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Buzzz... Everywhere you look author J. Patrick Black's book Ninth City Burning is creating quite the buzz, and we're fortunate to have him as today's guest author.
J. Patrick's publisher Penguin Random House is giving away three copies of Ninth City Burning to book club readers. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org (Please be sure to include your preferred shipping address, in case you are a winner.)
You're on Mr. Black. Thanks for visiting the book club...
For me, one of the signs that I'm reading a really great story is that I find myself imagining the inner lives of the supporting characters. We all know them--the Ron Weasleys and Samwise Gamgees, the buddies and confidantes, the geeky tryhards and sometime rivals, who get to look on admiringly as the hero or heroine saves the day. For whatever reason (and I'm sure a good psychoanalyst would have a lot to say about it), I tend to identify with these folks, often more deeply than the protagonist whose story they're caught up in; their peripheral triumphs thrill me in a way the more necessary world-saving never does, and when they're treated poorly--either by the story's central character or its author--my indignation knows no bounds.
When I see a character being styled as an accessory, a mere literary device, thrown in just to be captured or killed off so that someone more important can have the proper motivation to get into the action, to embark on that all-important rescue mission or quest for revenge, I become irrationally righteous on their behalf. Why can't your average Jane or Joe have as much emotional complexity as their narratively central best bud? In the same way, it's uniquely satisfying to meet someone who isn't the story's star but still plainly has a lot going on upstairs. It doesn't need to be some intense drama or tortured past (there ought to be a few people whose parents the evil overlord DIDN'T kill, after all); sometimes all it takes is an unexpected comment--a flash of insight or snark--or an unusual approach to the usual supporting character activities to reveal that, yes, here is a person with their own unique thoughts, feelings, motivations.
Maybe they aren't the ones driving the plot, but they don't serve it either. Maybe they'll show up for only a single scene or chapter, but in that scene or chapter they'll behave like someone who has a story of their own. Maybe they WILL be kidnapped or horribly exploded, and it will matter that much more because they have lives and minds of their own. Maybe they play a small part in this story, but that's fine, because this isn't the ONLY story. That's when a book really starts to live for me: when I discover it's populated with characters who don't disappear when they leave the stage--because they've just stepped into my imagination.
--J. Patrick Black
Email: email@example.com to be entered in the drawing to win a copy of Ninth City Burning.
Thanks for reading with me. It's so good to read with friends.
AUTHORBUZZ: EASY FOR KEEPS: A Boudreaux Novella (Fiction) by Kristen Proby
Part of my Boudreaux Series, my new novella features Adam, a womanizing bar owner and Sarah, a single mom and social worker. Sparks fly between these two fiercely independent characters from page one. Returning to New Orleans and the characters of the Boudreaux Series is always a treat for me. The city is rich in history and flavor, making it the perfect setting for any love story.
Go to: http://authorbuzz.com/dearreader click on EASY FOR KEEPS to find out more about the book and the author, Kristen Proby. Send her an email, she'd love to hear from you.