Thursday, December 15, 2005

Storming the Gates of (ahem) Heaven

This week, a group has formed to explore the idea of approaching the RWA Board of Directors with a request to revisit the issue of publisher/author recognition. We include among our number many already-published authors both from RWA-recognized and non-recognized companies, unpublished authors, industry professionals, and RWA members and non-members, including at least one land-based chapter president.

You can read more about the group

You can join the group here.

* * *

In other news, yesterday my dear friend Watcher_Don called me, and I quote, "mad as a spoon."

Why, you ask? Or maybe you think you already know. You probably don't, as this particular quirk isn't one I've discussed at length...

Here's the deal:

I do this "total immersion" thing into the world of whatever manuscript upon which I'm working. Or as total as I can accomplish, at any rate.Like, right now, I'm working on a story set in North Yorkshire, England in 1822. In order to feel really comfortable writing about my setting and characters, I studied the politics of the time, the fashions, the manners, the slang. I looked at pictures of houses, and furniture.

My story takes place on a moor -- I studied moors in North Yorkshire -- the flora and fauna.

One of my characters is Jewish -- I read up on the history of Jews in England. He also happens to be a doctor. I learned about the difference between doctors and apothecaries and surgeons, and how each were educated, paid, and addressed in public.

Last, but not least -- and what earned me the "mad as a spoon" insult -- was looking up the longitude and latitude of the village in which I set my story and using them to ascertain the times of sunrise, sunset, moonrise and moonset for the particular day and night in 1822 during which my story takes place.True, this is a lot of work for a 12K word story. Most of this information I'll never use. But I can close my eyes and live inside this story now. In my mind, I can walk in and out of the rooms of Merrybourne Hall, and see them fully furnished. I can think back and remember Dr. Adam Brewster's days as a medical student in Padua, Italy. I can step out on the Urra moor and know what time it is by where the sun or moon is fixed in the sky.

Mad as a spoon? So be it. I write fiction because creating worlds in my mind and inhabiting them for short periods of time is what keeps me sane and happy. The more detailed and realistic I can make them, the happier -- and saner -- I am.

P.S. -- The remainder of those "fifteen things you should know about me and books?" Monday. For sure. Because I'm certain you're all just DYING to know about my love/hate relationship with Stephen King... :p


Blogger Karen said...

Good luck Selah - hope the group can get some action out of RWA! I'd join, but I'm not pub'd... yet.

12/21/2005 7:32 AM  

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