The Death of a Character: To Mourn or Not to Mourn

tombstone

I was asked a question earlier by someone I find both wise, endearing, and completely talented in all that she does.  Her question has been bouncing around in my mind and I realize that my answer to her was very swift and two dimensional so maybe I should expand a little on the subject.  The question happened after I was very pleased with writing a prominent character’s death.

I took it as someone who writes herself wanted to know if we had similar feelings.  She asked, “Do you mourn them? If you don’t, do you feel badly for not mourning them?”  

I responded simply with, “I’ve been juggling with this death, going back and forth whether I should or not and ultimately for the final book sets things to 11.  I do some more than others depending how attached I am. This one, yes. The great thing, though, is I don’t write in order so I will get to enjoy them for a while longer.” and “Some I am glad for their demise, though, and celebrate.”

If you happened to have read Rise of a Queen or Of Darkness and Light (heck, maybe even both) you realize something pretty quick.  I kill characters off quite a bit.  Not in a George R.R. Martin or even Steven Moffat way; the emotional trauma I might cause myself would be asylum worthy if I were to venture down that path.  Nonetheless, I do tend to find a great death scene to write.  Something I have said since the beginning and can shout from the rooftops…..EVERYTHING HAPPENS FOR A REASON.  No matter how lighthearted or gut-wrenchingly dark things get, there is a purpose for everything that I write and it may not even be clear until you reach the final book; I write for the long haul.  For some characters I realize that they are meant to have their demise as part of something highly entertaining or a need for vengeance that even the reader is screaming for.

Since we live in the land of spoiler alerts, I guess I should say if you have not read the first book SPOILER AHEAD….

Greco’s death serves the biggest purpose of the entire series.  I know people have told me they’re either team Greco or Team Isaac which I have to always answer, “Why not be Team Tessa?”  Both are what makes her who she is.  Greco’s death sets the stage for everything she becomes as the Queen of the Levé’s, the main reason I labeled the first book of the series Rise of a Queen.

END OF SPOILER

Through all this, I still have to say I haven’t really answered the true question beyond the basics.  YES, YES, YES, I mourn my character’s deaths….the ones that I have cultivated and molded for years until their very last breath.  The necessity sometimes breaks my heart and for some people, they want to deny that death understandably.  I have been working on this series since the early 2000’s when I wrote a small bit, set it aside and didn’t pick it up again until a dear friend prodded me with such tenacity it had awaken something inside of me.  With guidance and suggestions Tessa became who she was and The Vampire Realm became so real I could close my eyes and see everything inside of it.  It has consumed me ever since and as I am working on this final book of the series I believe I will mourn The Vampire Realm itself, but at the same time feel pleased and accomplished for giving my baby the life and excitement it contained.

To all the villains that I happen to not mourn…….all I can say is I have raised many a wine glass in your demise and take solace in the fact that I can feel better by simply going back and turning to those pinnacle pages at any time I feel the need.

 

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Where’s the bus stop….

because I’m ready to get off this ride.  It has made me nothing but dizzy, tired, and downright ornery.

It has been a most intense month I can be certain.  Without delving too deep I can say that internal and external conflict have made things rather difficult to focus on my main agenda.  Not a day went by that it wasn’t filled with one extreme or another and everybody had a say in things whether I was a part of it or not.  So a damned if I did or damned if I didn’t kind of thing.  What makes it worse is that its hard to pull yourself out of something you tried to stay away from in the first place.  I’m the chosen lightning bolt apparently.  Family and friends have fallen ill, some have become better; some have unfortunately taken a turn for the worse, a friend of mine got engaged (woohoo!!!!!), and solemn anniversaries have passed (September 11th was also my deceased mother’s birthday), and all in total there are just good days and bad.  With the good ones I spread the energy into my writing and enjoying a day just as beautiful as this one.  With the bad, the bed calls, the mellow music plays and I can only hope I can pour some of it into my work.

Bad news in me geek world, I missed DragonCon once again.  One of these years, I swear I’m going to make it.

Some good news, for sure since i seem to have not kept those up to date like I should have, is that I had finally collected the funding needed to have Ares tested and they came out well enough, although we are keeping watch on certain levels. Considering he will be 11 in a few months he is doing well.  

Some other good news, my promotional days went off well and am getting some wonderful messages telling me their thoughts.  If those turned into reviews I would go through the roof!

