Wednesday, November 27, 2013

{Character Interviews} Hannah Stewart's Lucian

Hey y'all! Guess what we have starting today? Interviews with awesome fictional characters!
A number of my writing friends will be contributing weekly (every Wednesday) with answers to some questions which were asked of their characters!
Eventually, I might even do an interview of...*overly dramatic drum roll* my own characters. If they let me, which is highly doubtful.
But anyway! Today, I'm pleased to introduce to you Lucian, a character from Hannah Stewart's book "Outspoken." He's one of my personal favorites from this volume!
Soooo let's give him a warm welcome, and move on with the interview!

What’s one cool thing about the world you come from?

Well, I was going to say the mountainous districts, but my author
kindly informed me of the different connotations of the word "cool" in
your culture. The world I come from really isn't all that different
from yours, if a few thousand years behind. Medieval, I believe you
would call it. Perhaps you would call the Woods of Escaine a "cool"
feature of my world... the forest itself is a couple thousand years
old, with trees so large that the rogue knight Escaine and his band of
robbers were able to set up their camp inside them - they burnt out
what we call "holes" from the cores of the trunks, and turned them
into little houses. No one ever found them... at least, not until Finn
discovered the secret decades after the campsite had been abandoned.
What does your bedroom look like?

Usually, a dry patch of dirt or bed of grass with the stars overhead
will suffice. I've never had my own. My family was too poor when I was
little, not that I could remember it well enough to describe it now.
After that, it was whatever corner I could sequester away. Now Finn
has offered me one of the holes to myself, but I've been too busy
helping him to take him up on it.

Describe your personality.

That's a... difficult question. If I were in a joking mood, I'd have
to call myself the quiet type. I guess what I can say about myself is
that I care about my family and my friends. I'm a nobody... no one
important, no one special. I'm just a carpet to be walked over,
treated however the passing fads deem appropriate. But my family - by
blood or by loyalty - they mean everything to me. And anyone that
hurts them will have me to deal with.
Describe your physical appearance.
Appearance? Like I said, I'm nothing special. Average height, average
weight, average build. I have my father's red hair and beard with my
mother's curl. My cheekbones, I've been told, are my most striking
aspect. My eyes can't decide who's they are, sometimes they're blue
like my mother's, sometimes green, like my father's. Nothing
outstanding to reference, nothing at all.

Are you an introvert or extrovert?

Years ago, I may have considered myself an extrovert, the head of the
pack. But every thing's changed since then. My circumstances make it
hard to be anything but an introvert, really, and I've accepted that.
Grown to like it. The horses are my companions now, and along with my
few friends, I have all I need.

Do you approve of how your author treats you?

I won't pretend not to be bitter about certain things, but who
wouldn't be? I can't really blame her though. Like she says, the story
has to come first, and I know it pains her to hurt us. I just have to
trust that whatever point she intends to make will be worth the
What would you do if you needed to make dinner but the kitchen was inaccessible?

That's a... strange question. I'd do what I suppose any reasonable man
would do: build a fire and cook dinner in the open air. It most
definitely wouldn't be the first time.

Do you have any physical or mental abnormalities/illnesses?

As you may have picked up on from my author having to transcribe for
me, I have no voice of my own. My tongue was cut out when I was first
enslaved by Lord Sadach - I was ten, and mouthed off to him. He
thought I'd make a great servant, if I wasn't so spirited, and there's
more than one way to break a man. Since then, my nasty tendency of
becoming a heroic fool when the innocent are in trouble has left me
with more scars than flesh on my back.

What do you think about right before falling asleep at night?

Any number of things really. The things I regret, the people I've lost
- they tend to make appearances. A lot of appearances... But, these
days, I've been so busy. Now, it tends to be whatever I'm most anxious
about, be it a battle to come or bad news to deliver.

You’re bored, and all you have is a blank piece of paper and pencil.
What happens?

Most likely, I remain bored. I only recently learned how to write, and
it's still difficult. But, being away so often now, it wouldn't be
surprising if I wrote a letter for Caillte and Pip, or a report for

Most prized possession?

I don't exactly have a lot of possessions, and though most people
would consider him one, I can't call what I would esteem my most
prized and object. Elisha, my horse. He's carried me through
atrocities no man should ever see, and remained by my side as a
friend, companion, and brother in arms.


I don't have time for hobbies. But, when time does present itself, I
usually spend it in the stables or striking up a tune on my mandolin.

One little known fact about yourself?

