Nora Fleischer's Journal|
[Most Recent Entries]
Below are the 20 most recent journal entries recorded in
Nora Fleischer's LiveJournal:
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|Friday, April 10th, 2015|
|Thursday, April 9th, 2015|
|How clearly do you imagine your characters?
I was inspired by Kate Heartfield's blog post here: http://heartfieldfiction.com/2015/04/09/on-the-significance-of-breasts/
. She points out that the busty girls never get to be the heroine-- they always get to be the floozy, and she argues against body stereotyping.
And I totally think she's right, but I've been thinking about this in terms of my own writing. Recently I had the experience of having my characters professionally drawn, because I'm getting a new book cover done. And I realized that I never had a really clear image of my characters' faces. I knew hair color, eye color, general face shape, and general attractiveness, but the rest was kind of blurry in my mind.
I had a clearer sense of their body types. This last book was a paranormal romance between a zombie and his employer, and it was critical to the way the book operated that she was never afraid of him. (I don't like paranormal romances where the tension comes from the man's fear of hurting the woman, unless it's an unrealistic fear-- I just don't find it erotic.) So I made my heroine six inches taller and much sturdier than my hero. He never physically dominates her.
So I do think body type is important, because it does, in some way, determine how our characters interact with their world and the people in it. But I don't want to write stereotypes.
And now I've tied myself in a little writerly knot. How do you folks handle it?
|Sunday, April 5th, 2015|
|Love this review of Over Her Head
I got a great review of the audiobook of Over Her Head from Susan Voss at Dab of Darkness: "I really enjoyed this novella. The mix of merpeople myths, historical fiction, and romance kept me listening and not wanting to set the book down."
And she really liked Anna Starr's voice, too! "Anna Starr was a good pick for Frances. She had a solid, no nonsense voice for her that could also be a bit vulnerable when it came to matters of the heart. Starr had a range of voices that allowed both male and female characters to come through distinctly."
Check it out here: http://dabofdarkness.com/2015/03/27/over-her-head-by-nora-fleischer/
|Sunday, March 22nd, 2015|
|Wednesday, January 28th, 2015|
|Today's moment of weirdness
Today I tried something that I've never done before-- interviewing one of my characters for someone's blog. I know this is kind of a classic thing to do in a blog post, but the first thing that came to mind is how unnerving this would be for my character. Here's what he would think:
1. Everything I know about the world and the way it works is wrong.
2. Oh, Jesus, you know EVERY SINGLE THING I THINK.
3. Everything that happens to me is your fault?
Really, I can't imagine any way this would go well. I think I'd be facing a lot of shock and horror, and then the lobbying for rewrites would start. In the end, I set it up so he thought I worked for a small online magazine, but how do you guys get around this?
|Tuesday, January 13th, 2015|
|Wednesday, December 31st, 2014|
|Friday, December 26th, 2014|
|A reviewer who really gets it!
I love this review from To Each Their Own Reviews. She really gets what I was trying to do: "The book is very successful at creating this kind of slapstick comic-horror atmosphere. There's something utterly grotesque about zombies, but at the same time, I think a little endearing in how amusingly nonchalant everyone seems to be as they transition into zombie-hood."
Or how about this part: "Main characters Jack and Lisa are wonderfully imperfect. They both carry some pretty significant baggage and as Jack's backstory is revealed across the book, it becomes clear that he's not, well, let's say, not your traditional romantic hero. Even ignoring the zombie thing."
Here's the link: http://toeachtheirownreviews.blogspot.com/2014/12/zombies-in-love-by-nora-fleischer.html
|Sunday, November 23rd, 2014|
|Monday, November 17th, 2014|
|Okay, this is the sort of review that warms my writery heart...
Look at this great review of Zombies in Love! https://jbgarner58.wordpress.com/2014/11/15/starving-review-zombies-in-love-by-nora-fleischer/
This is my favorite part: "Wow. Okay, let’s be clear: this is a popcorn kind of book. It makes no aspirations to high literature but, darn, this is a FUN book. Ms. Fleischer fully embraces the insanity of the genre fusion here and runs with it, without losing sight of the core importance of plot and characterization. Every over-the-top plot element, as crazy as some are (deliciously, delightfully nutty), is still fit in a proper, logical place in the plot. I started my meal nervously then picked up speed and, finally, before you knew it, I had devoured the whole book in one sitting."
I love this so much.
|Wednesday, November 5th, 2014|
|Monday, September 29th, 2014|
|Sunday, September 28th, 2014|
|Monday, September 16th, 2013|
|What I've been up to
It's been way too long since I've written here! But I have been doing a lot of writing--
Revising the alternate history novel (which is set in a world where the US lost the War of 1812), about a woman who is trying to avenge her brother's death. It's called Daughters of the Empire, and it's up at sff.onlinewritingworkshop.com.
