Tuesday, April 02, 2013

A-to-Z Challenge Day 2: The Letter B


Kela Bogh
The Feud We Keep With Space
Space Corps Book 4

Last month I finished writing Seven Thunders, the story that lies at the heart of the Space Corps saga.  It's not included in the greater Space Corps sequence (partly because without it, the cycle holds at seven, much like the book's title), as it stands apart, the eye of the hurricane as it were.  The neat thing about Book 4, however, is that it's as close as anything else in Space Corps to Seven Thunders.  There are any number of parallels, including a strong emphasis on politics.  And yet there emerged something more important to it.  I began plotting The Feud We Keep With Space at the start of the millennium.  Its central location is New York City, and the main element, and the only time I've done anything like this in my fiction, is the NYPD.  Kela Bogh is second in command, although in many ways she's the real cop on duty, as her superior, Ian Kaufman, is more concerned with the way Earth interacts with the rest of the galactic community.  Now, if you were paying attention, you may hazard a guess as to something very important that happened while I was plotting this book, something incredibly relevant not only to the setting of the book but the real world as I figuring out the shape of the story.  9/11.  These things tend to happen when I'm writing.  And I invariably shape the story around my reaction.  New York is faced with a terrorist attack in Feud as well, and it shifts the course of events, and Kela is central to how everything plays out.  Her relationship with aliens is one of the defining elements of the book, and she proved continually fascinating to explore, one of my favorite characters in the entire saga.

Bill
Yoshimi and the Shadow Clan
Yoshimi Trilogy Volume 1

One of the things that defines my relationship with storytelling is an overriding belief that patterns in storytelling are a natural element writers must embrace.  You hear all the time that there are no new ideas, or at least you hear it in relation to Hollywood blockbusters, and yet what some say with derision I contend with conviction, that the best stories endure, and the best stories are informed by the whole of the tradition behind them.  I embrace the idea that parallels should and do exist.  This is one of the reasons why the character of Bill exists in the Yoshimi Trilogy.  His name is taken from Quentin Tarantino's Kill Bill, the character who appears in the title but not on film until the second volume, when the late David Carradine breathes unexpected life into him.  It was his odd romance with The Bride that was what the whole bloody story was all about.  Somehow when I came to envision the story of the orphan warrior Yoshimi, I decided that she needed a Bill, too.  Since it's my young adult adventure, a romantic subplot also seemed necessary, and since I don't write romance on a regular basis in my fiction, Yoshimi's relationship with Bill was something of a challenge for me.  They meet at the end of Shadow Clan, and things progress from there.  One of the hooks of the first volume is the news that Bill is in fact the pupil of the man who murdered Yoshimi's parents!  He runs the Shadow Clan, an offshoot of the Assassins Guild, and Yoshimi's first fights are against its members.  And quite unexpectedly, there's a tie-in between the Space Corps and Yoshimi entries today, because Bill is first encountered in New York City.  In another of the parallels in this story, his circle of friends is based on the characters in How I Met Your Mother.

***

I intended to do this last year, but better late than never.  Yesterday was opening day in baseball.  I've got a core of four teams I follow.  The first is the Boston Red Sox.  I come from New England, the heart of Red Sox Nation.  If I didn't follow them I would probably be tarred and feathered.  I also follow the Oakland Athletics, have ever since childhood, when Tony La Russa managed a team that looked like all stars.  I followed La Russa and Mark McGwire to the St. Louis Cardinals.  And I followed Albert Pujols to the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim.

Let's see how they did!

The Red Sox beat the Yankees!  Great start to the season, although this is very much another rebuilding year after the disaster that was last season.  Fingers perpetually crossed!

The Cardinals lost their opener.

The Angels won their first game.  Last year's rookie sensation Mike Trout had his first opening day in the big leagues.  He went 1 for 6.  Pujols, who had a wobbly first season in the American League last year, went 1 for 4.  I'll be tracking both of them throughout the season.

The A's lost their opener.   

14 comments:

Cygnus said...

If the HIMYM parallel to Bill is Neil Patrick Harris, I could make an absolutely taste -- wait for it -- less Barney-related joke about David Carradine's untimely demise. But I won't.

Jay Noel said...

Sounds like an interesting series. In my current project, I too have a Shadow "Clan" of assassins, but mine are based on the Yamabushi warrior monks in my alternative history.

I think it's interesting how you draw from TV and movie characters too. I can't do that at all! It's mess me up.

Nigel Mitchell said...

I like the idea of a "Bill" character. His dynamic with the Bride was very complex and unique. Not your typical romance. They weren't friends, but not enemies, either. And yet they were friends and also enemies. The definition of a love/hate relationship. Sounds like your trilogy is going to be richer for it

Tony Laplume said...

Cygnus, rest assured Bill is not Barney Stinson. That honor falls to a dude named Salvatore Bono. Though if Bill had had such an honor, it would have definitely made him legendary.

Jay, I can't help it. I absorb material from everything I experience. Though I don't think the IRS has a "write off everything" option...

Nigel, my Bill has that kind of relationship throughout the second and third volumes. I guess it just goes with the name.

Michael Abayomi said...

Bill (from Kill Bill) is one of my favorite movie bad guys. It's refreshing to know that you also base some of your characters, and the relationships between them, on material from existing books, movies, television etc

Tony Laplume said...

Thanks, Michael. Great minds think alike!

The Armchair Squid said...

You're a baseball fan! The Orioles are my team. They won their opener today.

Tony Laplume said...

Absolutely I am!

mshatch said...

yay for those Red Sox!

Spacerguy said...

Great B choice. The eye move in Kill Bill left me reeling!

Tony Laplume said...

The Sox always seem to win that first game. It's keeping the momentum that always proves a problem!

What, where Daryl Hannah gets her eye plucked out? But she looks so good with an eyepatch!

MOCK! said...

The Red Sox beat the Yankees!

Undefeated, baby!!!

Tony Laplume said...

We shall endeavor to keep it that way at least in the Yankees series this season. We've done well with that since 2004.

The Armchair Squid said...

O's are undefeated so far!

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