Monday, February 7, 2011

I Wouldn't Do That If I Were You

What does your protagonist do that you simply don't/wouldn't do?

Oh, where do I begin with this week's topic?

The most obvious difference between my protagonist, Alex Sabian, and myself is that she's a vampire and contrary to popular belief, I'm not...although I do tend to be nocturnal.

As a vampire, Alex requires human blood. It's a biological need much like a human's need for those silly little things like air or water or food. However, the need isn't an issue of sustenance but sanity. Alex and her vampire brethren require small amounts of blood in order to keep from going insane. Her blood-hunger is similar to an addiction in that aspect, much like a human can become addicted to cigarettes or coffee.

Options for (legally) extracting blood from humans are limited and there are times when Alex does bite people. I, however, have never felt compelled to bite anyone. Except for that one time when I was three and I bit my brother. But he had it coming so it was justifiable.

And that actually brings me to my next point of contrast: violence.

Alex is a federal agent in addition to being a vampire. According to vampiric law, it is permissible for an Enforcer to physically restrain, intimidate, or coerce a statement from a non-human suspect. In other words, Alex gets to beat the crap out of other vampires until they cough up the information she wants. (The rules are different when dealing with humans and she has to follow standard human laws.)

This is a huge difference between us -- I would never consider deliberately harming anyone. In fact, I'm a bit of a pacifist. I think humans, as intelligent creatures, have the capacity to rise above beating the snot out of one another in order to make a point. I personally believe that violence should be used only as a last resort when all other means of a peaceful resolution have been exhausted. I understand why violence occurs -- it's most often a result of intense emotions and highly stressful situations. (Just turn on the news if you need proof of that.) It can also be the result of mental instability. That doesn't mean I enjoy it or approve of its use.

Even with the differences between Alex and I, there is one similarity: We're both always happy to leave the shadows behind. Unfortunately, when dealing with vampires, leaving the shadows behind is easier said than done. That's why we both have cats. After all, who can resist a furry face?



Meredith Cole said...

Love those vampire cats! I certainly can't resist a furry face.

It is interesting to write about violence and crimes when you're a pacifist. I guess it's just our way of getting out our anger in a safe way--on the page.

Jeannie Holmes said...

I can never resist a furry face. Probably why I have four vampire kitties. :)

It is interesting to write about violence and crimes when you're a pacifist. I think it started, for me, as a way to try to understand the "why" behind it all. Being a pacifist doesn't mean you never feel anger. I certainly do. But, as you said, writing about it as opposed to acting on it is a much safer alternative.

Rebecca Cantrell said...

An intriguing and thoughtful post, Jeannie! I'm glad to hear you're a pacifist. It makes me feel safer. :)

I'm glad you enjoy writing a non-pacifist, non-human character! It's good to stretch! (just ask the cats)

Kelli Stanley said...

Thank goodness you're a pacifist, Jeannie!! I'm with Becks--makes me feel much safer. ;)

Every spring, I wish our cat were a pacifist, but unfortunately for the mole population, she's not.

BTW--you and Alexandra both ROCK!!


Jeannie Holmes said...

Yes, Becky and Kelli, y'all are safe. You were anyway. I like you both too much. ;)

Graham Brown said...

I for one like when Alexadra beats the snot out of the non-humans. (It exciting.)

Also - I know you never bit but I have heard you ar pretty good at Author Smackdown!!!