Issue 20: Risky Business

Back before Christmas, but after I’d made my 2018 recap, I had a chance to read Imogen’s Secret  and Imogen’s Journey. Absolutely could not put these novels down, so I reached out to the author to ask a few questions and B Fleetwood talks about how a novel became a trilogy and what’s next for Imogen.

Micah Dean Hicks picks the Playlist for Break the Bodies, Haunt the Bones. And note: tonight Micah Dean Hicks has an event in Florida. Details at the end of the playlist.

Of Elections and Influences: How the 2016 Election Inspired Libby Fischer Hellmann’s HIGH CRIMES

Barbara Winkes chats about her new book, Killer Instinct, and talks about her writing spaces.

Almost forgot … my review of The 19th Bladesman. It should have run elsewhere, but the site wasn’t one I wanted to continue working with, so here it is.

Did You Miss It?

Brian wrote about his favorite TV Characters, posted another Eclectic Mayhem and shared his best reads of 2018.

Plus, Issue 19 went live a few weeks ago, with Isabella Maldonado, Dana King and Susanna Beard.

Risky Business: Stepping Out Side Our Comfort Zones

Screenshot_20190206-183127_Twitter

 

There will always be something to react to on social media, and the publishing world has given us plenty lately.

Yesterday, when I saw saw some of the responses to Jason Heller’s thread, the top tweet here was the one that had been retweeted. Now, if you go to the thread this is part of and start at the actual top, the response made more sense.

But as it was, what I saw that seemed to be the source of ire was these two tweets. And I have no issue with them at all. Heller is absolutely correct – each person makes a choice about how to approach their craft.

He’s also very right about something else that doesn’t have to do with money. He’s right about the fact that writers are often approaching their craft from a comfort zone and afraid to take risks. I’m not talking about with earning a living; I’m talking about taking chances to blend genres and push boundaries.

To even push ourselves.

There’s a real wisdom here that has been obscured by the tweets that came before. I get why some people are defensive about the money thing (Heller encouraged quitting the day job and writing) and unwilling to go there. Forget about that. I am not talking about that.

I am simply talking about the balls-free approach to writing that so many have settled for. In this past year I wrote a manuscript outside my genre. So far outside it scared the crap out of me. It ended up being a passion project that I fell in love with. It forced me to stretch as a writer.

I didn’t want to let it go. I was ready to be done writing police procedurals, to put crime writing behind me.

And then along came another character. Something I learned in the process of writing that passion project infused with this character and she didn’t just tap on my shoulder and suggest we spend some time together. Nope. She showed me the story.

I started writing January 9. Yesterday, I finished what I’m calling an unprocedural. It may be crime, and the character may be a cop, but it is far outside the lines of what I’ve done with any of my books to date. It’s personal and messy and – like that passion project I penned last year – it made me cry writing it.

Again, I have a manuscript I don’t want to let go of. For the second time in less than a year I’ve finished something I’m voluntarily re-reading. Since I re-read and revise as I go I’m usually sick of it by the time I’ve written the final words.

Not this time.

I credit how I feel about these two books to taking personal risks and infusing more of myself into the narrative. Not that the books are about me, but because I have found my emotions that connect to the character’s stories and channeled that into them.

Even at the end of this story, I wrote the last chapter and then the next day had to sit down and write it again, because there’s a second POV character in this book and I realized that I’d sidestepped the emotional depth of the scene by looking at it through the wrong eyes.

Will it matter to anyone else? Who knows. What I know is that I am most proud of these two manuscripts, and the short story I wrote last year, Crossing Jordan. That was very personal, because one of my parents is trans, but still very much in the closet day to day.

Frankly, the overwhelming majority of us aren’t making much money writing. Why should I worry about writing to formula, convention or expectations when there’s so little to gain from it?

Instead, I will take those risks, step outside my comfort zone, push myself to grow. I may not have royalty checks to cash, but I’ll have the satisfaction of knowing that I didn’t play it safe.

