My friend over on Pendrifter nominated me for a Liebster Award — so, here are the answers to her questions:
Answers to Liebster Award questions:
Q: What fictional character do you remember most vividly and why?
A: I can’t pick just one. Shakespeare’s Hotspur always had special resonance for me in HENRY IV, PART ONE, and a little less effectively in RICHARD II. I especially love the exchange when Owen Glendower says, “I can call spirits from the vasty deep!” and Hotspur says, “Why, so can I, and so can any man; but will they come when you do call for them?” That’s one of my favorite exchanges in literature ANYWHERE.
Of course, Shakespeare’s Hotspur is inspired by the actual Hotspur Percy, and, of course, I’ve spent a great deal of time in Northumbria researching the actual man and his lineage, and then creating my own version of him in my own work. Definitely a passionate and flawed human being, but in a really wonderful way.
I also remember Jo March vividly from LITTLE WOMEN, because, growing up, I identified with her and her “scribbling” so strongly. And I still scribble.
Other vivid characters for me are Senneth in Sharon Shinn’s Twelve Houses series; all of that group are vivid, but Senneth holds a special place in my heart, because of her wonderful combination of strength and vulnerability. She’s got an enormous capacity for love, no matter what, and I admire that about her.
I’m assuming we’re talking books, and not movies, or we could go into a long tangent about actors!
Q: What genres do you enjoy reading?
A: I read across genre. I’m a reviewer, so I read what I’m sent. I read a lot of contemporary fiction, historical fiction, mystery, thriller, fantasy, urban fantasy, some science fiction, a lot of slipstream, steampunk. I don’t read much horror, because there’s so much in the world that’s truly horrifying right now. I don’t get the vicarious thrills from horror so many do. I’m like, “don’t be an idiot and go down in the basement wearing only your panties and a tee shirt, you’re going to get hacked to pieces. Haven’t you learned from ANYONE else’s mistakes?” I mean, come on. And what genuinely scares me tends to be different than what’s depicted in a lot of the genre. There’s some that’s outstanding, but too much of it is derivative, insulting slice-and-dice. I don’t read a lot of straight-up category romance, because so much of it irritates me — the characters are often interchangeable, the locations usually haven’t been properly researched, and the heroines act too stupid for too much of the book. Also, 90% of the conflict wouldn’t need to happen if the characters just talked directly to each other instead of pouted and got all passive aggressive. And the so-called “alpha male” that they claim to want? Seriously? Would you seriously put up with that crap from someone on a daily basis? No, thanks. You can be a strong, intelligent, sexy man without being a domineering jerk.
Q: What was your happiest moment in high school?
A: Graduating early. I did not like high school. I always felt like I was wasting my time, and wanted to get on with my life. Don’t get me wrong, I had some fun, but I couldn’t wait to get out.
Q: Did you go to your high school prom?
A: Junior prom, when everyone else was in pouffy dresses and pretending their soda cans had soda instead of alcohol in them, I was in NYC at Regine’s Disco with a bunch of older performers. I was still dancing at that point. From what I heard, I think I had a better time. Senior prom, I was already in college. So, no, no proms for me. And I don’t feel like I missed anything!
Q: What do you do to break writer’s block?
A: Writer’s block is a luxury of the un-or-under-published. If I don’t write, I can’t pay the bills. I sit down and push through. Take a walk on the beach (hey, I live on Cape Cod). Look at paintings in museums. And go back to work.
Q: Would you ever get a tattoo? Why?
A: I have not yet, because I am terrified of needles. But I want one — I even know what I want. I might let one of my friends talk me into it in the next few months — there will be a GREAT deal of alcohol involved!
Q: What foreign language would you like to learn?
A: I speak a little French and German, and I studied Latin. I’d like to learn Italian, because it’s a beautiful language, and Icelandic, because I like Iceland. And Scots Gaelic, too, because, well, Scotland.
Q: What’s your favorite music?
A: I like a variety. Jazz, blues, rock — real rock, not pop! –Celtic, classical, world music. Pretty much anything except country music. I loathe country music.
Q: If you could only wear one color, what would it be?
Q: What’s your favorite animal?
A: Don’t have just one. Love cats, dogs, tigers, leopards, elephants. Since working with the National Marine Life Center (www.nmlc.org), I’ve fallen in love with seals and turtles.
Q: If you could visit Mars, would you? Why or why not?
A: Hell, yeah! That would be an adventure not to be missed. I theorize that, at one point, Mars may have been more similar to Earth than it is now and they screwed it up, much like we’re doing now. And then something happened in the orbit pattern, and, well, not currently inhabitable. But I’d love to go see for myself!