held up somewhere in town. So Mrs. Donaldson invited me in and made me a sandwich while we waited. Sometime around nine, Mrs. Donaldson started to call people around town to see if anyone had seen her. At eleven she called the police. A day later, a farmer from out of town found my mom’s car and her body in his field. She had overdosed on a mixture of her medications.

TODD: What was your early relationship with your father like?

THEODORE: My father was not really my father until after my mom died and I was forced to go live with him. I’d barely had any contact with him before that. He had left my mom and I when I was a baby and he never really looked back. I think he had ideas of fixing our relationship when I moved in with him, but I was not ready. I had just lost the most important person in my life and now I was living with someone who had shown she was the least important person in his. Maybe it would have been different if he had acknowledged her or asked why I refused to keep playing the piano, but he didn’t. Instead, he took me to hockey games and on camping trips. Living with him was so different from living with my mom. He had so many rules and expectations. All he seemed to care about were my grades in school and whether or not my room was clean, but neither seemed to ever be good enough.

TODD: What is your most treasured possession?

THEODORE: I still own my mom’s piano. It sits in my living room as an untouched monument to a life no longer lived. I don’t play it. It’s been so long since I even sat at it, I’m not sure I even remember how to press a key.

TODD: What’s your favourite song?

THEODORE: When I was in high school my favourite band was Coldplay. They had a song come out called “The Scientist.” When I first heard it I immediately liked it because it features piano in the melody; that, of course, reminded me of Mom. Listening to the song made me feel sad but there was a sort of comfort in the sadness. It made me feel like she was there and we were still together at our old house. The sadness has not gone away. I still feel it just as I did then. I am okay with feeling it though. It’s all I have left of my relationship with her. If it goes away then she will go away too.

One Man with Ten Thousand Bodies – Jirard Vacher

TheCapinet_1050
‘The Cabinet’ comes from Juha Arvid Helminen’s series entitled ‘The Invisible Empire.’ In it he explores the division between people in uniforms and civilians. Click on the image to see the rest of the series.

There have been many people in our world who have been considered evil. They dominate civilizations and command with an asserted dictatorship over the lives of those they rule. What is often forgotten is these evil people rarely act alone. It takes a legion of devotees behind them to enforce their rules and commit their crimes. There is a dominating force in Aurth who is slowly gaining power over the magic in the world. I am not going to get into who that is just yet, but they have an army on their side of just one man. One man may not seem like much of a threat, but this one man is a man with ten thousand bodies. His name is Jirard and he has the gift of self-replication.

Name: Jirard Vacher

Age: 41

Gift: Self-Replication – Jirard is able to create multiple copies of himself. Each of his copies looks, sounds, acts and is every bit the same as the original. Each is able to interact with the world independently, but they are all connected via a telepathic link called the hive mind. This allows the replicas to communicate with each other silently and over great distances. Every replica is able to create additional replicas.

Physical description: Jirard’s body is coated in a black, oil-like substance that renders it impossible to make out any features on his face. When he talks you can see the movement of his mouth under the oil but no hole appears. The substance has hardened into a triangle-shaped sword on his left arm. It starts wide at his elbow and tapers up to a sharp point at the tip. He can use this extension of his body as a lethal weapon or as a defensive block against attacks.

He wears a black leather trench coat with torn-off sleeves (so his sword arm will fit through the arm hole), with black baggy trousers and buckled military boots. Jirard is not a big man, only about 5’5” and 140 pounds. He wears baggier clothing and big boots as a pathetic attempt to look larger.

Before Aurth: Jirard spent his adult life as a loner and vagabond wandering through the rural countryside of France during the end of the 1800s. He did not spend long in any town because he found it hard to find work. The villagers saw him as an ugly and disturbed man. He also carried a secret with him that made him feel uncomfortable staying anywhere for too long. Jirard was a serial killer who killed and tortured victims he found in the rural areas between towns, often the children of farmers working on their family’s land. He had been getting away with it for a number of years until he returned to a village where one of his victims had lived. Someone recognized him as a shady character from his past visit and alerted the authorities. After being captured, Jirard reveled in confessing to his crimes. He was soon executed without a trial.

Hobbies: Jirard takes a sadistic pleasure in killing and harming other things. Hunting Nims gives him a particular joy because they are so easy to take down.