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Imogen’s Story: B Fleetwood talks about how a novel became a trilogy and what’s next for Imogen

Haven’t heard of B. Fleetwood? Let’s correct that right now. I had the opportunity to read both Imogen’s Secret and Imogen’s Journey not that long ago and they are already perched on top of my best 2019 entertainment list. I could not put these books down. Ya/Coming of Age Sci Fi with a bit of romance, some tremendous worldbuilding and a riveting plot that keeps you turning the pages all hours of the day and night. I finished both books in a matter of a few days and just had to catch up with the author to find out a little more about Imogen, the idea for the story, and where things will go in book 3.

Buy Imogen’s Secret

Buy Imogen’s Journey

51jg7gt99tlThere’s a lot of worldbuilding in the Chroma series books, and there’s also a very compelling cast of characters. What came first for you – the worldbuilding or Imogen? How did Holis affect Imogen’s character as she took shape?

Imogen came first. I had imagined a character with the ability to ‘see’ lies for many years, long before I put pen to paper.

When I began to seriously consider why my main protagonist would have the ability to read Chroma, or auras (I did not want this to be a magical power), I decided there needed to be a genetic reason for her gift. Writing the first chapter, it came to me; Imogen had to be of another race, a race that had been genetically engineered. This would allow her to have all sorts of other differences, like her ability to absorb information, ‘read’ thoughts by touch and for her body to self-heal.

It became crucial to her character development for the truth to have been hidden from her; she could not know she was from the planet Holis. I wanted her and the reader to fathom it out together. As Holis developed as a tangible place, Imogen’s abilities crystallised on the page. As a new author, I am rather in awe of how her character evolved.

 

515lgq7ukalConsidering all the talk about global warming and damage to our planet, your series is both incredibly entertaining and captivating, and also timely. Every now and again we hear about other planets that have been discovered that might be capable of sustaining life. Do you think if we had the capability to reach such a planet that we’d learn from our mistakes or repeat them? Was this something that inspired you as you developed the series? (What did inspire you?) 

I studied Sociology at University, fascinated with what makes a society ‘tick’ and conversely, what makes societies break down.

I believe there must be planets out there that would support human life or alien lifeforms.

Would we make the same mistakes if we reached them? This intrigues me. I don’t have a clear answer. Do humans have a basic destructive nature they cannot escape or a capacity for nobler action? The optimist in me wants to believe humans are capable of rising above greed, self-interest and perpetuating differences. In Chroma, my superior Holans look at Earth with much disdain. And whilst it’s easy to despair of our race, I believe there is an integrity / spark within us all which, if encouraged, will allow the human race to advance to a point where we would learn from our mistakes.

 

You’ve billed this as a trilogy. Did you have a clear plan for all three books from the start? How much advance plotting did you do before you started writing? 

My decision to create Holis transformed Imogen’s Secret from a standalone novel into the first of a trilogy – I had not planned this in advance. It honestly just ‘came to me’ with an unshakeable conviction: it had to be more than one book. I knew if I was the reader, reading Imogen’s Secret, I would want to go to her home planet and see how it all worked. For a few weeks, during the writing of Imogen’s Journey, I considered finishing the tale in two books (I think I was feeling rather daunted by the task!) but as Holis became more than a vague imagining, I realised there would have to be a third book in order to do justice to the story.

 

Which character do you relate to the most in the books and why?

It would have to be Imogen. She finds out there is a whole new world out there and she cannot take things at face value if she wants to uncover the truth. She goes from being passive to active. This directly relates to the revelations I experienced at University – my coming of age –discovering the world was not all as my parents had painted it and the start of questioning everything!

 

There definitely seems to be a connection between Imogen’s people and sites on earth, such as the pyramids. Some people do believe the pyramids were built by aliens. What do you think? Or is this something you just wanted to play with in the story?

