I had some time yesterday before last night’s Penguins hockey game got underway and finally finished a character outline for the next upcoming novel Power Play. Character outlines are a habit for me, since they not only give potential readers an idea of where the story is headed, but also a peek inside the characters themselves.
I thought I’d share the Power Play character outline today with my readers.
Alexandra “Alex” “Al” “Galla” Galloway, 22: Five feet tall and 140 pounds with reddish-brown hair and violet eyes, West Virginia native Alex was solely raised by her father, the late Quinn “Scot” Galloway, a Scottish-born laborer and groundskeeper who sometimes worked many as three jobs to cover basic household expenses, his beloved daughter’s lessons, and a move to New York to chase her acting dream. Her immature and irresponsible mother, Susan, abandoned the family when Alex was three months old.
Alex has training in acting, vocal music, ballroom dancing, archery, and hockey (field, street, ice). Her intended ambition since age six was to be an actress, but despite efforts made by her theatrical agent, Doris Mullens, Alex’s acting jobs were usually bit parts, walk-on roles, the chorus, or as a crowd scene extra.
When Doris sends her on an audition for Vancouver Venus, a motion picture docu-drama about the struggling Canadian Ladies Hockey League team, Alex is selected as a Venus center with three speaking lines. That role – and catching a prominent sports star’s eye – results in a more successful career she never before considered: becoming a professional hockey player best known for breaking the American Hockey Conference’s (AHC) gender barrier when she joins the Pittsburgh Rebels as its first female member.
She forms solid friendships with other teammates: fellow center Reggie Hebert; defenseman Byron “Preacher” Brady, forward Davy St. Cloud; right winger Brian Donahue, and goaltenders Pierre Germaine and Greise Faust.
Alex travels several bumpy roads early in her first year with the Rebels: being the target of pranks by four of her new teammates and endless sexist comments by veteran Jax Ivanka before she finds courage to confront him, enduring sports journalists, a finicky Rebels fan base, the team’s current roller-coaster season, and initial conflicts with her mentor, Troy Talmadge.
Troy Talmadge, 27: The 5‘11, 200-pound, dark-haired, dark-eyed captain hails from Yarmouth, Nova Scotia and takes pride in his Atlantic Canadian heritage. He’s been with the Rebels for nearly ten years, receiving flack from fans, detractors, and media alike during his career. Troy is professional, a total perfectionist, and always concentrates on the next game. He understands all ups and downs that come with the title of captain and usually handles everything well.
He’s an incredibly fast skater, effective forechecker, phenomenal puck handler, sharp play reader, and his leadership role is vital to the team. Troy’s additional acumen for spotting new talent by “discovering” Davy St. Cloud and Alex Galloway made several key people take notice, from his agent, Glenn Collins, to Rebels management.
He’s focused, aggressive, and passionate, unloading a litany of profanities and complaints on referees when things go against his team. Away from the spotlight, Troy tends to be a bit shy and awkward. He dislikes taking “selfies,” and isn’t comfortable touching or being touched by strangers, evident in many fan photos that often show him hiding his hands in pockets.
Troy locks horns with Alex several times during her first months with the Rebels on several issues: her peanut M&M’s, Diet Pepsi, and coffee vices, not going to the gym more often, her (albeit harmless) flirtatious relationship with Jax, what Troy perceives as her being “overly friendly” with male fans, and occasional mistakes during important games. Nevertheless, the pair warm up after their respective hidden sides are revealed to one another. Alex takes Troy’s opinions to heart – though she doesn’t always agree with them – and never fails to express gratitude both publicly and privately for his contributions to her career. In return, he develops respect for her as both player and friend…and later as a woman.
Pierre Germaine, 30: The Rebels’ starting goaltender, the 6‘2, dark-eyed, shaggy sandy-haired,180-pound French Canadian from Quebec holds the current AHC record in shut outs among his many accomplishments. He is fluent in both English and French, switching between both languages with ease on appropriate occasions. Pierre has a strong media presence, is a family man, and along with German backup goalie Greise Faust, helps Alex ease into the transition of her new environment when she first arrives at the Rebels’ training facility.
Brian Donahue, 28: A 5’11, 190-pound right winger from Ontario with dark hair and brown eyes. He worked on a Texas oil rig while a senior in high school, where he was a star hockey player. Brian is deaf in his right ear as result of an explosion injury and wears a hearing aid, but doesn’t let this disability limit showing his true on-ice potential. He’s proficient in reading lips, but sign language skills are limited until Alex takes the initiative to teach him. Touched by her compassion, Brian designates himself as a big brother figure. He and Troy are equally critical of Alex’s bad habits when Brian isn’t being overprotective of her. He’s short-tempered and often involved in verbal and physical fights with opponents and teammates alike, resulting in trouble with coaching staff or racking up penalties.
Reginald “Reggie” Hebert, 26: Born in Montreal, the six-foot, 200-pound defenseman is product of a French Canadian father and Caribbean mother. He’s outgoing, friendly, and personable. As the team’s sole biracial member, Reggie understands Alex’s struggle of not being the “cookie-cutter white boy AHC player,” and goes out of his way to befriend her, sharing many aspects of the professional hockey world.
