Mari Christie Interviews Harry Wentworth from Blind Tribute
Harry Wentworth is the protagonist of Blind Tribute, the first mainstream historical from author Mari Christie, due out in the fall of 2016. At the start of the American Civil War, he is a world-renowned journalist with strong ties in both the North and the South, and to both governments. Through his experiences covering the conflict, his purpose—and his editorial opinions—change.
MC: Where and when were you born?
HW: Charleston, South Carolina, 1804, at Vista Point Plantation, which my father owned.
MC: What influence did your birth family have on you, your choices, your life? Explain why and how.
HW: That is a touchy question you ask. I would like to say that my family taught me integrity and noblesse oblige, but on reflection, I find they primarily gave me a foil against which to find my own sense of honor. Our definitions are rather diametrically opposed.
MC: What drew you to the person you fell in love with?
HW: I am not certain I would be so dramatic as to discuss “falling in love,” but my wife was smart and had opinions, though over time, I have found that was not the benefit to my marriage that I thought it would be.
MC: Tell us why you believe women really are/are not the weaker sex?
HW: I would not say weaker, per se, merely lacking in the opportunities that would allow them more power. I admit, I have not always been in the side of women’s rights, but recent events have changed my perspective. I am ashamed I did not encourage my daughters to greater educational achievement, or give them the tools to make as much change in the world as I have. I can only hope their husbands will make up the deficiency.
MC: How do you feel about your family, now that you’re an adult?
HW: “Family” is not a black-and-white concept, I have found, after sixty years on this earth, and particularly not when one has had to reshape the boundaries to fit the circumstance.
MC: In your relationship with others, how are you different with family than you are with friends? Why?
HW: Those friends closest to me have become my family, and are most often people with whom my relations at birth would not associate. My family, by contrast, is not—in the main—made up of friends.
MC: When you walk into a room, what do you notice first? Second?
HW: It is a long-standing habit to seek out the most powerful people in the room, for they are generally the ones who will give me the best, most accurate, information. Second, the least-powerful people can tell me what is important that the elites have missed.
MC: When you walk into a room, what do you expect people to notice about you?
HW: Before the war, I would have said “my commanding presence,” and, indeed, that trait has been remarked upon even by presidents and kings. But now? The only things anyone ever notices are the scars.
MC: Did you turn out the way you expected? The way your parents predicted?
HW: My father would rather end my life than claim credit for the man I have become. No member of my family would have guessed, when I was a child, that I would move North, though everyone probably knew from my early childhood that I would become a writer. To be clear, though my family may not wish to claim me, I rather think I did fairly well for myself. I have done well by my father’s name, whatever he might think.
MC: What really moves you, or touches you to the soul?
MC: What do you consider your special talent?
HW: There is no doubt my most recognizable talent is writing—most specifically political and financial writing.
MC: What do you wish your special talent was?
HW: I would have liked a talent for acting courageously without being forced to it. I do not consider myself a weak-willed or cowardly person, but I have not always acted according to my own conscience, and my lack has caused pain to people who never deserved it.
MC: What’s the worst thing you’ve ever done? Why?
HW: Leaving home without taking my best friend with me. The sheer logistics of removing a slave from my father’s house without his permission defeated me, but I should have stolen Elias when I was seventeen and removed him from the Southern states entirely.
Mari Christie is a professional writer, editor, and designer with twenty-five years’ experience, and a member of the Bluestocking Belles, the Writing Wenches, and the Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers. She is the author of multiple Regency romance novels, including The Sailing Home Series and La Déesse Noire: The Black Goddess, and will soon release a mainstream historical, Blind Tribute.
Connect with Mari
Books Available at Amazon.com:
Royal Regard (Book One, The Sailing Home Series)
‘Tis Her Season (Book Two, The Sailing Home Series)
Shipmate (Book Three, The Sailing Home Series)
La Déesse Noire: The Black Goddess
The Teatime Tattler: Collected 2015 Editions
Saqil pa Q’equ’mal: Light in Darkness: Poetry of the Mayan Underworld
A Loaf of Bread: A Collection of Illuminated Recipes
We’d Rather Be Writing: 88 Authors Share Timesaving Dinner Recipes and Other Tips