Friday, June 10, 2011

Interview with a Super— I mean, Parahero!

I’ve just joined a blog chain! Oh, the wonders of modern technology. The theme for this month:
Have one of your characters, from one of your stories (any! Novel, short, flash…) interview YOU!

That's right, I'm going to be interviewed by the delectable but sometimes scary Londo Rand, one of the stars of my Three Worlds series. He’s the fella on the cover (see at right) of both vols. 1 and 2. Let me tell you about Lon. He's a parahero (superhero) who stands about six-four or -five, a shade under 30 years old, built like Hercules with a gorgeous-guy-next-door-if-you-live-in-Canada face, and a medium shade of skin so you can't quite tell what ethnicity he is. Black hair, brown eyes. An autocratic nose. Resident of Montreal. Frowns a lot because he's got to let you know he's in charge as if you didn’t realize that already. Lon? You want to begin?

Londo [flipping through book]: Chrisse, I've read this stuff. Pourquoi moi? Why me? Why are you revealing all our secrets?

Carol: Man, you have no idea. I've only begun to peel away your secrets. Be afraid. Be very afraid! Heh heh.

Londo [frowning fiercer]: If you know so much, then you know what happens to people who annoy me. I am the most powerful man on Earzh, and I'm not afraid to use my strength! I could fly you over a volcano, or into the heart of a tornado and—

Carol: Ahh, you're one of the good guys. You only bash the really bad folks. Though there are things coming up that you do that might make others think less of you.

Londo: Not listening! I don't want to know!

Carol: That’s right; you don't. Heh.

Londo: D'accord, let's get to something I've been wondering about. Am I really Superman with a different name?

Carol: Golly day, no! When I was a kid I read every Superman comic there was. He had some good stories, but mostly he was a pompous bore.

Londo: A bore? [He begins to pace. Uh oh!]

Carol: I like the way you say that, like Louis Jourdan in Gigi. "Eet's a booore!" By the time I got into him, Superman had taken the Superman-Clark-Lois triangle that had been so important to his legend and run it dry. Now he was out to portray women as being inferiors and pathetic—which most of 'em in his book were. It was awful! These days Superman's worried about how big his— I mean, how strong he is. He makes sure he's stronger than everyone else. Fight, fight, fight; bash, bash, bash. That's boring to the ultimate degree.

Londo [suddenly stops pacing]: And I am not!

Carol [quickly!]: Absolutely! You've got depth. And, if you don't mind me saying so, sexiness out the wazoo. I based you on another character, a favorite of mine who lives in Superman's universe though he's somewhat obscure, and combined you with yet another character whom I also found fascinating. That one's not so obscure, but people won't guess who he is. Then I looked over the Three Worlds series, what it needed as its lead characters, and adjusted the amalgam to fit smoothly into that world. You're quite your own man now.

Londo [looking smug]: I always thought I was.

Carol: Of course you are. You've got the biggest eg— I mean, the best sense of self-esteem anyone's ever seen. (Maybe a little too much sometimes.) Unlike your girlfriend, Lina, who's at the opposite end of the spectrum.

Londo: Tais-toi! Don't you say anything bad about her.

Carol: I'm not, I'm not. She's got a long character arc to go through. We need to see her grow as the series progresses, and she can't complete her journey too quickly. Believe me: she winds up a long way from how she started. Touch of Danger got her through one major phobia, and now Star-Crossed has her working past another two. By the end of the book, she's ready to really incorporate herself into a world she'd previously been cut completely from.

From there she starts to build her personality. She has to become a leader, even a world(s) leader. (Isn't it great how I can incorporate parentheses even though I'm talking?) She's actually Wonder Woman, though not even Time-Warner's best lawyers could ever make a court believe that. She'll ultimately incorporate the important Wondie themes and goals within herself. I can't help it. I'm semi-obsessed with Wonder Woman, even in these dark days. But don't get me started on that!

Londo: How about me?

Carol: Lina's the primary star of the series. But you're still the alpha dog, the champion. You grow, but in other ways. I'm not telling you. You need to be surprised.

Londo: So what’s all this “parahero” stuff? You have something against the word “superhero”?

Carol: Actually, “superhero” is trademarked by Marvel and DC Comics. Check Wiki if you don’t believe me, though the term is also generic. So confusing! But I don’t want to chance getting into legal trouble. It costs too much to get out of. Say, how’s about buying a book or two? Just in case, I mean, so I can get a little additional revenue. You make a lot of money; the Terran Paranorm Network pays you bucketloads, and you also get a hefty salary from the Affiliated Systems Mega-Force Legion. People who save the world on a regular basis deserve that kind of wage. I can write you up for a couple hundred cases right now, no prob. You use Paypal? You need any paintings, too? I've got some you’ll like.

