Wednesday, March 21, 2012
Me and My Shadow
It's easy to answer which of my characters I'm most like, though she's traveled some distance from her beginnings.
Gwynn is the heroine of Rogue's Pawn, first in the Covenant of Thorns books. (This is the Novel Formerly Known as Obsidian, for those keeping score at home.) "Gwynn" is the name she's given in Faerie. In the real world, her name is Dr. Jennifer McGee. If you know anything about my personal history, you'll totally get that name.
This is the first novel I ever tried to write. Before that, I wrote nonfiction, almost exclusively. Personal essays, memoirish-type stuff. After my essay collection, Wyoming Trucks, True Love and the Weather Channel was published, I started in on a narrative nonfiction work. Two of them, actually. One seemed too enormous and the other my editor told me to put in a drawer for a year.
So I started what became Rogue's Pawn. And yeah, I thought I was clever. So I wrote it as a faux-memoir. As if *I* was the neuroscientist who ended up at Devils Tower and got transported to Faerie. I used a memorist's voice and concocted this amazing, terrifying and whimsical adventure.
It was a cute idea.
It was a dreadful idea.
It was a mixing of genres that managed to drag both down into the bloodied muck of industry disdain. It took me a while to drag the story out of it.
One of the things I had to do to accomplish this was let Gwynn be her own person, her own living, breathing character and not ME anymore. Or rather, not Mary Sue Me, since Gwynn is a lot prettier, more powerful and just overall more interesting than I am.
But there's still a lot of me in her. An alternate me. Who I could become, if only.
Still, I'm very careful about visits to Devils Tower.