Who Knows Keltin Moore Best?

As an experiment, I thought I’d pull a question at random out of an online personality quiz and answer it for several of the main characters in The Adventures of Keltin Moore. Let me know if you enjoy this, and I’ll be sure to do more of these in the future. 😊

Question: Who knows you best?

Keltin Moore – I think that this changes over time. At first, it’s definitely Keltin’s sister Mary, as he wouldn’t allow himself to get close to anyone else after his heartbreak over Angela. However, over time, he’s gained some close friends whom he has learned to trust with both his life and his feelings. While he’s probably spent more time with Jaylocke than anyone else since The Beast Hunter, I’d say that at the current stage of Keltin’s story, my answer would have to be Bor’ve’tai, who has the advantage of a deep insight into human nature and an almost supernatural empathy for other people. Of course, the answer to this question could change over time. Maybe we’ll have to revisit this question after a few more installments in the series…

Jaylocke – This is a tough one, especially because it is integral to the plot of the fourth Keltin Moore book, which I’m currently working on. I’m going to hesitantly say that this is Keltin, mainly because of all their time spent together and the many times that Jaylocke has opened up to his Master over the course of his apprenticeship in the trade of beast hunting. However, just because Keltin knows him best, doesn’t necessarily mean that he knows what Jaylocke will do when he’s forced to make a choice that he’s been avoiding since readers first met him. (How’s that for a teaser?)

Bor’ve’tai – I’m going to say Grel’zi’tael for this one. This may be something of a surprise to some readers since we see relatively less of the venerable Sky Talker than other characters, but I believe that Bor’ve’tai’s insights into people largely came through Gre’zi’tael’s influence. Besides, I like the idea that Grel’zi’tael is able to completely understand a person after just a short amount of time with them. I think it’s tied in to his abilities as a Sky Talker and his innate understanding of natural laws and cycles.

Elaine Destov – I definitely think this would be her father. While Elaine loves her mother and younger brothers, she has a special bond with her dad. Part of this comes from his willingness to teach her about the world of business and work as a solicitor, as well as her eagerness to learn and natural ability. Beyond that, it probably comes from the fact that their relationship is at least partially based on Elizabeth Bennett’s relationship with her father, since Elaine has always been heavily influenced by my experiences with Jane Austen and Regency romances in general.

Wendi – I wanted to include Wendi because of her answer to this question. With her family gone, I think that Kuff the tamarin hound is probably the one person that knows her best. While Wendi’s grief prevents her from opening up to those around her, Kuff knows that she is a good person that deserves his respect and loyalty. In return, she eagerly gives him her love and devotion. Wendi’s relationship with Kuff is critical as she works to deal with her loss and find a place for herself in the world.

 

As always, thank you to my wonderful patrons:

Randall Hodgson, Mandy Vincelette, Matthew Paxman, Brenda Hayward, Yoshiyuki Nishikawa, Wil Sisney, Jarred Walton, Joel Stanger, and Kelly Wilbur.

If you’d like to become a patron for exclusive monthly goodies, check out my Patreon page here:

https://www.patreon.com/lindsayschopfer

Education in the World of Keltin Moore

It’s graduation time, so I thought I’d take the opportunity to answer some questions I’ve gotten over the years about how education works in The Adventures of Keltin Moore.

Since most of Keltin’s world is based on the late 1800’s of North America and Europe, it’s safe to assume that the education system is set up similarly. In urban centers, there are larger schools for children with multiple teachers and universities for adults. Rural areas tend to have the traditional single-room schoolhouse, with one teacher providing a general education for all school-aged children. This was the type of school where Keltin’s mother was employed when she met his father.

Speaking of Keltin, I’ve had some readers comment over the years that he seems uncommonly well-spoken for a man raised in the country, but we can thank the strong will of his mother for that. While she only taught school for the first part of Keltin’s childhood, she insisted that he and his sister Mary continue to attend regularly and be faithful to their studies. In addition, she made sure her children made use of her small but carefully stocked home library, and tried to take them to visit their more cultured Milner relations in Maplewood as often as possible. It was this upbringing that instilled in Keltin a deeper capacity for letters as well as critical thinking and self-expression.

