Wednesday, 27 June 2012

What Game of Thrones Got Right But Legend of the Seeker Got Horribly Wrong

In the last few years, two epic fantasy series have been adapted for TV – The Song of Ice and Fire by George R.R. Martin, screening under the name of the first book, Game of Thrones, and Terry Goodkind’s Sword of Truth, screening under the name Legend of the Seeker.

Of the two sets of books, I love The Sword of Truth more. If you’re a Game of Thrones fan, don’t hate me, I do like A Song of Ice and Fire, but consider checking out The Sword of Truth if you haven’t already (except book 5 and 7, in my humble opinion…). Same goes if you like Legend of the Seeker – I really cannot emphasise how much better the books are than the TV series. 

Why are the books better than the TV series? Although the books are good I wouldn’t describe them as brilliant, but in my opinion Legend of the Seeker was as much an unmitigated disaster as Game of Thrones is a success. 

One has to wonder why? I have two theories, the second of which feeds out of the first:
  1. Legend of the Seeker was significantly adapted from the books, until it only bore a passing resemblance to the original story. Now I know changes may be necessary to adapt a book for screen, but these changes were so extreme they almost wrote a whole new story – in fact, for season two, it’s arguable they did, because Darken Rahl bit the dust in Wizard’s First Rule (the first book in The Sword of Truth) and that was pretty much endgame for him.

    By contrast,
    Game of Thrones has been very true to the books. In fact, you could almost go so far as to say they’ve essentially made a movie out of the book, and then chopped it into TV show length bites and screened it in succession. Legend of the Seeker instead made an effort to have individualised episodes with a connecting theme or story arc.

    Legend of the Seeker
    failed, but Game of Thrones has been a raging success - at least, Legend of the Seeker was axed after two seasons, and I'll be very surprised if the same happens to Game of Thrones - and I think deviations from the main plot is a large part of the reason.  There is nothing wrong with the story in Wizard’s First Rule or Stone of Tears (the second book in The Sword of Truth) and either could have been done in the same way as Game of Thrones, instead of mangling the story beyond recognition to try and turn it into 22 connected short stories.
  2. As a result of the significant rewriting that occurred in order to film Legend of the Seeker, the violence and dark themes of The Sword of Truth series were significantly dialled back, and it screened as suitable for children with parental guidance (PG rating in Australia). If it had been filmed true to the books, it would have been suitable only for a mature audience – virtually the same audience currently watching Game of Thrones.

    On the other hand, Game of Thrones
    has been more or less true to the violence and sexual themes of the books. OK, maybe toned down a fraction, but it’s still clearly an adult themed show. I’m not suggesting so much that viewers want graphic violence and sex (I don’t know – maybe they do!) but changing this can very much change the nature of the setting. Would Game of Thrones be the same ugly, real world it is without the violence and sex? Probably not. To some degree you can control the way in which you portray it, but it must still be present.

    It wasn’t present in
    Legend of the Seeker, depriving that world of much of the true atmosphere of fear, horror and danger permeating the books, and without that backdrop the effect of the story on the viewer is significantly diluted.
I am enjoying Game of Thrones immensely, but almost the only thing I can think of that was right about Legend of the Seeker is the casting! Definitely no arguments about Craig Horner as Richard...

Have you seen both Game of Thrones and Legend of the Seeker? Which do you prefer, and why? Have you read the books? And if so, which do you prefer and why? Did you find Legend of the Seeker disappointing as compared to Game of Thrones or The Sword of Truth?

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Friday, 22 June 2012

How To Kill A Man With One Blow

No, wait! Don’t run away! I’m not a homicidal maniac!

Er… OK, I may have homicidal tendencies, but I promise I’ve never killed a man. And been caught.

Wait, wait, wait. OK, I’ve never killed a man. Honest. And I don’t intend to. I maybe, once or twice, plotted it for my own satisfaction, but we all do that. Don’t we? Don’t we.

So why, you might ask, am I talking about how to kill people? In one blow, no less?

Astarl, the protagonist in my WIP, Deathhawk’s Betrayal, is an assassin. She’s also a rather small woman, and so I needed to equip her with some skills or abilities that meant she could justifiably kill large men without being overpowered. This is usually going to mean some kind of martial art, so I looked into what might be the suitable discipline to give Astarl.

I settled on Japanese jujutsu (pronounced the same as Brazilian jujitsu, but markedly different in practice). This is reputed to be art used by the samurais against armed and armoured opponents, and it’s the ideal discipline for someone who is smaller than their opponents, as it’s geared around using the opponent’s momentum against them, and fatal strikes.

