originally posted at:
June 24, 2014
Last week the amazing Weaver Grace was kind enough to ask me to participate in an interview where authors of works-in-progress discuss the main character of their historical fiction. While the book I’m writing isn’t strictly historical fiction per se (it’s a fantasy based on a retelling of Little Red Riding Hood), it’s based on 16th – 18th century Afro-Brazilian culture and late medieval English nunneries.
I’ve been researching extensively, reading scholarly works such as Eileen Power’s eye-opening Medieval English Nunneries: C.1275 to 1535 (available for free on Kindle), which dispels any notions of quiet-living, pious women. It must be remembered that many women of this period who ended up in convents were not necessarily there because they felt called to serve God, but often because they had no choice. Late Medieval English nunneries were sometimes used as dumping grounds for unmarriageable or unwanted females of the nobility and the upper class (untitled, rich merchants and such) . . .
1. What is the name of your character? Is he/she fictional or a historic person?
Porcelana is my main character and she is fictional. She is an Afro-Brazilian albino who’s been hand-picked to train to become one of the warrior/nuns of Convento do Pano Vermelho (The Convent of the Red Cloth), the protectors of her town who hunt the savage wolves said to roam freely in the surrounding forests . . .
Young Porcelana (Photo of Young Afro-Brazilian Girl by Gustavo Lacerda)
My inspiration images for the young Porcelana are from the amazing Brazilian photographer Gustavo Lacerda whose website you can visit by clicking here . . .
read more at Jessica’s blog
originally posted at :
Monday, 23 June 2014
by Roderick Gladwish
+Grace Buchanan (Weaver Grace) tagged me to continue a tradition of bloggers on the Meet My Main Character Blog Tours. This tour asks the author of works-in-progress to answer questions about their main character and then tag another author to do the same.
Grace’s character is a real historical figure, her grandmother’s grandmother. She lived in a fascinating part of American history, when the USA and the people coming to it, start to truly found a nation. Funny thing is, history books are stuffed with rulers and power brokers, yet Nations are formed, changed and protected by the millions who never get a mention. I’m a history nut so I’m biased and her character was interesting.
Here’s my go at answering the same questions…
1. What is the name of your character? Is he/she fictional or a historic person?
Jeptha of Nonewharl, everyone calls him Jep. He’s a fictional character based on the many young men who did, and still do, go to sea in search of adventure.
2. When and where is the story set?
It’s set in the early seventeenth century, at first on the fictional islands of Nonewharl, which are much like the Faroe Islands, set in the stormy North Atlantic Ocean. Jep and his people are descendants of Nose settlers and shipwrecked ‘strays’. Then he ventures into the Atlantic and then the North Sea on his first, fateful voyage as a professional sailor. . .
read more at Roderick’s blog
Jo Robinson tagged me to continue a tradition of bloggers. Meet My Main Character Blog Tours resemble radio interviews: tune in now for answers to questions posed to me, and a week later for answers to the same questions posed to other authors. This tour asks the authors of works-in-progress to answer questions about the main characters of their historical fiction novels. Jo describes her main character as being part of other-worldly myths that she (her main character) doesn’t believe in. Jo features this character in her Shadow People series. Jo and I write similarly: our characters tell us their stories, and we merely translate them into a language that you can read. And now, the questions and answers about my historical novel-in-progress:
- What is the name of your character? Is he/she fictional or a historic person? Polly is my grandmother’s grandmother, as I imagine her.
- When and where is the story set? Polly raised her family in the mid 1800s in the crude log cabin that her husbandbuilt in Pennsylvania, USA. My sister and I stirred up few clues about Polly and her family, through our genealogical research projects during the past few decades. I felt amused and then angered when I hit adead end inan historical reference book that declared that Polly’s family didn’t “succeed” because they didn’t develop their land into villages; they didn’testablish businesses on their land in the mid 1800s; they remained farmers. I define “success” differently, thus I continue her story beyond the history books.
