TV Thursday – Letter H

Highlander (1992-1998)

Duncan MacLeod is Immortal, and must live in modern society, concealing his true nature while fighting other Immortals. – IMDb

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The 100 (2014-Present)

Set 97 years after a nuclear war has destroyed civilization, when a spaceship housing humanity’s lone survivors sends 100 juvenile delinquents back to Earth in hopes of possibly re-populating the planet. – IMDb

Source: huffingtonpost.

Source: huffingtonpost.

Shows I want to check out starting with an H: Highlander: The Raven (1998-1999).

A Galaxy of Possibilities: Discussing Character Writing, Diversity, Star Wars and Fandom – Week 20: Tatiana Renkl

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Tatiana Renkl, The Sovereign Galactic Empire
SWRPG Wiki Page | Tumblr Gallery

When both the New Republic and the Sovereign Galactic Empire came back to life in early 2009, lots of brainstorming happened, including about who was interested in a leadership position. I jumped right into it. I had been on SWRPG for a little over six months and enjoyed my time there a lot. So I didn’t hesitate. Ironically I was tempted to go for Imperial leadership right away, instead of Republic. I loved the idea of writing a villain. When we distributed roles in the first imperial leadership team, I went for military leadership, having no idea of how military writing would go. This is how Tatiana Renkl was born. From the start, I pictured her as actress Karina Lombard, who had impressed me a lot in a French miniseries a few years before.

I didn’t have a problem with her being a leader, as it made sense for not only was she forty year old, but her solid background made it easy for me. She was born on Bakura, and first studied politics at university before joining the military academy because of the previous galactic war, in which she served in the Navy. An extremely dangerous and calculating woman, she earned herself the nickname – eventually becoming her call sign – ‘Kinslayer’ early in her career. She is a joy to write, despite how much of a challenge she can be when she gets to scheme and torture people.

I realized early on that while I loved writing her as a leader, anything military stressed me a lot. So when the possibility of having her take the throne as Empress, political leader instead of military, I jumped on the occasion. I briefly stopped writing her as a leader of the Sovereign Galactic Empire for a few months, but I realized that Tatiana only works for me if she is a leader. The Empire is her whole life and writing her any other way killed my muse. Thankfully, I could return her to the throne and since then her muse has gone strong again.

An important part of who she is, is a feminist. When a while ago, I read how another character mention how Tatiana had helped seeing more imperial women in the military, it made me very happy, not because I have any sway over who creates military women or whether they maintain them active, but I was glad to see it. There has been both Tatiana and another female imperial leader as part of the team since 2009, and I think that it might have also encouraged so many active female imperials, regardless of the branch.

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Tatiana is a villain in the way that imperials tend to be in the Star Wars universe and I like how devilish she can be. It makes her a very compelling character to develop. She nevertheless is someone who believes in equality between genders, doesn’t discriminate because of age, origins or orientation. As an imperial, she wants Force users to stay out of her business, though she has supported the rebuilding of an alliance with the Sith. She has no problem with slavery when it comes to alien species, in a fashion true to her allegiance. Yet, she supports education, medical research, and knows that cooperation between all branches to promote the Empire as the one and true order in the galaxy, is crucial.

She is also a leader who doesn’t hesitate to still be involved as much as she can. She still sometimes handles certain interrogations herself, or even being the one to execute a major traitor, such as the time she personally and publicly beheaded a man who attempted a coup against the imperial leadership. Having ties to many trusted people in all branches is also one of her strengths. I couldn’t write her as someone who just works behind a desk.

When I created Tatiana, she only had one daughter, and by now she has eight children. I never expected her to have so many (four sons and four daughters, including a set of twins and a set of quadruplets). Family is extremely important to her and she is very protective of them. As for her personal life, it was quite a struggle for a few years, but she eventually met a smuggler who was able to break through her carapace. Before him, she had many affairs and a few longer lasting relationships, but she wasn’t the kind to want someone with her every day. I was far from sure that Tatiana would find a long term partner, but I am glad she did, because it allowed for greater development for her and added to how I write her, giving me new insight into her personality.

  • Do your leader characters tend to lean towards a specific kind, like political, military, spiritual?
  • Does feminism influence your writing?
  • What drives your villains to be what they are?

A Galaxy of Possibilities: Discussing Character Writing, Diversity, Star Wars and Fandom – Week 19: The Deleted Imperial Files

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The Deleted Imperial Files
Tumblr Gallery

I didn’t realize that the imperial characters whose deletion I requested were either ones I never got around to write, or one who started already dead, thus appearing in dreams or flash backs. I don’t really know how it happened to be the case, but it made me pause for a moment. These deleted imperial characters are Catalina Braska, Natalia Hemeray and Syrene Verdelet.

