First, I want to let you know about a GREAT sale on fantasy ebooks, that you can catch from now through the end of the month! Prices vary—my book, Facets of Fantasy, is in this bundle and is priced at $2.99. For fantasy readers, this is a great chance to find your new favorite author. Even if you don’t buy anything (although of course all the authors would love it if you did) you can find them on retailers, read samples, and learn about their work through this event, The Adventure of Fantasy. So come on over and check it out here
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When I first started reworking my published material, it was a lot like cleaning out an old shed where your family has stashed a variety of things for decades. (Going through such a shed was something I also did a few years ago, so the comparison really rings true.) Each book had many characters, but I had no idea which were the most important ones. Of course when the stories were in my head, each character was equally valuable to me. But which ones would a reader focus on? Which ones were jumping out of the page?
Eventually, I tried to locate the five central characters in each book. They might not always be a protagonist—all of us have read great books in which the main character was actually the most boring. But, usually, these five are important to the story and have a big role in developing it. At times I was still blurry about exactly which characters composed those five—so I did lots of blog posts, lots of Facebook posts, and listened to people by noticing which statements fell flat and which seemed to strike more of a note with readers.
In the process, I went from my own notions of my characters’ identity to seeing a bit more of who readers might think they were. Obviously, the books that were published first have been around the longest and have the most established reader interaction. So, I’m still trying to find some last bits of character focus—a big clue to what the story is “about”—for the last couple of books. My first book was The Birthday Present and its five central characters are:
I’ll talk about them in a post next week. After all, if someone is the big central focus of anything, including a story, it’s best not to cover them at the tail end of a blog post. 😊
And there will be more updates.
Pleasant Fiction in an Age of Noise
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When I set about defining my books, I wanted them to be positive places where a gentleness emanated from the pages. A hopeful safety lies in gentleness and there's also an honesty to it. A whirlwind of pushy book blurbs and hot characters (or whatever type character the author wants you to admire) can conceal a reality underneath. A quiet--possibly even lurking--reality that's more visible if you dial down the volume. That lurking reality isn't necessarily bad, but like anything quiet, it gets drowned out by conflict and angst. Peaceful fiction can help explore the truth that noisy books ignore.
Bellevere House has been featured on Ezvid Wiki video "10 Wonderfully Inventive Retellings That Interpret Classic Stories in a New Way." Click to see the video.