Spotlight On: “More Than A Soldier”
We are so pleased to feature an article written by D. M. Annechino, author of his newly released novel, More Than A Soldier. Currently on a virtual book tour hosted by Italy Book Tours, you will find this fine author around the web at a number of sites, with articles, interviews and more. He writes on a variety of topics, which adds to the enjoyment when you pick up one of this books. Today he shares with us his thoughts on plot vs. character. You will enjoy learning more about Mr. Annechino. Enjoy!
Plot vs. Character
by D. M. Annechino
Of all the issues related to writing fiction, none is more subjective or controversial than the long-standing argument over which is more important, plot or characters. Anyone with even the most limited knowledge of fiction—reader or writer—could build a strong case either way, and there is no absolute right or wrong. As a writer myself, I, of course, have my own opinion; a very strong opinion. Needless to say, any successful, well-written novel must have both a strong plot and fascinating characters. That’s a given. However, I’d like to build a case for characters.
Of all the novels I’ve read throughout my life, those most memorable, locked in my mind forever, are books whose main characters were three dimensional and lifelike. A novel could have a highly compelling plot, but if interesting characters do not support it, the story will likely fall flat no matter how complex, leaving the reader disappointed. As a novelist, you’re competing with God and that’s no easy task. To create characters who live and breathe and literally jump off the pages requires a very unique talent.
Not to minimize the importance of plot, it is my strong contention that plots—and please forgive me for saying this—are a dime a dozen. Consider this: if you pick up any major newspaper in the country and skim through its pages, you will find dozens of plot ideas from real-life situations. The husband who has two wives—one on the east coast and one on the west coast. The corrupt politician who accepts a bribe. A national security leak. A conflict in the Middle East. For no particular reason a lunatic walks into a classroom and executes the students. An average Joe rescues a child from a burning building and becomes an overnight hero.
Not only are plots everywhere, but many storylines have a familiar ring. How many times have the two main characters in a romance novel hated each other throughout the book, only to fall in love at the end? How many times has the good guy, the character you least expected, turn out to be the villain? How many books about lawyers and doctors and superheroes follow the same formula? How many times have you read a classic cat and mouse whodunit mystery with a familiar storyline?
On the flip side, have you ever seen the likes of Hannibal Lecter in Silence of the Lambs, or Scarlet O’Hara in Gone with the Wind?
Has either character ever been cloned in any other novel? Their uniqueness and originality cannot be easily duplicated. Although the plots for both of these memorable tales were compelling and engaging, it was the main characters that grabbed your attention and kept you turning pages.
The ultimate challenge for all novelists is to write a book with both an original, attention-grabbing plot and fascinating characters. And this is a tall order. But remember this: if you create complex, truly intriguing characters, the story can be a lazy tale about someone building a horse barn and your readers will be totally engaged.
Book Title: More Than a Soldier: One Army Ranger’s Daring Escape From the Nazis
Author: D.M. Annechino
Category: Adult Fiction, 316 pages
Genre: Historical Biography, WWII
Release date: April 2017
Tour dates: April 24 to May 19, 2017
Content Rating: PG-13 (A few four-letter words and violence associated with war)
Feeling a patriotic duty to defend his country after Japan bombed Pearl Harbor, seventeen year old, Angelo J. DiMarco, enlists in the U.S. Army. Severely short of frontline fighters, the Army rushes Angelo through Ranger training and sends him to Italy as part of the 1st Ranger Battalion. Their objective: stop the German invasion.
Fighting on the front lines in Italy, the German’s teach Angelo a sobering lesson on life when they capture him during the bloody battle of Cisterna. Against insurmountable odds, Angelo miraculously escapes in a way that stretches the imagination. He survives behind enemy lines for over five months, hiding from the Germans and trying to outmaneuver them. He begs for food, sleeps in barns and suffers from many ailments, including dehydration, malnutrition, malaria and exposure to the elements.
More Than a Soldier is Angelo DiMarco’s powerful story of survival, resilience and courage.
Praise for More Than a Soldier:
Annechino colorfully draws the actions scenes, and richly brings the supporting cast of characters to life. A moving tale of survival in war-torn Europe.
– Kirkus Reviews
Nuanced and eloquently written, More Than a Soldier adds to the body of WWII literature an extraordinary story of survival and a deeply affecting portrait of a soldier’s coming-of-age.
– The iRead Review
Daniel M. Annechino, a former book editor, wrote his first book, How to Buy the Most Car for the Least Money, while working as a General Manager in the automobile business. But his passion had always been fiction, particularly thrillers. He spent two years researching serial killers before finally penning his gripping and memorable debut novel They Never Die Quietly. He has written and published five novels—all thrillers. But his latest work, More Than a Soldier, is a Historical Biography set in Italy during WWII.
A native of New York, Annechino now lives in San Diego with his wife, Jennifer. He loves to cook, enjoys a glass of vintage wine, and spends lots of leisure time on the warm beaches of Southern California.
BOOK SPOTLIGHT TOUR:
April 24 – Library of Clean Reads – book spotlight / giveaway
April 24 – Puddletown Reviews – book spotlight / author interview / giveaway
April 25 – Working Mommy Journal – book spotlight / giveaway
April 26 – A Mama’s Corner of the World – book spotlight / guest post / giveaway
April 27 – Books, Dreams, Life – book spotlight / author interview / giveaway
April 28 – 100 Pages A Day – book spotlight / guest post / giveaway
April 28 – Svetlana’s Reads and Views – book spotlight
May 1 – My Reading Journeys – book spotlight / giveaway
May 2 – Il Mio Tesoro – book spotlight / guest post
May 2 – Leels Loves Books – book spotlight
May 3 – fundinmental – book spotlight / author interview / giveaway
May 4 – A Soccer Mom’s Book Blog – book spotlight / author interview / giveaway
May 4 – T’s Stuff – book spotlight / guest post / giveaway
May 4 – Writers and Authors – guest post
May 5 – Jaquo Lifestyle Magazine – book spotlight / guest post
May 7 – Writers and Authors – book spotlight / giveaway
May 8 – Cheryl’s Book Nook – book spotlight / giveaway
May 8 – Deal Sharing Aunt – book spotlight / giveaway
May 9 – Kristin’s Novel Cafe – book spotlight / author interview
May 10 – Nighttime Reading Center – book spotlight / giveaway
May 11 – Books for Books – book spotlight
May 12 – Celticlady’s Reviews – book spotlight / giveaway
May 12 – Rockin’ Book Reviews – book spotlight / guest post / giveaway
May 15 – The Autistic Gamer – book spotlight
May 16 – Bound 2 Escape – book spotlight / author interview / giveaway
May 17 – Blooming with Books – book spotlight / giveaway
May 18 – Lukten av Trykksverte – book spotlight / giveaway
May 19 – Essentially Italian – book spotlight / giveaway