Character Profile: Portia Abernathy

portia-quote-1Do you have a favorite fictional character? If you solved the trivia quiz from a few weeks back, you discovered one of mine.

Portia is Shakespeare’s heroine in his comedy, The Merchant of Venice. This rich heiress of Belmont faces (what she believes to be) a miserable problem: she cannot choose whom she will marry. Her late father set up a lottery system using three chests of gold, silver, and lead. The man who discerns the meaning of each chest and chooses the right one will win Portia’s hand.

But she is anything but a damsel-in-distress. When her eventual fiancé Bassanio tries to rescue his good friend from a spiteful lender, she disguises herself as a lawyer in the case. In one of literature’s most classic court scenes, she saves Bassanio’s friend and teaches her fiancé a lesson about keeping his promise. (I can’t give away the story; you’ll have to read it yourself.)

Portia in The Revisionary

Thank you, Shakespeare, for letting me borrow your tenacious gal’s name. Would you like to get to know her? Here are a few details that will help paint a sketch.


He [Dad] figured that if I can’t run from danger, I should at least be able to aim at it … There are some things in life no one can outrun.

  • Name: Portia Abernathy
  • Age: 19
  • Height: 4’11”, possible stunted growth from childhood trauma
  • Hair color: platinum blonde
  • Eyes: Blue
  • Back injury prevents her from thriving in physical education classes. Undergrad adviser awarded her an alternative protection elective; consequently, she carries a Taser.
Personality profile:

“Miss Abernathy, your draft is impressive, but then, intelligence runs in your family. So does bad blood.” – Eliab, Commanding Gage at the Crystal Globe University

  • Nickname: Cotton (see hair)
  • Intellectual achievement marks her as a draft candidate.
  • Creative outlet: writing rhymes
  • Relationship status: single and refused compatibility testing (determined not to become a victim of the system like her sister).
  • Favorite color: autumn sky
  • Favorite animal: firefly

“To most, the man across the table from me is nothing but a broken, old Tooler with knobby fingers and dirty nails. To me, he is everything left that’s kind and lovely in the world.” – Portia on her father

  • Father: Abram Abernathy, professional Tooler
  • Brother: Darius Abernathy, serving a life sentence on a western satellite for refusing his draft
  • Mother and Sister: deceased

Cover Reveal: Coming Soon

You’ll have a chance to learn more of Portia’s backstory with a free novelette (bonus feature) I’ll be giving away for those who sign up to pre-order The Revisionary. Look for more details on both the novelette and pre-order information later this spring.

If you missed the first post about The Revisionary, its setting, and premise, be sure to visit my book page.

In the meantime, I’ve added a countdown on my site, because I’ll be sharing my cover (and the story behind it) on April 4 to celebrate my birthday with you!!

So … Who’s your favorite fictional character and why? I’d love to hear.




Character Profile: Portia Abernathy – @kjhogrefe (Click to Tweet)

What Shakespeare and my heroine have in common – @kjhogrefe (Click to Tweet)


4 thoughts on “Character Profile: Portia Abernathy

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