Friday, February 12, 2010

Love Thy Siblings

posted by Loucinda McGary aka Aunty Cindy

Like it or not, our brothers and sisters are genetically the closest relatives we have. If we share the same mother and father, then we all took that same dip in the old gene pool. (SPLAT!) And in most cases, siblings share the same early environment that shaped us into adults, too.

No wonder relationships between and among siblings are so intense and complex. What great fodder for fiction!

Brothers and sisters pop up in my own stories a lot. I am the eldest of four siblings, so I know all about those bossy older sister characters from personal experience. Having two younger brothers whom I alternately abhorred and adored (as they did me), it is no surprise at all that the heroes in all three of my books have older and er, um, somewhat domineering older sisters.

In The Wild Sight and The Treasures of Venice, both heroes were raised by their older sisters when their mothers died. Luckily, I was never forced into that role, but I can easily imagine what it might have been like.

Though the older sister is never "on stage" in The Wild Irish Sea, we learn that she made her husband give her younger brother (the hero) a job and is obviously prodding him to get on with his life, so she's an important force within the story. Again, I've never been in a position to give one of my siblings a job, but advice I've given in plentiful quantities (take my advice, I'm not using it). Plus I've always been supportive of them, as they have of me.

In fact, the motivating force in The Wild Irish Sea is the relationship between the heroine and her twin brother. No, I never had a twin (though I sometimes wished for one), but would I drop everything to run to the aid of one of my siblings?

In a heartbeat!

True, they often drove me crazy when we were growing up, and I know they got tired of me bossing and (literally) shoving them around. But nobody else truly understands me like they do, and I love 'em all for it! We may not be geographically close any more, but blood really is thicker than water, and we will never lose our heart connections.

What about you? Are you close to your siblings? Do you like to read about brothers and sisters in books? Please share some of your favorite fictional siblings with us.

21 comments:

  1. I am the eldest of 4 daughters and I know exactly what you mean Aunty Cindy when we were younger we fought and argued but always stood up for each other and even though we don't all live close to each other now yes if needed we would all be there for each other.

    I loved the older sisters in both of your books and I am sure that I can see a story for Kathleen from TTOV with that detective.

    Some of my favourite siblings in books have been the Bridgertons and The Cynsters and of course The Bedwyns.

    Have Fun
    Helen

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  2. Great post, AC!
    I'm not as close to my sisters as I'd like to be, (the live a good 100-200 miles away) but whenever we get together, it's like we've never been apart!

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  3. Interesting post, AC.
    Those who follow this blog know I have siblings. I've even blogged about my brother, David.
    I also have a bossy older sister. One year for Christmas we all went in together and gave her a sweatshirt that said, "She Who Must Be Obeyed." She laughed as hard as we did.
    Haven't had much coffee yet. The only fictional siblings that come to mind are the five sisters in Pride and Prejudice.

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  4. I adore my sisters (although as you said, the relationships can be complex ;) and loved your post, AC!
    I always wished for a brother...although now I'm not sure how well he would have survived four sisters!

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  5. I'm very close to my little sister, and I love books about siblings! My next series is about 3brothers.

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  6. I've got a younger brother, so I know just what you mean about being a bossy older sister! We were close when we were younger, and then grew apart when I was an angsty teen who hated the world. But when I left for college, we became close again! And now that he's in college, he's even an English major (just like his big sis)!

    I've always loved reading about sisters, probably because I don't have one. The first that pop into mind are the Bennet Sisters--you see the very complext relationships of family dynamics through all 5 of them!

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  7. I'm the oldest and have two brothers. My middle brother is 19m younger than me. We weren't very close growing up.

    My Sr. yr, he got attacked by a much older boy. I snapped! I jumped in between and jabbing my finger into the jerk's chest backed him away from my dazed little brother by using my gift of a snarky wit. I chewed that guy a new one. I guess shame worked better than a fist in this case, he ran off. Ha! I even chewed the guys in the crowd out for not helping! I've never lost my temper like that before and haven't since. :) I'm usually such a chicken!

