I’m working on a new story with an “interesting” hero. He’s a medical doctor in a gold rush town. He is highly skilled but has no bedside manner. He has red hair that sticks up in a halo around his head. His childhood was marked by abandonment – mother died, series of housekeepers, father oblivious to child.
He followed in his father’s footsteps and became a doctor. He and his father lived together in the family home and worked together in the family practice. There were no women in their lives. My hero had been in love once, but she’d walked out on him.
His life seems set on its course and he has given up on feeling lonely. This is just the way it is.
Stuff happens– don’t want to give away the story– and he heads west, ending up in Prospect. He’s the only doctor for miles around so no one argues with his dictates, even though his patients grumble at his high-handed methods.
For some reason, I want to name him Rupert. It’s an odd name, but, in my mind, it suits him.
Here in British Columbia we have a town of Prince Rupert and when the Hudson’s Bay Company sold their holdings to the Dominion of Canada, the area was called Rupert’s Land. Both were named in honour of a cousin of Charles 1, Prince Rupert of the Rhine.
Prince Rupert’s family fled civil unrest when he was a baby. He grew up in exile, then landed at the court of his English royal relatives as an adult, He was a skilled horseman and soldier, fighting for the Royalist cause against the Roundheads. He was also a businessman who became the first governor of the Hudson’s Bay Company.
Other Ruperts include
The name seems to have been much more popular in Britain than in North America.
So, what do you think? Could you fall in love with a hero named Rupert?
The Hudson’s Bay Company, long a staple of Canadian shopping centres and a significant part of our history, was officially termed, “The Company of Gentlemen Adventurers.” Formed in 1668 by edict of Charles II of England, the company received exclusive trading rights to all of the waters in North America that drained into Hudson’s Bay. It became the longest, continually operating commercial venture in Western history.
Saturday, I spent time with another company of adventurers, VIRA, the Vancouver Island Romance Authors. We have no relation to the Hudson’s Bay Company, there’s not a gentleman among us. Men are not prohibited from membership, but at the moment we’re a company of Lady Adventurers.
Why adventurers? For starters we’re all exploring the dangerous waters around writing and publishing romance novels. Some through traditional methods, others, bravely launching their work into the self-publishing stream.
We write about adventurous women. Some involved in derring-do, like steam punk heroines or secret agents, others in the shark-infested waters of families and small towns. Some of our heroines look the part, with super-powers and enough gadgets to make James Bond envious. Others, appear demure, conforming and obedient, but beneath the crinolines and behind the fans they are every bit as adventurous as their fantasy counterparts.
We “ladies of the company” trade in information. We share data and strategies for finding an editor or an agent. We discuss the tools of self-publishing where fellow-travellers are more important than ever. We need to know how to utilize facebook, twitter, algorithms, blogs, websites, cover artists, formatting tools . . . the list goes on and on. Alone, in front of the computer, the task is daunting.
On a Saturday afternoon with other lady-adventurers it’s fun. We laugh, we commiserate, we encourage, we read and edit each other’s work. We go home energized and filled with hope. Thanks VIRA. I enjoyed your company.