My Favorite Things Blog Tour


I participated in the Meet my Main Character Blog Tour and introduced you all to Robin last summer. This winter, I’m participating in the Favorite Things Blog Tour, led by Kylie Betzner. Please see her posts to view the other participants in the tour.

For this blog tour, each writer shares the favorite character, scene, and quote from one of his or her novels. I’ll be sharing from WORLD SONG, the literary fantasy I’ll be querying into 2015.


Robin, Gareth, and Isolde Evans are old enough to know their music won’t get them anywhere.

Except it does. Now they’re in some alternate reality bordering on twelfth-century Wales, armed with only a cello, viola, and violin.

Back in Minnesota, Robin had a sidekick name, but he was a hero. (A professional one. The kind that does weekend birthday parties and bar mitzvahs.) In 1176, he’s finally got a chance to use his tactical skills on the field. If he can get his siblings safely back to 2009, he’ll prove he’s worthy of his rented cape.

But Isolde gets mistaken for a noble, and she’s carted off to be the next queen of wherever-they-are. And if her identity is revealed, she’ll be executed as an impostor. Robin vows to save his little sister from almost certain death or marriage.

favorite character

Robin is twenty-five, Gareth is twenty-one, and Isolde is seventeen. When I started writing WORLD SONG, Gareth was my favorite character. He was the comic relief, and man, did I love him for it.

Then I kept writing. And my characters who started out as ideas and personality types became more like people, like beautifully flawed human beings.

I like easy, and Gareth is an easy character to write. He’s likable, he’s fun. Gareth started out being basically the male version of me. A snarky geek who uses humor as a cover. Same taste in music and extracurriculars. But he’s grown into his own person. Underneath the goofball exterior, Gareth is more compassionate than I’ll ever be. And though Robin would hate to admit it, Gareth is definitely the wisest of the three.

As I kept writing, I learned more about Robin and Isolde, and I grew to love them for all their issues. Robin and Isolde have been deeply affected by their father’s disappearance when they were kids, and it shows. Neither of them ever learned how to cope in a healthy way. WORLD SONG is about these two, and it’s told from both of their POVs.

I think Isolde is my favorite character of the moment. She’s like Tom in 500 Days of Summer. She kind of loses it a few times, but I never stop rooting for her. Though her story is only half of WORLD SONG, she is the one who grows the most. (Robin, he takes a while longer.)


favorite scene

My favorite scene is probably Isolde’s bath scene, but it’s full of spoilers, so here’s a short one that’s mostly dialogue. It features Gareth and Faye, the nineteen-year-old widow who takes the Evanses in once they land in the middle ages. I don’t want to give away where they are, or how they got there, so I’ll just plop you into the middle of the scene:

“You know, it is awful dark down here,” Gareth said, attempting to be charming. “Might . . . I don’t know . . . run into something accidentally.”

Faye felt a slight breeze. “Gareth, stop waving your hands about like an idiot.”

“But I can’t see anything. I’m trying to feel around for something.”

“Feel around for what? A wall? Or my skirts?”

“I don’t know what you’re talking about. Whoops!” Gareth stumbled over something unseen, and caught his fall . . . on Faye, pulling her down with him. Again. “Oh dear, I’m sorry.”

“Touch me again,” she said, shoving him out of her lap, “and I’ll remove your fingers.”

“Accident. Seriously, won’t happen again.”

“No, it will not happen again.”

Never again, thought Gareth. Unless—“Unless . . . you ask me to,” he said.


“You know, ask me to . . . to touch you.” Gareth stuck a hand into his hair. “In a desperate situation—”


“If you had somehow caught on fire, for example, and needed help. Needed someone to pat you down. Extinguish the flames.”

“Extinguish your own flame,” said Faye. “There will be no patting.”

“Right. Understood.” He blew the air out of his cheeks. “Okay then. How are we going to get out of here?”

favorite quote

It’s hard to find one quote I can pull out of context, but here’s a favorite:

“Yes, the stakes are high. I’m not saying you should tell him the truth. I’m saying vulnerability is a prerequisite in love.”

