|Modern Day Gypsies|
I am having a tough time with the Gypsy theme. The more I dig, the harder it gets. Let's start with the meaning of the word.
Henry Bell, an American, clearly fits into the second category. But from the beginning, I felt he had gypsy blood too. Which required a lot more research that is very complicated.
The Romani, Gypsy, Traveller labels are much less confusing in the United Kingdom. Once I started researching the immigrant situations of those people into America, things got a little dicey.
There are more than ten separate sects of gypsies in the U.S., but Henry Bell is likely a Scottish Traveller, given his trade as tinker and knife-maker. The Gypsy Lore Society - Gypsy and Traveler Culture in America
His pattern of travel definitely ties into what is described in this article: Gypsy Americans - History, Immigration waves to the united states, Settlement patterns (everyculture.com)
A bit more information at Wikipedia.
Which brings me to WHY I am doing all this research. Does it have to be this complicated? Do I really NEED to know his family background? Maybe. Especially if he has siblings that will be introduced. Also, there is storytelling and music pattern, that not only defines his personality, but connects him to the heroine who I am sure is Irish. So, yeah, that Gaelic connection is strong. Maybe even some prejudice against gypsies? Not sure about this.
But I feel ethnic history thrums through our blood. It's part of what defines us. It looks us in the face in a mirror. Curly hair. Dark skin. The need to wander. The thrill of pounding metal. The ATTITUDE!
More pictures of Henry Bell compliments of the author, Marcus Sakey. Remember that this story starts in the early days of the pandemic, so masks. What will the heroine feel when we uncover the cleft chin?
Here's a curious twist. Sakey's first book is called The Blade Itself. I had no clue when I first saw his photo and decided my book character looked just like that. I guess that kind of connection is appropriate for a Cutting Edge Mystery.