On Chosen and queer lady vegans

Greetings, friends. Today I found myself faced with a truly monumental decision: Should I watch The Jeffersons marathon or the Supermarket Sweep marathon?

Sometimes life is hard.

In other news, I’ve been doing some work on Chosen (also knows as the LGBTQ fantasy epic I’ve been chipping away at since approximately the age of the dinosaurs), attempting to inject some more action and awesomeness into the book. It’s going pretty well so far, and I’ve also done another experimental gender-switch and transformed the main love interest, Nicholas, into a female character who is primarily attracted to women. This wasn’t something I planned, but it makes her romance with Kaine (biologically female but male by every other definition) all the more interesting and complex, and also ups the number of main female characters.

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Art!

I’m pleased to announce that the first round of Chosen artwork has arrived! And…okay, most of it is my own and thus is imbued with a certain lack of what one might call “artistic talent,” but meh, details.

So, yes! ART! (Or whatever we’re calling it.)

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First up, we have a pencil sketch of Silas Phelps, the sweet-faced bully whose hobbies are being rich, coming to class late, and beating the crap out of Kaine. Lovely girl, really.

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Next is Elisabeth Defrin, Mr. Defrin’s wife and Nicholas’ mother. Sweet and quirky, with a (mostly) sunny outlook and a rather serious addiction to tea, Elisabeth looks a lot like Amanda Abbington (or would if I could draw her properly) primarily because I was watching an unhealthy amount of Sherlock when I was writing her scenes.

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Next, a sketch of Nicholas and Kaine when they’re a bit older. Stubble added because they looked like girls otherwise. Pretty, pretty girls.

And finally, the pièce de résistance:

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A fun, colorful artwork of Mr. Defrin, Nicholas, and Kaine, done by MarcoEmma over on deviantart.  This picture has brought me a lot of joy, I have to say. For a story that’s somewhat dark, having a picture like this of three of the main characters is pretty awesome. Thanks, MarcoEmma!

In related news, I’m still looking for artists who’d like to have a go at drawing some of the Chosen characters. If you or anyone you know is familiar with moving a pencil over a page and afterwards discovering that a picture has appeared, let me know. For more information, head back to that long-ago entry I posted two days ago: https://tjbaer.wordpress.com/2014/08/28/looking-for-artists/

And for more on Chosen – including my Absolutely Sure To Happen movie dream cast – head over to this post: https://tjbaer.wordpress.com/2014/06/09/chosen-stuff-and-more-stuff/

And now, since my upstairs neighbor woke me up at 4:00 in the morning with her drunken singing and stomping around, I’m going to go collapse face-down on my bed and not get up until the sun is shining again.

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Pleasant dreams, friends. <3

Looking for artists…

In other news: I’m currently looking for artistically inclined individuals who would be willing to do some art of the main characters of Chosen. Said art would be used on this site for promotion of the book, and you would of course receive full credit for your artsy awesomeness, as well as my undying gratitude.

You wouldn’t need to have read the book, of course (particularly since it’s still in the editing phases); I’d give you a full description of the characters and then let you choose which (or how many) you’d like to have a go at drawing. (And if you’re not particularly skilled at The Art yourself but know someone who is, kindly send them in my direction.)

SO. Any takers? I’ll just be sitting here with my hopeful puppy face, staring at the screen and waiting for the inevitable flood of comments.

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Sunshine does strange things to the human mind.

Greetings, internet. I have returned! You may rejoice if you wish.

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Or not. It’s cool.

So, yes, as for the reasons behind my lengthy hiatus, I have no excuses except that Chicago has been experiencing an unusual stretch of gorgeous weather, and thus I’ve been somewhat distracted by strange feelings of optimism and delusions that the world may not be such an awful place after all. Amazing what a little sunshine can do.

I’ve also been working hard on Chosen, and have actually finished – finished, I say, FINISHED – the first draft of the book.

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And now, of course, I’m working hard on editing, adding new scenes, and in general trying to ensure that the novel I’ve been agonizing over since I was a wee gel of 15 does not, in fact, suck monstrously.

I’ve also made a rather significant change to the story, wherein main character Kaine and his love interest actually exchange words PRIOR to the last few chapters of the book. A radical notion, certainly, but one must take risks from time to time.

hunterparrish_sadnicholasSaid love interest is portrayed (in the highly unlikely dream cast of my mind) by Hunter Parrish, seen here looking angsty but very Nicholas-ish (albeit somewhat older than 16). I’m actually really enjoying having the chance to put him and Kaine together so much earlier in the story, as they have an interesting sort of chemistry. Kaine is sarcastic, defensive, and doesn’t bother much with this whole interacting-with-other-humans thing, whereas Nicholas seems to be normal and perfect and almost supernaturally well-adjusted. He has a devoted league of friends at school, he plays sports, he has two awesome, loving parents, and he’s just all-around the most irritatingly perfect person Kaine’s ever encountered. Kaine alternately hates him and longs to be him, and the really bizarre thing is that Nicholas genuinely seems to like him, and Kaine can’t quite figure out why. Of course, things in Nicholas Land aren’t nearly as perfect as they seem, which Kaine will eventually discover (drama drama drama).

