Beautiful People #16 – March Edition (Red as Blood)

In which all my good intentions for sticking to the same project derail, and I introduce my newest novel project – vintage-y sci fi/cyberpunk-with lots of food

So, I had fully intended to use The Butler Did It  . . . (my alternate history/steampunk project), but here’s the thing: sometimes characters have such a strong voice that they shove themselves into whatever you’re doing, screaming WRITE ME!

Naturally, as an author, this is a good thing – but it can be pretty inconvenient (if you’re driving on a rainy freeway, or showering, or at work with nothing to write on . . .).
At any rate - that voice belongs to Sull (a.k.a.Sully, Sullen, The Boy, etc ), a mysterious boy who is:
1. Obviously going by a fake name
2. Has a lot to hide
3. Has been starving and scavenging on his own for a year. 
4. Is so lovely that it gets him into scads of trouble and has caused all sorts of psychological trauma

What else you need to know: 
1. This project takes place in the world of The Last Coffee Shop (just later on the timeline), where alternate "Earth" is an apocalyptic wasteland, diverse species and races of aliens rule the skies, and the sci-fi environment is heavily influenced by Edgar Rice Burroughs, world mythology and music, and Lost in Space. 

2. It's currently titled Red as Blood, and it's best described as HippolytusSnow WhiteHallyu Wave culture + Haute couture. 

3. My strange fixation on food service locations continues, with a greasy diner in a mining colony in the middle of nowhere (space) serving as the major setting this time. Henpecked Bar & Grill is famous for it's salvaged, antique chicken signs, and the seven short (dubious and fierce) women who run it with iron fists and toothy grins. It's no place for a pretty boy . . .

Intrigued? Then read on.
(Just in case you were wondering, Beautiful People is an awesome monthly writing meme hosted by Cait at Paper Fury and Sky at Further Up and Further In)

1. What first inspired this character? Is there a person/actor you based them off?

Most of my recent projects have involved mainly adult (or considered an adult for their time) characters, so maybe I felt the need to write in the first person perspective of a teenage boy??  

Sull (a misspelled variation of his name that he goes by for most of the book) is a complicated fellow, and he had a lot of inspiration - my teenage self, my brothers, characters I love, etc. Also, I had the sudden desire to write about a teenage model who runs away and gets a job in food service . . . ahem. Anyhow, here are some pictures/things that influenced Sull's character.
(image credits - L to R, T to B - artmeg101, LuhanMemories, amy-core, Pinterestgermanmissileskqotd

2. Describe their daily routine.

Before he ran away - Sull was on an extremely rigid schedule, supervised by his agent, manager, and nanny. Now he bums around, steals things, and looks for food. He also gets into fights - which he never wins.

3. If they joined your local high school, what clique would they fit into?

That's an interesting thought - Sull has been privately tutored all his life, and his interactions with his peers are a disaster. Personality wise, he'd be in the loners/outcasts. But (pre-story) considering his wealth, his father's name, and his background, he could be one of those rich, popular kids (though I doubt he'd last long there).

4. Write a list of things they merely tolerate. Ex: certain people, foods, circumstances in their lives…

1. Fame
2. His father
3, His agent
4. Humanity
5. Life

Note - this is not to be confused with the list of things he actively hates.

5. How does he react in awkward silences?

He stays silent. He likes quiet and solitude, and would prefer a world where no one spoke. And his poker face is A++

6. Can they swim? If so, how did they learn?

No. He's never been swimming, or even had the opportunity. It probably wouldn't occur to him as a fun activity.

7. What is one major event that helped shape who they are?

MAJOR SPOILERS. You'll have to read the book someday to find out. 
For a secondary event, when Sull gets a job in the kitchen at the Henpecked Bar & Grill, it changes his life in ways he'd never imagined.

8. What things do they value most in life?

His personal integrity. He has his own code and he never breaks it.

9. Do they believe in giving other people second chances? Do they have any trust issues?

While Sull has no problem with "second chances" as a concept, he doesn't really believe in them. Trust issues = his middle name. Based on his past/where he came from, there are a lot of reasons why he never trusts anyone.

10. Your character is having a rough day…what things do they do to make them happy again? Is there anyone they talk/interact with to get in a better mood?

Before Sull ran away, he was carefully monitored for behavioral or mood imbalances. Any sign of rebellion brought a new prescription. Now that Sull's been on his own for a year, he's used to feeling everything, and because he's all alone, he acts out however he feels like acting. He's usually pretty destructive.

Later in the novel, after Sull makes a few friends, he gets a couple confidants who can talk him out of his notoriously bad moods.