Ahah, and now we come to the killing in one blow part.

Yes, if I was going to give Astarl these skills, and she was going to be able to kill or maim in one blow, I needed to know what the appropriate spots were to strike. Not that most readers would know if she missed the spot by an inch or so, but I needed to get the general location and consequences right so that anyone with a bit of knowledge in this area would be thinking ‘Yes, that sounds about right’ or at least it wasn’t totally far-fetched. And, of course, in fantasy the writer makes up enough stuff without needing to reinvent the wheel.

So that’s how I found myself online asking Google how to kill a man in one blow.

Or more specifically, researching atemi points. Interestingly, these seem to be the same general locations of the body stimulated in acupressure, acupuncture, massage and chiropractics.  The information was reasonably easy to find on some jujutsu websites, but I expect actually killing a man would be harder than just reading this information, so that didn’t worry me… too much.

Interestingly, jujutsu, in it’s ancient and original form, is not practised as a modern competitive sport because it’s too dangerous! I can’t imagine why… Here are some of the atemi points I found useful for Deathhawk’s Betrayal.

Mikazuki (Bend of Jaw)

A strike to this point causes severe pain in the head, stomach trouble, loss of nervous coordination, disorientation and will knock the victim out. A more severe blow can cause dislocation of the jaw and possible death.

Hichu (Jugular notch – Larynx)

Causes loss of consciousness due to blocking of the windpipe. A hard strike to this point causes the Tracheal cartilage to be crushed and death by asphyxiation.

Suigetsu (Solar Plexus)

The heart is also located in this area, with the liver and stomach below. As there is no protection from the ribs, a strike will shock the heart, diaphragm, and nerves between the ribs, causing pressure on the heart, difficulty breathing and intense pain in the stomach wall. Severe blows may cause bleeding in the stomach, irregular heartbeat, unconsciousness and possible death.

Wanshun (Back of the Upper Arm)

Causes trauma to the nerves and blood vessels, numbing the arm, and producing pain in the chest and neck with associated loss of motor function. Severe strikes may cause a heart attack, especially if the person has a bad heart or if they are using narcotics. Astarl uses this one to immobilise a man who gets a little too friendly in a situation where she needs to be discreet.

Kusagakure (Lateral Planter nerve)

Causes trauma to the nerve and surrounding nerves, leading to the loss of motor function. Severe blows may cause fracture or dislocation of these bones, producing severe pain and partial paralysis of the lower leg. Astarl uses this one in a fight when she finds herself on the ground and her opponent’s foot is the only thing within reach.

Kokotsu (Deep Peroneal nerve)

When struck or raked it causes a sharp pain, weakening the whole leg and paralysing the muscles. A more severe blow to the shin will cause a fracture to the tibia. Astarl attempts this manoeuvre a few times – once successfully breaking her opponent’s leg.

Tendo (Crown Of Head)
Fatal striking to this point will create shock waves in the cerebrospinal fluid surrounding the brain, quite distant from the point of contact, upsetting balance, coordination and decreasing reaction time.

There are plenty more, in fact so many I couldn’t possibly have used them all in the one book, but since there are another five books planned with Astarl, I should have plenty of opportunities to try the rest out. 

What’s the weirdest thing you’ve read (or written) that the author must have researched?

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Thursday, 21 June 2012

Sabriel - Ciara Ballintyne Talks Young Adult Fantasy Fiction

I'm not a huge fan of Young Adult fiction - but I don't mean in a way that looks down on it as somehow inadequate. The whole Young Adult genre almost completely passed me by. It wasn't all the rage when I was a young adult, and I jumped feet-first into adult fantasy fiction at a very early age. I dabbled in a few books that are now classified as Young Adult, but I don't think they were called that at the time. Even now I struggle to know if something I've read is Young Adult or just adult. 

So when I was invited to do a guest post on Young  Adult books on Lost In Fiction UK, I was lost for words. But, in the end, I concluded that one of my favourite books, Sabriel by Garth Nix, is indeed a part of the Young Adult genres and so I sallied forth to talk about it. 

You can find the full post here.

As an interesting side note, I noticed a picture of Captain Jack Sparrow appeared when Googling 'Sabriel'. Weird. 

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Sunday, 17 June 2012

Top Five Major Discworld Characters

I love the Discworld books. Always a good rollicking romp, and sometimes a welcome relief from the intensity of ‘the world is ending’ in other fantasy. I like to read Discworld between The Wheel of Time and The Sword of Truth and all the other books filled with intense heroics and life-changing events.

