Elijah Hawk: Main character
First of all, let’s start with the name. While The Magi is not a religious story, there are many religious references throughout. I’m sure there are some I’m not even aware of yet, but some are obvious starting with the names of the main characters (children only). Elijah, along with most of the other children in the story, is a biblical name. I found it more difficult than I imagined picking the name for my protagonist. I wanted it unique yet subtle, and Elijah just stuck out to me for some reason. The purpose of the name Hawk I can’t give away at this point because it has significance beyond just a last name. If you read the story, you’ll probably be able to figure it out, especially at the end. However, I also like the sound of it. I would say that about 90% of all the names in the series have significance to me. Some are named after loved ones, and some are just named after people that have inspired me during my life, and Elijah is on that list.
In many ways, Elijah takes on the role of the common teenager. More than anything, I wanted to create a character that we can relate to (yes, “we” meaning everyone, not just teenagers—but teenagers especially). I think we can all relate to Elijah’s insecurity with his physical appearance at some point in our lives. It’s rare to find someone who accepts who they are from the get-go (especially at 13), living their life completely secure with their appearance. They’re out there, but it’s rare! However, Elijah finds out that he has superior abilities (I won’t give these all away now) and others more than accept him for those strengths. I don’t pretend to have figured out all the truths about life, but I firmly believe that people are attracted to strength, and I also believe that we all have strength somewhere. Therefore, when used and cultivated, our strengths can overshadow our insecurities, which is one of the themes I tried to bring out when writing The Magi, and Elijah in particular.
Elijah is also an inquisitive character—something I believe I subconsciously took from my own personality. In high school, I can remember being laughed at for asking so many questions. I’m sure it was annoying to my friends and especially, although I never picked up on it, my teachers. I found that Elijah was just as inquisitive, and I actually find that one of his most endearing qualities (hm…I wonder why?). You can even read some of his inquisitive nature in the first few chapters that are posted on the blog.
Finally, in taking on the role of the common teenager, I wanted Elijah to be found in the middle of the crowd. He’s not a natural leader. He shies away from attention that he cannot control. He’s intelligent, but not brilliant. However, what makes Elijah so special is his compassion, which is a total antithesis of his enemies, the Maliphists, and is one of the few human qualities that is a choice.
I wrote Elijah not to represent the common teenager. I wrote him to be a model. He’s not perfect. He has his flaws (who doesn’t?), but he truly wants to do good and has real empathy for all he comes in contact with (including his enemies). I hope that for all who read The Magi, I will have succeeded in creating this model.