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Meet the POVs: The Collector

Welcome to Meet the POVs, where I introduce you to the three main characters of the House of Matchsticks series! In this post, I’ll tell you about the Collector. ✨🪶🌌

About the Collector

Mysterious, unseen, and solitary, the Collector is used to every day being the same. He roams the lands of Benemourne, led by his starling companion Caladrius, spectral and apart from the humans he travels to at death.

He and Caladrius are cut-outs in the universe, appearing as shadows filled with faraway stars. Other than his hat and his coat, the Collector’s only accessory is his lantern, the Jar of Lights, which emits a ghostly, sky-blue glow.

The Collector and Caladrius have spent a hundred years together as wanderers, collecting the souls of the dead. Not getting involved in the lives of humans is part of the Collector’s deepest intuition. But his existence—and his bond with Caladrius—is about to be tested …

What the Collector Means to Me

He’s one of the first characters that ever popped into my head. Growing up, I loved reading about Death personified. I tore through stories about the Grim Reaper and the Danse Macabre, and absolutely loved writers like Neil Gaiman, Terry Pratchett, and Markus Zusak. I always dreamed of writing fantasy novels with Death as a main character.

The Collector is my take on the Grim Reaper. He’s metaphysical, a little spooky, and a lot mysterious, but I think you’ll find he’s not quite the Grim Reaper you know. He’s curious—though he tries not to be—and stubborn. Most significantly, he’s deeply fond of his starling companion, Caladrius.

In terms of his look, the Collector takes on a film noir-type silhouette with coat and hat. His shape reflects the American 1940s retro-futurism that I’ve imagined for all of Benemourne, but he also takes on a few of the traits of the noir detective. He moves through the shadows, observes unseen, and, most of all, has deeply rooted beliefs about the world and his place in it. Beliefs that are about to be shaken.

A few tidbits ...

I’ve always been a lover of speculative fiction, so supernatural characters are near and dear to my heart. Their presence in a book can add so many thematic layers and interesting story rules. Here’s a few supernatural tidbits about the Collector:

🌌 He and Caladrius are invisible to humans.

🌌 They often pass through walls, but the Collector dislikes the way it feels to walk through people.

🌌 The Collector can change his composition in order to walk on/within water or drift through the air like a breeze.

🌌 He and Caladrius can breathe, but they choose not to. It’s far too earthly a gesture.

Thank you for joining me for this edition of Meet the POVs!

To officially meet the Collector and discover more of his story, check out House of Matchsticks here.

Happy reading!

-Elisa

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