Saturday, July 02, 2011

Guest Blog: Stephanie Fowers on The Classics

Stephanie Fowers is one of those fun, quirky, beautiful, talented people that you just feel blessed to know. Every time I've had the chance to hang out with her, I've come away feeling energized and like I want to go sing something or film something or dye my hair.

When I was writing Secret Sisters, I wanted to bring in a character who would appeal to a younger demographic and would be able to do some of the things that my elderly detectives couldn't. I invented the character of Eden, a fun-loving brunette with guts. I didn't realize it until later, but I had based Eden off Stephanie Fowers.

Without further ado, I bring you Eden ... er, Stephanie.

Thou Shalt not Question the Classics

It all started when I read Bram Stoker's Dracula—and that's when I started questioning the classics. It's a dangerous business. LET ME GET SOMETHING VERY STRAIGHT, I'm just as afraid of questioning the classics as you are—to do so brings down the wrath of all English teachers past. They will come down and curse you to live in a cave as an illiterate boor, forcing you to make ooh ooh noises and scratch your armpits like a monkey.

But the temptation to question was too great: I just felt really bad for Dracula. You see, Lucy sees him standing on a grave in mid-day. MID-DAY! And sure, Dracula won't crumble to dust under the heavy sun because it was the grave of a suicide and according to this book, such unholy ground keeps a vampire safe. But then I got to wondering…how did Dracula get to the grave in the first place? Was he standing there all day because he was stuck and he couldn’t get anywhere else? And how did he get off the grave after scaring Lucy?—did he have to play hot lava and jump from gravestone to unholy gravestone, giggling the whole way because he gave Lucy such a fright? It would take a lot of planning and premeditation. And really, Dracula? Was the danger worth it? What if the suicide was a frame? You were really playing with your mortality here.

And yes, I understand I shouldn't be doing this! The classics are untouchable! And even I hesitate because of the English teacher's curse...but let's talk about Raoul in the Phantom of the Opera for a second. He's kind of a whiny pansy. And I defy you to count all the times he cries in that book. Now compare him to the corpse-like Erik—who is a REAL serial killer who tortures people and is NOT dashing at all! AND can you BELIEVE how many tangents Les Miserable goes off on! I mean, Eponine's my favorite character of all time, but your tangents, Victor! No critic would let anybody today get away with that! And did you know Jane Austen's first book was self-published? Okay, so that was kind of inspiring...

But I forget myself. We know the authors of the classics walk on water; they're superhuman with no typos and pure continuity. WE ALL KNOW THAT! But what is up with the Brontë sisters? Heathcliff is NOT romantic at all! You think Edward is controlling, people? Can anyone say psychotic? I wouldn't trust Heathcliff alone with my dog—yeah, he KILLS dogs! I didn't appreciate the romantic interest in Jane Eyre either. Yeah. I said it. And now I'm paying for it. Already I feel the curse taking hold. Even now as I write, my knuckles itch to drag across the ground...and I haven't even got to Hemingway yet. You must excuse me while I go discover fire. My cave is calling. But before I leave...Shakespeare anyone?

Stephanie Fowers is the author of two books for the LDS market - Rules of Engagement and Meet Your Match.


stephanie said...

Tristi! Thanks for letting me be on your blog. I am HONORED! And I LOVE telling people there's a character like me in your book! It's nice to know there's a little of me in your heart :-)

Candymom said...

Aiyiyi! "The emperor is NOT wearing any clothes!" Are you saying that "Lord of the Flies" is NOT ennobling?
Fitzgerald (F.Scott NOT Ella :)) NOT glamorous? I am, in the words of the great bard,"too proud of you to SPEAK"...

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