Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Guest - Sharon Buchbinder

Good morning! Grab a seat, I'm sure there's enough to go around. Today, we have French vanilla coffee and  Double Chocolate Muffins. Help yourself. There are no calories, lol. Our guest, author, Sharon Buchbinder, is going to talk about characters and she has an excerpt for us to enjoy.

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Writing Tropes and Archetypal Characters: The Chosen One

Almost every great myth or story involves a hero who has been chosen in some way for the adventure. It is a trope that is practically hardwired into storytellers. Some heroes are ordinary people called upon to perform extraordinary feats. In Moore, Oklahoma, there are many of these heroes. Teachers stayed with their little charges and protected them with their own bodies. Neighbors clawed through the wreckage without thinking of their own welfare to save lives. First responders travelled from all over the United States to perform their every day job, which is not ordinary to most of us. A terrible event brought out the heroic in everyone in that town.

Other heroes are born to the call. In many instances, they or their guardians do not know they are special. They may live and work in lowly occupations, cleaning stables, working as servants, or tending sheep. In these stories, there are often signs and symbols that indicate their greatness, usually overlooked by their families. Often it is a prophet or seer who has a vision and knows the child is the Chosen One.  If you'll recall the story of King David, he was the youngest of the children in his family. While Saul was still king, the Prophet Samuel was told the future king of Israel would be found in a certain family. When Samuel met with the family, and seven of the sons, the father, Jesse, told him all the male children were present. David, out tending sheep on the hillside, was not even considered significant enough to be called in for this visit from an important man. Samuel knew none of the men present were the next king, and asked if there were other children. Scoffing, Jesse said, "Well, there is our shepherd boy." 

The Chosen One theme also arises when times are bad or leaders are failing. Continuing the above story, King Saul was not doing very well. He had nightmares and appeared to be under attack from demons. Only the songs and lyrics from David's harp, which he had practiced everyday on the hillsides with the sheep, soothed the tormented King Saul. To make matters worse, the Philistines were attacking Saul and his people on a regular basis, making daily life unbearable. The worst of these enemies was a giant covered in body armor named Goliath. All of Saul's men, including three of David's brothers, ran when they saw this terrifying creature. Only David held his ground and, using the sling and a rock just as he had protected his sheep from wolves, he slew Goliath. Saul should have been thrilled. Instead, he realized David was gaining popularity. Even his daughter, Michal, fell in love with the young upstart. Saul knew David was the Chosen One and grew angry, fearful, and vengeful. Saul went from being a good king to one who ran David out of the county, consulted witches, conjured up spirits, and searched for ways to rid himself of David.  Saul turned into a villain and died on a field of battle at his own hands. I'm sure you know the rest of the tale. The shepherd poet became the poet King. From David's line came many more great heroes, heroines, and Chosen One Stories.

As a reader and as a writer, I love the idea of the Chosen One. Coming from a humble background, I can relate to the dream of overcoming obstacles and vanquishing villains.  Each story using this trope can have its own twist, restrained only by the writer's imagination. So, tell me, which story (or stories) using the Chosen One trope do you have on your list of favorites?

OBSESSION
A year after a barbaric childbirth, complete with a near-death experience and an encounter with her guardian angel, Angie Edmonds is just happy she and her son, Jake, are alive. She's finally in a good place: clean, sober, and employed as a defense attorney. But at the end of a long work day, she finds herself in a parent's worst nightmare: Jake has been kidnapped and taken across the Mexican border by a cult leader who believes the child is the "Chosen One."

Stymied by the US and Mexican legal systems, Angie is forced to ask the head of a Mexican crime syndicate for help. Much to her chagrin, she must work with Alejandro Torres, a dangerously attractive criminal and the drug lord's right-hand man. Little does she know Alejandro is an undercover federal agent, equally terrified of blowing his cover—and falling in love with her.

ISBN Print:          ISBN 978-1-61217-867-7
ISBN
Digital:       ISBN 978-1-61217-868-4

Excerpt:
“Who are you? Who is that giant? What did you say to him?”

The pony-tailed man flashed a grin, the smile reaching his sky-blue colored eyes, giving him an appealing boyish look. “The big guy’s name is Tio. I told Tio to truss Raul up like the pig he is and to bring him to Isabel Ramirez. She’ll know exactly what to do with him.”

“Who are you?”

The movie-star-handsome man stopped, bent down until he was eye-to-eye with Angie.

“I found your passport tossed onto Raul’s desk, Angela Edmonds from the U.S. of A. I like that name. You look like an angel.”

She shook her head and the street twirled. “I’m no angel.” She steadied herself on his well muscled, naked arm. Rather than creeping her out, the skin on skin contact with her rescuer reassured her that he was a real human and not an angel conjured up in fevered religious delusion and desperation.

“You sound like an American. You haven’t answered my question. What’s your name?”

“Torres.” Still holding her ID, he strode to the driver’s side of the car, hopped in and flashed a dazzling grin. “You could call me your hero because I’m taking you to see the woman who can help you find your son. My name is Alejandro Espinosa Santoyo Torres. But most people just call me Alejandro.”
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MARK YOUR CALENDARS! Obsession will be available as a FREE DOWNLOAD June 4-8, 2013! Tell your friends!

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

After working in health care delivery for years, Sharon Buchbinder became an association executive, a health care researcher, and an academic in higher education. She had it all--a terrific, supportive husband, an amazing son and a wonderful job. But that itch to write (some call it an obsession) kept beckoning her to "come on back" to writing fiction. Thanks to the kindness of family, friends, critique partners, Romance Writers of America, and Maryland Romance Writers, she is now an award-winning author published in contemporary, erotic, paranormal and romantic suspense. When not attempting to make students, colleagues, and babies laugh, she can be found herding cats, waiting on a large gray dog, fishing, dining with good friends, or writing. You can find her at www.sharonbuchbinder.com  

Paranormal Romance Guild Winner Best Mystery/Thriller, 2012
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Where Sharon Buchbinder and Obsession can be found on the Internet
Book Trailer for Obsession http://youtu.be/f1kujUWoGbk
Twitter @sbuchbinder https://twitter.com/sbuchbinder

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-- Lynda Again,
    Very interesting post. I love using archetypes and a Chosen One trope leans itself to a heroic character.

    Have a Blessed Day!

   I'm still subscribing members for my newsletter. If you'd like to join, click on the Newsletter link. For June, I'm giving away an ARC of Sara Humphreys UNDONE (Great read!)

8 comments:

Lynda K. Scott said...

Hi Sharon! Great post! Thanks for being with us today ;-)

Jacqueline Seewald said...

Sharon,

Congrats on your book's publication.
Best wishes for your success.

Sharon Buchbinder said...

Lynda, thank you for having me here today!

Sharon Buchbinder said...

Jacqueline--Thank you for your kind words. From your lips...!

Loni Lynne said...

Loved the book! Great interview! Heroes are all around us...and we might even be a hero to someone and not even know it. All it takes is a moment of kindness sometimes.

Hugs and all the best. Sharon! :)

Sharla Rae said...

Your book sounds wonderful and I enjoyed your analogy of the chosen One hero. Thanks.

Sharon Buchbinder said...

Hi Loni Lynne--Thank you for your comments. Yes, we are the heroes of our own lives, and that of others!

Sharon Buchbinder said...

Hi Sharla Rae--Thank you for your kind words. I'm glad you liked my post. :)