The Man Who Sold the World

This weekend we drove down to San Francisco. It wasn’t by choice. We were supposed to split the trip with another couple, and they backed out at the last minute. And as we were required to go to San Francisco either way we looked at it, airfare was too expensive, so we decided to drive just the two of us. We’ve done the 800 mile drive enough times to have it down pretty much to an art. We take turns, one of us drives between 200-300 miles while the other climbs in the back with a couple of pillows and an eye-mask and sleeps. Usually he drives three times in the trip and I drive twice. I don’t think I usually drive much more than 180 miles or so in one leg, but it works out. We make the trip pretty quickly, usually between 10-12 hours, depending on the stops we make.

Which means that while I’m driving, I have a lot of time to simply think. Think about my writing, think about my characters, think about my plot or lines I want to have in my book, or anything, really. This trip was reserved for Guilhem.

I’m still very early on in this book. As it is, Guilhem has yet to be introduced to the main character, Alix. And as Guilhem is the main focus of the book, I doing a lot of character building for him. The more I think about him, the more complex he is becoming. It’s refreshing to work with a complex character. Buckingham was so simple, so selfish and motivated by facile ambitions. But Vitenka was extremely complex, and I’m excited to work with another character like Vitenka. I have a soft spot for tortured men. What can I say? I needed Buckingham to rid me of my love for dangerous men, which he did a pretty good job of. But tortured men still grab my heart. I can’t help it. Tall, dark, handsome, with souls ravaged like volcanic landscapes.

Actually, I’m sure I can trace this obsession of mine with ravaged (not ravishing) men. When I was eight, I read Wuthering Heights, and I fell in love with Heathcliffe. I think all girls like Heathcliffe. Of course, we would all hate him if we were Isabelle. But as Catherine, there is no better man. Heathcliffe would never touch a hair on Catherine’s body. He might pummel Isabelle (which I think he did, in the book), but never Catherine. There’s the feeling of danger with a man like Heathcliffe, a man who is undeniably troubled, like owning a pet tiger. At any point he might turn on you, but the most romantic part about being Catherine is that he never will. You can trust your soul on that.

Hence my love for troubled men.

This new book of mine, The Red Carnation, is a retelling of at least two medieval tales I’ve been able to weave together. The main story is called “The Romance of Flamenca”, and the other is called “The Romance of the Dame de Fayal”. The versions of “Dame de Fayal” I’ve read do not mention the name of the knight who is involved, so for my novel Guilhem is the knight involved with both. And it is his experiences with the Dame de Fayal that shape his character and his actions when dealing with Flamenca.

I had a blurry shape for Guilhem in my head, and we’re talking far past the shallow physical description I wrote about in my last post. So although I had a blurry shape, one particular song from a particular band whom I love a lot, a lot, a lot, brought Guilhem’s character all into focus. This song is by the very famous Nirvana, and the title of the song is “The Man Who Sold the World”. Guilhem is the man who sold the world. Of course you’ll have to read the book to find out why, but here are the lyrics that helped shape Guilhem’s character:

“The Man Who Sold the World” by Nirvana

We passed upon the stairs and spoke of where and when.

Although I wasn’t there, he said I was his friend,

Which came as a surprise. I spoke into his eyes,

I thought you died alone, a long long time ago.

Who knows? Not me. We never lost control.

Come face to face with the man who sold the world.

I laughed and shook his hand, and made my way back home.

I searched for form and land, for years and years I roamed.

I gazed a gazely stare, I walked a million hills,

I must have died alone, a long long time ago.

Who knows? Not me. We never lost control.

Come face to face with the man who sold the world.


About korastoynova

With my husband, Simeon Stoynov, I travel the world in pursuit of our dreams, of which we have many. And, thankfully, all of our dreams are within our reach. We have made sure of it. From our lives as competitive ballroom dancers, a life which has taken us around the world and back, to my struggles to becoming an author, to Simeon's love of business, we have learned what it means to sacrifice, to apply ourselves with discipline, and to enjoy the journey to success. Our lives truly are made of the stuff of dreams.
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One Response to The Man Who Sold the World

  1. Maria says:

    I didn’t realize you were blogging but found your blog after visiting your facebook today. I’m so glad you are continuing to write. In my humble opinion, you have a definite talent for it. Smiles to you my dancing neice. Maria

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