Beautiful People, Vol. 16: Uncle Lusan from “The Keeper’s Curse”

Beautiful People 1

Beautiful People is a monthly blog meme hosted by Cait @ Paper Fury and Sky @ Further Up and Further In. Every month they pose 10 questions for writers to answer about their writing and give readers the opportunity to learn more about the writer’s characters.

Lately I’ve been expanding my character profiles for some of the supporting characters in my WIP, The Keeper’s Curse. One of those profiles is for Uncle Lusan, a minor character in TKC and the uncle of my protagonist Eva (and the husband of last month’s BP focus Aunt Maji). For some reason, I never felt like I knew him as well as I should, so I was hoping this month’s questions would help. (And also because June is the month for Father’s Day, and Lusan’s a father figure to Eva. *wink* ) Luckily, this month’s questionnaire was perfect for him – although it’s the Childhood Edition, so all of the questions are geared toward his childhood. (*lol*)

Regardless, here are some quick facts about Uncle Lusan: He’s a 45-year-old winged Feiri, with pale blue eyes and long, black hair with blonde streaks that are going gray. But, again, this post will focus on Lusan when he was a boy. Ready?

(Visit the Beautiful People category page to catch up on past BP posts.)

Uncle Lusan collage

Notes about the collage, with all images found on Pinterest:

  1. Since the questions focus on Lusan’s childhood, I included two photos that (when combined) are close to what Lusan looked like as a boy.
  2. Yes, your eyes aren’t tricking you. When I picture Lusan as an adult, I see Lord Elrond / Hugo Weaving from the Lord of the Rings films – except wearing much simpler, plainer clothing and no “crown.” 😉
1. What is Lusan’s first childhood memory?

This isn’t Lusan’s first childhood memory… but it’s definitely his strongest.

When Lusan was 4 years old, he visited his father’s shop. (His father was a fletcher / arrowmaker.) He had gone there with his mother when he was younger, but this particular visit is the one he remembers most. Lusan was fascinated by the array of bird feathers, the smells of cut wood, and the bowls of paint on one table. He didn’t touch anything, though. He knew better than to upset his father or hurt himself with the sharp tools and flintheads. But his curiosity showed in his eyes and overall expression as he looked around the shop. This memory stuck with Lusan as he got older and sparked his passion for his craft.

2. What was one of Lusan’s best childhood experiences? And one of his worst?

Lusan doesn’t have one “best” moment of his childhood. He’d say that he’s grateful for a number of experiences and memories from that time in his life. Some of the brightest moments would be his arrow-making lessons with his father, and teaching his twin younger brothers Lakutsigo and Devirseko to hunt.

As for his worst childhood moments, Lusan was saddened by the loss of his grandparents and found the first liersiva (a Fei memorial ceremony) he attended to be overwhelming. (Lusan doesn’t show a lot of emotion, and feels uncomfortable around overly emotional people.) He also remembers the first time he cut his hand during his fletcher training, and he criticized himself for not being more cautious with his tools. His father, however, was more understanding of Lusan’s mistake.

3. What was Lusan’s childhood home like?

Lusan lived in a kagende, a traditional “split-level” Fei home with a treetop level for bedrooms and an underground level for cooking, eating, and entertaining. (Click here to read more about a Fei kagende.) There wasn’t anything distinct or unique to Lusan’s family’s house compared to others; and despite there being three boys, the treetop level was big enough to accommodate rooms for all of the fledglings. And Lusan was very thankful about that, since he liked having his own room!

FYI – Lusan and his current family live in a different kagende today. In Fei culture, the youngest child is expected to care for their aging parents, then inherit the home once the mother and father have passed on. So, Lusan built his family’s kagende while Devirseko, the youngest of Lusan’s twin brothers, inherited the home where he and Lusan had grown up.

4. What was something that scared Lusan when he was a boy?

Heights. Or rather, heights when climbing trees. It sounds like a strange thing for a Feiri to be scared of, since Lusan could have fanned his wings and “caught himself” before he fell. But Lusan felt more in control of himself when he flew, and was a relatively cautious fledgling to begin with. So, tree-climbing was too adventurous for him.

On a fundamental level, Lusan was afraid of losing his parents, especially before he felt he would be ready to take over his father’s shop. This fear arose when his paternal grandfather passed away. It’s understandable, though. No child ever wants to lose their parents when they’re young.

5. Who did Lusan look up to the most?

His father. Their time together in the fletcher’s shop allowed them to grow closer, making them not just father and son, but also friends and business partners. Lusan also admired his father’s diligence in his craft, sense of professional integrity, and emphasis on family responsibility and following tradition. All this inspired Lusan to run his business the same way once it was his, and to ensure that everything he did was for his own family.

6. What was Lusan’s favorite childhood food? Least favorite?

As weird as it sounds, Lusan loved vegetables. (He still does now.) He especially liked beans and carrots. And his least favorite food? Bread. (*blinks*) I guess his nature-centric spirituality as a Fei influenced his food preferences when he was a boy!

