from Ginger

Character Walks

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I love Backstory!


Welcome to the Untold

First comes the story, then comes the rest of the story. Right?

Well . . . .

Ask any writer, and you are likely to hear this: no book can print everything we want to say. Sure, you as a reader can meet a handful of people and see a few exciting things happen; but do you ever wonder what was left out? Every tale comes from a brand new world, full of its own life. Who else can you meet there? What motivates them? How did their society evolve? The author knows all about it, but you may catch only a glimpse.

After you read one character’s viewpoint, count the number of other characters. It begs the question: what if you could talk to them? What questions would you ask? Imagine diving into the pages of a book, and taking a walk with someone who lives in it.

This section of my site is dedicated to books that you may have already read. If you haven’t, I hope you will soon. For my part, I have journeyed to some fantastic worlds, and now I am ready to take it to the next level. I want to go again, and interact with the people who live there — people who may not live anywhere else. Every author in this section has written a story worth telling. Now, they will give their characters chance to tell a little bit more.

Join me, as I explore other lives in distant dimensions. I am interviewing new storybook characters one post at a time. I am treated to brief tours with unbelievable scenes, all of them full of surprises. Come out for just a few minutes, and take a walk.

Vengeance is mine, saith the Captain

gingercmann : March 27, 2015 6:00 am : Characters, Mechanized Masterpieces II, Uncategorized, Xchyler

Ahab: lost, stranded, and tormented by the monster that killed his ship

with Scott E. Tarbet, author of “Nautilus Redux”

Today, I walked  for miles, treasure hunting. I was rewarded when I reached the house of a Mr. Ned Land, whose riches are in his own life story: for his life intersects with the with the lives of both Captain Nemo and Professor Arronax. I have waited long weeks to talk to Mr. Land, but every journalist wants to talk to him. They want to talk about the Nautilus and Nemo. I thought about that but . . . . No, that would have been too obvious.

I came to see Ned Land, to ask him about Captain Ahab.

Mr. Land does not like reporters, so I was careful to approach him as a friend, not as a cutthroat who would kill for a story. I prepared my questions carefully, but it was a daunting task. Sitting across from me in his own tea room, serving me crackers and cheese, was the closest living connection to the Nautilus. This was one of the men who traveled the world under the seas, in the first known submarine. I could spend weeks just completing a single interview, but for today, I focused on only two of the giant characters in his past.

It happened that Mr. Land saw the last days of a one-legged sea captain that stalked a great white giant. Yes, Ned Land met Captain Ahab himself, years after the sinking of the Pequod, and yes he was still haunted by the monstrous Moby Dick! Not many people know the story of their final days – I mean, the real story, not the one that is so often retold. Mr. Land knows. He met both the man and the monster, just as they locked together in the titanic clash that changed him forever.

Here is the transcript of my interview with him. more »

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Broken Hearts of Crystal

gingercmann : March 19, 2015 12:00 pm : Characters, J. Aurel Guay, Mechanized Masterpieces II, Xchyler

Walking aboard a spaceship with J. Aurel Guay, author of “The Princess of Jasoom”

“Until recently, I was called by the name of Mr. James Brooks”

Today, I am in a shipyard. Once again, it is the Victorian era, and once again, I am surrounded by brilliant, impossible machinery. However, unlike my walk with the con artists of The Silver Scams, I am pleased to note that I can be a female on this walk. Small favors.

I wander down the boardwalk, merely curious. It looks as if a war was waged here. There are planks of broken timber, shards of wood, and then . . .  oh, hang on, there is a young woman there, lying unconscious! Though her clothing is damaged, she is still well-dressed and attractive. I check her pulse, and she is living. She seems to be sleeping peacefully, but she has many cuts and bruises. Normally, I would help, but my tight Victorian gown with its full bustle isn’t going to give me much maneuvering room. I need to find someone to assist.

There, at the end of the dock, I see a ship under construction. At least, I think it’s a ship. It isn’t going anywhere on the ocean, that’s for sure. I stand, gazing at it, looking for a human face somewhere in the automaton construction crew. To my surprise, a ramp lowers down to my feet, inviting me to enter.

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The Golden Stores of Dr. Silvertongue

gingercmann : March 11, 2015 6:00 am : Characters, M. K. Wiseman, Mechanized Masterpieces II, Xchyler

Dr. Silvertongue can save any city from impending doom, for the right price.

Dr. Silvertongue can save any city from impending doom, for the right price.

with M. K. Wiseman, author of “The Silver Scams”

Steampunk author M. K. Wiseman, creator of  the story “The Silver Scams,” arranges a walk for me with two rather shady characters.

I have, upon this occasion, traveled all the way to Holland to speak with a most impressive gentleman who has promised to raise the country above sea level. Dr. Thomas Silvertongue, has extended to me an express invitation to tour his facilities, promising to answer any questions I might pose.

Or, that’s what I want him to think.

It bears mentioning here that I must rely on my limited knowledge of costuming in order to meet this man. Already, I am sure that I am dealing with a con artist, and I want to know for sure. I must appear as someone who would perk his interest, and not in a male-female way. He must believe me to be in a position of political power. I think I can pass for a guy, but not easily. The era of Victorian Steampunk clothing helps — there is more for me to put on, and less chance of discovery. I am hoping that Dr. Silvertongue does not care enough to notice my heavy makeup and thick overcoat. Well, anything for an adventure!