I have visited Egypt and been astounded at the building of the pyramids, temples and obelisks. The race was so advanced for the time. Do I believe aliens intervened? Not really, but I decided to play with this in the story. It makes a great link to how Holan folk ended up on Earth (more to be revealed in Book 3!).

 

There are five personality lines on Holis – Ra, Iris, Nut, Hathor and Amon Anon. If you could only choose one of those personality lines to be, which one would you pick and why?

The five lines have been lifted from general psychological theories (still used in management evaluations today). Whilst I don’t like putting people in boxes, I can see that personality traits are more dominant in some folk than others. If I had to pick just one, I guess it would be Iris (creative and imaginative – or over imaginative perhaps?) or maybe I’d be a Bi-Crypt with Hathor (compassionate and caring – I cry at the slightest thing!) as the other line? This is mainly because I don’t fit the other lines; I’m neither dominant or decisive, calm or disciplined!

BTW: the name, Iris, was originally Isis (the Egyptian Goddess) but I felt compelled to change the name to Iris after the militant terrorist group took Isis as their name. Grrr… An example of how politics influences writing!

 

If you were Imogen would it be Araz or Tarik?

Araz! The chemistry is compelling; however, he would need to lose his arrogance and grow Tarik’s sense of humour to be completely perfect!

 

Whether intended or not, there’s certainly some political commentary the books make in a subtle way. The people from Imogen’s home planet don’t even seem to question their leaders, which leads to abuse and manipulation from those in power. Was this intentional or is it just coincidence that it feels so timely given the current state of politics around the globe?

The lack of challenge by the Holan populace was intentional. With no conflicts, no disparity and no enemy, I decided to portray Holans as having become complacent in their ‘idyllic’ lives. I am also influenced by the political state of the world and the seemingly incomprehensible decisions made by supposedly intelligent beings. Just because a race is superior in intellect, it doesn’t necessarily mean they would not make the same mistakes.

 

Give us a teaser for book 3. What do we have to look forward to? What do we have to fear?

Imogen, separated from Holis and Araz, must unlock Kekara’s secret, stolen from her chambers. Could it have anything to do with the new direction being taken by the Holan regime? The reason the history of Holis has been re-written?

Imogen is unaware the regime has developed a hybrid version of the Repros. Will they follow her and can her family keep her safe?

Desperate to see Araz again and unsure if the Tractus link will be broken between their two planets, Imogen fears for Araz’s safety. She also cannot squash her unease knowing he is twenty light years away with Naomi – a penta-crypt just like her. Could this clone replace her in Araz’s affections? And is the prophecy true? Either Imogen or Naomi must die?

As the growing evil on Holis threatens to come to Earth, Imogen must fight to decide where her true destiny lies.

Killer Instinct: Barbara Winkes Writes About an Ex-Cop With Regrets and Shares Which of Her Characters She’d Take With Her to a Deserted Island

 

KICoverSR: Practice pitching: tell us what your new book is about in 50 words or less.

BW: It’s a vigilante thriller. An ex-cop killed a murderer and, after an investigation, served a sentence. She is trying to distance herself from her past, but then one of her former cases becomes active again, and she can’t stay away—even considering the risk that history could repeat itself.

SR: Where did your idea for this book come from?

BW: I wanted to work with a character that’s a little different from the usual “female cop hunting the serial killer” theme that I am drawn to as a reader and writer, because these women are by the book. Joanna threw out the book. She felt like the system failed, and took matters into her own hands, and she’s been paying for it. A new relationship and past connections create a tug of war between past and present.

SR:  Harry Potter, Luke Skywalker, Katniss Everdeen or Arya Stark? If your protagonist could be any fictional character for a day who would it be and why?

BW: I’m thinking Arya, because of the setting. Killer Instinct is one of my darkest books, so this would probably be a good fit.

SR: Was there a specific issue that really motivated you to write this particular story?