Which is not to say the Discworld books don’t tackle serious issues, because they do, but in a comedic way that allows them to get away with it, and in a way that is nevertheless entertaining. So here are my top five major Discworld characters.

5. Vetinari

Is this an odd choice? And if it is, do I like Vetinari because I’m like Vetinari? Or at least, so say the Discworld quizzes which tell you the characters you are most like, and if there is any truth to it, perhaps I should be afraid... On the other hand, Vetinari is, as dictators go, a most benevolent dictator, and I should like to think I would be, too. Benevolent, I mean. I can do the dictator part standing on my head.

Vetinari is a fascinating character. He is always one step ahead of everyone else – even when you (and everyone else) thinks he isn’t. You can’t fool him, no matter how hard you try. I would hate to play chess against him! Or poker, either, I expect. He rules the city by playing faction against faction and knowing how each will respond – even before they do! He is held in contempt by several Ankh-Morpork factions, but mostly because they fear him, hate him, envy him or are just too plain stupid to realise how cleverly dangerous he is!

It is said Vetinari failed his stealth class at the Assassins’ College, even though he attended every class, because the master never saw him there.
Don’t let me detain you. What a wonderful phrase Vetinari had devised. The jangling double meaning set up undercurrents of uneasiness in the most innocent of minds. The man had found ways of bloodless tyranny that put the rack to shame.”
4. Death

Opposite to Vetinari, he totally doesn’t understand people. But his quest to try and understand us is hilarious, and he has some of the best cameos in the entire series. And I just love the way he talks LIKE THIS.

Death has a daughter (adopted, of course), a white horse called Binky, and a scythe that can slice anything in half. I don’t recommend cutting yourself by accident on that scythe.  
“The Rite of AshkEnte is the most serious ritual eight wizards can undertake. It summons Death...

The wizards stared into the magic octogram, which remained empty. After a while the circle of robed figures began to mutter amongst themselves.

'We must have done something wrong.’


‘Maybe He is out.’

‘Or busy...’

‘Do you think we could give up and go back to bed?’

3. Mistress Esmerelda (Granny) Weatherwax

Head of her coven of witches in the Ramtop Mountains in the miniscule kingdom of Lancre. Like Vetinari, Granny has a very good grasp of people (although she calls it ‘headology’, or akin to psychology I expect). I’m not sure if they have ever met, but if they did, I expect there would be a certain amount of mutual respect and wariness. 

Like Vetinari, you can never get one over on Granny, even when you think someone has. Unlike Vetinari, though, Granny can’t fall back on being a tyrant – although she can and does fall back upon being a witch – in some parts just as bad or worse than tyranny – and is more or less a law unto herself. What Granny wants, Granny gets. She is, though, always conscious of the risk of ‘turning bad’ and cackling (a sure sign a witch has gone bad). 

Granny likes to always be right (forget admitting she is wrong) and she doesn’t much like losing. Perhaps that’s what I like about her... According to the quiz, there’s a dose of Granny in me as well!
“‘Blessings be upon this house,’ Granny said. It was always a good opening remark for a witch. It concentrated people’s minds on what other things might be upon this house.”
2. Sam Vimes

Once head of the night watch, and more recently risen to Commander of the Watch and Duke of Ankh, Vimes is very different to the three preceding characters. He’s cynical and very much against privilege and wealth and all about the common man, even if the definition of ‘man’ does keep getting shifted to include other species, which he’s not too keen about, and even if he has now been lifted to rank and privilege, which he’s also not too keen about.

Justice is important to Vimes, and legality, as he tries to shake off the spectre of his ancestor who was a regicide. It annoys him quite a bit when ‘Old Stoneface’ is declared a hero, because he believes you can’t just rewrite history and change the facts. The means does not justify the end where Vimes is concerned, but sometimes he is caught between what is right and what is legal.

Vimes is the Sherlock Holmes of the Discworld and he always gets his man. As you progress towards the end of the series, there are whole countries that shake in their boots when they hear Vimes is on the case.

Vimes is most concerned with ‘Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?- who watches the watchers?
“'I’ve been running around looking for damn Clues instead of just thinking for five minutes!’ said Vimes. ‘What is it I’m always telling you?’

‘Never trust anybody, sir?’

‘No, not that.’

‘Everyone’s guilty of something, sir?’

‘Not that, either.’

‘Just because someone’s a member of an ethnic minority doesn’t mean they’re not a nasty, small-minded little jerk, sir?'