I was surprised to even remember Natalia Hemeray because I never wrote a single in character post with her. I don’t even know which background I had given her. I knew that she was going to be Imperial Intelligence and that I used actress Julia Roberts for her – mostly because I found avatar and signature still present in my folder. I also recalled that I toyed with making her Chiss as I once made a manip of Roberts turned into a Chiss. One way or the other, I deleted her before I even wrote her. I don’t remember the details but I obviously had no real elements to make her an actual character.

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Catalina was a character I never wrote either. A friend of mine came to me to ask whether I would be interested in writing her Jedi Master’s mother. The idea sounded neat and something I didn’t do before so I accepted. I had details about her background thanks to my friend, and I first was quite looking forward to develop her as an actual character, whose image claim was Judi Dench. Yet, I eventually gave up on her before even writing her. I didn’t connect to the character and the muse for her, no matter how I wanted said muse to be alive, was just not there. I felt bad for my decision not to write her, but was grateful for my friend’s understanding.

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Syrene was also created in relation to another writer’s character(s). She was the imperial intelligence director’s deceased mother, and her husband was still alive. Syrene was a Corellian double agent during the previous galactic war, as she had come not to trust in the Empire anymore and thus decided to support the Rebellion. She eventually died during one of the conflict, shortly after giving birth to her daughter. I remember using Alyssa Milano for her, though towards the end I toyed with a couple possible other claims. While I was excited about her at first and enjoyed the flash back and “dream” threads I had with her, writing a dead character wasn’t so easy. The concept was great and I had a solid background for her, but she eventually got deleted, to make room for new characters.

  • Do some of your character ideas are so vague and fickle that they end being of no use at all?
  • How do you adjust in collaborative writing when you have to switch plans because of another writer?
  • Do you write ghost characters?

Star Wars Book Title Reveal

My upcoming book, a collection of essays about Star Wars has its official title:

A Galaxy of Possibilities:

Representation and Storytelling in Star Wars

This volume will have six chapters focusing on different aspects of Star Wars, both in the movies and in the expanded universe. For those familiar with my blog, you will recognize the title as being related to my ongoing series (A Galaxy of Possibilities: Discussing Character Writing, Diversity, Star Wars and Fandom) The choice is not innocent as these topics are also at the core of the upcoming book.

Image courtesy of hyena reality / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of hyena reality / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Stay tuned for more news in the upcoming weeks about this book, scheduled to be released for Kindle in early 2015.

And if you haven’t already done so, check out my interview with Ronovan at Lit World Interviews where I talk about my current projects, including this book!

Authors Supporting Our Troops 2015 #ASOT2015

Natacha Guyot:

Wonderful initiative!

Originally posted on Armand Rosamilia:

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Hard to believe we are only three months away from the official kickoff to the second year of Authors Supporting Our Troops. I figured now would be a good time to get everyone up to speed and explain the program again so I don’t have to spend so much time this year telling helpful people what we do and do not need to make this another successful year.

First off, we never really stopped collecting author-signed books, we just haven’t posted too much about it once the official end date of May 15th came and went. We collected 2,500 books from authors and publishers in the four months we promoted it. I think that is awesome.

Since then we’ve managed about 75 more books and sent out another shipment overseas to a soldier. the goal for 2015 is to break 3,000 books collected and shipped. We can only do that…

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TV Thursday – Letter F

The Fall (2013-Present)

A psychological thriller that examines the lives of two hunters. One is a serial killer who stalks his victims in and around Belfast and the other is a talented female Detective Superintendent from the MET who is brought in to catch him. – IMDb

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Source: IMDb.

Farscape (1999-2003)

Thrown into a distant part of the universe, an Earth astronaut finds himself part of a fugitive alien starship crew. – IMDb

Source: Wikipedia.

Source: Wikipedia.

Firefly (2002-2003)

Five hundred years in the future, a renegade crew aboard a small spacecraft tries to survive as they travel the unknown parts of the galaxy and evade warring factions as well as authority agents out to get them. – IMDb

Source: IMDb.

Source: IMDb.

My Q&A at Lit World Interviews

My Q&A at Lit World Interviews was posted yesterday (and I also included it on my Appearances page) and I am very pleased with this experience. I’d like to thank Ronovan for approaching me for this and am honored to be featured on this blog. This interview allowed me to reflect on my writing experience and my upcoming projects. Ronovan’s questions were compelling to answer and he is a joy to work with. If you don’t already follow him, you definitely should!

Photo Credit: Galymzhan Abdugalimov.

Photo Credit: Galymzhan Abdugalimov.