“That Inner Furnace”

I could use a furnace right about now to melt some of the snow still on the ground here. But this post isn’t about my snow complaints. It’s about two book giveaways based on recent interviews with Charles Yallowitz and Andra Watkins, an announcement about a delayed third, and a guy who has “that inner furnace.”

If you missed the interviews with Charles and Andra, you can find them, here, here, and here. Now, ready for the winners? Let’s get to them, shall we?

Here are the first three books of Charles’s fantasy series, Legends of Windemere:

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The winners are . . .

Phillip McCollum and Kate Sparkes!!!

The winners of Andra’s historical suspense novel, To Live Forever: An Afterlife Journey of Meriwether Lewis, are . . .

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Sandra Nickel and Professor VJ Duke

Congrats, winners! Please confirm below, then email me at lmarie7b(at)gmail(dot)com to provide the email address attached to your device (Kindle; Nook; iPhone; iPad). If for some reason, you do not wish to receive the book you won or already have a copy of it, please email me and I’ll choose another winner.

As for the third book giveaway, the winner of Juliet Marillier’s Shadowfell series turned out to be a spambot (what an age we live in), so I will choose another winner in the next day or so. I’ve been remiss in doing that, because of the back-to-back interviews I’ve posted.

industrial-furnace-fireplaceNow, about that post title: ever read a quote that really resonated with you, but you didn’t know why exactly—at least not at first? The title of today’s post is a quote concerning British actor Theo James, one of the stars of the movie adaptation of Divergent, a young adult dystopian novel written by Veronica Roth. Doug Wick, one of the film’s producers, said this of James in Entertainment Weekly: “Some people have it, that inner furnace.” I’m guessing he means that elusive, movie star quality or just plain sexiness. Sara Wilkomerson, the author of the article, also mentioned, “The camera flat out loves the guy.” Both predicted great things for Theo James, who is not yet a household name here in the States.

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Theo James, the furnace guy. Watch him smolder. . . .

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That inner furnace. An intriguing notion. I can’t help wondering what characteristics that would mean for a character in a book. That’s the challenge I’m facing as I revise: how to convey my character’s inner furnace in a non-cliché way, so that a reader might say, “I flat out love this guy.” After all, there’s a huge difference between seeing an actor on screen and “seeing” a character through a book. An author has to use a frame of reference a reader can readily understand and, hopefully, find appealing. But so many qualities are subjective. What’s appealing to me might be repulsive to you. (I can only hope that’s not the case.)

I know I shouldn’t overanalyze. I have a tendency to do that. And genuine chemistry can’t really be analyzed, can it? It has to be experienced. But how to convey it??? That’s what I’m puzzling over. And staring at James’s picture above just doesn’t cut it. Guess I’ll head out to see Divergent when it opens. 😀 But getting back to “that inner furnace,” is it a particular glint in the eyes? The smile? The walk? The words? I dunno. But I’ll find out. In the meantime, feel free to share your thoughts on the subject. Is there anyone you know who has “that inner furnace”? Would that person mind traveling to the Midwest? We could use some heat here!

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Vilkomerson, Sara. “Diverge & Conquer.” Entertainment Weekly. 7 March 2014: 28-55. Print.

Theo James photo by zimbio.com. Furnace image from socatherapy.blogspot.com. Legends of Windemere and To Live Forever book covers courtesy of their respective authors.

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17 thoughts on ““That Inner Furnace”

  1. Passion can be a fleeting thing. Is is better to burn up, than fade away? (You’ll no doubt know that quote) I feel it is better to have a steady flame that can burn equally for longer, than a short conflagration that, sometimes, can burn out and leave us feeling dead cold. If your flame is too weak, it’ll be snuffed out by the first problem dumped on it, like a big log on a kindling fire. So we have to ignite ourselves and keep burning steadily, throughout our lives. How do I do it? Fundamental firelighters! I have core beliefs that will not be extinguished by anything that life throws at me. One of those core beliefs is that I can burn up anything that life throws at me. How did I get that belief? By burning up everything that life has thrown at me. What you end up with is a heap of smouldering embers that never go out and they keep your fundamentals warm in all weathers!
    Spring is on its way.

    • Is that Kurt Cobain?
      I agree that passion is fleeting at least has an ebb and flow like many other things (fame for instance). Core beliefs–yes! We have to stand for something. I’d hate to end my life in a meaningless puddle of nothing–burnt out like a used candle.

      • Neil Young. “Hey, Hey, My, My (Into the Black)” Great observations! I’ve had problems with standoffish characters and wonder why all personality types aren’t equally embraced in literature.

      • Good point, Lyn. It takes a strong writer to embrace a character readers might find difficult. Which is why Vanity Fair by William Makepeace Thackeray is a favorite of mine. Becky Sharp is annoying to the nth degree.

      • Actually, the ‘better to burn out,than fade away’ quote comes from Highlander. The Kurgan in the church scene. But I think the writer probably lifted it from elsewhere.

  2. Congratulations to all of the winners! For me the inner furnace is more about the person’s heart than their outward appearance. Sure, I could stare at Theo James all day, but as they say, looks fade. I have swooned over many characters simply by their actions. Happy Weekend!

  3. It’s often said that certain people have an aura about them. Something (unfortunately) undefinable that makes them stand out.
    In certain cases it is, yes, like a furnace. Their energy shining through. Or, conversely, there are people who exhibit a calmness, a stillness, that sets them apart in this breakneck world we live in. Or, in contrast to the furnace, there are people who are cold, and emotionless that sets them at odds with the perceived norm.
    Actually, I’ve just remembered I started off saying the quality is undefinable, so scrap those examples! 🙂

  4. We definitely need all the heat we can get, though we have temps in the 40s today. How to convey that heat in a character? Hmmm…like you I’m working on it. I think it’s a combination of what the character does, says, thinks (or doesn’t do, say, think)–and motivation–way beyond description, though that can be part of it too, even if subjective.

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