A couple days ago, a writer on Twitter asked if any other writers created or specified Birthdays for their characters. Good thing I saw that because I realized my main character, Edward Pierce, was fast approaching his birth date anniversary. Today! He'd be 243 years old today, presuming that as a normal human being he would have passed on well over a century ago, probably more than a century and a half ago.
While we think of cake when celebrating Birthdays, I'm sure Pierce would have enjoyed a generous slice of pie!
As a character, Edward Pierce has existed in my mind for over half a century. I became aware of him while still in high school, and last month my class and I celebrated our 50th reunion, so he has been a part of my imagination for a very long time. So, how did I decide he had been born on 9 October 1776?
The year came about because fo the era I wanted to write about, and the fact I wanted him to be a close contemporary of C. S. Forester's Horatio Hornblower. Hornblower it seems was born on July 4, 1776. I selected October 9 as it is John Lennon's Birthday, and at the time the Beatles were the biggest thing in music and in the lives of nearly every teenager in America (the World?). Additionally in the very first drafts of what would later become the Stone Island Sea Stories, I managed to incorporate characters with names similar to or derived from the Beatles' last names. In the current version of the stories, there are two, whose names are thusly derived, both warrant officers aboard Island Expedition. Those individuals would be, Stephen Cartney, Bo'sun, and William Harris, Gunner. (And if I remember correctly, my Boot Camp Company Commander was a Senior Chief Bo'sun's Mate coincidentally named William Harris.)
So I'm hoping that Edward Pierce ended up living a long, healthy and productive life. I'm not far enough along in the story to know for sure. And as he is/was a normal human being of that era, I would suspect he is no longer with us. However, he exists/existed in a world with a hint of science fiction or even fantasy, so who knows. Evidently his good friend William Townsend ended up in some sort of time portal and emerged in recent times. (This is depicted in the short story, Mr. Townsend's Chronometer, which you can find at the Stone Island web-site )
Enough rambling for today, I guess. Just wanted to share that it is my main character's birthday and a bit about how it came o be on this day. And now I can say I haven't gone quite as long with out posting as I have in the recent past.