Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Effigy Blog Tour - guest post by M.J. Fifield

Joss Is Boss

This post will contain spoilers.

There's a little known fact about me that I am completely and irrevocably obsessed with writer/director/demi-god Joss Whedon.

I first became aware of His Glorious Magnificence back in 1998 when I tuned in to my very first episode of Buffy The Vampire Slayer. It was the season three premiere, Anne. That's the one where Buffy has run away from Sunnydale and is waiting tables in Los Angeles. There's a scene toward the end of the episode (written and directed by Joss Whedon) where Buffy battling a seemingly endless onslaught of goons pauses on a platform, weapon in hand, and glances behind her to her left. (It's the shot that closes out the opening credits through season six.) It looked so bad ass that I was immediately in love with both the show and its creator.

I haven't looked back since.

I love what Joss does with character. There's always a lot of talk about the strong, female characters he creates Buffy, Willow, Echo, Fred, Kaylee, River, Zoe, just to name a few and all of it is well-deserved, but the bottom line is that he creates amazing characters period, regardless of gender. We love Mal and Giles, Xander, Topher and the man they call Jayne. Dr. Horrible's Sing Along Blog saw audiences rooting for a character named Dr. Horrible whose ambition is to join the Evil League of Evil.

I also adore what Joss does with story. I love how in a 43-minute span, he can make you laugh and then cry all the tears in all the world. He will go for the jugular, and you still will beg him to hurt you just a little bit more (Name! That! Reference!). 

Look at "A Hole In The World," a fifth season episode of Angel also written and directed by Joss. The episode starts off with a funny debate over who would win in a fight - astronauts or cavemen - that continues to pop up at random moments during the episode, but before you know it, Joss has ripped out your heart and stomped on it right in front of you when he kills Winifred 'Fred' Burkle. The last line of the debate? A dying Fred saying, "Cavemen win. Of course the cavemen win."

There's also Wash and Book from Firefly, Phil Coulson in The Avengers, and Penny from Dr. Horrible's Sing Along Blog. People make a lot of jokes about Joss killing off characters, but what it all comes down to is that Joss will always do what needs to be done for the best interests of the story, and that is exactly the philosophy I want to employ in my writing.

Thank you all for stopping by, and thank you, Christine, for hosting me today!

The survival of a once-mighty kingdom rests in the hands of its young queen, Haleine Coile?in, as it slowly succumbs to an ancient evil fueled by her husband's cruelty.

A sadistic man with a talent for torture and a taste for murder, he is determined to burn the land and all souls within. Haleine is determined to save her kindgom and, after a chance encounter, joins forces with the leader of the people's rebellion. She gives him her support, soon followed by her heart.

Loving him is inadvertent but becomes as natural and necessary as breathing. She lies and steals on his behalf, doing anything she can to further their cause. She compromises beliefs held all her life, for what life will exist if evil prevails?

Her journey leads to a deceiving world of magic, monsters, and gods she never believed existed outside of myth. The deeper she goes, the more her soul is stripped away, but she continues on, desperate to see her quest complete. If she can bring her husband to ruin and save her people, any sacrifice is worth the price?even if it means her life.

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About the Author:

Armed with a lasting love of chocolate, purple pens, and medieval weaponry, M.J. Fifield is nothing if not a uniquely supplied insomniac. When she isn't writing, she's on the hunt for oversizedbaked goods or shiny new daggers. M.J. lives with a variety of furry creatures - mostly pets - in New Hampshire. Visit her online at

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  1. Joss Whedon is amazing. I always find myself admiring his work, too...

  2. Ugh...Fred! Way to start my day by making me cry! Also, I think a Buffy marathon is way overdue for me.

  3. Whedon is the master. An Firefly the most awesome show ever.

  4. @Heather—There's so much to be admired, too. He's had a fantastic career for sure.

    @Sarah—Sorry about that start to your day, but it was what was best for my post! You understand, I'm sure.

    @Alex—I agree with you about Firefly. I think it just barely edged out Buffy for my top spot.

  5. Joss is boss. I can rewatch Firefly and Serenity endlessly and still laugh and cry.

  6. Live forever, Firefly! Joss is definitely a brilliant writer, and any time I see his name on something I get excited. My husband, not so much, but he's not in it for the writing. ;)

  7. @Susan—Oh, me too. I so adore that series.

    @Crystal—I will watch anything Joss has a hand in. Even if it's way outside of my usual genres. That's how I ended up in a theater on opening weekend to watch Cabin In The Woods when I'm too much of a chicken normally to watch horror.

  8. Love this post! Thanks for being here today, M.J. And thank you to everyone for stopping by. I'm still enjoying a nice visit with my mom. My belly's full of ice cream right now. :)

  9. I haven't seen anything by Joss that I haven't loved–even when he does rip out my heart. (I have a hard time watching Serenity because of Wash. LOL)

  10. @Christine—Thank you for hosting me today. And my belly's full of ice cream now, too. A sure sign my niece is in the house.

    @Patricia—Oh yeah, me too. Never stops me from watching it, though.

  11. I'm still sad over Fred dying in Angel. Joss is brilliant.

  12. I think you know we share the same love and affection for Mr. Whedon. Love everything he's created.

    Great post!


  13. Joss is a powerful and admirable writer. His characters really do come alive.

  14. @Cherie—Same here. I just re-watched that episode recently (because of this post) and it left me as devastated as ever.

    @Heather—I do know. And I salute you for that.

    @Loni—And that's why I love him so much. I'll watch/read anything if I love the characters.

  15. Sigh, you got them all, M.J. Every reason why I love him too.

    Thanks for hosting, Christine!