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The cast of I Am Ocilla

When I wrote I Am Ocilla, my children had to have characters. Each one needed a character that reflected something wonderful about each child or a funny story that I hold near and dear in my heart. I thought I would share how each child’s character was created.

Peyton Tanner Graham is my baby. He is full of energy, lovable and loyal. He actually hand picked what animal he wanted his character to be. I had just finished writing the first chapter and he informed me he wanted to be a red wolf. At the time, he was 7 and the boy knew what he wanted ( very specific.) So my mind started churning. His middle name was key because his first name seemed too modern. I came up with a spastic, larger than life red wolf named Tan-Fur the red wolf. See, wolves are colorblind and his momma didn’t know his color was red. Crazy how my goofy mind works, huh?

Madison Marie Graham is my baby girl. She has her head in the clouds most of the time. She is beautiful, smart and passionate about life. She just had to be the queen of the fairies. Her names were an issue also. They did not fit the story. So, I came up with Marianna ( aka Mari.)

Priscilla Gayle Graham is my oldest daughter and what I like to call my diamond in the rough. She has absolutely no idea she is beautiful, inside and out. This has in turn made her friend to all. She has no arrogance and lights a room by just being in it. I call her Cilla and made Ocilla from that. It works out beautifully for the story.

The next two are the funniest stories but I want to warn all that nudity and plumber-ness are involved. If you cannot handle this, stop reading.

Nicolas Anthony Graham is my middle son. He is the comedian. He makes everyone laugh with a dead-pan humor. If he makes a fool of himself, his response is always,”Oh, well!” It just rolls off his shoulders and he keeps on smiling his handsome smile.  There was never a doubt what his character would be. He is Nicolai the panda and there is a story. When he was about two, we went to visit my sister. While there, he stripped naked, put on a fuzzy fur hat and ran through the house proclaiming, “I am a panda!” The name has stuck.

Quinton Til Graham II is my oldest son. He is protective of his family and always tries to make them happy. He loves dragons by the way and actually uses the name Drako as a username for games. But…there is a great story that I just had to insert into the story…Krakens. In the book, Krakens are the cursed evil dragons. My son is my inspiration for this. When we were building the house, it was hot. All the guys had a good dose of plumber going on. It was gross but funny. One day, Cilla said we should call her brother Mr. Kraken. My son, in turn, place a pair of sunglasses on Mr. Kraken and proceeding in ding a skit for Mr. Kraken. Disturbing? Yep but very, very funny. So we have the Kraken.

Peace, love and God’s will.

About Diane Graham

Diane Graham lives in the mountains of eastern Oklahoma with her husband, children and many dogs. She is an avid reader and lover of all art forms that encapsulate imagination and goodness. Her debut novel I Am Ocilla was released in March 2012.

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