While working on the Pangalactic Sojourner series, I realized that the main character in the first book would probably have a blog. In fact, the title of the blog is the title of the book, so it’s kind of important. It is also important because the blog is the main thing that ties the five books together.
I then had the bright idea to create this blog in real time. I’m not the first author to do this… I know of one in particular who started a blog for her Regency characters, as a kind of cutesy anachronistic thing. I loved it, but it was small and short lived.
I decided that would write my blog in real time. By the time the books come out (knock on wood I’ll get a publishing contract eventually) fans will be able to see, not a work in progress, but a blog that is fully fleshed out with posts from all the characters. Around Thanksgiving, the characters were writing about Thanksgiving. When the gunman opened fire at the movie theater in Colorado, my characters blogged about it. At the time that something major happens in the book (they start in summer 2012) there is often something mentioned in the blog.
It’s tricky because I have to keep it generic enough so that I can edit the story as much as I want and not have to extensively edit the blog as well. I also have to keep my voices straight between the five characters.
Actually, having different voices ended up making it much easier to write random blog posts. I have one character who tends to hop up on the soap box. Another is a quiet preacher who never gets too personal. One is a single Mom, and the mommy blogger in her tends to come out. Katriel, the main character of the first book, is the quirky glue that holds it all together.
On Friday, unspeakable evil happened in the real world.
The first book, The Sojourner’s Guide to the Galaxy is set in Southern Connecticut. I chose that setting because it is where I spent two years as a nanny. Many of my experiences and details of setting come from this real life experience. If I’m true to my setting, my characters would be greatly affected by Friday’s real news.
I could not possibly let my characters ignore this real-life event, and yet I hesitated because it is so horrible. I didn’t want to seem to take lightly or capitalize on tragedy.
I decided they would blog, all of them. They would treat the subject with the respect and genuine emotion they would feel if they were real people. To make sure I’m not capitalizing on it, I used tags sparingly. I also do not usually share or advertise the links to the fictional blog; it is not for the now, it is for some future time when people are reading the novels and looking for supplemental material.
Here’s what they each had to say. I’ve included the links in case anyone is very curious and would like to read it, but I do not intend to have this widely shared. It simply needs to exist, for now, for me.
Jake is the main character of Faith, the Universe, and Everything. He follows the example of my own real-life preacher from yesterday and decides not to preach about Joy even though that is typically the theme of the third Sunday in Advent.
Fanny is the main character of Mostly Harmonious. The other sojourners will not meet her until sometime in 2013.