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About Varied / Hobbyist Member RachaelFemale/United States Groups :iconthegreatmarysuehunt: TheGreatMarySueHunt
 
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A few questions I’ve received that are a little more specific than the FAQs, though I admit there is some overlap.  I just wanted to address this.

Q: What is the purpose of Savannah as a character?  She doesn’t seem to achieve much and she’s a bit two-dimensional.

A: Savannah isn’t so much a character as she is a plot device; her purpose is primarily to accentuate Nina’s removal from society.  Where Nina is solitary and bookish, Savannah is social and vapid; I admit, I also played the teen pregnancy card, which was cheap, but it served a double purpose.  Not only did it give the impression that Savannah lived for fun (and screw the consequences), but it allowed for the idea of this world to balloon out a little more; obviously Savannah is well-liked, so this didn’t inhibit her social image at all, and I think that speaks volumes for the Biopunk universe.  Mind you, this wasn’t meant to peg her as a bad person, just as one that conforms perfectly to societal norms. I think something also needs to be said about how when I chose her name, I was sure to pick one that sounded the worst without being stereotypical of the rich blond girl.

Q: You’ve been hinting at darker sides for both Samson and Chris; what are they, and why didn’t they make a more prominent appearance in the book?

A: The dark sides of Samson and Chris are utterly different animals, so I’ll tackle them each separately.

        First, we’ll talk about Samson.  On the surface, he’s very likeable (a fast favorite, really).  He’s gentle, morally sustainable, considerate, and just awkward and solitary enough to make him “adorkable.”  While you could definitely argue that his inability to speak without stammering or his tendency to work himself into the ground count as flaws, they fall a little short of the stubborn, bitter attitude we see in Nina or the bottomless guilt we see in Chris (but more on that later).  Of course, like most people, there are some bits of his past he’d rather keep buried; namely, his history as an alcoholic.  A few years back, Samson legitimately had an alcohol problem that he managed to pull out of with willpower, his sister, and a lot of coffee.  During Biopunk, he’s something like two years sober, and a lot more timid for it.

        As for Chris, his dark side actually appears in the book for a few brief (and one not so brief) moments.  While he would rather not hurt anyone and feels terrible for what he’s done to people, there’s a side of him that’s incredibly aware of his skill as a, shall we say, “Night Surgeon.”  As much as he hates it, he knows he could be a highly effective killer, and that scares him a little.  At what point does one decide who deserves to live and who deserves to die?  Is it ever acceptable to harm someone?  These are the questions that come into his head a lot, and questions that he refuses to address.  Once or twice he’s let it get the better of him, and for that I don’t think he allows himself much sleep.
        Neither of these conflicts come up (much) in the books because they aren’t entirely relevant.  Chris’s struggle is a bit more than Samson’s, which is why we see it, but Samson’s purpose in this book is to mentor the kids and cure the disease; we don’t get into his head quite as much.  I have been toying with another book for him, though--but that’s for another time.

Q: Out of all the implications of biotechnological abuse, you chose one of the most cliche--organ theft.  Why?

A: Because it’s cool?  No, no, I do have a better reason than that.  Admittedly part of it has to do with my tendency to prefer the grotesque--the squickier the better, in my opinion--but it’s also part of an appeal to ethos, a little challenge.  There are few things that society truly and wholeheartedly proclaims as disgusting, but a physical violation of privacy is one of them.  Would you consider a sex offender a sympathetic character?  Of course not.  That kind of thing goes way beyond the acceptable.  So in what way would be an organ thief--someone who literally cuts you open and takes your insides--be any better?  That goes beyond a violation of privacy; that’s just sick.  Urban legends aside, there’s a real, global black market for human organs, and it’s a problem that tends to stay on the back burner of the news for whatever reason.  (My theory is that it squicks people out!  But that still doesn’t make sense, because fear sells.  Ah, I digress.)  

        My point is, creating a character who does something so vile, so horrific, and somehow managing to bring the readers around to his perspective to pity him, is a challenge I gladly accepted.  It challenges moral compasses, it causes insomnia.  I love it.

        ...That and if there’s one thing I know about it’s human anatomy, all right?

Q: Speaking of insomnia, it seems to be a pretty common theme in Biopunk that your characters have trouble sleeping.  Is this a stylistic decision, or a theme, or something else entirely?

A: In short, a lot of my characters have insomnia because I do.  I often have a hard time sleeping at night--sometimes I have nightmares, sometimes I’m just a derp for whatever reason--regardless, the problem exists.  I realize this may be a bit of unnecessary author appeal, but it’s just easier for me to imagine the type of character who gets in bed and stares at the ceiling for three hours than it is for me to imagine the type of character whose head hits the pillow and falls asleep instantly.  I’ll admit that there’s a lot of me in Samson--I have a tendency to drink a lot of coffee and put off bedtime in favour of more writing, more art, more research.  So basically, no, insomnia isn’t a theme, just a means to achieve my end.

Q: Animals are a common source of controversy when exploring bioethics and biotechnology--genetic engineering, breeding, chemical testing--with all these subjects, why is it never addressed?

A: For one, I never addressed it because it’s very easy to step on people’s toes with a subject like animal rights, and I didn’t particularly want to deal with all the specific controversies.  For another, I considered it somewhat boring.  Why handle animals when you can handle people?  As controversial as animal rights are, there will always be that group of people who likes steak with its steak and doesn’t really give a hoot.  When the subject is people, though, it’s a lot harder to brush off the topics as irrelevant.  Again, a good deal of my work is primarily to make people squirm, so the more extreme, the better.

  • Mood: Distracted
  • Reading: The Fountainhead by Ayn Rand
  • Eating: meh
  • Drinking: Milkshake

deviantID

Tigerach
Rachael
Artist | Hobbyist | Varied
United States
Hi there, you can call me Tigerach. Or Tiger, or Rach, or Goggles, or Captain. I am a Christian first and foremost, however I am also a science fiction writer, an aspiring cartoonist, a weird-as-all-get-out artist and a Defective Detective. I like things that are spooky and ghoulish just because that's the way I am. I see dead people and I like it. Caffeine addict.
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:iconpotat-stache:
Potat-Stache Featured By Owner 5 days ago  New member Hobbyist Traditional Artist
I thought you'd like this, I found it just like 2 minutes agoXD

www.youtube.com/watch?v=56R3hU…
Steven King VS. Edgar Allen Poe.
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:icontigerach:
Tigerach Featured By Owner Jul 19, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
Ew is right!
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:iconbluetailedfly:
BlueTailedFly Featured By Owner Jul 19, 2014
I know!  Kinda funny in a crossing the line twice kinda way?
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:icontigerach:
Tigerach Featured By Owner Jul 19, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
A little?  I was disturbed.
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(1 Reply)
:icontigerach:
Tigerach Featured By Owner Jul 17, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
I saw that!  I don't think I'd win anything, though.
Reply
:iconbluetailedfly:
BlueTailedFly Featured By Owner Jul 18, 2014
Maybe some art rep.
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:icontigerach:
Tigerach Featured By Owner Jul 18, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
Maybe.  My style doesn't lend itself too well to this sort of thing, however much I love Poe.
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(1 Reply)
:iconbluetailedfly:
BlueTailedFly Featured By Owner Jul 17, 2014
Good night to you.
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