Don’t front. I know you’ve been breathlessly waiting for this blog post! It’s time for the second and final installment in the series about the main characters of Dead SULs.
Presented with further comment, then, the other principal players in my forthcoming dramedy. (Once again their corresponding counterparts from Gogol’s Dead Souls follow each character’s name in parentheses):
Kristina MÁrquez (nee Madam Korobochka) – In Dead SULs I’ve turned this older, widowed landowner into a feisty Mary Kay cosmetics saleswoman. She runs across the protagonist while he’s on a layover in the Dallas-Fort Worth airport. Just as in the original, he doesn’t think she’s going to be of much use to him; but then it turns out she’s unexpectedly savvy when it comes to marketing makeup via Facebook, and she may have some accounts to sell him after all… (See how I’m playing off the first letters of the names, there? M-K? K-M? Mmmkay.)
sonofabitch (nee Sobakievich) – This is where I really start having fun. In Gogol’s original work this character is the archetype of Russian pragmatism; he gets right down to business when it comes to making a deal for the dead souls. No pretense, no bullshit. In a nod to his Russian roots, I’ve translated him into a Siberian hacker who goes by the name “sonofabitch” online. (See what I did with the names there, again? Ehh? Eh? Now you’re feelin’ me.)
Michael Probst (nee Plyushkin) – Loosely based on Apple Macher Steve Jobs, my dad, and this guy, Probst is a San Fran-based startup genius. He knows everything about everything. He’s really fun to write for because he’s constantly making random historical references and saying things in Latin. Basically this is where I get to indulge all of my tendencies toward linguistic grandiosity. (See, there I go with the overwriting right now!)
(Also, as in Dead Souls, this character is a total hoarder. I refer you to Exhibit A, a description of the OCD-adjacent Plyushkin’s Syndrome, which actually owes its name to Gogol’s book.)
??? (nee Girl in Carriage, a.k.a. the Governor’s Daughter) – Finally, the X Factor. The wild-card character, whom I’ve neither named nor figured out yet. In Dead Souls she’s really just a plot device, and it’s through her that we get some insight into the antihero’s underlying motivations.
I’ve entertained a few possibilities: maybe she’s a tech blogger, like the journalist in Cory Doctorow’s brilliant book Makers. Maybe she’s an ex-girlfriend whose movements my guy obsessively follows on Facebook, like Jon Favreau’s character does in the movie Swingers, only stalkier.
The thing is, I have all kinds of functions I want her to fulfill, which is basically Bad Idea Jeans for a story. Just like Chia pets, it’s much better to let your characters grow naturally. So against all of my controlling impulses (and Oh, I have so many!) I’m trying to leave it loose right now. If you have any ideas as to her whereabouts or identity contact me immediately. The reward is, umm, a credit in the afterword of my unpublished book. Sweeeet.
So there you have it, the cast and characters of this experiment in fiction I’m acting out online. Ahh! The first book excerpt is only a week away! Please excuse me now – I gots to get to writin’!