7. If Lusan could go back to his childhood, would he do anything differently?

No. Lusan is happy with his childhood and how it has shaped him into the man he is now. He also didn’t experience much upheaval or turmoil when he was young, which might explain why he has “no regrets,” so to speak.

8. What kind of child was Lusan? How did he behave?

I’d love to say that Lusan was a troublemaker – but he wasn’t. 😉 He was a quiet, obedient, and hardworking child. And though he wasn’t one of the top students in his class, he received good marks and was often complimented on his diligence and his respectfulness toward peers and instructors. He was also reserved when meeting new people, but opened up once he got to know them better.

9. What were Lusan’s relationships with his parents and siblings like?

Out of his parents, Lusan was closest with his father. Question #5 addressed that pretty well. He loved his mother, too, and he was happy to help out at home if she needed him. But he didn’t feel the same attachment for her that he felt for his father.

As for his brothers, Lusan was and still is closest with Lakutsigo, the older twin. Both boys were practical and “hands-on,” so they spent time together hunting, fishing, and fixing or repairing things. They also balanced each other out; Lakut was more gregarious and reminded Lusan to have fun now and then, while Lusan kept Lakut grounded.

With Devirseko – not so much. His and Lusan’s personalities were and still are very different, since Devirseko is more easygoing and artistic. So, they didn’t have a lot in common when they were young, but Lusan learned to appreciate Devirseko more as they grew up.

10. What did Lusan want to be when he grew up? What did he become?

Lusan knew from an early age that, being his family’s firstborn son, he would be expected to take over his father’s shop one day. He didn’t rebel against this expectation – he simply accepted it, since that’s the kind of person he is. Plus, he was interested in arrow-making anyways (see Question #1), so he was happy to learn the trade. Today, he’s a fletcher and the owner of his family’s shop, so his ambitions turned out exactly as he had planned.

That’s a wrap on this month’s Beautiful People! What do you think of Uncle Lusan now that you know him better? Do you have any other questions for / about him?

32 thoughts on “Beautiful People, Vol. 16: Uncle Lusan from “The Keeper’s Curse”

  1. As ever, you have provided us with a comprehensive, very thorough characterisation of Uncle Lusan. I’m curious, given that fiction thrives on friction, what role Lusan plays in TKC… He clearly had no childhood trauma or major upset. I note that you have carefully avoided telling us of his current state of mind as an adult, other than he achieved his ambition to carry on the family business. So, is he a protagonist or antagonist in your story?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks, Sarah! 🙂

      Lusan is a minor character in TKC. He appears in three scenes during the first third of the story and is referenced by Eva (the protagonist) other times later on. (He’s not part of Eva’s journey with the Council and the Mountain Men, so he stays behind with Aunt Maji at home.) I’m at a point with TKC where I feel like I know Eva well enough that there’s no point in doing more Beautiful People posts on her, so I’m focusing these posts on other characters who I’d still like to know a little better. Does that make sense?

      The only reason why I didn’t mention Lusan’s state of mind as an adult is because the questions didn’t call for it. Cait and Sky decided to do a “childhood” themed questionnaire this month. Hence the focus on Lusan when he was a boy. But in TKC, he’s an adult.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Ah! It all makes sense. I had assumed you didn’t tell us more about his adult life because he provided some gnarly plot points and you didn’t want to spill some spoilers along the way…

        Liked by 1 person

      • *lol* Don’t I wish he’d throw those kinds of curveballs. 😉

        Nah, Uncle Lusan is a rather grounded, predictable character. But you don’t see him much in TKC, especially once Eva and her travel party leave home.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Oh, I love learning about Lusan. I was beginning to forget about these posts! I’ll not let June pass without doing at least one for one of my characters!
    Can I say that Hugo Weaving is awesome which makes me think that Lusan must be a fantastic character as well 😉
    I love how he was a quiet child and had a strong bond with his father. It was a good choice to cover his character in June as you said with Father’s Day coming up.
    Also have to admit that I tend to love the uncle characters in books, so Lusan is someone I’ll definitely be looking forward to getting to know better in the future 🙂
    Thanks for sharing ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes yes! I’d love to read more about your characters through BP posts. 😀 And if you don’t get to it this month, you can always do the July questions instead. They’re usually posted on the 5th of each month.

      *hee hee* Yeah, I couldn’t help including a Huge Weaving image. Lusan really does look a lot like him – though Lusan is more plainly dressed and homely than Elrond.

      Wow. I didn’t notice that. I had picked Lusan because he’s sort of a father figure to the protagonist Eva, so that was the original Father’s Day connection. But yeah, his strong relationship with his father is also appropriate for this month.

