Saturday, September 23, 2017

A Memory Full of Characters

This month's topic is about characters I have found memorable. Usually I remember stories I like by title, series, or author best. I can remember many series I enjoyed, but could probably not name their characters.

I think I've read books since third grade--a helluva long time ago. In those early years I loved reading about animals, so it is not surprising that animal characters remain lodged in my mind. 

Because I was drawing horses at the time, horse characters in particular have synapses links within me. Anne Sewell's tile character in Black Beauty has a comfortable residence. While a children's book, Sewell, writing in 1857, wanted "to induce kindness, sympathy, and an understanding treatment of horses," which I think I picked up on, especially near the end when I learned what the horse Ginger endured. I think these characters induced a respect for all animals in me, not just horses. I read all of Walter Farley's Black Stallion books, too, and Will James' Smokey, the Cow Horse. Indelible mental imprints occurred. 

In my teen year's Johnny and Rab in Esther Forbe's Johnny Tremain made me appreciate history and I continued reading more of it, but more in actual European history. This lead me to read the Lymond Chronicles about Lymond Crawford in the 16th century.

Literally thousands of characters have come and gone since then, but I remember Mary from Georgette Heyer's The Devil's Cub. Mary was a strong and resourceful woman in very trying circumstances, which I believe was an enlightening viewpoint on gender in novels. I'm sure Heyer would be very surprised at all the sex involved in the Regency Romance genre of books she engendered.

What? Only three animals and two humans out of all the reading I've done? I'm surprised. After I'm done here, I'm sure other characters will arise from their mental tombs, but these are the ones I remember best.

Of course, having spent so much time with my own characters, it is hard if not impossible to forget them. Often they throw me flashes on another story line they deserve. Maybe someday, I tell them. Right now I've got to work on the ones I have started.

For differing viewpoints, check out the following author's blogs on this topic.

Anne Stenhouse
Heidi M. Thomas
Victoria Chatham
Diane Bator
A.J. Maguire 
Judith Copek
Beverley Bateman
Fiona McGier
Skye Taylor
Rachael Kosinski