Meet the Duke

So I said that I would be posting something about the new story and it’s main character. Admittedly I’m still getting the feel for him and his voice, but I want to introduce you all to Duke Benjamin – the new protagonist to join my Wisconsin state police detective. To properly introduce you though, I need to take you back to when I was inspired to create him.

I’m sure you’ve all read my “about” page in which I talk about getting into watching The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson. Well, around the end of February there was an incident where an audience member was ejected from the show. He yelled out, “I love you Kelly Bundy!” For this an Audience Coordinator escorted him out. The next night Craig Ferguson had the AC in question on the opening of the show. I’ve embedded the video below from the gentleman’s YouTube account.

So I had this picture of Ben Dukes roaming the countryside and ejecting people from their own homes. This morphed into a guy who was a country western version of the mariachi from Desperado. A weapon toting badass with a guitar case full of sharp pointy things. Country singer for pay, bounty hunter and monster hunter by trade. So thus, the second protagonist for this story was born.

Of course some of this came by linking up to his Twitter account and seeing the video on YouTube. Basically the singer with the guitar case weapons cache was born from seeing his videos where he plays his music. He’s an Audience Coordinator (I just love the sound of that) and also a singer/songwriter. Check out his YouTube page and you can see some videos of his music.

Now normally that would be the end of it. I was inspired to make a character, I made it, I used it. But this time around I was pledging out parts of my story. I decided to self publish the book and allow people to have characters named after them. For more money I allowed them to bribe me so that I let their character live. In one case I offered a bribe not to have a character named after a friend killed by spiders. So far none have taken me up on the “not dead” bribe. But this gave me an idea.

I contacted Ben Dukes with the information on the story. I told him about how in plotting the story I wanted to introduce this character he inspired and asked if (in the nature similar to the others) he would like the character named after him as well. His response was that it would be great to be adapted into a weapon toting badass. Additionally he is helping to give me ideas on music that would relate to the character for my scene writing. Specifically he gave me the name of a Johnny Cash song used in a zombie movie – When the Man Comes Around. Don’t ask me why I hadn’t thought of this in the first place, but I didn’t.

This morning was the shift at the coffee shop for the barista I have code named Rockabilly Barista. And I’m not lying here. She has spurs on her boots. Spurs! She also has a penchant for playing Johnny Cash on their sound system. And yes, Johnny Cash was playing this morning. And yes, When the Man Comes Around was totally playing when I walked in. That adds serendipity to my story right at Day 1. I mean I knew I had a better than even chance of JC being on the system, but what are the odds that one song would be playing when I came in?

So I sat down with my triple Americano, a cinnamon roll (forgot my damn lunch and breakfast at home), my iPad, a new journal for notes in this project, my writing totem (Monkey!) and my first merit badge. The merit badge was a no-brainer. It’s awarded for writing a friend or family member directly into your story. Hell, I knew I was doing that before I even started! Just over 1200 words later I’m not at my goal (1667 minimum for the day), but I’m getting the voice on Duke down. Getting a feel for the personality as it were. Now I just need to know that girtty nasty stuff that led him to become a self-trained monster hunter.

I’ll have more offerings throughout the month revolving around the book. I’m also going to release the playlists on iTunes for the story once I solidify them. Keep checking back for all sorts of DVD extras. Until then, anywhere I mention Ben Dukes here will link to his website and you can check out his music.

Update: Since working this blog I may be leaning towards Dukes as a nickname for the character. If I do, I may not name him in this book. Or, I will give him a name that is only used once or twice. Playlist is nearly done, I just need to figure out how to make it so I can link it in a blog for people to sample and purchase.


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