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.