Sunday, 18 March 2018


Tam  Character Post 27

Tam is a character who wanders through various volumes of the Fairy in the Bed series. She's not a main character, but she influences quite a few of the other people and their stories.
Tam has no surname, because people of her culture don't use them. They tend to have short names, and sometimes borrow from classical languages. Her daughter-in-law Jillian calls her Mama Tam which fits very well. 
Tam is a water maid, a woman of the waterfolk Over There. She is, like the others of her community, healthy, attractive, free-spirited and sweet-natured. She wears clothes sometimes, but is just as likely not to bother. Tam is intelligent and literate, and her schooling was informal. She learned what she chose from whoever wanted to teach it. Like all others of her people, Tam practises population control, which is one reason there aren't a great many waterfolk. She is a bit different from her sisters and cousins though. Instead of having a child with whoever she happened to like the look of at the time, she had a firm agenda. As another character says, Tam sought out the best men to father her children. She always aimed as high as she possibly could. Thus, she has a delightful half-pisky son named Tane whose father is Merryn Pendennis, the nicest pisky jeweller over there. Knowing the pisky culture, Tam dressed in a pretty sarong, tied up her hair and went to knock on Merryn's door with a polite request. The pair stayed friends, and Tam faithfully brought Tane to visit his father at Treborrow. For her next venture, she chose a placid hard-working hob man, a liaison that resulted in her daughter Whim. Her other daughter Becca is the child of a high-born Beech man named Moss, beechmaster of his clan. Tam next set her gaze on Drew Marsh, a human man who lived with a pisky maid. Here she struck out, because Drew had as many complications as he could handle already. Tam took the knock-back philosophically, in part because she'd already chosen a leprechaun man whose culinary skills were legendary. Liam Dancey, although very much attracted to Tam, proved a hard nut for her to crack. He refused to give her a child until she agreed to live with him. This led to much to-ing and fro-ing. Tam was impressed with his persistence, even though she didn't understand it, and, after months of artful courtship, she accepted his proposal. Three sons followed, bringing Tam's family to six which is a lot of children by waterfolk standards. 
Tam is a woman of her word. She stayed on with Liam even when her childbearing days were ended. Her choices of fathers for her children proved excellent ones, and in fact the four men - and even Drew, the one who got away - got together at regular intervals to share hob-baked cake and cider. 
Tam is Liam's live-in lovie, and in her relaxed and still-attractive sixties, she is now a grandmother many times over. She is always happy to look after the babies, which helps the children through the challenges of being part waterfolk. She acts as midwife to at least one daughter-in-law and will probably help out when Sam Silver has her baby. 
Everyone likes Tam. She's even on good terms with her baby-fathers' ladies... who, providentially, married them after Tam's children were born.
Tam is likely to live well into her eighties, hale and happy until the end. Then she might feel the waves as the waterfolk put it and go on a one-way journey to the chalk cliffs. Since Liam is older than she is, he will probably die first, which is just as well. For now, though, Tam is busy with her young adult sons, her grandchildren and her devoted leprechaun man. She still spends a lot of time at the falls with her people, and Liam has too much sense to even try to object. Tam appears in The Kissing Ring, Pisky Business, and Sam and the Sylvan.


Sally is Sally Odgers; author,anthologist and reader. She runs  Prints Charming Books. (Sally is me, by the way, and I am lots of other things too, but these are the relevant ones for now.)

The goal for 2017 was to write a post a day profiling the background behind one of my books; how it came to be written, what it's about, and any things of note that happened along the way. If you're an author, an aspiring author, a reader or just someone who enjoys windows into worlds, you might find this fun. The books are not in any special order, but will be assigned approximate dates, and pictures, where they exist. 2017 is now behind us, but I ran out of year before running out of books. As of February 18th 2018 I STILL haven't run out of books, but many of those still to come are MIA by which I mean I don't have copies and remember little about them. There are more new books to come, and I'll certainly showcase those, but in between times, I'm profiling some of my characters, just for a change. Thank you so much to everyone who's come along on this journey so far!

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