Independent Characters and Other Nuisances

Happy Saturday, everyone! I am off to our annual Friends of the Library book sale this morning (500,000 books all piled up, just waiting for me! And super-cheap, too). But first, a couple items. I’ve been doing research this week on 18th century fashions, and posted some of the gorgeous images on my own blog. And I’ve finally set up my own Facebook page, so “friend” me, if I haven’t already tracked you down! And I just added a Risky Regencies page yesterday, so while you’re at it come and sign on as a Fan…

And, of course, tomorrow is the Oscars. My predictions–Actress, Winslet (she is way past due!); Actor, Penn (maybe Rourke); Supporting Actress, Cruz, the only really good thing in Vicky Cristina Barcelona, except Barcelona itself (or maybe Davis–she only had one scene in Doubt, but it was an amazing one); Supporting Actor, Ledger; Picture, Slumdog Millionaire (a good movie, IMO, but not a great one, not a Best Picture for the Ages, but still the best of this lackluster line-up). And Costumes, I’m going to guess The Duchess.

Plus Hugh Jackman is the host. I would watch for that if nothing else.

Now on to today’s RR topic! A few weeks ago, Julia Justiss guest-blogged about smugglers. I’ve never written a book featuring smugglers, though I’ve thought about it. But I do love me some anti-authority characters, both as a reader and a writer (and in real-life historical figures, too!). I’m always attracted to characters who follow their own natures and hearts, even when it has the potential to get them into trouble. Who refuse to conform, to compromise their own essential characters.

At the moment, I’m wrestling with this in my WIP. It’s the first book in my “Irish trilogy” (out from Grand Central Publishing in February 2010!), set amidst the 1798 United Irishmen uprising. In this story, it’s my heroine, Eliza, who is anti-authority–despite being a countess (and thus not really “outsider,” as Megan talked about yesterday), she believes fervently in Irish independence, and has been writing “seditious” pamphlets and aiding fugitives. Back into her life comes her girlhood sweetheart, William, the gorgeous man she never forgot. But he is a major in the British Army. He sees the injustices of life in Ireland, but believes they can only be solved from the “inside,” reforming politics–not overthrowing it, as Eliza and her friends think. Neither will budge–which will prevail? (And when will they stop being stubborn and do what I tell them???)

Any which way, the dilemmas of these two strong people have me tied up in writing knots…

Who are some of your favorite anti-authority characters? (Or types–smugglers, pirates, rebels, bluestockings?). Any Oscar predictions or favorites? And now I am off to book-shop, yay! I will let you know if I make any great finds today.

About Amanda McCabe/Laurel McKee

Writer (as Amanda McCabe, Laurel McKee, Amanda Carmack), history geek, yoga enthusiast, pet owner!
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