Grayfell, an Eldred Wizard
I have several characters who are fathers in my books—three, in fact. One is an exemplary father, one is a father who tries hard but often does not succeed, and another is a father that I would not wish on anybody.
I don’t know if all wizards celebrate Father’s Day. I just know that my wizard, Grayfell, in Book 4 of the Ialana Series, should, because he’s a father. Like us, most wizards have, or once had, a father.
Grayfell is the dad who tries but doesn’t quite make the grade. Out of the three fathers in my series, he is the most three-dimensional, although that’s not to say the other two are not. He is complicated and his motives are rooted deep inside his past, a past that unfolds gradually throughout the story. Like most people, he thinks what he is doing is right, well-intentioned for sure, but the choices he makes for his son may not be the best. Or perhaps they are. You may decide differently. That is what is so great about choices; there are always two sides or more to everything.
But it’s not only the choices Grayfell makes for his son that may be suspect–it is the choices he makes for himself, too. He is flawed in so many ways, but we can’t help but hope he succeeds in his endeavors.
Will his son pay the ultimate price for his father’s choices?
It may cost him his life—but wasn’t that what Grayfell was trying to avoid—the inevitable death of his son? And, in spite of himself, did he succeed? You will need to read the book to find out!
My father, my inspiration
Now that we’re on the subject of fathers, I do want to tell you a bit about my dad, who is most likely the inspiration behind Grayfell. I say “most likely” because in some ways he seems a lot like my father, but who can ever really be sure? I only realized this possibility a long time after I created Grayfell’s character.
Dad’s early life shaped his beliefs. His mother, divorced, was unable to care financially for her seven children, so they were farmed out to various relatives who did not treat them well. Dad grew up knowing the world was a dangerous and scary place, and he didn’t want that for his children. That sounds fine, no one wants their child to discover just how frightening reality can be, but sometimes it can lead to an over-protective attitude. Fortunately, my mother balanced the scale by being rather laid-back in her style, allowing us as much freedom as we wanted.
Father’s Day Wishes
I think my childhood is what led me to develop my creativity while constantly fleeing or battling my father’s well-meaning but uncompromising beliefs. A challenging life may hone creativity and motivation, or it can destroy. In The Tree Wizard…well, I don’t want to give anything away so you’ll just have to read it! Let me just say I thank my father every day for doing his best, knowing that at all times it came from a place of love. He succeeded in protecting me from many things, but he couldn’t protect me from everything, and neither could Grayfell when it came to his only son.
If you are like me, and your father is no longer with us, the absence and empty space in our hearts never goes away. But our memories of them never leave, and having a day to celebrate and remember our fathers, living or dead, is a good way to honor them. If you are a father and reading this blog, I want to wish you the best Father’s Day ever. If you have a father, I hope you can help to make it a wonderful day for him.
Tell us a bit about your father in the comments below, or about yourself, if you are a father. What inspires you? Did your childhood shape how you raise your own children?