Character Spotlight I -- Avery Bishop
by Christi Smith-Hayden
Name: Avery Amethyst Bishop
Clan: last of the Redwood clan (Calif.); now member
of the Manhattan clan
Bloodline: daughter of Spike a.k.a. Garnet Doyle, a
nomadic gargoyle, and Deanne Bishop,
a human; plus aunts, uncles, and more cousins
than you can shake a stick at.
Status: Employed as a nanny for Alexander Xanatos and
the clan's rookery keeper.
Description: Avery is remarkably human-looking in
appearance. She has a light peach complexion with lavender
undertones and honey blond hair, worn long to conceal her
pointed ears and nubby brow ridge. Her wings are lavender,
deepening in color on the back. They are five-fingered bat-
type wings; one wing 'thumb' on the spar with four webbing
'fingers' giving her an extra section of webbing compared to
other gargoyles on her wing type. This, combined with her
small size (5'2'', 98 lbs.), makes her one of the fastest gargoyles in the clan.
Background: Avery hails from Shackelford County, Texas
where she was born on the Bishop family ranch in 1970. Her
conception was serendipity; her parents, Spike, a gargoyle who
thought he was the last of his kind, and Deanne Bishop, a Texas-
bred ballerina, were honeymooning near some Native American
ritual sites consecrated to Coyote. That, combined with the
Memory Stone, a magical talisman linked to Spike's bloodline,
led to Avery being born.
She had a deliriously happy childhood until the age of six
when a zealous fundamentalist learned of Spike's existence and
invaded the ranch. Reverend Enoch Jones shattered Spike in his
stone sleep right before Avery's eyes and nearly stoned her to
death before her uncles and their ranch hands intervened. She
displayed one of the first quirks of her hybrid nature; falling into a
comatose state where her injuries healed slowly over time.
This experience taught Avery the value of hiding who
and what was she was and she became very good at it. She
chose her friends carefully, telling them only as much of the truth
as she thought they could handle, revealing her secret to only a
chosen few, such as her college room mate, Natty Jones. Back
on the ranch, she learned to fly on her own, studying eagles and
hawks in flight and duplicating their movements. As result, she
has an unconventional flying style compared to the other
Her love of children lead her to being an au pair in
college and later obtaining her license as a nanny. Avery also
toyed with the idea of going into the medical field, completing a
training as an emergency medical technician. She spent several
years working as a nanny around the Dallas/Ft. Worth area
before her mother was diagnosed with a rare form of leukemia,
which was suspected of being genetically linked. She returned
home to Bishop Ranch to tend her mother until her death.
It was during the period of mourning that followed that
Avery heard about the discovery of gargoyles in New York City.
She decided that she would take up her father's dream of finding
others of their kind and packed her bags. The rest is history.
Personality: Avery is ninety-eight pounds of pure spunk. She
is generally good-natured with a wry sense of humor and keeps
her head, seldom losing her temper or flying into a panic. Years
of hiding have taken their toll however; she is an intensely private
person, reluctant to completely open up, even to her own mate.
Although she does not lie, she also does not tell the complete
truth. She has never completely gotten over the childhood trauma
of her father's death and when a gargoyle's life is threatened, will
fight to save them as she could not save her father.
Avery debuted in "Daddy's Girl" where she made quite an
impression on everyone she met, from the Xanatos family to the
gargoyles to Hyena and Jackal. It took a few months for her to
feel she could trust the residents of the Eyrie Building enough to
reveal her secret.
Her story, or rather that of her parents, continued in "The
Last Gargoyle." Using her suitcase of family treasures - videos,
pictures and recordings - she told the clan about her father,
Spike. He had been a lonesome wanderer, convinced he was the
last gargoyle until he made a friend one dark and rainy night. The
events that followed led to him finding love with an understanding
woman and eventually to Avery's birth. It also gave an early look
into Avery's extended family in Texas.
"Trick or Treat" and "Lex and The Party Girls" began to
set the scene for the novella-length stories to come by
introducing many key elements - Owen's loneliness, the Memory
Stone, Brooklyn's braid, and introducing Lex to Avery's cousin
Christmas in Texas was the main theme behind "Deep in
the Heart" when Avery brought the clan home with her for the
holidays. Everything would have been just fine if the leader of the
local Quarrymen, Enoch Jones, hadn't decided to invade Bishop
Ranch. The Bishops rally to defeat them, using homegrown
ingenuity and cowboy know-how. As a special Christmas treat,
Avery uses the Memory Stone to summon the ghost of her
father, Spike, to show him that she finished his quest for him.
Brooklyn asks her to be his mate, with Spike's blessing.
"Avery's Bad Day" got to show off Avery's redneck
temper when she went head-to-head with Demona. It wasn't
In "Mockingbird," the first novella-length story, several
milestones occured in Avery's life. She celebrated her 27th
birthday, chaperoned Lex to a graduation, and showed her
willingness to fight for the clan. When Goliath, Broadway, and
Brooklyn are captured by the Quarrymen, she and Lex join forces
with Leroy and his squad of Navy Seals to raid the secret lab
where the guys are being held. All this - and finding she's
A budding romance between Natty Jones and Owen
Burnett is the central plot to "Some Enchanted Evening" but
Avery and her pregnancy form a subplot as Avery is injured in
trying to protect Alex from the Weird Sisters.
"Despair and Deliverance," yet another novella, this time
focusing on Avery's musical cousin Dennis and his fight with
leukemia. A compatible bone marrow has been found but
unfortunately, she's a pregnant hybrid gargoyle. A companion
story, "Little Blessings," tells the story of the Hatchlings - Omaha,
Austin and Moraine - which are born during this time period.
Shortly thereafter, Avery goes into early labor and her son, Crim,
Avery and Brooklyn appear as part of the cast of
"Rockaway at Midnight" as one of series of romantic vignettes.
Tentatively, there are a number of stories in the planning
stages but details are still sketchy.
Portraits of Avery can be found at the Rockaway
under various titles, such as Moonflight, Poetry by Moonlight,
Daddy's Girl, and Texas Babes at Eagle Lake.
Avery and her son, Crim, are slated to appear in
the works of Stephen Sobotka.