So here we are again with another peek behind the shadowy curtain of the our little transmedia project. This week Richmond Clements, writer of the Unseen Shadows comics Historia and Operation Solomon talks about the two lead characters from those stories – Steph Connisbee and Kathryn Monroe.
Over to you Richmond.
As I have written for both Steph Connisbee and Kathryn Monroe (with a little Victoria Sullivan thrown in), Barry has asked me to write a bit about them.
When I first came on board and was reading the novel and looking for a character to pitch for Kathryn and Steph were two who stood out for me. .
Kathryn’s nightmares were inspired by the real terrors of her former work; murder, rape, mutilation, they were not just headlines in the morning paper. Each headline brought with it past images that were burned into her subconscious. The faces of those she could not save. Kathryn saw them all, felt their pain, their frustration. Why? Why them? Each time the answer was different. A different craving that could only be satisfied with blood. – Fallen Heroes
I loved Kathryn’s entire attitude to life. The constant, vague level of disappointment she feels about humanity is something I can appreciate. But she also has a streak of hope in there that we can do better. And her willingness to do what is right, and not just what the law demands is something a writer can enjoy playing with.
Kathryn works as an investigator for a special section of the United Nations called T.O.R.C.H (Tactical, Operational Response and Control Headquarters ). Her greatest tools are her intelligence and her imagination. The way she sees a crime scene is something her colleagues cannot fully comprehend but neither can they argue with the results from her work. Kathryn has a quick mind, and a barbed tongue to match, and god help anyone who gets on the wrong side of either of them.
Whenever I went to the pub with my old karate teacher he would always sit so he could see all the exits, never allowed friends or students to come up behind him. In any given situation he was the most prepared and most dangerous person in the room (even though he never looked it) and that is how I see Kathryn. I think readers of Fallen Heroes saw about twenty percent of what Kathryn is capable of but in the next novel you will see just how dangerous she really is. – Barry Nugent
“I’m still not happy about this.”
Ben remembered the last time he had seen Steph unhappy. It was six months ago. She had broken her ex-boyfriend’s arm in three places after he had made the mistake of stealing from her. – Fallen Heroes
On my first read of Fallen Heroes, it was Steph who really made an impact. Strong physically and mentally and also very funny, brave, loyal and capable. And apart from that, she had a big hole in her back story that I was able to exploit for Operation Solomon! When we first meet her in the book, Steph is working as a criminal, but her life before (and indeed, what comes next) is equally exciting.
Steph used to be a pilot in the US Navy. She flew her helicopter on deadly night missions in some of the deadliest warzones in the world. She has coaxed it into manoeuvres that almost defy physics, and are well beyond courageous. She is not just a good pilot, she is a great one. Her skill and innate, instinctive ability are without question.
Steph is my Chewbecca…loyal to a fault but will rip your arms out of your sockets if you cross her. She is one of the most moral of all the characters in the book, despite her criminal profession. Hopefully readers who enjoyed her in Fallen heroes will enjoy her even more in Forgotten Warriors as she very much takes the centre stage when it comes to the plot. – Barry Nugent
You’ll notice when I listed the strengths/ character traits of both Kathryn and Steph ‘female’ is not among them. While it is very important that they are both highly capable female characters who work in the male dominated areas of law enforcement and the military, being female is not their character. It does not define them.
Barry knew this – he wrote people, not just men and women. It seems like a simple and obvious thing to say, but it really isn’t. Far too many writers seem to think being male or female is a character trait (Gone Girl, I’m looking at you). But people are first and foremost just people.
And Kathryn and Steph are two of the coolest people I know.