- What should we know about him/her? Polly grew up surrounded by people whom her parents and grandparents had grown up with in Germany. The adults were doing what they could to stay together in this land that was new to them. Their language was a unique combination of German and English; that is a fun puzzle to translate as I read their historical documents.
- What is the main conflict? What messes up his/her life? Polly’s story is a fictional diary. She writes about reaching the age of marriage and child-rearing. She gives you the unfamiliar perspective of a young woman at that time in that culture. It is a time when her community’s life has become much easier and requires less creativity, but basic survival is still challenging. They were reviving their old ways as much as possible.
- What is the personal goal of the character? Polly has the new challenge of defining how to be happy and creative when strategies for survival have become easier and more familiar, and leisure time has become available. My personal goal is to help her figure that out.
- Is there a working title for this novel, and can we read more about it? I refer to it as Polly’s Diary, or Diary of a Modern Household. I have not yet shared any excerpts or notes beyond what I shared with you here. Leave me a comment, and I’ll be glad to keep you updated on its progress.
- When can we expect the bookto be published? Itwill be published after I finish writing it, or when someoneyanks it from me 🙂 I’m considering putting everything aside for a few weeks to see how far I can get if I focus on it single-mindedly. I am still choosing which word processing program to use to assemble the pieces that Ihave been writing on receipts, magazine page margins, junk mail and other scratch paper; in .pdf, .txt, .odt, .xls, and .doc files; and in my own diaries/journals. I welcome suggestions.
I have a pile of resources that I nibble on. By the time that I read a few sentences, Polly has woken up to tell me more of her stories. I understand that historical fiction novels often take years to write, especially when the writer does a lot of research into primary documents like wills, letters, and church records, in addition to historians and cousins. Therefor, I might have a few more years before publishing, since I just started writing this story a year and a half ago.
Thank you Jo
for sharing your enthusiasm about my novel.
The Tour Continues…
Susanne Alleyn writes historical fiction with impeccable credentials, as a result of extensive research. In addition, her potent writing makes me consistently breathless. Reading her work is no spectator pastime; it makes my pulse race. You must read what she says about the sequel to her successful book at her blog.
I enjoyed reading about where Roderick Gladwish’s ideas came from when he wrote his trashy story: “Trashy” because it’s about the Green Trash Vortex, and the technology that might clean it up in the future, and what that might lead to. You can read it in Jupiter SF, Issue XLIV, April 2014. Read about the status of his most recent work at his blog.
Ronda K. Reed’s flash fiction stories catch my attention when she submits them to the Moderator Selected Writing Exercises at the Writer’s Discussion Group on Google+. Her tour site is here at my blog where she talks about her book’s main characters, and its mysterious landmark.
I was also hoping that Jess of JMGajda would participate. She caught my attention when I read some of her futuristic and supernatural work. In the midst of her high-risk pregnancy, she took the time to join this tour! You must read about the cultures that challenge her main character!
Update: Onondaga Nation’s Request goes International
map of the Organization of American States
this image is in the public domain
Last Fall, the United States Supreme Court declined to hear the Onondaga Nation’s request for legal treaties to be honored.
The Onondaga Nation is now bringing the Land Rights Action to the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (the Commission), which is part of the Organization of American States. As Jeanne Shenandoah of the Onondaga Nation says,
“This Commission has demonstrated, through rulings in other cases, a profound respect for the rights of indigenous peoples, demonstrated in part by its reliance on and respect for the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples [the Declaration].”
The Commission has been debating other human rights questions such as whether the “home” of a corporation is liable for the corporation’s actions abroad. It has also been examining the persistent discrimination that underlies violence against women, and ways to abolish the death penalty.
Consider that while the United States Department of State (The Department) points out that the Declaration is not legally binding, it recognizes that the Declaration “has both moral and political force.” The Department also recognizes that the Declaration improves relations with indigenous people. This leads me to be hopeful about the outcome of this next step by the Onondaga Nation.
You can become a Neighbor of the Onondaga Nation and support the Land Rights Action.