Meet the Characters of SINGULARITY | Harris

Our story continues. Last week we met Victory as written by Helena Hann-Basquiat for the novel  SINGULARITY. This week, we continue on this journey of learning more about this book- one character at a time until the release date August 1st. I’ve read it my dears, and it freaked me out. I highly suggest this and that’s why I’m part of this ride to give you a better insight into this glimpse of Jessica B. Real. Check out last week’s edition to learn a bit more about all of this. And remember to stay for the trailer at the end. It’s chilling.

SINGULARITY was written by Helena Hann Basquiat with Sara Litchfield, Sandy Ramsey, Lizzi Rogers, and Hannah Sears. It’s a companion piece to JESSICA, which was released last year. (It’s not required reading, but I urge you to pick it up.) Jessica B. Bell is the brain child of Helena Hann-Basquiat, but she’s somehow pushing beyond just the stretches of the imagination. She wants to be more.

SINGULARITY asks us the question:
What happens when the creation surpasses the creator? How far will Jessica go to be real? 
http://penpaperpad.com
SINGULARITY description:
An unspeakable act of violence leaves the residents of Ward C, home of a secret experiment, dead — torn apart.
There is only one survivor…A couple of years ago I started writing horror stories and Jessica was born. I had fun creating a twisted and ominous biography for her, painting a picture of some crazy hermit who lived in my basement and wrote stories on old parchment using her own blood for ink.
But she was never real. It seems that Jessica has taken on a life of her own, and so I’m going to do what I should
have done a while ago. 
I am going to kill Jessica B. Bell.
 Let us introduce you to Harris Parker. Harris is the creation of  Hannah Spears.  (My questions are in purple.)

Harris Parker

The first question that I’ll ask you, that I’m going to ask everyone– why did you decide to do SINGULARITY?

Helena and I actually discussed collaborating several times since we first “met” and when JESSICA came along, I was happy to be part of it. Same thing with SINGULARITY. I felt like I knew Jessica B. Bell in a way after following along, so it was fun to delve back into that world.

It’s definitely an interesting world to dive into. Harris is such an interesting character. So driven. What can you tell my readers about him without any spoilers?

Helena set the “parameters” of the story she was looking for and since this piece has a lot of “monsters” I wanted to do something a little different. I wanted a main character who was flawed and yet still sympathetic.
I think you pulled that off very well. Did you pattern him after anyone?

Thank you!! I didn’t necessarily pattern him after a specific person… There have been a lot of movies and fiction that focus on the crux of Harris’s story, so I think I was more inspired by that. It’s interesting how the things people fear most at a certain point in time seem to take over film and fiction.
Fear is definitely part of his process. Do you think he would’ve been so obsessed with his…research…if he hadn’t had that fear?

I don’t think so. I think Harris was definitely driven by fear. Without being spoilery–I think his was fear of loss at the base.
 That fear of loss- something we can all identify with.
Who was your character in JESSICA? And how was writing for JESSICA different than SINGULARITY?

I think Helena ended up naming my character “Mary”–the truck driver at the roadside diner. Helena just said to come up with a story for someone meeting Jessica for the first time, so it was really open ended. I think I’d been watching a bunch of Supernatural lately, too, so demons and truckstops were on the brain. With Harris, Helena needed a certain kind of story, so I had to think of what kind of character I would want to see in that situation.
I love how these stories fit together like puzzle pieces, especially with SINGULARITY. I felt like I was being led down a Jessica rabbit hole.

I did too! I read Singularity through after all the stories came together and every time I thought I had the answers, something turned what I thought on its head.
Let’s talk about you a bit as a writer. Do you tend to write horror/thrillers?

For the longest time, no. I really only started writing horror stories about two years ago. I think it was a combination of wanting to try a new genre, reading some blogs that had horror stories, and watching a bunch of TV shows with supernatural elements.
What kind of writing is more your comfort zone?

I think I’m leaning more towards character-driven “literary” stories these days. But I pretty much only wrote fantasy for YEARS. I’ve branched away from that because it was (a) TERRIBLE and (b) I was following patterns and formulas rather than creating something I really loved.
That’s important to realize about yourself. Formulaic writing doesn’t work for everyone. What kind of advice would you give to someone embarking on a collaborative project like SINGULARITY?