BW: Generally, the infuriating amount of misogyny that we can’t seem to get rid of on this planet. I don’t think that vigilantism is the solution, but as a writer I have the privilege to explore those ideas in fiction.

SR: What’s one thing that you and your protagonist have in common?

BW: I can easily dwell on old decisions, though in my case, there’s nothing this tragic, fortunately.

SR: If you were the right gender could you have a romantic relationship with your protagonist? Why or why not? Would it be a good relationship?

BW: If I wasn’t married…I might still find her a little intimidating. And I gave her a love interest!

SR: What’s the first book you remember reading that had a huge impact on you? How did that story affect you? How do you think it shaped your desire to be a writer?

BW: I’ve always been drawn to suspense, and serials, right from the start. I read a lot of books with characters like Nancy Drew as a child, then moved on to adult mystery and thriller series. That’s where I always wanted to go as a writer, to have a series that readers can discover and binge on. My next release after Killer Instinct will be Impressions, #8 in the Carpenter/Harding series.

SR: What was your journey to publication like? What kind of obstacles did you have to overcome?

BW: I had to wait for Christmas! The book is set during the holidays, so I wanted it to come out before. The coziness of Christmas music and parties with friends present a backdrop and also a stark contrast to the isolation Joanna feels in the beginning.

SR: You have to flee the country. Where are you headed to and why that location?

BW: I hope I’ll never have to flee from Canada—it’s my home of choice! Iceland? Since we’re already used to the cold…

SR: It’s the zombie apocalypse. You have to pick a weapon from what’s currently within 10 feet of your present location. What will you defend yourself with?

BW: The lamp next to me? Otherwise I can only hope that the pen is truly mightier than the sword.

SR: How long will you survive in the zombie apocalypse? How long will your protagonist survive? Why?

BW: Me, not so long. I write action and thrillers, but I don’t think I’d be that savvy when it comes to real zombies…Joanna, she’d be okay for a while. The book is called Killer Instinct, after all.

SR: What advice do you have for aspiring authors?

BW: Write a lot, read a lot. Develop a good marketing strategy before the first book is even out (this is something I wish I’d known more about six years ago). Get early feedback from people who trust to tell you the truth. There is a lot of advice out there from many. Examine it carefully, and find out what works for you.

SR: Now for fun, if you were stuck on a deserted island and found that magic lamp with a genie and the genie had the power to bring any character in any of your books to life to be your companion, who would you pick and why?

BW: Jordan Carpenter from the Carpenter/Harding series – she’s as capable as Joanna, but more by the book and less scary! Although she wouldn’t like being apart from Ellie, so she might try to intimidate me into sending her back.

SR: And if the genie would only bring characters from works by another author to life who would you pick to spend eternity on that deserted island with?

BW: James Patterson’s Women’s Murder Club. I think they’d be fun to hang out with. Or Tess Gerritsen’s Rizzoli & Isles. Either way, we could all share a lot of stories to pass the time…

 

A

 

Barbara Winkes writes suspense and romance with lesbian characters at the center. She has always loved stories in which women persevere and lift each other up. Expect high drama and happy endings.


Discover a variety of genres, serial and standalone. Women loving women always take the lead.

 

 

 

http://www.barbarawinkes.wordpress.com

Writing Spaces: Where Barbara Winkes Pens Her Works

My office

My wife told me that before I moved in, she never know what to do with this room. It used to be a music room, a game room, the cat’s room—and then it became my office. My father-in-law built the shelves, and I added some decoration later, like a Women’s Murder Club poster and some photography. We both have our separate offices, which, I think is a good thing when you work 100% or even partly from home.

The Kitchen

As much as I like to have my own professional space, it’s fun to write there sometimes (hey, snacks, coffee and tea are close). I do it more often in the winter, because I have a nice view on where we put our Christmas tree.

The backyard

Obviously, only in the summer. I feel privileged to be able to do what I do, but even more so when I set up on the deck to write.

What are your ‘must haves’ that make up your writing space?