His one love: Jirard only ever loved one woman in his life. She grew up in the same village as him. It started as a small crush, but over the years of watching her and following her, his feelings grew into love and, eventually, as it does for anyone who wants something they cannot have, an obsession. Though he longed to talk with her, he lacked the confidence to approach her or even let her know he existed. It’s not that she was an intimidating beauty or out of his social class; Jirard simply feared she would reject him. He had already been living a life of rejection from his family and classmates at school, and he could not bear to be rejected by her too. One day, when walking home from the store, he turned a corner and walked into her, falling to the ground. It was the sort of natural moment he had been waiting for to introduce himself, but before he could say anything, she started to laugh and walked away. Jirad had never felt so insignificant.

Favorite food: Jirard has an insatiable sweet tooth. He’s the sort of person who has a splash of coffee with their sugar in the morning. His preferred form of sugar is hard candies. He likes to bite down and crunch on the hard pieces instead of letting them slowly dissolve in his mouth.

Napoleon complex: Jirard has never been a leader or a winner. He is the youngest and smallest of eight boys. His older brothers were cruel to him, teasing him for being small and funny-looking. As he entered adolescence, Jirard did not grow to be any bigger than any of his brothers. His size and situation caused him to develop a complex, compensating for his size by being highly aggressive and dominating. He became easily provoked and was a bully to anyone or anything that was smaller than him. This behavior continued to get worse as he became an adult.

Role: Jirard is the henchman for the antagonistic force in Aurth. His army will be hunting and tracking Theodore as he travels through the world. What purpose would they have with a man who has no gift?

The Power and Colour of Carine

alekwek
When I saw this photo of model Alex Wek in Global Gathering for How To Spend It Magazine I immediately thought I was looking at a picture of Carine. The colour, the patterns, the hair, the pose… it’s all her. (Click on the photo to see the rest of the photoshoot. Styling by Damian Fox and Photography by Andrew Yee)

Carine is the last of Theodore’s companions for me to introduce you to. She meets Theodore with Jack when he first comes to Aurth. Carine and Jack have been in a relationship together for many years. In their partnership, she is the stability, providing a voice of reason and responsibility. Carine is a self-assured woman who does not depend on anyone for survival. I imagine her being a sort of feminist who sees herself as an equal to anyone. She would probably hate the fact that I brought up Jack in her introduction. So no more Jack or relationship talk – here are some character development facts about Carine.

Name: Carine Kinigi

Age: 28

Gift: Mass Manipulation – Carine can change the size of her body by increasing her mass. She can proportionally change her entire body or she can selectively change specific body parts. When she increases in size her overall strength also increases.

Physical Description: Carine is a Tutsi Rwandan from central Africa. Though her height can vary due to her gift, she is naturally tall and slender with long legs and arms. Her facial features are soft, petite and feminine. Her beauty belies the fierceness inside of her that empowers her to not back down to anyone or anything.

Fuchsia, lime green, electric blue, or orange – Carine loves vibrant colours. In her clothing she wears a kaleidoscope mix of colour and pattern. The outfits are an eclectic assortment of pieces she puts together, not because they match, but because she likes each individual piece. I see her wearing a shiny cropped kimono jacket, billowing harem pants, bright slippers and a colourful sash wrapped around her waist. She spends most of her time in the wilds of Aurth, so the clothes she wears often have some mud on them, and perhaps a few tears.

She thinks of her hair as a medium of self-expression. It changes with her moods and feelings. When Theodore meets her, she has her hair formed into three cones. One points back and the other two point to either side. It looks bizarre but she loves it.

Intricate golden markings of tribal patterns, flowers and words cover her skin. They are not paint or tattoos but organic metal extensions of her skin. If you were to run your hand along her arm it would feel like soft embossed leather. I say soft because her skin feels buttercream smooth. The same gold material has coated her lips and powdered her eyes.

Quirks/Hobbies: Carine has a fascination with anything weird and different. This includes people, animals, plants, art, food, clothing and anything else out of the ordinary. Normal is boring for Carine.

Her spirit animal: With this character I want to convey a demeanour of composure, strength and grace. I have this image in my mind of her being an eagle perched on the top of a dead tree; her only movements are her head scanning from left to right, surveying the grasslands around her. She is waiting for her prey to expose themselves in the grass below. When she has a clear target, she spreads her mighty wings and swoops down on her meal before the creature is even aware of her shadow.