And writing a new romance novella, which is like Men in Black with time travelers.
|Monday, May 14th, 2012|
I just learned I'll be reading at the Unsettled Foundation's "live anthology" on June 23. It'll be held in a spooky, semi-abandoned theater, and I'll be reading one of my spookiest stories. If you're interested in reading, let them know-- they've still got some spots available! http://theunsettledfoundation.com/
|Monday, March 12th, 2012|
|Monday, August 1st, 2011|
|Ghost of a Chance, part 3
Sophie appeared in Mr. Holmquist's apartment the following morning and found her employer wearing his pajamas and eating a bowl of cornflakes. Oops,
His face spread into a broad smile when he spotted her. "I thought I might have been imagining you."
"No, Mr. Holmquist."
"Dave. Certainly. I just wanted to tell you that I went to your wife's favorite-- um-- restaurant, and she wasn't there. And I met a very nice man-- another ghost, I mean-- who said that she hasn't been in that he remembers. But don't be disheartened. I'm going to her office today. Maybe she'll be there."
"I doubt it," said Mr. Holmquist. "It's Sunday."
"Oh," said Sophie. To her surprise, she found that she was slowly drifting upwards. She rose until her back bounced gently off the ceiling, where she stuck. My, this is comfortable,
He stood up. "I've been writing up a plan for you. Just in case I wasn't hallucinating."
She drifted after him to the other room of his apartment. Large easels of paper had been set along the wall. In bright, neat script, Dave had written a heading at the top of each easel: Work, Exercise, Friends, Shopping, Other, and Crash. Addresses followed each heading.
Sophie read hungrily. She'd spent a good hour in the park that morning, standing behind a provokingly slow newspaper reader.
"I wrote down all of Beth's favorite places," said Mr. Holmquist. "After you visit them, you can come back and report to me, and I'll help you read a chapter of Little Dorrit."
Sophie had reached the last easel. "What's 'Crash'?"
"Short for car crash. My wife was killed in a car crash."
"I'm sorry," she said, wishing she could pat him on the shoulder.
"She was the worst driver I ever met. She never paid attention to the road. She was always daydreaming--" His voice trailed off.
"Tell me about her."
"What do you mean?"
"Where did you meet her? At a social of some kind?"
He shook his head. "At a support group for families of people with cystic fibrosis."
She looked at him, puzzled.
"It's a sort of lung disease. Both of us had little brothers who died from it."
"Do you want me to find your brother, too?"
"If he's a ghost, he wouldn't be here. He'd be climbing the Himalayas or swimming the Amazon. You'd never be able to find him."
His sorrow was so intense that it frightened Sophie. "I should get started. I should go."
"I haven't read you any Little Dorrit yet."
She drifted back towards him. "All right. Just a chapter or two."
|Thursday, June 16th, 2011|
|Ghost of a Chance, part 2
Near dawn, Sophie floated wearily into the third place on Mr. Holmquist's list; his wife's favorite restaurant, a place with the unlikely name of Duke's. Once she glided through the door, Sophie realized that Duke's could not properly be called a restaurant. In fact, it was a bar. Sophie had never actually been in a bar.
A male ghost in a suit looked at her, smiled, and slid down from his barstool. He had a likeable face, and it was only at second glance that Sophie realized that it was also a rather attractive face.
"Hey there, pretty lady," he said. "You look like you could use a place to sit." A masher,
she thought, and nearly giggled. "I can't. I'm looking for somebody."
"Well, maybe you just found him."
"Not unless you're a redhead named Beth Holmquist."
"I'm a Gilbert DuBois. But you can call me Gil."
He held out his hand. Sophie remembered how unpleasant it had felt when she had touched Mr. Holmquist.
"Don't worry," said Mr. DuBois. "I'm perfectly harmless."
She shook his hand. It felt like a normal handshake. Perhaps because Mr. DuBois was also a ghost? "I'm Sophie Kilbourne. Have you seen a short, pretty redhead recently?"
"One of us, I guess? No. I don't remember having seen her. And I always notice the pretty ones." He smiled in a way that Sophie could not possibly take seriously. She was wasting her time, wasn't she?
"It's nice to meet you, Mr. DuBois." She turned to go.
"Wait. Why such a rush?"
She considered telling him the truth, and settled for a half-truth. "Because it's a long walk to Waltham."
"Walk? Why don't you just appear there?"
"What do you mean?"
"Well, like this." Mr. DuBois disappeared, and then reappeared on her other side.
"We can do that?"
"There's a lot you don't know about this ghost business, huh, doll? Look, I just saved you a lot of walking. Why don't you sit with me for a while. Let me help you."
Some loneliness had crept into Mr. DuBois's voice, something real beneath the charmer's smile. "I could-- yes, I could do that, Mr. DuBois."
"Why so formal? Call me Gil." To her alarm, Gil's arm snaked around her waist. Before she could protest, she found herself seated opposite him at a booth in the back of the bar.
"Now, Miss Sophie, tell me why you're looking for someone you've never met before."
"Well, it's her husband who wants to find her. I mean, her widower."
"You got a living person to see you? That's pretty hot stuff."
"It's a trick I can't do. So, how does Mr. Holmquist know that his wife's a ghost? I mean, not all dead people are ghosts. Otherwise Boston would be neck-deep in 'em."