The spiral notebook with the notes for the book I’m working on, and some pens. That’s pretty much it.

A

 

Barbara Winkes writes suspense and romance with lesbian characters at the center. She has always loved stories in which women persevere and lift each other up. Expect high drama and happy endings.

Discover a variety of genres, serial and standalone. Women loving women always take the lead.

http://www.barbarawinkes.wordpress.com

Of Elections and Influences: How the 2016 Election Inspired Libby Fischer Hellmann’s HIGH CRIMES

High Crimes CoverSR: What’s HIGH CRIMES about? What inspired you to write it?

LFH: How do you solve a murder when there are 42,000 suspects? 
That’s the task facing Chicago PI Georgia Davis, hired to hunt down those behind the assassination of Resistance leader Dena Baldwin at a demonstration fourteen months after the 2016 election.

I took the 2016 hard. I felt paralyzed: I couldn’t write, and I couldn’t talk about anything except the state of our nation. I probably drove away many people who previously thought I was a nice person. For a year I let my rage control me. Then I realized I was giving him too much power over me. I had joined a Resistance Facebook group a few days after the election, and one night I had the eureka moment: What if the leader of a FB group is killed? Who would have done it and why? That was enough to get me going. High Crimes was the result.

SR: Practice pitching: tell us what your book is about in 30 words or less.

LFH: A Chicago PI investigates the assassination of a Resistance leader 14 months after the 2016 election.

SR: How do you think Georgia Davis would respond if aliens landed in the center of town on page 57?

LFH: She would tell you it wouldn’t happen on page 57. It would have happened on page 23.

SR:  Georgia has to flee the country. Where are they headed to and why that location?

LFH: Canada. She can deal with frigid weather.

SR:  What conspiracy theory is Georgia most likely to believe in? Roswell? JFK? Princess Diana? What about you? Any conspiracy theories that you think might have some truth to them?

LFH: Georgia is not a conspiracy theorist, except for the JFK conspiracy, which we know was indeed a  conspiracy. On the other hand, I do believe in JFK, RKF, Martin Luther King, jr, and Roswell. Diana? No. Flimsy at best.

SR:  Is Georgia more likely to go insane or end up in prison?

LFH: Neither is an option.

SR:  Harry Potter, Luke Skywalker, Katniss Everdeen or Arya Stark? If your protagonist could be any fictional character for a day who would it be and why?

LFH: Katniss. She’s a loner and has serious baggage.

SR: What’s Georgia’s greatest fear? Why?

LFH: She’s already faced it – being abandoned.

SR: Was there a specific issue that really motivated you to write this particular story?

LFH: The 2016 election.

SR: Is there something you hope the reader carries away with them after they’re done reading? An insight or philosophy that you wanted to come through in your work?

LFH: That our civilized, democratic way of life is fragile and can collapse quickly when corrupt people are leading it.

SR: What’s one thing that you and your protagonist have in common?

LFH: We are both introverts at heart.

SR: If you were in an arm wrestle with Georgia who would win? What is Georgia better at than you? What are you better than your protagonist at?

LFH: She would win at arm wrestling, working out, boxing, shooting a weapon, solving an intractable case. I’m a better reader and writer – she’s slightly dyslexic.

SR:  If hell was watching one movie over and over and over again, or listening to one song over and over again, what would the movie or song be for you? For Georgia?

LFH: Me: It’s a Small World After All (song)

Her: It’s a Small World After All (song)

SR: Carpool karaoke. What would be Georgia’s song? Yours?

LFH: Mine: Al Stewart’s Year of the Cat

Hers: Landslide by Fleetwood Mac

SR:  Cage match between you and Georgia. It’s a fight to the death. Which one of you will be left standing, and why.

LFH: She would. She boxes when she works out and she’s in great shape.

SR: What’s the first book you remember reading that had a huge impact on you? How did that story affect you? How do you think it shaped your desire to be a writer?