In the A Gift from Aurth film, Carine would be played by Grace Jones because of her “I do what I want” attitude and avant-garde style.

Before Aurth: Carine lived with her family in rural Rwanda as cattle herders. She had been married to a man since she was 16 years old. They had three children together, two boys and a girl. She spent the majority of her time caring for her family and tending to their herd. Her family and home gave her an acceptable life and she loved them but she suppressed a strong sense of self to make it work. She found an outlet in her life by collecting fabrics from the market to alter her and her family’s clothing.

Political instability in Rwanda resulted in a cultural genocide of the Tutsi people in the mid-90s. Carine and her family were victims of this brutality. Her death at the hands of military extremists is how she found her way to Aurth.

Her biggest fear: Carine’s life had been a sequence of milestones determined for her by someone else. She recognized in her past how her gender, economic standing, marital status and culture all determined who she had to be. Even her death was decided at the hands of her murderer. Now that she is in Aurth, she has the freedom to become her own person and make her own decisions. Losing her freedom and returning to a life of powerlessness is her biggest fear.

Role: Carine’s responsible tendencies, her relationship with Jack and quick friendship with Theodore will bring the group together in an unexpected way early on in the story.

Character Development Exercise – Clarifying Characteristics Will Keep a Character Consistent and Believable

10characteristics

What words describe who you are?

I am optimistic, practical, critical, intuitive, empathetic, imaginative…

Our personalities are made up of characteristics that will consistently come up in the things we say and do. They make us into the unique individuals we are.

The same can be said for characters in a story.

I made lists of the 10 major characteristics my characters have as a reminder of who they are while I am writing how they interact with themselves and the world around them.

For example, Carine is very expressive so if something was bothering her she would naturally start to talk about it in a conversation. In contrast, Theodore is very reserved so he would likely bite his tongue in a similar situation.

Sometimes I have troubles while I am writing because I am not sure how a character would respond to the situation they are in or what they would say to someone. Clarifying their characteristics will help me keep everyone consistent and believable.

My Problem and How an Expert Storyteller Helped Me Solve It

Strangers_Blue
Strangers / Blue is by Spanish photographer Rocio Montoya. To see more of her work click on the image.


Lately, I’ve been having a problem with someone I’d thought I was close with. This problem has completely stalled my progression in writing A Gift from Aurth. The only way to deal with it is to hash it out with them now. If I don’t, the story will never get written. But you’ll never guess who the person is. His name is Theodore Mullens.

Yes, I’m afraid so. The person who is causing me all this grief is my own character! The problem I’m having with him is that we are actually not as close as I thought we were. I barely know the guy. Not knowing him well enough makes it hard to write a story about him. Seems kinda ludicrous, doesn’t it? I mean, I’m the one who made him up!

Creating a character is much harder than I thought it would be. There are many things I could tell you about Theodore. I know the year he was born, I can tell you his favourite subject in school and I could pick what he would eat off of any restaurant menu. But knowing bits of information about someone does not mean you actually know who they are. The facts I know are trivial parts of his life I could find out during our first conversation at a party where we’re forced to mingle for a few minutes. Though Theodore is a character in a story, he represents a person. People are far more complex and complicated than their surface-level selves. To write the story I want to write, I have to develop Theodore past the awkward party chit-chat and bond with him on the level of a childhood best friend. If I am unable to do this now, then you’ll stand no chance at it when it comes time to get to know him through reading the story.

How am I going to do this? Well, I have my work cut out for me. When I started writing this post I was hoping for a eureka moment. And I think I may have had it, thanks to an expert storyteller.

 A few weeks ago I posted a TED Talk by filmmaker Andrew Stanton. In his talk, he shares some of his tips to writing a great story. Stanton is the creator of box-office hits such as “Finding Nemo” and “WALL-E,” so the man knows what he is talking about. The first time I listened to him, I jotted down notes on basically everything he said. There was, however, one phrase I underlined and starred. He says, “All well-drawn characters have a spine.” The idea behind a character’s spine is that everyone has a subconscious goal that drives them forward. It determines the decisions, words and actions a character makes. Harry Potter’s is the courage to defend the people and things he believes in, Atticus Finch’s from “To Kill a Mockingbird” is equal justice for all and the White Rabbit’s from “Alice in Wonderland” is to not be late for his very important date.

