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  • Writer's pictureJoseph Delmari

IN CHARACTER: Morgan Callahan, the Blackridge Saga

Updated: 6 days ago




As this is the first post in my new blog series “In Character,” how could I select anyone other than the very first character I ever created?


I was 18 years old. Just graduated high school, trying to get interested in college (wasn’t working), and sitting in a creative writing class. My favorite prime time soap opera at the time was just cancelled that summer. Ended on a cliffhanger, no less. I was pretty miffed. I felt cheated. I couldn’t believe they ended the series like that and I wanted more, so I started to write something of my own. That’s where Blackridge came from.

 

Morgan was created in that creative writing class and battled an intruder in her office late one evening on her own, throwing him out the window. (Ah, the impetuousness of my youth) I still remember the gasps of astonishment from my classmates as I read them my assignment for a “short-short,” since that’s what it was called. It wasn’t a short story, it was a short-short story. It’s a real thing, honest! 😊 And so, after that, I had a strong, central character that I could write about. I didn’t know a lot about life yet, being only 18, so I put a lot of myself into her and in those early days of writing Blackridge, it wasn’t working out as far as a sensible story went. I had no idea what I was doing and I was very tired of school, so I didn’t finish and decided to just go to the beach. I ended up learning a reliable trade for work, but I kept writing all the time.

 

Morgan was the central figure of Blackridge from the very start and that never changed. Everything else changed around her. She was so strong, there was no way she could be replaced. Too much had already started to happen with the series anyway. It was a mess in the beginning actually. I freely admit that and I think I’ve touched on it in other posts, but that’s the way it goes sometimes with any form of art in the early stages. Morgan was the foundation of something that I knew would be with me for a very long time and I was right about that. I created her and then everyone else in Blackridge was created around her. There are a lot of characters in the saga, but the one thing that stands out about Morgan is that she’s really the main character in all of it. There’s a lot going on in Blackridge, but she’s central to the entire saga and I knew that she would have to be able to handle it all.

 

She was 25 when I started Scavenger Hunt, the first book of the saga. I thought that would be a good age to start. I found myself at 25. I learned who I was then and who I wanted to be. Well, I started that at 19 when I first came out because I refused to live a lie. I was going to be who I was, nobody was going to stop me, and I wasn’t going to be ashamed. I was a good person who was raised well and loved by my family. A lot of that went into my writing because the old saying goes, “write what you know.” So I did. By 25 I had the foundation of who I was and so Morgan changed over time to become that, too. Since I had no formal writing education, no degree in English or whatever, I grew along with the story. Blackridge is truly my life’s work and from the very beginning, Morgan has been there. Other characters have come and gone, but she is the constant. I believed in myself and I believed in her to carry the story along.

 

You know how there is always one character in a show on television that appears in every episode and that character is usually the main one? The same goes for Morgan. She is in every book of the Blackridge Saga and I have also planned for her to be in the sequel trilogy that features a new cast of characters along with some established ones from Blackridge. I couldn’t leave her out, even with a new cast of characters that are all very vibrant and interesting in their own right. It was good to have Morgan there with that because most of them already know her, too. The way that Blackridge works is that one way or another, the characters have either heard of or know Morgan directly. She changed with me, though. When I was strong, she was strong. When I struggled, she struggled. We are the same and yet we are very different. In a lot of ways, she got me through it because when I really started getting solid feedback from people reading Blackridge, it was always Morgan that fascinated them the most and Morgan who was the character they remembered or mentioned first. They always commented on how strong she was and how much her fictional personality resonated with them. That was very rewarding for me.


Now that I have access to quality AI image generation, I've been able to create her visually in the exact manner that I have always thought of her as. It's astonishing to be able to see it after only having her in my mind and heart for all these years and what you see here in this post of her and all of my other character posts going forward are the most accurate depictions that I've been able to get of my characters. To me, this is who they are and I'm really happy to be able to share them with my readers.


From that very first moment in time when she fought that unknown assailant in her office at night on her own with no help from anyone else, I knew I had someone who could endure all of the things that Blackridge is and will forever be, because she had to endure it. So many people come and go in the saga, but Morgan remains, ever watchful, ever protective, and ever sure of herself … because she worked all her life to get where she is and there was absolutely no one who was going to stop her.

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