Approaching the site, I already find myself impressed. Though the building is not much to look at from the outside, there is much commotion within. Sheets of metal lie about the floor while the man himself, Dr. Silvertongue, oversees production from a makeshift office. I see he has secured a chair for me. more »

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When a body meets a body of water: Will vs. Brenda

gingercmann : March 2, 2015 8:16 pm : Books, Characters, Danielle E. Shipley, Jilted River, Toll of Another Bell, Xchyler

Brenda the Water Siren is interviewed by Will Scarlet

What does a heralded, hooded, pointy-toed Merry Man of Robin Hood’s gang have to do with an Appalachian water ghoul?

Absolutely nothing.

But that isn’t going to stop one of them from interviewing the other. Thanks to fellow author, Danielle Shipley, my water siren is out again, stalking another man. more »

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Victoria and the Ancient Evil

gingercmann : February 17, 2015 5:00 am : Characters, TC Phillips, Toll of Another Bell, Xchyler

A walk before Midnight

Ylana’s people await her at the Astronomical Clock in Prague, but so do the daimons.

with Author TC Phillips

TC Phillips, author of the story “60 Seconds to Midnight,” gave me a bone-chilling interview with his character, Victoria.

. . . or, is it his character Ylana?

To be honest, I was sure that I spoke to two young ladies during this walk. It was obvious that one body held two souls. However, the conversation was a delicate one. Not only two souls, but two worlds unite in this poor creature. She was a mess when I saw her, pale and worn. She looked to be no older than her late teens, but her eyes held centuries of pain. Abandoned by her family in our Terran reality, Victoria met Ylana inside her own head, while struggling for survival on the streets of Cardiff. Soon after that, she languished in a mental institution, fighting the pain that came from suppressing Ylana’s voice. more »

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Air, Water, Sister, Brother

gingercmann : February 16, 2015 5:00 am : Characters, Toll of Another Bell, Xchyler

Aquatus, guardian of the waters.

Aquata, guardian of waters.

Ventus, guardian of the air.

Ventus, guardian of the air.

Twin walks
at the Dawn of Time

with Jodi Milner

Author, Jodi Milner, really rocked it for me. I mean, it’s brave of another writer to let me interview a character, but Jodi made a leap of faith, and let some of my characters talk to hers.

As it happens, Ms. Milner’s story, “Breath,” graces The Toll of Another Bell, right along with my story, Jilted River. It didn’t take me long to notice that her story had a set of twins, a brother and a sister, just like my story. So as you might guess, my twins, Trystan and Wagner, were eager to interview the elemental twins, Aquata and Ventus. more »

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My Love, My Heart, My Singer

gingercmann : February 14, 2015 5:00 am : Characters, Danielle E. Shipley, Toll of Another Bell, Xchyler

A walk through Abréal


with Danielle Shipley

Author, Danielle Shipley, gave me a fascinating interview with her character, Heartsinger.

Ms. Shipley tells the story, “Reality as We Know It,” in the fantasy anthology, The Toll of Another Bell. Two companions leave a tortured life in a dream world to make a new life in the “real” world of London. The world Ms. Shipley invents is not a dull one. Abréal is a land of true dreams, where all thoughts come to life by force of will. Cruel judges rule the world, and dictate a fate to Heartsinger that is worse than death. He and his best friend spend a month, after arriving in our world, just discovering how much they need each other. more »


The “Real” Murph

gingercmann : February 13, 2015 5:00 am : Characters, Scott E. Tarbet, Toll of Another Bell, Xchyler

A walk on the roof with Dragonflyers


Murphy Hargreaves tends to show up at the turning of the tide.

and Author Scott Tarbet

Rather than “walk,” perhaps it is more appropriate to call this a “dragonflight.” Author Scott E. Tarbet told the story, “The Year of No Foals,” in the fantasy anthology, The Toll of Another Bell. This was where he introduced me to his character, Murphy Hargreaves. I begged Scott to help me get this interview. Murph captured me as soon as he was introduced. He is a “Horse Man” and a horseman. He is the kind of trainer who sleeps in the stables, personally overseeing the care of his horses. He has done that job for as long as he can remember, and he was still doing that job in Dubai, when we met on top of a high rise building. That was his work and his home, right there on the roof. more »

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Jump inside the book

gingercmann : February 13, 2015 12:30 am : Characters, News

I Love BackstoryAnnouncing: Character Walks

What if you could jump into a book, and talk with someone who is there? That’s what I’m doing in my new series, Character Walks. You’ve read the story once, from one perspective. I want to go into the books, and talk to the people in them. These authors are bravely passing the pen to their creations, letting them walk with me for awhile as I interview them. Join me for some amazing journeys to far-off lands, and some surprising talks with new characters.


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Meet Dr. Jessica

gingercmann : February 12, 2015 5:00 am : Characters, Thaxson Patterson II, Toll of Another Bell, Xchyler

Dr. Jessica: An exclusive, newly declassified interview

Dr. Jessica: An exclusive, newly declassified interview

A secret walk through the Nest

with Thaxson Patterson II

Thanks to the generosity of my fellow author, Thaxson Patterson II – and thanks, in no small part, to my security clearance – I was recently able to talk with a scientist at a top-secret research facility.

Mr. Patterson tells the story, “Life Under Research Conditions,” in the fantasy anthology, The Toll of Another Bell. In this story a created bioweapon known as Squid Panther discovers that he may not be a monster, after all. His creator is a bright, demure woman that Squid Panther calls “Dr. Jessica.” Or rather, this is one of the names that he calls her. His other name for her is “Mother.” more »

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