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Friday, October 5, 2012

Guest Post: Liesel K Hill, author of Persistence of Vision

Persistence of Vision
Book 1 of Interchron
Liesel K Hill

In a world where collective hives are enslaving the population and individuals have been hunted to the verge of extinction, Maggie Harper, and independent 21st Century woman, must find the strength to preserve the freedom of the future, but without the aid of her memories.

After experiencing a traumatic time loss, Maggie is plagued by a barrage of images she can't explain. When she's attacked by a creep with a spider's web tattoo, she is saved by Marcus, a man she's never met, but somehow remembers. He tells her that both he and her creepy attacker are from a future in which individuals are being murdered by collectives, and Marcus is part of the rebellion. The collectives have acquired time travel and they plan to enslave the human race throughout all of history. The flashes Maggie has been seeing are echoes of lost memories, and the information buried deep within them is instrumental in defeating the collective hives.

In order to preserve the individuality of mankind, Maggie must try to re-discover stolen memories, re-kindle friendships she has no recollection of, and wade through her feelings for the mysterious Marcus, all while dodging the tattooed assassins the collectives keep sending her way.

If Maggie can't fill the holes in her memory and find the answers to stop the collectives, the world both in her time and in all ages past and future will be doomed to enslavement in the grey, mediocre collectives. As the danger swirls around her and the collectives close in, Maggie realizes she must make a choice: stand out or fade away...

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Guest Post
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Legends, Fairy Tales, Histories, and Identity:
What does it all mean?
by Liesel K Hill

Any reader or writer worth their salt knows that backs story is key to any character. In order to know who they are and—by extension—where they’re going, we have to understand their history. Ever thought of legends and fairy tales as history?

Most people don’t, but they are the history of our culture. The fact that the Epic of Gilgamesh was one of the first ever recorded tells us a great deal about the culture and place it came out of. Shakespeare’s plays tell us much about the mindset of the English Renaissance, and the bible gives us the history and religious beliefs of an entire nation.

Our literature is synonymous with our history. (Ever notice how when they wanted to teach you about a certain era or movement in school, you ended up reading the literature that revolved around it?) But literature is much more effective than mere history books, because it brings that history to life. It elicits an emotional reaction that connects us to that history on a visceral level (a.k.a. one we will never forget.)

For example, most people didn’t know the story presented in the film Braveheart until they saw the movie. I remember hearing an account of how the producer/creator of the film came across the story. His name is Randall Wallace and he was touring some part of Scotland when he saw a statue of William Wallace. Because his last name is also Wallace (a very common surname in Scotland) he commented on the statue being “another Wallace” and asked who the man was. The tour guide replied with utter emotion, “Oh, he is our greatest hero.”

This is what legends and histories do. Even fairy tales connect us to the past, to people who had or have problems just like we do. They connect us to the world of what might be with a passion that can’t be very well put into words.  They make us feel bigger than ourselves—like we’re part of something grander than our own little corner of the universe.

And, if in order to understand a character, we must understand their backstory, the culture and background they come from, then must not we understand our own as well, in order to know ourselves? Everything we’ve ever heard, seen, or read becomes a part of who we are, no matter how it influences us.

This is why myths, legends and fairy tales are so important. They tell us who we’ve been, who we are, and perhaps, who we soon will be, if only we understand and believe.

Have a great weekend, everyone! :D


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Excerpt
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Trap smiled. He was becoming used to smiling again. He remembered why the individuals did it so often: it felt good. Nat’s children were having fits of giggles by the fire. Supper was finished, and the sun was sinking in the west. Nat was telling the children a bedtime story, making funny voices and noises. The children were rolling in the dirt and holding their stomachs.

“Nat, you’re riling them up when they should be settling down.” Kamra, Nat’s wife, was a kind woman with a gentle way about her. Even when she was cross she sounded sweet.

Despite that, Trap could sense an underlying ferocity. She would become a lioness to defend her children, sweet disposition or no.

“All right. Everyone settle down,” Nat said, though his smile spanned his face. He only smiled like that in the evening when he had time to play with his kids.

The two children—Lenna, eight, and Snap, six—continued to giggle and roll.

“Come on, now.” Nat turned more serious. “Do you two want to hear the story or just go to bed?”

“No, Dad, no!” The children mended their ways and turned rapturous gazes on their father.

The story Nat wove was a familiar one. It was about two brothers, one named Jacob, the other Esau. As soon as Nat began the tale, Trap knew he didn’t want to hear it. Memories stirred for him from deep within the story. He thought his own father might have told it to him once, and that was an avenue he wasn’t willing to venture down yet, even in his own mind.

He straightened his legs and walked away from the campsite and up a rise twenty feet away—far enough that he could still hear the murmur of Nat’s voice but was unable to understand what he was saying.

The sunset had blasted the firmament above with a collage of colors. They were seeping away now, trailing after the sun, their master, as he ducked below the horizon.

It amazed him how much a few individuals could drive the loneliness away. Nat was good to Trap but guarded, like he expected Trap to do something sinister at any moment. Kamra was kind and treated him much the way she treated her two children. But it was the children Trap felt the most kinship for.

Though it had taken a long time to remember how to speak and his voice muscles had tickled and ached from non-use for the first few days, once he began, he couldn’t stop. The words came back to him in droves. He could say almost anything he could think of now, though it sometimes took time to remember how to form the words. Nat and his family were patient and encouraging.

Despite the return of his language and some of his memories, there were parts of his past he still shied away from—things he was afraid to explore. Those memories were synonymous with pain.

