I’ve been busy working on the third installment of the Cathedral Lake series, Pride and Fall. I’ve dropped hints here and there that this novel will resolve a loose end that many people may not realize is still out there. I’m kind of excited about that.
Because this novel will soon be with the publisher and will release this winter, I thought I’d take a moment to introduce you to the female lead, Faith Keller.
Hair: Light brown, wavy, shoulder-length
Occupation: Veterinarian with new practice in Cathedral Lake
Quirks: She used to tug on her ear when nervous, but since the events of the prior two books, she’s taken up different methods of dealing with nerves. Among the reactions you will notice are deep breathing techniques and finger taps.
Faith’s nerves are shot, and she finds herself nervous in new and/or crowded spaces. Consequently, I’ve agreed to meet her at her new practice on the outskirts of Cathedral Lake. Her assistant, David Anders, greets me at the door and shows me to her office.
I don’t find him very friendly, but then, I’m not here to talk with him. Besides, he’s not the hero of this particular story, so his attitude toward me doesn’t really matter. He asks if Faith needs anything else, and when she declines, he says goodbye for the evening.
It’s already getting dark, and being so far out in the woods, away from anything even resembling a town or city, puts me on edge. Faith, on the other hand, seems completely at ease. Of course, she’s used to being out there and I’m used to a houseful of family and dogs in a bustling neighborhood, so quiet isn’t something I often experience.
Faith slips out of her lab coat and offers me a seat across from her at her desk. The surface is littered with papers and a stale cup of coffee. She offers me a bottled water, but I decline.
Faith: Sorry I don’t have any snacks or anything. I eat when I’m nervous, and I’ve depleted my stash, I’m afraid.
Me: Not a problem. I grabbed something on the way out here. You’re really in the middle of nowhere. Is that why you’ve been nervous lately?
Faith: No. I like the solitude. I’m not crazy about crowds.
Me: Me, either. I like to think I’m a social person, but crowds bother me. I feel like I can’t breathe. And it drives me nuts if I can’t get to an exit.
Faith: I get that. I like to have unimpeded access to exits, too.
Me: Were you always this way?
Faith: No. I used to be normal. Not that I’m saying you aren’t normal. I just mean—
Me: I know how you meant it.
Faith: You wrote Jensen’s story, so you know what happened to me. It’s made being around strangers or being out in public places… I don’t know. I guess you can say it’s difficult for me.
Me: I’m really sorry about that.
Faith: I don’t blame you. Even though you were the one who wrote it that way.
Me: (blushing) I just tell the stories, Faith.
Faith: Whatever. Maybe you’ll give me a happy ending.
Me: (clears throat) I can’t tell you about your future.
Faith: Is this that time-travel paradox thing? You don’t want my decisions influenced by knowledge I shouldn’t have?
Me: (sighing) We’re getting off topic. Your story isn’t a science fiction tale. It’s a drama.
Faith: I’m just teasing. I thought we had that kind of rapport. I guess I just can’t read people like I used to.
Me: It’s okay. We do have that kind of relationship. You can tell me anything. (A shadow crosses the window, and I jump.)
Faith: You okay?
Me: Yeah. I thought I saw something. Being all alone out here spooks me.
Faith: Don’t worry. Dad made sure I got a state-of-the-art security system.
Me: Royce. Always practical.
Faith: Yeah, well. You know Dad. He was worried about me.
Me: You want to talk about your family?
Faith: Not really. You know what a convoluted situation that is.
Me: (nodding) I do. How about we talk about romance? Want to give readers an idea of what’s going on with you and Carter?
Faith: No! (blushes) I mean, no. Thanks, but I don’t even have a handle on that yet. He’s… complex.
Me: You did get off to a rocky start.
Faith: What are you going to do about that?
Me: Excuse me?
Faith: Like I said, you write this stuff. Can you help a girl out? Because, frankly, with the exception of Hope, you’ve really treated me the worst of all the Kellers.
Faith: No offense, Staci, but I don’t feel much like talking anymore.
Me: But you haven’t told the readers anything yet.
Faith: You’re the writer. You tell them something. I’ve got my own issues to deal with. (stands and gestures toward the door)
Me: (walking to the waiting room) I’m sorry, Faith. But as I’ve said, what happens to you isn’t my doing. I just write down the details for other people to read.
Faith: Uh huh. Well, you go do that, and I’ll go try to put the pieces of my life back together. (slams the door behind me)
I guess Faith’s not thrilled with her current lot in life. And I feel just awful, because she’s right—where she is right now is miserable. I think we’re all rooting for a happy ending for her. (looking to the tree line) Who’s there? Come out. I saw you skulking around. (silence) Hello? (still nothing, so I bang on Faith’s door to warn her, but she won’t answer or even acknowledge me) I rush to my car and drive away. I need to tap back into the story well and find out if Faith is okay. I’d hate to be the reason she gets hurt. Again.
So that was my chat with Faith Keller from Pride and Fall. As you can see, she’s in a bad place at the moment. You’ll get to find out why, and what happens next, in a few months.
Until then, if you’d like to discuss anything in the Cathedral Lake series (or really in any of my work), I’d love to hear what you’d have to say. Leave a comment below.