Author's have their favorite children among their characters. Mine is from Turning Idolater . . .
Philip Flaxen, the protagonist in Turning Idolater is somewhat of an Oliver Twist character. I fact, Turning Idolater owes a great deal to Dickens and Melville. Philip has been disowned by his Brooklyn family for being gay, and is rooming in a tenement in Manhattan with his friend, Sprakie, who has showed Philip how to earn his living stripping on the Internet. However, Philip is smitten, by a book - Melville's Moby Dick, a volume that a trick gave in lieu of payment, and Philip now yearns for something better. And he finds it in an older man - a writer, and throughout the story this tainted innocent is drawn though the needs and wants of others and through serial murder mysteries and the ups and downs of love, until he realizes his jounrney has elevated him along the heroes' path and he joins the world of the survivng and the saved. No other character in my canon has ever sat beside me, whispered in my ear or touched my soul like Philip Flaxen. He lives in me and in all of us. I hope that each reader of Turning Idolater takes Philip's special voyage, because "it's time to go to sea," and whaling is a bloody business.