Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Reading: Unbound Boxes Limping Gods: Samuel Merevija

Unbound Boxes
  Limping Gods:

Samuel Merevija

By Cheryl Moore

Time Line: 3996, India

My Thoughts:

I was first distracted by the Samuel personal info being as a grown it set me off to see some more of his earlier pictures. I found the last one, entitled Motherhood, unbearably sad for some reason...

One thing Moore does is elicit emotions! You can find larger versions of the pics on Cheryl's blog by clicking the title of this are linked to the individual data sheet illustrated here in upper right-hand corner... Readers are indeed entering another world when we've accepted Cheryl's invitation!

This story of Samuel is heartbreaking, especially because his father doesn't have the strength to be patient with Sam and attempt to explain his own actions toward Sam's gestures of love and his trying to understand... On his data sheet, it shows Samuel later loses quite a bit of his certainly is a hard world in which this family has found itself! 

These shorter stories do indeed force the reader to this world...we crave to know more about the books!


Question for Cheryl:

Your microstories do indeed solicit interest in your novels! How did you think, or decide, to create the short stories to merge with your art work? The stories are disconnected, but do they dwell only before your novels begin? Or do they sometimes supplement or complement what is covered in the books?
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  1. Hi Glenda, the micro stories arose out of a need to tell stories which couldn't possibly be covered in the novels. I've been writing (and drawing) for these characters since I was seventeen. I'm now thirty five. There are things which can't be told in the novels, due to the natural progression of the series. For example, the first novel is set in 4041 January 1st. The stories are seemingly disconnected, but I'm weaving them in so that once you read the novels, they will make sense. Readers are clever and make connections. (I have to be very careful not to give too much away about the novels, due to this! In fact I've had one reader come close to guessing who The Guild Master's General may be!)

    You'll notice the last micro story is set around 4037. I've written many books that are set before the first novel, Unbound Boxes Limping Gods. None of these books will ever be released. However, the first story, issue 1: Alexand Merek, is based on one of the chapters in the fledgeling novel. It was something I felt very strongly about telling and have always wanted to illustrate. Alexand has been through so much in her life, it would be a shame for readers to miss out on all of these events. Usually a character's past life is restricted to sub plot in a traditional novel. I wanted to explore alternative ways of telling a story, which is why I use illustration. We'll see if this works well with the novel, once it's eventually published. I'll leave that decision to the readers! LOL

  2. As for supplementing what's in the books, I'm careful not to tread on that territory. I can't go into too much detail because the micro stories so far, compliment the first novel. As it's not been published (seeking publication) I'm very reticent to use characters associated with anything beyond the first novel. (With the exception of Anum Anzeti, who makes his first appearance in book three, The Guild Master's General) I better not say too much about him or that book though!!! These micro stories are here primarily as a way for readers to understand my characters more thoroughly, almost like a map, or an introduction, before they potentially read the first novel. Emotionally the characters are like you and me, effectively real and therefore deserve to be understood as such. The micro stories are an experiment, but I enjoy writing and illustrating this world and sharing it with those who want to take that journey with me. Hopefully some day the first novel will be available to read too. One thing I know, is that as long as I'm able to, I'll continue writing these micro stories, to complement my novels. It has become very addictive.

  3. Cheryl, I've read a number of "prequels" and have always felt some measure of confusion as to why they are seems to me, although I could be wrong, that authors write their stories and then somewhere along the line, perhaps because individuals have asked questions about the characters or the first book in a series, that a "need" was identified to clarify what happened before that first novel. You mention that you have books written before that first novel, but will never be published...and that your microstories share things that would never be included in a novel...I guess what I'm wondering is how an author makes those decisions. I know I've read novels which were too long, and they had scenes that really weren't needed...but your scenes are so meaningful that I can't imagine why they wouldn't be important in the total story. Not sure exactly what I'm trying to say--except that sometimes there is just toooooo much information and other times there is just not enough, especially if we can't get to know the characters. How do you and have you reached that balance to chose what to put in novel versus the microstories?

  4. Hi Glenda, the novels are written to stand completely alone from the micro stories, in fact I didn't start writing the micro stories until after book five "The Woman Who Never Was" was completed. To me it's really a case of withholding a lot of information from the micro stories. I have the luxury of using many characters to tell my stories. The average book may have one or two main characters, but as you can see on the character list at I have many more than most writers and therefore can afford to spare a little in the back story department. In this sense, the micro stories can be about any character before the main timeline of the first novel. I deal mostly with their backgrounds, emotions and sub stories. An exception to this is the ongoing saga of Anastasia's abuse at the hands of Lord Ichitumbu. I took a while to decide to include this, as it is one of the issues in Unbound Boxes Limping Gods. I feel it was something that needed to be touched upon. Chantal Boudreau described the micros better than I can. She said: "It is kind of like looking through a little window and eavesdropping on their existence before someone slams the shutter quickly closed again."

  5. The novels are differently structured. I am very disciplined when it comes to their timeframe and content. I want to take the reader on a journey, for them to relate to my characters. There are no shutters, I want the reader to become caught up in what's going on as if he/she is "there". The best I can describe is that I see myself as the director of the novel. I have to choose story and characters carefully. I see the world within the novels, like our own, it has many complicated potential story-lines, but the focus is very much on Alexand and what happens to her and those around her. Unlike the micro stories, only one larger story can be told, but using multiple voices to tell it, as other main characters play key parts. The reader has to be taken on a journey as opposed to being simply teased by the micro stories. LOL

    The similarities between the micro stories and the novels are mainly that each chapter (and sub chapter) is told by the first person perspective. For example in the first novel the reader hears Alexand's voice, then Eldenath's and then Sam's. Alexand is the main focus of the novels, but the reader is introduced to the story via multiple character perspectives. (Just like in the micro stories, from the POV of characters ranging from Ancille, to Anesidor, to Heyem.)