How do you rate when it comes to face recognition?

16 Feb


I can’t pick a picture of my own face out of a pile of snapshots that show only faces. I have prosopagnosia, a genetic disorder that impairs my ability to perceive the difference between the unique features of one face and another. There is no cure at the present, or at least not one that worked for me. That was my inspiration for writing my newest novel, Blind Heat.

I know it’s hard to imagine, but trust me when you’re SO drops by work to surprise you and you don’t recognize him, it’s a pretty big issue. When you don’t remember someone they think it’s because they aren’t important enough to matter to you. Add to this that a lot of people with the disorder don’t know they have it and it’s a recipe for lots of relationship issues with friends and lovers. I was well into adulthood before someone said to me they thought I was face blind. I’d never heard of the condition. On taking a Famous Faces Test, I got 2 faces out of sixty right. I couldn’t even get Oprah right. I thought George Bush was Jimmy Carter. I was depressed about the whole business for a long time. It was hard to find a way to make lemonade out of those lemons.

But then I got to thinking that animals don’t use facial recognition abilities to tell each other apart and that this was a perfect conflict for one of my Pantherian shifters stories. From what has been a major frustration in my real life, the tale of Allie and Marcus was born.

Blind Heat Blurb:

Allie was groomed for a life of crime by the man she believes is her father, a small-time crime boss. But Allie’s determined to build an ordinary life in a small town where people have respectable jobs and respectable dreams. To survive she needs to be the sort of woman no one notices. She has a generic job, lives in a generic apartment, and thinks maybe one day she’ll find an ordinary Joe who wants an average Jane sort of woman.

Marcus, is anything but an ordinary Joe. Even if humans don’t know that he is a shifter and millennial being, he’s the sort of man women notice. A night spent with Marcus is a night any female, human or Pantherian won’t forget.
But Allie does forget. She repeatedly fails to recognize him, even after an intense sexual encounter. Marcus isn’t satisfied until he discovers the source of her problem–face blindness, a genetic disorder with no cure. Science might not have a cure, but Marcus does. He can use erotic rituals to teach Allie to see with more than her eyes. What he doesn’t count on is that she will see past the man and recognize the beast within.

I just got the contract offer on this, so I don’t have cover art yet. Hopefully I can share a cover and a book trailer next time I blog here. I’m really excited by this story. I wish Marcus’ cure would work for humans–it was fun imagining.

If you’re curious about your own facial perception abilities, take the Famous Faces Test and let me know how many famous faces you could name in comments. When I did this I used a made up name on the form. How honest you are about your personal info is up to you.

**If you get a low score don’t panic. Very few people score as low as I did and even as bad as I was, visual perception training and knowing the cause have helped me cope.

Image: Blindfolded by isadaft_trollop, on Flickr

6 Responses to “How do you rate when it comes to face recognition?”

  1. mywithershins February 16, 2012 at 11:31 am #

    I like the way you have used your own experience in such a creative way. Blind Heat sounds fascinating. Congratulations on getting a contract offer! Do you know if it will it be put out in hard cover or e-book or both?

  2. naramalone February 16, 2012 at 11:37 am #

    I think, going on the length and the fact that The Tiger’s Tale, the first book in the Pantherian Passions series is out in print, that this will be published in both. Digital releases first and will likely be out later this spring. Print is usually a few months behind the digital.

  3. Siobhan Muir February 16, 2012 at 4:12 pm #

    Congrats on your contract offer, Nara!

    When I took the test, I got 97%, but when it comes to famous folks I have a good memory for them. I always tell my husband who it is in the movie and where we’ve seen them before

    I’m glad you know about your face-blindness and I’ll try to do something original when I meet you so you can at least remember something specific about me other than my face. 😉


    • naramalone February 16, 2012 at 4:33 pm #

      Hi Siobahn. Looking forward to meeting you. Cool hair helps. How would you feel about a mowhawk 😉 I know I’d find you in the conference crowd.

      Cool you got a 97% Wish I could do that.

  4. Shauna February 16, 2012 at 11:05 pm #

    The book premise sounds great. Who’s publishing the book!

  5. lisagk February 17, 2012 at 8:18 pm #

    Thank you for the interesting information. and for the wonderful blurb. I look forward to reading this one. Congrats.

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