Karma Not-So-Chameleon: The Moral Arc Underpinning “Campus Confidential” (And New Giveaways!)

Hi All! It’s a lovely spring day and I’m feeling a tiny bit better (for those who don’t know, I have a serious long-term illness) than I have been, so it seems like a great time to play some cheery music. Namely, this insidious earworm:

 

You can thank me later for filling your head with this song all day

Fun fact: I moved to Russia in the early 90s, where I got to experience Western decadence such as MTV for the first time! Yes! Clearly I will have to share that little story at some point. “Karma Chameleon” was one of the songs that MTV Europe’s 80s hour played on heavy rotation. I’ve had a fondness for it ever since.

Anyway, enough with the musical interludes. Since I, like my heroine Rowena, am a professor with a doctorate in literature, it should come as no surprise that my books are full of structure, themes, motifs, wordplay, allusions, and everything else you might think of in the way of literary flourishes. So today I thought I’d show you, my special readers, a little of the chassis and undercarriage of “Campus Confidential.”

campus confidential front cover with baskerville

Only a little over a month till the release date!

For those of you who haven’t read it yet, “Campus Confidential” is about a newly-minted PhD and contingent faculty member who gets caught up in both the usual sorts of bad things faculty deal with–bullying, poverty, self-doubt, lack of job security–and some special bad stuff involving crime and violence. Although crime and violence are certainly plenty prevalent on college campuses. A large percentage of Rowena’s experiences are taken more or less directly from real life.

That being said, while a lot of the details of “Campus Confidential” are based on some pretty gritty realities, the overall structure of the story is that of a fairy tale. Rowena is the fairy tale heroine taken away from her home and thrown into a bad situation. Like many fairy tale heroines, her heroism is not in her strength of arms but in her strength of moral character. Repeatedly throughout the story she encounters people who are in some way her social inferiors, who show no immediate ability to help her on her quest, and who may be actively annoying–e.g., rude students, street harassers, difficult bosses, and so on. Every time, she wrestles with how to treat these people, and every time she decides to give in to her better nature and treat them with kindness and understanding.

Rowena thus moves through the narrative generating more and more good karma (here’s that video again, in case you missed it the first time around): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JmcA9LIIXWw

In the final denouement, her good karma comes back to save her, just as it does a fairy tale heroine. “Campus Confidential” is a heroic narrative, albeit of a particular sort. It’s a modern-day fairy tale, in which the heroine is living in the “real world” and embedded in real-life current events, and yet also has a toehold in a magical, spiritual realm where dreams sometimes come true and karma is very, definitely, real.

And now, as promised, brand-new giveaways for April!

Cold War, Hot Books Banner

Come join the collective, comrades! Sixteen super-hot spy, suspense, and sexy romance books, all connected to the former USSR! Check it out here.

April Fools' Banner

Laugh it up with the April Fools’ Giveaway!

First in Series Banner

And it’s the last week for the First in Series Giveaway! 115 free series starters!

 

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s