Developing Leathan Wilkey

last updated: 10 October 2017 (approximate reading time: 2 minutes; 281 words)

Diplomatic Baggage was the first Leathan Wilkey book that I wrote, but long before I wrote the book—literally years before I wrote the book—I had the notion of Leathan Wilkey as a character.

Diplomatic Baggage by Simon Cann I had an idea of someone who was very human. A man who connected with people on a very human level.

But I wanted life to be tough for Leathan. I wanted him to be forcibly disconnected from everything we take for granted—a home, a relationship, credit cards, a bank account…even a phone number. Leathan is being chased and this is what forces him to live off the grid, making himself an unidentifiable and untraceable needle in a stack of needles in one of the most densely populated cities, Paris.

To survive while living off the grid, Leathan lives by something akin to bartering—he trades favors. And as someone who connects with people on a human basis, this kind of relationship works well for Leathan.

But by relying on human relationships, Leathan is making himself vulnerable. First, he is vulnerable to betrayal by someone he trusts. Second, he is vulnerable to leverage—those people who help him and who he cares for can be threatened or hurt in order to put pressure on Leathan.

And that is Leathan’s dilemma and his pain. He’s social. He’s gregarious. He wants to be with people, but the more he cares, the greater the pain he can bring.

While Diplomatic Baggage was the first book written, it is the second full-length novel in the Leathan series and marks the turning point in Leathan’s journey where he realizes—but doesn’t come to terms with—the consequences of how he has chosen to live his life. 

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Category: background
People: Leathan Wilkey  
Tags: Diplomatic Baggage