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Inspiration From Books September 10, 2010

Posted by Me in All For Love, The Patriot.

During the course of writing the last couple of chapters, I’ve been reading a historical mystery trilogy recommended to me, taking place in Maine in 1786.  I checked these books out from my library, not with the intention of gaining writing inspiration from them, but merely for enjoyment. I was soon inspired by one character, that of Marcus Tapp.  He nearly jumped off the page at me and I knew I had to incorporate him into my story, as he was such a good fit with Tavington and his dragoons.

The books are the Hannah Trevor series by Margaret Lawrence:  Hearts and Bones, Blood Red Roses, and The Burning Bride, which, for some reason, I’ve been reading in backwards order.

The moment Marcus Tapp first galloped onto the scene for me as the hard nosed Sheriff of Sussex County, I was immediately drawn to him, just as I was when William Tavington did so in the scene at the Martin farm.   The author provided enough description of him and his activities that I knew he’d fit in well with Tavington’s dragoons. Like William Tavington, he’s a rather conflicted man, like most good antagonist characters are.

He’s described as a former mercenary, a libertine, ambitious and loyal to no one but himself, a good horseman, a man “who neither loves nor hates” (though he seems to want the main female character to love him and there is a sex scene between them), sleek and handsome, so I knew immediately I wanted to do something with him.  He’s a bit like Tavington, a lot like Gul Dukat — how could I resist?

I’d also wanted a fleshed out character in the enlisted ranks for some time, so he was tailor made for the purpose.  My only regret is that I’d not read these books sooner and used him sooner, so readers should forgive me for making so much use out of him so late in the story.

Esther (Loves History) and I have discussed which actor we’d have wanted to play him, had he been in the Patriot, and below I’ll include several candidates, after which readers may vote in a poll.

Sean Bean

Viggo Mortensen

Ioan Gruffudd

Clive Owen

Johnny Depp

Two other actors I considered because they have the right attitude and the right mannerisms, but  ultimately rejected because they were too old were Alan Rickman and Marc Alaimo (Gul Dukat from Deep Space Nine), as both men are well into their sixties.