Sunday, December 22, 2013

Meet: Adam and Death

When Adam Lacroft Met Death
by Carlos Paolini


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by Carlos Paolini
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Immortality, Californication, Tweets and Other Inspirations behind W.A.L.M.D

I never really wanted to write about Death. When I started writing this novel, I wasn’t sure about a lot of things. The setting, the story, the characters were all unclear. I just knew one thing: I wanted a villain. Someone that was cruel and ruthless, but could execute these traits with supreme elegance. An antagonist that was aware of the damage she did, but still managed to enjoy it. A character that was now corrupt and distorted, but showed traces and shades of the person she used to be. A psychopath not born, but made. Forged.

The figure of Death as a person served this profile perfectly. It gave my villainess a state of being that required sacrifice in exchange for power. It raises the question of how she got there and then there are allusions throughout the novel that indicate just how much she lost in the way. Her condition allowed me to explore subjects like immortality and isolation and how they affect a person’s psyche. How they influence principles and morality and shape them into something that allows them to stay sane, but that ultimately clashes with what we know as right or wrong.

When starting to create Death’s relationship with Adam, I drew inspiration from the T.V series Californication. The show is about a successful writer that constantly wrecks his personal life and hurts those around him because he is unable to refrain from having destructive relationships with beautiful women. He knows when a woman is a bad idea, but he can’t help finding her incredibly attractive, or tragically compelling, and going for her, even when terrible consequences ensue. Based on this same principle, Adam turns a blind eye to Eve’s negative traits. He chooses to ignore the fact that she’s volatile and spoiled, because she is also gorgeous and charming. Even when Adam knows that Eve has lied to him and that she is responsible for the grave things that are going to happen to him, he still likes flirting with her. She’s going to kill me tomorrow, but she looks so adorable when she blushes. He is not incapable of cutting off this relationship: he is simply unwilling. Making out with Death is too much of a temptation for Adam to say no, even when that kiss might certainly be his last.

A more general inspiration for my novel was this phrase: “Write the kind of book you’d like to read.” I don’t know who said it or where I even first saw it. No joke, I think it was a tweet, but it is the best advice I have ever received as a writer. When I wrote this novel, I thought only of myself. I like books with dark humor, witty dialogues and romance. I like stories with sex, plot twists and backstories, so I wrote one with all these elements, to the best of my talent. Because I write for myself, I weave my inner most complexes and memories and fantasies into the narrative. Since they are something I share with lots of people my age, it makes my writing, not extraordinary or unusual, but honest and relatable. I did not write this novel for anyone out there, but I hope the people that read it enjoy it as much as I enjoyed creating it.


Guest post created by Carlos Paolini, author of When Adam Lacroft Met Death
© 2013. All rights reserved.

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by Carlos Paolini
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