Posts Tagged Fiction

Profile: Todd Helsingford

Monday, February 15th, 2021 | Permalink

Continuing from February, 2021 William Fietzer Newsletter:

Interview begins:

whf: We’ve read your character description elsewhere–let’s get to the heart of the matter, post-Valentine’s Day. You are or have been romantically involved with two of the main female protagonists in the story. Would you say you’re unlucky at love, or just inept?

Todd: Mostly the former, but I cannot deny my shortcomings as a lover. As far as Miriam Gorovic is and was concerned, she was starting her own career at the time I asked her to marry me. Any woman, any spouse would think twice about traipsing around the world to a new embassy every two years, having to meet new set of people, adopt to a new culture and lifestyle, face new dangers and complications without a formal reason or connection for doing so.

As for Seraphina Abduri, we had our fling. She was sultry, passionate, fantastic in bed. But it was all to draw state secrets from me. Though she showed compassion by healing my wounds, her heart always belonged to Rupert Albrecht, whether he cared or not.

whf: Your face reddened when you mentioned Rupert Albrecht. Are you jealous of him?

Todd: Of Albrecht? Why should I be? Just because he’s rich, powerful, has the strength of a god (and the superior demeanor to go with it), why should I be jealous? I don’t know why Seraphina cannot see him for what he is, an opportunist and a scoundrel, but he is a psychic vampire, an Anausavared as is she, so there’s the ethnic component they share.

whf: For a dispassionate, diplomatic guy, you sure sound jealous to me.

Todd: Listen. (Face reddens) Maybe Seraphina figures she can appeal to his good side and straighten him out, make him care about others outside his own kind. We’ll see. For right now their shared culture is the primary factor that keeps them together.

whf: Final question. Would you marry either of them if, somehow, they wanted to get back together with you?

Todd: Let’s see. Each of them has rejected me once, used me for their own ends at least twice–No, I don’t think so, unless–(Grins) They have to ask me first! I’m no fool; I won’t play hard to get, but I will want to be wooed this time. (Laughs) I deserve it, don’t you think?

What do you think? Tell me in the Comments section.

Current Reading

Friday, July 10th, 2020 | Permalink

The Sea Wolf by Jack London

Thought I’d give my readers and/or followers some sense of what I’m reading at the moment. This one is the fiction book I’m now reading. Outside of London’s most famous short story, To Build a Fire, I hadn’t read any of his other stories or novels. But after TCM showed the movie version of this novel, Edward G. Robinson‘s portrayal of the title character was so compelling I had to take a look.

It’s been worth the wait. I haven’t encountered Maud Brewster (played by Ida Lupino in the movie and always good) yet, but London’s depiction of Wolf Larson is an intriguing portrayal of the Nietzschean super-man ideal. Robinson isn’t as physically imposing as London describes his character, but he dominates every scene he’s in, just as Larson does in the book.

I look forward to reading more! Have any of you read this book? Or any of Jack London’s other stories? What did you think of them? Do they relate to today? If so, how?

Emotional intelligence and fiction

Monday, May 25th, 2015 | Permalink

download A download (1) ALots can be said about emotional intelligence (EI), both good and bad. Saturday’s work shop (May 23, 2015) for members of Twin Cities Sisters in Crime covered the high points on the positive side of the topic, particularly as they apply to writing.

Authors Lyn Cowan and Christina Glendenning did a fine job of explaining how emotion relates to fiction since, according to Albert Camus, “fiction is the lie through which we tell the truth.” And if truth-telling is the business of writing stories, authors must “get it right” because “readers expect an emotional experience from fiction.” Story-telling has been a feature of human experience for thousands of years, and the transfer of human emotions through myths not only gives life to these stories but also enables us to share the experiences of thoughts according to Wordsworth, “that lie too deep for tears.”

As depth psychologists, Cowan and Glendenning take a qualitative, Jungian approach to the study of human psyche which in Greek means both soul and butterfly. The imprecise nature of the concept reflects how  the soul is not a thing so much as a perspective on human experience that has both conscious and unconscious aspects. For writers it means that the emotional lives of the characters in their novels must reflect that same diversity and depth of feeling as readers experience in their daily lives.

Such shared emotions enable all of us to understand and empathize with the experiences of others no matter different their gender, race, or culture might be. It also facilitates an appreciation of behaviors that may be initially unpleasant or distasteful through the realization that they are not aberrant or stereotypical but common to all of us. As the manipulators of words, the duty of writers is to express these subjective emotions through metaphor and myth.

Some professional psychologists might criticize EI for being more of a skill than a measure of intelligence. Others might balk at emotions being any component of the mind or consciousness at all. But their relationship to myth make them an important ingredient in any story a writer might tell. Through an unfortunate consequence of time we writers were unable to instill the concept through the exercises Cowan and Glendenning had planned. With a little pruning and better time management, future work shops promise complete success in showing how to incorporate emotions into fiction writing.