In book one of my historical trilogy, the character of Evie showed up in Matilda Cumming’s kitchen. Evie wasn’t in my outline, but every manor house in the old South needed a cook. Very little thought went into the character of Evie until she blossomed on the page. An elderly slave with every reason to hate the world, Evie’s sweet spirit and bedrock Christian faith blessed my heart.
When it was time for the main character to leave Matilda Cumming’s house, I teared up at the thought of leaving Evie there, stuck in slavery, with no hope of ever being free. But I had to leave her. There wasn’t a logical reason for her not to remain. It was hard.
But where did Evie come from? She wasn’t in the outline. She wasn’t on the character sheet. She wasn’t anywhere on the radar when I sat down to type that morning. I’d never envisioned her and I didn’t even struggle over her name, it just popped into my head. So you know what I think?
God put her there.
That’s the only explanation.
I’m thrilled that Evie shows up again in book two, helping another young person trying to find someone they love. Her goodness is like a beacon. I wouldn’t be at all surprised if she makes an appearance in book three. I haven’t started writing that one yet – well, only the first scene – but I rather suspect she will.