Meet my Main Character

Welcome to the Meet My Main Character Blog Tour, started by Debra Brown. I was invited by Kristin Molnar. I met Kristin via a Craigslist classified for a writer’s group. Answering that ad was perhaps the most daring thing I’ve ever done socially (I’m very introverted), and I’m so very glad I did. Meet Silas, Kristin’s MC, here.

I’m bringing in Robin McGinnis for this blog tour. He’s the protagonist of my literary fantasy, WORLD SONG.


What is the name of your character? Is he/she fictional or historical? 

Robin Evans is fictional, but some historical characters make appearances later on. Geoffrey of Monmouth, Henry II, Rosamund Clifford. Gutenberg is a friend of a friend.

When and where is the story set? 

  • St. Bernadine, Minnesota (based roughly on Cloquet) in 2009
  • Eirinon, a fantasy realm located in the Welsh/English Forest of Dean in 1176

What should we know about her/him? 

Finally, an excuse to throw in some backstory! Here’s an info dump I cut from an early query letter draft:

Ever since his dad disappeared (what kind of historian goes MIA, anyway?), 26-year-old Robin has been stunted in two ways. One, he wants to be the family hero, to the point of picking Lycra wedgies on his lunch break. Two, besides his party bookings as a Batman impersonator, his calendar and plan for the future are blank. He knows that, eventually, one of his family members will need his help. And when that day comes, he won’t let them down.

He’s a nerdy, cellist, wannabe hero. No matter how many hours he clocks in at the gym, he’s still long and lean, but he’s stronger than he looks.

His last name used to be McGinnis, but McGinnis is the last name of Terry McGinnis, who succeeds Bruce Wayne as Batman. Robin (no relation to the boy wonder) is a big fan of Batman, so it just got too weird. Now he’s Robin Evans.

Weird fact: Though he’s been a character of mine for seven years now, I never really liked Robin. He was too responsible. Too heroic. I had to get him into a fight and give him some weird quirks before I started liking him. He’s not based on Chuck Bartowski (GIF above), but I adore Chuck, so I borrowed a couple of his traits and tested them out on Robin until I really liked him. I knew if I didn’t like my protagonist, my readers probably wouldn’t, either!

What is the main conflict? What messes up his/her life? 

Robin and his brother and sister get transported to the Middle Ages a few days before their mom’s birthday. He wants to get them home as soon as possible—his mom already lost her husband, so Robin feels guilty for their disappearance, even though it wasn’t really his fault. But he doesn’t know how to get back, and then his sister is kidnapped, and his brother is sentenced to be executed… Let’s just say Robin has his work cut out for him.

What is the personal goal of the character?

Robin has a bit of a savior complex. He wants to fix everything for everybody. At best, it’s mildly annoying. At worst, it borders on obsessive behavior and illuminates some psychological issues. In terms of Robin’s personal goals, the story is a tragedy. Robin can’t save everyone. But the rest of the story is more of a comedy of errors. So together I guess that makes it a dramedy.

Is there a working title for this novel, and can we read more about it?

The working title is WORLD SONG, and it’s not ready yet for its debut. Though I do need Beta Readers! Contact me here or on Twitter (@larathelark). If/when I land an agent, I’ll post my query letter here on my blog.

When can we expect the book to be published?

I’m still writing! I have an August 2014 end date, but I’ll be editing for quite some time, and I’ll be querying Winter 2014 at the earliest. Since I’m going the traditional publishing route, I hope for a book deal in 2015, with a release in 2016 or 2017. It all depends on the market!

Next week Kylie Betzner and Nate Philbrick will be continuing the tour. Kylie writes comedic fantasy novels and connects writers to readers and resources though her blog Lit Chic. Her first novel will be coming out January 2015. I “met” Nate online, and he’s very active on Twitter and his blog Flash Flood Fiction. He is a speculative fiction writer with published and contest-winning short stories. He’s writing a novel that is in progress to query.