Character Interviews for introducing novels to readers

 Tangled Ties to a Manatee  Comments Off on Character Interviews for introducing novels to readers
May 222012

Character interviews are a great way for authors to introduce their books to potential readers. They give the reader a chance to get a sense of a particular character in a quick, but in-depth way. Character interviews can also provide added material for readers not spelled out in a novel’s narrative. Plus, the author gets to revisit a character from a fresh perspective for something they completed sometime ago. These interviews can reach people in a different way from standard author interviews.

One thing I like about character interviews is that they allow the author to focus on the nuances of their work for an interview rather than talk about oneself so much. While I understand current wisdom suggests authors should focus on themselves and author platform building, current wisdom is basically how the publishing industry has arrived at the status quo. In current times, debut authors have big concerns about discoverability in a crowded communications environment. that’s where the current wisdom’s brought us. Personally, I’m much more concerned that Tangled Ties to a Manatee is discoverable and memorable than I am about my name as the author. I also hope that my characters are more interesting than my personal idiosyncrasies.

That’s why I’m glad to announce that the character, Jerry, from Tangled Ties to a Manatee has his first interview posted in Pat Bertram’s blog. You can read the interview here.

Jerry is a primary character that quickly gobbled up more and more of the storyline as I worked on early drafts and continued revising the entire manuscript. He soon relegated other characters, such as Mitch, to more supportive roles than initially planned. I believe as readers discover Jerry, they’ll soon understand why he became such a favorite character by those who’ve read and critiqued earlier drafts of the novel.


Review of “The Plague Dogs,” a film (1982)

 Character motives, Eco characters  Comments Off on Review of “The Plague Dogs,” a film (1982)
Apr 122011

I watched this animated film recently. The film is based on on the book of the same title by Richard Adams. In this work, the two main characters are dogs, Rowf and Snitter. Rowf and Snitter escape from a research station (given the acronym ARSE) that performs vivesection and animal testing, located within an extensive natural area.

The dogs are befriended by a fox, called “The Tod.” This friendship is on-again and off-again, and provides some conflict among these three characters as the larger story plays out. As problems ensue, the dogs become the target of a full-scale military quest, since they are thought to possibly have been exposed to the bubonic plague through laboratory rats at the same research center.

The motives of the dogs are largely three-fold – escape, survival, and, to some extent, finding a good home, at least in the case of Snitter. The fox seems to also have some altrustic motives in helping the dogs. Though the accidents with the people in the story seem a bit far-fetched, Snitter’s mental troubles due to the experimentation are awkwardly conveyed at times, and The Tod’s willingness to help the dogs seems like it was dropped in from a younger child-oriented film, the short version of the film works well enough. While the film has scenes of interaction voiced with members of the research station throughout the film, for the most part the camera follows the animals, even during the voiceovers of human characters. There’s no question that the camera’s sympathies lie with the animals, which is fine for those concerned with animal protection.

Despite being animated, the film isn’t particualrly geared to young children due to bloodshed and deaths, though they may be more capable of handling such matters than I’m guessing. If concerned about vivisection and animal research from the animal protection view, I’d recommend the film for most.

The film is available through itunes and amazon.

The book is also available through book sellers such as Barnes & Noble.

(Note: I’m not an affiliate for any businesses linked in this post.)