Sunday, October 31, 2010

A Novel in a Month

You're Kidding Me Right? 

I really hadn't seriously thought about participating in the National Novel Writing Challenge,  but now, of course, the night before it starts I'm actually thinking of doing it.  It seems like a lot of my writer friends are going to try and get involved, and I asked myself why I hadn't even thought writing for it.   I'm not sure to be honest.  Maybe it's the time constraints or the huge idea of the project.  The plan is to write a certain number of words a day, pacing yourself so that, by the end of November, you have a 50,000 word novel.   WOW,  so when did I ever think about writing a novel?

 I really had kind of given up the writing thing way back after I graduated from college.   My career life took a different route, another of my passions, helping others. So I left the writing by the roadside and really didn't give it another thought.  Well that's not totally true, every once in a while I thought about it,  but I really didn't think I had a viable outlet.  Then I discovered Fan Fiction.   After reading the wonderful stories,  my writing muse started dancing around head trying to get my attention and I opened the door and let her run free.   Guess what? It's been one of the best experiences I've had in a long time.

 I love writing the stories, getting the feedback and hearing from the readers; it's addictive.  So now I'm sitting here seriously wondering  if I could do this. What can I write a novel about, and where in the world will I find the time?  Well I have no clue on both points,  but really don't I owe it to myself to give it a shot?  Don't we all owe it to ourselves to take a risk, to take a leap of faith?
Ya,  I think we do so here I am taking a risk and a big leap of faith.   I'll update you along the way.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Vampires - A Hot Ticket

An Interview with Eric Northman and Pam Ravenscroft

In the past few years, we’ve seen an obsession take hold of society.   It started with the media, books to be exact, and then it took over the big screen and the little screen.   It would be difficult to find someone in our modern society who has not heard the names, True Blood, and Twilight.  For those of you who aren’t familiar with these “stories”, let me educate you with one word, Vampires.  
Vampires are the hottest ticket to hit in a long time.  It started out with the books and it ballooned overnight.   Once these little gems were discovered there was no stopping Hollywood.   A “soccer mom” from Utah became an overnight sensation when her book Twilight hit the big screen.  The attention was unstoppable, the fame meteoric and it didn’t stop there.  
In September of 2008, HBO introduced its new show, True Blood.   It initiated us into a new modern world of vampires with its intrigue, danger, lust; we were captivated.  The show is based on the book series, The Southern Vampire Mysteries, by Charlaine Harris,  which chronicles the life of a young southern waitress, Sookie Stackhouse, who has a special gift - telepathy.  She soon becomes involved with the vampire world which has come out of the coffin with the discovery of Trueblood, a synthetic blood substitute.  We quickly discover that Sookie is a danger magnet, and of course this makes for exciting, heart stopping, entertainment.  
True Blood has become one of the hottest shows on today ranking # 1 in its time slot, bringing in a record breaking 5.3 million viewers.  Its cast and writers have had numerous awards heaped on them, and it doesn’t seem to be slowing down.  If anything it seems to become more popular with each season.  True Blood fans don’t seem to be able to get enough of Sookie, Bill, Pam, and of course Eric, the Sheriff of Area 5 who is nothing short of every girl’s dangerous fantasy.  
In fact, many female fans would argue that Eric Northman is one of the biggest draws for the show. The blond haired, blue eyed, thousand year old Viking is nothing if not easy on the eyes.   At 6 ft. 4 in. with a muscled, lean, body, and the face of a model, he commands attention merely by stepping into a room.  If that weren’t enough, he has a wicked sense of humor and can be very charming.   However, always lurking in the background is the predator that comes with being Vampire.  

Recently some friends and I had a chance to sit down and talk with Eric and his child, Pam for some candid one on one questions.  You might ask how is this possible after all it’s just a show, right?  

I think Eric’s quote speaks to that question the best, “You must ask yourself, did Charlaine Harris create me or have I always existed and merely made myself known to her?”

Now without that thought in mind and no further ado I present to you an interview with Eric Northman and Pam Ravenscroft.  All comments appreciated, I can’t say if either Eric or Pam will respond but you can always hope!

