Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Small Tributes

I understand that readers don't want to miss clues that may be important to the story.  But after another complaint about the fact that I name a lot of incidental characters, I feel I should explain.

After the Sandy Hook shootings, a number of postings on Facebook listed the names of the victims, memorializing them instead of spreading the name of the shooter.  For my own small tribute, I began incorporating those names in the books I was on, Royalty through Evan's Ladies.  A first name here for a nurse, a last name there for a Sentinel agent, these people were only mentioned one or two times for a number of reasons.

First, I wanted to showcase the names in positive ways, such as watchmen or other caretakers of the Imperial Family.  I even used 'Marquez-Greene' for the Speaker of the Galactic Assembly, representing law and order.  Second, I wanted to provide names for the typically 'nameless people' to show that the Imperial Family cares enough to learn the names of their caretakers.  Third, I wanted to memorialize these children and teachers with careers, stations in life which I think they would have been proud to take up in those future realities.

The one thing I did not want to have to do was explain all this publicly because I did not want any of the family or friends of the victims to rush to buy my book and discover their loved one's name as an incidental character not mentioned more than a few times.  I did it for my own small personal tribute, and I do not want anyone to tell any Sandy Hook people about it because I do a lot of minor tributes to people that way, without explanation.

I apologize if you are the type of reader who takes notes and expects every named person to play an important role in the story.  In my mind, the Sentinels, watchmen, medics, nurses, ladies, lords, and other support staff ARE important to the story, and deserve not to be faceless.  I'll try not to bombard you with them in further stories.

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