B is for Bertrand Everslee (published in Fleurs du Mal)
(Book Illustration, not the drawing I actually wanted to use. Tim Powers did a sketch of Bertrand on my manuscript at the WOTF workshop. It was perfect, but I can’t find the thing! AAAAAAAAAAAA!)
I wrote this story during the 24-Hour Story challenge at the WOTF workshop. Bertrand, therefore, didn’t actually emerge from a photo that I worked with during the writing. But he’s a fairly stereotypical English Gentleman of the 20s: Entitled, Mysogynistic, and convinced that the English are intrinsically superior to the French.
He was rather hard to write, and hard to like. He’s not sympathetic at all. He doesn’t care about his younger brother save in the purely dynastic sense (much as he didn’t care for his wife, either.) So when he’s sent (by Mother) to Paris in 1926 to wrest young Jeremy from the clutches of a scheming French vixen, he does it, grudgingly.
The story is, in its own way, either about addiction or vampires. Or both.
Will Bertrand be back in a later story? No, I don’t think so. It was hard enough writing him the first time…
An interesting aside: A few of the other WOTFers thought he would be a better character if I made him prefer men, which would make his relationship with Anne more strained, but I thought that would put too much strain on the situation from the beginning, and therefore make it obvious too quickly that something was wrong.