‘N- When did I say that?'

‘Last week, sir. After we’d had that visit from the Campaign for Equal Heights, sir.’”

1.  Rincewind

Of all the characters here, Rincewind is the only one completely unlike me, and yet also my absolute favourite. He is either impossibly cowardly or incredibly pragmatic, and yet somehow he still manages to save the world. Over time, this develops into a certain sense of fatalism about how events will unfold.

Technically a graduate of Unseen University, Rincewind is still undeniably a failed wizard and we never see him of his own free will cast a spell. He even has ‘Wizzard’ written on his hat, just so people don’t mistake him for something else. Like magic, spelling clearly is not his forte.

Rincewind provides, in my opinion, some of the funniest moments, along with his luggage... er, Luggage, which carries itself around on hundreds of little legs and has homicidal tendencies. As he staggers from disaster to disaster, accidentally staving off certain death for the world along the way, we just can’t help but laugh... and laugh... and laugh. 
“'But there are causes worth dying for,’ said Butterfly.

‘No, there aren’t! Because you’ve only got one life but you can pick up another five causes on any street corner!’

‘Good grief, how can you live with a philosophy like that?’

Rincewind took a deep breath. ‘Continuously!’

Who are your favourite Discworld characters? Would you list any here, or others? There were plenty of more minor characters I would love to have listed, but then the list would have grown rather unwieldy.

I’m considering doing a series of these posts. What other Top 5 Discworld posts would you like to see? Or are there other fantasy Top 5 posts you are interested in? I’d love to hear your suggestions. 

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All quotes from 'The Wit and Wisdom of Discworld' by Terry Pratchett. 

Tuesday, 12 June 2012

It’s All David Gemmell’s Fault

See, it goes like this. I bought Dad a Kindle. Dad bought the entire collection of David Gemmell books in Kindle format and therefore decided to dispose of all his paperback versions. I volunteered to relieve him of some. 

And, having just acquired more hard copy books, I resolved to have a book clean-up of my own and get rid of those I’m unlikely to ever read again (or will happily download onto my Kindle if I am unexpectedly taken by the urge to read them again).

So I’m hip-deep in piles of books, staring at an inexplicably still full bookcase, and I’m blaming David Gemmell. The fact that it was I who bought the Kindle that started this cascade of events? Pfft! Minor detail.

When we moved into this house I had grand plans to turn the room marked as ‘study’ on the floorplan into ‘library’. I already has 2 6’ x 3’ bookcases, and they were full to overflowing, so I thought a nice 7’ x 5’ bookcase across the back wall would be awesome. Of course, as is the case when you move into a brand new home in need of landscaping and the like, the bookcase had to wait in favour of more pressing budget concerns.

5 months later I’m still waiting. I have books stacked on books in my bookcases. There is literally no spare room. I have books still packed in boxes, too. Probably not enough to fill a 7’ x 5’ bookcase, but I’d be buying more books in the future, right?

Then I bought a Kindle.

One of the books I inherited,
although the cover is not this cool
I will still buy books in the future – Discworld books (not that there’s likely to be many more) because the footnotes don’t read right on the kindle, Brandon Sanderson’s Stormlight Archives because of all the artwork that’s lost in the ebook format, the concluding book of the Wheel of Time because I have all the others in hard copy. But not many. Not nearly as many as I was before.

So when Dad started clearing out his David Gemmell books, it made me think I should do the same. I know, bizarre in the same breath as saying ‘I’ll take those, thank you’, but true nevertheless. I really like David Gemmell and I know I will read those books over and over again.

But there are some things in my bookcase I don’t and I won’t.

My skills as a writer have grown in the last twelve months, and with it my critical editing eye. There are some books I can’t read anymore. And there are some books, that while I can read them once, while they are fresh and new, and the suspense carries me past the writing errors, I can’t re-read because the quality of the writing becomes more apparent. And let’s face it, I’m not known for my tolerance levels. OK, I am, but not because I have a high tolerance level...

I don’t mean to be snobby, only to say it’s harder to turn my inner editor off now. And of course, as one grows older, one’s tastes change.

