Tag Archives: Linus Saga

Character Spotlight: Carson Weedwhacker

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In keeping with the Offspring of Linus theme, this week’s spotlight is on Linus’ oldest son, and second-born, Carson. 

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Carson Weedwhacker by Monica Marier

We first get to know Carson as a sharp-tongued 13-year-old in Runs in Good Condition. Carson is in every way a typical teen-aged boy of the intelligent bookish variety. He’s opinionated, insightful, sensitive and has the cynicism of a 70-year-old crank. Carson has had frequent troubles with bullies in his peer group (as mentioned in Must Love Dragons) and it’s made him a bit fragile and distrustful of others. It doesn’t help that Carson has inherited some magical ability from his mother’s side and wants to be a wizard more than anything. His dad, Linus, (who has had more near-death experiences by the hands of wizards who “had meant well” than by any other cause) is horrified and disappointed. Carson deals with his frustrations by venting them out his mouth most of the time. If he inherited magic from his mother, he’s definitely inherited his father’s mouth and inability to know when to shut up. We all know he’ll go far one day if he can survive puberty.

FUN FACTS:

*Carson is more-or-less based off of all of my brothers (a grand total of 5).

*Like his other siblings, Carson is the spitting image of his Elven grandfather, with blond hair, long pointed ears, and green eyes. As time rolls by we’ll see that of all the children, he looks the most like Hilmiel.

*Carson’s middle name is Rudolph, after Linus’ favorite brother who died when he was a young man. 

*Carson will one day be mentor to another wizard, the Great Meriwether Maydock (his grandson) who will grow up to be the idol of Evelyn Kelly of Madame Bluestocking’s Pennyhorrid. The whole story of their meeting was written in a holiday short story Called “Meri’s Christmas.” You can read the whole story FREE on my old blog. It also reveals some later facts about Carson’s life.

*When at University, Carson has a great magical adventure with his sister, Irene, and their transvestite cousin, Kevin. That story may one day get its own book, and will not be told in any future Linus novel, since Linus isn’t in it. A rift in dimensions, a mirror, an afternoon tea, and a hedgehog are involved.

*Carson will try to learn a trade in the next book to please his dad. 

That’s about it for Carson. Next week, we’ll take a look at Thisbe, the impossible girl. 

As always, please consider donating to my GoFund me, to help me get a new computer. Every little bit helps me keep earning for my family.

 

 

 

Character Spotlight Deirdre the Indomitable

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I got some requests to cover Deirdre this week so here’s the lowdown on Linus Weedwhacker’s other half.

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We meet Deirdre at the end of the first book in the Linus Saga, Must Love Dragons, but she’s a constant presence throughout the book and her relationship with Linus is the linchpin in the series. It’s no secret that Deirdre is a 300-ish-year-old red dragon. Her father was a Human wizard with the gift of shape changing. Ulric the White was famous for changing into various creatures to see how they lived. He got a bit in over his head when he transformed into a red dragon and met Deirdre’s imposing mum. One clutch later, Betty took off leaving Ulric the Dragon with five baby boy dragons and one girl dragon. The boys left the nest as soon as they learned to fly,but the girl stayed with him.

Unlike her mother and brothers, Deirdre was very attached to her father and the two kept each other company. Ulric taught his daughter how to shape change and educated her as best he could. Despite their mutual camaraderie, in a few centuries Ulric began to feel old and tired. One day changed back into a human for the last time and quietly passed away, leaving Deirdre alone.

She was a little befuddled by her newfound freedom and after a few clumsy raids on neighbouring sheep, she found herself the target of several attacks by locals and treasure-hunters. She began to feel that life was nothing but a horrible struggle to defend yourself from everyone else. She was hurt and lonely and didn’t understand why everyone was determined to kill her.

That’s when a drunk Linus stumbled into her cave and did something different: he fell over and had a seizure. Most likely it was because he was the only person who hadn’t taken a punch at her, or  maybe it was her human half calling out to her, or that she felt a need to help a dying man, like she’d helped her father, she felt an instant attachment to Linus and the two were cemented together by fate.

