Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Character Notes: James Owen

Back to Character Notes. Since I've devoted two novels to telling his story and getting him to a happy place, you might surmise that one of my favorite characters is James Owen. You would be right. There is just something about James that stirs my soul.

The photos I have on James's two, yes, two character cards, are of some unknown advertising actor from an Adidas layout in a magazine. Over on, I've chosen Lucas Black to play James's role, although I don't know if his hair curls or not, since I've only seen it short.

Several years ago, I acquired a photo in a heavy frame that was on the wall of a restaurant. When I first saw it, I gasped, because it was James! Serendipitously, when the restaurant changed decor, I was able to buy the portrait. (If he really is some outlaw, or somebody's grandpa, please let me know!)

James was a twin, the one who survived babyhood. He has curly black hair and beard (temporary), and dark brn eyes. James is tall and lanky. He was drafted in 1864 when the age dropped to 17 years, and he got a flesh wound at the battle of Five Forks, Apr 2, 1865, in the unsuccessful defense of Richmond. James sees no marriage in his future, as revealed in the story.* He picked up a habit of creative cussing during his war service. His brother, JOHN OWEN, only lived two days after birth.

*This was the original plan, but it got changed over the course of re-writing, revising, and editing The Man from Shenandoah for publication. Readers know this wasn't the case in the published version of James's life.

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