Character portraits: Levi

Name: Levi Maclin
Series: Orphans of the Stars
Age: 15
Height: 6’1″
Weight: 194 lbs.
Hometown: Vancouver, BC, Canada

About the character

Levi is a high school student and total space freak. Living in the 24th century, he still knows more about one specific part of the 20th than most people alive today, because he reads everything about our era he can get his hands on, at least if it’s about the space race.

But there’s more to him than that. The oldest of three, he’s the perfect age to be the family babysitter, so he’s used to watching over Justin, age 11, and six-year-old Holly. He doesn’t mind, though. They’re not just siblings; they’re his friends, too.

At home in Vancouver, he sometimes gets a little lazy, especially in summer. He’d rather read or watch a movie than get out and play with other boys his age. School, in his opinion, is for learning more than socializing. That’s not to say he doesn’t have friends. He’s made a lot of them, in fact. Something about him just makes it easy to like him.

If anything can describe Levi Maclin, it’s that he’s a dreamer. He dreams of going into space, even if it’s nothing more than a simple lunar shuttle ride, something people in his time do every day. In his wildest dreams, he’s the captain of an interstellar ship, saving the galaxy and discovering new worlds for humans to colonize. Maybe even walking on the surface of those worlds, meeting aliens no human has ever laid eyes on.

Too bad only adults get to do all that, right?

Author’s thoughts

Levi shares my love of space. Indeed, that was the first bit of characterization I did for Orphans of the Stars. I chose him as the main character of the series before deciding on placing him as the prologue character for Innocence Reborn, and that comes solely because I wanted the captain of the “kids’ ship” to be a space nut like myself. It fits the setting, I think. Sure, people in his time have done a lot better with space than ours are willing to do, but that just gives him more imagination fuel.

Almost everything else about his character came from my initial vision for the series. I wanted something focused a little earlier than the typical young adult fiction: teens and preteens, for the most part. (In my head, I envisioned Orphans of the Stars as “The Expanse for kids”.) The main character, then, had to be one of the older ones, but not too old. I gave him siblings so he would have skin in the game, so to speak. Rescuing Holly became the main goal of the first novel as I was writing the prologue.

Levi isn’t exactly like me, though. He’s far more impulsive, for one thing. He doesn’t always think things through, while that’s something I pride myself on. He’s more sociable, as well, with that kind of magnetism I’d kill for. Being who he is, he doesn’t use that gift for ill, however; for some strange reason, I’ve avoided giving him anything close to a romantic interest, even though his preteen brother gets one! Maybe some part of me recognizes our similarities.

When I started the series in 2017, I didn’t see myself as commanding in the same way Levi is. Either I’ve changed, or writing him has helped me understand myself. Yes, I’m often ready to take charge (if people would just listen to me…), but I never felt that I could be a commander of anything. It didn’t fit me until a very special person helped me understand a part of my personality I’d overlooked.

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