There are certain people that one may encounter in one’s lifetime that will continue to amaze you in some way or another. Darby Karchut is one of those people for me. Our meeting was pure luck, and I can’t tell you if I reached out to her and she simply responded or if she was stopping by because I was on her blog tour and I took that as an “in” to strike up a conversation. Whatever it was, I am glad that she has been so open and friendly to continue the conversation and all. She has graciously agreed to stop by and do a guest post, as well as a giveaway.
Thanks for stopping by, Darby, and I am looking forward to even more adventures and laughs!
The Writer’s Lens by Darby Karchut
For the past several years, I’ve had the rare pleasure of being part of the weekly book club at the junior high school where I teach social studies. The club meets at lunch in the library and is a group of about 27 kids, a mix of boys and girls. Since we have two lunches, the groups are about evenly split. This January, the club elected to read my middle grade novel, Finn Finnegan. For February, they are reading its sequel, Gideon’s Spear.
The conversations have been lively and constructive and filled with laughter. For instance, one 8th grade boy asked me, “Why do all your books have guys as the main characters, but you’re, you know, a woman?” When I explained that I have a lens that I see the world through, and my lens just happens to be a thirteen year old boy. As soon as I said it, a silence fell over the group. Especially from the boys who are also in my social studies classes. I quickly jumped in and added, “I guess I’m just a teen boy at heart.”
Yeah. More awkward silence.
But how true.
We writers DO view life through a particular lens. At least, I do. By lens, I mean a certain orientation to the world. For some writers, the lens is a struggling young woman in a small town. For others, it might be the lone warrior battling monsters, both external and internal. Still other writers magnify the beauty of written word in literary works.
It doesn’t matter what lens you use to write your story, just write your story. Make it true to your lens and make it YOUR story. Don’t worry about whether someone else has told a similar story. Your filter is unique to you.
For example, my middle grade novels are pure Hero’s Journey (been done to death, I know). My protagonist (Finnegan) is a blend of the male archetypes of Warrior and Pilgrim. But I have also chosen to expand the role of the wise sage (Gideon) who guides the hero on his journey, and thus explore the adult male archetypes of Warrior, Patriarch, and King.
This is my lens. This is, you might say, my brand as an author. Readers who pick up my young adult series, Griffin Rising, will see this same theme. In my up-coming adult book, The Stag Lord, I take this even further with a “real” father and son. (Wow, I just managed to pimp all my books in one paragrah. Tacky, even for me.)
Moving on. So, can writers change their lens? Certainly. In fact, I bet it would do me good if I tried writing a book with a female protagonist. That’s the beauty of what we do. We can re-write our roles as creator whenever we wish.
So, enough yammering. Go write your story. Write it boldly. Write it true. Make your reader see the world through your lens.
Keep Reading for Giveaway Information!
Finnegan MacCullen: a thirteen-year-old apprentice with the famous Irish temperament.
Gideon Lir: a legendary Celtic warrior with a bit of a temper of his own. Secretly, these blue-collar warriors battle the hobgoblins infesting their suburban neighborhood…when they are not battling each other. Finn (not bleedin’ Finnegan) MacCullen is eager to begin his apprenticeship. He soon discovers the ups and downs of hunting monsters in a suburban neighborhood under the demanding tutelage of the Knight, Gideon Lir. Both master and apprentice are descendents of the Tuatha De Danaan, a magical race of warriors from Ireland. Scattered long ago to the four corners of the world, the De Danaan wage a two thousand year old clandestine battle with their ancient enemy, the Amandán, a breed of goblin-like creatures.
Now with the beasts concentrating their attacks on Finn, he and his master must race to locate the lost Spear of the Tuatha De Danaan, the only weapon that can destroy the Amandán, all the while hiding his true identity from his new friends, Rafe and Savannah, twins whose South African roots may hold a key to Finn’s survival.
Armed with a bronze dagger, some ancient Celtic magic, and a hair-trigger temper, Finn is about to show his enemies the true meaning of “fighting Irish.”
For Finn MacCullen, it’s time to Irish up.
With a shout, Finn held the spear aloft. “Come along, ye manky beasties,” he yelled, throwing every bit of Gideon-ness he could into his voice. “I’ve a wee point to share with ye!” Gripping the end of the shaft in both hands, he swung it around and around over his head, creating a whistling sound. “Faugh a ballagh!” “The Spear!” Goblin voices screeched in panic. “The Spear of the Tuatha De Danaan!”
“Yeah, you got that right!” Finn yelled back.
When a power-crazed sorceress and the neighborhood pack of beast-like goblins team up and threaten both his master and his friends, thirteen-year-old Finn (not Finnegan) MacCullen does the only thing an apprentice monster hunter can do: he takes the fight to the enemy. And woe to the foe he meets along the way.
Darby Karchut is an award-winning author, teacher, and compulsive dawn greeter. She’s been known to run in blizzards and bike in lightning storms. When not dodging death by Colorado, Darby writes urban fantasy for tweens, teens, and adults.
Giveaway (US only)
Prize: A paperback copy of both Finn Finnegan and Gideon’s Spear
What you Have to do: Required
Leave a comment on this blog> What lens do you view life through?
Leave a comment on the double review (will be live shortly after this one). > any [appropriate] comment
(make sure to leave me your email address in one of the comments).
What You can do: Optional
Follow me on Twitter @SKliteratipress (tweet this link so I can identify you)
Stop by say hello to Darby Karchut on Facebook or her webpage >tell her Starr sent you.
Contest will end Friday February 21, 2014 at midnight.