    He may have been taller than me, but he'll always be my little brother. I wished we saw each other more. He's turned into a really awesome man despite having a bossy, know-it-all older sister! LOL

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  8. Ice storms have kept me off the Net, but I wanted to say great post, AC!

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  9. As an older sister I perfer not to think of myself as "bossy" but rather as an executive manager, providing direction and guidance to my wayward staff. What would those little siblings do without us?

    One of my fictional sibling groups was little women. Never had a sister, but I always wanted one!

    Amanda

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  10. Morning Helen!

    You are not the only one to tell me that Kathleen and Carlo should "give it a go." ;-) I'd definitely write the story if my editor gave the go-ahead. Many readers and reviewers wrote about the 'authentic' relationship between Kathleen and Keirnan in TToV, and I think you are all going to love my twin brother and sister in Wild Irish Sea.

    AC

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  11. Cheryl,

    It's the same with me when I see my brothers (who live 300 miles south of me) or my sister (who is 1200 miles east). As soon as we sit down together we are laughing and carrying on like we did as kids. :-)

    AC

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  12. LOL, MM!
    I'd love that sweatshirt too, even if nobody ever really obeyed me. ;-)

    I agree, I LOVED the portrayal of the Bennet sisters. It really rang true for me.

    AC

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  13. Hey Kathryne,
    One of my brothers has 4 daughters. When they found out they were expecting #4, my sister and I both said, "It will be another GIRL!" To which my brother replied, "I hope so! I had 2 older sisters and I wouldn't wish 3 on any boy!"

    ROFLOL!

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  14. OOOO Shana!
    Those series about brothers are always fun to read. Can't wait to read yours!

    AC

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  15. Danielle,
    What a GREAT story about your lil brother! My baby brother is almost 10 years younger than me and I still remember the day my mother brought him home from the hospital. My sister and I thought he was the BEST TOY EVER! ;-) Needless to say, he was a very spoiled child.

    AC

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  16. Sarah,
    I'm LOL at you chasing off the bully who was beating up your lil brother! My DH's mom had a similar story about defending her brother, and believe me, NOBODY messed with that woman. :-) And you are right, no matter how big they are... you'll notice I referred to my "BABY brother" who happens to be 6'2" and 250 lbs. But he's STILL my baby bro!

    AC

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  17. BRRRR! Terry, I heard on the news that Texas is being hit hard by the storms. Stay warm and safe!

    AC

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  18. Yes indeed, Amanda, what WOULD those younger sibs do without our infinite wisdom and guiding hands?!?! (Very Big Grin)

    The March sisters are another great sibling group, but I never like them because... well, Beth DIES! And my sister's name is Beth (for reals) and GULP! We may have fought like cats & dogs growing up but I did NOT wanna read about Beth dying...

    AC

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  19. Fun topic!

    I have a brother who's 2.5 years younger, and we've always been best buddies. He appointed himself my guardian and protector when we were in high school, and if a guy he didn't like called to ask me out, my brother would just hang up on him. It annoyed me at the time, but I'll grudgingly admit he had pretty good judgment!

    I always thought it would be tough for me to write about a sister relationship since that's something I can't really grasp. But a writing pal challenged me to do it with a recent manuscript, and I'm actually quite pleased with the result.

    Thanks for giving us such an interesting topic, Cindy!

    Tawna

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  20. Hey Tawna,
    Kudos to you for writing about sisters when you never had one! Like I said, I never had a twin either, but watching my twin grand-nephews gave me lots of great ideas!

    And yes, my brothers annoyed the heck outta some of my boyfriends too, but yes, they were usually right with their opinions. Don't tell them I said so, but they both turned out to be pretty special men. ;-)

    AC

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  21. My sister and I are complete opposites. In literally just about every way. Yet she is my best friend. We remark on our relationship often as proof that people who believe differently can get along if they try.

    I am very blessed with my siblings. I have a big sister who loves and supports me and is my dearest friend, and a "baby" brother whom I adore. All of us married well and have fabulous kids.

    Of course, I may be a tad bit prejudiced. ;-)

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