(originally published for the A-zChallenge in 2015)
The single most important person to me in the Darkness Deadlies is Elliot. He is in fact, probably the most important character to me full stop, and he’s been around now for 16 years. And instead of telling you about him now, I thought I’d first tell you all about how he and I ‘met’.
Nanowrimo Prep t-5 days, 2003
One evening in October, after settling the kids in for the night and organising their weekend visit to their dad’s, I was getting ready for bed and suddenly, this voice started talking to me. It as male, quite quiet, and though he was telling me about some really horrible things, he was quite kind and interested in what we were talking about. The first night, all he told me about was the incident in the prison that released Naire (that’s not a spoiler, it’s clear in the description for Paradise). The next night, he told me about his wife, Beth, and their soon to be born first child. The third night, he introduced Morrigan and Harper. Things started getting weird then. Elliot still came to talk to me, but he didn’t talk about personal stuff – instead, it was all about cases.
At the time, I ‘cast’ Chris Meloni as my Elliot, having seen him in Oz. Nanowrimo 2003, when I was looking after the whole of Scotland for the very first time, I wrote the whole of Glass Block for the very first time. Tall, quiet, mostly unflappable, 11 years on I regretfully recast him because I adore Chris Meloni, but he might be a bit older than El needs to be, so now I use Mischa Collins (Castiel) for my references. But I’m also very careful to ensure that there’s just enough to sketch Elliot, but enough to let you guys map him out.
All about the man…
He’s always been dependable, sharp, a bit rebellious. There’s a singlemindedness about how he obeys people and orders, but he’s a good policeman. Over the years, he and I have clashed over a few things, though not as much as I’ve expected to. He lives in a room in my head, and every so often, he comes and tells me new stories.
As the years have passed, things changed slightly in the book – for a start, I introduced more antagonists – the ex-press technician was developed from the idea that Elliot had to have other people to bounce off of. Elliot needs to question, investigate, learn…so I needed to give him a couple of source of information.
And I had to deal with the problem that was Beth, because…well…that’s a spoiler. But it sets up a lot of the initial standoff between Elliot and Naire.
The worst of it is, for Elliot at least, that Naire can rearrange how he looks. It’s painful for him, but he can do it. And if he’s working with someone inside the project, he has access to a lot of resources that he can use…
Tomorrow is F for Farran…a different character from a different series (Black Monday), but for today, what do you think of Elliot?