Even if he were willing to delve into them, he had no wish to inflict his own pains on this family, especially on such happy children. They had no idea what the real world held, and he envied them that. Perhaps innocence such as theirs was a delusion, but he would not be the one to shatter it.

The crunch of footsteps announced Kamra’s arrival. He knew it was her because Nat’s footsteps were much heavier than hers, but the children’s were less steady. She came up beside him, but he didn’t turn to look at her. The soft hum of Nat’s voice told him the story wasn’t over yet.

“What are you thinking about, Trap?”

“The…sun…s-sets.”

“Yes. It’s beautiful, isn’t it?”

He shrugged—something Snap did often. It had taken Trap a while to figure out its meaning, but he finally had. “I…like…sun…rising…more.”

“Are they so different, as to like one more than the other?”

He nodded but wanted to say more. “It’s…first thing…I…s-saw.”

He wondered what she’d make of that. He hadn’t told her or Nat about the Unity, though from the way Nat sometimes looked at him, Trap wondered if he suspected. Kamra was never suspicious. Even now, she looked at him, weighing, calculating, but not judging.

Finally she nodded. “Then I understand why you like it more.”

“Kamra?”

She jumped. Nat had come up behind them without either of them noticing.

“I thought we agreed not to pester Trap with questions.”

“You agreed,” she said, raising her chin. “And you decided that I had as well, but I didn’t.”

“Leave the poor man alone and go say goodnight to the children. They’re asking for you. Now, woman.”

Kamra gave Trap a tight, practiced smile before turning to go. She glared at Nat as she passed him, reaching up to swat him on the top of the head as she went. Nat turned a glare on her, but she wasn’t looking at him. She was headed toward the two dark bundles beside the campfire, head high and shoulders back.

When he saw she wasn’t watching, his scowl faded to an affectionate smile and he chuckled. He turned and found Trap watching him, and his smile quickly dissipated. He cleared his throat.

“Sorry about that. She’s wanted to interrogate you for days. I keep telling her to leave you be. She can’t help her curiosity, I guess.”

Trap held his hands up. “Don’t…worry.”

“Thank you.”

Trap thought Kamra’s question was a valid one though. Nat was making a straight line for something. He’d only deviated from his course once to take the long way around some rocky cliffs that were too treacherous for the children, but once around them he’d gone back to the same course again. He must have a specific destination in mind. Trap decided to ask him.

“Where…you…go-going?” With the last word he jutted his chin out in the direction they were traveling.

Nat looked surprised, probably because Trap had started the conversation, which had not been their custom thus far. Generally Nat did all the talking and Trap listened, only supplying sparse answers when asked direct questions. Now he was initiating the conversation. Nat recovered quickly.

“You noticed, did you? I’m heading toward a place I know of, name of Interchroniter. There are individuals there. They band together for protection. I’ve never seen fit to live with them, but I have a woman and young ones to look after now. They offer safety and company. I would like Lenna and Snap to be around other children their age. I know there will be many in this place, so that’s where I’m headed.”

He turned a quizzical look on Trap. “Is there somewhere in particular you want to go?”

Trap considered for a moment, unsure how to answer. He knew for certain that he needed to find the man he’d left the Union in search of. He had some idea now of who that man was, but he didn’t yet have the words to express it. He wanted to go to wherever that man was, so in that sense, the answer to Nat’s question was yes. But he had no idea where the man was or how to find him.

“I…look…for…him.”

Nat took a step closer. “For who, Trap?”

“For…someone…a…m-man.”

“Do you know where he is?”

Trap shook his head.

“Is he an individualist?”

Trap nodded. That answer he was sure of.

“Without more information I can’t advise you on how to find this person. This place I’m going has many individuals in it. He might be there. If he’s not, someone there might be able to help you locate him. The best advice I can give is to stay with us. Once you get there, you can decide what you want to do next.”

Trap nodded. What else could he do? The thought of travelling alone again terrified him.

“Does this man have a name?”

Trap nodded but struggled. Finally he shrugged.

“You can’t remember how to say it.”

Trap nodded.

“Well, don’t worry. You’re learning fast, and my children are in love with you. I’m sure it will come to you in time. Have patience.”

Nat looked to the west, and Trap followed his gaze. Only a sliver of sun could be seen above the horizon. The sky was a deep purple around it, and it faded into the black directly overhead.

“We should sleep when the sun does,” Nat said. “We’re still a few weeks away from Interchroniter, so I intend to push hard until we get there. I know it’s barely fall, but the cold is already setting in. I want to be there long before winter arrives.”

Trap nodded and followed Nat down the hill. The nights were his least favorite part of the day. They brought dreams, and dreams brought unwelcome memories.

He dreaded the memories.





Find Liesel Online...

Thank you, Liesel, for an awesome post and excerpt! I can't wait to read this book, and I bet you (the readers) will feel the same!  Have a spectacular weekend, everyone!

6 comments:

  1. Seriously, whenever there is mention of time travel, I'm all over it. lol I love it!

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  2. Thanks so much for having me, Liz! I had fun with the post! :D

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  3. Great post! I totally agree that back story is truly important in a book - never really thought of literature as a way of studying history but it really is! Persistence of Vision sounds like an interesting book - I like the premise

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  4. Seriously, whenever there is mention of time travel, I'm all over it. lol I love it!

    ReplyDelete
  5. Thanks so much for having me, Liz! I had fun with the post! :D

    ReplyDelete
  6. Great post! I totally agree that back story is truly important in a book - never really thought of literature as a way of studying history but it really is! Persistence of Vision sounds like an interesting book - I like the premise

    ReplyDelete

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