Meet Jeremy McKetcheon (Character Interview by Katheirne McDermott)
Please tell us your name and a little bit about you.
My name is Jeremy McKetcheon, and I immigrated from Ireland to the United States because of the potato famine. My parents and siblings needed money sent home, so I agreed to take the place of a wealthy New Englander who was drafted into the Union Army. I was terribly scarred on the side of my face when a shell caught out tent on fire. After the war I became a lighthouse keeper to avoid the stares of other people and heal from terrible nightmares.
What is your greatest fear?
My greatest fear is that I’ll never find acceptance, inclusion, and well, love. All people see now is my ugly face. That’s why I secluded myself on the island like a hermit. My greatest comfort is my dog Bailey who doesn’t judge me by my appearance.
What matters most to you?
My family in Ireland matters most to me. I want them to be fed and to send them passage to America. So many on that green isle are dying from death and disease. Somehow God got me safely to America when so many others died on the coffin ships. I’ve got to help save others.
If you had to choose between saving the one you loved or saving 20 strangers, what would you do?
Tis a difficult question. Until I met Abbey, I had no one. She’s my life, but my job as a light keeper is to rescue the drowning. I see it as a way to atone for my sins during the war. Still, I could never let anything happen to Abbey if I could possibly prevent it.
What is the worst thing you ever had to do and why did you feel compelled to do it?
Drive a bayonette into a young Reb soldier who was about to kill me. Made me sick, it did. I still dream about now and wake up drenched in sweat and panting. He was someone’s son or husband. War sickened me. Taint natural to kill, and it wasn’t my war to be fightin’ in the first place.
About Abbey’s Tale
As an Irish immigrant to Boston, Jeremy McKetcheon, took the place of a northerner drafted into the Union Army. He is scarred both physical and emotionally and retreats to a remote island off the coast of Maine after the war to serve as a light keeper. He doesn’t believe he’ll ever find acceptance, friendship, and love.
Abigail Morrison, blind since birth, “sees” the world through the unique carvings her father brings back from Lighthouse Island when he delivers mail and supplies. She wonders about the reclusive keeper who is a magical artist. When she and father go to visit the island, they are caught in a raging storm that tosses them from their boat into the heaving sea. Spying their distress from the parapet, Jeremy attempts to rescue them from the deadly clutches of the cold sea. What happens next changes all of their lives forever.
Coming soon from The Wild Rose Press