“Crazy” Vince Beaumont, 24: The sandy-haired, brown-eyed, 6‘6, 215-pound left winger from Calgary is more known in the locker room for his warped sense of humor than actual athletic prowess. His best friends on the team are Lenny Walton and Marty O’Freel, both whom Vince joins pulling pranks on teammates. Vince frowns upon Alex’s presence – though he does not voice his true feelings – in addition to holding a longtime silent resentment to Troy’s team captain status, making both Vince’s favorite targets for jokes.
Marty “The Irish Warrior” O’Freel, 34: Born and raised in Missouri, Marty is occasionally teased by fellow players about his “ginger head,” blue-eyed pale features, and Irish ancestry. He joins Lenny, Jax, and Vince in playing practical jokes on Alex until she defeats the 6‘1, 210-pound defenseman in an locker room arm wrestling match. Like Troy, Marty is fully game-focused once on the ice and active in community projects, but exhibits crude behavior on occasion and despises team meetings.
Byron “Preacher” Brady, 31: 6’2 and 220 pounds, the well-groomed, dark-haired, hazel-eyed North Carolina youth minister-turned-Rebels defenseman can be brutal against opponents when the moment calls for it, yet a soft-spoken Southern gentleman behind the scenes. Byron still adheres to Christian values and is devoted to his family. He’s an enthusiastic participant in Rebels-sponsored charities, particularly those geared toward disadvantaged children and teenagers. He lends a non-judgmental ear to Alex when she airs grievances about everything from being on the receiving end of Lenny, Jax, and Marty’s hazing to frustrations with Troy. When he’s bemused or annoyed by teammates’ antics, Byron often uses the line “Y’all need Jesus.”
Lenny “Our Ho Ass Alternate” Walton, 25: The Rebels’ second alternate captain with an accent reflecting his native Georgia. With shoulder-length dark hair and brown eyes, 5‘10, 190-pound Lenny loves women and often brags about conquests with puck bunnies. He’s also into pulling practical jokes on fellow Rebels members, making Troy his favorite victim until Alex joins the team. Lenny is even-tempered with a pleasant personality aside from his constant pranks, but physically scrapped with opponents on occasion in the past.
Jax “Old Man” Ivanka (Czech Republic), 40: 6‘3 and 230 pounds with dark hair and blue eyes, Jax is Rebels’ oldest roster member and a longtime AHC veteran who openly disapproved of Alex being drafted to the Rebels. With help from Vince, Lenny, and Marty, Jax makes her the butt of team jokes, one which he hangs a large rubber snake in Alex’s locker after discovering her fear of the actual creatures. Jax dated many beautiful women during his career, but remains unmarried almost 20 years later. When confronted by Alex about his sexist views and hazing, Jax changes his initial opinion of her and the pair develop an innocent flirtatious relationship, much to Troy and Brian’s chagrin.
Greise Faust (Germany), 29: Pierre’s 6‘1, 220-pound backup goalie with a curly mop of light brown hair and stunning green eyes. A quiet and unassuming man, Greise was the 2006 Winter Olympics’ youngest goaltender, playing on the German hockey team at age 20. He’s had considerably less playing time with the Rebels than Pierre, but Greise demonstrates strong save-shot ratios against opposing teams during rare appearances as net minder, which helps build his confidence. He forgets names of new team members until better knowing them, first addressing Alex as “Galla” as part of such forgetfulness; when they become closer, Greise continues calling her “Galla” out of friendly affection. He curses in German when angry or upset, concerned with otherwise offending anyone within his presence, particularly Alex.
Boris Furishnykov (Russia), 28: First of the Rebels’ two alternate captains and one of Troy’s closest friends. At 6‘3 and 195 pounds with dark good looks, he has more than his share of female admirers. Boris’ English is shaky at best – he sometimes reverts to speaking his native Russian – but gradually improves in learning his second language. He tends to be emotional during media interviews in contrast to Troy’s calm outward demeanor, particularly when the team suffers long losing streaks. His presence intimidates Alex at first (mainly because of the semi-language barrier), but she soon comes to like Boris as a teammate and person, laughing at his corny jokes when no one else does.
Davy St. Cloud (United Kingdom), 27: Joined the Rebels after Troy successfully urged management to sign Davy following his and Troy’s teams facing off in the Winter Olympics hockey finals; Troy’s team captured the gold while Davy’s won a silver medal. Standing only 5’7 and weighing 165 pounds with black hair and gray eyes, London-born Davy is the AHC’s shortest forward known for his speed and uncanny ability to make goals during critical times. He is now an American citizen but still uses British slang, confusing most his teammates. Davy shares with Alex small stature disadvantages among other common interests, and they become best friends.
Johann “Baby Finn” Jokela (Finland), 17: The 6‘2, 195-pound, blond, blue-eyed, baby-faced defenseman is the Rebels’ youngest member. He’s overcome a number of adversities that include meningitis, a cancer scare, injuries, and recent surgery. Johann is friendly with his teammates, but sometimes feels left out due to his young age. He has no opinion one way or another about Alex being part of the Rebels; however, he openly admires her athletic ability.