"He doesn't. He just hopes she is. Have I done something really stupid?"
He leaned back against the red cushions of the booth. "Stupid? No. Probably pointless, though. She's probably gone wherever the rest of them go. The really dead ones. Not us lucky few. But think about it, Miss Sophie. Might as well enlist in some hopeless causes. What else are we going to do with the time?"
"I've been trapped in a book for over a century," she said, more acidly than she intended.
A sympathetic look flashed over his genial face. "That's terrible, doll."
She patted her hair, embarrassed. "Oh, it's all right. I can't remember a thing. It was like a particularly heavy afternoon nap. You know, the sort where you wake up, and your clock says six, and you can't tell if it's evening or morning?" She furrowed her brow. "Do we sleep?"
"I'd call it vanishing, not sleeping."
"How curious. Does it hurt?"
The teasing tone returned to his voice. "Not in my experience, no."
"How am I going to find her even if she is a ghost? If we can all be someplace just by wishing, she could be on the Moon by now."
"Probably not. We all tend to stick around places that were important to us."
"That makes sense. May I ask-- why are you in a bar?"
Gil grinned. "Are you asking me if I was a drunk, Miss Sophie?"
She blushed a pale orange.
"I was a musician. A trumpet player. Not a bad one, either."
"I'd love to hear you play."
"And that would be difficult." He swept his hand through the condiments on top of the table. "I can't touch anything."
She could hear the regret in his voice. "I'm sorry," she said.
"Last call!" cried the bartender. "Last call!"
Sophie saw that sunlight was just beginning to trickle in the windows of the bar.
Gil stood up. "Come back tomorrow, Miss Sophie. I'll teach you everything I know about being a ghost."
|Tuesday, June 14th, 2011|
|Free short story: Ghost of a Chance
I thought I'd share a short story I wrote-- actually, it's a pretty long short story, so I'll post it in several parts.
Ghost of a Chance, Part One
Sophie Kilbourne fell out of the Boston Public Library's copy of Little Dorrit. She landed on the sidewalk and rolled to the feet of a man dressed like a little boy, in an undershirt and short pants. Hairy, thought Sophie muzzily. She was about to avert her gaze from the poor crazy fellow when she realized that the man was reading her book.
She struggled to stand. The concrete was spongy under her shoes, and she felt as dizzy as a waterbug on a windblown lake.
How on earth had she gotten to Boston Common? She hadn't been there a moment ago. Where had she been? It was on the tip of her tongue, like the long-forgotten name of an old schoolmate.
Never mind that, she thought. She just needed to get the book back. It was her book, the one she'd been reading just before the important thing, the thing she couldn't remember. In any case, it was hers. She reached for it, but her hand passed right through the pages.
She looked at her hand, held it up to the light. She could see through herself, as if she'd been painted on glass. Off in the distant sky she could see an aeroplane, flying unimaginably fast.
"Oh, dear," said Sophie. "Oh, dear." And then she remembered what had happened with the bus. It had been very frightening, and it had hurt a good deal. She squeezed her eyes shut and pushed it from her mind.
She didn't want to think about that. What she wanted was her book. Sophie loved to read. Or, to be more precise, Sophie needed to read. When she brushed her teeth, she rested a novel on her washstand. She kept a book open with one shoe while she tied the other. She even read while crossing the street, which, in retrospect, was a very stupid thing to do.
"Sir?" said Sophie. "May I have my book?"
He did not respond. Of course,
thought Sophie. He can't see me.
"Sir?" She reached out and tapped him on the shoulder. He felt like a red-hot cast-iron stove, and she snatched her hand away.
Sophie sighed. It was probably useless. She should just go and do whatever it was that ghosts did. Because she was a ghost now, wasn't she? That's what she was. A ghost. I need that book.
"Please see me. Please see me," she begged. She wished with all her might to be seen. To her alarm, her body flashed bright blue.
When she looked up again, the man was staring at her.
"Who are you?" he asked.
"I'm Sophie. Sophie Kilbourne. And I believe you're reading my book."
"Dave Holmquist. You're a ghost." He looked Sophie up and down with an intensity of interest that she had rarely inspired when alive.
"I suppose so," said Sophie.
"This was yours?"
"I never actually returned it. So, technically, it still is mine."
"Would you like to hear me read the rest of it?"
"Oh, yes. Very much."
"Then let me make a deal with you." He smiled and looked quite handsome, despite his unnervingly hairy legs. "I want you to find another ghost for me."
"Oh. Your wife. Of course." She chastised herself for being disappointed.
"I can tell you anything you need. Where she worked. Where she died. Her favorite restaurant. Anyplace she'd probably be."
Sophie had never done anything quite so daring in her life. But without Mr. Holmquist's help, she'd never learn how her book ended. Would Arthur Clenham ever return Little Dorrit's love? "Find your wife. Like a detective," said Sophie. "Yes, I think I could-- I could do that."
End of Part One!
|Saturday, May 14th, 2011|