Why does Myra like oranges so much?

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I am a little stuck on Myra, so we will talk a bit more about her today.  She is extremely complex and has been one of the most satisfying characters to develop.  Her appearance indicates nothing more than weakness but that also makes her stealthy.  She can sneak up on you.  She is a hustler like Forest Whittaker in the Color of Money, completely unassuming.  She loves a man with every ounce of her soul who does not and most likely, will not love her back.  The saddest aspect of Myra is that she hangs on with this thin little string of hope to any chance that Henry might see her as something more than an nuissance.  I keep her close to me as she is one of the most emotional characters to write.

Anyhow, Myra loves oranges.  Much like Watteau’s dogs, Oranges are peppered throughout the novels, popping up here and there.  Why does Myra like oranges?  Oranges are exotic.  Their sweet smell is reminiscent of far away places that are warm and sunny.  Myra longs to break free.  She is a prisoner of her own fear, her loyalty to her father, Roman Hatfield, and as a child, her illnesses. She dreams of traveling to white beaches kissed by blue waters, of starting over in a place where nobody knows her.  She could reinvent herself.  Oranges are Myra’s dreams.  She is pivotal in each story line, much like a swing vote in an election. BUT, ultimately Myra loves oranges because Henry does.

Myra’s role shifts late in the first novel:

“Thank you, Myra,” Lucy said sweetly, “for keeping Henry company and for being such a true and loyal friend.”  Myra blushed.  “You are most welcome, Miss Martin,” she replied.  “Oh please,” Lucy interrupted, “no formalities necessary here.  Call me Lucy.  I sincerely hope that one day soon, that I may call you a friend as well.”  Myra’s cheeks turned an even deeper shade of red.  She had never boasted many friends.  In fact, she had never had a single one outside of Henry, who was always a bit fickle until now. Myra hoped that she might find joy in her newfound friendship and would find someone with whom to share her heart, just like Lucy and Henry.  She loved Henry with all her soul but she knew that she must let him go and forge a new path.  She wanted so desperately to believe what Henry had told her, that she was stronger than she knew…

The one concern with Myra’s newfound role as spy is whether or not Henry is treating her as if she were expendable.  Is he more apt to put her in situations that could cause her harm than he is with Lucy?  Ultimately their fates are my choice but most times it is as if the characters make their own decisions, I merely tell their stories…

Don’t forget our Kickstarter Campaign runs through October 24th.  Check out our new website FlyingFurnitureAdventures.

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Character Development…

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Each character in The Return of the Great Flyer is an amalgam of attributes from people I know or have met at some point in my existence.  There are bits of myself swirled in there as well.  I was thinking recently about what character of mine I identify with the strongest.  I thought about it for a few hours and went back to writing the last chapter of the book.  It took me a bit to figure it out; Henry is who I need to be but is mostly a patchwork of people I have loved very deeply.  Lucy is who I want to be.  Kind, understanding, nurturing and talented.  People can’t help but like her.  Her warm light and gentle nature is infecting.  She is the best of people with an old soul and enormous open heart.  I am definitely not Roman Hatfield; not too many sociopathic tendencies and I have no desire to overthrow anything or anyone.  I would, however, like to hypnotize a few people and trick them into doing all my housework.  I finally, after hours of analyzing, realized which character I identify with the most.  It was surprising and may be difficult to articulate to those who haven’t read the book and don’t know me very well.  Of all the characters… I am Myra.

Myra Hatfield just wants to belong somewhere.  She has nothing in common with the debutantes in her high society social circle.  Money is their only commonality.  She is a pariah because she isn’t strikingly beautiful and has different interests than those she is forced to associate with.  Myra is clever, funny and sweet.  She is also painfully awkward.  She spends most of her life in love with Henry who sees her as a nuisance.  She is the character who will surprise readers the most.  Myra has an untapped reservoir of strength and courage.  Her heart is true and she longs to do what is right and good.  The unfortunate dilemma Myra faces, is a shaky and questionable loyalty to her father.  She knows what he is planning is terribly wrong.  She loves her father as he is her only remaining relative.  He has cared for her to the best of his abilities and provided her with a quality education and a plethra of cultural experiences.  Who does she choose? Henry or her father, Roman?  One lesson to learn here is to NEVER count out Myra Hatfield!

I may not have the same issues Myra faces but I think we are kindred spirits in the way that I know what it is to feel differently than everyone else.  I occasionally have different interests in everything from films to music to my intense need to get one of those giant domestic cats.  I have odd views on religion and politics and way too often, give people the benefit of the doubt.  There are many, many Myra’s out there, searching for their tribe.  Best of luck to them all.  I am living proof that occasionally, weird pays off…

Don’t forget to check out our Flying Furniture Adventures Facebook Page  and get in on our Kickstarter Campaign ending October 24th.  Kickstarter pledges will earn you fantastic rewards like signed first edition copies of the novel, eBooks, artwork, illustrations and more.  Thank you for your support and we will keep everyone updated on the release of the first novel on paperback and digital download.

Lucy, meet Jack…Jack, meet Lucy…

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Here is another excerpt from the book where Lucy Martin meets the Union Jack for the first time.  She is surprised but quickly warms to the idea of magical flying furniture.  After all, who wouldn’t?

“Lucy! Give me your hand!” Henry shouted, grabbing her as they both jumped onto Jack’s seat.