It wasn’t exactly a love-at-first-sight, happily ever after Disney, tra-la-la, love story. There were a lot of teething troubles, as there generally is when you suddenly stop being a 12-ton fire-breathing sauroid and become a fragile, soft, pink, monkey-creature. Between complicated human mating ritual and the rather straight-forward but unfulfilling dragon rituals but after so many years and a lot of kids it seems to have worked out for them. Deidre is a stoic amazon warrior matriarch, even if she waffles between confidant and insecure frequently. The confidence comes out when she forgets that she’s not a dragon anymore. The insecurity comes out when she remembers.

 

Fun Facts:

*Her first name was Deirdre and eventually became Deirdremagorafangowenetherix (DEE-dree-ma-GO-rah-FAN-go-wen-ETH-er-ix). Dragons get bored with their names and after a long time or a great victory they like to celebrate by adding a syllable to their names. A long name is usually the sign of an old dragon or a vain one.

*She actually LIKES being a mother of lots of kids. Dragon clutches are usually around six or seven so large families are typical in dragon family if not always so intimate. If anything she’s probably just frustrated that she has to do it in so many goes to get the family -size she wants.

* Deirdre has to be very careful about changing back into a Dragon. She misses being a Dragon a lot but since her magic is dampened in her human form, she’s worried about how it will go. She had a few close calls early on, so she hasn’t changed form in nearly 15 years. She misses flying most of all.

* Her five brothers are named (in short form) Barney, Enoch, Wallace, Carl, and Orin. Orin was Deirdre’s closest thing to a childhood friend, and her favorite brother (which is whom Orin is named after). Barney, on the other hand, keeps trying to get Deirdre to get the kids to come to his cave so he can eat them.

*Carson has inherited some of his grandfather, Ulric’s, ability to use magic and is interested in  becoming a wizard.

*Deirdre’s mum HATES Linus and he is not allowed to visit her under any circumstances. She’s a very kind grandmother to the kids, however, despite a chilly but civil relationship with her daughter. Deirdre never really forgave her mother for abandoning them.

*Her voice in my head sounds like Isabella Rossilini

 

 

So Why Elves?

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Elves were always my favorite part of Lord of the Rings, and most fantasy things come to that. I love the mystery and the majesty of and ancient people still living among us. Their eyes have gods in the elder days and the rise and fall of empires. They have a stoic reticence to interfere yet they always have a philosophical opinion on things. 

But they REALLY became my favorite when I stopped writing serious (read: boring) Fantasy and started reading comedy. Sir Terry Pratchett never wrote up Elves in a comedic light, like he did with the Dwarves—and thank GOD because I’d hate to have to follow that act—but reading his works made me realise that my favorite victims of comedy are people who take themselves to seriously. And there’s nothing more serious than an Elf.

Dignity, and the loss of said dignity, is a great staple of comedy and the greater the dignity, the funnier it is. It’s also when you get people who have illusions of being wise and serious when really they’re a bunch of prats. I always found myself wondering if the Elves really ARE wise and all-knowing or are they just pompous codgers who’re full of shit.

In the end you get lovely character sketches of Elves that are less like Elrond and more like Bertie Wooster.

Throw in lots of money and connections and suicidal tendancies when they get depressed and you get this with pointy ears on:

(I do not own the rights to this clip which is from “And Now For Something Completely Different)

 

…Which is how I came up with Lynald Wingaurd. 

Hope that explains some things. Any further questions about my thing with Elves, feel free to ask in the comments.

 

Liebster Award

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This week I was awarded the Liebster Award by the wonderful talented writer, Sabrina “Stabby” Zbasnik for my writing career.  With it is the condition that I have to nominate 3 other writers and ask them a series of 10 questions. Those three are:

Emma Newman, author of the awesome Split Worlds series.

Angela Capozello author of the awesome Nox and Grimm series.

Fellow Hunt Press author, Barrie J. Rosen . You should buy her books. And mine. Buy mine too.

Your 10 questions, ladies,  are as follows, and I’m going to pretend really hard that I’m not secretly asking for tips:

  1. Are you a planner or a pantser (as in seat-of-the-pants)?
  2. What’s your favorite stage of writing?
  3. What kind of tunes do you listen to while writing; do you have a favorite song?
  4. Do your characters ever “get away” from you and if so, how do you cope?
  5. How do you deal with writer’s block?
  6. Who’s your favorite character to write for and who’s your least?
  7. Who was your favorite character growing up?
  8. What’s the craziest real-life experience that wound up making it into your fiction?
  9. Why do you write?
  10. If you could spend a day at a theme park with your any of your characters, who would it be, what ride would you go on, what would you eat for lunch, and how would it end?

