I’m kind of freaking out (in a good way) about Liam, now the time is drawing nigh. It’s currently slated for late August, sooooo hell yes. I thought I’d do some character introductions beyond what the site gives.
For the first one, we’re stuck with Liam Corchoran. Who, spoiler alert (but not really cuz, yeah, no shit), becomes a vampire somewhere in the first, oh, third of his book. In terms of defining qualities, one will inevitably be a vampire’s method of killing — which, for Liam, is described amply through his first kill excerpt (scroll down to the middle here). In short, he’s the smash-grab-rip-mess kind.
Bloodlust is all-pervasive, but these vampires retain much of their human personality, if in a twisted way. Liam’s other defining quality, if I had to pick just one, would be his inability to relate to other people through anything but fiction. This occasionally takes the form of a normal book discussion — which then tends to go awry, in the wrong (or right) hands:
[Gianni said,] “By the way, I read your books.”
He couldn’t have made me happier if he’d been trying. “And?”
“I liked them.”
“A lot, right?”
A sigh then, and he leaned an arm on my shoulder as if the weight of the admission was too much for him. “A lot.”
I took another drink, extremely pleased with myself. Just call me The Motherfucking Educator, thanks.
“But…” He breathed against my ear, resting his cheek on his arm, which effectively draped him over my side. “I guess now isn’t the best time for an in-depth discussion. I’ll make a full confession some other night, if you like.”
Mmm, not fair, Gianni, using the drunk guy’s love of Dune to get close to his neck like that. Creepy fuck.
But this habit of Liam’s can also take a more alarming form, when he actually explains human motivations and situations to himself with the advertised “harebrained literary analogies”. For example, in re Gianni:
I watched him until he faded into the dark, wondering if this goddamn uncomfortable mixed-up feeling made me the resentful, admiring Nick Carraway to his effortless, romantic Jay Gatsby. A crap idea, since it made my confusion about what was honest and what was a lie that much more solid. What real motivation was there for him to take me into his confidence like that, regardless of his credibility, and how much bad news would it be for me to like him, either way?
It can also be used against him more effectively than any other weapon, by friends/lovers. As with Madison:
[I said,] “Be careful, I might out-Sherlock Holmes you.”
“Dupin is cooler, anyhow.” Madison looked over her shoulder and tried to make a disapproving face, but a grin split it quickly. That grin was so familiar (and it was so hot of her to make a Poe reference) that I nearly asked her to reconsider taking advantage of me.
His hand emerged with a pack of cigarettes, from which he armed us both. “You’re a terrible liar–I’m ashamed you ever fooled me. Have a cigarette; what is it Wilde said about them being so perfect?”
I didn’t feel like dancing, so ignored the first statement. “That they’re exquisite and leave one unsatisfied.”
Never one to complain about a literary theme being introduced, I kept quiet for a moment. [...] Then I said, “It’s only human to want more. Lowered standards never made anyone happy.”
“That’s true.” He held the match out for me. “But even if people were offered what they really wanted, they wouldn’t take it. I believe the quote was that the dissatisfaction was the reason for preferring cigarettes.”
By that time I’d finished lighting and had a drag, so I held the smoke in my lungs. Now there was another interesting idea. “But that’s just some little momentary satisfaction. Almost everyone likes holding off on those.”
Let’s just say I was glad the lack of light and my cloud of smoke would hide my flush.
“No Long Island girls and Harvard boys?”
[Gianni said,] “Not even lazy, good-looking, aristocratic Princeton could tempt me.”
His tone spoke of quotation, so I asked, “What’s that from?”
“This Side of Paradise*.” More smirking, a little smug.
I loved when he did that to me. I was never sure if that was because it fed my ego that he went out of his way to speak my language, or if it was just that his brain was generally sexy. Probably a little of both. I gave him his point, anyhow: “Haven’t read that one.”
“You had better; I think it’s about you in a past life.”
And oh, god, when his family pulls out the stops and starts on James Joyce, it’s near world-ending, but we’ll save that for another time. The point is that it’s a pretty big weakness, and one he has occasion to regret pretty often:
Jesus, that was the kind of night you read about in books full of champagne and jazz and rich kids with nothing better to do than fuck each other in every way imaginable. My Great Gatsby analogy coming back to haunt me.
That’s what you get for making shit literary references, Liam. Way to go.
So yeah, the guy’s a monster. But he has some crushingly human qualities that clash with his natural violence, especially once the whole raging bloodlust thing makes the violence even harder to deny. But don’t worry, he doesn’t spend the whole time angsting about it. Just the requisite time.
G’s there to make sure he devotes himself to glorying in it, instead. But I’ll do that guy next.
*This is why I left F. Scott Fitzgerald a thank you note. A month later, Belfire sent me a contract, so I am now not-so-secretly convinced he’s Liam’s patron saint. They’re both privileged Irish Catholic boys with ties to the Lost Generation, in love with art they don’t quite understand (or, perhaps, in love with with not quite understanding art), and devoted to people who may well destroy them but will be totally worth it. And I invented Liam before I knew jack shit about FSF. Let me have my illusions.