As life keeps shooting its arrows in my direction, some even full of vile poison, I dodge the best I can.  So no fear.  I will sleep better once that nice new king size bed comes to my door tomorrow.  Oh I am so looking forward to some  great comfortable sleep.  It is definitely needed.

Reflection on why I do what I do – winding down day one of promotions

For all those who grabbed an e-copy of Rise of a Queen on the first day of the promotion I hope you’ve jumped into it or getting it set for the lovely Labor Day holiday weekend. Don’t forget to tell your friends before the promotion is over because I honestly write because I love to do so. I love to entertain, I love to fill the brains with something besides the ooey gooey spaghetti that sloshes around in them sometimes, although I haven’t written a zombie book yet so that may be something on the table for later. *pushes plate of spaghetti away*.  

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Anyway, what was I saying? Oh I remember, sharing what I’ve written. To be a writer, a person really has to love what they are doing. Most artists do. Why? Because we usually don’t make a big steaming plop of Monopoly money like a lot of people who may have chosen something else for their career. Actually most authors tend to hold what we call “day jobs” those things you push through so you can rush home and jot down those ideas that kicked through that 10 a.m.  meeting you were supposed to pay attention to. Yeah, I’ve been there and done that. Personally I do it because I can’t help it. No matter what I do, there is always something to be written down no matter how much it makes sense at the time or if it is even something other than random words put together by what may seem like silly string. Do you know the oddest thing? All the stress it can cause, all the research that has to be done (and oh so much research that’s going on for me right now I feel like I’m back at University), all the beta readers with wonderful feedback, the editing process done 10x or more; it makes me happy in the end. I’ve finished it. I did my hardest to make it something I wanted to share with the world. I’m not perfect by any means, and you if you caught some of my earlier drafts the giggles that would have come out of your belly would have been funny to see, but I am passionate about my work. Isn’t that what it really comes down to? My passion? No, not THAT kind……10 foot pole; wrong author on that subject. The passion of imagination, storytelling, visualizing every scene in my mind long before I can even put it on paper. Every bit of it makes my heart beat at it fullest. That is why I am happy to hear when people like what they have read from me (even my little jots of old school poetry or deep thoughts on another blog) and tell me so. I also, honestly, adore criticism. For one, it reminds me that I am human and that I do make mistakes and maybe what I’ve written is just not their cup of tea. Things I say, or write, can be confusing or just done terribly. I would love to know all of that because I can never grow without that kind of criticism.

Okay, so enough of my getting all mooshy and talking about my big love for writing, I will leave you with my hopes of your enjoyment of a small piece of me in Rise of a Queen and I’ll bounce up out of here. I’ve got a promotion to run 🙂

An update and a question that needs an answer

First and foremost I want to thank all that donated to my dogs cause.  Ares appreciates all the care that all of you have given, even if not monetary.  He is my first child and to lose him would be devastated.  He goes into full diagnostics in a few weeks, he has him moments that freak me out, but I do the best that I can.

NOW FOR THE QUESTION:  Any great writing programs out there for the PC for me to speak to text? my arms get tired of typing all the time.Does anybody have any suggestions

Uncertainty and Pandora

Uncertainty is quite prevalent in our world today isn’t it? It’s a hurry up and wait kind of process. Then there is the huge question mark that hangs over so many people’s heads on what will happen in minutes, days, months, and years. You get what I’m saying I am sure. In the world we live in nothing is certain.
That is where I am at this point . But instead of grabbing the moment by the horns and cranking out chapters, Ionia I am going for 1k just for you cause you are great support, I have so many things going on in my life at this very moment, dome filled with….you guessed it I am sure. Uncertainty.  I have been a certain  myth constantly lately but Hope. Such a good thing right? We can only hope ABC happens or xyz turns out the way we want it to.  Ahhh but remember this lovely lass called Pandora and that box? What was the most vile thing that was to be kept locked up? HOPE.  That’s right.  It is wonderful if everything you hope for happens for the most part. A person is ecstatic.  What happens if what you hope for doesn’t happen? You feel disappointed, sad, sometimes depressed or even for some heartbroken.
So with uncertainty, questions, and hope hovering over our heads like vultures
fighting away all your creativity because you are so busy doing all those million things you need to do, even in your sleep.
That is where I am at and if I don’t blog as much don’t fret I haven’t been eaten by the vultures. This is what happens when I have no time for clarity or even a morning yoga DVD. Tsk tsk.