I think you need to trust the puppetmaster. And if you don’t–or you don’t quite see their vision–you need to ask questions to ensure you get to that point. Since I’ve worked with Helena before, I was comfortable putting my work in her hands.
Puppetmaster, I like that.
How would you describe your writing process? Do you have any writing rituals that you follow?

I usually start with character. That probably sounds like an obvious answer, but I know some writers who come up with a plot first and then fill it in. As far as rituals go: if I’m crunched for time and need to finish writing something, I listen to music that fits the mood or subject of the story.
Thank you so much Hannah for stopping by the blog and giving us a little peak into Harris.

Thanks for having me!

 

Hannah was born and raised in the land of ten-gallon hats, spurs, and endless skies. After finally relinquishing her dreams of becoming a witty archaeologist with a flair for danger or swashbuckling and drinking her way through the Caribbean, she decided to follow her third (and most realistic dream) and become a writer. She currently resides in Boston (also known as the ice planet Hoth) where she is one year away from a Master of Fine Arts degree in fiction. She can be found blogging at secondstaronther.wordpress.com and occasionally at 1:1000 (http://www.oneforonethousand.com/

Here’s the next trailer in our SINGULARITY lineup. This gives you a peak into Harris Parker’s obsession:

Add SINGULARITY to your Goodreads want to read list.

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Meet the Characters of Singularity – Victor

I have a treat for you, my dear readers. We’re getting a sneak peak into SINGULARITY. It is a spine-tingling psychological thriller, which made me turn on the lights and jump at the thing in the corner of my vision. (It was just a shadow, I’m pretty sure.) This book is greater because of the sum of its parts, or rather authors.  Written by Helena Hann Basquiat with Sara Litchfield, Sandy Ramsey, Lizzi Rogers, and Hannah Sears. It’s a companion piece to JESSICA, which was released last year. (It’s not required reading, but I urge you to pick it up.) Jessica B. Bell is the brain child of Helena Hann-Basquiat, but she’s somehow pushing beyond just the stretches of the imagination. She wants to be more.
SINGULARITY asks us the question:
What happens when the creation surpasses the creator? How far will Jessica go to be real? 
http://penpaperpad.com
SINGULARITY description:
An unspeakable act of violence leaves the residents of Ward C, home of a secret experiment, dead — torn apart.
There is only one survivor…A couple of years ago I started writing horror stories and Jessica was born. I had fun creating a twisted and
ominous biography for her, painting a picture of some crazy hermit who lived in my basement and wrote stories
on old parchment using her own blood for ink.
But she was never real.It seems that Jessica has taken on a life of her own, and so I’m going to do what I should have done a while ago.I am going to kill Jessica B. Bell.
Leading up to the release date of August 1st, we’re going to be introduced to a different character each Tuesday with a trailer at the end for that character. We won’t be going into great detail, frankly, because I want you to read it. I don’t want to spoil it for you, so these interviews will be spoiler-free. Enough of an intro, let’s get into this.
Let us introduce you to Victor. Victor sprang from Helena Hann-Basquiat, the pen name of Ken whom  you’ve met before. (My questions are in purple.)
http://penpaperpad.com

 

Let’s discuss Victor first. What was your inspiration for his character?

Well, there are so many references to Frankenstein in the book, I thought I might as well just write one story that just smacked that right in the face. The whole creator and their creation is pretty much the theme of the novellas a whole.

I didn’t realize Victor was such a tragic figure initially. I had wondered why he didn’t talk to Mary about what he was doing in the basement.

Well, that’s the thing, isn’t it — sometimes our secrets are all we have — including secrets we keep from ourselves.
When I was reading about Victor, he seemed like a brilliant man obsessed. What can you tell us about him without giving too much away?

Well, Victor’s sort of the cliché of his own story — he’s the mad scientist who knows better than everybody else. Like his namesake, he wants to create life — and in order to create, he must first destroy. But he’s a timid man, and so when he finds an unlikely accomplice, he seems to find the courage to carry out his horrid experiments. But then, the twist…
                There’s always the twist.
I always wonder about people who let their ambitions and desires drive them that much. Is he the ruler of his desires, or do his desires rule him?

