Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Meet My Main Character - Jamie "Hangman" Lynch

My friend and fellow author Justin Aucoin has asked me to carry the torch for another leg in a great "Meet My Main Character" blog-hop. This is an opportunity for writers to introduce to readers the main character of a work in progress or soon-to-be-published work. So, I'm picking Jamie Lynch, the MC of my current work in progress.

Before reading more, be sure to check out Justin's blog post, where we meet his main character, Jake Hawking.

1) What is the name of your character? Is he/she fictional or a historic person?

My character's name is Jamie "Hangman" Lynch. He's a fictional character, part of my "Lynch Family Legacy" of characters featured in my other books, such as KILLER INSTINCTS and my COMMANDO series of WW2 novels. Jamie is the son of COMMANDO's Tommy Lynch and uncle to KI's William Lynch.

2) When and where is the story set?

The story is set in 1973, and starts in San Diego, California. The story quickly moves up the coast to San Francisco, where events take place all over the Bay area, from Palo Alto to Bodega Bay.

3) What should we know about him/her?
 
Jamie's 24 years old in 1973. He's a former sergeant in the United States Army, 5th Special Forces Group, and from 1970-72, served in the top-secret Military Assistance Command, Vietnam - Studies and Observations Group (MACV-SOG). Previous to that, he was a corporal in the 101st Airborne Division, and fought in the Battle of Hamburger Hill in 1969, where he was wounded. In 1973, Jamie has been out of the military for about nine months, living above a surf shop along Mission Beach in San Diego.

4) What is the main conflict? What messes up his/her life?

Jamie made it back from Vietnam in fairly good shape, both physically and mentally. He suffered a few minor wounds, but he's in prime physical condition. Mentally he's doing okay, although he has recurring dreams and nightmares about the war. Most recently, his dreams have involved going back to the war, and even though in some of his dreams he gets killed, the overall sense in his dreams is that Jamie is happy to be back "home" in the war. He's self-aware enough to realize that the hum-drum civilian life isn't for him; he's spent his entire adult life so far in the military, training for and fighting in a war, and now he's basically a beach bum, living off some money set aside and working a part-time job in the surf shop he lives above.  Jamie begins to feel like "a tiger in a cage, restless and confined", and worries that one day he'll channel that aggression and confined feeling in a way that will wind up with him in jail, dead, or some other unfortunate outcome.

So, Jamie gets in touch with General Carson, an officer who used to be Jamie's CO back in Vietnam. He confesses his problems and asks Carson for help. Carson tells Jamie he knows of a businessman up in San Francisco, the head of a tech company with strong ties to military technology research, who is in need of someone with Jamie's skill set to "solve a problem". Jamie, not caring much what the problem is and only knowing it'd give him an escape from his cage of inactivity and boredom, accepts the job. A great deal of violent conflict ensues shortly thereafter.

5) What is the personal goal of the character?

Jamie's primary motivation throughout the story is to find purpose in his civilian life. Like many veterans, he's come back to the "real world" after being in the military for over five years, and the Army is the only adult life he's ever known, and his skills-set is, at the very least, pretty specific. He can't picture himself living the life of a 9-to-5 office dweller, driving to work every morning in a station wagon, typing up reports and sitting in meetings, then going home at the end of the day to a house surrounded by a white picket fence, containing a darling wife and two perfect children. Even at the young age of 24, Jamie firmly believes there's no way that kind of life is his destiny.

On the other hand, Jamie understands that selling his lethal skills in the private sector is a dangerous game. As the story unfolds, and the events begin to spiral out of control, with more and more collateral damage and unforeseen consequences, Jamie realizes he's essentially a murderous criminal, and there's a good chance his actions might get him killed or sent to prison for the rest of his life - exactly the sort of outcome he was trying to avoid in the first place. On the other hand, he's got several other characters in the story, especially the mysterious gun-for-hire named Richard, affirming that this is the life for him. It becomes a tug-of-war between Jamie's moral character, and his belief in his ultimate place in the world outside of the Army.

6) Is there a working title for this novel, and can we read more about it?
 
The book is titled HANGMAN: SAN FRANCISCO SLAUGHTER. I hope this will be the first in a series of short novels featuring Jamie as he goes on further adventures, all under the HANGMAN series title. I wrote a teaser blog post regarding the book here.

7) When can we expect the book to be published?

I hope to have the first draft completed by the beginning of May, and off to a small cadre of interested Beta readers. Depending on their feedback, and the amount of rewriting I have to do nor not do, I hope to have the novel out on Amazon for the Kindle and Trade Paperback formats some time in June.

UPDATE: Author Mark Allen is the next stop on this blog-hop - you can meet his main character, Travis Kain, here on his page.

1 comment:

FreeLiverFree said...

Sounds interesting. I don't think there's ever been a family saga in Men's Adventure fiction before.

By having you ever read Mike Grell's Jon Sable, Freelance comic? I think it would be right up your alley.