Bonus to be. I am blogging from technology!!! I found a place amongst th spring cleaning boxes and pulled my cell out. Woohooo!!!!

What happens when a character gets too big for their britches?

I’m finishing up one section of my second book in the Vampire Realm series (which by the way for a few I may have to fish around for a good title that won’t give away the big surprise in the first one).  There are multiple ones with a few different story lines that all mesh into one another.  As I have stated before, I don’t just focus on one character and I promise you on this one that there are going to be a few front and center.  We’ve got Tessa, Jason and the advisors on the vampire side.  On the other we have the I.F.F. (Independent Freedom Fighters aka human rebels) with Melinda, Emma, and their expanded army.  There is a 3rd that is a big shhhhhhh at the moment.

THAT BEING SAID.  Emma has gotten quite a strong voice of her own.  I didn’t intentionally do that, and yes I reigned her in, but oh my goodness the writing that just flew out of my brain to my fingers just happened to be more than I ever thought it could be.  Emma is definitely becoming like her mother AND Tessa.  That is good.  She is a true character.  She changes from the first book, which I wanted.  Change happens with growth, but boy is she a strong-willed, more than anticipated.

Here’s the big question.  As I’m trying to reign her in and make Melinda a bigger focus on the human side how do I humble such a young adult?  Obviously she gets reunited with her Melinda.  It was bound to happen and it makes for a great divide and a pinnacle moment in the book.  I just wasn’t expecting such a personality to come from such a character.

I’ve got great character’s, mind you. I just really want to bring Melinda, and even Tessa from the other side out, stronger than I have Emma, Jason, and those who are in the know, Ariana (a key element for the next two books).  

In a quandary and could use a few writer’s perspectives on this one.

Good medicine gone rogue

It’s allergy season and I’m miserable.  Go ahead and laugh…………ok now stop.  

I have tried most everything except for going  back to my allergist (yes I have one because i suck) because I know she will start me on shots, and needles are one of the many things that will have me kung fu fighting anybody coming near me with one.  So I get medicine.  Lots and lots of medicine.  So what happens when you’re body get’s used to it?  You walk around the house like a zombie hoping you look as cool as the ones on The Walking Dead, but doubting it with the tissues coming out of the pockets.

I was up late last night, really late.  That’s normal for me.  But this time I was up WAITING for benadryl to kick in since it kicks my butt to sleep anyway.  Nope. It didn’t.  The little pink bastards weren’t going to give me the satisfaction.  Instead, combined with other things, I was in a half state and not sure what to do.  So guess who was writing in the dark, laptop on my bed?  Meeeee……great answer 🙂  I got quite a few good things in, rereading today to make sure it really made sense and we’re good to go on that part.  But, well, um, it was an interesting “trip” waiting to get to sleep.

Between talking with someone over a photocopied butt as a signature (yeah I went there, all the way to elementary school humor) and it ending up being part of a broad spectrum discussion on war strategies and how long would the mooners take with their march time in battle (Gotta love my old online gaming buddies.Those were fun times).  The moment I realized I was really buggy was when the kitty got on my arm and all I saw was the silhouette of his face staring at me.  I literally went “Eek”.  Who does that? I always thought it was just a silly thing, but apparently people really eek. It’s a who knew kind of question.  So I ran to turn the lights on and decided it was best make up with the kitten, who was taking none of it, 

About 4 I finally got tired enough where I could go to sleep, up high on my pile of pillows like a queen in her funeral bed, and pray for no coughing and some breathing for, you know, living measures.  And here I am now, listening to everyone outside mow their lawns to kick up all the pollen that’s been attacking me screaming “CURSES” cause people do that. Fists in the air everyone!!!  I’m sequestered in my own home but for a different reason. Bleh.  So if you get a nice lovely post that makes no sense whatsoever someone needs to scream and reply J.S.  snap out of it chica cause you’re going bat crap crazy!!!!

YAY another post

As I am sitting here nervous that those who are reviewing my book, or even just reading, like it or not I still continue to write.  I have author blog interviews set up, just not for a few weeks, and possibly a radio appearance (no promises but it will be live streamed if that’s the case)..

