While I’ve always tried to keep the focus on major characters, I do enjoy taking the time to develop my minor characters. Who are they? Where do they come from? Do they have hobbies, hopes, fears? Are they in love? Do they have a rival?
With that in mind, I decided to dedicate their birthdays (yes, each of my characters has a birthday. I actually went through the trouble of mapping this out on a spreadsheet a couple years back. Sue me.) to showcasing each and every one of them.
It’s February 3rd, which means that today is the birthday of my character, Elijah Burch! Yaaaaas
Age in Aquarius: 32
Height: 5’11 | Weight: 145 lbs.
Hair: shaved bald | Eyes: sandy brown
Human Race: African-American | Species: Angel
Hailing Planet: Ninurta (Saturn)
Specialties: emergency field medicine/first aid, self-defense, firearms, dedicated
Roommate: Liam McCoy
Best friends: Liam McCoy, Ethan Bishop, Kris the healer
Mentor: Mason McCoy (deceased)
Soul mate: Liam McCoy
Three facts about Elijah:
- Elijah was only a teenager when his family was ambushed by bandits. Mason, the prince of that time, was the one who found him.
- He came from a fishing colony in the northwest. It’s still one of his favorite activities.
- Despite his sweet demeanor, he can be very competitive. Never challenge him to a board game.
My thoughts on Eli:
I’ll be completely honest, I had no real idea what to do with Elijah when I first began this series. Hell, if we’re being technical, none of the Cronians existed when I first came up with the idea for TCoLD. The first characters I created for the group were Gio, Albert, Jeremy, Harry, and Bruno, and because I hadn’t taken the time to dive into their individual characters yet, they were all vastly different in the beginning. They were initially meant to be the “frat boy” group; each group of spirits adhered to a different trope or clique, and I wanted them to seem like douchey party-goers when you first encounter them. Jeremy was always the more quiet of the group, but originally I had him unafraid of conflict. Bruno was more timid, and Albert and Harry were just fillers. Jeremy was also created to be Monty’s rival in his quest for Karia’s affection, but that’s a B-plot I threw out once I shifted the focus of the first book to the Ninurta Court. Since they became the center of attention, I had to take the extra time to flesh them out–so I finally created the rest of the court’s characters, Elijah along with them.
FUN FACT: When I have a story concept in mind, I’ll usually only come up with a couple characters first, and I’ll research enough names for a hundred of them. I divide those names up into character categories, and I use them as templates for the smaller peeps. This is what I did with Elijah and the other minor characters: I had their names decided first, and I came up with their backgrounds after the fact.
As I stated before, Elijah’s character was never meant to be more than a minor character–however, due to his relationship with other supporting characters, I’ve grown attached to him and his little family. He met Liam after his recruitment, and I would imagine he developed a crush almost instantly. Liam is definitely the shorter of the pair, but he’s also seven years older. I like the idea of the two of them growing closer after Eli was taken in by Mason, but only seeing the other as foster siblings since Eli was under aged. After Mason passed away, it took another seven years of the two bonding as elder members of the court before their soul mate bond was recognized. It was shortly after Jeremy’s recruitment, so the preteen psychic was witness to the bond within weeks of his awakening.
A couple years after their bond, Albert was found and taken in by Liam. Since the teen lost his entire family in a bandit raid, he became like a son to the loving couple. Even though the series highlights Albert being Liam’s protégé, the two butted heads frequently. It was Elijah acting as a go-between who kept the two from drifting apart, as he wanted to be a father figure to Albert like Mason was for him. While grateful to them, the younger man did eventually make his way back to his former colony and reconnected with the tribe of his late girlfriend. He visits them every month or so, much to the chagrin of his mentor.
For the most part, Elijah is an easy-going and sociable character. He gets along well with most everyone, to the point where he was even able to convince Kris the healer to swing by from time to time just to chill. Since the court now has three colonies in their territory–and one of them is made up of mostly fisher folk–Eli spends his free time fishing for both food and leisure. I imagine he and Liam spend most nights in the living room, snuggled up and reading separate books. Eli reading dramedies and erotica, Liam reading historical nonfiction. Liam would remain rooted in one spot, reading quietly, while Eli would keep changing positions and gasping or exclaiming something profane at random intervals, all while keeping a hand or foot touching Liam. I mentioned as a fact about him that, even though he is very sweet, he is also competitive. What I failed to mention is that, even though he will take on any challenge, he is notoriously bad at games. It doesn’t matter what it is, whether it’s a card game, board game, or videogame; if the heat is on, Eli will crack under the pressure and blow whatever bets he made. Liam has forbade him from betting rations and weapons.
For those of you who don’t know, Eli is a supporting character in my trilogy Saturn Rising, which is the first installment of The Chronicles of Life & Death. The first book, Aquarius, is available now on Amazon as an e-book and paperback. You can even read it all for free with Kindle Unlimited! Learn more here.