Hope you've all had a great weekend, and I hope you're excited for a week of awesome guest posts! JoLynne Lyon is our brave soul today, a former journalist and current PR type who writes speculative fiction. You can visit her blog where she mostly talks about her life away from her desk. She has an amazing post lined up for us, so I'll stop talking. Give it up for JoLynne!
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For most of my adult life I told my friends I hung out with Trekkies.
That was understating it.
I started watching Season Five of Next Generation with my husband before I married him. At first I watched it for love, but I was hooked years and years before I'd admit to being a Trekkie myself. I mean, we had seasons three through seven on DVD, for crying out loud.
Why keep it in the closet?
Because Trekkies were the kind of people we all saw in the conference scene of Galaxy Quest.
So how did Star Trek suck me into sci-fi? For me it was because they threw in a bone to readers of classical fiction. The writers of the remarkably successful, stone-cold-space franchise explored the nature of feeling. Conviction. Passion. Love.
They did it through characters without emotion, like Spock in the original series and Data in Next Generation. They did it through Deanna Troi, who literally felt other people's pain and—in a couple of unforgettable moments—lost her composure in spectacular ways. The latest Star Trek movie revealed that Spock did in fact have deep, explosive passions, he just hid them better than most. (In my opinion, that movie was a lot more about Spock and the nature of love than Kirk the womanizing adventurer.)
I loved it. And yet Star Trek's faithful still showed up. Somehow the writers managed to put in a plot line that suited me without derailing their tech-loving fans.
It's a technique good writers use all the time. Just about every book review on National Public Radio starts with, “It's a (insert genre title here) that reads like literary fiction.” I'm not saying all writers should be literary, but it is smart to put in elements that appeal to a different audience.
It's probably safe to say that YA fantasy writer Rick Riordon isn't literary, but he did reach out to older readers in The Red Pyramid. He explored the similarities between Memphis, Egypt and Memphis, Tennessee—and threw in a lot of Elvis lore. I'm not sure the kids recognized it, but their grandparents probably thought it was a hoot.
Which gives me an excuse to put Mark Cohn's “Walking in Memphis” video in a blog post. I've always wanted to do that!
I'm JoLynne, and I'm proud to say I'm a Trekkie. I also love to make wood-fired oven pizza, read Dean Koonz and ride my bike through the countryside. Not necessarily all at the same time.