I can look at my bookcase and concede there are titles there I am unlikely to read again, either because the story no longer appeals to me, or the quality of the writing was lacking. Things like:
  • Katharine Kerr’s Epic Deverry Series and the series that follows (I don’t think it had a proper name even!);
  • Numerous Dragonlance books (although I am keeping a few of the stories that truly captivated me);
  • Margaret Weis’s Rose of the Prophet series, which I slogged through exactly 1.5 times, always a good sign to never attempt to read it again;
  • The Chronicles of the Custodian by Martin Middleton – which not only use the dreaded first person, but involved (from memory) a lot of ‘telling’ instead of showing;
  • A lot of Raymond E Feist’s later books, which I felt grew repetitive and lazy – and to be honest I was tempted to get rid of Magician and its sequels as well. I’ve kept them, pending further thought;
  • Robin Hobb’s Farseer series, the original cause of my deep dislike for first person in epic fantasy – I am never going to re-read this series and I’ve never picked up another Robin Hobb book because of them;
  • All Melanie Rawn’s books, of which the only one I liked was Dragon Prince – also the only one I don’t own;
  • The Andrakis trilogy by Tony Shillitoe;
  • The Acorna series by Anne McCaffrey – I think this is actually YA, and I’m not into a lot of that;
  • Some of Sara Douglass’s later books, which I felt dropped off in quality. I’m afraid I only got halfway through the first book in the Darkglass Mountain series and I don’t think I’ll bother trying to finish;
  • The last of David Eddings’s books, which very much repeated his earlier work;
  • All the Jonathon Wylie books I own, including the Servants of the Ark trilogy; and
  • A few books of which I somehow wound up with duplicates – 2 Harry Potter books, Mistborn by Brandon Sanderson, and 206 Bones by Kathy Reichs.
So far I’m up to about 70 books, and I still have a few to check. So you may be wondering what I am keeping. So here are some of the books which were never in doubt:
  • The complete Discworld series by Terry Pratchett (40+ books);
  • The Wheel of Time by Robert Jordan (and Brandon Sanderson);
  • Brandon Sanderson’s Final Empire trilogy and Stormlight Archives;
  • Brent Weeks’s Night Angel Trilogy and The Black Prism;
  • Terry Goodkind’s Sword of Truth saga;
  • George R R Martin’s Game of Thrones and sequels;
  • The David Gemmell books I already owned (to which I’ve now added Dad’s cast-offs); and
  • Janny Wurts’s Cycle of Fire trilogy and the Wars of Light and Shadow;
  • The early works of David Eddings;
  • Terry Brooks’s Shannara books and Landover series; and
  • Stephen Donaldson’s Mordant’s Need duo.
So is there something I kept you would have tossed? Or did I toss something you absolutely love?  Can you not bear to part with any of your hard copy books, notwithstanding the advent of ebooks? Or could you not wait to reclaim that space? 
Share your thoughts in the comments below!

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Thursday, 7 June 2012

Interview with Sarah Kernochan - Author of Jane Was Here

Today we are welcoming Sarah Kernochan to Flight of the Dragon. Sarah has won two Academy Awards for her documentaries Marjoe and Thoth. As a screenwriter, she has written many films, among them Nine and ½ Weeks, Impromptu, and What Lies Beneath; she both wrote and directed the film All I Wanna Do as well. Jane Was Here is her second novel after 1977’s Dry Hustle. At present she is writing a memoir of her encounters with ghosts in serial form on her blog. She lives in New York with her husband, playwright James Lapine; daughter Phoebe Lapine is a food writer.

Well, that officially makes you the only person I know to have ever won an Academy Award for anything. You’re also the only person I know to have written a film that actually screened in a mainstream cinema. And you’ve done both! I am officially impressed. I am not easily impressed. Uh, so, on that note, welcome and thanks for joining us today! But we’re not here to talk about your screenwriting prowess, which is evidently considerable, but to talk about your latest book, Jane Was Here. Can you tell us what genre is your book?

I tend to read “literature” and not popular fiction. Incredibly, I had no awareness of subgenres like paranormal romance while I was writing Jane Was Here. I’m a believer in reincarnation, which I used as both a message and literary device in the story: someone committed a crime in 1853. Both the victim and the suspects have been reincarnated to the present day, with no memory of their connection, until the victim starts to remember… When it was due to be published, I had to figure out what family my child belonged to. It seemed she had multiple parentage and I would have to use a lot of hyphens. Finally, to simplify things, I decided Jane was a paranormal-suspense-horror-fantasy-thriller. You can see how good I am at this.

Not bad, just a typical creative type. They don’t like black and white answers. Unlike little lawyer me! Do you have a specific writing style?

