... and you'll see the protagonist of my suspense thriller Broken But Not Dead, Brendell Kisepisim Meshango.
Tina Keeper, seen below with Adam Beach, is a Cree activist, producer, actor, and former member of the Canadian House of Commons. I've never met her. The first time I saw her was in 1992 on the television series North of 60, where she played the starring role as RCMP Officer Michelle Kenidi. Reruns of North of 60 currently air on DejaView television.
Because Tina had left such a strong impression on me in the role of Michelle, when I began Broken But Not Dead, almost immediately I saw her as Brendell. If you remember the series, then you understand why. Her presence on the small screen was formidable. As Michelle, she portrayed a strong, honourable, courageous woman with demons of her own to face, whose love for her daughter knew no boundaries. Brendell has that same fierce love for her daughter Zoe.
"A mother's love for her child is like nothing else in the world. It knows no law, no pity, it dares all things and crushes down remorselessly all that stands in its path."
Author: Agatha Christie
In Broken But Not Dead, when Brendell is terrorized by a stalker, she's at the breaking point until he foolishly switches gears and threatens her daughter. While she may not place a high value on her own life, threatening her daughter makes her at once a very dangerous adversary. I love that about Brendell. Looking into Tina's eyes, I believe she would be equally unpredictable.
excerpt from Broken But Not Dead...
I listened to Zoë's footsteps down the short sidewalk to my driveway. A car door slammed and an engine started, no doubt the property of the Grand Panjandrum himself. That whining sound his car made when he backed up followed quickly. Tires reeled on the asphalt in front of my house. Dennis was always in a hurry.
I continued staring at the space where Zoë had stood. The air around me was imbued with the fragrance of apple and ivory soap. My daughter’s scent lingered and so did her words: That’d be the day I’d let some bastard break my spirit.
A sob broke from my throat. Tears poured down my face and my body shuddered. My daughter’s words stung like the weal from the intruder's whip across my skin. Pressure built inside me, and I imagined an embolus bursting an artery in my brain. Sobs racked my body. I crunched my shoulders forward until finally I was crying like a little girl. One long wail.
That’d be the day I’d let some bastard break my spirit. That’d be the day....
I wept until I hyperventilated. I grabbed a paper bag from the kitchen drawer, strangled the opening and sucked for air. "That’s right!" I gasped between breaths. "That’d be the day I’d let some bastard threaten me or my daughter. Did you hear that, you piece of shit! You’ve messed with the wrong woman!"
Have you had to borrow someone's face to make your protagonist come alive? Or perhaps you've discovered another way? Love to hear about it.