Character Profiles

Character profiles: Discretion and secretive vs. open and rebellious

The final character profile from A Motif of Seasons compares two people, one with a strong sense of discretion, who hides their feelings and keeps secrets, and another with a strong and emotional openness and the rebelliousness of a new generation forged in war.

Count Frederick Paul von Deppe

Frederick is Count Joseph von Deppe’s younger brother, and is a courtier at the Royal Palace. He is discreet, enigmatic and hides a deep secret.

Countess Arabella Elisabeth von Eisenwald

Arabella, not yet in her 20s, is beautiful, precocious and rebellious. A gifted singer, a lover of Shakespeare and English poetry and isolated in conflict-torn Germany she seeks sexual pleasure, only to fall deeply in love in the midst of the tragedy of war.

Tomorrow, on the 100th anniversary of the ending of the Battle of the Somme, A Motif of Seasons will be published. I hope these character profiles have given you an insight into the lives and loves of the key actors in the book. If you’re keen to read more, you can buy the book here from tomorrow.

Character profiles: Unorthodox backgrounds

The penultimate character profile from A Motif of Seasons contrasts a man of enterprise whose character is undermined by greed and disloyalty with a young man from a similar unorthodox background but who does not succumb to the same petty human weakness.

Ernst Kiefer

Kiefer is a devious fixer, chancer and thug who allows his principles, loyalty and honour to become misplaced by flawed ambition and the pursuit of money. Beneath a surface of self-confident malice lies a weak and insecure man in search of respect and redemption.

Florian Whitfield

Florian, the grandson of Robert Whitfield, is a young Royal Flying Corps pilot, tested in battle on the Western Front in the Great War. Within a hard shell formed during his unusual childhood – shared between his Bohemian life-style parents in London and the more formal family structure of Meltwater in Norfolk – he is a man of great gentleness and sensitivity.

A Motif of Seasons is published in paperback and ebook edition on 18 November 2016. You can pre-order the book here.

Character profiles: A mother’s blindness

Today’s character profile from A Motif of Seasons features another mother and daughter: a woman, full of suppressed rage and unfulfilled revenge, who fails to see that her daughter, despite her contrasting happiness and success, is just as vulnerable and insecure.

Rebecca Bartlett

Rebecca is a young English governess to Count Joseph and Countess Beatrice’s children. Betrayed early in her life, she seeks not only the warmth of true and loyal companionship but also to assuage her deep bitterness towards her betrayer. Despite achieving security her heart is forever stricken.

Alice Bartlett

Alice is Rebecca’s daughter. Beneath her lustrous veneer of femininity, sexual allure and flirtatiousness which men find irresistible is concealed an earthy young woman whose instinct for survival is shaped by an east London childhood. She becomes an integral strand in the von Deppe family fabric and an accomplished pianist. But while she is outwardly bold she remains within deeply insecure and vulnerable.

A Motif of Seasons is published in paperback and ebook edition on 18 November 2016. You can pre-order the book here.

Character profiles: Inflexibility vs outmanoeuvring

Continuing the series of posts introducing new readers to some of the key characters in A Motif of Seasons, here is the third pairing. Count Joseph von Deppe and his wife Countess Beatrice offer a perfect juxtaposition of Prussian-style inflexibility against a woman’s determined and clever outmanoeuvring.

Count Joseph von Deppe

He is head of the von Deppe family and a senior official and counsellor in the Prussian (later German) Parliament. Though warm and approachable, he is overly principled, stiff in attitude and a strong advocate of German nationalism.

Countess Beatrice von Deppe

Joseph’s wife Beatrice is softly spoken. Yet behind her gentle exterior is a determined and strong believer in fairness and honour. She is a worthy opponent of her husband’s frequent inflexibility and a persuasive exponent of pursuit of the future rather than stuffy adherence to outmoded traditions and outdated attitudes.

Does this relationship sound familiar to you?

A Motif of Seasons is published in paperback and ebook edition on 18 November 2016. You can pre-order the book here.

Character profiles: The good and dark side of human nature

Continuing the series of posts introducing new readers to some of the key characters in A Motif of Seasons, here are the second pairing. Charles Hardinge and Robert Whitfield typify the contrast between the good and dark sides of human nature and the damage the latter can cause.

Charles Hardinge

Victoria Elise’s English husband, he is an admired barrister – fair minded, wise and clever – with a shrewd ability to observe events, people and their motives and to hide his feelings and inner thoughts. He is the perfect foil to his mercurial wife.

Robert Whitfield

An only child, he is the patriarch of the family’s large estate – Meltwater – in Norfolk and rich investments in London. He is vain, manipulative, secretive and unprincipled. Yet beneath his overarching ambition and palpable self-confidence, he is weak – a coward driven by fierce inner demons of envy and greed.

But again, the question is: which would you rather be?

A Motif of Seasons is published in paperback and ebook edition on 18 November 2016. You can pre-order the book here.

Character profiles: Who would you be?

Over the next few days, I’d like to introduce new readers to some of the key characters in A Motif of Seasons. As an author, I’m fascinated by the different aspects of human nature, so I’ve decided to pair the characters up to compare and contrast them. Here are the first two.

Exemplified by a typical mother/daughter adversarial relationship (which many of you will be familiar with from your own experiences), today’s pairing introduces Countess Elisabeth Mariette von Schellenhorst and her daughter Countess Victoria Elise.

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Countess Elisabeth Mariette von Schellenhorst

Granddaughter of the famed Countess Arabella von Deppe (the lead character in The Music Book and Fortune’s Sonata), family matriarch and fierce keeper of an old music book full of past family secrets, she is a formidable and duplicitous woman with a secret of her own. Now in her twilight years she considers the time may have come for Herzberg to let go of its much vaunted past but lacks the courage of her belated conviction to say so.

Countess Victoria Elise

Elisabeth Maritte’s daughter and only child, she is refined, striking and – in sharp contrast to her mother – unconventional and opinionated, leading sometimes to verbal duels. A brilliant pianist and a challenger of the past, she takes risks to her mother’s horror. Her love of music and her intense sensuality are her principal weapons to fulfil her ambitions; and she shares her great grandmother’s belief that the centuries old notion of the weaker sex is a malevolent means by men to enforce continued female inequality.

The question is: which would you rather be?

A Motif of Seasons is published in paperback and ebook edition on 18 November 2016. You can pre-order the book here.