Little known fact? Oh, I don't know... I guess not many people know
that, when I was young, before Muintir burned to the ground and I was
taken captive, I was an fairly accomplished dancer. My parents, as I
came to find out later, had both held positions in the royal palace
years before. They were favorites of the previous royal family. They
knew how to dance like the upper class, and thought it wise to teach
me. Mother said it would help me overcome my social position later in
life, and I suppose it has in ways.

What’s something you really like about yourself?

There's not much to like, but if forced to chose something, I guess it
would be my loyalty to those I love. It gets me in trouble, but I
deserve trouble. They don't.

Do you have any special skills, talents or abilities?

I train horses. My father taught me how, and I was good enough to
please Lord Sadach. I'm also very strong with the sword, and I can
play the mandolin, as I said before.

Would you go skydiving if you could?

My author informs me that skydiving is a modern sport in your world...
I don't see the appeal in leaping out of a giant hunk of metal hurling
through the sky, but I wouldn't be opposed to trying it if beckoned.
Stranger things have happened.

{Visit Lucian's author Hannah here.}
Join me next week for another interview with a fascinating book character you're sure to love!

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Writing-Induced Depression? {WriterlyWednesday}

I never thought it was possible.

Non-writers won't have any idea about that which I speak of - and I'm confident even some writerly folks won't understand. Honestly, it is a bit mysterious and daunting to me myself.

Writing-induced depression. Is that already an official term? If not, I'm coining it. WID.
My friends, WID is real.

I experienced it at its full potential this last Monday.

See, I've been working in earnest on The Rebels lately due to the fact that my self-set deadline is fast approaching with the end of the year.

And, I happen to be in the midst of the most depressing part of the book.
Have you ever attempted writing a full-fledged Civil War battle scene?
If you haven't, don't bother trying to sympathize wit me. The only way for you to understand this sentiment would be to go through the experience yourself.

The trauma. The feels. The pain.

This chapter has torn my inner workings to pieces. I put myself in a literal depression all because of it.
"A cave of depression", to quote an awesome writing friend of mine.

The numbness was stifling.
As I poured my soul into the gore and sadness on the document before me, tears forced their way from my eyes.

My eyes sting even as I think of it. My poor characters. Damascus Hayden, the red-headed Rebel man who's distanced himself so far from his Creator.
All I wanted to do when writing that scene was climb into bed and sleep.
Wake up to a fresh start, the painful emotions wiped clean away.
Getting away from the book did a world of good.

I accompanied Mom to Micanopy to drop off and collect library books, (always fun, since it's the library of course!) and then we took a serendipitous stop at Mosswood, a delightfully charming little locally run shop across the street from the library. It's one of my favorites, and has been for ages.
The sound of vintage 30's music drifts the place, organic, handmade and locally grown products fill the store's shelves. Books on how to do things yourself - how to bake bread, how to bee keep, you name it.
The building itself is an old house, renovated into a cozy store. Wood is everywhere - wood floors, beautiful wood counters, walls, ahhh it's lovely. I love wood furnishings.
The best thing is that this place supplies heirloom seeds - something we value greatly for our gardens.
Upon purchasing a good quantity for this year's winter crops, we made the spontaneous decision to also buy mochas. Mmmm! So warm and deliciously rich and yummy.
We sat out on the porch for a good solid hour, just Mom and I. *happy sigh* I will treasure that afternoon. It was a special mother-daughter bonding time. So terribly thankful for my parents!
So that helped with the dark moment of WID I was having. It helped greatly. Mom is such a good listener, I wish I was more like her.
What Was I Saying? INTJ so me
I'm melodramatic. Insane, obsessive, completely random and sporadic.
Entirely too emotional. But you know what? Somehow, my family puts up with all that.
Somehow my friends do. Somehow, God does. And that is most comforting of all.
His grace has never left me dry and wanting. I may act like an idiot, fall down and botch things up, but I can always run back to Him. He is my Rock, my Sword, my Shield.
He never leaves me.
Anyhoo. WID is real, bottom line. It's rough and it leaves scars. In short? Watch out, fellow writerly peoples. If you find yourself sitting at your computer, staring in angst at your novel with tears threatening to spill from your eyes, be careful. If you heart feels numb and emotionless, yet heavy and sore, tread with caution. If, even hours after you stopped writing, your entire demeanor hasn't changed one lick - yipes.
You might find yourself carried away -  lost in a severe case of writing induced depression.
Tread carefully for it's a hazard zone not to be taken lightly.