Six LDS Writers and A Frog

Monday, July 21, 2008

Book Stuff and Protagonists

(The date says Monday. Therfore I posted this on Monday, despite what some of you may think. Just repeat, "Monday. He posted it Monday.")

Just got back from meeting with Chris, Angie, Patrick, and Roberta, at Shadow Mountain headquarters. For those of you who haven’t been there, it’s right across from Temple Square in Salt Lake. Next door is where they are rebuilding the whole downtown mall area. I could sit in their conference room all day and watch the construction equipment work. What is it about watching other people work that is so relaxing? Apparently I’m becoming enough of a regular now that the older gentleman at the front desk recognizes me. (Hey, I’ll take whatever fleeting fame I can get!)

Anyway, the purpose of the meeting was to finalize my tour schedule, go over my school presentation, and—as a surprise—they gave me an actual dust jacket for Water Keep. Whoo hoo!
So here’s the official tour schedule. September 22 and 23rd I will be in Houston. On the 24th and 25th, I will be in Phoenix. And the 26th I will be in Portland. The following week I will be in Pleasant Hill, Ca, Roseville, CA, and Bountiful, Utah. This is still subject to a little bit of change, but if any of you are in those areas and would like to schedule an event, let me know. Also if you have contacts in the PTA in those areas, that would be much appreciated! I can’t wait. I will definitely be doing more visits during the year, so if you’ve got a great idea about where I should come, let me know.

The next thing on the agenda was my school presentation. This involved doing magic tricks in front of the whole crew, telling stories of my misspent youth, and dressing Patrick and Roberta up in capes and top hats. I have to admit the last part was pretty fun.

Still working out the details of the presentation. But I can tell you it will include this picture of yours truly and his cousin. (Okay, I’ll admit it’s a pretty goofy pic. But at least it wasn’t as bad as an author who shall remain nameless. His childhood pics were apparently so bad they were pulled, for fear of frightening small children.)

Finally I got to see my actual dust jacket today. I keep running my fingers over the embossed lettering and sighing. Not sure what the other employees in my office think about this as they are keeping a provident distance.

The last item I wanted to discuss is what makes a good protagonist. Recently I posted about the ten top movie villains and got some great feedback about what makes a good villain. It was interesting how many of the best villains are women. Kathy Bates—shudder. You liked villains that weren’t as expected. Voice of the villain seemed to be a big deal, as was believable motivation.

So what makes a good protagonist? Does he or she have to be likeable? Or do we just need to empathize with them? I’m rereading Lord Foul’s bane. The protagonist, Thomas Covenant is really kind of a jerk. I mean he rapes an innocent young woman shortly after arriving in the fantasy world. But yet, we see what has turned him into such an unlikable person. His leprosy has alienated him from people so much, that the girls’ acceptance basically breaks him.

What makes a good protagonist for you?

Oh, and also a couple more fun stops on the blog tour:

Rachelle and I floated down the Snake River. If you can't tell from my books, I've got a little thing about snakes. Hope the name isn't because of the reptiles! You can read our Q&A at Rachelle Writes

An interview with the my friend and fellow author Marsha Ward of Writer in the Pines

An interview with Jewel of Jewel's World

An interview with Dominique of The Book Vault


At 7/22/2008 7:08 PM, Blogger Jon Spell said...

You don't really say much about protagonists, do you? And you leave it till the end; maybe you should call them procrastinagonists.

I expected to hear you say that people tend to like a superlative hero/heroine, but flawed enough to be human. So, pretty, but lacking in self-confidence, or, athletic, but naive, etc. Or, like myself, amazingly brilliant, but too modest for words.

At 7/22/2008 7:16 PM, Blogger Jeff Savage said...


It was all a trick to get you to read the whole blog. Like when the news makes you wait till the end for "Why Your Toothpaste May Be Kiiling You." And then it turns out it's really only killing you if you eat three tubes a day.

Rob suggested it. He learned it in popcorn school.

At 7/23/2008 2:41 PM, Blogger Jon Spell said...

Jeff: If you happen to read this, I dropped you a note at your "marketing" address. =)


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