Welcome to the first stop on the Inanimate Objects blog tour! We’ve got some great things for you: guest posts, giveaways, excerpts, giveaways, interviews, GIVEAWAYS. Did I mention giveaways?? This tour is extra special; there will also be a drawing for a final grand prize gift bag with a necklace, original art, bookmarks and other SWAG!
Today, Kendra is guest posting about writing Inanimate Objects – mortality vs. immortality and the struggle, inspiration and, ultimately, friendships she found in the characters she wrote. Please make sure you say hello!
When I began Inanimate Objects, I didn’t realize that it was, in many ways, the result of years of churning, obsessive analysis over one of the most influential books of my formative ‘coming-of-age’ period: Interview with the Vampire. I first read Interview with the Vampire at 17, having just moved from a little town in New Hampshire to the wide open desert city atmosphere of Boise, Idaho. I was a teenager from a very traditional, conservative family background and Interview with the Vampire was certainly the most lush, decadent, blackly magical thing I had ever read up to that point.
For anyone who’s read Anne Rice’s book, they know one of the major themes is that of immortality and the responsibility and curse that comes with it. It’s a theme that has fascinated me, even before reading the book, and much of that came out, years later, in Inanimate Objects, through the issues of Matilda and Elisha August.
Matilda, the mother, uses her unusually long life to dabble in the arts. It must be noted that wealth is every bit as important in her role of muse, though- she married into old money and is determined to burn through it at will. Matilda’s years give her perspective on the rise and fall of artists, musicians, writers… no mortal can last forever, and most of them will burn out long before they can make a name for themselves. She has the advantage of sticking by them through the brief stardom and casting them aside before they can dissolve into nothing. A muse is a perfect occupation for someone with wealth and a lot of time…
Elisha, the only child of Matilda and Jeremiah August, despises his long life. Despite being raised in a life of comfort and excess, he’s always longed for more direct connections, more authentic feelings than he’s found at home. He sends himself recklessly into the middle of a mortal war and meets the soldiers who become the first friends he’s ever known. For a while, his long life isn’t currency, it isn’t important. For once he’s susceptible to the same things as the rest of us… bullets, minefields, broken hearts, losing a friend. And when he walks away from the situation alone, he realizes what it really means to be immortal in a world of the fragile and war-hungry.
At the core of Inanimate Objects is the question of mortality and immortality and which is really better. Matilda loves her gifts and power and wields them selfishly. Elisha despises his power because he doesn’t like the aloneness it creates. Leonidas Bondi, the charismatic artist catalyst of the story, wishes for immortality as a tool to protect those he holds closest.
Of all of these, though, Elisha is the warm heart of the story. He’s damaged, he’s angry, he’s neither saint nor soldier and he’s desperately searching for a cure to the pain that has been inflicted on him from the long years stretching before and behind him. I spent the most time with Elisha, so it’s never a surprise when readers tell me they cried for him, they felt most for him of any of the characters. This book was written over a rocky 4 year span in my life, thanks to a major health crisis halfway through. Elisha had been my melancholy friend, searching for answers much in the way that all of us do. As my health slowly recovered, the bright, clever and seductive power of Leonidas Bondi helped me to rediscover those very traits in myself again and Leo has truly been a gift to me from whatever real-life muses exist in the world.
Sometimes writing can help us struggle through issues and sometimes it creates new ones. Working on a story with themes of immortality and mortality through a period of health problems certainly ratchets up the surreal aspect and provides a dart-board for your angry or confused questions. I’m incredibly thankful for this book, though, from a personal point of view, because after so many years of puzzling these themes and writing about them in poetry or short stories or other unfinished novels, I was able to share these thoughts, questions and tentative conclusions with others.
I hope Elisha and Matilda and Leo inspire you as much as they did me, and I hope all of us can find those moments of peace and transcendence when we see the unwieldy events in our lives become a storyline, a plot, headed towards understanding… and maybe a happy beginning of a new chapter.
Oh, right, the giveaway!
- To enter, fill out the Rafflecopter widget below
- You must be 16 years of age or older to enter
- Giveaway is open internationally
- Winner will be announced in this post after end date
- Winner has 48 hours to respond to email or forfeits their win
- Giveaway is 8/3/12 through 8/27/12 – 4 whole weeks!
About Kendra L. Saunders
Kendra L. Saunders is a 25 year old novelist, freelancer, poet, interviewer, short story writer, tea enthusiast, lover of all things English, record-shop-haunter and marketing coordinator for Spencer Hill Press. She’s won Honorable Mention in the Writer’s Digest Book Awards and is currently promoting her magic realism novel, Inanimate Objects, as well as traveling the known universes with her steampunk friends and a hot cup of tea. Her website is www.kendralsaunders.com.
*I do receive a small, monetary kickback when you purchase through these links.
Latest posts by Jennifer @ BookShelfery (see all)
- Before We Were Yours by Lisa Wingate | Book Review - 08/04/2019
- The Perfect Date – Movie Review - 05/07/2019
- Book Review: Daughters of the Lake by Wendy Webb - 02/15/2019