While he may not be the most personable chap, Sull is pretty fun to write about, and his adventures with the “Seven Sisters” are all kinds of interesting things to plot out. And I haven’t even mentioned half of the plot or characters here!

What do you think about Sull and his strange world? Would you like to work in the kitchens of a space diner? Did you see the movie John Carter of Mars? I am one of the 10 people who not only saw that movie – they loved it. I read the book first, and I still liked it.

Follow Beck’s board Writing Inspiration: Red as Blood on Pinterest.

20 thoughts on “Beautiful People #16 – March Edition (Red as Blood)”

  1. My brother talked me into going to John Carter with him, and although I went in thinking it would be stupid, I actually thought it was hugely fun. 🙂 I don’t think I would like to work in the kitchen of a space diner… but I can’t wait to read more about it! 😀

    1. Erin – for whatever reason, my blog flagged you and I had to go in and approve your comments!! And it ate my comment back to you –

      I don’t really want to work in a kitchen in ANY diner (too much food service exposure, lol). But it makes for interesting writing.

      Yeah! High fives you across the internet for being part of the John Carter club. Poor movie was terribly underrated, in my opinion <3

  2. I’m sure I’ve said it before, Rebekah, but the sheer imagination in each of your stories is staggering. Makes me wish I could be so daring or inventive with my own!

    Poor Sull. He’s super-interesting as a character, but also very down and out on his luck. I started sympathizing with him as soon as you mentioned that he never wins his fights. I’d hug him… but he doesn’t sound like the kind who likes hugs very much.

    Hmmmmm. So if he’d prefer to live in a world where no one spoke, I wonder how he’ll adapt to working in a space diner… ?

    Also, if your story is partly inspired by Snow White, does that mean that the seven women who run Henpecked are your versions of the seven dwarves? 😀 Also, that’s an awesome name for the diner.

    FYI – Mine should post on Thursday. And judging from your reaction to the Beautiful Books post I did about a future novella, I think this one will grab your interest. 😉

    1. Wow, that’s the nicest way of telling me I’m strange that I’ve ever seen
      (lol, teasing you)
      In all seriousness, I have no idea where I come up with these things. They just pop out and I feel like I can’t take any of the credit. (Actually, my real-world food service saga seems to be the driving force behind half of my plotlines – who knew?)

      You got it – Henpecked is run by the “Seven Sisters,” aka the seven dwarves, who are a bunch of short warrior women/outcasts turned entrepreneurs. And Sull mainly works in the kitchen (his face is on a ton of billboards, so he can’t work anywhere you’d see him). And I want to hug him too, but I really don’t think he’d like it at all. He doesn’t like being touched (he’s actually very skittish). I feel like he’s got a lot of good qualities buried deep beneath hurt and emotional debris. Poor darling. I’m a mean one. (But if I wasn’t, there wouldn’t be a story)

      AHHH – I’m really excited about that novella. Awesome!
      Thanks for reading!

      1. “WOW, THAT’S THE NICEST WAY OF TELLING ME I’M STRANGE THAT I’VE EVER SEEN (LOL, TEASING YOU).”

        😛 XD

        So, if the seven sisters are new versions of the seven Dwarves, does each sister reflect Happy, Grumpy, Dopey, Sleepy, etc.? (Sorry, I had to ask… But that would make for some fun scenes to write!)

        Yeah, poor Sull. I wonder if his experience with fame contributed to his skittishness and desire to avoid people for the most part….?

        I think some of the most interesting characters are like that: possessing good qualities that are masked or overshadowed by pain or emotional wounds. Nomaro is like that. Eva is, too – though in TKC, she has an easier time with letting her good qualities come through. I imagine she’ll be more angry in the novella. 😮

        Hey, if we weren’t mean to our characters, their stories wouldn’t be as interesting. That’s why I use the hashtag #EvilAuthor sometimes when I’m working on my stuff. Hee hee. 😉

        1. Yes! For example, Sleepy is actually the bartender (Okay, she isn’t called Sleepy though) looks really drowsy and low-key, but she’s like a sword at rest – extremely deadly and sharp as can be.
          Fame, and other experiences, all contributed to making poor Sull a skittish little thing. He’s had really bad experiences with people over all.
          I agree – those are the most interesting characters. I especially admire characters who fall, rise, fall, rise, have all kinds of baggage, and then end up awesome.
          #JustEvilAuthorThings

  3. My brother talked me into going to John Carter with him, and although I was thoroughly prepared for it to be stupid, I actually enjoyed it hugely! 🙂 I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t want to work in the kitchen of a space diner, but I look forward to reading about it! 😀

