Sunday, October 4, 2015

Monsters from Beyond the Veil

Goodreads Book Giveaway

Dark Secrets by Rachel Caine

Dark Secrets

by Rachel Caine

Giveaway ends October 31, 2015.
See the giveaway details at Goodreads.
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Last week saw the release of DARK SECRETS: A PARANORMAL NOIR ANTHOLOGY. What - you didn't know "paranormal noir" was a thing?


I finally got a chance to read the stories by my sister contributors and it's really a cool collection of stories. We really had only those two elements in common - something paranormal and noir shading - but the overall feel is remarkably consistent. At any rate, there's a Goodreads giveaway going on for it, if you'd like to win a copy. But it's only .99 cents, so quite the bargain if you choose to buy.

Last week, we played a fun game in the Bordello, where I started a story and each author added onto it. It spiraled pretty wildly out of control - and wound its way through several genres and multiple sub-genres. It's worth reading the whole thread, just to see how each author spun the voice and action.

One thing I found interesting was that I started with two characters - one male, one female - and by the end there was a much larger cast, but still only one named female. Inherent bias? Or is it characters taking off on their own?

That's the topic for this week: Characters with a mind of their own.

I remember the first time I heard about this phenomenon. My mom told me about an interview she read with Madeleine L'Engle about writing The Arm of the Starfish. The story hinges around a chance meeting and L'Engle said that this character turned up and surprised her. She had no idea that this person would be in the story, but the character walked onto the page and took over.

I don't know why she told me that, if she was making some point, but it startled me - and frankly creeped me out a bit. I was probably around ten and the idea that a character could introduce themselves to an author's story was like being told that ghosts and monsters are real. It implied that intelligences not our own can cross over some barrier and infiltrate our minds.

Knowing that changed the way I viewed the world.

I'm more at peace with the notion as an adult. Not that I became more practical and realize my youthful idea was wrong Quite the opposite. This absolutely happens to me all the time as a writer. The characters tell me who they are. They come from somewhere outside myself. I've learned not to fight it, as that only leads to misery.

Sometimes I think that, just once, I'd love to write the book I thought I was going to write, but I'd also like to be 5'10" and 120 pounds - and that ain't gonna happen either.


  1. Last week's posts were great! I loved seeing how the story progressed.

    And, lol!! It is creepy that a fully formed someone/character can show up in your consciousness; I can't explain it to anyone else but other writers but it is true. So I guess it's hello ghosts and monsters!