Please welcome fellow author N.R.Walker who has something truly worthwhile to say about characters with disabilities. Warmly recommended!
Thanks for S. Dora for having me on her blog today!
While I’m here, I thought I’d talk about characters with disabilities or impairments. In my new Turning Point series, we have Sal, who is deaf. He’s the father of my main character’s love interest, Kira. Sal, a huge silent man is balanced perfectly by his tiny wife, who talks a mile a minute.
Sal plays an integral part in the series. He is critical to the development of the story, and as a character he gives fatherly warmth to my main character Matt, who has never known such paternal love.
Sal was born deaf and his family take his deafness in stride. In fact, they quite often sign funny things about someone when that someone isn’t looking.
So, without giving too much of a spoiler, in Breaking Point, the newest instalment in the Turning Point series, Matt has to learn to live with a permanent impairment; a direct result of action versus consequence.
And the question was asked, “How will you fix him?”
My answer was a very adamant, “I won’t be fixing him.”
A conversation followed that basically had me explain that this character needed a consequence for his actions, and he got one. In this case, it was a permanent physical consequence.
I also don’t want to “fix” him. The character, Matt, wouldn’t want to be fixed. He wouldn’t want to send a message to Sal, a father-like figure, that given the opportunity he would choose not to be like him.
In other books, I’ve written a series about a blind main character and even had one reviewer say the character was “too blind.” I mean, really? Do readers not like having less-than perfect main characters? Maybe. I guess that’s a general question with a thousand varied answers. Well, I’m of the opinion that characters with disabilities and impairments are still perfect.
A fight for what’s right becomes a fight for his life.
As guilt plagues him, Matthew Elliott’s world begins to spiral out of control. The harder he holds on, the more it slips through his fingers, and he’s helpless to stop it.
Entering into the underground cage-fighting scene, he starts out fighting for what’s right. The deeper he gets, the more guilt consumes him—the more pain he takes for his penance—and he’s soon fighting for more than justice.
He’s fighting for love.
He’s fighting for his life.
My phone beeped thirty long, torturous seconds later. On my way home. Won’t be long.
Fifteen minutes later he came in through the front door, walked through the lightless house, to find me in the kitchen.
“Matt?” he asked cautiously. “What are you doing in the dark?”
I exhaled at the sound of his voice. “I was worried…”
He walked closer, but kept a very cold four feet between us. “What were you worried about?”
“That something had happened to you,” I admitted quietly. “That you were too mad at me to come home.”
“Matt,” he said then let out a shaky breath. “I went and saw Mitch.”
My head shot up to look at him. “You what?”
He nodded. “I asked one of the guys at work if they’d seen him at the office, and they said yes. So I called him and asked if I could see him.”
I didn’t know where he was going with this. “And?”
“I told him I’m worried about you,” he whispered. “I told him about your fight last night, that I think something changed for you, somewhere along the way, something changed.”
My heart was hammering and it was getting harder to breathe. “I’m fine.”
“No,” he said quietly. Adamantly. “No, you’re not.”
“If this is about what Arizona said about the fight last night…”
“Partly, it is, yes. But something’s gotten into you, Matt.”
I shook my head and said the only thing I could think of to say. “Please don’t leave me.”
“Remember when you said to me,” I said, my words were a rush. “Remember at the cabin when we stayed there for the week, you said if I were to leave you it was all for nothing. Remember? You said that?”
Kira nodded. “Yes.” But then shook his head, confused.
“Well, if you were to leave me, this would all be for nothing.” Fuck, I wasn’t making any sense.
“Is that what this is about?” he asked. His voice croaked when he spoke. “Is this about what happened to me with Tomic?”
A thousand times yes.
My head started to spin. I think I swayed.
Then Kira had hold of me. His strong arms were around me. His warmth, his smell, was everything I needed, and everything I didn’t deserve.
“Matt, you’re not okay.”
“I’m really tired,” I told him.
“You’ve been pushing yourself too hard.”
“I can handle it.”
“It’s pretty obvious you can’t, babe,” he said softly. “You need a break.”
Not liking where he was going with the whole break thing, I sighed and tightened my hold on him. “What did Mitch say?”
“He said there wasn’t much he could do now, in any official capacity, but just that he’ll keep an eye on you,” Kira said. “Actually his words were ‘Tell Elliott from me not to pull any shit like that again because I’ll be watching’.”
Kira pulled back and gently ran his fingers over my swollen eyebrow. “I think he was just trying to make me feel better,” he said.
“I’m sorry,” I told him. “I didn’t mean to scare you, or make you worry.”
“Nothing really changed for me,” I told him, answering something he’d said just before. “I mean, leaving Mitch and the guys was harder than I thought, I’ll admit that. But I’m trying to get my head around it.” Even the half-truths were lies. “But I don’t want to hurt you, Kira. It’s the very last thing I meant to happen.”
“It’s okay, babe,” he said, though I could see it really wasn’t. “I thought you’d be mad at me,” he added. “For going to see Mitch behind your back.”
I almost laughed. If he only knew the secrets I was keeping from him. “You did it because you care,” I said quietly. “Thank you for telling me.”
“I do care, of course I care,” he said, pressing his lips to the top of my head.
While apologising for things I could admit to, I said, “I’m sorry about earlier. I didn’t mean to sound so panicked on your voicemail earlier. I just woke up and you weren’t here and I thought you might have been too mad at me to come home.”
He smiled sadly and kissed the not-sore side of my mouth. “How about I make you some dinner?”
I sighed at his endless supply of love. “You’re always so good to me.”
“Yes, I am. Now what do you feel like for dinner?” he asked. “I can do stir-fry, steamed fish or poached chicken. They’re all quick and easy.”
I nodded. “You asked what I felt like to eat, and I feel like grilled cheese on toast.”
Kira chuckled, and it was a sound I hadn’t heard in far too long. He kissed the not-bruised side of my head. “Grilled cheese it is.”
I sat at the kitchen bench while he made us dinner of grilled cheese on toast and talked about his day. I pretended my eye, head and ribs didn’t hurt, that I wasn’t lying to him, that I didn’t feel guilty, just so I could see him smile.
Who am I?
I am many things; a mother, a wife, a sister, a writer.
I have pretty, pretty boys who live in my head, who don’t let me sleep at night unless I give them life with words.
I like it when they do dirty, dirty things…but I like it even more when they fall in love.
I used to think having people in my head talking to me was weird, until one day I happened across other writers who told me it was normal.
I’ve been writing ever since…
WHERE TO FIND N.R. WALKER
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A full list of all participating stops in this blog tour!
Morticia Knight – http://morticiaknight.blogspot.com.au/
Lisabet Sarai – http://lisabetsarai.blogspot.com.au/
S. Dora – http://sdora.wordpress.com/
West Thornhill – http://wthornhillauthor.blogspot.com.au/
Ashe Barker – http://ashebarker.com/
HK Carlton – http://pickagenrealready.blogspot.ca/
Nancy Adams – http://fancynancyadams.wix.com/erotic-nancy-adams
C.A. Szarek – http://www.caszarekwriter.blogspot.co.uk/?m=1
Desiree Holt – http://www.desireeholt.com/