Tuesday, June 21, 2011

The Cannibal Irony

Cannibals are evil, right? They kill and eat people, and that is inherently wrong. Yet Cannibals are some of the most interesting characters in my story world. How can readers possibly bond with someone who does something so evil?
In Botanicaust, the Cannibals survived the demise of world food crops by refusing to be picky. Yes, they eat humans, but not exclusively. They eat anything. And they don’t believe in wasting. Their culture evolved as the ultimate conservationists. They have laws to protect people with knowledge that must not be lost. And only certain bands, called Hunters, actively hunt and kill other people. The rest of the Cannibals are gatherers, healers, craftsmen, and parents. If the situation suits them, they take pity on outsiders.
Beyond the one nearly unforgivable trait that defines them, Cannibals in Botanicaust have many good qualities. There is a reason for what they do, proven again and again by a harsh environment. Readers can empathize with the need to survive. And that is the crux of memorable characters; the reader doesn’t have to actively like them, only empathize with them.
Can you think of a character with a serious flaw who for some reason, you bonded with anyway? What redeemed that character for you?
© Tam Linsey, 2011. All rights reserved.
Cross posted at http://tamlinsey.com/ and http://romancingthegenres.blogspot.com/

Friday, June 10, 2011

Can Talent be Inherited?

Hi World!

You know...I volunteered to be the overseer/nag of the Alaska RWA BLOG. I figured it was the least I could do. (literally). Weirdly enough - I've been bugging all the other BLOGGERS about getting theirs done on time, and somehow, I just never got around to doing one. Well, guess what. Somebody in the group finally noticed.

Which explains - sort of - why I'm writing today.

I read a lot of historical tomes and watch a lot of educational/historical DVDs. I call it research, but to me it's just plain fun. I recently finished a series on the seer Nostradamus, and one thing he said really bothered me. His son Cesar (I don't know if I spelled it right) claimed to have inherited the talent to foresee the future as well, but his own father seemed to dispute it, and that got me to wondering why anybody would question if talent can be inherited.

My answer has to be: YES. Look at just about any family of actors in show business. I won't bother listing any. I don't have that much room. But, in a roundabout way this brings me to my little sister. I have a mother who is amazingly talented in the arts - and can she sing! I have lots of siblings, too, and they exhibit lots of talent, but I'd really like to introduce you to my baby sister, Barbara. (And she's just going to have to forgive me for calling her "baby".)

She's a painter that takes your breath away. Now. I dabble in drawing. I've done a few paintings. I won scholarship and attended college on my talent. My heart just isn't that into it - much to my family's chagrin, because I'm not bad. Here's one of my pictures, GRAY WOLF 1990. This one was drawn with a 12 pack of colored pencils. Not bad. Like I said. But, I have to tell you. My baby sister, Barbara, blows me away. I stuck a picture of her recent painting at the very beginning of this post. Wow, huh?

And then there's the writing thing. now. Writing is my true love, my joy, my passion, my reason for living. Okay. That's probably a tad overboard, but you get the gist. (and don't tell my hubby). I've got several books out, a few ebooks now, and I've won or finaled in some contests over the years. My next one is a paranormal historical vampire anthology. HIGHLAND HUNGER. It's due out in September. In October, my next Scot Highland historical comes out. It's titled KNIGHT EVERLASTING. I already have a review on this one that ends with one word: "Wow". It'll be up at Long and Short Reviews once the release date gets closer.

Well. You should have guessed it. Barbara caught the writing bug, too. Before I started writing, I was the most prodigious reader anywhere. I'd go through 30-40 books a month. This isn't an exaggeration. The book store In Rawlins Wyoming had a standing order when the romances came in that I got first peek at them before they'd load them on the shelves. Oh. Brother. My TBR stack was embarrassing. Well, I got Barb started reading historical romances when she was back in High School. And that's all it took. I think she's now out-read me.

And recently, she got her own book out there. She's got a long adventure (ok. It has a little romance angle) book up at Amazon! It's a fun read. Really. You gotta check it out. Heck. She even illustrated it.

So. There's my case. Talent is definitely inherited, and I was lucky to get some.
Thanks for listening. I've now fulfilled my duty and can go nag the next BLOGGER.

Oh! I'd love to do a contest. If anyone wants to win an Advance Reader Copy of HIGHLAND HUNGER, you gotta comment to enter. I'll send it out when I get back from RWA in New York. Promise.


Saturday, June 4, 2011

I Aspire

I remember reading an interview with a Romance Author, in which she stated that a Fan came up to her and Thanked her profusely for a book the author had written. The reason for the gratitude was that the Fan had read this book, while she sat by her child’s bedside as they recovered from injuries sustained in a car crash. The child pulled through with flying colors and the Fan was able to abate her anxiety by reading this author’s book.

I aspire to write a book such as this, a story that will give someone out there, sitting beside a loved one in a hospital bed, solace. Someone who hasn’t slept for days and is praying for those they love to have peace or healing. Perhaps some poor mother who is holding her child’s tiny hand and feels as if her heart is being squeezed like a sponge, because there is nothing she can do but wait and read and wait. A book that a girlfriend reads to her best friend, who recuperates and they can laugh and cry together. A book that can make those sometimes painful and sometimes cherished, hours fly by like a morning bird in flight.

I continue to work towards improving my writing with education, life experience, reading other good books and one of the best critique groups on the planet. I aspire to write this book one day.