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The Problem With Dead People: Character Profile - Lucas Rathbone

Ah, Lucas. I had to start these with him, didn't I?

Not that he appreciates it, of course. He really doesn't like the limelight, doesn't want to be different, wishes he could just have a nice, normal life, without the "gift" of being able to see spirits...

Except, he secretly loves it, and loves that there's something about him that's "special".

Because in virtually all other respects, he's the average man in the street, both in terms of apearance and profession.

I go pretty light on all my character descriptions (unless it's important to the story in some way - more on that another time, though), preferring to leave all that sort of thing up to my reader's imagination.

After all, my "average man on the street" might look very different to yours.

So, beyond saying that he has sandy blonde, slightly wavy hair and is so average in every way he might as well be as invisible as the ghosts he wishes he couldn't see, the rest is up to you.

However, if you really want to know, in my head he looks like Sgt. Charlie Nelson from Midsomer Murders.

Let me see if I can find a GIF...

Oh yes, here we go:

Lucas doesn't know nearly as many magic tricks, though.

But he does tend to look rather pleased with himself when he done something clever, so there is that.

Anyway, at the start of The Problem With Dead People, it's 1928 and Lucas is living in the small, fictional English village of Castlebury Magna.

Which looks a little like this:

Or, Generic Fictional English Village No. 274, as I like to call it. Pretty, stone-built cottages, lots of greenery, very peaceful. Everyone knows everyone, which is either a blessing or a curse, depending on how you look at it, and it's all very...


Except for when it's not, of course.

Anyway, Lucas just turned 24 years old, works as a reporter for the village newspaper, The Castlebury Gazette, and is pining after his on-again, but currently off-again girlfriend Clara, who we'll meet properly tomorrow.

Their relationship stutters not because they don't want to be together or aren't compatible, but because there's all sorts of stumbling blocks and Lucas feels it isn't fair to keep Clara hanging on like that - even though she has no intention of letting go, regardless of what life throws at them.

Because in addition to her living over two hours away by train, her brother Henry disapproves of his best friend's interest in her - though why, Clara has never really understood.

Lucas, on the other hand, knows all too well from one of his and Henry's all too frequent arguments on the topic.

But I'm not going to tell you everything now, am I?

The biggest stumbling block for the couple, though, is Lucas's mother.

Who loves Clara like her own child, so it isn't another case of familial disapproval by a long way.


Mrs Hettie Rathbone simply can't stand the thought of her only child living so far away from her since her husband didn't return from the trenches in WW1. She's never truly accepted the fact he's gone, even though logically she and her son both know Jim Rathbone has most likely been dead these past fourteen years. She basically wants to keep things as much like they were when he left as possible, just in case he ever returns.

And, Lucas being the good and dutiful son that he is, can't stand hurting his mother, even if it breaks his own heart.

Although, he did once come very close to making that decision...

However, Clara, being the sweet-natured girl you'll meet tomorrow, insisted that he couldn't hurt his mum like that, and that he wasn't allowed to leave Castlebury until she was okay with the idea.

That was four years ago.

All of this is why Lucas is dying of boredom right at the start of The Problem With Dead People, and why when he discovers that the latest spirit causing him problems was possibly murdered by a criminal gang, he doesn't run in the opposite direction like a sensible person would, but immediately starts investigating.

That and he thinks doing something dangerous will impress Clara, of course.

Silly boy.

In essence, Lucas is an ambitous young man who would love to have a successful career and live a happy life with the woman he adores, but puts the needs of others ahead of his own, and always tries to do the right thing even when it's difficult.

Which is sweet, except for the fact he grouses about it all the time...

Oh well.

Come back tomorrow to learn a little more about the best thing in Lucas's life, which is the lovely Miss Clara Jenkins.

Love, Saff xx

P.S. Still need a copy of The Problem With Dead People? Find it now on Amazon as an ebook, paperback, or read for free in Kindle Unlimited.

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