Archive for » April, 2016 «

Other Side of the Pen: April 25th, 2016

Other_Banner

As a writer, as a freelance editor, as a reviewer… Well, sometimes Mia gets mouthy, and the fourth week of the month is when she’s gonna let you know just what she thinks!

Pasquinel Syndrom

I grew up watching the miniseries Centennial, with Richard Chamberlain and Gregory Harrison, Lynn Redgrave and Lois Nettleton–just to name a very, very few. It’s a twelve part series that was made in the late 1970s and based on the epic novel by James Michener. My mother loved it, so she watched it a lot while she was sewing and I was just playing around the house. I didn’t read the book until I was an adult, which was an experience of its own and I spent the whole thing with actors’ voices in my head.

There is a character named Pasquinel. “No Jean-Paul. No Henri. No Monsieur. Just Pasquinel.” He is played in the mini-series by Robert Conrad. This character finds loyalty from everyone he meets, including the women he lies to and the partner he is unkind to. He’s a rather awful little man who lies and leaves people in his wake, and although you can’t help but like him on some levels, I never understood the idolization and loyalty he inspired in people.

Unfortunately, this is not that uncommon a thing in books. I’ve read more than one where a character, often the main character, is really not that likable and yet everyone is willing to bend over backwards until their backs break to please him/her, will jump to their defense even when it’s not really needed or they shouldn’t, and just follow them around like panting dogs. We are told via their actions that the character is worth it, but as a reader, we are never really shown anything to prove it to us.

Typically, our main characters need to be at least somewhat likable and someone we can relate to on some level, so we care about them as we read. If we don’t give a damn what happens to them, what’s the point of reading? Yet when I see these characters and have no reason to like them myself, maybe even reasons to dislike them, but all the characters that I do perhaps like are fawning on them? It’s annoying.

And, it reminds me of Centennial. So, I call it the Pasquinel Syndrome.

No, characters don’t need to be perfect. In fact, it’s just as bad if they are. But they do need redeeming qualities to draw us into them. (Even antiheroes and rogues.) And if you want all the other characters in the book to utterly adore them? Please make sure that the readers get to see the reason or find out why, so we can understand it on some level and not just get annoyed.

Category: The Other Side of the Pen  Comments off

Nutmegs & the Charter Oak: April 18th, 2016

CT_Banner

Mia is from CT, and Adelheid is in CT…so, let’s talk about Connecticut!

The UCONN Huskies – Girls Rock!

I am not really a “sports” person, but everyone knows “The Sport” for their area. In Connecticut? We are proud of our basketball teams, and there is no team we’re prouder of than our UCONN Women. This month, they won the NCAA championship…

…again!

12963648_1047519688620091_4182561466727542810_n

The UCONN Women:

  1. Have had 151 wins in 4 years, and now have set a NCAA record.
  2. They just won their fourth consecutive championship.
  3. This year marked their ninth consecutive appearance in the Final Four.
  4. They have not lost two games in a row since 1993!

Our girls rock. 😉

12976918_688304674605693_8716310308679819710_o

 

Category: Nutmegs & the Charter Oak  Comments off

From Mia’s Desk: April 11th, 2016

FMD_Banner

From Mia’s Desk will post the second week of each month and discuss something of interest to Mia, which she hopes others will find interesting too! It may focus on opinion pieces, literature (historical and current), or even movies–because a good story is a good story.

Sense & Sensibility

Another of my favorite classic novels would have to be Jane Austen’s Sense & Sensibility. While everyone seems to be all about Pride & Prejudice and Mr. Darcy, I’m not. I’m all about the other & story, and Colonel Brandon. I also strongly identify with Elinor. I’ve often been, or at least felt like, the most adult person in the room even when I was half of everyone’s age. So, Elinor–sensible, practical, even-headed Elinor–being stuck with her very emotional family… Well, I get it.

I grew up watching the version with Emma Thompson and that fantastic cast from 1995. I went to see it in the theater with my mother. I was the youngest person in the room by 23 years. I know this because the next oldest person was my mother! This version is lovely, but reading the book actually ruined it for me. When I learned that the character of Elinor is only 19? Emma, I love you, but at 36, I just could never see you as 19. All of the actors but for the girl playing Margaret and Kate Winslet were at least ten to fifteen years too old for their roles, as much as I adore the actors in it–Alan Rickman, especially. (Winslet was only about five years too old…)

A few years ago, I saw the BBC’s adaptation and this one is truly lovely. Morrissey’s Colonel Brandon feels truer to the character. As much as I love Rickman, he played Brandon too…timid. This character was a colonel and had been to the West Indies. He was wounded, but not timid. Morahan and Wakefield fit the ages of their characters much better and portrayed them well. Elinor was not nearly as emotionally suppressed as Thompson played her, though Winslet was truer to the head-smacking idiocy of the book’s Marianne.

Honestly, I would greatly recommend them both. They both have a stunning cast and top notch production, as well as beautiful scores. The fact that the BBC version’s soundtrack can compete with a Patrick Doyle score for me is impressive. Thompson’s has some elements that the other doesn’t and embraces the spirit, but I think the BBC’s is a bit truer to the book.

Category: From Mia's Desk  Comments off

The Adelheid Chronicle: April 4th, 2016

Chronicle_Banner

The Adelheid Chronicle will post the first week of the month to discuss interesting facts about the series, the setting, its creation, about current and future releases, teasers, etc.,

Inspiration

One question often asked of authors is: what was your inspiration?

Obviously, every story and every character has their own specific inspirations. Writers pull from many different threads in their inspiration, but then work on their own thoughts. Not that anything is truly original anymore, but we get as close as can be. I can, however, track the inspiration for the series on a whole to certain authors and series I read as a teen.

Interview with a Vampire by Anne Rice

There isn’t much specific from this book–I read the first three in the series–that translates into Adelheid, but Rice’s books were a big reason why I started getting into vampire fiction in the first place. That’s why the first spot in this list belongs to her.

The Anita Blake Series by Laurell K. Hamilton

Next on the list are these books. They introduced me to the idea of a world where the supernatural species are known and could be a business, although I thought she missed certain opportunities. Those were what made me start to explore the ideas that would (many years later) become Cameron’s Law and the Adelheid Series.

I fell off reading later on. While unlike many readers, I had no issues at all with Anita’s romantic life, the character had always been a bit hypocritical and when she started becoming intolerably so with her lovers (that I didn’t think she deserved, they were too good to her), I couldn’t read anymore. Trusted friends have told me she’s gotten over that, so I may pick them back up.

The Vampire Files by P. N. Elrod

I don’t know where Hamilton or Elrod was the bigger inspiration, but this was the second big one. Her narrative style and the vaguely “hardboiled” feel to her main character were big inspirations. I also loved how later in the series, when her main character is severely traumatized, she does not just brush it off in the next book. I’ve read all of the ones I know about, though I may need to go hunting to make sure I’m still caught up.

Category: The Adelheid Chronicle  Comments off