Incidents in my life make certain emotions just scream at the top of their lungs, cry rivers, or laugh like the jolly green giant. I have been working hard on book two. It is a bit different from the first, a lot of the characters from before flourish and thrive but I bet each of you would love them or loath them (the goal). So I have been writing. Well, trying to in between marketing that is.  What a job that is for sure. I know what is going to happen, fleshing things out is a very hard part. So what do I do while writing when I’m so full of anger, sadness, and frustration? I wrote. Unfortunately it is for the third book that will do nobody here a favor. 

I realize that my blog has taken a life on its own, and that is pretty darn cool. Maybe sarcasms and dry wit does have its positives.  I can’t force a person to read my work, not the book kind anyway.

From a Neanderthal age of writing to the electronics age

What a whirlwind few days it has been for me.  All the anxiety and frustration about meeting my self deadline and I made it, barely, staying up till 4AM leading it’s way out of Valentines Day.  So yes, my book is out. (I will write about my thoughts on Valentines Day in a completely different post…..at some point.  But for now, let’s stick with the long road that led me here.

When I started Rise of a Queen it was one of many ideas scribbled down on notebook paper that lay around my desk.  Some I had gotten quite far, other’s not so much.  I spent endless nights researching about many things, the most interesting ones were of a run down state mental institution and all the things they considered treatment.  There was so much to write about regarding that.  Maybe I will pick it up again, who knows. If you know anything about my writing style it was right up my ally.  Those nights kept me awake.  But I’m veering again.

Right, okay. This book.  It really did start with chapter one.  Only chapter one.  Can I say cheesy when I say it came to me in a dream?  Yeah I dream interesting things, you can ask anyone who’s been around when I’ve woken up screaming or running from my night terrors.  Good times.  My imagery of Tessa was so clear.  It was easy to close my eyes and see such a young, beautiful, torn woman/vampire look out sitting on a nice pallet in front of a huge window at all the things she was missing while realizing how special she was.  It’s original name was Vampire Realm.  Just that, nothing else. Then I put it down.  Life happened and it happened hard and fast.  Years passed by.  Then things changed.  

I met a new friend. He convinced me that I MUST pick it back up and work on it and work hard.  Literally a muse (nothing more but a very dear friend), but will remain nameless.  He poked and prodded and helped me along the way as everything flowed back to me and I fell into the novel, immersing into the character herself.  With many ideas thrown back and forth it was getting done.   It was getting done so much I realized that I had more to say that I had to push it down to one novel realizing there was so much that it equaled three novels, each one full of so many personal stories it became its own spider web of connections, betrayal, deceit  dark history, love, (yeah I know, I’m a big un-romantic kinda girl) loss, and growth. Everything was needed and had its place.  That is how it became Rise of a Queen because it is about Tessa’s growth while not ignoring the other characters that will be important in the next novels of the series.  There might be enough to do a prequel about Greco’s past, but we’ll get to that if I can.  

Chapter Five was the last one I wrote, although I had the notes ready for it.  It was hard to find a way to do it tastefully and correctly.  I needed it to be so emotional, sad, upsetting all at once.  Never meant to be something taken lightly, because it is not a light subject.  I probably rewrote it 100 times.  So many pieces of wrinkled papers surrounded my desk you could dive into it like a pile of leaves.  

As previously stated, the tech world somehow passed me up.  Not really all of it.  But the introduction to e-books made things different.  I went from pen and paper to typewriter, then to WordPerfect, then Word, then Open Office.  It needed to be on paper.  PAPER, you know the thing that comes out of a printer with magical words are written on it, looking the way a manuscript should look. But hold up.  What happened?  E-books and formatting is what happened.  Its that kind of world and I realized how terrible thing looked when I had to reformat.  Who would have thought the tab key was a no no?  Who honestly really thought about page breaks?  I just wrote. That’s what I did.  So I have had to progress. I was against e-books.  Really I was.  I still love the smell of paperbacks.  I love the sound as the swish of the turn of the page.  I like going into a used or new bookstore and realize the magic that was involved in in each one of them.  E-books can do that, one just has to learn to navigate the whole process.  It is much harder to find what you are looking for and to find the audience that really wants it but can’t find it.  It also was very limited……the publishing world had decided to take it’s dear sweet time to progress with the times almost as bad as I had.

I think all the above makes sense.  When my mind starts going it tends to ramble on and on and on.  But long story short, that is how my first published novel began in its rawest form and how it, and I, had to grow (gently nudged or thrown into the pit of fire, you name it) with the times.  I’m quite certain I’m not the only one and each person has their own growth story, and I love to hear all of it.