I have read the series already (it was released in Canada a few years back), and absolutely love the books – especially this one! Highly recommend this series. One of my favourite characters is Ate, a good friend of Jack’s. Ate has a huge part of this book, and the bromance between Jack and Ate is wonderful. Today I have a guest post from C.C. Humphreys all about the lovely Ate.
Thanks C.C. for stepping in to talk to us about this wonderful character!
I knew when I began the ‘Jack Absolute’ saga that I wanted Jack to live one of my fantasies – the frontiersman, a little like Hawkeye, a brilliant tracker and hunter. I also have always been fascinated by First Nations, and especially the Iroquois, since childhood – I am sure there was some wonderful picture book I had, full of proud strong warriors, running through forests. My theory of writing is always to write what intrigues me, and what I want to learn more about.
Its also a good policy in novels to surround your main character with other strong ones. A good antagonist, of course. An alluring, powerful lover. And, if possible, a best friend.
Thus was Ate born. I love writing him, his contrasts. I think the image that sums him up best is the scene in ‘Jack Absolute’ at the Oriskany ambush. He’s waiting to fight, sitting there in his loin cloth, his massive tattooed muscles, his scalp lock, tomahawk and musket to hand, scalps of recent victims tied to his hip. He is a complete Mohawk warrior, Wolf Clan, imbued with all the traditions and culture of his tribe. Yet while he waits he reads. Its Samuel Richardson’s recent novel ‘Clarissa’. He doesn’t really like novels, prefers plays – especially, of course, ‘Hamlet’, he carries that obsession for me! But General Burgoyne lent him the volume and he feels obliged to finish it. What he is very pleased with is his recent purchase in London, a new invention in the 1770’s. Bifocal reading glasses.
That’s Ate, so called ‘savage’, cultured Enlightenment man. He is also fiercely competitive with and utterly loyal to, Jack. He is the great observer of Jack’s flaws, especially his folly with women.
It was great to go back to the beginnings of their friendship – that started in such enmity of course, in ‘The Blooding’. To see why the bond is so strong, born of hardship and the struggle for mutual survival. Ate is able to learn a different philosophy, through the learning of ‘Hamlet’, one that begins a thirst for knowledge that will take him throughout his life. And for me, to meet a Mohawk warrior at a re-enactment, and get him to teach me the Iroquois for: ‘To be or not to be.’ That was cream on the cake.
Readers love Ate. They beg for his further adventures. I love him too and hope to oblige. Maybe one day I’ll write a novel from his perspective, with Jack as the foil. Now that would be a fantasy come true!
You can find a FREE ebook preview of the Jack Absolute series, The Irresistible Jack Absolute available on Kindle, NOOK, and Kobo.