Tuesday, August 04, 2009

Meet Rick Higginson

This is a special author spotlight for me and I've really been looking forward to it. Rick is a friend from Faithwriters and participates in Fiction Friday. I've gotten to know some of his cast of characters and I love them. He puts me in their world even though it's totally different than ours. :)

So I'm quite pleased to introduce you to Rick Higginson, otherwise known as Hoomi to many of us.
Rick Higginson describes himself as a Christian Sci-Fi writer who is also an incurable romantic. He was raised in a Bible-teaching Baptist church, and attended some contemporary non-denominational churches as an adult before winding up in a Messianic Congregation. He has enjoyed writing fiction since a young age, and hopes his stories inspire readers to think about issues in different ways.

He has been happily married to Nancy since 1980, and together they raised a daughter and a son. The Higginsons currently live in Tucson, Arizona, with several dogs, a couple of cats, a bird, and whatever other creatures might have taken residence since this writing. Rick works as an electronic technician for a major corporation, and enjoys writing, playing flute, geocaching, scuba diving, and most of all, spending time with Nancy.

You can keep up with Rick on his website and blog.


Cardan's Pod

Not all angels have wings.

Joshua Cardan is the kind of man many women would consider a great catch. He's young, decent looking, a nice guy, and not incidentally, rather wealthy. Cynthia Cardan certainly considered him a great catch when she married him a year ago. Too bad Josh doesn't know Cynthia has planned all along to throw him back. Too bad Cynthia doesn't know who will be there to rescue him when she does. Then again, no one knew the Pod was there to begin with, and the Pod has been waiting for someone for a long time.




Here's an excerpt from Cardan's Pod

Chapter 13

You have turned for me my mourning into dancing;
You have put off my sackcloth and clothed me with gladness,
To the end that my glory may sing praise to You and not be silent.
O Lord my God, I will give thanks to You forever.
Psalm 30:11,12

The longing in the woman’s voice was palpable, and he swallowed against the lump that tried to form in his throat. “You are human, Marta,” Josh said.

“No, not like you, or Dr. Marcel, or Diego. I’m human at the head but dolphin at the tail, and a strange mix of both in the middle. I’m different.”

It was not what he had been expecting to hear, and he wished he had more of Diego’s kind of wisdom. “Everyone struggles with feeling different sometimes. It’s part of being human.”

“But like this? There are so many things I will never be able to do.”

“Marta, believe me. Children are born every day that will face that same fact in life; that some things they’d like to do will always be impossible for them. Some children are born blind, some deaf. Some are born with improperly formed arms and legs, or with damage in the brain. It happens.”

“Yes, I know it does. Tell me, though, did someone choose to create those children that way, like Dr. Marcel chose to create us the way we are? We have been condemned to a life with no place for us. We can neither live in the sea like dolphins nor on the land like humans. Who would decide their child should be forever trapped between two worlds?”

Everything Josh had read in Marcel’s diary and notes had led him to the conclusion the doctor was a benevolent, if somewhat eccentric, genius. As he considered Marta’s last question, though, he suddenly understood the very real and very wrong side of all the doctor had done. At no time had he read that the doctor ever considered how his work would be received by the direct subjects of it. Even when the oldest of his mermaids had reached the age where they could have voiced their opinions, Marcel had never recorded having discussed with them how they felt about the changes he’d made in their biology. As much as he had learned to love his creations, it had never occurred to him they would not share the same enthusiasm for his success.

“I don’t know,” he finally replied. “No one chooses to make their child that way. Most people do their best to be sure such things don’t happen.”

“When we were younger, Dr. Marcel had a television placed where we could watch it from one of the pools,” she said. “He would let us watch TV shows and movies so we could learn more about the world around us. Once, he showed us a movie about a mermaid whose tail turned into legs when she climbed onto dry land. I dreamed for years that such a thing could come true; that I could climb out onto the land, lose my tail and grow legs, and even if just for a while, I could be a normal human girl.”

She sighed, and he remained quiet. He didn’t have any answers for her.

“Sometimes we watched the ballet,” she continued. “I thought how beautiful the dancers were, and how very lucky they were to have such wonderful legs that they could move and express themselves with. Have you ever danced, Josh? What is it like to dance?”

He chuckled in response. “I’m not a very good dancer, actually. I’m usually better suited to play the music that others dance to.”

“But you have danced?”

“Yeah, I’ve danced,” he said, adding silently to himself, ‘If you could call what I did dancing.’

“Tell me then, please, what is it like?”

