Juli has long been in love with writing, a love built by devouring everything from the Arthurian legends, to the works of Michael Moorcock, and the classics, and has a soft spot for the classic "Goths" of the 19th century in love of which she received a Bachelor's degree in literature from the University of South Florida. Her short fiction has been published in Dark Things II: Cat Crimes, The Scribing Ibis, Eternal Haunted Summer, Twisted Dreams Magazine, and Luna Station Quarterly. She also has an article and book review or two out there. But her heart lies in storytelling. She is a member of the Independent Author Network. The Artist's Inheritance is her first novel. You can visit Juli at http://julidrevezzo.com
Following Juli's post, you'll find an excerpt from her novel, so please keep reading!
The Role of Wife in Storytelling -- Rebooted
If you look at any popular television show or novel these days, the relationship between the heroine and hero always seems to be centered in the early days of their relationship, or just about the time the wife is popping out kid number three or four (or seven, or eight) while putting child number one into her prom dress and taking boy child number two to soccer practice.
In short, the wife has become a stereotype.
No matter how strong women claim they are in real life, in fiction, the strong, the fighters are relegated to the unmarried, and don’t even get me started about the women who fight with men they have their sights set on.
In the immortal words of Moon Unit Zappa, “Gag me with a spoon!”
When I look at the women who inspire me, it’s the women who can stand on their own: the Friggas and Heras, the Paksenarrions. It’s women like Queen Mary I, Mrs. Virginia Woolf and Madame Marie Curie who I consider the strongest figures out there.
Yet, pick up any fantasy novel and you’ll meet her: The quiet mother who tends to her household while her daughters and sons run rampant. Usually, the girls get married and the boys run off to save the world. On rare occasions, the girl runs off to save the world, though somehow, always in the end, she marries and leaves the job of defending the family to her husband. There are a few exceptions to that rule that come to mind but even if children don’t factor in, the wife somehow always ends up in a passive role.
And think of the horror genre. Those women—sheesh! Either they are the scream queens, or they’re the ninnies that check out the weird noise out back, even when there’s a serial killer on the loose. And did I mention they go out unarmed? No, no, no. Come on, ladies! As modern women, aren’t we all a little smarter than that?
Why can’t a woman marry, yet still nurture her warrior roots? Why must she simper and preen and worry only about her children? Why must she stand back and wring her hands while the men fight? After all, centuries ago, Celtic women picked up swords and fought hard against their enemies and demons for their families.
I had this question in mind when I sat down to write The Artist’s Inheritance. The theme of the story necessitated my character Caitlin facing some scary demons both from outside herself, and within herself. She didn’t simper in a corner and wait for her hubby to do the job; she didn’t go downstairs (or upstairs in her case) unarmed when it most counted. Like Fritz Leiber’s Conjure Wife she does what she must to nurture and defend her family.
To become the true heroine. And does she defeat those demons?
Well, I can’t tell you the whole story. You’ll have to read The Artist’s Inheritance yourself to see how it comes out. I’ll tell you what, though: it is a close call. J If you’d like to try it, The Artist’s Inheritance is available at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Smashwords, and in time for holiday gift giving, in paperback at Createspace.
Trouble only a witch can solve...
Settling into their new home, changes come over Caitlin’s husband Trevor. He’s obsessed with a beautiful chair he's carving, a passion that smacks of his familial curse. Armed with little experience of the supernatural, Caitlin must proceed with caution. If she fails to break this cycle of damnation, she’ll lose forever the one thing she loves most: Trevor.
Thank you, Karin, for having me here today. One last thing before I go: Strong women rock! ;)
Excerpt from The Artist's Inheritance
“How much will you take for these fine drawings?”
The male voice drew her attention away from Trevor’s work. A short man with black hair and a lazy eye, dressed in a pinstripe suit and straw hat, crossed the gallery to pause at Trevor’s side. “They’re your work, are they not? Are they available?”
“Yes, they’re mine,” Trevor said. “They’re not for sale. Sorry.”
Caitlin eyed the older man. Who’s this fella?
“Don’t be absurd, Trevor.” Abby Wilkins, jumped in before Caitlin could ask.
Caitlin took in his fine coat, the diamond gleaming from his ring finger. More than likely, the man could pay a fortune for the pictures. Perhaps even the chair they had stashed in the attic. Maybe they’d be rid of the stupid thing yet.
“For you, Mr. Hofter? Of course they are.”
“No, I’m sorry,” Trevor said. “They’re not for sale.”
Abby choked and pulled Trevor aside. “Are you mad, darling? Do you know who he is?”
Caitlin peered over Abby’s shoulder, seeing the man in question studying a Jeffersonian era desk. Trevor grimaced. “I can’t say I do.”
“That’s Marvin Hofter,” Mrs. Wilkins said conspiratorially.
“Who’s Marvin Hofter?” Caitlin asked.
Abby spluttered and tugged at the collar of her linen blouse. “How can you not know him?”
The name meant nothing; Caitlin could only give her a blank look. “I don’t.”
“My dear, he’s only the editor in chief of Antiques Daily.”
Now Caitlin understood why Trevor’s mentor was making such a huge deal.
Trevor touched one of the sketches, almost, Caitlin thought, as if he would protect them. “I’m sorry, no. The pictures aren’t for sale.”
Hofter pursed his lips and retrieved a card case from the pocket of his silk coat. He pulled forth an embossed business card and handed it to him. “If you change your mind, don’t hesitate to call me.” The man tipped his hat and walked away.
Caitlin kept her gaze on him. Something about him made her want to grab Trevor and move as far away as possible. Like to Siberia.
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