Saturday, May 19, 2007
Judith's Reaction to Vernus and Jait
Last week when I was attending an out of town research workshop, I had a chance to visit with my former PhD supervisor, and finally told her about The Longevity Thesis. I figured it was as good a chance as any to really emphasize the point that the construction of the character Vernus was in no way based on my experience in her lab. Perhaps I'm belaboring this point, but I just keep getting asked, "So was your own grad supervisor really awful?". Judith has a pretty good sense of humour, so of course she immediately pinned me down on when the first draft of the manuscript had been written, satisfied herself that it was before I ever started in her lab, and then asked me, "So what was your Master's supervisor like?" Very funny. For the record, my MSc supervisor also did not contribute in any way to the character of Vernus, who was first construed when I was an undergrad. There, I'm done. I promise to never bring it up again. Unless I get asked again.
On reading the description of Jait as "weak-willed" on Amazon.com, Judith then teasingly asked me if I had based that character on her. What? The only similarities there are the first letter of their names. If I hadn't been thrown for a loop by that one, I would have teased her back that in my experience, she was anything but weak-willed, especially after all the intensity put into how our lab publications had to be worded just right. (She's a writer too -- birds of a feather, I guess.)
Yah. Jait. He's a weird one. Ultimately powerful, but trapped by his own disbelief. Supremely positioned to really take control of all things, but unable to overcome his own poor opinion of himself to even glimpse the possibilities of what he could do. He's quite the study in low self-esteem and how it can destroy a person, whereas Vernus just seems to be rather cookie-cutterish. Unapologetically evil, arrogant, completely self-assured and uncaring of whether or not people like him so long as they show an appropriate amount of respect. These two are distinct polar opposites, and before anyone asks, no, neither one is based on me. I just made them up.
Given a choice though, I'm not sure which one I'd rather be . . .