As for Keltin’s companions, their backgrounds are as diverse as they themselves are. Bor’ve’tai received little formal education, going to work as a laborer from an early age to help support his family. More recently, he has been under the tutelage of Grel’zi’tael in the mysterious Loopi art of influencing natural forces, known as Sky Talking.

Elaine received both formal education as well as a great deal of instructor tutoring from her solicitor father. It’s safe to say that Elaine boasts the most varied and in-depth education of Keltin’s regular cast of characters, with impressive knowledge and insight in subjects ranging from business law and accounting to social etiquette and the arts.

Jaylocke’s education is the subject of several subplots throughout the series and will be the major focus of the upcoming fourth installment of the series. As a Weycliff wayfarer, Jaylocke received no formal education, instead receiving instruction from the elders of his troop in such subjects as cooking, craftmanship, the performing arts, and of course, genealogy. A Weycliff’s ancestors are more than the names of people who have passed on. They are a resource of knowledge and skill, provided that the wayfarer calling upon them is in good standing with their people and has sufficient knowledge of the specific individual called upon. The requirements may seem strict, but the benefit of the wisdom of multiple generations is well worth the effort.

Of course, education and knowledge can only take a character so far. Courage, integrity, and quick-thinking are equally important as Keltin and his friends continue their adventures in a world of fantasy, steam-works, and monsters.

 

As always, thank you to my wonderful patrons:

  • Randall Hodgson
  • Mandy Vincelette
  • Matthew Paxman
  • Brenda Hayward
  • Yoshiyuki Nishikawa
  • Wil Sisney

If you’d like to become a patron for exclusive monthly goodies, check out my Patreon page here:

https://www.patreon.com/lindsayschopfer

The Love Letters of Into the North

Letters have always been one of my favorite things to write and read in the Adventures of Keltin Moore. For me, they’re right up there with the beast hunts in terms of enjoyability. Like candy, they take a long time to make, are enjoyed far too quickly, and I always want more. After setting a precedent for featuring correspondence between various characters in The Beast Hunter, I felt secure in continuing Keltin and Elaine’s budding relationship through their letters.

Of course, including the letters did require some extra considerations. For instance, I had to train myself not to think in terms of instant responses. I’m definitely an inbox-watcher. I struggle with feelings of frustration and anxiety if someone doesn’t reply to a text or e-mail within a day. Still, I do have some experience with old-fashioned correspondence. During my 2-year mission on the Navajo Reservation in New Mexico, my only way of corresponding with my family and friends was through written letters, so I know what it’s like to see an envelope with real handwriting on it inside my mailbox.

While letters in Keltin’s world would definitely take longer than modern communication, I didn’t want to take that idea too far. After all, if letters are the primary form of communication for a society, then it stands to reason that they would have developed in such a way to make the mail system as robust, reliable, and efficient as possible. Even when delivering letters to and from a boom town in the far north, I figured it was safe to have Keltin expect reliable deliveries every few weeks.

While this delay of responses meant that I couldn’t write the letters like a long-distance conversation, it did allow me to let the characters say what they were really feeling much more easily. In addition to the relative security of writing to someone rather than speaking face-to-face, the time-delay in delivery would allow each sender to take their time with their responses. I envision Keltin and Elaine taking hours carefully considering each sentence as they write it, perhaps going through multiple drafts until they have expressed themselves to the best of their abilities. This idea allowed me to step away from the informality of dialogue and really indulge in more elegant prose.

A big influence for Elaine’s letters in particular came from Regency romances, my wife’s favorite genre. While most of the reader’s time is spent with Keltin in the rough and rural parts of the world, I try to give a small glimpse of the upper classes through Elaine’s correspondence. The contrast between her elegant speech and Keltin’s more rustic style is something I particularly enjoy.

I once teasingly asked my wife if she would like Keltin’s stories better without all the beast stuff in-between the romantic things. She replied–quite correctly–that it would make Into the North into a short story. Still, it’s a short story I wouldn’t mind reading on Valentine’s Day.

 

As always, thank you to my wonderful patrons:

  • Randall Hodgson
  • Brenda Hayward

If you’d like to become a patron and gain access to sneak-peaks and shout-outs, check out my Patreon page here:

https://www.patreon.com/lindsayschopfer