The Uncial Letter: November 2017

Linda Palmer says,
“I Need a Hero.”

When starting a new book, one of the trickiest phases is figuring out the characters. Since I write in first person from the heroine/female lead’s point of view, I usually have a handle on her from the beginning. It’s the hero/male lead who challenges me. Invariably I fall back on traits I’ve learned from a lifetime of hero crushes.

I was a baby boomer. My first boyfriends were TV characters who thrived in the fifties and were way too old for me—Roy Rogers, Flash Gordon, Robin Hood, Zorro to name a few. When I began reading, fictional heroes on paper became as real as the ones on TV, thanks to my vivid imagination. Even today my inspirations are still books, TV, and movies. I gravitate to plots in the genre I write (YA/NA paranormal romance), and, yes, crush on heroes all way too young for me—Four, Dimitri Belikov, Jace Wayland, Peeta Mellark, plus so many more.

I should be embarrassed to admit this. But I’m not, because the result is me knowing exactly what kind of fictional hero I—and hopefully my readers—can love. And the best part? Every heroic attribute has a flip side that adds conflict and depth to their personalities.

For example, the first quality on my list is strength, and not just the physical kind, though there’s nothing wrong with a six-pack. In book one of my Psy Squad series, Most Wanted, hero Nikolai Zycov is a trained, physically-strong agent of the World Security League (WSL). He also has the strength of his convictions. While that’s generally a good thing, it’s not in this story because Nikolai believes that coworkers shouldn’t get involved and Kate Lawless, our heroine, is too young for him anyway. Luckily Kate possesses some great qualities of her own, in particular tenacity and sass. Poor Nikolai never has a chance. Their story takes place in a St. Louis hotel where the WSL is screening for psychics.

The second quality of a hero is confidence. Psychic High, book two in this series, features Miles Miller, who we first meet as a secondary character in book one. He is confident to the point of being cocky and, therefore, annoying as heck. Never mind that his psychic gifts are already legendary and he helped solve a case while still being tested. He still has lessons to learn, and what better teacher is there than Caleigh Dangelo, the fellow student who reluctantly takes on the challenge that is him. This story is set in Wyoming in a castle being remodeled into a high school for psychics.

My third hero quality is determination. Here and There, my November 2017 release from Uncial Press, is book three of the series. Trace Mathis is working for his dad, a stonemason helping renovate the castle. From the moment Trace lays eyes on student Erin Kelly, he is determined to meet her. She notices him right back, but only because she wonders what he’d do if he knew a ghost was standing right in front of him. Erin has secrets. Trace has some, too. Their mutual determination to keep their secrets could easily push them apart if both weren’t equally determined to make things work.

There are other hero qualities—honor, courage, compassion, and loyalty to name a few—and each has an intriguing downside. The Hurt Handler, book four in the Psy Squad series, focuses on honor and will be a 2018 Uncial release. Meanwhile, as I binge on Freeform’s Shadowhunters and crush on Jace, I also brainstorm Beating Heart, a story still inside my head. ~~Linda Palmer

* * * *

There are heroes, and then there are Heroes. We really prefer the latter, the extraordinary Heroes-with-a-capital-H, here at Uncial Press. That’s why we love Linda Palmer’s books, and hope she’ll keep on writing them. Her Hero this month is, as she says, a stonemason. Trace, who talks to ghosts, says he isn’t interested in helping the World Security League find the people on its Most Wanted list, but Erin, who sees ghosts, can’t understand why he’s so lacking in social conscience. Trouble is, they are rapidly falling in love—or would be, if they could agree on this one, vital issue. Given his determination to stay apart from the WSL—Erin calls it stubbornness—there’s not much chance the course of True Love will run smoothly. Here and There ( ISBN 978-1-60174-233-9, $3.99), at ebooksellers everywhere.

Come January, Michelle L. Levigne will be back with another Neighborlee, Ohio, story, the second in her “Growing Up Neighborlee” series. In Dorm Rats, Lanie learns that college and what comes after is far more complicated—and dangerous—than being a kid, even a kinda-sorta superhero kid, ever was.

Here in the northern hemisphere, our days are getting shorter, which gives us longer, dark evenings when curling up with a good ebook is the best way to spend your time. Of course, if you’re on the other side of the earth, start thinking beach reads and escaping the heat with—you guessed it—a good ebook.

Keep well, keep warm (or cool), and keep reading,
Star & Jude

This entry was posted on Saturday, November 18th, 2017 at 9:30 am and is filed under Coming Soon, eBook Readers, New Releases, Our Authors, Uncategorized, Uncial Letter. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

One Response to “The Uncial Letter: November 2017”

  1. Paige Says:

    Really great blog post! 🙂 I loved hearing about your hero qualities, Linda.