There are some interesting characters in Raveneye and I’d like to introduce at least some of them to you.
The first words of the novel are spoken by Edie Newsome. Edie is in the process of transitioning from Edward to Edie. She’s been a woman all her life, but as she puts it, “My damned body was too stupid to know that.” Edie’s lived outwardly as a woman for a couple of years, as part of the transition process suggested by her doctors and therapist, but is only just beginning the actual transition, beginning hormones in preparation for the needed surgical procedures yet to come. She’s outspoken, has an unusual sense of humor, laughs easily, especially at herself, and is fearless.
And this is Edie:
“Where’s his file jacket?” Teo pushed away from the door and looked around for the file folder that should have been on the reception counter.
“Well, that’s the thing. There’s not one. Management said not to worry about it.” Edie shrugged. “Some important person on the down-low, I figure. Can’t be his real name, so I didn’t google him.”
Teo nodded. “It’s not that unusual. Many of our guests don’t want it known they’re gay, after all.”
Edie grinned. “You’ve kneaded some famous backsides, all right. And some whose congregations would give a lot to know about it.”
“I don’t like that look, Edie.”
“Teo, you know I’m not going to jeopardize these cushy digs. Living at a resort? Not gonna risk losing that. It’s just that little devil in me, enjoying thinking about it.”
“Is that the bit that hasn’t had the surgery yet?” Others might gossip about where she was in the transition process, but Teo saw no point in changing the way they interacted simply because Edie was no longer Ed.
“You’re into fur?”
Edie grinned and pantomimed throwing a pen at him. “If I didn’t think you’d be busy later…”
“Too much woman for me, girl.”
“What’s a lady have to do to find something to stick her dick in around here?”
That’s Edie! Let’s take a look at Teo next.
Teo is Latino and Native American (US American), the son of a medicine man and a young Latina woman who defied her parents in marrying his father. His past is dominated by hard work and even harder play, trouble and separation. He has had little direction in life. Estranged from his father, raised by his migrant worker mother until he came out at 16 and she tossed him to the street. His grandfather on his father’s side took him in and for the first time, Teo developed goals and dreams, finally going on a quest, both spiritual and physical, to locate his father. It was his found-father who started him on the peyote road and the two were very close until was killed in an accident. Once more alone, Teo sought a spirit guide and found Gaagli, Navajo for Raveneye. Teo unites with Raveneye under the influence of peyote and continues his quest for wisdom and understanding. He trains as a massage therapist and goes to work at Aguajero Azul, a semi-secret resort primarily for gay men, but open to anyone who isn’t homophobic as well as lesbians, bi- and a-sexuals, transgender persons, and those who truly have no idea who they are.
Teo is quiet, reserved, and somewhat slow to speak, though not truly reticent. He simply ponders things before giving his opinion. He’s very hot-blooded and impulsive by nature, his hispanic genes at war with his NA genes. Control will always be an issue — he wants the dom role, but he needs the sub role instead. His history of poor choices means he’d rather let someone else give him instructions, lay out his day when he is working. He needs a clear understanding of expectations. When he retreats or is off, he needs no direction or control, though he may need reminding about chores.
He takes pleasure at times with clients, but avoids sex during massage, meeting them later, since massage is spiritual and sacred to him.
His tastes are simple — minimalist furnishings, mostly repurposed items. Art is spiritual if he has it at all. The few decorative objects he has are meaningful personally. He avoids TV — too easily sucked in as he was by nightlife when he was younger. He cooks most of the time — simple meals of rice and beans, with meat a rare splurge & he always feels guilty for eating flesh. He juices, avoids alcohol, though not marijuana and peyote.
That leaves us with Dusan. I won’t say much about him, since some of the discoveries of who and what he is are part of the plot.
He’s Bulgarian, and has no clear recollection of his age or early life. He knows, though he keeps that hidden from Teo, what he does for a living. He understands that his being an assassin will not set well with Teo. A couple of paragraphs from the book:
“Not a body-builder, but his fitness was obvious in the long lean lines of his torso, tapering from invitingly broad shoulders to slender hips. High cheekbones, different than Teo’s own, but still pronounced. The man’s eyes were a deep tawny brown, with flecks of gold scattered through the irises, and Teo was sure they could read him as if he were a—not even a book. Maybe a children’s book. Few words, but lots of simple lines and interesting shapes and colors.
‘I’m Dusan Sokolov. They didn’t tell me your name when I made the arrangements.’ His accent was subtle, but it was there. Even without the name, the voice would have confirmed one of the Eastern Bloc nations as his home. A hint of a smile tugged at the corners of the man’s wide mouth. His grip as they shook hands was firm, his hand an odd mix of soft and rough, as if he worked with his hands, but also took pains to care for them.
I hope you’re as fascinated by these three as I’ve become! October 24th you’ll be able to find out more about all three and the other characters I haven’t mentioned here.