And now for my questions as asked by Stabby.  I’m thrilled to answer these.

  1. What’s your favorite character?
    My favorite character is definitely Linus Weedwhacker, who first appears in Must Love Dragons. There was some magic symbiosis between him and me. It was giving a name and a face to the cynical, sarcastic voice whispering into my ear, telling me to look at the monsters in life and laugh when I saw the strings. At the same time, there’s a lot of heart to Linus and a lot of strength to him. I find myself drawing from that strength and becoming inspired by it when I feel small and helpless.
    Or to phrase it in my brother’s words: deep down inside me is a chainsmoking, hardened, 52-year-old man.
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  1. Is there a character that you were going to kill/write off but something changed your mind?
    Vilori Reagan was never meant to be more than a cardboard background antagonist to Linus. He was just a rich snob and a financial facilitator to Linus in Runs in Good Condition and then somehow he started to have this unexpected depth, weaseling himself into more of the book than I had intended. He even upstaged Avery who was supposed to have a bigger role. Now he’s another favorite character to write for and I find myself wanting to learn more about this cold weird bastard. He’ll probably be showing up in more books of The Linus Saga.
  2. Are you more of a plot/character/idea/throw words against the wall like spaghetti author?
    Yes. I remember sending a query to a good friend that said, “Guys show up, stuff happens, good guys save the day.”
    I’m a conversationist writer. My usual method is to put several people in a room together and just have them talk and see what happenes. Some of my best scenes have come about by simply letting the personalities clash, but then sometimes it’s like herding cats to get these guys to stop talking and actually, ya know, DO something.  I call it “couch syndrome,” because it’s like trying to get your kids off the couch to go play outside. Lynald Winguard and Ev Kelly are the worst for that.
  3. What’s the stupidest idea you’ve ever had?
    I don’t think anything tops having a Regency-esque protagonist with the last name Weedwhacker. But that was just his name. There was nothing I could do about it. I’ve gotten used to it and it will occasionally take me by surprise when I suddenly re-realize, “That’s a really STUPID surname. I can’t believe I did that.”
  4. What’s the best idea you’ve ever had writingwise?
    I think my best idea was to ditch the epic adventure ideas of grandeur that I had earlier in my life. I wanted to be the next Tolkien and that’s just not who I am.  I’d rather write about life. Life isn’t always about going out and slaying a beastie or saving the world. Sometimes life is simply about living through it. It’s about the people you share a home with, work with, fight with and love.
  5. Out of all your settings, which would you most like to live in?
    I think it would be pretty cool to live in Burrowsborough, the Halfling village featured in the upcoming 3rd book of the Linus Saga, No Shoes, No Service (working title). Intimate, comfortable, and by the sea-shore, even if it does seem to rain every other day. And with lots of good food and beer. I wouldn’t go barefoot, though. I need to have my boot collection.
  6. What’s your biggest writing win? 
    The Linus Saga has been my bread and butter. I’m glad that people genuinely connect with it and keep asking me to do more. I couldn’t be more thrilled. I really have to credit my friends at Tangent Artists for getting me thinking about writing again. I never would have done it if it hadn’t been for them.
  7. Do you have a specific genre or do you like to bounce around freely?
    I tend to bounce between Fantasy genre and Urban Fantasy in my various works. I like anything with a lot of myth and legend to it no matter when or where it’s supposed to be set. I suppose that’s why I’ve never managed SciFi yet. My lens is firmly trained on the past; I’m a really history nut. I like looking back at what we believed, the drama and pathos of past struggles, and comparing how far we’ve come. And I like vampires. They’re like evil sexy Elves.
  1. Favorite spot to write?
    My favorite spot is in my living room around 8 am, when the kids have just got on the bus to school. I look at the sun shining on the kitchen and my wide picture window looking over pine trees. I usually think about going back to bed, but the laptop calls me and I forgo that extra hour of sleep, still holding that first cup of hot coffee. I get an adreneline rush and a warm fuzzy feeling as I switch on some Alan Parsons Project or Penguin Cafe Orchestra and just write.
  2. Have you ever danced with the devil in the pale moonlight?
    Yes. It looked a bit like this:
    (copyright, Jim Henson Productions. I do not own this video clip.)~Ciao! :3