ACP - The setting in a book is sometimes just as important of a character as the characters themselves. If I were a setting, what would I look like?
The Magic Garden
by Terry Persun
Leave it to Karla to come up with some of the most interesting questions. So, I sit and ponder the question from my small office separated from my house by a dozen or so steps. It looks onto a courtyard. The sun this morning shines through a smattering of disinterested clouds, across the water, the town, and onto the posts of the porch. The cat is perched in its cat bed, eyes closed, soaking up the morning warmth.
I close my eyes as well. I often do that while writing, which is like meditation to me, it’s like prayer. It’s the greatest connection to the universe that I have during the day, and I love the feeling like I love nature. I am myself in this state…and no one can touch me.
I think of this as a magic garden: anything can grow here, anything can appear, animals speak, trees and flowers move, everything is fluid, everything possible. When I am a setting, I am that magic garden. Inside me, you might find your own animal totem, you might shape shift like those in my novel “Doublesight”, or you might invent something inside a small laboratory like in “Revision 7: DNA”.
The truth is, I don’t make this stuff up. It appears to me like magic. All I do is open up to it, allow it to come through. I am often more amazed than anyone when a novel pushes through my psyche and onto the page. At that moment I have become the fertile garden it needs. The weather is perfect for the moment, whether raining, like in a recent novel I wrote, or barren and desert-like, similar to a sci-fi novel that’s going through production at the publisher’s.
If I think of myself as a setting, I think of that fluidness of growth, the fragrance of honeysuckle or lilac, the taste of rain on my tongue or metal from a gun barrel, the feel of a lover or a punch to the jaw. Could I go on? Of course, and each image, sound, smell that comes to me also comes with a character, an idea for a book. When I am at my most open, anything can come through the garden of me—and often does.
Look, the sky is gathering its cloak around the moon. A murder of crows leave the comfort of branches and travel across the light from the last glimmers of day, behind them the flat and scruffy terrain of a swamp. Something resides in that swamp, something beautiful and horrible, I’m going in after it.
Terry Persun writes in many genres, including historical fiction, mainstream, literary, and science fiction/fantasy. His novel, “Cathedral of Dreams” is a ForeWord magazine Book of the Year finalist in the science fiction category. His novel “Sweet Song” just won a Silver IPPY Award, too. His latest sci-fi thriller is, “Revision 7: DNA”, and his first fantasy novel just came out. “Doublesight” can be found online. Terry’s website is: www.TerryPersun.com or you can find him on Amazon.
1. Do your characters speak to you?
TP - There are times where my characters talk to me, but also among themselves. Well, that's how a novel is written most of the time--I'm eavesdropping.
2. What is the funniest thing you have heard from one of your characters?
TP - There are many things, but one recently was in writing a novel about a shaman and his son. They just had a tussle with a few bad guys and one of the characters asks if the son, Jason is okay. He said, "Shaken. But not stirred," which I thought was kind-of funny. Anyhow, maybe you had to be there. These are the kinds of dry humor-type incidents that I have.
3. What is the most memorable thing one has said?
TP - "Do not wish for everything, when you must concentrate on the first thing." This was a character in my new novel, "Doublesight". I won't tell you which one.
4. Who is your favorite character?
TP - There are way too many to count. But I do like Leon from my book, "Sweet Song". He had a tough life to somehow figure out and I believe he did. Some reviewers said that the book ended too quickly, but I feel that is always the case with books I want to go on longer. I'm glad it feels that way. Perhaps they wanted more of his life to view than the short period of time that I showed them. That's a good character.
5. Who is your least favorite character?
TP - No matter how bad a character may seem in one of my novels, I see the humanity in them. I have no least favorite.
6. Characteristics that you admire in a character?
TP -The same as humans: courage to go against the norm, courage to battle for right, kindness, a willingness to help others. You can probably go on from there.
7. Pet peeves about a character?
TP - I occasionally have a character who continually says the wrong thing at the wrong time. Sometimes I just want to say, "Shut up for a minute."
Visit the website of Terry Persun
Whether writing novels or poetry, Terry Persun is concerned with who his characters are and what provided the impetus for them to change along the way. Everyone lives within the constraints of identity. We may be one person at home and another at the office. We may play the role of the tough guy while struggling with our weaker self. Terry’s books let us look into the minds of people just like us who want to become something different, who want to live a more authentic life. According to Today’s Librarian, “Persun is adept at conveying the complexities of human inner struggle.”
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