So what Theodore Mullens needs is a spine. I’ve thought about this for a couple of days and I think what motivates Theodore is protection. Not a need to protect others, but instead a need to protect himself. My vision of him at the beginning of the story is someone who is guarded and reserved. He has a fear of appearing vulnerable around other people. He shields himself from his fear by not putting himself out there to experience new things or meet new people. I can’t, however, write an entire story about a guy walking around with two shields in his hands, repelling the world around him. Stanton again has a suggestion. He makes reference to the spine being a temperament that is likely unchangeable, but what can happen in the progression of the story is “recognizing it and owning it.” To me that means Theodore will always have his shields but he will have to learn to put them down sometimes so he can allow himself to experience the world around him. I am not exactly sure how that will work for Theodore just yet, but it has put me one step closer to solving my problem with him and working on our friendship.

This idea of a driving force in a character’s life isn’t limited to fiction. Characters are based on people, so real-life people – you and me – must have a dominant goal that drives us forward too. The best way for me to describe mine is as a positive force that compels me to constantly seek beauty in my life and for others. What do you think yours is? Share it in the comments or on Twitter.

Take a Moment to Smell the Flowers with Tony the Nim

HANNAH HÄSEKER
Photo by Hannah Häseker. Click on the image to see more of her work.

Do you remember Nims? They are the indigenous race of beings on Aurth who love to dance and craft costumes out of their natural surroundings. Before you continue reading this post, you should probably read my introduction to Nims. Check the post out here. The reason I’m bringing them up again is because I have another main character to share. His name is Tony. He is a Nim of Aurth and he is one of the companions who joins Theodore on his journey to find his gift.

Name: Tony gets its name from Theodore shortly after they meet. Naming individuals is not a part of the Nim culture. Nims simply refer to each other as “Nim.” Not having a name seems odd to Theodore so he begins calling it Tony because he thinks the name suits the little Nim.

Age: Tony is old – really old! Nims have eternal lives. They do not die from old age or sickness. They are, however, not indestructible. Nims can be injured and can be killed. Killing a Nim is an unimaginable act of brutality on Aurth. Since death is rare, most Nims have been alive for eons.

Gift: Nims do not have a gift from Aurth in the same way humans do. They do not have powers. Their gift is their existence and eternal life. Nims were made from the magic of Aurth. It gave them life and in a way, they are magic in a living form.

In the “A Gift from Aurth” film, Tony would be played by child actor Jonathan Lipnicki. He’s the cute kid with glasses from “Jerry Maguire” and “Stuart Little.” CGI magic and a motion action suit would be required to turn this kid into a glowing Nim.

Quirks: Tony is an amputee 🙁

Hobbies: Tony has a love for flowers. Their vibrant colours and wispy aroma fills it with joy. Anytime it comes across a blooming bud, it will stop to smell and admire the flower. It’s favourite colour is pink because it thinks pink flowers smell sweeter than flowers of other colours.

Tony is a collector. It will spend hours foraging for objects, such as pinecones or sea shells, to organize into groups of similar qualities such as size or pattern.

Since Tony is missing half of its left arm, it can no longer do many of the things it used to love. Climbing trees to hang and balance on branches is much harder now. It also cannot craft and weave together costumes with the other Nims. Not being able to create costumes means it cannot participate in Nim costume events at raves.

Physical Description: Tony is one of the smaller Nims at about 2’6”. Its skin is doughy and glows white like the light from a neon sign. Tony’s amputation is about halfway up its left arm. The wound did not heal properly, so the tip is tender and does not glow.

When Tony and Theodore meet, Theodore gives it a pair of sunglasses. Since Tony cannot make costumes like it did before, it wears the glasses with the confidence of a newly crowned prince. The other Nims are jealous.

Origin: Before meeting up with Theodore, Tony was in Nim hibernation under the forest floor. Nims can hide inside organic material such as tree trunks, carpets of moss, or even in the ground. When they start their slumber, the hibernation can last for many years. After losing its arm, Tony went into a depressive state. Being unable to participate in the Nim culture of costuming had a negative effect on Tony’s psyche. Nims are not familiar with emotional pain, so Tony was unable to process its feelings in a constructive way. Being unable to understand its feelings caused Tony to go into hibernation. It had been sleeping for a few years when the sound of a man stumbling over its patch of ground woke it up.

