Heroes, Villains and In-Between-Chris Marie Green

I Do Stuff!

Hi, all! And thank you to Selena for the opportunity to take part in this fun blog marathon.

I decided to write about sidekicks, mostly because they’re some of my favorite secondaries to develop. Yes, villains are meaty and dangerous, and without a protagonist, there’s no hope for the world. But sidekicks… Ah, sidekicks bring great balance to a story because they can be the heart, humor, and a breath of welcome relief between all the moments of conflict and intensity.

Consider what the movie Aliens would have been without Hudson, the wisecracking, rude, panicky marine who falls under the command of Ripley. On one hand, we have those aliens—perfect killers—screeching around killing everyone. On the other, we’ve got a perfect heroine—a mainly straight-to-business placeholder for the audience as she uses brain and brawn to battle the enemy. Hudson straddles the middle of this movie, making the viewers laugh when we need to the most, and actually even acting just like most of us would if we were to find ourselves in the same horrific situation: slightly hysterical and flailing in utter disbelief. (“Why don’t you put HER in charge?”) Even though Ripley saves the world, Hudson is the one who saves the audience’s sanity and soothes their nerves with his outbursts and comic asides.
Now, I write an urban fantasy series called Vampire Babylon, and I have my own sidekicks who serve just as much of a purpose as Hudson did. During the course of six books, one novella, and most recently, a short story (see below for details), my sidekicks have not only helped my heroine, Dawn Madison, save the world—they’ve helped to save her sanity in a variety of ways.

First, there’s Breisi Montoya. We meet her in Night Rising (book one) as a lab nerd—a kick-ass one at that. She’s the logistical brains behind the vampire hunting team that sets out to conquer a Hollywood underground lair. She’s a woman of few words, but when she says them, they have some impact on Dawn, who’s been in sore need of a female mentor ever since her mother, a silver-screen legend, suffered a brutal and very public death years ago. Breisi is a soulful sidekick—an Obi-Wan Kenobi of sorts. Instead of humor, she cuts the tension by placing Dawn firmly back in reality just as she’s about to go off the edge.

Then there’s Kiko Daniels, the team’s psychic and resident cut-up. As a “little person” thespian, he tends to “ACT!” quite a bit during the underground hunts. However, Kiko is no mere comic relief. The guy can use a revolver and any number of vampire-hunting weapons, and he can interview a suspect like no one’s business. And as for his “ACTING!”? He’s pretty good at using that skill, too, when it’s time to thrown a suspect mentally off balance. In many ways, Kiko is the younger brother Dawn never had, and the two of them have a deep, easy, goofy relationship that Dawn has never found outside of this vamp hunting circle.

All in all, while finding tragedy in life, Dawn actually finds a family in this group, and that’s an important point about sidekicks, I think. We love them for what they contribute to our heroes (or villains)–we love them because they add something our bigger stars are missing.

But, most of all, we love them because, in all the craziness, they make us, the readers, feel better, as well.

March release: A Vampire Babylon short story in the horror anthology Those Who Fight Monsters. Chris’s entry is entitled “Soul Stains” and it takes place after the events of Deep in the Woods, Vampire Babylon, Book Six.
Dawn Madison, ex vampire hunter, has been lured out of retirement by the sighting of an old, presumed-dead Hollywood starlet in a decrepit Vegas showroom. But is this entity merely a ghost? Or is it one of the escaped, mortalized Hollywood Underground vampires Dawn vowed to wipe off the face of the earth, even at the threat of returning her own soul to darkness?

Coming 07/27/11 Under the Pen Name Christine Cody

Author’s bio: Chris Marie Green is the author of the Vampire Babylon series, which includes Night Rising and A Drop of Red. In 2011, Ace will publish her new post-apocalyptic urban fantasy western noir Bloodlands series under the name Christine Cody. You can check in with her on Twitter (http://twitter.com/ChrisMarieGreen ), Facebook(http://www.facebook.com/people/Chris-Marie-Green/1051327765 ), MySpace (myspace.com/vampirebabylon), or her blog (http://crystal-green.blogspot.com/ ).

She also has a newsletter (http://www.vampirebabylon.com/lists/?p=subscribe ) and a web site at www.chrismariegreen.com .

 

Contest: Comment to be entered to win a signed copy of Book 6, Deep in the Woods in the Vampire Babylon series. Good Luck!

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