LFH: Gone With The Wind; I don’t think it had much effect. I never wanted to be a writer.

SR:  Did you try your hand at poetry as a teenager or use stick figures to illustrate your comic books? Tell us about your early writing efforts.

LFH: I wrote a play.

SR: What do you think the hardest emotion to elicit from a reader is? Why?

LFH: Compassion – because a reader typically wants a winner and a loser, good vs evil, and compassion demands you see the humanity in everyone.

SR:  What’s the best thing about writing?

LFH: Having written

SR:  What’s the worst thing about writing?

LFH: Writing. But I love editing.

SR: What detail in your writing do you obsess over the most? Character names? Locations? Description? Dialogue? Research?

LFH: Narrative, which includes description, tone, sentence structure, and observational skill.

SR: Did you set yourself a specific writing challenge with this book? What was it, and what was the reason?

LFH: Not in HIGH CRIMES. This was personal. I had to write it to control my rage.

SR: What was your journey to publication like? What kind of obstacles did you have to overcome?

LFH: I was a Cinderella 5 years in the making. The biggest obstacle came when my first agent fired me and told me to write something completely different. I followed his advice and was published two years later.

SR: Are you drawn to things that are really popular or wary of them? Do you find it helps you to market your work if you’re familiar with what’s currently selling or do you ignore all of that and focus on what you’re interested in?

LFH: I pretty much ignore the market. I write what interests me.

SR: Do you relate more to Sherlock Holmes or Professor Moriarty? Why?

LFH: Moriarty. Definitely. I’m drawn to the dark. And I don’t think Holmes plays fair with the reader.

SR: What’s your personal life motto?

LFH: Remember the dummy.

SR: Tell us something about you that isn’t common knowledge.

LFH: I once stuck a piece of chewing gum behind a door jam on a tour of the White House. When I returned on another tour a few years later, the gum was still there.

 

Libby Fischer Hellmann - Photo Credit Michael Candee, First Light Creative

Libby Fischer Hellmann left a career in broadcast news in Washington, DC and moved to Chicago over 35 years ago, where she, naturally, began to write gritty crime fiction. Fifteen novels and twenty-five short stories later, she claims they’ll take her out of the Windy City feet first. 

She has been nominated for many awards in the mystery and crime writing community and has even won a few. She has been a finalist twice for the Anthony and three times for Foreword Magazine’s Book of the Year. She has also been nominated for the Agatha, the Shamus, the Daphne, and has won the IPPY and the Readers Choice Award multiple times. Libby hosts both a TV interview show and conducts writing workshops at libraries and other venues. She was the national president of Sisters In Crime, a 3500-member organization dedicated to the advancement of female crime fiction authors. Her books have been translated into Spanish, German, Italian, and Chinese. All her books are available in print, e-book, and audiobook formats. More information can be found online at libbyhellmann.com

Micah Dean Hicks picks the Playlist for Break the Bodies, Haunt the Bones

Final for Online

 

 

One of my front teeth is half fake from a knife-throwing incident when I was a kid.” – Micah Dean Hicks

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

If readers were listening to music as they enjoyed your book, what song would be playing with the opening scene? Why?

Tricky, “Hell Is Round the Corner”

 

This is the perfect song to open the book. Eerie, cautious, a warning. Martina Topley-Bird’s ethereal voice and Tricky’s prophetic chant. “Hell is round the corner where I shelter,” and it is for Jane and her brother Henry, living amongst the ghosts of Swine Hill. The spirits are swallowing the town, growing restless, drawing closer. Bad things are coming.

What song do you think best illustrates your protagonist’s emotional state during the first part of your book? Why?

St. Vincent, “Fast Slow Disco”

 

This is a great song for Jane. Possessed by a ghost that allows her to read people’s minds, Jane is always “thinking what everybody’s thinking,” even when she doesn’t want to. She’s stuck in a town she desperately wants to leave, her ghost her only friend. Still, the spirit is better than nothing. And maybe there’s reason to be hopeful. She just met someone new.

