Sunday, 25 February 2018

Pirimba Raven

Perimba Raven from Shadowdancers (1994) Character Post 8

Pirimba Raven is the elder daughter of Rob and Suzy. She has a younger sister named Eden. She's sixteen or so in 1994, so she would have been born in the late 1970s. Her first name would have been unusual in any era, so evidently at least one of her conventionally 1950s-named parents has unusual taste. The family had cats named Figgypaws and Kedge. Kedge might have been named after a poem of the same name, and Figgypaws was probably a Christmas kitten as her name points to familiarity with the carol "We Wish You a Merry Christmas". 
Pirimba is one of those people who seems to have everything. She is pretty in an exotic kind of way with long dark hair and good features. She doesn't suffer from any of the teenaged woes such as spots or puppy fat. She is intelligent, talented, athletic and somewhat wilful. She's fond of her sister, but impatient with her because Eden is utterly unlike her and Pirimba is one of those people who mistake luck for good management. She's popular at school, although some people are a bit wary, and her teachers see her as sometimes difficult. When crossed or thwarted she can be very difficult.
Pirimba's life comes to disaster when she cuts school to dive off the cliff with some friends. She survives this dangerous pastime unscathed (Pirimba would) but she barely survives the aftermath when her furious mother crashes the car while driving Pirimba home. The accident tears the Raven family apart. Suzy is so remorseful she takes on full-time Pirimba-care, refusing help from the rest of the family. Rob leaves, Eden falls into misery... and Pirimba, now a quadriplegic, finds life unbearable. She struggles to make some sense of continuing to exist, but is unable to take active steps to change anything. She hears music, a dancing tune that no one else can hear, and sometimes seems to find herself out of her body. Listening to late-night radio, she learns about astral travel, and gets Eden to help her with some research. This is pretty-much early-Internet, and pre-smartphone, so there's no chance of using a voice-operated computer program from her bed.
   Eventually, Pirimba gets pneumonia (as a result of Suzy's refusal to stay away from her when she has a cold) and falls into a coma. This seems to be the end to her distraught family, but Pirimba doesn't die. Instead, she finds herself astral-travelling to a new reality where she finds a chance at a new and fully-mobile life as a Valourn, an acrobatic dancer. The way Pirimba faces the challenge of stepping (literally) into someone else's shoes is again typical of her. She is angry, but determined to grasp whatever is on offer. At the end of the day, though, she comes to a choice. Can she continue to live as somebody else or should she make a push to regain her own life in her own world and make the best of that?  
The detail from the cover shows Pirimba is her secondary life as a Valourn.


Sally is Sally Odgers; author, manuscript assessor, editor, anthologist and reader. She runs and Prints Charming Books. (Sally is me, by the way, and I am lots of other things too, but these are the relevant ones for now.)

The goal for 2017 was to write a post a day profiling the background behind one of my books; how it came to be written, what it's about, and any things of note that happened along the way. If you're an author, an aspiring author, a reader or just someone who enjoys windows into worlds, you might find this fun. The books are not in any special order, but will be assigned approximate dates, and pictures, where they exist. 2017 is now behind us, but I ran out of year before running out of books. As of February 18th 2018 I STILL haven't run out of books, but many of those still to come are MIA by which I mean I don't have copies and remember little about them. There are more new books to come, and I'll certainly showcase those, but in between times, I'm profiling some of my characters, just for a change. Thank you so much to everyone who's come along on this journey so far!

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