Monday, October 18, 2010
Sarahblueiris: Before the revelation did you pose as humans? How did you avoid being drafted in wars etc

Eric Northman: Pose as humans?  You might say that
Eric Northman: When it was convenient of course
Pam: I never enjoyed lowering myself to that level. But when needed, I have...blended in.
Eric Northman: As for wars - well, who says I avoided them?
Sarahblueiris: No Sir, I meant being drafted, I would assume a Viking would love the rush of battle and the blood would be... an added bonus.
Eric Northman: Drafted *chuckles* that practice has not been around for many years considering my lifetime
Eric Northman: and avoiding it is easy - I daresay there are many among your humans that have found ways
Pam: Drafts are on a security numbers and such, no? A system neither I, nor Eric conform to.
Eric Northman: I can avoid what I want when humans are concerned - just like I could make you forget you asked that question
Sarahblueiris: lol... understatement thou art Eric Northman's bitch
Eric Northman: *raises a brow at Sarah*
Sarahblueiris: well it's true! *shrug*
Eric Northman: Moving on...
Char: Ok I have a couple of questions. How long did it take you to adjust to being a vampire?

Eric Northman: What do you consider adjustment?
Char:  You know changes, and what was the hardest part of it?
Eric Northman: *leaning forward with piercing gaze* any certain reason you ask this?
Yes of course I'm curious....
Char: We all are.
Pam: *rolls eyes at Eric* Adjust? *snorts* I never lived until Eric made me what I am today.
Pam: The hardest part was realizing all the fun I had missed as a human.
Eric Northman: The adjustment is different for all
Char: Well I think we all know that about you Pam.  But I don't think that's really the norm. So what aspects did you struggle with personally, Eric?
Eric Northman: Pam was born to be a Vampire
Pam: *glares at Char before rolling my eyes*
Eric Northman: The drive to kill if anything.  Something I find to be quite...satisfying still.
Eric Northman: But that was nothing different from my human life as a Viking.
Char: So the joy of the battle so to speak?
Eric Northman: The rush of battle.
Eric Northman: The joy of winning.
Char: That’s understandable; humans of course fill these needs all the time.

Char: Sarah do you have another question?

Sarahblueiris: What is the biggest misconception humans have about you?
After the change.

Eric Northman: That they're our equals
Sarahblueiris: that's not a misconception, that's a delusion *rolls eyes*
even I'm not that stupid.

Eric Northman: Indeed

Char: Well you know I'm not too sure I agree about that equal statement.  Sarahblueiris: *raises eyebrow at Char* Seriously?
Char: *glancing at Sarah* Let’s move along with another question, we can debate it another time.  

Sarahblueiris: Do you find it flattering that people write fanfiction about you? Have you read any of them?

Eric Northman: I have had some fanfiction brought to my attention
Pam: *nods* I've read a few my pets have brought to my attention.
Eric Northman: As for the fanfiction - it can be...flattering
Char: Yes and?  
Pam: Flattering. And amusing.
Eric Northman: As for which ones - I do not have the names handy but I remember one of them was about Pam and I - and quite humorous
Pam: *smirks recalling the story Eric speaks of*
Eric Northman: Pam is the reader - that is if you can call Dear Abby reading
Char: *laughing* well it's better than nothing I guess.
Sarahblueiris: I think you'd find quite a few  Fan Fics that you would enjoy. Although some make you both a little too... human?  including mine. It's embarrassing.
Eric Northman: Then they make me something I am not
Eric Northman: As Compton would say:  "I am not human - I am Vampire

Char: Let’s go ahead and let some of the other’s ask questions. Jade do you have one?

Jade: Yes, actually. Eric - what does it mean to you, to be a maker; is there an aspect that you enjoy over others in being a maker, or even dislike?

Eric Northman: *turning to Jade* you asked what it means to be a Maker
Jade: Yes. To you. Your own thoughts/feelings on it.
Eric Northman: *considers a moment - staring toward Pam*
Pam: *turns my attention to Eric*
Eric Northman: Being a maker can be quite - rewarding
Eric Northman: it can also be quite tiring when one has a progeny that likes to test the boundaries
Eric Northman: and border on insubordinationPam: *smirks*Pam: Oh Eric, you'd be bored if I were any different. Don't deny it.
Sarahblueiris: *high5 Pam*

Char: Eric could you compare it to a Parenting role?