Lucy stared wide-eyed at Henry. “What!? What in the devil is this going to do?” she pointed down toward the chair, puzzled.  Darnell was holding his jaw, struggling to get onto his feet.  Henry knew they did not have long. He straightened his hat and pushed his glasses up the bridge of his nose.  “Jack! Let’s fly!” he shouted. The great chair’s balloon exploded into the alleyway and lifted the pair upward above the adjacent buildings. Darnell stumbled backwards and cursed the pair as they flew out of his reach over the rooftops of the high street, toward the river. Lucy clung tightly to Henry as Jack struggled a bit to lift his two passengers and the bulky load of fabric for the Scotsman.

Noticeably frightened, Lucy turned to Henry, still holding tightly to his waist.  “What’s happening?” she cried. “We’re flying,” Henry replied with a chuckle.  Lucy blinked and shook her blonde head. “I know that but what is the meaning of all this?” she asked shakily as Jack hit a small pocket of wind over the Thames.

Henry smiled and patted Jack on the back. “Lucy, meet Jack.  Jack, meet Lucy,” he said nearly out of breath. He paused for moment, then placed his hand on Lucy’s shoulder.  He felt the tension in her subside. “I was in as much disbelief the first time Jack and I met.  All I have to say is that there is magic in this world, Lucy.  This is magic.  Jack found me and that changed everything,” he said holding her tightly.  He was pleased beyond measure to share this with her.  He did not like keeping secrets from those he cared for. She shivered a bit, so he opened the front of his overcoat and wrapped it around her narrow shoulders.  She smiled up at him, the skirt of her blue striped dress waving in the wind as they flew.

Lucy closed her eyes for a moment and drew a deep breath.  She opened them again and looked out over the horizon.  She could see all of London and it was marvelous.  She looked again at Henry who gave her a sweet smile. “I always knew there was magic.  I just never thought I would experience it.  Thank you, Henry, for rescuing me.  I knew you were special from the first moment we met,” she said softly then buried her head in Henry’s chest.

Follow us here on WordPress for more on Lucy’s character development and for excerpts from the first novel, The Adventures of the Flying Furniture: The Return of the Great Flyer. Don’t forget, our Kickstarter Campaign runs through October 24th.  Get GREAT rewards for your pledges like signed first edition copies of the novel, eBooks, your own Great Flyer golden pin, and original illustrations of scenes from the novel.

Henry Worthen & The Union Jack

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My husband, Ryan, created the Flying Furniture images several years ago.  They began as sketches which he refined as digital art pieces.  Everywhere we took them, people were intrigued.  With each new sketch, I grew more and more eager to give them a story.  The first of them was The Union Jack, a quirky but wise Queen Anne chair with a worn gilded finish and a large balloon of crimson and gold.  He proudly flies his namesake, the Union Jack flag, as his banner.  He is a proud sort of fellow but loyal and steadfast.  Jack enters Henry’s life at a pivotal moment.

Henry Worthen has always been without an identity.  His father was a Captain in the Royal Navy but always somewhat of a joke amongst those in London’s high society and the ranks of the British military.  Henry’s mother married a wealthy aristocrat and inserted herself into elite society, something she had coveted since being married to Henry’s father.  Henry has no desire to be a part of his mother and stepfather’s world.  He cares nothing for debutantes, fancy dress or titles.  He is a dreamer and inventor, much like his father.  He knows, in the back of his mind, that he might possibly be meant to do something extraordinary but a childhood accident left him with a slight physical handicap.  His rather progressive views on politics and social welfare make him even more of an outcast.

Enter Jack…  when a mysterious crate arrives at Henry’s dusty old clock loft, he is curious and completely caught off-guard by its contents.  Jack brings with him such magic and a connection that Henry has been desperately seeking for as long as he could remember.  Jack leads him on a quest for lost artifacts and introduces Henry to a secret world, hidden just out of sight of the normal folks that carry on with their day-to-day affairs.

In creating Henry Worthen, I did not want a traditional hero or protagonist.  He is not without flaws.  He is riddled with self-doubt, a weakness Jack must help him overcome.  He has allowed a physical handicap to make him feel unworthy of positive attention, of being proud, and of love, especially Lucy Martin’s. Henry is reminiscent of Adam Ewing in David Mitchell’s Cloud Atlas; the reluctant hero.  He is not particularly strong, more cute,fellow-next-door looking than smolderingly handsome and is a bit of a nerd.  In subsequent novels, readers can expect to see a darker side of Henry as certain secrets about his past are revealed.  I gave him life, constructing his character from bits and pieces of people I have known but also from bits and pieces of myself and my husband. He is very dear to me and felt as warm and alive as the person sitting next to me on the tube as I wrote.  He and Jack had to compliment one another but not always agree.  Jack pushes Henry’s boundaries as far as what is safe and comfortable.  He forces him to grow into a man with honor and integrity who is willing to fight for what is good and just instead of a wandering spirit, searching for some meaning behind his existence.

Anyone who knows me, knows that I am a storyteller.  Much like my late grandmother, I enjoy a good story; tales of mystery and intrigue.  I am also bad about tangents!  My husband stays irritated at me about my ability to get from point A to point B in a conversation without taking a side trip to a whole other alphabet.  I did not want straightforward relationships between the novel’s characters.  I like the tangents, the web where everyone is connected in some way to the other, whether directly or round the block three times and back again.  I am beyond excited to finally share them all with the world.  Please consider pledging to the novel’s Kickstarter Campaign through October 24th and follow Flying Furniture Adventures for more character profiles and excerpts from the first and second novels.