D is for Duilio

Duilio Ferriera (published)

Photo source: An Eddie Bauer catalog, I think.

Duilio is the hero from my “Ambergris” series, a series of stories set in an Alternate Northern Portugal of 1902. Due to his upbringing, he’s missing a lot of the more common prejudices of his day. His mother is a selkie, but one raised among humans. She is involved in the family’s business, has investments and money of her own (I’m not going to reveal where a seal got lots of money but if you think about it, it’s kind of obvious), and strong opinions about the rights of women. She raised her sons to treat woman far more equally than most men of that era. And because she’s not human, her son also lacks any prejudice against non-humans. After all, he’s half selkie himself (although he can’t take seal form).

Duilio’s father wanted his sons to be gentlemen, so he bought his way into favor with the prince. So Duilio is accepted by the aristocracy, but only to a point. They never forget that he’s new rich, not old money, old blood. And Duilio doesn’t mind that too much. He’s not really suited for the idle life of a gentleman. He wants to be out doing. So after studying law at Coimbra, he spent several years working with various police forces across the continent (and the UK). Now that he’s back in Northern Portugal, he ‘consults’ for the Security Police, which essentially means he’s an unpaid Inspector for them.

He’s not your average paranormal hero in that he’s no superman. He’s not fond of killing (he’s done it a couple of times, and has nightmares). He likes to box, but hates fencing. He wears black a lot, but have you seen men’s clothes from that time period? They all wore black. And Duilio lives with his mother. (This is actually far more normal there, and it’s his house, anyway.)

He is a seer, but not a particularly strong one. (His father suspected his selkie blood interfered somehow with that inheritance.) It’s enough to help him along as an Inspector, but not enough to solve any cases for him. Oh well.

4 thoughts on “D is for Duilio

  1. Was there something specific about 1902 Portugal that drew you? Sounds intriguing – someone completely lacking prejudice living in an era when society was built on it.

    1. I ended up in Portugal by looking for a country with a lot of coastline. 1902 is simply a time period I like working in….on the edge of a new world, in a way.

      The prejudice consideration is mostly his upbringing, but it’s also hard for a modern person to read a character with old world prejudices and not cringe all the way through the book.

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