Hello everyone. I’m Laurel Anne Hill, award-winning author and former underground storage tank operator.
First, I want to thank Emmy Z. Madrigal (www.SweetDreamsNovel.com) for inviting me to join in the fun of this MEET MY CHARACTER BLOG TOUR. Emmy has created some imaginative characters. I’m honored to accept the challenge of following her.
Next, I’ve got a status report. My long-time work-in-progress “spirits meet steampunk” novel chugs toward the birth canal for books. One way or another, my baby’s gestation will end during the next two years. I’ve lived through major rewrites, a progression of titles, and an agent who died. And, still, my main character, Juanita, continues to demand the publication of HER story: The Engine Woman’s Light. Juanita is quite opinionated. I’ll let her speak for herself.
This is NOT the cover of Juanita’s story. It’s a scene from her vivid imagination.
My name is Juanita Elise Jame-Navarro, and I’m the main character in Laurel Anne Hill’s essentially completed novel: The Engine Woman’s Light. Please note my surname does not acknowledge my father. I don’t know who my natural Papa is or was. My dead family won’t tell me, although I visit them often at the Shadow World’s Portals. My natural Mama gave me away in 1878, shortly after my birth. I bet I would have died — even been murdered — in that asylum for unwanted people, but a kind woman helped me escape the train headed there. Ever since being rescued, I have lived in Promise, a tiny village in the southern Sierra foothills in American North California. The approximate date of my sixteenth birthday approaches. With the blessings of my ancestors and God, I plan to marry Galen, the man I love, when I turn eighteen.
I am fictional yet resent the label. I live on the pages of my story. How dare people suggest I don’t exist? Just wait until I blow up one of those horrible trains used to transport lepers, unwanted babies and other cast-off people to a big workhouse and asylum in British South California. Then you’ll see how real I can be.
Oh, don’t worry, no passengers will be aboard the train I target. Only crew heading to their next pickup location. My foster Papa says killing anyone is wrong. God will stop all the trains to that wretched institution if we have faith. I do agree life is sacred. Yet saving lives requires taking action. (Ask my author how her Mexican great-grandmother and great-great-grandmother took action during the nineteenth-century French invasion of Mexico.)
Besides, I’m a mystic traveler, which is like being a shaman in some ways but not others. I must do as my dead family requests, or I’ll soon end up buried six feet under. And they’ve requested I wreck the biggest steam locomotive that California — North, South and Baja put together — has ever seen.
As you can imagine, my intended attack won’t please American or British authorities. I’m already planning my escape. I’ll need to seek refuge in Mexico after I destroy the train. Maybe I’ll have to walk there. Maybe I’ll get lucky and find an airship willing to give me a ride. I suspect members of my little community (especially Galen) will help me destroy the train and all forty-four of us will go into hiding together. IF we can stay clear of American federalmen, British constables and the nefarious Mendoza family, I think we’ll have a good chance of crossing the Mexican border to safety.
Notice my emphasis on that big fat “if.” I do fret about danger. But, wait. If insurmountable obstacles already lurk to block my path, wouldn’t my ancestors have warned me? Maybe not though. Some of them are a bit forgetful. Hmmm…
While I ponder my potential fate, please go mark your calendars. On September 1, 2014, you’ll have the opportunity of meeting characters created by the six authors listed below. Use the links my author has provided.
And don’t forget to watch for periodic announcements regarding the availability of my own personal story. I’ll make sure my author, Laurel Anne Hill, keeps you posted.
Juanita Elise Jame-Navarro
a.k.a., “The Engine Woman”
LINKS AND BIOS OF AUTHORS WHO WILL INTRODUCE YOU TO THEIR OWN CHARACTERS ON MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 1, 2014:
Sandra Ulbrich Almazan (www.ulbrichalmazan.blogspot.com) Sandra Ulbrich Almazan started reading when she was three and only stops when she must. Although she hasn’t been writing quite that long, she did compose a very simple play in German during middle school. Her works include science fiction (Lyon’s Legacy and Twinned Universes) and fantasy (several short stories and the forthcoming Seasons’ Beginnings). She lives in the Chicago area with her husband, Eugene, and son, Alex. In her rare moments of free time, she enjoys crocheting, listening to classic rock (particularly the Beatles), and watching improv comedy.
