Guys, please give your warmest welcome to Terry!
Terry Tracy was born in Virginia, but moved around Latin America in her childhood as a military brat. She is Asian-Irish American with a German husband and a German-American daughter (who tries desperately to teach her mother German). After college Terry worked as a receptionist, then left to work for free in Honduras at an orphanage. She returned to work in a human rights organization in Washington DC, then left for Guatemala to work as a free-lance journalist. By this point, it was clear that she had developed an addiction to moving around. In denial, she jumped over the Atlantic to Cambridge, England to get a Masters in a completely irrelevant, but intriguing, subject matter: Americas in the 16th century. Upon her return she decided to join the establishment and started working for the US Government. She left her job at the State Department to take turns with her husband and become a stay-at-home parent in London. Terry has had epilepsy for over 25 years and with the extra time at home decided to write a funny, sad, strange, and moving novel about a sarcastic epileptic.
To be loved or not beloveda guest post by:Terry Tracy
Before Jane Austen published Emma she wrote in a letter “I am going to take a heroine whom no one but myself will much like.” She had recently published Pride and Prejudice and was already weary of the world's singular adoration for Elizabeth Bennett. Emma, so it seems, was crafted to be the anti-Elizabeth.
For some reason that remark stayed in the back of my mind as I wrote A GREAT PLACE for a SEIZURE. When I received my first brutal review on Amazon.com my initial reaction was horror as I scrolled down to read one verbal slash and spit after another. Then the reviewer made an observation about my main character, Mischa, that made me smile from ear to ear: “After a while the reader may wonder why anyone would bother trying to be her friend and why someone hasn't punched her in the face.” It was weird. I felt an athletic thrill in my gut, the kind that moved Mia Hamm to pull off her shirt and shout “YES!”. It was as if I had scored a goal.
I had created a character that some could love and others could hate.
Any form of art is an imitation of life. Nevertheless, I believe that any artist, be it painter, sculptor, or writer, hopes that their work comes to life in the mind's-eye of the people who experience it. After all, that's why we do it. We want to play “creator” and develop our own little world inside a frame, out of a rock, or printed on paper. To be able to create a character that someone hated so much that she wanted to hit her meant that I had elicited a real emotional reaction. While reading my novel, for those few hours, that reviewer had entered my world and she could not pretend that she left it apathetic. Others had written about how much they admired Mischa. Those comments left me feeling warm, grateful, and sometimes, truly touched. But it was that reviewer,who paid me the greatest compliment.
When we are young, running around the playground or walking down locker-lined hallways, we delude ourselves to believe that life would be great if everyone loved us. As you get older you realize that you would have to be a different person to be admired by types such as Qadaffi, Imelda Marcos, and Donald Trump. These three, though far different from each other, have one similarity. They have become archetypes of certain undesirable characteristics; cruelty, vanity, and arrogance respectively. As you mature you recognize that it's OK for people to dislike you, in fact, if everyone liked you it might be a sign that something is wrong.
So back to the question, “Does a writer want the main character to be loved or not beloved?” It probably depends on the writer, but as for me it's OK if some people love her and some people hate her. In fact, that's the way I prefer it.
Mischa Dunn's family flees Chile in the wake of the 1973 coup d'etat that installs a military dictatorship. She settles comfortably in her newly adopted country, the United States, until one day, an unexplained seizure in a library signals the beginning of her life with epilepsy. With an engaging balance of humor, insight, and sensitivity Mischa draws the reader into a vivid tale that travels across three continents over thirty years.
Terry generously provided us with one paperback an one e-copy of A Great Place for a Seizure!!!
Rules:The paperback giveaway, as well as the e-copy, is open worldwideEnds: Thursday, September 15th
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About the AuthorEvie is the Blogger behind Bookish. She enjoys reading many different genres, especially YA, Paranormal, Contemporary Fiction and Fantasy.She loves talking to authors and is always happy to welcome them for interviews, and guest posts. She also likes spreading the love for awesome books and chatting with fellow book-worms.