Happy Halloween!

Oct 25, 2016

I asked my friend and fellow Alternate Historian, Sharon Shinn for a guest blog for October. Here are her thoughts. -Laurell



A couple of years ago around Halloween, I had a chance to write a guest blog about my favorite urban myth—from the point of view of one of my fictional characters. I chose the “dead celebrity who’s not really dead” trope. But since most of my books are set in imaginary and secondary worlds, my protagonist wasn’t sighting Elvis or JFK. She and her friends thought the mysterious winged shape in the house next door was an angel who had supposedly been killed more than seventy years ago when the god struck him down with a thunderbolt. I thought of it as my “gothic angel” novella.


Even though I don’t use the real world for most of books, I do sometimes think about how my characters might function here on Earth. In my pile of unpublished manuscripts is a space opera series that features six wildly different characters with very strong personalities. I was pretty young when I wrote those books, so I spent a lot of time thinking about what kind of cars they would drive and what their favorite colors might be. I even came up with different handwriting styles and practiced their signatures. (Like I said…young.)


But I don’t think I’m the only author whose mind works like that! I was at a science fiction convention once when other writers started casting their books with characters from the Muppets and “Firefly.” (Even better: “Firefly” characters AS MUPPETS: http://www.cantstoptheserenity.com/2011/06/05/firefly-meets-muppets-artist-james-hance-is-supporting-csts/.)


Since it’s the Halloween season, lately I’ve been wondering how my characters would dress up for the holiday if it happened to exist on their worlds. Those who have read my Twelve Houses books might find these amusing: Senneth as the Human Torch, Tayse as Thor, Kirra as Mystique…


And that got me thinking about the main character in my newest book, Unquiet Land, which comes out November 1. Leah has spent the past five years in self-imposed exile, running away to a foreign country when she couldn’t face all the traumas at home. She spends her time spying for her regent, but she rarely makes friends or has much human contact. If she dressed up for Halloween during those five years, she’d have to be a ghost.


When the book opens, she’s just returned home, determined to make peace with her past and slay all her personal demons.  This year I figured she’ll dress up as Buffy. Wooden stakes in both hands and ready to strike despair right in the heart.


Happy Halloween, everybody!


You can find more about Sharon at her website : http://www.sharonshinn.net and her new book  Unquiet Land is out November 1st.

unquiet-landLeah Frothen has spent five years in self-imposed exile, recovering from a failed relationship and hating herself for abandoning her baby daughter. Now she’s back in Welce, determined to find her place in society and learn to be a mother to her little girl. Life quickly becomes complicated when the regent asks her to spy on mysterious ambassadors from a visiting nation and when an old friend unexpectedly shows up, wrestling with demons from his own past. Leah finds herself developing a dangerous friendship with an unscrupulous foreign woman and falling in love with a man she’s not even sure she can trust. And soon she learns that everyone—her regent, her lover, and even her daughter—have secrets that could save the nation, but might very well break her heart.