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Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Guest Blogger Kim Howe: Living or Dead…Get in Print!

Have you been tuckerized? If not, it’s time you found a way to make it happen. A few of you may be scratching your heads, wondering what I’m talking about. Tuckerization is a long-standing literary tradition, but the problem is recognizing it when you see it!

Maybe telling you my story will help explain. My husband is a big fan of speculative fiction. When the World SF convention was in Toronto, he came home with a big smile on his face, telling me he bought me a present—then the kicker—I don’t get to find out what it is until next year. Okay, you don’t do that to little Miss Curiosity. I quizzed him endlessly, but to no avail. He’s a trial lawyer…nothing penetrates his armor!

The year goes by and I eventually forget about the present (I’m sure it was lingering in my subconscious.) One weekend, while up north at my parent’s cottage, he hands me a fantasy novel and recommends I read it. I’m like…wait a minute…I’m Ms. Suspense! But, being the trusting wife, I dig into the novel, Laura Anne Gilman’s STAYING DEAD. I enjoyed it, found the pacing strong, the characters fascinating. Then…in comes an older woman, an interesting villain…and her name is KimAnn Howe! I start laughing and realize what he has done. During an auction to support medical benefits for writers, my husband bought me a Tuckerism.

A "tuckerism" is the use of a friend's name as a character, place, equipment name, or the like in a story. The term is derived from the actions of Wilson "Bob" Tucker, who initiated this practice in SF books. For example, some of the Star Trek™ novels from Pocket Books are alleged to have names of the author's friends for minor characters.

I was so touched by his gesture. And this character—KimAnn Howe—who was supposed to show up in just one novel has turned into a strong presence in five novels! Okay, does that mean technically I’m multi-published?

Would you like to be a character in a novel? To celebrate making the final four of the American Title competition, I’m running a Kill Me Off contest. Just send me an e-mail via my website www.kjhowe.com with the phrase Kill Me Off and your name. The lucky (???) winner will have his/her namesake suffer an untimely demise in my next novel. And, no, you cannot nominate your boss or mother-in-law! J Yes, I know you won’t last five novels, but I promise to make “your death” memorable!

Here’s to Tuckerisms!


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Blogger Dylan aka Rowena said...

Oh wow, that's such a great idea and what a cool contest, to have your name featured in a novel, even if you're going to die?

Woo hoo...where do I sign up? Consider yourself emailed just as soon as I can get around to it...

But WELCOME TO SANCTUARY'S FINEST, Kim...and thanks for showing interest in us sweets, we appreciate it!

January 31, 2007 at 10:32 AM  

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