Friday, October 22, 2010

Teens, Trekkies, and Heroic Ideal

I remember back when I was just a reader I thought authors knew everything about their worlds and how they worked.  Naturally, authors who’ve been around know a whole lot, but I’m a brand new baby author and, let me tell you, I feel pretty stupid most of the time.  Much of what I do know I learned right here on this blog, like Theme. 
Ophelia is a Trekkie.  She’s the heroine of my YA SFR, Sugar Rush.  Why is she a Trekkie?  It all comes down to Theme.  The story’s theme is Achieving the Freedom to Live.
Ophelia and her sister are obsessed with movies.  They live in a small, isolated Alaskan town.  Movies, via a massive DVD collection, and the Internet are their windows to the world.  Ophelia’s favorite movies happen to be Star Trek.  Ophelia went to a real movie theater in the big city when she was diagnosed with diabetes at age nine and her sister has never been to one. 
This brings to mind a hilarious movie starring Eddie Murphy, Daddy Daycare.  He’s an unemployed dad who opens a daycare with a friend. (I used to be a professional childcare provider, so I loved this movie.) 

After overcoming some initial bias against male childcare providers, they begin caring for a few children.  One little boy seems to speak only gibberish.  When Eddie must hire a new dad-care provider, the new employee, a Trekkie, immediately recognizes that the little boy is speaking Klingon, a fictional language from the Star Trek universe.  Very sweet, but I was most intrigued by the little boy who constantly wears a superhero costume.  He wears the costume of a superhero, because he’s working through his fear of the new daycare situation.  A superhero fears nothing, you know.  Once the little boy learns to trust his new caregivers, he takes off the costume. 
The bad guys have Ophelia cornered like an animal in Sugar Rush.  She’s a smart girl desperate to be free, but she hasn’t figured out her own strengths or how to use them.  Like the little boy wearing the superhero costume, she clutches a Captain Janeway Christmas tree ornament (her boyfriend gave it to her) at her father’s funeral in the first half of the book.  Her courage matures over the course of the story, however, and by the last battle she’s on her own.
A hero or heroic ideal helps even an adult focus and believe in themselves.  In the story, it’s not enough for Ophelia to have a perfect grade point average.  She needs to believe herself capable. 
And that is why Ophelia is a Trekkie.
Speaking of heroes, the authors of this blog helped me believe I could achieve publication too, and here I am!  A great, big, huge THANK YOU!
Kimber An


  1. I would love to read this book! Is it scheduled for publication yet?

  2. Thank you for sharing, KimberAn. I enjoyed your post very much.

  3. Thank you, Margaret and Rowena! The book was released by Decadent a few days early. Here's the link-

  4. Thank you for the salute, but more than that, thank you for getting your book published.

    Now the trick is to make the next book have fewer flaws, and the next one after that fewer still.

    Never rest an your laurels. You can always do better. And when you're perfect at doing what others have done before -- well, invent something new nobody else can copy.

    Then sit back and watch them copy you.

    Jacqueline Lichtenberg

  5. I've bought your book and look forward to reading it.

  6. Oh, thank you, Margaret!

    Thanks again, Jacqueline.

    I've noticed it's hard to make the second book as good or better than the first and then get it out the door in a timely manner. And I understand there's a major learning curve for the author.

    But, I think some of that has to do with the way traditional publishing is set up right now. They don't want to commit to an author's stories until she's proven herself a money-maker with the first. Conseqently, the first must stand-alone so much that the author really can't leave enough meat to carry over and build on for the next story. And so the second book sags. I won't have the same excuse! Decadent, an ePublisher, has been supportive of my stories as a series from the start.

    Yeah, so, um, anytime you all want to start posting about bigger books (Sugar Rush is just under 70,000 words), multiple POV, and writing a series, please, PLEASE, just go right ahead.

  7. Many happy sales, Kimber An!

  8. Thanks, Nayu and Heather!