Londo: Hmm.... I read a bit of this book—Star-Crossed—before it became too unsettling. Bloodthirsty, aren't you? There's a bunch of mushy stuff in it as well. Romance. I take it this is one of those chick books. Are you hinting that there's a "happily ever after" at the end?

Carol: There are a bunch of, as we call 'em, HEAs in the series. This particular volume has a very nice one—but I'm afraid it also has a cliff-hanger. Couldn't be avoided. It's the only one in the series, if that helps. But the series is a collection of adventure story arcs starring you, Lina, your best friend Jae, and the people around you as they progress through the years. Each of the arcs does indeed have that HEA, but "ever after" might only last as long as the next arc's first complication. You understand?

Londo: Certainement. I know writing. When I'm not Earth's greatest hero, I like to write children's books.

Carol: Well, not quite yet. But it's coming. I've got one I'm writing as well. I'll be using a nom de plume since I don't want the kiddies to accidentally run into your series, which has a lot of adult material in it. Though it's not hard-core. Mostly. You'll be using a nom de plume, too.

Londo: Mais oui. That makes it more fun! I like wearing an eyepatch and pirate “Cap’n Miller” disguise for the publicity shots. Arr!

Carol: Fun's what it's all about, isn't it? I hope that between the sci fi action and desperation—

Londo: And mushy stuff?

Carol: And that, yes, that you find you're having a lot of fun in these books. And that the readers do as well.

Londo: So do I. Or there still might be a tornado out there with your name on it. Uh oh—there's my alert signal. Gotta go save the world.


Thanks, Lon, for stopping by. Now for everyone else: Check over there on the right for a cover you can click on to link to Star-Crossed’s page on my website, which gives you a link to Smashwords for the ebook version. You can read 1/15th of the book for FREE there and see if you want to spring for it. If you prefer print, you’ll find a link to Lulu. (Links are available for vol. 1, Touch of Danger, as well. Touch is published in all formats by Ellora's Cave Blush.)

ANNOUNCEMENT: As long as I have visitors here today, I’d like to say that I’m going to start doing a one-hour “Ask the Psychic” event on my Pro Facebook page, on or about every 16th of the month. Stop by my page to find details and ask a question!

Full list of blog chain participants:

Aimee Laine:
Lyla Dune:

Carol Strickland:

Amy Corwin:

Lilly Gayle:

Rebekkah Niles:

Laura Browning:

Andris Bear:

Marcia Colette:

Nancy Badger:

Sarah Mäkelä:

Jennifer Harrington:

Scott Berger:


Anonymous said...

I, too, am a huge superhero fan, but I'm really intrigued by the fact that Londo has depth ... if his character is anywhere as great as his name, it should be a great read!

Aimee Laine said...

Oooh! You're a superhero, I mean, parahero writer AND a children's writer? Good for you! And you've read all the Superman comics? Wow! I honestly can't say I've read a single one. :) :) What a fun post! Great job!

Sonja Foust said...

That was fun! Great interview-- I always love seeing your perspective on things like superheroes--oh, ahem-- I mean, paraheroes. You always bring a new twist!

Lilly Gayle said...

I did NOT know superhero was a tradmark. Go figure! Great post. Lon sounds like a real cool dude.

Nancy Lee Badger said...

Bring on the mushy stuff! This came out really funny, but it does bring your character to life. An interesting read.

Scott B. said...

Carol, that was a lot of fun to read. Londo sounds like quite a character, but Lina intriques me. Anyone who can deal with Londo is a pretty fair character on her own right.

Jennifer Delamere said...

A Parahero from MONTREAL - Mais oui, I'm in, baby! Montreal is one of my favorite places. What a fabulous idea. Definitely got to find out more about him now. Thanks for the fun read!

Carol A. Strickland said...

Thanks, everyone! I wanted a hero with a romantic accent, but I didn't know the ins and outs of French culture. Instead I made him French-Canadian. Oh dear. That meant I had to visit Montreal to scout the territory. Poor me, I've done that three times so far! Montreal is a wonderfully romantic city. If it weren't so darned cold in winter I'd move there.

Cherokee Bee said...

Bahaha! Love Lon! And your humor. Great interview!

Amy said...

I love the way you turned the tables and actually ended up interviewing Londo, hehehe. He didn't realize what he was up against, did he? He may be a superhero, but you're definitely the writer!

Yes, be afraid, Londo. Be very afraid.

Rebekkah Niles said...

Superhero is trademarked? Huh. Guess I should've seen that one coming. Great interview! I was very amused by Londo's ego - erm, self-confidence. And by his restraint in not reading ahead. Who could resist flipping a few pages in their own book? Although, maybe he's right... after all, in order to be a good story, the main characters usually have to go to hell and back. Who wants to see that coming?