Eric Northman: *low chuckle* Parenting
Char: Well it kind of would be right?
Eric Northman: *remembers taking care of my baby sister*  Not so much parenting and Pam's making had nothing "Parental" about it.
Sarahblueiris: *snicker*
Char: I know that whole sexual side of it, but there is a care giving side of it......maybe that's more appropriate.
Pam: *recalls when I was first turned* Far, far from parenting *laughs*
Eric Northman: Guidance more so and discipline when necessary
Char: And you provide for them?
Eric Northman: Teach them to survive - not provide.
Char: Especially at first?
Eric Northman: Though my normal Amex bill would speak otherwise
Char: EXACTLY! and you call her your child do you not?   She can be a handful......much like teenage humans
SophieM: give a vampire a blood bag and you feed her for a night. Teach a vampire to bite and you feed her for eternity. ;)
Pam: She...she...she. *hand on hip* I am right here breather.
Char: Sorry Pam, I apologize.  
Pam: *sighs dramatically*
Eric Northman: But Pam's eccentricities and over abundance of shoe wear is a point and even she knows when NOT to push the limits.
Char: Most children do *winks*. And Pam just proved my point.  

Sarahblueiris: Char... don't tease the vampires. it could be hazardous for your health.
Jade: Whatever you call it Eric has done well. Pam is her own vampire and one to be proud of. There are worse vampires to have as children - Bill Compton, being one. She's an excellent vampire and Eric helped shape her. Let's leave it at that.

Char: *Raising eyebrow at Jade and Sarah* Sophie M.  Do you have a question?

SophieM: Do you find immortality difficult in any way? In the sense that you remain largely the same while the world changes around you. Or do you find it easy to adapt and change with the times?

Pam: *fangs descend* Tread lightly.
SophieM: *tucks herself into a corner and tries to keep a lid on her snark*
Eric Northman: Immortality - difficult?
Eric Northman: No
Eric Northman: Adaptation is key to survival
Pam: Immortality is delightful, SophieM. The fact that humans seem to become...more dense, over the decades can be frustrating.
Eric Northman: something Bill has not managed to learn and therefore he clings to humanity
Pam: Adapting is the name of the game. Especially in terms of fashion... *smirks*

Char: Along that same line......what has been your favorite period of time?
Eric Northman: There have been many
Pam: Mid 1970's, when I returned to Eric's side after a few decades away.
Eric Northman: *slight shudder* the things you wanted me to wear then
Char: Eric care to elaborate?  Pam what did you think of the 70s fashions?
Eric Northman: I would rather forget it ever happened
SophieM: *claps hands over her mouth as she tries to imagine Eric in bell bottoms*
Pam: *chuckles* Eric wasn't a fan of bell bottoms and velour.

Sarahblueiris: GoGo boots and minidresses a favorite Pam?

Pam: But of course Sarah *smirks*
Eric Northman: Not the velour

Char: Sapfirerose get ready with your question You're next.

Sapfirerose: How about your years as a Viking? What was the transition from Viking to Vampire like. (Being a Viking Wench, I had to throw one Viking question in. :))

Eric Northman: The transition was liberating, it was like being transformed into one of the Gods.

Char: Speaking of God do you balance the thought of a "God” with what you have seen and know? Who do Vampires see as their "ultimate creator"   or ?

Eric Northman: I only have a Maker *catches self* had - a Maker
Char: so you do not believe in an Ultimate power....
Sapfirerose: I was trying to figure out a wording for that, Char. Sheriff, you mentioned becoming Vampire was 'like being transformed into one of the Gods' ... do you still recognize the Aesir?
Eric Northman: the Aesir *considers*
Eric Northman: I both pray to and curse them
Char: Why do you curse them?
Eric Northman: my reasons are my own
Char: hmm Ok
Eric Northman: humans curse their God do they not?
Char: Yes usually it's when we mess something up and want to blame someone else...... Of course that’s speaking from personal experience.

Sarahblueiris: Would it be ok to ask about your Maker Eric? He made an impact on all of us but I won't ask if you'd prefer to keep it private
Eric Northman: *swallows slowly* you may ask
Sarahblueiris: Thank you *bows*

He seemed like he could have been very mischievous, was he?

