Have you ever met a person who has boundless energy, is full of joy, compassion and talks non-stop? Meet Cullen Fellowes. I introduced him in a book called The Best Medicine (not yet published). He was meant to be a minor character who comes in, meets his brother's girlfriend and then takes a back seat.
There is only one thing Cullen likes to do in the back seat, and that's—sing. You thought I was going to say something else, didn't you? Well, he probably does that too. He's handsome, charming, disarming—and a rock star. He will hit on every woman he meets, because that's just the way he is. He'd probably be shocked if they all said yes, though enough of them do that he's always got companionship. I can't really describe Cullen effectively. He's like no other character I've ever met.
The non-authors out there will think I'm crazy, I know my husband does. I tell him that characters introduce themselves, start talking, develop personalities and take over the scene. This is Cullen to the hilt. He has no off switch, says whatever he thinks, comes in like a hurricane – then he hops up on stage and starts singing. I fell in love with Cullen when I first met him, and every time I encounter him, I fall for him again. Because of his dynamic personality, I've used him in a variety of books since introducing him in The Best Medicine. I offered to write his story, but he doesn't want that. He'd rather give glimpses into his life through his encounters with others. One day, he might settle down, but for now, he's Cullen the Rock Star—handsome, charming, single – with no off switch.
Below is the scene that started it all. Morgan and Tanya are both doctors and work at the same hospital. When she collapses from exhaustion one day in the doctor's lounge, Morgan comes to her rescue. He invites her to dinner that same night, and introduces her to Cullen.
The band took a short break and came out onto the deck for a smoke. The singer walked over and sat down in front of them. Cullen Fellowes was tall and dark haired like his brother, but his eyes held a wariness she didn't see in Morgan's. He smiled warmly, snagged a home fry off his brother's plate and ordered a beer with a toss of his head at the bar. Molly brought over a draft beer, checked their rum runners and went back to the bar.
"Hi," he said quietly, holding out his hand. "I'm Cullen."
"I'm Tanya," she replied, wiping her hand on her napkin before shaking his hand. "You guys are good," she said between bites. "I like the intricacies of your music and the diametric styles you've brought together. It really works. Not what I normally listen to, but I'd buy an album." She grinned at his surprised expression.
"Morph, who is this amazing woman and why is she with you and not me?"
"Because I saw her first, baby bro. Besides, you're too young for her."
"Speak for yourself, I like older women! They have more class and you can have an educated conversation with them. I always thought Vanessa was damn hot...."
A look from Morgan quelled him.
"Excuse me," Tanya said irritably. "I am here, you know, and semi-involved in this conversation. I think you need to know we just met and I'm not dating your brother. It's a friendly dinner between colleagues. As to my age, you've no idea how old I am, so could we drop that part of the conversation?"
The men looked at one another sheepishly. Morgan frowned, tight lipped at his younger brother. He shook his head slightly and went back to his meal.
"Morgan is reminding me to use my manners," Cullen replied sullenly. "He's always telling me I'll be the only rock star who never gets laid because I keep putting my foot in my mouth."
Morgan cleared his throat pointedly. Cullen looked at him again and dropped his eyes to the table, his ears and neck reddening.
"I'm sorry, I did it again. Perhaps I should just go back on stage. I don't make quite so big an ass of myself there." He rose to leave.
"It's okay," Tanya said. "I've been feeling rather like the whole family is traipsing around like the Lord of the Dance and I'm the one person in the audience who doesn't know Michael Flatley."
Cullen laughed, throwing his head back as he threw himself back into the chair. "Oh, God, Morgan! Where did you find this woman and can I possibly steal her from you? Jesus, she's refreshing! You two really must have just met if you don't know about Vanessa."
"Cullen, why don't you go back on stage?" Morgan's voice held an edge. He was getting angry with his brother.
"God, Morgan, calm down, would you? Can't I even say her name without you having a shit fit?" His voice became taunting like a little child. "Vanessa, Vanessa, Vanessa."
"Cullen," it was Molly this time. "Your break's over, go back on stage. The band's waiting."
"Join us in a set, Morph?" Cullen hardly seemed to realize he'd nearly caused World War III.
"Not tonight, Cull. I've got to see the lady home soon. She's had a long day."
"K. Nice to meet you, Tanya."
He kissed her hand and left for the stage, hopping up as the band began their introduction. He slid to a halt in the middle of the stage and grabbed the microphone, singing without missing a beat.
So far, Cullen has made an appearance in 15 of my books. He's been mentioned in 6. Maybe one day he'll want his story to be told, but until then, I'll leave you with this quote, which Cullen told me: “You don't need to tell my story, babe. It will just make all the women wet and all the men jealous.”
© 2017 Dellani Oakes