Saturday, November 8, 2014

Sunday Musings: November 9 2014

We talked memories last week. And while this is will be the Sunday before Canada's Remembrance Day, I'm still riding this emotion.

Something about watching my grandfather at his reunion and those men and what memories they must have had for their time during WWWII. How each one may never have met except for this time. Each with different lives before and after. Their personal histories. Each man, and woman, had their own story.

How does this take us to today's musings? Well, I'm honestly not sure how to explain that, sometimes my mind wanders from the harsh realities to the escapism of fiction. But, I can tell you this, my grandfather was one of my strongest supporters. From his and his comrades' reality of WWWII, I have the pleasure and freedom of writing my escape in fiction today. And for this, I say Thank You.

Onward we go...

When writing characters we need to know them more than what we share on the page. What's one secret about your favourite character you're willing to share? What's one secret you're willing to share about yourself?

DAWN KNOX, author

Daffodil has to be my favourite character. I like her vulnerability and sensitivity, as well as her newly-acquired courage and nerve.

When 'Daffodil and the Thin Place' begins, she lacks confidence - like many other teenagers. She longs to be acknowledged by the 'Popular Girls', believing that their acceptance will validate her life and it's not until she's taken completely out of her environment that she realises strength comes from within, not from other people's approval. Stuck in the nineteenth century, far from the parents she usually relies on to deal with her problems, she recognises that her life depends on her resourcefulness and courage. And if that isn't enough for a thirteen-year old, she knows the life of a friend is in her hands too.

I drew on experiences that I had when I was a teenager to write Daffodil. It took me a lot longer to work out things that she learned in a very short space of time. Perhaps I'd have grown up faster if I'd been whisked back in time!

Character secrets?  I'll use the Star Commandos series protagonists for the main part of my answer, although everyone in those and my other books has his or her background story and some of them have things they wouldn't want known in their present lives.  Varn must, of course, conceal his race and background, but he also had since boyhood harbored a "guilty" admiration and liking for Terran ways, history, arts, etc., and an even more guilty wish that he could raise his children in a Terran-style family, be a Terran-style father to them.  Islaen definitely had to conceal from her comrades, both Commandos and Resistance members, that she had come to love Varn, then the commander of the invading armada they were all fighting to defeat.  In an upcoming novel, THE PURGATORIO VIRUS, the lead character conceals the fact that his father was a pirate and his fear that his older brother is flying the same starlane.

As for myself, there are no secrets.  I have lived a quiet, peaceful, normal life and was raised in a loving, supportive family.  Probably the closest thing to a secret was my desire to be a writer and the fact that, since late grade school, I was writing (totally unpublishable works).  I wanted to have the supreme pleasure of announcing a sale and so kept my mouth shut.  In the end, I did have that pleasure in double measure with the almost simultaneous sale of the short story "Covenant" and the first incarnation of STAR COMMANDOS.  The fulfillment outdid the anticipation, I'm happy to relate.

Here's a secret of my main character, Rob Walker, in "Rebellion," the fourth Novel of Aleyne, due to appear next summer:

He's in love with his best friend.

Yes, it does come out in the novel.

Here's one about me: as a ten-year-old, I was in love with a good friend, a girl a few years older than I was. I was devastated when her parents divorced and she moved to California.


Let's see.

My characters are still quite young to me, so they're developing as I write. But, it is more like they are unfolding by layers rather than giving up or keeping secrets.

For me, I'm not exactly who I say I am and it does feel like I'm keeping a secret. Thea is someone I 'put on' in order to give myself permission to write this hot genre. I'm not embarrassed or ashamed...I'm quite proud of the characters and storyline I've created. There's just too many people I know who don't understand this genre.

That and sometimes don't you just want to keep something all to yourself. Or like the idea of moving someplace where no one knows you, there's no baggage or preconceived view or automatic role you're placed in.​

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