Tuesday, February 15, 2011
Blog Tour and Giveaway: Author Nora Weston
I am so pleased to welcome author and my new friend, Nora Weston. Today she shares a bit about her latest release--Guardian 2632--and talks about how she creates her fabulous characters. Nora is being very generous today by giving one lucky commenter their choice of a FREE $10 Amazon gift card OR up to $10 at the Book Depository Giveaway. Be sure to leave a comment or question for Nora--even a simple "hello" will do--to have your name entered into the drawing.
Nora Weston’s fiction and poetry slips in-between and all around science fiction, fantasy, and horror. Her publishing credits include the anthologies Mind Mutations, Cyber Pulp’s Halloween 3.0, and Dark Pleasures. Other venues in print and online include; The Hacker’s Source, The Dream People, Hoboeye, Abandoned Towers, Lost in the Dark, Sputnik 57, Soul Engravings, and Decompositions. Recently, Dark Gothic Resurrected Magazine, Worlds Within–Worlds Beyond, Trapeze Magazine, and Four and Twenty published her work. Melange Books has accepted The Twelfth Paladin for a May 2011 release. Nora has had the pleasure of reaching people through the airwaves on radio stations throughout the US, and episodes can be downloaded from Block Talk Radio’s show Not Picture Perfect.
Zane Grayson, the most accomplished executive director Guardian TMF has ever seen, is breaking the law…his law against time surfing. Zane has the supreme power, in 2632, to decide which paradoxes in time need altered, or deleted, but he’s frustrated. Something, or someone, is missing from his life.
Time surfing in illegal time zones is the rush Zane can’t live without. As addictive as the Martian dust called kilred, time surfing becomes Zane’s obsession. And knowing full well if caught by the Elite Guardians, he’ll suffer an unwelcome death by Time Mercs, Zane still dives deep into trouble. Soon, he discovers a mission in 2035 left him trapped in a timehole. This timehole places him in Pittsburgh, PA in 1998, instead of home. In Pittsburgh, Zane strolls into a coffee shop to see the bewitching Julia Emerson. From that point on, his life spirals out of control as he fights to protect what he loves most.
It’s possible Zane’s future is no longer in 2632...but actually in 1998. Slip through time with Zane Grayson as Guardian 2632 reveals what he will sacrifice to save a life.
Character Boot Camp: Make Your Characters the Best They Can Be
A writer breathes life into characters by taking full control over their personalities, and for better or worse...their fate. For example, as master and commander of Zane Grayson, the protagonist in Guardian 2632, I shaped his physical attributes, intellect, emotional state, desires, dislikes, habits, and his conscience. Was he a well rounded, memorable character at this point? Heavens no! Zane shaped up to become the executive director of Guardian TMF...a time monitoring facility, because his development went through what I like to call, character boot camp.
I force all of my main characters to undergo this potentially character killing process to see if they can make the grade and stay relevant to the story. Sometimes, this applies to inanimate objects, like Zane’s super quantum computer, named Gabriel, because it needed a convincing personality. Whatever the case, characters must suffer through this ordeal to stay alive.
Here’s a smidgen of what Zane went through...
• Name Choice- Zane Grayson had several names before I finalized that one. The other names bit the dust because they sounded too soft and were commonplace.
• Physical Attributes- Zane is an accomplished soldier living in the year 2632, so his body is lean and muscular. His jet black hair dangles in front of his dark eyes that, at times, have an indigo sheen to them. His linage is a mix of European and Japanese, so that’s another detail for readers to use for their perception of him. Consider your characters’ ancestries to define their physical attributes.
• Emotional Status-Is your character determined to succeed, no matter what...and tackle the dilemma ahead? If not, can this character be the hero or heroine? If your story is devoid of heroes, still ponder about the emotional status of each character, because that will determine their actions.
• Desires, Dislikes, Habits- Take time to flesh out your characters by racking your brain with these character traits. Zane came to life as I filled him with unstoppable desire for Julia Emerson...a pastian from 1998. He is addicted to caffeine, loves Sizzlers...a rock hard candy so hot few can endure, and he’s an insomniac.
• Past-Give your characters a history by diving into their dreams, remembrances, and discuss their history in dialogue. For example, Marissa Scott...Zane’s girlfriend at the beginning of Guardian 2632, hated her military father was always on leave and he seemed to prefer it that way. A deep down ache to be cherished grew inside of her. This background check on Marissa suggests she may be obsessed with Zane because he’s a workaholic like her father, so by attaining his affection, she can fix the past.
Continue on with this character boot camp process by eliminating anything useless, and then strengthen your characters by adding to their likes/dislikes, accents, scars, musical/literary interests, educational backgrounds, etc. In addition, I suggest using flawed characters rather than characters who are the embodiment of perfection. Flawed characters are much easier to relate to, and it allows for more changes to occur throughout the story.
If you kick out everything that’s drab from the start of your character building process and recruit quirky, distinctive details about your characters...those characters will be the best they can be.
What do you do to create exceptional characters who linger in the minds of your readers long after the book is finished? Please feel free to comment and share your wonderful tips!
Thanks for reading.
Buy Guardian 2632: http://www.melange-books.com/
Book Trailer: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zcCg1wY60YQ