I’ve been rambling on about my current project, Tesla’s Ghost for quite a while, and I’m pleased to say that I’m coming close to having the first draft completed. It’s not like any story I’ve ever written, and I hope readers get as excited about it when I release it sometime later this year.
But I talked a few days ago about letting your characters talk to you, which really begged the question: who are my characters? Tesla’s Ghost takes place in the 1890s, and in the present day, so there’s two groups of characters. And with the theme of History Repeats Itself, you will see some similarities:
Nikola Tesla: Genius, brilliant electrical engineer and inventor. He was born in Serbia and immigrated to the United States to work for Thomas Edison, but soon outshone Edison and became his rival. In my story, he has become a celebrity in his own right. He is eccentric, a loner, vain, concerned with how the world sees him, especially those who support him financially. He is uncomfortable around children, but respects those who have families, even though he doesn’t understand the appeal.
Fritz Lowenstein: Assistant to Nikola Tesla, born in the Carlsbad region of the Austria-Hungary Empire. Married to Elizabeth Schmidt and came to America to work for Nikola Tesla in 1892. He is in awe of Tesla, is madly in love with his wife, and constantly torn between his responsibilities to family and his loyalties to a demanding genius of a employer.
Elizabeth Lowenstein: Young, educated wife of Fritz Lowenstein. Born in Kitzbuhl, Germany. Christian. Outspoken and opinionated, which often gets her into trouble. Often has dreams that are premonitions of dangerous things that will or may come. She supports her husband in his career, but also sees great danger in his work with electricity and their involvement with supernatural forces.
Those are the three main characters from the 1890 story. Here are the family members from modern day:
Emil “Eli” Lowenstein Inverness: Junior physics major at Placido College in San Diego, California. Child of separated parents, he is desperately in debt and about to flunk out of school. He is an eternal optimist, a charmer and believes in his friends. He is short-sighted, and is not too realistic in his goals. His plan is to work with friends to create a computer game that they will sell and use the money to get through school. He is in love with Sam.
Samantha “Sam” Burgess: Senior computer science major at Placido College. Best friend of Eli, and on-again, off-again girlfriend. She is a realist and sees the advent of the journal as a monumental event that goes well beyond what is happening to them right now. She cares deeply for Eli, but also sees his flaws and realizes that their relationship can cause problems that they aren’t prepared to handle right now.
Alois Truman, PhD: Professor of Physics, Placido College. He’s smart, but he’s no genius, even though he would like to be. Truman has a lack of social skills, is lonely, and has trouble understanding other people’s perspectives, which makes him an outsider most of the time. He studied Tesla in his graduate work, and later becomes obsessed by him. He seems Eli’s journal as a gift to the world, and not the possession of one person. Therefore he has no compunction in taking it from him.
In the next few days, we will come back and revisit them.