Today the spotlight shines on...Gilly Kincade & Jacob Ferrar
I adore Beth White's stories and Tour de Force is a special treat for those who love the arts and the dedication required to make it to the top. I love the insight into Gilly and Jacob and I am sure you will too :)
Brief physical description of your main character/s
Gilly Kincade is a tiny redhead with a ballet dancer's pliant body. Her kittenish face is given a touch of sparkle by a diamond nose chip, a sprinkle of freckles over green eyes, and quirky red eyebrows bent upward at the tips. She has a dancer's bowed legs and duck feet.
Jacob Ferrar is a dancer as well; he's over six feet tall, with a supple, muscular build. His dark hair and eyes and strong, bony face, make Gilly think of a “broken angel.”
Strengths and weaknesses
Gilly's main spiritual strength is her passion to share her faith in Jesus--with everyone she meets. Second only to that is her drive toward perfection in her chosen art form, ballet. Also, she is blessed with a large, loving family which supports her demanding career. Weaknesses might include carelessness in housekeeping and a tendency to push herself harder than is physically safe.
Jacob, on the other hand, is a bit of a loner--pleasantly shy. He's charmed by Gilly's extroverted personality but also a little intimidated by her loud, gregarious family. He also has the perfectionist gene--necessary for a ballet artistic director, but which can drive him to expect too much from himself. A feeling of shame about his pre-Christian past sometimes keeps him from boldly sharing what Christ has done for him. His great strength is deep affection for his grandparents and small orphaned nephew--and increasingly Gilly Kincade. He expresses his love in the silent meeting of needs.
Quirk (if any)
Gilly loves colorful clothes that clash with her hair.
Jacob has a European upbringing (his parents are career diplomats), so he's got a British accent from his boarding school days.
Your inspiration for the character
Watch a couple of these videos. Mesmerizing. Kathryn Morgan and Robert Fairchild of New York City Ballet were the inspirations for Gilly and Jacob.
The Making of Romeo & Juliet
More Romeo & Juliet
Background to the story
Gilly was a secondary character in Off the Record, last year's release from Zondervan. She was the teenage sister of the heroine, Judge Laurel Kincade. I saw a lot of potential for “growing Gilly up” and giving her a story of her own. So I began to imagine what could happen to a young lady completely invested in spending her extraordinary natural gifts, as well as her spiritual gifts, in God's service. Life isn't always rosy--in real life or in fiction. So what happens when bad stuff happens to us? Is God looking away, or does He have a plan? That's one of the main questions I wanted to explore with Tour de Force. I also wanted to trace what happens when a believer is thrown into a completely secular artistic world--a place that is often hostile to those with a spiritual bent. We can be rigid--legalistic, if you will--or we can look at those around us with Jesus' eyes of compassion and grace. I'm fairly certain I don't have all the answers, but I do know that nonbelievers recognize real love when they see it. Tour de Force is my crayon drawing of what I think love looks like in all its permutations--familial, romantic, fraternal and agape.
Just delightful, Beth - thanks so much for sharing with us!
Come back on Thursday for a spotlight on Julie Klassen's Lilly Haswell from The Apothecary's Daughter together with a look at her leading men!
I am delighted to have a copy of Tour de Force to give away to a reader with an Australian postal address! To enter, post a comment on or before Sunday 31st May, 2009 telling me if you have ever been to the ballet! I haven't, uncultured person that I am - LOL!