Daisy Banks shares details about the creation of Stephen Grafton in the book Christmas Carols.
About the Book
Title Christmas Carols
Genre Historical Romance
Author Daisy Banks
Book heat level G, Sweet
Stephen Grafton, the blind organist at Holy Trinity Church, is gaining a reputation for his fine playing and compositions. Alice Broadbrace’s initial venture back into society after years in deep mourning brings her to the notice of the talented organist, and he offers her the opportunity to sing a solo carol to his accompaniment. His courage convinces her to find her own, while her charm entices him into thoughts of romance. A difficult walk in a snow storm is only the beginning of Stephen and Alice’s journey to happiness. Enjoy this sweet Victorian tale of talent and love blossoming.
Introducing Stephen Grafton
Name: Stephen Grafton
Birthplace: Birmingham, England.
Profession: Musician and composer, organist at Holy Trinity Church.
Stephen is approximately 5’10 in height, quite tall for the era he lives in. He is lean and slender with fair hair and expressive hands. Stephen has been blind since birth and uses a dog to help him, he calls the dog Blue.
Who is the significant other in your character's life?
How does your hero dress?
Stephen wears the fashions of his era, the early 1860’s. His day to day wear is a suit with tail coat, trousers and waistcoat. For recital performances he asks his valet to tie an elaborate bow tie for him. His dog, Blue, also has a bow on his collar for recital evenings. As the story is set in the winter Stephen wears a warm top coat and a hat. He does wear gloves as is socially acceptable for the era but he dislikes them as they mean he loses depth in his sense of touch.
If you could only hear this character's voice (but not see him) what characteristic would identify him?
Self certainty and confidence radiate in Stephen’s voice. He has passed through many trials to reach the position he is in and this means he is definitely willing to voice his opinion with little fear.
How educated is this character?
Stephen has a doctorate in music from Cambridge. He prefers not to use the official title as he finds people make presumptions about him if he does. He takes an interest in things cultural and issues of the day in his local community.
Does he scrape by, live comfortably, live extravagantly?
Stephen has his own home not too far from Holy Trinity Church. A legacy from a relative assisted him to attend Cambridge and once he qualified to purchase his home. He receives a salary from the church for his playing and his recitals. He lives comfortably enough with his dog, has a manservant to attend him and assist with the running of his house, and a maid of all work who comes in to clean.
What is your character's viewpoint on wealth?
Wealth is a useful tool which enables Stephen to travel and live his life in the way he wishes. He does not consider himself to be a wealthy man in monetary terms he is far more concerned with his music.
Are any of his skills a source of pride or embarrassment, and if so, which ones and why?
When Stephen was a very small boy a tutor recognized his talent in music. He is a gifted musician and with coaching his skills improved to the point he could attend university to study further. Stephen is aware of his skills and is very demanding of himself in performance and composition. He would say he is always learning.
What kinds of things does your character always carry in his pockets?
Stephen usually carries a white linen handkerchief, keys to his home and to his cash box in the house. He also makes sure he has his coin holder and some dog biscuits as a treat for Blue.
Does this character see morality as black-and-white, or with shades of gray?
This question would entertain Stephen as being blind he doesn’t see the world through visuals but through touch, sound and smell. Stephen has a strong sense of what he considers right and wrong, and finds some social customs and expectations foolish especially those Alice believes might lead to gossip. He would say, the gossips should go and find more useful occupations.
Does your character care about what others assume about him?
In short, no. Stephen is a self confident person and has a vast amount of self belief. He takes care that his appearance and manners should be acceptable and has attained a level of independence he enjoys. If people assume he is weakened in any way by being blind he will do his best to show them that is not so. He does recognize there are situations when he requires some assistance and isn’t too proud to ask for it in unfamiliar places.
About Your Writer
Why do you think your writer chose to write about you?
Ms. Banks enjoys the unusual and I suspect she found me a surprise and therefore wished to work with me. As the story continued I like to think Ms. Banks grew rather fond of Alice and I. We are both glad she told the story.
What do you wish your writer had not told others about you?
Nothing. I am aware that there are times in the story when I am forthright and frank but those qualities are part of my personality. I am sure readers will understand my motives for some comments were genuine concerns. I only wanted the best outcome possible.
What other character from your book do you think your writer should write a book about, and why?
I think Ms. Banks should devote sometime to Elijah Whistler, the owner of the Eagle Book Emporium. I would think there might be a natural affinity between the two, with his interest in books and her work as an author. If Ms. Banks spent some time working with him it might also soothe his discomfort at the outcome of my story.
Why do you think your writer loves to write?
Ms. Banks listens to music frequently but she is not musical. I am afraid that is a flaw I am forced to comment on. Ms. Banks neither plays nor sings and in my opinion she therefore devotes her energies to writing. I do know she is quite driven at times when she writes. Having some understanding of the creative process I recognize its grip on an individual. However, I still think she would be improved by a more direct association with music. When she began the tale I had hopes to influence her to at least take up some choral activity but sadly I failed.
Is there anything you'd like to say to your writer?
Ms. Banks, Alice and I thank you for putting our story into words.
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Daisy Banks writes romance in the Historical, Paranormal and Fantasy genres. Her focus is to offer the best tale she can to readers. Daisy is married, with two grown up sons. Antiques and collecting entertain Daisy when she isn’t writing. There are also some rare occasions she makes a meal that doesn’t stick to the pan.
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