Karina Cooper is joining us this week for "When I'm not writing"! You may know her from her Dark Mission paranormal romance series, but she's here today to celebrate the imminent release of her new series, the St. Croix Chronicles, which are historical urban fantasy. The first book, TARNISHED, comes out next week and does it ever look good! (I have my copy pre-ordered and I bet you will too after you read the description!) Please join me in welcoming Karina to the blog. She's sharing a very cool hobby with us.
Every time someone asks what I do when I'm not writing, I have to admit I laugh a little. Sort of a snort merged with a chuckle. It's nothing personal; I just have a hard time imagining what I'd do if I weren't writing. But then, I have a wide, general definition of writing: to wit, "storytelling". And I am forever storytelling.
Take, for example, the thing I do on Friday afternoons and evenings—when I am most definitely not writing. I have a standing deal with myself: whatever else I do, get at least half my pages done on a Friday, because come 3pm, I'm getting ready to go to my weekly Live-Action Roleplay game. That's right. When I'm not writing, I'm LARPing. What do I look like when I'm LARPing?
Live Action Roleplaying is, in its simplest definition, improv acting with costumes and narrative. The game I play, a White Wolf game called Changeling: the Lost. Running every Friday for nearly five years, the Chronicles of the Freehold of Brasswork Sorrows bears witness to a collection of stories, characters, villains, and costumes. Mine, shown with the blue hair, is the story of Mac—a female Ogre who began her Changeling life as an Oathbreaker, and worked her way up to lead the extremely martial and very aggressive Summer Court.
Although she doesn't take to "feminine" very well, the beauty of a game like this is that your story is colored and sometimes guided by others. When the Spring Court threw its annual Homecoming affair, Mac's friend Molly Corsair took a direct line of attack and made sure Mac showed up in a dress for the event. Though I would never have considered that my stubborn Ogre with the Southern twang bedeck herself in anything fancy, Molly's player made sure that Mac was forced to grow a little, step outside her box. And like Mac, Molly took the chance to spruce her plumage up a bit.
In the scheme of things, I'm used to writing in a vacuum. I decide what the characters do and don't do, and I have every card in my hand. In a game like a LARP, where you aren't in other people's heads, you are forced to think quickly, interact without knowing what's going on, and learn and grow in a garden where you aren't the only pretty flower around. And speaking of flowers...
Much like real life, there's trials and there are tribulations. There are people you like, people you don't. People who make you want to pound their faces in... and people whose faces you can, because the laws of Changeling society aren't the same as the laws we know. And, because what game wouldn't be complete without them, there are people who are so... kingly that they must be obeyed when they command a party to officially start.
The best part? LARP is one of those situations where it's a universal truth that all who participate look stupid. It's a fact! What we do is goofy and crazy and geeky and stupid. And the sooner everyone comes to grips with this, the crazier and more enjoyable it gets. Fun is fun, and after 13 years of LARPing in various games, I am long past the point where I worry about what other people think of me!
That might explain why, at the height of the dance competition, a bunch of total dorks all dressed up in glitz and glitter, tails and horns and paint, and forgot everything but the fun it is to dance like nobody's watching. And why one man, despite his extremely advanced age (usually showcased with a beard, but lost in previous sessions), survived the dance intact.
Only to be forced to give it everything he had... one more time.
I may not write all the time, but even when I'm not, I'm telling stories. Because that's the life that makes me happiest. And how could you not be happy watching a young man play an old man dancing his life away?
Thank you for taking the time to visit us, Karina! Such a great post. You've made me want to give LARPing a try. =)
Here's the scoop on TARNISHED:
My name is Cherry St. Croix. Society would claim that I am a well-heeled miss with an unfortunate familial reputation. They've no idea of the truth of it. In my secret world, I hunt down vagrants, thieves . . . and now, a murderer. For a monster stalks London's streets, leaving a trail of mystery and murder below the fog.
Eager for coin to fuel my infatuations, I must decide where my attentions will turn: to my daylight world, where my scientific mind sets me apart from respectable Society, or to the compelling domain of London below. Each has a man who has claimed my time as his—for good or for ill. Though as the corpses pile, and the treacherous waters of Society gossip churn, I am learning that each also has its dangers. One choice will see me cast from polite company . . . the other might just see me dead.
Karina is kindly offering one (1) copy of TARNISHED to a lucky reader!
To enter the giveaway, obey the Rafflecopter!
Ends Monday, July 2, 2012a Rafflecopter giveaway
Do you guys have suggestions for who you’d like to see featured on the blog? If so, you can make your suggestions on this page. No guarantees that your favorite authors will be able to participate but we’ll try!
Authors, would you like to visit and share with us? Please email me at jennblogs (at) gmail (dot) com and we’ll set it up!