GUEST POSTBY HEATHER FROST AUTHOR OF THE NOVEL SEERS.
I would like to welcome Heather Frost to Books R Us. Heather is the author of her debut novel Seers. Thanks for stopping by.
The Pros and Cons of Immortality
My book has many influences—too many to name, really—but there is one that I'd like to tell you about, because it comes from a book that was a childhood favorite of mine: Peter Pan, by J. M. Barrie. I devoured the book as a child, and I loved the Disney movie version. The only stories I acted out more frequently were the adventures of Robin Hood. I loved reading about the terrifying pirates, the often mischievous lost boys, and I agonized over every time Wendy had to come back home. And then there was Peter himself. It didn't seem logical that I should pity him—he seemed happy enough, after all—but pity him I did. He was such a fascinating character to me, and he has remained one of my favorite characters of all time to this day.
Aside from being the professed favorite book of my two lead characters in Seers, Peter Pan has another very special relationship to my book. Peter faces the conflicts of immortality just as Patrick does. Both stories attempt to weigh the final balance of what immortality affords, and what it maliciously steals.
Eternal life is a tricky thing for an author to make believable, because the idea is so spectacular. For me, I figure that people are diverse, so there shouldn't be a universal reaction to immortality among immortal beings. To make my immortals believable, I knew I needed my characters to have real and varying reactions. Some might get bored. Some might enjoy every minute of it. Some might be like Peter. Some might be like Patrick. Trying to grasp and portray the different possible approaches to eternal life is something that I've tried hard to do with my characters, and it's something that the rest of the Seers Trilogy will continue exploring. But for now, I will try to briefly outline some of the pros and cons of immortality, as seen by Peter Pan and Patrick O'Donnell.
Peter gets to be young forever. He never gets sick, and he will never face the responsibility that all grown-ups must. He is able to play for eternity, with no thought of the time that's passing around him. He is, in nearly every sense of the word, free. Patrick, the lead Guardian in Seers, has similar benefits, but while Peter is content to consider himself free, Patrick feels the pressure of his responsibilities. He isn't free and full of fun—even though he will be young forever—because he is aware of what he's missing.
Peter is rarely plagued by immortality’s downside. He often has horrible dreams, which the reader can assume comes from his subconscious knowledge that he's missing out on something wonderful. He thinks fleetingly of his own parents, but he is able to shut out any thoughts that might bring him down. In one of the final scenes, Peter is looking in at the Darling family reunion from the other side of the window. He sees the joy, the love, and he knows that he's looking at the one thing he can never have, because of his choice to live in The Neverland. Because he refuses to grow up, he is refusing the basic human right to grow old with a loving family. But still he returns, because he is able to focus on the joys of staying young forever, and keep the negative aspects of his choice in the back of his mind.
Patrick, on the other hand, struggles daily with his choice to become a Guardian. He longs for his family, and he is acutely aware of the passage of time that can never touch him. He envies the Guardians that are able to enjoy their immortality, and maybe that is why he is so intrigued by Peter's story. He wishes that he could be more like the carefree boy, and stop agonizing over what cannot be changed. He doesn't necessarily regret his decision to turn down Heaven—he recognizes the good that he has done, and will continue to do—but he does wonder what his life would be like now if he'd chosen differently. He has lived to see many things in his long years, many of them exciting and wonderful. But, like Peter, he will always be on the wrong side of the window, looking in at the simple joys that can never be his.
It was very fun for me to integrate Peter Pan into my book, even if it is more of a side note to Patrick's character. It's something that the reader is left to ponder, which I think works out nicely. Peter Pan sheds some light on Patrick's personality, and Kate's as well, since family is such an essential part of her character.
Patrick describes Peter Pan—and himself, as a result—quite well when he says to Kate, “It's got a boy who never grows old. What could be more fascinating than that?” I must agree with him; what indeed?
About the book-
When Kate Bennett survived the horrific car accident that claimed her parents' lives, she knew her world would be forever changed. But she never could have imagined how dramatic these changes would be. Feeling like a freak, Kate tries to hide her unwelcome new ability to see people's auras – that is, until she meets Patrick O'Donnell, who seems to be able to disappear at will. When Kate and her remaining family begin to be haunted by Demons, her only hope is to stay close to Patrick and other Guardians like him. Somehow, Patrick lies at the center of the mystery, and Kate soon realizes that both she and her heart are in big-time trouble. Caught up in a war she barely understands, with enemies only she can discern, Kate quickly learns that in war everybody loses something...or someone.
About the Author-
Heather Frost was born in Sandy, Utah, and raised in a small Northern Utah town. She is the second oldest of ten children, and she loves her family very much. She is especially grateful to her wonderful parents for their decision to homeschool their children. She graduated from Snow College with an associate of science, and is currently majoring in English.
Heather has always been an avid reader, and reading and writing are among her most favorite things to do. She also enjoys playing the flute, listening to all types of music, and watching a wide variety of movies. Ever since she wrote her first story--at the age of four--she has dreamed of one day becoming an author. Seers is her first published novel.