MY MAIN CHARACTER BLOG TOUR
I'd like to thank Mary Clark, author of Tally: An Intuitive Life (All Things That Matter Press 2013), for asking me to participate in this blog tour. You can find her post on http://www.literaryeyes.wordpress.com
I've been asked to respond to the following questions about My Main Character in a Work in Progress.
1. What is the name of your character? Is he/she fictional or a historic person?
My character is Anya, a fictional composite of women I knew. However, she could be viewed as historic, for she is the product of Argentinean middle-class society in the 1950s.
2. When and where is the story set?
The story is set mainly in the city of Buenos Aires, beginning in the early fifties and developing over a 60 year span. Exception made of Los gloriosos sesenta y después [The Glorious Sixties and After], my novels do not give great importance to location, but this one dwells in more detail on the city and on provinces/holiday resorts that Anya visits. This is because, in a way, place and mood are intertwined.
3. What should we know about him/her?
Anya had a difficult childhood, marked by her parents' divorce at a time when divorce was unthinkable, by a domineering mother, and by a father who stood by her as long as she respected his rules. Nothing really tragic happened to her, and yet the whole point is to show how inner perception of events may cause psychic pain to a tragic extent.
4. What is the main conflict? What messes up his/her life?
Anya goes through life pursuing love in the wrong places. One could say she does not need extra help to mess up her life; she is perfectly capable of making herself miserable through her choice of men.
5. What is the personal goal of the character?
When she turned seventeen, her father prophesied she would never marry because no respectable Jew would marry the child of divorced parents, while the Catholics among whom she lived would not settle for a Jewish wife. On the surface, it would seem as if what she most wanted was to prove her father wrong. In actual fact, she did everything possible to prove him right.
6. Is there a working title for this novel, and can we read more about it?
The title is Men in My Mirror, and I think it will stick. Here's a short excerpt:
In the 1950s, when I was a child struggling to make some sense of the world around me, my father went out of his way to awaken my awareness of the differences between men and women. The pattern that emerged then could be summarized thus: men were courageous by nature, as confirmed by the radio news on the Korean war what is Korea? what is a war? how can so many people manage to squeeze together into the wooden box called “radio”? Men provided for their family, protected women, made all important decisions, and were not to be contradicted, for they always knew better. There were exceptions, of course, such as uncle Leon, who not only had never done a stroke of work but had gambled away aunt Fanny’s jewels to the last diamond, but these men just went to show... I couldn't figure out what they went to show. This part of my father’s indoctrination always stopped at an imaginary dotted line. By contrast, women were frail, unable to get by on their own, and needed to get a good grip of the tools of their sex –no one talked about gender back then– so that nice men then the exceptions were not a rarity? would choose them as wives and mothers. My father felt indeed sorry for women who, willy-nilly, needed to earn their own living, and had little patience with those who boasted of a calling, which sounded odd, since Mother belonged in the latter group. A playwright and a political activist, no less. I reckon dad had mixed feelings about this. On the one hand, he felt he indulged her in what he believed would prove a passing fancy. On the other hand, he probably enjoyed the ohs and ahs of his brothers, all five of them married to girls from respectable families that had taken care to deliver them with a blank slate where their brains should have been so that their husbands could engrave in letters of fire the views handed down to them by my grandparents.
7. When can we expect the book to be published?
As soon as I'm happy with it. Although I have written five non-fiction books in English, this is my first novel in English. The challenge is big. Fortunately, my publisher -Jorge Pinto from Jorge Pinto Books Inc.- has been overly patient, and I am most grateful for that.
I'd like to invite you to read Trish Jackson's post on http://www.trishjackson.com/
See below four outstanding writers tagged for Monday, May 26. I am publishing their bios as they sent them for you to see how interesting they all are.
This author thinks of herself as a teacher, apprentice, traveler and activist. Her inspiration comes from life experiences (nothing new to authors); by the diverse novels she reads (but primarily science fiction); and dramatic films, imagined or true--such as the following:
After watching Julie and Julia, Joyce realized the significance of sharing glimpses and gambits on what is purposeful and meaningful in our lives. Some of her own perceptions are profiled through her novel, Pieces of You and continues in the coming sequel, The Battle of Jericho, 2040. But Pieces of You is more than a “book for thinkers.” It’s a speculative tale of sacrificial love, inspired by her story:
“Five years ago I met a man, a person with lots of life experiences, whom I learned to love in the four months we had together. He became the protagonist of Pieces of You., a love story entwined with social responsibility, the spirit world, and time travel...”
As Mark’s body lies comatose, his spirit journeys to his past and then to two possible futures. A supernatural guide draws him into the changes affected by his decisions, then permits him to choose his own future--to remain with Janine, the woman he loves, or to cross over and direct a Divine team to alter the destiny of those alive in 2040.
