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November 16, 2012

Friday Fun with Caddy Rowland

Character Guest Post by Gastien Beauchamp

I have to tell you that I am scared. I might be almost eighteen, and I might have been beaten senseless many times by my father growing up, but this is much worse. When I ran from the farm a few weeks ago I thought things would get better. How hard could it be to find a serving job in a restaurant? Even a job cleaning slop in the kitchen would be fine. I figured all I needed was enough money for one bowl of soup a day and a humble room. The rest of the wages would be spent on painting supplies.

You see, I left because I want to become an artist; perhaps the greatest artist to ever live. I know I have no formal training in anything except how to be a farmer. Still, I was full of optimism when I left home. I believed that once I found a job there would be plenty of artists around to teach me the basics. I can draw like nobody’s business, and I have done some watercolor. I just need to learn how to use oils.

The problem is I haven’t found a job. Believe me, I have banged on the door of every cafĂ© and restaurant around. No one is hiring’ I guess I’m a few months late. All of the jobs for slop cleaners have been taken for the season by students at the art school. Serving jobs require experience. I have even tried other businesses, but no one will hire me. There is absolutely nothing until spring, and I can’t go back home. My father has promised to kill me if I ever come back again.

This city is heartless. My father used to tell me that, but I didn’t believe him. Now I do. In fact, the best thing that has happened to me so far is having someone unknowingly empty the contents of their chamber pot on my head as I walked underneath their window. That’s not saying much.

Sure, I’m hiding out in Notre Dame at night, so I’ve avoided sleeping in the alleys. Unfortunately, it’s just a question of time before I am discovered there. Once that happens I will be on the streets. I’ve seen the tramps in the back alleys digging in trash bins for food. I’ve witnessed a man getting stabbed for his coat. And my good looks? They aren’t going to be an asset when I have to face the men in those alleys.

Right now I sell charcoal drawings for a few centimes. Most days I earn enough to eat a bowl of soup. However, once I’m completely homeless it won’t take long before my looks are gone. In fact, I’ll look and smell so awful that no one will come near enough for me to sell them a drawing! What will I do then? I am already hungry; soon I’ll be sleeping on the cold ground. I don’t know how I’ll survive when it gets below freezing.

Still, I believe in my dream. I have known since I was a small child that I have no choice but to paint. It’s as if some force chose me for it. There has to be a way to not only survive these mean streets of Paris, but to eventually have my own studio. I don’t care if peasants never own property, there just has to be a way! It doesn’t matter what it takes; I’m going to make my dream come true. I will let absolutely nothing stop me.

Still, I have to tell you, I am scared. Very scared.

About the Author:

Caddy Rowland grew up in the Midwest with a stack of books that almost reached the ceiling before she was five. Books, along with her vivid imagination, have always been her closest friends. She lives in Minnesota with her husband, who was her high school sweetheart. They are owned by two parrots. Yes, they can talk, and yes, they can bite! Melanie, the African Grey has such an extensive vocabulary that Caddy sometimes thinks Melly is preparing to become an author. After over 20 twenty years in advertising sales, Caddy decided to pursue her childhood dream of becoming an author in 2011. There are four books planned for the Gastien series, and many other books in her head. Now, if only she can learn to type 2000 words a minute... Her goal as an author is to make readers laugh, cry, think, and become intimately connected with her main characters. To her, a good main character stays in the mind long after the story has been read. They should become as real in the mind as the person next door.
Connect with the Author:

Gastien's Facebook Page

About the Book:

When young Gastien Beauchamp flees the farm for Paris, the late nineteenth century bohemian era is in full swing. Color has always called to him, beseeching him to capture it on canvas and show people a new way of seeing things. His father belittled his dream of being an artist and tried to beat him into giving it up. The dream wouldn’t die, but Gastien would have had he not left.

He also yearns to become a great lover. After the years of anguish he has endured at the hand of his father, it would be heaven to feel pleasure instead of pain.

However, the city of Paris has a ruthless agenda. Unless a man has money and connections, Paris unfeelingly crushes dreams and destroys souls. With neither of the required assets, Gastien faces living in alleys, digging in trash bins for food, and sleeping where a man is often killed for his threadbare blanket.

Left with nothing but his dreams, Gastien clings to the hope that the impossible is possible. He pushes on, regardless of the cost.
Find Gastien Part 1: The Cost of the Dream at Goodreads and Amazon.

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