Anyway, I’m working hard on getting the book finished, after which I’ll begin on my lofty goal of it becoming a massive hit and eventually leading to a movie deal and bags of money and Jon Stewart asking me to come on The Daily Show to discuss my awe-inspiring literary success.

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…it could happen.

In other news, I’ve finally watched Games of Thrones, which I have to admit is pretty damned compelling despite having given me borderline PTSD. (This due to the characters’ unfortunate tendency to misplace various body parts in the messiest and most disturbing ways possible.)

In any case, GoT has at least done the noble deed of bringing Thomas BrodieSangster to my attention.

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I’m determined to find a place for him somewhere in the Chosen series, because dammit, he’s awesome. So, People of the Earth, hear my vow: There shall be a role for this man in my series! Maybe Book II, maybe Book III, but somewhere in there, there will be a character he can play in the inevitable (and doubtless award-winning) screen adaptation. And at least I don’t have to worry about him getting too old for whatever role I may give him, as he seems to be permanently frozen at age 16. Most convenient.

Anyway. Lunchtime.

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To the refrigerator!

Chosen: Stuff and More Stuff

I’ve been working hard on my fantasy novel lately, but given my minuscule attention span and attraction to All Things Internet, it was inevitable that I waste at least a little bit of time online when I should’ve been writing.

But rather than watching an endless parade of cat videos or reading YouTube comments and despairing of humanity, I instead used my precious time to create…a newer, more complete Fake Cast Poster for Chosen~~~!

Behold:

Chosen cast 6-08-2014 (Alex Kingston version)

A brief explanation of the premise of Chosen, for those who haven’t been feverishly reading every word posted on this blog:

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C H O S E N

colinmorgan-kaine-YESAfter the mysterious disappearance of his father, 16-year-old Kaine Ikarra moves with his mother to the small town of Aurora. Unable to cope with his feelings of guilt and abandonment, Kaine begins to close in on himself, spending the majority of his time shut up in his room studying magic. In this conservative, gods-fearing town, however, interest in magic is a dangerous thing.

The Book of the Gods warns against the Marked Ones, a group of people who, for their crime of stealing power from the gods, were cursed to an endless cycle of reincarnation, being kept forever out of the gods’ glorious realm. The people of Aurora fear the Marked Ones like nothing else, and are more than willing to kill anyone they discover to be Marked.

With his sarcastic, secretive nature and talent for magic, Kaine is a natural target for his neighbors’ suspicions, and must hide his powers or risk the people of Aurora discovering his secret – that he is one of the Marked. According to the Book of the Gods, he is an abomination who must be put to death, and he knows that his new neighbors won’t hesitate to do just that if they find out what he is. But Mr. Defrin, his teacher and mentor, assures him that the Book of the Gods is wrong, that the Marked are not enemies of the gods at all – they are the Chosen.

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Dun-dun-DUNNNN.

And for the record, writing that teeny little summary took me a good hour and a half.

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Summaries are hard, yo.

Anyway, regarding the cast picture above: Benedict Cumberbatch, Colin Morgan, and Hunter Parrish have been “cast” for quite some time, and I actually wrote the character of Mr. Defrin’s wife, Elisabeth, with Amanda Abbington in mind.

Alex Kingston, however, was a mad stroke of genius that hit me yesterday, because damn, she’s perfect for the role of Kaine’s tough, loving, frequently swearing healer mother.

Gemma Arterton, I confess to having never seen in anything except an interview on the Graham Norton Show, which probably doesn’t count. I chose her mainly because she just looks like my mental image of Silas. Silas is a diminutive, sweet-faced bully who beats the hell out of Kaine because she catches him practicing a spell in the woods, and her uber-religious dad has brainwashed her with anti-magic and anti-Marked propaganda for her entire life. So yeah, she has some Issues. But she’s a lovely girl, really, if your definition of “lovely” is “terrorizes half the school with her gang of muscly thug friends and makes Kaine’s life a living hell.”

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I do actually really like her, though. >_>

Anyway, Nicholas hasn’t been in the story much yet, but he’s actually the second main-main character after Kaine. He and Kaine start out with a sort of rivalry relationship, both vying for Mr. Defrin’s attention – Nicholas as his son, Kaine as his student – but come together later after Bad Things Happen. Their beautiful Man Love is really the heart of the story, and has been both one of the most wonderful and one of the most challenging things I’ve ever tried to write. *_*;

Buuuuut, anyway. Now that I’ve geeked out appropriately re: my own story and characters, I shall return to actually writing said story, as that’s probably a slightly better use of my time.

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Laterz~~