There are often significant turning points in a story that advance the plot. This can coincide with an emotional shift for a character. Do you feel like there’s a song that illustrates a defining turning point for your character? If so, which one and why?

Portishead, “Mourning Air”

 

After Jane loses everything and with nowhere else to go, she drives to her ex-boyfriend Trigger’s house. The two of them were only together a short time, “a moment … in a half lit world.” She’s almost completely alone, “reaching out in this mourning air.” Jane knows they weren’t great for each other, but Trigger is someone she can depend on. He’ll be there for her, won’t he?

Are there other songs that you imagine would be really fitting for specific scenes in your book? If so, feel free to share the songs and a little about why these songs would be fitting for your soundtrack. (For example, they can illustrate the emotions of your protagonist, antagonist, or another character, or fit thematically with an event in the story or the plot.)

The Noisettes, “Scratch Your Name”

 

This song is for Bethany, the unbeatable girl trailing thousands of ghosts in her wake. The dead won’t let her leave the dying town of Swine Hill, though, so Bethany’s stuck. She can fight and claw and rage, but nothing she does, no matter how big, seems enough to save her.

Maddie Medley, “Coming of Age”

 

This might the theme song for Jane’s boyfriend Trigger. Jane wants to know everything about him, but Trigger has secrets. No one visits his house. Something bad happened to his family, and they don’t talk about it. Still, even if he feels like he can’t tell Jane everything, he loves how she puzzles over him.

Santigold, “Creator”

 

This is Henry’s anthem. A boy possessed by a ghost that helps him build impossible machines. Henry is all unbridled confidence, thrilling in what his hands can make. He doesn’t ask should I, only can I, and the answer is always yes.

What song would be suitable for the conclusion of your novel?

She Keeps Bees, “Radiance”

 

This song is an ending. Triumphant and sweet, but so sorrowful too. How much did Jane lose to get here? What was she able to keep in the end? Read and find out.

Do you have any special events coming up? Where can people catch up with you in person or on a podcast?

On February 7th at 7pm, I’ll have a release party in Orlando, Florida, at Writers Block Bookstore. And on March 20th at 7pm, I’ll be doing an event at Joseph-Beth Booksellers in Cincinnati, Ohio. I’ll have a bunch of other events all through the spring. I should have an updated event schedule up on my website soon

 

Micah_Hicks_1087_Email

Micah Dean Hicks is a Calvino Prize-winning author of fantasy, fabulism, and fairy tale retellings. His writing has appeared in The Best American Science Fiction and Fantasy, The New York Times, Lightspeed, and Nightmare, among others. His story collection Electricity and Other Dreams is available from New American Press. Hicks teaches creative writing at the University of Central Florida. His novel Break the Bodies, Haunt the Bones is coming February 2019 from John Joseph Adams Books.

Favorite TV Characters of 2018

I briefly flirted with the idea of writing a piece on my favorite TV shows of 2018, but decided that was boring. Later, I decided that it might be fun to approach the topic through a certain filter, like my favorite TV characters in 2018.

What makes a good TV character? I’m not sure it is any one thing. Sometimes it is the appearance of an actress who is past her popular prime and is carving out new creative space for herself in a way different than before. Sometimes they are so far removed from the bland conventionally attractive faces we so often see. Some characters retain their interesting edges, not having everything sanded smooth. Sometimes they play against type, sometimes they are the vulgar jester who pokes holes in the pretense of a main character.

There’s something refreshing about these characters, you look forward to their appearance in a scene. There’s an X-factor quality, you just can’t take your eyes off of them.

Point is, there isn’t any one trait that defines a great TV character (although, in my case I do tend to be drawn towards the supporting cast).

In no particular order, here are my favorite TV characters from TV shows I watched in 2018.

Continue reading “Favorite TV Characters of 2018”