Thursday, 25 March 2010

Character Spotlight ~ Ann Shorey's Ellie & Matthew Craig

Matthew & Ellie Craig

Ann Shorey's second At Home in Beldon Grove story is now available, The Promise of Morning. Dealing with a struggling marriage and the pressures of pastoring a church, the issues are as relevant today as in the 1840s. Travel back in time with Ellie & Matthew!


Brief physical description

Ellie Craig is 5 feet tall, 110 pounds and has thick wheat-blonde hair. She's 28 years old.

Matthew Craig, Ellie's husband, is 5 feet, 10 inches, 165 pounds. His hair is brown and crinkly/curly, as is his collar-length beard. He's 44 years old.

Actor/famous person

Jeff Bridges, in this photo, is exactly how I picture Matthew. Even the suit fits the story, since Matthew is a preacher.

Reese Witherspoon has the right look of fragility to portray Ellie.

Strengths and weaknesses

Ellie's greatest weakness is that she's too easily swayed by outward appearances, rather than looking into what a person is like on the inside. She's used to hiding behind Matthew and letting him make decisions.

As the story progresses, she finds strength to tackle situations she never dreamed she'd have to face. Her greatest strength is her compassion for others.

Matthew has double weaknesses. One is fear of confrontation. The other is being too certain that he's right without listening to wise counsel. Both of these faults lead him to him to make some terrible decisions. Matthew's greatest strength is (eventually) learning to admit when he's wrong.

Quirk (if any)

Ellie tends to reach for sweets when she's upset.

Matthew is a caring, involved father, in a time when women shouldered most of the child-rearing responsibilities.

Your inspiration for the character

The characters of Ellie and Matthew were inspired by my great-great grandparents. My great-great grandfather was 16 years older than my g.g. grandmother. He'd been a circuit rider (itinerant preacher, as they were called then) when the two of them met.

Their situation made me wonder what life was like for the “real” Ellie--being so much younger and literally young when they married. She was only 14 to his 30! A few of the situations in The Promise of Morning are based on actual incidents, although most of the story is fiction.

Background to the story

Several years ago, I visited the area of Illinois where this novel is set. I photographed cemeteries and the original farmstead land that my great-great grandparents settled in the 1830's. With those pictures in mind, I spun a story about their lives.

Thanks for another spotlight, Ann! It is always intriguing getting to know more about how characters came to be :)

On Monday the spotlight turns on Melanie Dobson's Jacob & Liesel from Love Finds You in Homestead, Iowa.

Relz Reviewz Extras

Review of The Edge of Light

Character spotlight on Molly

Visit Ann's website and blog

Buy Ann's book at Amazon or Koorong


Tales of Whimsy said...

I just love this feature. It makes me want to run out and read the book. Bravo!

Scrappy quilter said...

Oooh I can't wait to see Melanie Dobson's new book. I love the title.

Rel said...

Thanks Juju! Your words are always encouraging and I appreciate that!

Thanks for dropping by and sharing, Scrappy Quilter :)

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