This week, YA Highway’s Road Trip Wednesday asks, What would be the ideal holiday present for your main character? Since my characters tend to talk to me like real people, walking around in my created world as if they really exist, I guess it makes sense that I’d add them to my Christmas gift list.
I’ve written dozens of main characters over the years, but none of them mean as much to me as the main character in my YA science fiction novel, Tankborn, Kayla 6982, nurture daughter of Tala. She’s had a difficult life, and I’ve been putting her into one hazardous situation after another, first in Tankborn, and now in the sequel I’m writing, Tankborn Awakening. If anyone deserves a Christmas gift, it’s Kayla.
Kayla doesn’t celebrate Christmas (no one really does on the planet Loka), but I’m sure she’d appreciate a present. If you asked her what she wanted, she would surely say, Freedom for all GENs, or something equally altruistic. She tends to put the good of the many ahead of her own needs, so it’s unlikely she’d ask for something for herself personally. If you pressed her, she’d probably want something she could give to her best friend, Mishalla, like a gorgeous scarf made of uttama-silk or a pretty piece of metal jewelry. She might ask for a month’s supply of kel-grain for her nurture mother, Tala, or a bleeding-edge gadget for her tech-crazy nurture brother, Jal.
But if you could dig deeper, maybe download her bare brain (yes, not possible since only a GEN’s annexed brain is accessible via a datapod download), it would be clear what she wants most. The one thing she’s least likely to get–Devak. The high-status trueborn is so out of her reach, she doesn’t even hope for him. But if I could give her that one special gift, it would be at least one night with Devak, just to be with him, to talk, to kiss, to hold his hand, and be close.
Sigh. That would be Kayla’s best Christmas gift of all.