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Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Will You Identify With These (Prime) Characters?

Today I'm delighted to welcome author Dan O'Brien to my blog. His new book, first in a new series, is about to come out. It's called Sixth Prime and... well, it's sci-fi, mystery, galactic war, and... well, and something different, plus that interesting question, are you Prime? So, over to Dan, and thank you for visiting my blog.

When I started writing Sixth Prime, I decided early on to do something very deliberate: I would make half the main characters female; I would make sure the personalities better reflected the myriad of the human experience; and I would describe characters without using skin color or any physical identifiers.
You might be wondering: what exactly is the point of that?
Women represent half the population
I would be remiss if I ignored the statistics right in front of me. 82% of readers are female, so why wouldn't you include female characters when so many readers are women. I don't mean the traditional roles of queens and romantic interests; I'm talking about adventurers and villains, scientists and soldiers, and everything in between. The goal should be to tell the best possible story. I waited until I had outlined everything, and then randomly assigned characters as men and women (this includes romantic relationships as well, so buckle your seatbelts).
Personality guides behavior and decision-making.
I went to graduate school for psychology, and as such I've always had a fascination with why people do what they do. This, naturally, translated into thinking about how I could smuggle personality psychology into a narrative. The Prime saga, beginning with Sixth Prime, is an attempt to do just that. I wanted readers to feel like they were represented by one of the characters in such a way that the decisions and consequences felt more real to them.
The reader should decide how the characters look.  
I know it's a long shot, but maybe (just maybe) the Prime Saga becomes a movie or limited series. I bring this up because nothing is worse than people arguing how characters should look or the kinds of actors or actresses who should play them. Really, even if an adaptation is not in order, I love the idea of people coming to their own conclusions about how a character should look based on their choices, personality, and behavior. I want the characters to be defined by how they make readers feel; I want a reader to be able to see themselves in the character and as the character.
 I agree with you Dan. Even when the author tells me what a character looks like, I still frequently end up with an entirely different image. And seeing yourself in the character is half the fun. So... reading Sixth Prime should be a lot of fun. Good luck with the release.

A war brews as a galaxy struggles to maintain a peace treaty signed in haste. The Commonwealth boasts sprawling cities built upon slums. The Sovereignty has placed the yoke of industry upon its citizens. Sixteen men and women are connected in a way they cannot yet understand. A murder of a prominent artist begins a chain of events that will ultimately determine the fate of the universe.
Only thirteen will remain.
In the end, there can be only one Prime.
Are you a Prime?

If you're looking for something to read, Dan has a really cool preview plus excerpt at I really recommend it!


It's coming soon... but you can already pre-order the Kindle version for only $2.99


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