I was forced!

The characters in my book made me name this blog.  They think it’s funny to call it “World Famous Author”.  And they know it embarrasses me.   Obviously, I’m not a world famous author.  And odds are greatly against it.  But if something is outlandish, that’s what my characters like.   Once  this title popped into my head, they would not let me be.  When you live with – and love – characters for months and years on end, they tend to become very real in your life.

I am trying to sell a book – a  funny book, I think – entitled “One Wish” on Amazon Kindle.  (http://www.amazon.com/One-Wish-ebook/dp/B004Z7SHAO/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&m=AG56TWVU5XWC2&s=digital-text&qid=1305752127&sr=1-1)

There is a misconception about Abraham Lincoln that he was a veracious reader,  This would have been true about newspapers and current events.  But when it came to books, he had old and trusted friends that he read over and over.  Walt Whitman’s “Leaves of Grass” comes to mind.

I am like that.  Kathryn Forbes’s “Mama’s Bank Account”, I have read many dozens of times.  I find myself doing that with this book.  And I laugh.

I don’t remember the word as having come from me.  They belong to characters who have sprung lives of their own.

“One Wish” is a  fairy tale intermingled with the actual events of the Spanish Armada.  Supporters call it funny and Monty Python like.

I write silly things.  When I was young, I wrote a science fiction story in 8th grade English and the teacher threw away the critique sheet from my classmates because it was so harsh.   Later in high school English, I was given a picture of an illuminated life raft and told to make up a story on the spot.  I wrote, tongue-in-cheek,  about 3 people being thrown out of a drive-in movie when they could not turn the lights off on their  round car.  A professional editor, who was asked to review the classes writings, thought it was hilarious.  And she was surprised that it came out of a high school class.

So I write silly.

When you write silly, the characters take the bit in their mouths sometimes.  You can keep it or throw it away later on, but you have to let them talk.  Below are two examples of my characters running away from me and saying things I had not planned.  (Llywarch, a Welsh wizard, is especially good at this.)  When I wrote down what they had to say, I realized that it was funny and good.  And I understood that these characters had become so real that these words did not come – at least consciously – from me.

*     *    *

Example 1)

As they reached the top of the stairs, a feminine voice could be heard in a far room.  “The stone,” she said.  “I must have the stone.”

“I know how you feel,” Llywarch called out.  “I had a stone once.  It took a week to pass.  I thought I was going to die,” he told Gretel.

A tiny frizzy red head with bright blue eyes poked itself around the frame of the door.  “Please don’t hurt me,” she said.  “I have gold.”  A woman, shorter than Hombre, stepped out into the hall.

“My dear,” said Llywarch.  “We wouldn’t hurt someone while they were passing a kidney stone.  That would be redundant.”

“What Larry means,” Gretel interjected, “is that we wouldn’t hurt  anyone at any time.  We want to help.”

“Yes, of course, that’s what I meant,” Llywarch harrumphed.  “Just how much gold do you have?”

“Larry!”

“I’m sorry.  It’s just that I need to buy some nuts.”

“You’re beautiful,” Hombre whispered.  “Are you a dwarf?  My name’s Hombre.”  He flexed his muscles.

“No.  I’m a Leprechaun.  I’m Colleen.”

“That’s a b…beautiful name,” Hombre stuttered.

“Thank you.  Have you seen my stone?”

“Here now,” said Llywarch.  “We’ll have none of that.  We’re decent folk.”

“I don’t think she’s talking about a kidney stone, Larry,” said Randolph.

“Oh!  Gall stone then…that’s just as bad.”

“No.  I’m talking about the Blarney Stone,” Colleen said in distress.

“Blarney, huh,” responded Llywarch.  “I don’t know what part of the body that’s near, but if it’s decent, then sure we’ll take a look at it.”

*     *     *

Example 2)

“What do you want with us?” demanded Randolph, feeling helplessly for his sword.

“Not you!  Her!  Princess Georgette!”  The Queen pointed to Irving.  She turned to Eddie and said, “You were supposed to kill her when she was a baby, and bring me back her heart – still beating.”

“Achoo!  Are you sure it’s her,” asked the goblin, defensively.  “Everyone here calls her Irving.”

Llywarch said, “No, Georgette’s really her name.  She just likes to be called Irving.”

“Uncle Larry,” Chris whispered.  “Hush.”

“Oh…you’re right.  Forget I said that.”

“I knew it.  Eddie!  What did you do with her before?”

Eddie ducked his head.  “I gave her to Helga’s niece.  She was visiting at the time, and I bribed her to take the Princess away”

“And what did you, in your perfidy, bribe her with?”

“Huh?  Oh, you mean how did I pay her?”  He brightened up.  “It wasn’t much…a few bags of coal and a copy of my mother’s gingerbread recipe.

“And what of the heart?” shrieked the Queen.  “I held something beating in a box.  What was it, a pig’s heart?”

Hombre gasped in horror.

“N…no,” Eddie was shuffling his feet.  “It was a sugar beet.  I cut a hole in the bottom of the box, and I was thumping it with my finger to make it move.”

“You mean I gave a sugar beet to Helga to keep safe all those years ago.”

“I thought it tasted sweet,” the witch said.

*     *     *

Now you’ve met some of my characters and I hope you like them as much as I do.  Understand that they can be very  real and stubborn and headstrong.  They take me by surprise – often.  And I feel that if I do not listen to them, they may quit talking to me.  They have quit before.   So, I am trying to listen.  And I hope, you will allow this title.

Thanks, Ken

Cover Art for One Wish

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