Thursday, September 8, 2011

Character Closeup: Matthias

Matthias Rotesaugen's character arose from the following question: What happens if a nerd gets turned into a vampire?  I haven't seen a whole lot of nerdy vampires.  Evil vampires, check.  Suave vampires, check.  Handsome old fashioned vampires, check.  Seductress vampires, check.  But what about the nerds?  Surely there are some vampires that like to geek out.  And do they all have to be Luddites?  I mean, we get it, they're old, and old people don't do technology, right?

Wrong.  I know plenty of my elders that can handle a mouse just fine.  Playing World of Warcraft for the last four years has broadened my gamer horizon.  I've met some really cool, really smart, technically savvy, old nerds.  Old is not necessarily synonymous with technologically impaired.

Matthias is my social commentary on that.  He's a computer whiz.  He also is an avid gamer.  While Michael has a more traditional mistrust of this "newfangled technology," Matthias embraces it.  Ironically, Matthias is older than Michael.

Matthias is a German vampire.  His is neither tall, nor dark and handsome.  Mostly he's plain-looking.  Unremarkable.  Before he was turned, he developed the tic of pushing his glasses up on the bridge of his nose often.  The tic followed him into vampirism, though the glasses did not.

Matthias takes a rather glib approach to being a vampire.  He is not what I would call evil.  He simply rationalizes everything he does (like a good nerd).  He tends to agree with the generic vampire feeling toward humans (namely that they're a subspecies), but why not?  Vampires are, rationally, better in almost every regard (especially once you've rationalized the whole eating people thing). 

I play Matthias off as a dramatic foil to Michael.  Matthias delights in the adventure and enjoys exploring new things.  He's a happy-go-lucky sort of guy.  Confronting new things is a pleasant challenge for him.  He is extremely knowledgeable in most things, serving as a historian for his coven and masquerading as a permanent college student.  He loves learning.

Atypical of his kind, Matthias is a good friend.  He met Michael somewhat by chance, but wasted no time in taking the younger vampire into his tutelage.  Intellectually, he is drawn to Michael by our MC's peculiar lifestyle.  Emotionally, he's drawn to Michael as someone who has always wanted a best friend. 

Matthias is a very fun character to write.  If Michael's behavior was patterned after my father, Matthias is most certainly the most like myself.  He is my avenue for writing in some of my silly humor, or reflect on the fun side of my characters.  If I were turned into a vampire today, I'd hope to approach eternity like Matthias does.


Elizabeth Mitchell said...

Hi Matt,
I've awarded you the Liebster Blog Award


Nadja Notariani said...

Hey Matt -
I wanted to let you know that I started 'The Binder's Daughter' last night! I really liked the set up. But I still haven't met the 'Binder's daughter'....hhmmm. It added good suspense to realize that this whole beginning is still building toward this person's entrance into the story. ~ Nadja

Matt said...

@Elizabeth - Thank you so much! It makes me rosy to receive it from you. I'm a bit too busy to pay it forward right now, but I appreciate it all the same. Sometime soon, if I'm a good blogger, I should at least post about it with a link back to you for a proper thank you. We'll see how much time permits.

@Nadja - Awesome, thank you so much. It's good to know the tension works. Often, when you're writing and you already know most of the secrets, you're never sure whether it will carry. It's good to hear that it does. It turned out to sort of be a "part 1/part 2" novel with a mini-climax in the middle, but I won't say anything more than that :-).

Elizabeth Mitchell said...

Hey, no worries, Matt! You can probably tell from my unnaturally brief comment (especially from me!) that I am drowning in work myself.

I love that you are doing the character studies. I've had to pull back on reading Binder's Daughter since I have some long-overdue reviews, but I want to keep reading. So, like Nadja, I'm hooked!

Matt said...

Yep. It happens. I'm glad you're enjoying the story and take your time. I want to get more books before your finish anyway! :-)

If only we could write (well) as fast as we read... am I right?

Anyway, feel free to come back to any of these later with questions too. I get emails for every comment, even old ones (especially old ones, actually, since anything older than 10 days requires moderation in order to watch out for spam)... so I'll see it an answer.

I think as a writer it's always hard to know if your characters are going to come through as you intended. Also, I've already had some surprising insight into things even I didn't notice in my characters, which is a silly feeling, but awesome at the same time.

Post a Comment