Are you curious to know why Tony is an amputee? When the time is right, I’ll tell you. The tale is not a cheery one. Keep checking back to see what I post next as I develop more of the “A Gift from Aurth” story.

Meets some of the other characters from “A Gift from Aurth”

Theodore Mullens
Shee the Teleporting Black Lioness
Jack the Fire Breathing Flirt 

Meet Shee the Teleporting, Black Lioness

lion
Photo edited from the original, by photographer, Dirk-Jan Kraan. Click on the photo to see more of Kraan’s photography.

The first Aurthian to come into contact with Theodore is Shee, the teleporting, black lioness. I have to stop myself from telling you about this initial encounter because it’s a HUGE spoiler! I will tell you though, the scene includes a traffic light, the sunset and blood. From this bloody sunset on, Shee is a loyal companion of Theodore during his journey through Aurth.

Within a pride, lionesses are the strength. Their role is to protect and provide for every lion who belongs to the pride. This is exactly what Shee is to the group traveling with Theodore. Not only does Shee provide physical strength, she also inspires strength in those around her with her heroic tendencies and a stoic demeanour. I have not mentioned any trouble in the story, but trouble is coming. When it does, you can be sure it is Shee who will be the first to react and protect those she cares for.

Name: Shee

Age: In cat years? Unknown.

Gift: Teleportation – Shee is capable of transporting herself from point A to point B without physically moving through the space between the two points. Not only can she teleport herself but she can also teleport other living things and non-living things. She does not need to make contact with what she is teleporting to teleport it. When teleporting, a flash of white light implodes in the spot where Shee had been. When she reappears, there is a flash of white light that explodes in the spot she is about to appear in. The same thing will happen with things she is teleporting.

In the A Gift From Aurth film Shee would be played by… Sarabi, Simaba’s mom, from Disney’s, “The Lion King.”

If Shee were a fruit she would be a… summer ripe cherry. (I wanted to be more descriptive in this analogy but it’s impossible to describe a cherry without seeming inappropriate!)

Hobbies: Like most cats, in Shee’s downtime she enjoys basking in the sun, deep stretching and stalking – Nims mostly. This stalking is more of a “hide-and-seek game”, then a, “hunt-and-consume” stalk.

Quirks: Shee has a tendency to disappear into the wilderness at times. Theodore is not sure of where she goes but she will always reappear when she is needed.

Physical Description: Shee’s is coated in velvety, rich black fur. Under her midnight coat is white glowing flesh. Every part of her body emits this light. No part is brighter then her eyes which glow like two full moon orbs cast against a twilight sky. 

Origin: Shee is a creature of mystery. Most people of Aurth know, or know of, each other. No one knows Shee. In fact, she was a nameless figure until Theodore names her. (Shee evolves from him referring to her as “she.” Real creative Theodore!).

So that is my description of Shee. Please, add some comments if you can think of another famous lioness we could approach to play her role in the film or if you want to take a shot at describing a cherry in a “G rated” manor. The words plump and juicy will not work, so do not even try going there!

Want to join in the journey of A Gift From Aurth? Subscribe to the blog here. You’ll be the first to hear about news, posts and chapter downloads.

Meet Jack, the Bearded Fire Breather and Flirty Adventurer

Jack is one of the companions Theodore will be traveling with through Aurth. My character intention with Jack is to use him as a way to push Theodore out of his comfort zone. Jack’s demeanor and outlook on life is the opposite of Theodore’s. In Theodore’s bio I described him as stiff and uptight. I would describe Jack as gregarious and whole hearted. This difference in personality will cause tension between the two characters in their initial interactions (made worst by Jack’s enjoyment of teasing “Theodore the Stiff”). However, as the story moves forward, shared experiences and time will bring the two characters together with a strong friendship. Theodore learns, as you will too, it’s hard to not fall in love with Jack.

Name: Jack Monroe

Age: 39

Gift: Breathe of Fire – Jack emits white flames from his mouth. Once the flame has emerged from him, he has a telepathic control over it which he can use to make animated flaming objects, extend the burning period and control the flames intensity. He also has control of the burning effect of the flames. He can make them burn or he can make them warm to the touch.

the_fire_hole_by_mattthesamurai
“The Fire Hole” by photographer, Mathieu Degrotte. See more of his work at www.m-d-art.com or click on the photo to follow him on Facebook

Role: Jack is Theodore’s travel companion and guide through Aurth. He is also the boyfriend of another character I have yet to introduce named Carine.

