Last month I shared a character snapshot of Mac Galbraith, the romantic interest in my upcoming novel Grace Under Pressure. Today I thought it was high time you met Grace Moretti, the main character of the novel. As you can tell from the image above and her name, she is 100% Italian.
I love Grace because she’s a bit sarcastic, with a huge heart and a massive amount of talent (which you’ll discover when you read the novel). Let’s get to know about Grace….
Name: Grace Angelina Moretti
Age: 36 – Birthday: June 17, 1987
Looks: 5′ tall, short black curly hair with dark brown eyes. She has an easy smile. A lovely woman but not a classic beauty. Petite with an hour glass figure.
Education: BFA from NYU in Theatre Arts
Occupation: Recently left a managing director position at North End Theatre, an off Broadway theatre in NYC, and is now the executive director of the Mountain Glen Resort and Theatre.
Status and money: Comes from a blue collar family. Dad is a plumber and mom is the bookkeeper for the business, so the family is well off but Grace has a no nonsense respect for money.
Family/Ethnicity: 100% Italian. Mom is from Sicily and Dad is from Florence.
Relationships: Loves her parents and her brother Tony. She is a woman who forms lasting bonds with people. Henry Michaels is her best friend, along with Brad, his husband. She has a large group of friends from the NYC theatre community as well as Mountain Glen.
Places: Lives in a cute cabin in Mountain Glen. Her office is in the lodge but she’s typically moving around the property and rarely there.
Possessions: Her car, a chili red Mini Cooper she named Blaze. When she broke up with her ex, she didn’t leave with much. She made a clean break and moved on. Packed her clothes, her espresso maker, and a couple of boxes of books.
Recreation, hobbies: A runner and a reader, also loves to sing and sometimes misses her years of performing.
Obsessions: Grace loves to obsess about many things: making sure the resort and theatre are a success. Concerned that she does the best job possible and will stick with a project until the bitter end–sometimes at her own peril (like her last personal relationship). Likes to set rules for herself.
Beliefs: Any situation in life can be summed up best by Shakespeare.
Sexual history: She’s had her share of healthy sexual relationships but when the story opens she’s broken up with a guy she’s been with for years. The sex was ‘meh’ and the guy was toxic.
Ambitions: To be the best she can be at whatever she does. Always pushing herself to do the best she can–hence, the title of the novel, Grace Under Pressure.
Superstitions: She’s Italian and a theatre person–yes, she’s superstitious.
Fears: Deep down she’s afraid she’ll always pick the wrong guy and never have a relationship like her parents. There is a push and pull between a successful career vs. a successful relationship.
Attitudes: The world is better with family and friends.
Character flaws: Can have a bit of a temper but it doesn’t last long. Will take a lot of crap but when she pushes back, watch out. Grace is short of stature so she’s sensitive about not being taken seriously, especially in male dominated business situations.
Character strengths: Defender of the underdog, loves with her whole heart, even when it gets stomped on, intelligent, honest, and loyal.
Taste in books, music, etc: Loves musical theatre soundtracks (of course), jazz, and pop. When it comes to books she loves a naughty beach read or the classics. She’s got a soft spot for Shakespeare too.
Food preferences: Likes all foods but especially loves her mom’s home-cooked Italian food.
Astrological sign: Gemini
I am so looking forward to bringing Grace and Mac’s story to you later this summer. I’ve been having an absolute blast with the writing process. Next month I’ll share with you the “elevator pitch” for the novel. Until then, enjoy the spring (or fall for those of you in the Southern hemisphere).
What’s up with the Scottish tartan, you may ask? Well, my dear readers, this pattern belongs to the Galbraith clan. When I’m creating characters for my novels, I like to learn about what part of the world they come from as well as what makes them tick. It’s so much fun spinning these people out of my imagination but I find it helpful to know something about their culture and traditions as a jumping off spot. Side note: once I have a clear picture of who my characters are they tend to take over once the writing process starts. Honestly, they really do tell me where the story will go. Also, sometimes I have to rein them in!
In my current work-in-progress, Grace Under Pressure, the main male character (MMC) is Malcolm Galbraith–Mac for short. I knew he was going to be Scottish because, as you can tell from one of my recent Instagram posts, I have a weakness for a man in a kilt. If you’re not following me on Instagram, I’ve inserted a QR code at the end of the post for you to check it out.
So here are some fun facts about the Galbraith Clan. Slip some of these tidbits into conversation at your next dinner party.
The clan motto is Ab obice sauvoir. Which roughly translate from Latin to “Sweeter for there having been difficulties.”
The first record of the name is when Gillescop Galbraith acted as a signed witness to a charter created by the Lord of Lennox in 1208.
The name can be traced back to Angus in Northeast Scotland.
Finally, the ancestral seat of Clan Galbraith for over 700 years is Culcreuch Castle. It was until recently a hotel but I believe it is now closed, which really bums me out because I would love to go there!
But what about Mac, you may be asking? Who is he and what’s he about? Well, I always complete a worksheet that paints an overview of each character that I can reference back to when writing. Here are some details about our handsome Scotsman.
Name: Malcolm Andrew Galbraith
Age: 37 – Birthday: May 7, 1986
Looks: Tall (6’), brilliant blue eyes, dark auburn hair with close cropped beard and mustache, handsome and well built.
Education: Finished secondary school (high school) in Scotland then apprenticed in the theatre trades, building and designing sets.
Occupation: Set designer, carpenter, now Director of Facilities and Operations at Mountain Glen Resort & Theatre.
Status and money: Comes from money but doesn’t flaunt it.
Marital status: Never married. Came close once but ended up with a broken heart–more on that once the novel is published!
Family/Ethnicity: Scottish through and through
Relationships: Strong family relationships, friendships through his work in theatre.
Places (home, office, car, etc.): Home and office are the resort, ancestral home in Scotland outside of Edinburgh, with an additional family cottage on the Island of Lewis and Harris.
Possessions: Books and antique bookcase, an old drafting table that he’s had for twenty years where he creates set designs, his black Jeep that he bought when he moved to the US.
Recreation, hobbies: Avid reader, especially fond of Shakespeare and classics, enjoys swimming, sketching.
Obsessions: Mac is not a guy prone to obsession. Pretty levelheaded.
Beliefs: Loyalty, honesty, standing up for what is right.
Sexual History: He’s a hot guy, had his share of physical relationships. In other words, he knows his way around a woman’s body, but he isn’t a creep. Isn’t into one night stands.
Ambitions: Creating a successful career as a set designer, making Mountain Glen Resort & Theatre a success.
Superstitions: Has a healthy respect for some Scottish and theatre superstitions.
Fears: Losing a loved one. After his father suffered a stroke, he rushed to his side in Scotland and stayed until he recuperated.
Attitudes: People will eventually show their true colors, for good or ill.
Character flaws: Can be incredibly stubborn, stoic, guarded until he gets to know someone.
Character strengths: Loyal, honest, gives everything he has with his whole being, passionate.
Taste in books, music, etc: Enjoys classical literature and plays—especially Shakespeare. Eclectic taste in music but leans toward rock.
Food preferences: Meat and potatoes kind of guy, but always willing to try new things. Enjoys an occasional fine Scotch whisky.
Astrological sign: Taurus
Next month I’ll give you a breakdown on Grace Moretti, the Grace in Grace Under Pressure. I hope you love her as much as I do! Oh, and the manuscript will be going to my editor in early July 2023 so expect a release date by August–just in time for some late summer beach reading.