When a friend passes...
In the span of just over 12 months, there have been over 9 people that have passed away that have been a part of my life in one capacity or another. It sucks, and I don't do well with death, especially because at 43 I have seen more of it than anyone should at my age. Some of these people I had lost touch with and only saw once in a while. Some I was not as close with from the start but were a big part of the community. All of this happened in the span of me releasing The Spite of Salem and writing Tales of the Voudou Queen.
I decided that I wanted to do something special for them so I made them all characters in Tales of the Voudou Queen. Below you will find their descriptions and a quote from a fellow friend or family member.
Shannon- The owner or the boarding house where Bethany and Hanna stay during their time in New Orleans. She is placed under a spell in order to try and stop Bethany and Hanna from completing their task. “Shannon was an extraordinary individual. He would tell you like it is. Shannon was a hard worker and would give the shirt off his back to help anyone and everyone. He didn't know how well liked or loved he was. We love you and miss you.” Dustin Mann
Timothy- A local officer who assists Bethany and Hanna with the different issues relating to the survival and death of some of the characters. This character is in dedication to Tim Johnson, a friend who passed away on March 19, 2022. “When Tim walked into a room, the room was instantly improved. He had the easy-going breeze and talents unimaginable.” Red Genson
Tammy- The owner of a local café visited frequently by Bethany and Hanna curing their time in New Orleans. She is known for making the best beignets, as well as her generosity and kindness. This character is in dedication to Tammy Bury. She passed away with family by her side on September 27th, 2021. “My mom was full of life, no matter what adversities were in her way. She was incredibly selfless and would give anyone the shirt off her back. There was never a moment that my sister and I didn’t feel her love for us; she was the most dedicated mom! She would light up every room with her personality & her infectious laugh. She is missed by so many!” Briana Johnson
Nick- A fellow guardian pulled back in during the Eleanor Roosevelt expedition to assist in using sonar technology to aid in finding Amelia’s plane. This character is dedicated to Nick Huffman who passed away June 9, 2022. “He was giant among men, both in personality and stature. He was a lot of things to a lot of people, and there was no question where one stood with him. His proclivity to air in the side of "shock and awe" overshadowed almost everything about him... except his desire to help people. That is the legacy this larger than life man leaves behind.” Elizabeth James
Lisa- The sitter that watches Charlie while Hanna and Bethany are on their tasks. This character is dedicated to Lisa Lambert, a mother, a friend, and a lover of nature. She passed away February 13, 2021. “Her smile lit up every room she entered and she tried to even help the helpless. If she could move mountains for you, she would. There was not a person she met that didn't become a friend. She loved her children (biological and not) more than life itself, loved every creature and nature.” Andreah Lowery
Marilee- A fellow guardian who traveled to New Orleans during 1850. She is one of five placed under a spell in order to try and stop Bethany and Hanna from completing their task. This character is a dedication to my godmother, Marilee Haberkamp who passed away on April 21, 2021. She was the complete opposite of her character. “She was one of the hardest working women I know, soft spoken, with a huge heart. She wore her heart on her sleeve for everyone to see.” Michelle Dukes
Richard Raymond- A fellow traveler who traveled to New Orleans during 1850, and another one of the five placed under a spell in order to try and stop Bethany and Hanna from completing their task. (quote from his daughter coming soon)
Charlie Thomas- Hanna and Hector’s son. He goes from one to seven years old during the timeline of the story. He calls Bethany "Sissy” and always hates it when Bethany and Hanna have to leave.
Number 9 is my grandfather who we lost just before thanksgiving. He was actually used as a character while he was still living in To Bring Him Home, a reincarnation of Merlin. My grandfather's name was Melvin.