Blog Tour: The Trajectory of Dreams - A guest post from author Nicole Wolverton (and a giveaway too!)
CHARACTER PROFILE: LELA WHITE
A few tour stops ago on the SYTYCW review blog, I offered up a character profile of Zory Korchagin, one of the characters in my novel THE TRAJECTORY OF DREAMS. We see him through the narrator’s eyes, the eyes of Lela White. Now, Lela’s an interesting one because she’s an unreliable narrator—she has a pretty serious mental disorder. And with an unreliable narrator, who can tell if what she’s seeing is real or valid or true?
When Lela looks in the mirror, she’s see a serious woman with long, straight, dark hair and dark eyes, cute but not gorgeous, and her glasses are a prominent feature. Even though I, as the writer, had a pretty good idea of what my characters looked like, Lela always remained slightly indistinct to me. I’m pretty sure it was because with each stage of her mental disorder, her appearance shifted for me . . . probably just as it shifted for her.
If THE TRAJECTORY OF DREAMS were made into a movie tomorrow and I was forced to make a suggestion for casting, I might have a bit of a problem. So recently I’ve been thinking a bit about it. This may be an odd choice, but I’ve come to the conclusion that the perfect actress for the job is Miyam Bialik.
I’m not talking about her in an Amy Farrah Fowler/Big Bang Theory kind of a way, although Lela does have that matter-of-factness and awkwardness to her. I don’t know—Miyam seems like a natural for the role. Maybe it’s because both Miyam and Lela are women of science.
What do you think? Here’s an excerpt:
I positioned the now-empty cart next to the circulation desk, and Mrs. Gerhardt edged behind it and shifted up onto a stool. I said, “Thirty-two is not some magical age at which I suddenly figure out why she abandoned us. And it’s not like I’m going to start caring about it, either.”
She patted my hand. Hers were cold. “No, of course not. But she was sick, your mo—”
“What do you know about it?” I asked. A tense static roared in my ears. Behind my lids, Dad’s face loomed, urging me to calm myself, to be pleasant.
No one likes a sour puss, Lela. I forced a tooth-crammed smile and turned to Mrs. Gerhardt.
Her entire body twitched. “Nothing. Just things your father said over the years.”
Keeping the smile in place, I said, “Maybe I will go to the cemetery. What do you say when you go? Is there something special I should do?”
Can’t you just see her pivoting on someone with a creepy, sudden smile?
Publishers Weekly callsTHE TRAJECTORY OF DREAMS (Bitingduck Press, ISBN 9781938463440) a "skillful mainstream examination of a psychotic woman’s final descent into insanity." The novel exposes the chaotic inner life of Lela White, a sleep lab technician and mentally ill insomniac who believes she has been tasked with protecting the safety of the revitalized U.S. space shuttle program. She breaks into the homes of astronauts to watch them sleep, and she is prepared to kill to keep those with sleep problems from the shuttle launch. Her delicate grasp on reality becomes more tenuous when annoying co-worker Trina Shook insists on moving into her house and visiting Russian cosmonaut Zory Korchagin inserts himself into Lela's life. Korchagin's increasing interest puts her carefully-constructed world at risk of an explosion as surely as he does his own upcoming launch. Lela's tragic childhood unfolds throughout the novel, revealing the beginnings of her illness and long-buried secrets, and as Lela’s universe unravels, no one is safe. Buy a copy of THE TRAJECTORY OF DREAMS at your local independent bookshop, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, or anywhere books are sold.
THE AUTHOR: Nicole Wolverton fears many things, chief amongst them that something lurks in the dark. From ghosts to stalkers, her adult and young adult fiction plays on the mundane and not-so-mundane things that frighten us all. THE TRAJECTORY OF DREAMS is her debut novel. She is a freelance writer and editor and lives in the Philadelphia area with her husband, dog, and two cats.