    1. I know! It was strange and fun, and so retro feeling. Ben, Grace, and I seemed to be the only people who had even seen it!!
      With too much experience working in a cafe kitchen, I don’t really WANT to work in one in general, I just have this need to write about food service though. Coping mechanism, maybe? Or maybe I just like the real world elements transposed into wonky space ones. (That’s more likely).
      Thanks Erin <3

  4. “Also, I had the sudden desire to write about a teenage model who runs away and gets a job in food service” — I hate when that happens 😉

    I absolutely loved this post, fave BP I’ve read today! (And I have been dutifully bouncing round the linkie, so I’ve read a few.) First things first, your blog is gorgeous.

    I love the sound of this novel. Sull is a great name, and I LOVE the description of the Henpecked Bar & Grill! The world sounds very unique and a bit Douglas Adams-esque; am I right?

    Great great post, Rebekah 🙂

    1. ‘“Also, I had the sudden desire to write about a teenage model who runs away and gets a job in food service” — I hate when that happens’ LOL. If we’re talking about me, I get random writing urges like this all the time. Occasionally I pause and think, ‘nah, too weird,’ but not often!!

      Awww, thank you so much! That made my day 🙂 I’m really glad you liked it. And thanks for the positive feedback on the blog – it’s my new one and I spent far too many hours tweaking it, so it’s very validating 😉

      You called it – Douglas Adams is another big inspiration (but I hope to avoid the empty, bleak feel of some of his stuff). I just have this thing for really fantastical vintage scifi, like the original Star Trek TV series, Lost in Space (the B&W) show, and naturally, Star Wars. And the Henpecked Bar & Grill is basically what would happen if Thorin’s Company from The Hobbit were all warrior women instead, and they got washed up and decided to open a diner in a deserted mining colony.

      Thanks again! I’ll head over and check out your BP 🙂

  5. I watched and loved John Carter too!
    I love this guy already, Sull. Even more after seeing he looks like L and G Dragon. I love Crooked, omigosh. Your new blog design is killer, by the way.

    1. Hooray! More people for my John Carter club 😉

      I love Sull too! (Uhh, I guess that was obvious . . . but when have I refrained from stating the obvious??) He’s so fun to write as. The ease with which I write in the voice of angry, moody, misanthropic teen boys is a little startling though!
      Crooked has been my ringtone for, uhm . . . four months straight? I think. I love that song, and the video, and they just communicated Sull so well. Of course, I basically love anything G-Dragon does, even stupid Instagram pictures, so, there you go. I’m an easy sell. *blushes*

  6. Sull, I want to hug him and make him alright! *tears* But seriously, you keep coming up with these crazy fab story ideas, girl. 😀
    Reading through the comments here:
    “The ease with which I write in the voice of angry, moody, misanthropic teen boys is a little startling though!”–I had to laugh at that one! I’m writing about a teenage boy in both my WIPs too, and it’s strange how easy it is, or maybe I’m strange and that makes it easy? Idk, something like that. XD
    Love the diner name, and how so many different things went into inspiring this story. Really, Korean Lost in Space diner hallyu Snow White? Who thinks of mash-ups like that?

    I will go look up John Carter now. 😉

    1. “Who thinks of mash-ups like that?” 😛 As far as I know, this is my particular brand of weird. It may be my only claim as a writer, but I have a distinct style of bonkers. I feel like I come up with most of this stuff because I am normally half awake. My brain is just more creative in that state. Whether any of it successfully works together in the end — that will be for my (eventual) readers to decide, lol. But I can just follow where the muse leads 😛

      Or teenage boys are just fairly easy to understand? Maybe? Or maybe we’re both a little, special . . . And tell me what you think of John Carter if/when you watch it!

      Thanks for commenting/reading! I plan on posting some character profiles of the rest of the cast here pretty soon, so stay tuned if you are interested.
      –<3 R

  7. I have a feeling you will take the world by storm with that distinct style of bonkers. 😉

    Oh yes, we’re both a little special. Let’s go with that one! 😀

    Guess what?
    I watched John Carter!
    And guess what what?
    I really like it!!
    By the ratings, I thought it’d be lame and boring, but wow, it’s quite the opposite. Thanks for convincing me to watch it. 😀

    1. Yeah!! John Carter is really worth the viewing. I’m thrilled that you liked it. I just thought it was such an underrated, fun scifi movie. And it’s the sort of old school, low science + fantasy adventure sort of space opera that I am inspired by 🙂

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