Happy Friday the Thirteenth, y’all!
I’ve taken a week off from working on The Dragon of Doughton Park while my editing and cover design teams slave away. I’m also taking some time to study for my SAC state certification exam coming up on the 21st (can’t ignore the day job completely, you know –y’all wish me luck), and while I immerse myself in counseling core functions and competencies I’m monitoring sales of The Draculata Nest.
Yeah, sales of DN continue to trickle in (more of a drip than a trickle, actually) and more folks are adding it to their reading lists on Goodreads, yet my first novel has managed to stay pretty much under the radar so far. But, I was delighted to find a new 4-star review listed on Amazon this week, by TheOneTree “Debi”, from Australia. You can click on the link to see all her reviews. I found it interesting, and you might, too. TheOneTree "Debi" Amazon Reviews
The review of DN is the fifth one down.
One thing Debi mentioned in her review of DN was how uncomfortable she was with the age difference in some of the characters. She wasn’t specific, in order to avoid spoilers, but I know what she was talking about. There is a physical attraction between the 60-year-0ld werewolf, Clifford, and the teenaged coed, Danielle.
Debi was able to work through it and ultimately enjoy the book, and so have most readers, but it can be an uncomfortable subject. (If it’s any consolation to you, Debi, think what my friends have had to deal with. Many of them have identified me with Clifford and have had to fight through the mental image of me in the sex scenes. Disturbing, to say the least!) The attraction between younger women and older men is a phenomenon with which I’ve always been fascinated.
Clifford certainly has to deal with it. As a rejuvenated werewolf, genetically engineered for charisma, there is the inevitable issue of sexual attraction when he and young Danielle are thrown together. Here’s a scene that was ultimately deleted from the published version of The Draculata Nest, where Clifford and his old friend Kent bring the dilemma out in the open.
Kent made a comment, almost sub-vocally, knowing Clifford would be able to hear him. “Were young girls as pretty when we were that age? They seem to get better looking every year.”
“It sure seems that way to me,” agreed Clifford. “I wonder if it’s just the contrast between them and old farts like us, but it seems like there are more gorgeous girls of a younger age than ever before. I feel like a dirty old man most of the time at school. You should see some of the girls in my classes. Jeez.”
“They all look as good as Danielle?”
“Some. She kind of stands out, though.”
“How’d you manage to hook up with her, anyway? What does she see in you?”
Clifford shook his head. “I don’t know, Kent. Seriously, I don’t.”
“I was making a joke, dufus. Don’t take it so hard.”
“I’m old enough to be her grandfather.”
“Yes, you are. So what?”
“So, don’t you think that’s a little creepy?”
“Not for you.”
“What does that mean?”
“I mean it’s natural for you. For all men, really, but especially for you. It’s a pattern for you, going for younger women. There was a difference in ages with you and your first wife, and your second wife was even more so, what, ten years?”
“Right, so it’s natural that you should go for someone even younger now. It’s consistent behavior for you. It’s congruent.”
“Oh, fuck you.”
Kent chuckled. “See, it’s like you doubled the age difference the first time, so you should double it again. No, wait. That would mean she’d have to be thirty. But, hey, nineteen’s the new thirty, I hear.”
“You’re not helping.”
“Oh, come on, man. I’m just giving you some shit. Honestly, I don’t see anything wrong with it. She likes you, a lot, for whatever reason. If I were you, I’d just roll with it and see how it goes.”
“It’s going great now, isn’t it?” Clifford said, sarcastically.
“Hmm, you got a point there,” Kent chuckled. “You should’ve considered your
girlfriend might have been abducted by vampires before you got involved in the first place.”
He sighed at his friend’s lack of response. “I’m kidding, dipshit. You have to stop blaming
yourself for all this. You can’t help what you are.”
So, is that it, do you think? We just can’t help what we are? That’s one of the theories I subscribe to, which parallels another theme in the Red Wolf Novels – that biological and social evolution cannot keep up with the advances of technology and civilization. Males still look for the young, healthy females of child-bearing age even though there is no practical necessity. Older women are no longer at risk in childbirth, nor are we that interested in creating children. And the pack structure of the werewolves, once an evolutionary survival trait, is now in danger of causing their extinction because it doesn’t fit with modern civilization.
But in some cases, of which I believe Clifford Crane is an example, I think older men see in younger women a chance to go back and correct past mistakes, a do-over for the one that was lost or got away. And Clifford is definitely haunted by a lost love in his past, Claire Deerfoot.
Well, that’s all for now. I’ll share more musings on the subject next week in part II. Meanwhile, if you want to learn more about The Draculata Nest so you can keep up with the blog or get ready for the sequel, click on one of the links below.
Until then… happy reading!