You have to admire talent. My baby-sister Amy (she’d probably kill me for saying that!) recently finished the Illustration and Design program at college and has moved on to animation at University. She’s an amazing artist, always has been. So when I asked her to draw me a picture of Jeru, the main character of my book The Purple Morrow, I knew I was in great hands. Really, it’s like she looked into my head and found all the elements I was thinking of and put them into this image, including his expression. There is a character interview with Jeru here that you can read, but I’ve also included a short excerpt below where you can read about one of the major events that shaped Jeru’s life as well as his future decisions. Enjoy!
Taken from Chapter 1-Ashes to Ashes
Something was wrong. He watched the current, scrutinized
the stones, and peered through the trees, looking for the
source of the disturbance. Though nothing appeared amiss, he
could not shake off the sudden, cloying sense of apprehension.
Should we stop? Or should we take the risk and cross the river?
Each time he thought of crossing, a thrill of anxiety twisted in
his gut. He looked down at his wife, still wrapped securely in his
arms. He could not ignore the light of excitement and expectation
shining in her face.
“‘Liyah,” he said, “these stones are slippery. People have
fallen in and drowned because of it. Just remember that the
fourth one is smaller than the others, so it’s a little harder to get
a good grip.”
“Don’t be silly. I’m from the Water Clan, Jeru. I’ve been
crossing stones like this since I was a child. Anyway, with you
beside me, I’ve got nothing to worry about.”
A cloud passed in front of the sun, plunging the area in
shadow. Jeru tightened his hold on her. On impulse, he bowed
his head and kissed her hard, savouring the taste of her lips and
the silky feel of her hair as he entwined his fingers in it. Then he
stared across the river, spying the path they would take to slip
behind the waterfall into the tunnel which led to the caves. It’s
really not that far. We can make it.
When they broke apart, she tilted her head to the side.
“Are you alright? You’re acting a little…odd.”
“Spirit above, woman! Can’t a man enjoy his wife without
being reprimanded for it?”
Still watching him with some uncertainty, she said, “It’s
just that you were squeezing me as though you were afraid to
let me go.”
“I’m fine. I had a strange feeling, but only for a second.
It’s gone now.” It was a lie, but he could not think of anything
else to say to save the moment.
“Alright, then. Now that you’ve had your head start, can
we—?” She gestured at the caves.
Jeru uttered a silent prayer to the High Spirit before stepping
off the shore onto the first few stepping stones. He held
Aliyah’s hand in a strong, protective grip while keeping his eyes
fixed on the opposite shore…
Copyright © Dyane Forde 2013