Does the body rule the mind or does the mind rule the body?
 And without a spoiler, but rather a teaser… who created whom?

I wanted to know how did SINGULARITY come to be? 

After JESSICA was such a success (and a very rewarding experience) I knew I wanted to do it again. I didn’t know that what I’d be writing was another Jessica story to be honest — I had another idea altogether and then somehow or other it got scrapped. But I’d already approached seven writers — three of whom ended up dropping out of the project for one reason or another — about writing something collaboratively. I’d been wanting to work with Sara ever since I read her novel The Night Butterflies, and Hannah is one of my favourite writers, and adds a lot of colour to my work.

I’d helped Sandy edit a story a while back, and there was a good connection there, and I knew that she could bring something to the table. And Lizzi — well, Lizzi’s the excitement. She will help grow an idea, or tell you when it needs to be squashed. And her writing is visceral.

So, in the end, we were 5 writers, and once I had the idea (interestingly enough, sparked by one of the writers who dropped out) it was just a matter of bringing their characters to life within the greater whole. You’ve never read anything like Singularity, I guarantee it. The stories themselves are standalone tales, and could exist outside of the context of the novel — and yet, they are so fantastical that they certainly belong to the world that the novel exists in.

And that my dear readers brought us to where we are today. Thank you so much Helena for giving us this first taste of SINGULARITY.

 
Here’s one of the thrilling trailers to SINGULARITY, an introduction to Victor.

Add SINGULARITY to your Goodreads want to read list. And be ready next week for our next character intro with Hannah Sears.

 

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#1000Speak Compassion for Survivors

For those who are left behind

It’s the 20th, so it’s time for the village to think about compassion. There’s been so many devastating moments happening in the U.S. in the past couple of weeks. I’ve chosen not to talk about them on the internet. I talked with family and friends, but here I didn’t want to debate. I didn’t want to hear any negativity.

I didn’t want to hear someone blaming victims for horrendous acts against their person. The latest I read was the NRA blaming the victims of the hate-filled terrorist act at the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, SC for not having concealed weapons on their person.

Not the man who came in for an hour, worshipping with them in order to destroy the peace and fellowship with bloodshed and destruction.

But the brothers and sisters, who won’t be able to pray again. Love anymore. Hold their loved ones close.

If one of those people in that church had been carrying a gun, more people would’ve survived. 

It hurts me to hear. It feels like breathing sand. I’m not emotionally equipped to engage in conversations that have that amount of callousness. Where someone is injured, raped, humiliated, or is gone forever and it becomes that person’s fault. And as these people who’ve had their lives have been snuffed out before their time are maligned, the people who they’ve left behind have to deal with this disgusting fallout.

I don’t think I’ll ever understand this part of human nature. Is it actually human nature? I’m not sure. This tendency to blame whoever was hurt. Whoever bled. Whoever was snatched from this world into the next. Whomever was hurt the most. As though bleeding is somehow a sign of weakness. Ignoring that we all bleed the same color.

Compassion. Empathy. Caring. We need to remember that these people are people with families and loved ones. They don’t deserve to receive a backlash from people who are too concerned with discussing the politics of a situation and ignore the realities of the people.

I’m not sure if this even made sense. I’ve just had so many things weighing on my heart and this felt like a safe space to share. I want to extend my heartfelt condolences for the family and friends of:  Cynthia Hurd, 54; Susie Jackson, 87; Ethel Lance, 70; Rev. DePayne Middleton-Doctor, 49; Hon. Rev. Clementa Pinckney, 41; Tywanza Sanders, 26; Rev. Daniel Simmons Sr., 74; Rev. Sharonda Singleton, 45; Myra Thompson, 59. I hope that you and your community heals from this terrible tragedy and somehow grows stronger.

If you need more information about #1000Speak check out the video.

You can join in by writing a post about compassion or about the horrible tragedy at the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in South Carolina. You can link up your post here. We’ll also be sharing our posts with the people of Charleston:


You can also get involved by:

Join 1000 Voices Speak for Compassion on Facebook

Visit the 1000Speak blog

Follow @1000Speak on Twitter

Use the #1000Speak hashtag across social media.

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