Here below are a few words from Moira J. Moore, an author whose work I've been reviewing for a while now. She's exploring human-human interdependence using "magic" (or apparent magic) very much as I do in the Sime~Gen Universe novels, and using a setting not unlike Marion Zimmer Bradley's Darkover.
I invited her to post here because I think you should listen to what she's saying.
I would like to begin by thanking Ms. Lichtenberg for allowing me to post on her blog. I am flattered and honored to have the opportunity.
At this time of year, people’s thoughts often turn to family, and what family means is different for different people. For me, family is someone who will guard your worst secrets and most humiliating experiences. For me, family is someone you can call at three a.m. and ask to bring the bail money. And they will. And then they’ll torment you about it after, probably over a beer.
I was lucky enough to be born into a fantastic family. They know all my most embarrassing incidents from my childhood and don’t (usually) tell anyone outside the family about them. I like to hang out with my sisters, just to hang out, though we have virtually no common interests. They have all been supportive of my writing. I remember, at the age of fourteen, saying to my father that I wanted to grow up to be a writer. His reaction was to remind me that I was an Irish citizen – he was born in Ireland – and that artists didn’t pay income tax in Ireland.
I had no idea whether that was actually true, as I didn’t plan to move to Ireland, but I was well aware he was assuming that if I wanted to be a writer, then I would be. I firmly believe that if I had told him I wanted to be prime minister, his response would have been something along the lines of “Great. Which party?”
That was the family I was born into. I feel that the family created from those met over the course of one’s life can be equally important and powerful. This can include a spouse, of course, and children, but also childhood friends to whom one is still close, and people met in school, work, social circles, etc. All of these experiences provide ample opportunities to humiliate and to prove oneself.
I believe it takes time, or a hellish experience, to create a new family. I have been granted what I call “instant closeness,” situations when people I felt I barely knew were telling me their secrets and inviting me to family events. Then, situations would change, and they would slide out of my life as quickly as they had slid into it.
I’d never felt compelled to tell my secrets to them. I would have never called them for help when I was in dire straits.
Others, people I have known for years, I would drop everything and go to if they needed me, and I believe they would do the same for me. I’ve admitted to unworthy impulses, contrary opinions, and past failings, without feeling I had lost their respect. They are people who have trusted me with their secrets, secure in the knowledge that I wouldn’t tell anyone else. That’s family.
I enjoy reading stories where there is an instant connection between two characters, either as lovers or as friends. The whirlwind of emotion and the explosive upheaval of preconceived notions are entrancing. But, as a reader and a writer, I most enjoy relationships where the characters begin by making each other crazy and end up trusting and loving each other. Often this results in a romantic relationship, but it doesn’t have to. I find the creation of solid friendships just as pleasant to observe. I could name a dozen books and t.v. programs in which the teamwork was, to me, the most interesting part of the story.
I adore stories in which a character, used to shouldering all responsibilities or consequences alone, is shocked to find others standing there, willing to share the burden. That, to me, is the high point of any story.
I am currently writing a series referred to as the Heroes series, the first being Resenting the Hero, the most recent being Heroes Return.
Moira J. Moore on Amazon
The two main characters, Dunleavy (Lee) Mallorough and Shintaro (Taro) Karish were designed to get each others’ nerves, but due to the nature of their work, they can’t avoid each other. They quickly learn that they are both dedicated to their jobs, talented, and disciplined, and that they can trust each other with their lives. It’s what they’re going to do with each other the rest of the time that has them stumped.
Lee and Taro come from very different backgrounds. Lee enjoyed a warm, supportive family. Taro’s family was emotionally and physically abusive, contacting him only when they needed something from him. It is when Lee witnesses Taro’s interactions with his mother that she becomes rather fiercely protective of him. Her own mother’s acceptance of Taro as part of the Mallorough family overwhelms Taro and provides him with a sense of connection to others that he has lacked for most of his life.
In later books, there will be others who join the little family Lee and Taro are creating. They’ll still go through hell, but at least they won’t be going through it alone. That is family.
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