I don't have a guest today -- oh, wait, someone is here. Hello? Who are you?
I have no idea, since you seem to be fiddling about with a name. You've been calling me Mark, but now I see you have jotted down Julian, Oliver and Simon.
Yes, all good names for one of the main characters in my story, "Riverbend," as it is set in the early 1800s. Do you have a preference?
(Blinks slowly) Let me think about it.
All right, moving on. Since cameras weren't invented then, can you describe yourself for our readers?
I'm told I resemble my father in build, being tall and broad-shouldered. However, I have my mother's deep blue eyes and light brown hair. And my Aunt Agatha's nose, which looks better on me than it did her, believe me.
A fine figure of a man, eh? I bet you look good in tight pantaloons and Hessian boots, with those long legs.
(smiles slyly) Some of the fairer sex think so.
So - what do you do?
Um -- tutor.
Tutor? As in teaching children?
(Draws himself up indignantly). I prepare young men for university by acquainting them with Latin, Greek, mathematics, with some music and classical poetry. Generally I board at their homes and am treated as part of the family.
(I raise my eyebrow) Homes?
Oh, all right, plantations.
So why aren't you tutoring now?
(Looks down, embarrassed) I ran off with the mother of one of my students. She was in an unhappy marriage, and then that witch Zoe threatened Damaris' life. What else were we to do?
Indeed. So how is that working for you?
Not well. We are living a lie, always afraid of discovery.
Hmm. Not a good situation. What are you going to do about it?
Isn't that up to you?
Don't worry. I have an idea, but it involves you making a hard decision. Are you up to it?
(Grins) Won't know until you write it down, will I?
Wait! Drat, he disappeared. And I still have to decide on a name. I don't know why he couldn't have just told me. I know, I'll you choose. Yes, you, reading this. Which name do you think will work best for a man who trades an intellectual life to become a man of action? Or as some authors prefer, switches from Beta to Alpha male?
I'll be waiting for your answer in the Comments.