Eclectic cast of characters at this Dangerous Tea Party
Day 8 of the 5-Week Author Blog Challenge asks about favorite literary characters. All 35 posts for this Challenge will be focused on writing, publishing, and book marketing. As you will soon learn, I would invite a variety of characters for tea. I hope you’ll stick around through all 35 posts. And if you want to take part, come on in – the water is great! You can register here.
Day 8 writing prompt:
Who is your favorite literary character? With which literary character do you most relate? Which literary character would you most like to invite for tea/coffee? What would you ask him/her? What do you think you could teach him/her?
I can’t find it now, but I remember reading an article on HuffPost about a year ago describing how women prefer angry, bitchy, hard, difficult, emasculating – frankly, awful – female characters. According to this article, modern women (I don’t recall the specific demographics) despise likeable characters. Now, it’s just common sense that even the strongest protagonist must have a flaw or a foible – perhaps a big one, if the story arc allows for such a character trait. But I, personally, also want characters to whom I can relate.
Though not a smoker, I could relate to schleppy Bridget Jones. Though neither a witch, a resident of Oz, nor a woman with a green patina, I could relate to Elphaba’s good intentions and unintended ostracization in Wicked. I’m not sure how likeable either was – but to me, at least, they were relatable.
I’m not much for favorite characters, or rereading a book again and again. I don’t care for series – never having made it past the third book in any series, going all the way back to my junior high days and the Joan Lingard “Kevin and Sadie” series about a Catholic boy and a Protestant girl growing up in Ireland. I suppose it’s that I prefer to learn something new, see a new place, and/or meet new characters, rather than reading volume after volume of a continuing saga.
Childhood favorites include The Little Prince and Harold and the Purple Crayon. My sister asked me yesterday, “Why Harold? He doesn’t really do anything, and nothing happens to him.”
“He can draw anything and go anywhere he imagines!” came my strident response.
“Oh, right. If he can picture it, he can bring it to life with that purple crayon,” she nodded in agreement, after a few thoughtful moments.
As for whom I’d invitee to dinner or tea, the question came to me years ago, in a daily email from the inspirational author Sark. The suggestion at the time was, “Invite someone dangerous to tea.” I liked the concept so much that I even started a blog called The Dangerous Tea Party. I wrote a few posts for it, but never to the extent that I anticipated. Then, an actual dangerous Tea Party became a thing … and I let the whole idea fade mostly away. Until recently, when I was trying to come up with an icebreaker for a networking-only meeting of the Phoenix Publishing & Book Promotion Meetup. I resurrected this tea party question, and voila: today’s prompt.
So whom would I invite? Tigger, Horton (he heard a Who), Mary Poppins, Francie Nolan (from A Tree Grows in Brooklyn) and Dread Pirate Roberts (from The Princess Bride), come to mind. Lord – can you imagine a single dinner with all of them? That’s enough to get one’s imagination spinning in a hundred different directions.
I suppose if I could meet any character at all, though, it would be my own main character, Stanford Crowley. Though loosely based on a good friend, Stan has developed his own personality, over time. While I don’t think I’d much like him at first, I would love to sit with him and have him regale me with tales of his travels once he’s come back to the states. And where would this mythical meeting take place? A pub in Ireland’s County Cork, maybe. A café overlooking the Bosphorus River in Istanbul, perhaps. Or a nondescript bar in Athens – all places he visits on his trek around the world.
Please be sure to check out my next post, about how the idea for Stan came to me.
And for the record, I’d love your feedback on my Author Blog Challenge posts! And, of course, would really love to have you support all of the bloggers in the Challenge. Find their links here.
Here’s to hosting your very own Dangerous Tea Party!
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