      Thanks for stopping by, Faith!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. So Lusan is solid and reliable, but very traditional. I could see him being at odds with Eva more in actions than principles, am I right? I love the variation in your characters – it strikes me as extremely realistic, which is truly important to a fantasy world. After all, not every person has an explosive or traumatic childhood, and plenty of people have/had good, healthy relationships with their parents. I like how you’ve focused on more minor characters through the last few BP. It shows the depth and variety of both your characters and your world 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • “I could see him being at odds with Eva more in actions than principles, am I right?”

      Yes. You’ll get a glimpse of that in TKC, too. 😉

      And thanks so much for your comments about the character variety. That’s something I’ve really been striving toward in TKC and its story world in general – because, like you said, there’s such a variety of people in our own world. Some people have happy childhoods; some don’t. And others are somewhere in the middle. And then you go into morals, personalities, occupations / strengths / weaknesses, etc… But the most important thing is that every character is going to bring something different to the table. There may be some similarities (if you really think about it, Vandar and Lusan are a lot alike), but everyone is meant to be unique. So I’m really happy to hear it’s showing through. 🙂

      And like I mentioned to Sarah Higbee, I’ve been focusing on the secondary and minor characters lately because I know Eva well enough that I don’t feel the need to do more BP posts on her. Same goes for Aurek. I might do more on some of the other Councilors again… But I already have two other characters in mind for the next BP posts. It all depends on which questions are asked. 😉

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  4. I think it’s fun that he has a job not often given to characters in fantasy works — a fletcher! I was just realizing that a lot of my current WIP’s character base is “soldier,” but I still don’t know what rank, or their specific job, haha. But the story is in the details, yes? He sounds like an interesting character… and as a result of this survey, it looks like he revealed a lot you didn’t know about him, like food preferences, haha.

    As someone who is scared of heights only when on a ladder (and not climbing a tree) I do understand his fear. 😦 I once fell out of a magnolia tree and didn’t get hurt (landed in a pile of sand)…. but my brother fell off a ladder from a second story height and I’ve never felt safe on them since. X_X

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks, Alex! And same here; I haven’t seen many fletchers in fantasy lit. But it’s a believable job for the time period, world, and Fei culture, so why not? Plus, it ties in nicely with Eva’s favorite weapon. 🙂

      Yes, this month’s questionnaire really helped me get to know Lusan better. I don’t think much of the new info will translate into TKC, since a) it still matches my overall impression of Lusan, and b) he only appears in three scenes before Eva & Co. leave for their mission. But it’s all good stuff to know regardless!

      Oh my gosh. I hope your brother is OK now…?

      Liked by 1 person

      • Oh yeah, haha. He fell off it a couple decades ago. Nothing hurt but his pride. 🙂 The image always stuck with me though, and I’ve never trusted ladders since. 😛

        Liked by 1 person

    • Yay! 🙂 And thanks, it did help me flesh out Uncle Lusan some more. Working on this post in tandem with bulking up his profile made him more real to me.

      I remember being EXTREMELY picky about vegetables when I was a child. There were certain ones I refused to touch. I’m still a little finicky about them now, but I eat them more often and am more openminded about them. 😉

      How did I miss your BP post?! I must have deleted the email notification by accident. *blushes*

      *runs over to Tori’s blog to catch up*

      Like

      • See. I was that weird kid who hated candy and loved vegetables. XD

        It’s no biggie haha. Are the emails working now? I forgot to check back after finding a possible solution.

        Liked by 1 person

  5. Lusan sounds like an interesting character! And I love the worldbuilding we keep getting hints at. 😉 I can tell there’s a lot of depth to your world. Like the fact that the youngest child of a family is expected to take care of their aging parents. Details like this just spark my curiosity to explore this world even more…

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks, Brianna! I’m really glad I picked Lusan as my BP subject this month, because it gave me an opportunity to get to know him a little more. And I think that’s important for all our characters, no matter how minor they may be.

      *blushes* Thanks for the worldbuilding comment, too. Those bits just seem to come out naturally through the BP answers sometimes. And the better you know your story’s world, the more believable it will be for your readers, right?

      Like

      • Absolutely! If details like that are coming out naturally, that’s a good sign. 😉 The more developed a world is, the more I tend to enjoy it as a reader, hehe.

        Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks, Joanna! I don’t have any spin-off stories in mind for Lusan, to be honest. He’s had an uneventful life compared to other characters in TKC; I mainly chose him for this month’s BP post to get to know him better.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks, E.! I’m glad everyone seems to like Lusan so far.

      You know what’s weird? The only uncle I can remember from fantasy lit is Vernon Dursley from Harry Potter. Oh, and Thorin was Fili and Kili’s uncle. But that’s it. :S

      Liked by 1 person

      • I only remember uncles from movies/tv shows usually. With books if I can’t fully visualize the uncle character, I most likely won’t remember them. :/ (Unless it’s Thorin of course! 😀 )

        Liked by 1 person

  6. Pingback: Time Flies!: June 2016 | Sara Letourneau's Official Website & Blog

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