Archive for the ‘#metaphor’ Tag

Long-Term Metaphors   4 comments

Do you include any inside jokes or Easter eggs in your work?


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Definition, please!

I guess I wasn’t paying attention because I didn’t really know what an Easter egg is in literature. I was aware the some of my favorite authors link their books in the same universe by leaving hints of them in each book, but I didn’t really know that was a widespread practice.

And it’s not one I use deliberately.

First, my fantasy series Daermad Cycle is not in the same universe as any of my other books. It is literally in an alternative space, so I can make magic work without offending my own rationality. I think the only “Easter egg” in that series is “who killed Prince Maryn?” That question can get a little muddled from time to time, but solving that mystery matters to understanding the series.

I suspect the reason why I don’t deal in literary Easter eggs much is that metaphors are hard to manage and they can become tiresome and strained over the stretch of many books. They’re fun as a one-off, but as a long-term strategy…okay, I figured out who Jon Snow’s mother was in the first book and every time George RR Martin dropped a hint in subsequent books, I wanted to scream …. yeah, if you haven’t guessed it for the books, I’ll not ruin it for you.


Jon Dracines, a reporter for a New York newspaper, gets a mention in both Transformation Project and What If Wasn’t. You never meet him in either series (well, so far). He exists in a long-neglected WIP that may well never be published, but when I needed a reporter for Javier Chavez to reach out to, I used the character name and I am getting to a point where it might make sense for Jon to show up.

He also shows up as a reporter in What If Wasn’t series when Alan Wyngate wants to leak information about his son to the press. Maybe someday, he’ll show up as a fully-fledged character.

Recurring Themes

I use some themes repeatedly in my writings. “Objects in View” is the title to the 2nd book in the Transformation Project series. It’s a phrase that gets used pretty often by the characters. You know a character knew Jacob Delaney if you hear them say or think the phrase. Jacob Delaney’s libertarian philosophy is a throughline in the series.

What If Wasn’t is the title of a series and probably will be the title of one of the books in the series, and it’s also a philosophy I have main character Peter developing as he goes through rough times.

Individual freedom, even in a feudal society, is a consistent theme played out in different ways throughout all of my books. While my people are often surrounded by healthy communities that work together to get through challenges, I try to make the case that they are not forced to participate, but choose to do so.

Another theme that my son recently pointed out to me is that I pay homage to female empowerment outside the lines of women’s liberation. An ongoing theme in Transformation Project is “My partner is a bad-assed mercenary. Of course, I can take care of myself.” This is not necessarily because the female characters want to take care of themselves, but because their male counterparts are often dealing with other crises at other locations and therefore unavailable to protect the women they love, so their women learn to take care of themselves and to overcome the damage they experience when they physically aren’t strong enough to defend themselves from the bad guys. So, while (for example) Jazz couldn’t prevent Paul Osmowitz from raping her, she had the strength, anger, and gun skills to blow his face off later in the series. In my current WIP, she’s developing into a good backup for her bad-assed mercenary partner Shane Delaney. Meanwhile, Keri Lufgren had to shoot a man who tried to hurt her, but she doesn’t want to do that again, which causes her protective husband Alex to rise to the challenge of defending her. I like to show women as strong and capable, but still feminine. With the possible exception of the elfling Ryanna in Daermad Cycle, my female characters can only best a man if they are possessed of superior firepower, because that’s the reality I see in the world and I don’t think that diminishes my own gender in the least.

I don’t know these are Easter eggs (especially since some of them I didn’t even realize I was putting into the books), but they are themes that undergird my plots. And since I’m not going for metaphors, hopefully they stay fresh through the series. I admire writers who can deal in metaphors with panache (CS Lewis, for example), but I’m not him, so I’ll probably not leave a bunch of Easter eggs in my books, because I don’t want to become a slave to a literary technique.

Posted January 23, 2023 by aurorawatcherak in Blog Hop

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