I have decided that I’m going to be doing a bunch of different character portraits. Feature pieces about character in my books (Main and supporting). This will just be additional information on these characters but nothing that will spoil the books and nothing that the books are really missing (as in you won’t have to read these pieces to understand the books) it’s more like companion media for the books to get people interested or easter eggs for people who have already enjoyed my work. That being said let’s get started with the first character portrait:
CORDELIA BANKS (Book: Birthright)
Lot 743, also known as Cordelia Banks, originates in this book. She is from a labor colony off the banks of the shore (hence her last name and designation) where she helped to mine for salt. Cordelia is one of the rare breeds of slaves that actually grew up in the elite society. She was born to a woman who was sold into a prosperous family to have his child. This breeder gave birth to Cordelia, fulfilling her contract and enabling her to stay within elite society for doing her “job as a woman”. Cordelia was treated very nicely after her birth. She went to the best schools and was given nothing but the top level toys, foods, and attention as birth in the elite society is pretty rare. She learned to read and write but by the age of six there was a purge. A movement of, untouchables who were sent away to the labor colonies based on the creed of the all powerful Leader. This was in an attempt to breed designer babies and one huge master race (mostly blond hair and blue eyes). Cordelia didn’t meet the qualifications as she naturally hard red hair and blue eyes which caused her to be shipped out along with any other underage person who did not meet the current beauty standard.
Once she arrived at the colonies on the banks she was immediately put to work. Child labor was never an issue for the Leader if the child was unwanted. Cordelia was also put through several “training” programs to teach her the rules and make sure that she worshiped the Leader with undying loyalty. Unlike 99% of the rest of the slaves in the labor camps, she was able to read and write which gave her the ability to escape the propaganda and never become brainwashed. Sure, she knew how to act, follow the rules, and do what they wanted her to do but she didn’t believe that the Leader was the messiah or God. That idea was always ridiculous to her.
In her teenage years she met another slave named Gordon Banks. He brought her half of a chocolate bar on her birthday which was worth more than gold to her, seeing as how food like that in the colonies was incredibly scarce. This made them fast friends and over the next few years in secret she taught him how to read and write while he risked his neck getting her bootleg media and contraband for them to share together. Gordon was never as well behaved as her and had been punished many different times. He always had his ass on the line and came very close to being executed more than once.
Due to their love of music and singing random duets together when they were in private, Gordon and Cordelia ended up falling in love with each other. In their twenties they applied for a permit to live with each other. In order to be cleared for a permit like that, she needed to be tested to make sure she was not fertile. All slave girls over the age of eighteen were tested periodically for fertility and if they were found to be able to bare children they were shipped off for reprogramming, training, and then eventually sold at auction. Both Cordelia and Gordon knew that it was a risk but they were in love and they wanted the right to be together without risking certain death if they got caught. Unfortunately, Cordelia was found to be fertile and immediately shipped off…where eventually she was purchased as a breeder girl for Avery Ellington.
The inspiration for this character comes from the actress Scarlett Pomers. Someone who I had admired for years due to their story and talent within the acting and music universe. Scarlett, to me, was someone who was so incredibly strong and beautiful, smart, talented, and funny. I felt that it would be pretty awesome to make a character as an homage to her because she had, by that point, been retired from acting and music for quite some time. Scarlett went through a battle with anorexia but then became outspoken about it. She even started a non-profit charity organization to help people with eating disorders get help if they couldn’t afford it. She did several interviews about her disorder, how it happened, going to rehab, and her music but eventually stepped out of the spotlight for good in 2014. As far as it is known (to me) she’s still alive and well just not in the media anymore.
Her music is and was a huge part of what helped me to write Birthright. I actually have an unofficial soundtrack/playlist for the story which you can find here on my YouTube channel. A lot of the songs on that list are songs that she wrote and performed herself and really capture the nature of the book and her relationship with Avery Ellington. Not just that but the feel of the entire society and what is happening around that time. I make playlists like this for all my books because music is one of the things that inspires me the most.
Though I am saddened that Scarlett will probably never come back into the acting or music world, I am happy that she’s gotten help with her problem and if this is how she wants to live her life and what she needs to do in order to stay healthy, I fully advocate that. She’s a strong woman and a beautiful soul and since I’m sure I will never meet her or even be able to tell her all of this I created Cordelia and a universe for her to thrive. Hopefully, others will give this a chance and see what an amazingly strong woman can do when tasked with something that seems absolutely impossible.
You can purchase Birthright at this link here.