In the “A Gift from Aurth” film he would be played by… Kristofer Hivju

His friends would say he is… gregarious, flirty, irresponsible, affectionate, whole hearted

Hobbies: Adventurer and cartography. He’s a lover of making and studying maps.

Quirks: His laugh is as robust as his body, always barefoot, will knock the wind out of you with his hugs

Physical Description: Jack is a big, burly, smiling man of Scottish/Norwegian decent. Most of his head is covered in a thick auburn beard and a curly mop of ginger hair. You would scarcely think he had a face at all under it all if it were not for his broad, toothy, grin and piercing eyes. His irises are solid black and aqua marine is the colour of his sclera (the part of your eye which is usually white). He has an intensity about him that is enhanced by flame and ash-coloured scales covering his legs and arms. The scales are unevenly disbursed across his flesh and appear to be spreading from his limbs to the rest of his body. Each of his fingers are tipped with hooked black claws. If it were not for his welcoming demeanor, Jack would come across as a man to avoid and fear.

Origin: Jack comes from a lineage of men who were explorers for the English crown during the 19th and early 20th century. Jack is a thrill seeker who actively, and fearlessly seeks out challenges. During his career, he sailed several times to South America to navigate and map uncharted sections of the Amazonian rainforest. His last expedition, during 1910, took him to a whole new continent where he joined the English race to reach the southern pole of Antarctica. It was during this expedition that Jack’s confidence was outmatched by the elements of Antarctica. He never made it to the pole but he did make it to Aurth. 

What are your first impressions of Jack? Do you love him yet or do you need to get to know him a bit better? Let me know and share some thoughts in the comments.

Character Bio – Theodore Mullens

Theodore Mullens is the protagonist in “A Gift From Aurth.” The story begins with him being taken to the world of Aurth. Everyone who is taken there is given a gift in the form of a power. Theodore is the first and only person to arrive and not receive one. The story takes him on a journey to discover why he is the only one without a gift.

Theodore is, in a sense, me. The idea for his character came to me during a time in my life where I was feeling a great sense of unfulfillment. I was feeling stuck in my job and lacked a goal to carry me forward. I wanted “more” but I had no idea what “more” was. I just knew I had a craving for it. Theodore is a representation of these feelings. He will be dealing with a similar struggle of purpose throughout “A Gift From Aurth.”

Unfulfillment is a universal feeling like happiness or anger. I think it is something we all deal with on different levels and at different times in our lives. I am hoping you can relate to this because Theodore not only represents my feelings of unfulfillment, he represents it for all of us.

Fulfillment is the theme of “A Gift From Aurth”. I am just touching on it now but I will be posting more about it in the future. Until then, let me introduce you to Mr. Theodore Mullens.

Name: Theodore Mullens 

Age: 25

Gift: he does not receive a gift

Role: Story protagonist. You will see him grow from an emotionally closed off and uptight guy into something else entirely. 

In the “A Gift From Aurth” film he would be played by… Michael Angarano

His coworkers say he is… reserved, stiff, a perfectionist, thoughtful

Hobbies: trivia, reading, Netflix, listening to classical music

Item: often wears a pair of headphones

Quirks: insists on being called Theodore, does not like getting dirty, preference for facts over make believe

Physical Description: Theodore will have the average North American male stats. He is an average height, average build, brown hair, freckled face and brown eyes. Theodore feels at ease when his hair is slicked back and his clothes are pressed. This stiffness is contrasted by a softness seen in his kind eyes, shy smile and round chin. People notice this difference, though they often cannot put there finger on it. They can tell something about his appearance does not fit and comes across forced. Theodore does not wear any bright colours or patterns as he feels he would get too much attention in such clothing.

Origin: Theodore was raised by his father and step mother. At the age of 13 his real mother committed suicide. Her passing is still a scar he deals with daily. It effects his relationships with people because he fears being left again. His mother encouraged him to do art and play the piano but once she died her encouragement was gone. His father insistent he focused on academics and often told him he needed to grow up.

What are your first impressions of Theodore? Share your thoughts.