Tuesday 25 March 2014

Promo Blitz - Glamour

Townie. That’s what eighteen-year-old Christina Sundy is. All year round she lives in a one-stoplight town on Cape Cod and when summer comes she spends her days scooping ice cream for rich tourists, who she hates. So when one of them takes a job in the ice cream shop alongside her, she’s pissed. Why does a blonde and perky Harvard-bound rich girl like Reese Manning want to scoop ice cream anyway?

Something else weird is happening to Christina: tiny blue sparks seem to be shooting off her fingers. It isn’t long before she realizes the truth about herself — she’s actually a powerful hereditary witch. But her newfound powers are too intense for her to handle and, in a moment of rage, she accidentally zaps Reese into another dimension.

So that no one will notice that the rich girl has disappeared, Christina casts a disguising spell, or “glamour,” and lives Reese’s life while she tries to find a retrieval spell. But as the retrieval spell proves harder than anticipated, and as she goes about living Reese’s life without anyone on the outside noticing the switch, Christina realizes that there’s nothing to stop her from making the glamour permanent… except, of course, her fellow witches, a 16th century demon, and, just maybe, her own conscience.

 Guest Post

Why My Heroines Don’t Kick Ass

What would an urban fantasy be without a “kickass heroine?” From Buffy to Katniss, urban fantasy girls are tough, smart, and not be tangled with. But of course the best part about any kickass heroine is her flipside – her flaws. Whether she’s selfish, has a habit of mouthing off to the wrong people, or is obsessed with her work to the exclusion of all else, the kickass heroine isn’t any kind of super woman (or super girl) at all. Just like the best fictional heroes are also flawed (what would Rocky be without his failure? Or Rambo without his PTSD?) the best heroines are a jumble of fear, failure, mistakes, and regret. Or at least, they should be.

I’ve said before that my favorite characters to write are those who are such screw-ups, so fatally flawed, it would be almost tragic – if they weren’t so endearing about it … or if they weren’t so damn skilled. I love noir novels, where the characters are always mired in life’s perpetual bungling exercises, so I get a lot of my love of failures from that world. But I think these terrible personal qualities make a “kickass” heroine that much more appealing. How dull would a person be if all she did was run from one triumph to another?

Who are your favorite characters from fiction? Are they perfect? Doubtful. Even Katniss Everdeen, who is noble and brave, is basically a relentless, affectless, borderline sociopath… in a good way. Think of one of fiction’s most iconic characters of all time: Scarlett O’Hara, one of the world’s unforgettable heroines, is a total asshole most of the time. But we love the old bird, don’t we? (I know she’s not a fantasy or urban fantasy heroine, obviously… though she lives in a post-apocalyptic hell-scape, so maybe there’s so wiggle room). My point is, I don’t want to write a heroine who’s good, or even particularly likeable. I want to write someone who struggles, who fails, who tries, who is human.

Christina, the main character in GLAMOUR, struggles with her conscience when she discovers her newfound witchy powers would make it very easy to cheat her way through life. She gets help though, from her friend Bridget, who is a sweet person but one whose perpetual need to smooth things over leads her to pathologically avoid conflict. They in turn get help from Nadia, a brilliant firecracker of a woman who is so independent she often alienates people with her bluntness. Do you see a perfect person in the bunch? Hell, some of them aren’t even likeable. But whenever I get a note saying, “Your character’s not likeable,” I want to laugh. Likeability is a sign of blandness. Lovability is a sign of vulnerability and grit, and it’s worth about a thousand times more. 

So, no, my heroines don’t kick ass. They do fall down a lot though. And not in a Bella Swan way, either.

Andrea Janes writes horror, dark comedy, thrillers, and historical slapstick. She is the author of Boroughs of the Dead: New York City Ghost Stories. She is also a licensed NYC tour guide, and offers a variety of ghostly tours around the city. Her many obsessions include New York City history, old photographs, Mabel Normand, all things nautical, and beer. She maintains a personal blog over at Spinster Aunt, where she discusses these obsessions in more detail than is probably healthy.

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