Set in St. Augustine, Florida in 1739, Indian Summer is an historical romantic adventure with spies, intrigue and romance. The dashing hero, Manuel Enriques, is the aide-de-campe for Governor Ferdinand Deza. He falls desperately in love with the governor’s daughter, Gabriella. Fate seems determined to keep them apart, but Manuel and Gabriella are just as determined that they will be together.
Manuel Enriques Talks About Himself
What is your story?
My story is still being written, but a portion of it is chronicled in Indian Summer by Dellani Oakes.
Who are you?
My name is Manuel Enriques and I am confidential aid to Governor Ferdinand Deza.
Where do you live?
I live in the beautiful town of St. Augustine in the Florida Territory.
Are you the hero of your own story?
What is a hero? A man who does what he must to protect that which he holds dear. I am such a man. If that makes me a hero, then I accept this role gladly.
What is your problem in the story?
The problem is that there is a pesky British spy wandering around causing trouble. The beast is wily and sly, but I’ll catch him, have no doubt.
Do you embrace conflict?
Conflict is in many forms. If it is in the form of a beautiful woman, I embrace and make love to it. If it is in the form of this annoying little fly speck of a spy, then I spit on it and grind it to dust beneath my heel.
Do you run from conflict?
Never! Face conflict proudly and fight it to the death.
How do you see yourself?
In my life, I have done many bad things. However, I am trying to change to be worthy of my darling Gabriella.
How do your friends see you?
I haven’t many friends, but those are very close. They see me as strong, intelligent, passionate with women, stubborn and capable. How do you see me, cariña?
How do your enemies see you?
My enemies never see me. They are dead long before that. If by chance they do catch a glimpse, it is as of the face of death.
How does the author see you?
Ah, my beautiful Dellani. If it were not for Gabriella, such stories we would write together! She sees me as romantic, passionate, handsome, slightly dangerous, and very well appointed.
You will have to read my tale to find out what I mean by that.
Do you think the author portrayed you accurately?
As accurately as any woman may know a man’s heart, yes.
What do you think of yourself?
I am not a modest man, but even I do not like to brag. I am all that is said of me and more.
Do you have a hero?
Yes, my blood brother, Sailfish of the River People. He is the greatest warrior I know and even more brave than I.
Do you have a goal?
Indeed I do! I want to catch the spy so that I can marry my beloved Gabriella.
Do you keep your achievements to yourself?
Many of them, yes.As I said, I am not one to brag. What I have achieved is a matter of history. There are things I have done that I would rather forget.
But why? Surely your accomplishments are wide ranging and very nearly stuff of legend.
Not all legends have a happy ending. Some things are better left unsaid.
Do you have any special strengths?
I am swift, strong, I speak many languages fluently. I can track prey like an Indian and shoot a bow as well as a gun.
What do you want most in life?
I want to marry Gabriella more than anything in the world. Well, there is perhaps one thing I want more than that, but it’s not polite to discuss.
What makes you happy?
Would you like to me say something poetic like a beautiful sunset or the seagulls above the water? I am not poetic man. What makes me happy is very simple, my love for Gabriella. It drives me, moves me to be the best I may be.
What, if anything, haunts you?
In a soldiers life, are there not many things to haunt him? What haunts me, cariña, is better left forgotten.
Have you ever failed at anything?
So many things, how can I even count them?
Are you honorable?
As much as I am able to be given circumstances.
That sounds like a very cagey answer.
And it is the only one you shall get.
Do you have any distinguishing marks?
Oh, yes. I am very well appointed.
You would love for me to ask what that means, wouldn’t you?
I would like you to read the book and find out.
Have you ever killed anyone?
I was a soldier, of course I have killed. And nearly been killed more than once.
What is your most prized possession? Why?
My most prized possession? Must I have just one? Perhaps my pistol. Or my best pair of boots? No, not really, although I am rather fond of these pants.
Oh? Why is that?
(All I get is a sly grin and a slow, wicked wink.)
Thank you to Pat Bertram for her list of character interview questions that she kindly shared with me several years ago.
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