Eric Northman: *raising brow* you think Godric to be - mischievous?
Sarahblueiris: not all the time certainly, no one can be something all the time.
Eric Northman: you have no concept of my Maker if that is what you saw in him
Sarahblueiris: Obviously he was other things besides that
Pam: *silently wishing Godric wasn't brought up...knowing what it does to Eric's mood*
Eric Northman: *starting to pace* No concept - at all
Sarahblueiris: I apologize Eric, I did not mean any offence
Eric Northman: *pacing - lifting lip up in a snarl when I remember the words of Godric's vision regarding Russell*

Eric Northman: Godric was a better Vampire than I will ever be
*even if I don't understand or agree with the last words I heard*

Jade: Yes. Let's leave it be. Seriously though, Pam. the shoes. Have you been featured on any fashion magazines since vampires have become open to the 'public'?
Pam: *furrows brow at Erics words* Don't say that...
Eric Northman: *snaps head toward Pam - starts to say something - stops - clenching jaw*
Pam: *locks my gaze with Erics before lowering my eyes and turning my attention to Jade*
Pam: Shoes. No, magazines...not my style.

Char: Eric
Eric Northman: *steps up to Char* Yes?
Char: Are you ok? Loss is really so very hard......whether you are 30 or 1000 but that "person" who helped create you stays with you always, in your mind and in your heart.

Sarahblueiris: *feels like a kicked dog*watching my grandmother waste away from cancer was a dream Eric. You think I like asking painful questions? Why do you think I was being disrespectful... If I hadn't promised Char that I'd stay, trust me I'd leave.
Eric Northman: *growling* There is no fault in what you asked Sarah
Eric Northman: *whispers something low to myself* Han kommer att ha någon fred – någonsin  (He will have no peace - ever.)
SophieM: Kanske inte.  (Perhaps not.)
Eric Northman: *tilts head toward SophieM upon hearing my language*
SophieM: De som förtjänar lidande kommer alltid att ha det.  (Those that deserve suffering will always have it.)
Eric Northman: Han förtjänade allt han fick  (He deserved everything he got.)
SophieM: Jag håller med.  (I agree.)

Eric Northman: Av att jag inte kan vara säker på - han ... ändras från Vampire som gjorde mig  (Of that I cannot be sure - he... changed from the Vampire that made me.)
SophieM: Som du sa: förändring är absolut nödvändigt för överlevnad.  (As you said: change is absolutely necessary for survival.)
Pam: *masking all emotion from my face*

Eric Northman: Shall we pick this back up at another time?
Char: Yes I think that would probably be best.

Sarahblueiris: Thank you Eric. *bows*
Char: Eric, thank you very much for your time and for sharing your thoughts with us.
Sarahblueiris: Thank you Pam *bows*
Char: Pam as usual you are a delight.
Eric Northman: Until we meet again *lifting sarah's hand - kissing the palm
*Eric Northman: *disappears*
Jade: Thank you, Eric and Pam, for the time you gave us.
SophieM: Tack båda för att du kom, Eric, Pam. (Thank you both for coming, Eric, Pam.)
Sapfirerose: Thanks, Sheriff, Thanks Pam

Pam: *nods* Behave yourselves breathers...
Jade: Oh Pam, where is the fun in that?
Pam: ...Lesbian weirdness is perfectly acceptable however *winks*
SophieM: Good to know... *makes note*
Char: *laughing * Pam take care of Eric
Jade: Thank goodness. *smirks* May you find many lovelies while shopping. Good night!

*Interview/Chat edited for consistency and readability  

As you can see the interview became a bit emotional and intense. I know speaking for myself it brought up a few unexpected emotions.   I guess anytime we think about death and loss it’s bound to stir something in all of us no matter if we are human or vampire.  I think though it also shows an ideal that I truly believe, we are not as different as we believe, we just have to embrace it all, if you are vampire or a human.  

Thanks once again to Eric for agreeing to be interviewed.  I’m sure I tried his patience a bit trying to get everything organized.  So shoot me I’m a Type A personality *winks*.   A shout out to my girls, Sarah, Jade and Julie (Southernlady23  who couldn’t be with us tonight).   Thanks for all your help and thanks to all who participated.  

Until next time stay safe and do something nice for someone else. You never know how it might change their lives, and who knows maybe it might change your own.