Armchair BEA: May 29

 || Website || Twitter Hashtag #armchairbea  || Instagram Challenges || Full Agenda ||

Today's Topics

Character ChatterIt's time to give your favorite characters some love! Characters are essential to a story, and they can make or break a book for some readers. Now's your chance to shine the spotlight on your favorite characters, or maybe your least favorite. Who's your favorite couple? What are the components of a well written character? What are you favorite or least favorite cliches associated with characters?

I'm more character-orientated than plot-orientated. That's one reasons series synch so well with me, more adventures and stories through the same character I've already gone gaga over.
I like various characters - funny and clumsy, dark and serious, morbid and sarcastic, sensible and sweet. As long as the character paints the character with that three-dimensional brush that makes them real, convincing, with interesting layers, then it works. If they are black and white villains or - worse!  - black and white heroes, then it's not going to work as well.

I never do well with favorites; as a rule, I'm an indecisive, easy-to-please, all over the place kind of gal. I'll likely never have "just one", but have to throw some of these out there as I think of them, shuddering a little because I just know I'm forgetting a few that mean something to me -

  • For stand-a-lone and group characters, of course Superman and Lex Luthor, Batman and all that.  I love Rachel Morgan from the Hollows, Jenks the pixie, Al the demon, and a lot of others, terrific series. I adore Austin Carr from the Jack Getze mysteries (funny mysteries), Darci and Ophelias teamup from the Abby and Ophelia paranormal mysteries, Pendergast from Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child, THE Rhett Butler from Gone with the Wind, Gus McCrae from Lonesome Dove, the OLD Eric from Sookie Stackhouse series (at least five books before the finish), and Hercule Poirot is my favorite detective - twirling his mustache and working those little grey cells. Can't get enough of him, even if the author could! 
  •  Friend pairings/teams - Alex Delaware and Milo are addictive characters in the Jonathan Kellerman long-running series. I liked the mentor and father figure relationship for Darren Shan's Cirque Du Freak series (Between Darren and Crepsley); it had some up and down moments where I started getting a meh feeling over the older vampire, but the bond got stronger and the ending was a tragic beauty for the last book. The Man without a face had a wonderful teacher-mentor going on in the movie (movie was better), but the book was excellent too except the ending; unlike even Gibson himself said in an interview and some reviewers, I do not think there was anything yucky involved, the author was meaning something else with that strange paragraph (not wanting to go into explicit details to explain my meaning on this post, it's in the review...), but I liked their bond throughout the story.
  • For favorite romantic couple, let's top with Kate and Curran from the Kate Daniels UF series. Hilarious together, spicy, different, protective, genuine love feels coming through and not just monkeylust, their dialogue is a fascinating and enjoyable warplay.  I couldn't leave off Chess and Trouble from the Downside Ghost series, two flawed characters I just have to love.  Of course Mac and Barrons! Hope more develops with Cassie and Pritkin from the Cassie Palmer series with the new book coming out this year (sighs). I also like the M/M relationship of Magnus and Alec, my favorite characters from Cassandra Clare's Mortal Instruments series, and  Lord Crane and Stephen from the Magpie Lord Series (love those two), as well as Colton and Parker from the Timber Pack Chronicles.
Blogging Q&A
Blogging 101. All kinds of tips and tricks to get you started or keep you going. Talk about ARCs, reviewing in general, web design, etc. What blogging platform do you use? How do you network? What are some of your favorite web designs? Or maybe you want to talk about your own blogging journey, and how you got to where you are now. Either way, we want you to share your knowledge with the rest of the community!

I limit my ARCs  because I don't want to get overburdened. Reviewing is interesting stuff - sometimes it comes across easily, sometimes not. I think it depends on the creative muse and the book. Doesn't matte if the book is liked, loved, or hated, sometimes it's hard. I use blogger for platform and enjoy the creativity. With networking I try to spread myself around on Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, etc., but inconsistently.