Book trailer on YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DIacFKaNWe8
Amazon Book Listing (Kindle edition): http://tinyurl.com/927am9u
Smashwords Listing: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/279614
Audio excerpt (read by the author): http://harmlessjoyce.wordpress.com/2012/07/08/a-reading-from-pieces-of-you/
I began writing after a personal tragedy, as a catharsis for my grief. This lead to a first time out publication in Victimology: An International Magazine and a 25 year career in Journalism. I've freelanced and been staff writer for one major newspaper and written for two more. I have published short fiction and non-fiction, as well as slice of life stories in colleges and other magazines and in e-zine editions. My first book was published in 2008; a funny family memoir of love, loss and survival, called, . . .AND THE WHIPPOORWILL SANG which won the Nesta CBC silver award for writing that makes a change in the world. Two of my short horror stories have been published in an anthology called "Speed of Dark." I am presently working on a collection of short fiction, slice of life stories and essays, in a book called, Heartbeat. . .slices of life.
. . . and the Whippoorwill Sang by Micki Peluso
BOB VAN LAERHOVEN
Bob van Laerhoven was born on August 8th 1953 in the sandy soil of Antwerp’s Kempen, where according to the cliché ‘pig-headed clodhoppers’ live. This perhaps explains why he started to write stories at a particularly young age. A number of his stories were published in English, French, German, Spanish and Slovenian.
Van Laerhoven made his debut as a novelist in 1985 with Nachtspel – Night Game. He quickly became known for his ‘un-Flemish’ style: he writes colorful, kaleidoscopic novels in which the fate of the individual is closely related to broad social transformations. His style slowly evolved in his later novels to embrace more personal themes while continuing to branch out into the world at large. International flair has become his trademark.
Bob Van Laerhoven became a full-time author in 1991. The context of his stories isn’t invented behind his desk, rather it is rooted in personal experience. As a freelance travel writer, for example, he explored conflicts and trouble-spots across the globe from the early 1990s to 2005. Echoes of his experiences on the road also trickle through in his novels. Somalia, Liberia, Sudan, Gaza, Iran, Iraq, Myanmar, Lebanon, Mozambique, Laos… to name but a few.
During the Bosnian war, Van Laerhoven spent part of 1992 in the besieged city of Sarajevo. Three years later he was working for MSF - Doctors without frontiers - in the Bosnian city of Tuzla during the NATO bombings. At that moment the refugees arrived from the Muslim enclave of Srebrenica. Van Laerhoven was the first writer from the Low Countries to be given the chance to speak to the refugees. His conversations resulted in a travel book:Srebrenica. Getuigen van massamoord – Srebrenica. Testimony to a Mass Murder. The book denounces the rape and torture of the Muslim population of this Bosnian-Serbian enclave and is based on first-hand testimonies. He also concludes that mass murders took place, an idea that was questioned at the time but later proven accurate.
All these experiences contribute to Bob Van Laerhoven’s rich and commendable oeuvre, an oeuvre that typifies him as the versatile author of novels, travel stories, books for young adults, theatre pieces, biographies, poetry, non-fiction, letters, columns, articles... He is also a prize-winning author: in 2007 he won the Hercule Poirot Prize for best thriller of the year with his novel De Wraak van Baudelaire – Baudelaire’s Revenge.
In May 2013 “La Vengeance de Baudelaire”, the French translation of “De wraak van Baudelaire”, was published in France and in Canada and received very positive reviews: http://www.bobvanlaerhoven.be/fr/pages/18/misdaad-romans
As a result, “Le Mensonge d’Alejandro”, a second novel in French translation – original title : Alejandro’s leugen - was published in May 2014 by the same French and Canadian Publishers: http://www.bobvanlaerhoven.be/fr/pages/16/literatuur
In April 2014, Pegasus Books ( New York) released the hardcover version of “Baudelaire’s Revenge” in the US . Although the novel is only recently out, Publishers Weekly, Kirkus Reviews, The New York Times Book Review, Library Journal, Curled Up With A Good Book.com and Shelf Awareness Pro already published reviews. http://www.bobvanlaerhoven.be/en/pages/12/misdaad-romans
A Russian translation of “Baudelaire’s Revenge” is just completed. An Italian is in the making.
Website: www.bobvanlaerhoven.be (NL/FR/EN)
Book Trailers: www.youtube.com/bobvanlaerhoven1
PIM WIERSINGA (born 1954) is a Dutch novelist and he has one son (Romeo, born 2000).
Wiersinga writes in a classic tradition with distinctive lyrical overtones. History is his element but it's never his intention to "just" document -let alone idealize- the past. His debut Honingvogels (published in 1992; English version Honeybirds completed; not published yet) is set in Antwerp around the turn of the past century; a sudden reunion with a long-lost friend hurls the narrator-character into the Unknown.
This was followed by an epic novel set in Antiquity entitled Gracchanten (1995), featuring the revolt of the Gracchi brothers viewed through the eyes and temperament of a highly un-Roman character, the son of a Macedonian rebel resisting the supremacy of Rome.
A few years ago, this old love came back to him: the historical novel is his favorite haunt to reflect on present society as well as the human condition in general. Wiersinga: "I love to put myself in alien shoes, boots, or sandals and walk through another time and place - and my Muse seems fond of it too."