Saturday, May 27, 2017

A Stab at a Self-interview: Question 6 ~ Standing Stone favorite character

Who is one of your favorite characters from the Standing Stone series?

The Mabra - cryptic old woman
When I starting thinking about my answer to this question, I knew immediately who I would name and had a pretty good idea why I was choosing him. But the more I thought about it, I realized there was a secondary character that was a strong favorite of mine, so I have chosen The Mabra.

Mabra Camlis - The Mabra is a character in book 2, The Shifter Shard. She is an enigma, oddly all knowing and thought to be functionally mad. Or as Master Clepp describes her, "The woman’s a bit odd, but it doesn’t interfere with the running of the orphanage.” 

She is so slow moving and old that she covers only inches with each step causing her guests to have to wait quite some time for her to join them even though she is very much in sight. She compensates for this slowness by yelling at the top of her lungs so that she and anyone there to visit her can carry on a conversation without having to wait for her to be seated. 

“You will come to know that much of me is old, but my lungs continue to feign youth, so I use them for all they are worth! It reduces the boredom of both my guests and myself in the interim of our coming together.” 

She has excellent hearing and a mysterious history. Jahl, one of the three main characters, hopes she can supply necessary information he needs to put things right, but though she's willing to give advice, Jahl perceives it as cryptic and possibly proof of her madness. 

 She sighed, ignoring his rising annoyance. “Even I, the eternal container of all hope, can no longer deny that some things never return.”

I enjoyed working with her character because her limitations were a natural outcome of her age while not interfering with her doing her job. And her desire and faith that she would be reunited with her lost love was as believable as it was impossible.


Sunday, May 14, 2017

A Stab at a Self-interview: Question 5 ~ Students of Jump favorite character

Who is one of your favorite characters from the Students of Jump series?

That depends on what you mean by character. Human character: I would say Mick Jenkins from books 1, 2 and 3. Non-human character: Puff from book 4.

Mick Jenkins: I really like Mick because he is a good mix of the tough old bird that won't take anything from anybody and the kind fellow with a soft spot for those he cares about. (I always imagined he looked like Brian Dennehy. His face always came to mind when I thought of Mick.)
Image result for brian dennehy movies
Brian Dennehy was the inspiration for Mick Jenkins

Mick is used to being the boss, running the show, the guy with the last say. At the same time, he pays attention to people, and he has serious limitations that keep him from doing the things he wants to do, so when someone else is facing terrible loss or feeling frozen with uncertainty, Mick can sympathize. But he doesn't approach the issue soft. He hits you where it hurts so that you know where the pain is coming from and can begin to figure out what will get you through it. And he's not gentle with his own flaws either. He faces them head on. Mick and his better half, Emily, are the main characters in book 3, No-Time like the Present.

Puff - Book 4 ~ That's the Trouble with Time
Puff: Well, that's a critter of an entirely different type. Doesn't everyone want that secret weapon, the seemingly innocuous thingamajig that in a tough moment can turn Doberman Pinscher on trouble when you most need it. That's Puff. He's a soft white frothy furred thing that can fly, squeak, cuddle and when needed tear the eyes and brain matter out of something with claws, high speed reflexes and no interest in asking questions.

In a sense, Puff is Mick in miniature and on split-second steroid injections. And he can hold your hair back in a mean French braid, which is what he does for his best human friend Sarrah Marsh.

Saturday, May 6, 2017

A Stab at a Self-interview: Question 4 ~ next possible genre

If your next book was not science fiction or fantasy what genre would it be in?

I'm a bit split on which it would be. I write quite a bit of poetry. I have the beginnings of a series of selections all based on pieces of heirloom china I have received from various family over the years. I also have about 18,000 words done on a contemporary women's fiction about three best friends enjoying their retirement years. One of the ladies is fashioned after my mother, a very vibrant, dramatic woman who could walk into a room full of people and make them turn at once to see who brought the exuberance into the place. She passed away this past September and I really miss her.

I'm expecting that after I finish with the Standing Stone series and the fifth book in Students of Jump that I will probably get back working on the contemporary piece Joanie and Friends. It's a standalone work. I would then move on to working on the collaboration series my husband and I are planning.

I am pretty much booked up on ideas for writing. Don't have to worry about writer's block for at least the next three years, assuming I am going to keep up my new pace of three books a year.

General plan (subject to change because life is not predictable)
Book 2 in Standing Stone (out June 2017)
Book 3 in Standing Stone (predicted out in September 2017)
Book 5 in Students of Jump (predicted out in Jan. 2018)
Book .5 in Standing Stone
Joanie and Friends
Maybe that china poetry collection would fit here
Book 1 in the Mantle Series

Of course, this ignores the fact that I have four books outlined for the Students of Jump series and another book or two wandering around the back of my mind for the Standing Stone series. Sometimes ideas leapfrog. For instance, The Sharded Boy was supposed to be a short story, but it blossomed into a book and then a series.