The few formals Josh had attended had never been much to boast about. The dancing had been more of a nerve-wracking experience for him, especially at the Country Club Cotillion his parents had forced him to attend when he was a teenager. All the young debutantes had come from the “right families,” and he had been expected to dance with quite a few of them. By the end of the evening, not one girl had wanted a repeat spin with him, nor had he wanted a second dance with any of them.

“Let me think,” he said, more as a stalling tactic in the hope she would change the subject before he had to answer. Yet, as he thought, it brought to mind the anniversary party where he and Diego had played the Irish tunes, and how Diego’s grandparents had encouraged them to keep going. Despite age having slowed them down, the old couple had gotten up and danced. As Diego and he had continued to play, Josh had found himself caught up in the music. They had taken positions on opposite sides of the couple, and literally danced around them as they played. It had been the first time in his life he had not only performed the music, he had felt it.

“Dancing,” he finally said, “is like singing a song with your whole body. It’s when you’re not just giving voice to the music; you’re giving life to it. It’s as if your every muscle is playing along and nothing else in the world matters at that moment.” As Josh spoke, he realized if he had danced like that at the Cotillion, he would have been the most popular guy at the Club that night. “Let me see if I can show you.”

Finding her hand, he drew her out to the deeper water, even as doubts plagued his mind. He took a position facing her and slipped one hand around her waist. He guided her hand to a similar position on him and placed his other hand on her shoulder. He could hear the Minuet in G in his mind and began counting the beat to himself, just as if he were about to play it on the clarinet. Closing his eyes, he began swaying in the water.

“Doo, doot-doot-doot-doot-doot, doot-doot-doo,” he sang, trying to accomplish with his voice what he would have done with an instrument. His singing voice wasn’t great, but the acoustics in the cavern aided him greatly.

Marta moved uncertainly at first. The tension in her muscles conveyed her lack of confidence. He knew exactly how it felt, and so interjected, “Listen to the tune, feel the rhythm and just let go with it.”

The first phrase repeated, and he put more into it the second time through. Marta moved more freely, swaying with him as they slowly turned in the water. He didn’t notice when it happened, but she had drawn closer to him and their heads were next to each other in more of an embrace. He could also hear her voice, harmonizing wonderfully to the tune.
“You know this song?”
“Dr. Marcel played a lot of classical music for us,” she whispered. “I miss the music.”

The last time Josh had danced was with Cynthia at their wedding reception, but it had been like dancing with a mannequin. Cynthia’s every step had been precisely placed, every move meticulously executed, and everything down to her facial expression finely choreographed. Cynthia performed for him; Marta danced with him. The counterfeit had seemed so real until he experienced the genuine article.

They held each other and moved in time. Marta’s hair smelled of the ocean, and her tail frequently brushed his legs, but in the darkness it was a woman’s voice that harmonized by his ear. His unkempt whiskers rubbed her face as he finished the song.

“That,” he whispered to her, as the last echoes of his voice resounded through the cavern, “is what it is like to dance.”


You can purchase Cardan's Pod from Amazon and Barnes and Noble.

Rick is giving away a copy of Cardan's Pod. To be entered in the book giveaway, leave a comment and check back on Sunday, August 9th to see if you've won. If you want to guarantee that you're notified if you win, then leave your email address in the comment, otherwise, you can just check back and email me through the button in my sidebar. You can enter twice--once for each post you leave a comment on. :-)

Come back tomorrow for an interview with Rick!

7 comments:

  1. Oooh!!! I love the excerpt and I am one of those who only thinks of Rick as "Hoomi"! An excellent spotlight, Peej and I can't wait for Hoomi's interview post! ^_^

    ReplyDelete
  2. I am VVERRYY anxious to read the interview too. He is such an amazing writer, and a genuinely nice guy. And, of course, I REALLY want the book!

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  3. Yes, Hoomi is a great writer. I love the world he has created. I'd love to win one of his books.

    Vonnie

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  4. Anonymous1:49 PM

    I would just LOVE to win one of Hoomi's books! Please enter me in the drawing. Thanks, Esther
    faith4u7(at)gmail(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  5. Anonymous8:01 AM

    The excerpt was really good and so was the interview. Please enter me in the drawing. ~Abby

    ReplyDelete
  6. Anonymous6:02 PM

    Wow! Thanks for putting the spotlight on Rick/Hoomi, and adding the excerpt from Cardan's Pod. The book sounds great and, although I'm not sure I can enter the competition from Australia, I might have to look up the book and see if I can buy it online.
    Esther G (Not the other Esther as above... :-)

    ReplyDelete
  7. I've shipped books to Australia before, and I'll happily send the copy down under if Esther G. wins. :)

    ReplyDelete

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