Judith Grout (www.judithgrout.com) During my formative career years, my left brain launched me into the fun and fact-filled science of healthcare. I graduated from the University of Minnesota in 1966 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Clinical Laboratory Science. I wallowed in assorted body fluids using analytical methods such as chemistry, hematology, microbiology (my fav), among others in assorted locations across this great land. The paychecks were regular (although at times Spartan.) But I stuck to the professional grind for 40+ years, accumulated my nest egg, and retired.
Now I’ve started my second career using a liberated right brain, writing, running the gamut from freelancing to fiction. I published my debut novel, Chasing the Strawberry Moon, Hitchhiking (for girls) in February of 2014. Reading it will scratch that itch you’ve had yearning to know more about 1939, the Great Depression, the Dust Bowl, and a looming World War II. Hope to see you in the pages.
F.M. Kahren (fmkahren.blogspot.com) F.M. Kahren is the author of Brand Loyalty, his debut novel and Matt Rommel’s first adventure and Beyond the Law, Matt Rommel’s second adventure. A graduate of UC Berkeley with a degree in English, Dr. Kahren also has a masters and doctorate in business administration from the University of North Dakota and Golden Gate University respectively. He has published a number of technical articles for industry journals and is the author of Strategic Planning: The Practices of PCS Companies and the Academic Literature. In addition to serving as a Minuteman missile crew commander and missile operations staff officer, Dr. Kahren has worked extensively in the telecommunications and rail transportation industries. The latter experience allowed him to perform a number of studies in Latin America regarding privatized rail concessions for prospective concessionaires. As he sums it up: “I’ve had some interesting jobs, been fortunate in my friends and family, and managed to educate myself. I’ve traveled the miles and read the books. Now, I want to bring interesting stories to people and entertain them. The Matt Rommel adventures are just such stories. On the lighter side, he was awarded a “Dishonorable Mention” for Vile Puns in the 2007 Bulwer-Lytton contest, a venue in which the purple prose is deliberate. He lives with his family in Northern California.
L. Jagi Lamplighter (http://www.ljagilamplighter.com/) L. Jagi Lamplighter is the author of the YA fantasy: The Unexpected Enlightenment of Rachel Griffin. She is also the author of the Prospero’s Daughter series: Prospero Lost, Prospero In Hell, and Prospero Regained. She has published numerous articles on Japanese animation and appears in several short story anthologies, including Best Of Dreams Of Decadence, No Longer Dreams, Coliseum Morpheuon, Bad-Ass Faeries Anthologies (where she is also an assistant editor) and the Science Fiction Book Club’s Don’t Open This Book.
When not writing, she switches to her secret identity as wife and stay-home mom in Centreville, VA, where she lives with her dashing husband, author John C. Wright, and their four darling children, Orville, Ping-Ping Eve, Roland Wilbur, and Justinian Oberon.
Her website is: http://www.ljagilamplighter.com/
Her blog is at: http://arhyalon.livejournal.com/
On Twitter: @lampwright4
Read the first four chapters of The Unexpected Enlightenment of Rachel Griffin for free: http://www.ljagilamplighter.com/chapter-one-the-treacherous-art-of-making-friends/ The Unexpected Enlightenment of Rachel Griffin on Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/The-Unexpected-Enlightenment-Rachel-Griffin/dp/1937051870
Lauren Rhodes (http://lorenrhoads.com/writing/as-above-so-below/)
Loren Rhoads is the co-author of the novel As Above, So Below (with Brian Thomas), solo author of the memoir Wish You Were Here: Adventures in Cemetery Travel, and editor of The Haunted Mansion Project: Year Two. Two of her stories about Lorelei the succubus have been published in the anthologies Sins of the Sirens and Demon Lovers.
Denise Verrico (www.immortylrevolution.blogspot.com/) Denise Verrico is a New Jersey native, who grew up in Pennsylvania. She is the author of the Immortyl Revolution urban fantasy series soon to be reissued by Crazy Duck Press. Denise is a roller coaster fanatic and lives in Ohio with her husband, son and flock of spoiled parrots.