Style was the first thing I developed before anything else, when I had just started writing in my teens. I was influenced by iconoclasts like Donald Barthelme, and by Faulkner's rhapsodic sentences without punctuation. Consequently my early work was pretty pretentious. However, my approach has always remained the same: to maintain a musical flow of language. For example, if the moment is slow and deeply felt, I will bring in poetic language. If it’s frantic action, I’ll design a rush of words or staccato bursts. Through it all, a reader should be able to ride along without being aware of the current. Then look up and realize they’ve reached the open sea.

We are all a bit pretentious and pompous when we start out. It comes from trying too hard, I think, or our perceptions of what a writer should sound like – in those early days, before we start learning about things like ‘voice’. What was the hardest part of writing your book?

Writing is kind of easy for me, I hate to say it. Maybe because I’ve been doing it so long. It only gets hard when I’m unwittingly headed down the wrong path and I haven’t faced it yet – my bad choices gum up the works until the car breaks down entirely.

Writing is easy. Editing is hard! Well, at least, it is for me. Did you learn anything from writing your book and, if so, what was it?

I learned from readers’ feedback that a lot of people can’t go forward without a strongly sympathetic character. I tend to create edgier characters with their dark parts hanging out. In the future I think I’ll make more of a conscious attempt to giving them someone to love. I do want them to continue reading, after all.

Absolutely, if the reader can’t empathise with a character, you’re more likely to lose them. My protagonist is an assassin, so I sympathise – but I’ve tried very hard to make her likeable, up to and including a recent workshop on ‘dark heroes’. Or heroines in this case. Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?

I took up the big question “Why me?” that humans so often ask when suffering. Why did that have to happen? What did I ever do to deserve this? I designed a karmic puzzle in Jane Was Here that showed heaven’s design as perfect: you do deserve what happens to you because of what you did in another lifetime. You don’t understand your fate because you were born without any memory of your prior deeds. You aren’t meant to understand or to remember. Those studies take place in the realm between lives.  

Wow, way deeper than me. I’d just shrug and say ‘there is no why’. Yeah, don’t come to me if you want counselling! Hey, at least I’m honest… If you had to choose, which writer would you consider a mentor?

My first and only mentor was Grace Paley. She was my first writing teacher (at Columbia General Studies in New York) and I was one of her first students. She taught me how to pay attention to people around me, listen, even pursue. Grace focused most of her stories on a specific neighborhood, which she rendered to the tiniest detail. My neighborhood wasn’t very interesting (Connecticut suburb – Cheever had already been there anyway) so I went further afield, scarfing up people’s stories and sometimes going along for the ride. I collected experiences instead of hiding indoors. Grace taught me that.

Hmmm…. So many writers are people watchers. It worries me sometimes, because I’m not. Maybe that’s OK, because I’m dragon-watching instead! Are you reading something now?

My great aunt Anna De Koven, who was a journalist, published a book called A Cloud of Witnesses in 1920. You can find it in Google books. She reports her conversations with her dead sister through a medium over the course of a year. The beginning’s pretty starchy but once the dialogue gets rolling between the two sisters it’s really fascinating. You learn a lot about the education and evolution of souls in the afterlife. And it matches so many other accounts related by people under hypnosis who remember that ethereal phase before they were reborn.

That must be very personal for you. And speaking of which, on to some more personal questions. In addition to writing, do you have a day job as well?

I’ve been a screenwriter since the early 80’s.

Well, that’s kind of still writing. Lucky you! If you were an animal what kind would you be?

Can I have three? Because I have three animal spirit guides: rabbit, snake, and crane. That about sums me up.

You can have as many as you like. I’ll settle for one big dragon. What is the last book you read?

Carry The One by Carol Anshaw.

I wasn’t familiar with that one, so I looked it up – the story of a group of friends after they hit and kill a girl on the way home from a wedding. It sounds intense!

Thanks so much for joining us today, Sarah, it’s been a pleasure. 

For anyone interested in Jane Was Here, here's a bit about the book:

A mysterious young woman called Jane appears in a small New England town. She claims a fragmentary memory of growing up in this place, yet she has never been here before in her life. Searching for an explanation, she arrives at the unthinkable: that she is somehow connected to a beautiful girl who disappeared from the town in 1853. Is she recalling a past life? Jane becomes convinced of it. As she presses onward to find out what happened in this town over 150 years ago, strange and alarming things begin happening to some of the town's inhabitants. A thunderhead of karmic justice gathers over the village as Jane's memories reawaken piece by piece. They carry her back in time to a long-buried secret, while the townspeople hurtle forward to a horrific event when past and present fatally collide.

If you’d like to know more about Sarah or would like to buy Jane Was Here you can find them in a multitude of places:

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