Timothy Allen Kellogg is a fictional character who has lived in my fictional world since 1976 when he first appeared in an illustration I created at my desk in my college dorm room.
Tim is a main character in Catch a Falling Star, The Bicycle-Wheel Genius, and Magical Miss Morgan. He will likely be written into a few more as well.
One could make a good case that he has become the fictional avatar of my eldest son. He is the son of an English Teacher who has always been a me-character. Lawrence “Rance” Kellogg is a character created during my college days as a crucial part of my own fictionalized life story. But if Tim is my son in fictional form, you have to realize also that the character existed nineteen years before my son was a reality. So there is some kind of magical evolution going on here.
I must also acknowledge that Tim, being a major character, also voices many of the things that have always been issues in my mind. He has to deal with the loss that comes when a best friend moves away. He has to deal with the revelation that there really are transgender people and he actually knows one. He has to deal with having an over-large imagination and being smarter than almost everyone else he knows.
But I can absolutely, and with a clear conscience, declare that Tim is NOT a me-character. He has a girlfriend whom he has a never-ending unspoken crush on. I never had that when I was a boy (at least I would never admit it to you if I did). So, there is reason for me to try to seriously understand this fictional character, who he is, where he comes from, and the ideas he represents. I am not the only writer I know who creates characters that he or she comes to treat as real people. I hold imaginary conversations with Tim constantly, trying to learn more about him, how he feels about things, and the judgments he makes about the essential truths of life.
So now I have to end this essay, not because I am really finished talking about Tim, but because he tells me I have told you too much already, and he doesn’t want me talking about him any more today.