Ever try to have a conversation about “The Watchmen”? Ever have someone’s first counterpoint sound something like this, “Oh, the movie with the big blue naked guy?”
The book chronicled a group of superheroes sort of like the Avengers or Justice League but more real, more psychologically warped. They had their version of Batman, The Punisher, a conspiracy-theory-mad pulp detective, a perfect human specimen, and some others. Oh, and there was a big blue naked guy, Doctor Manhattan. His super powers put him in a completely different category. With the ability to manipulate and perceive energy and matter on both a grand and microscopic level, his interests and curiosities put many concepts (like modesty, relationships, pride and humility) out of whack or out of his sphere of concern altogether. He’s got more important things to concern himself with. America relied on his abilities the way we’ve relied on military superiority, to enforce our foreign policy. But eventually powerful people began to distrust him and a plot developed to unite humanity and alienate the Doctor.
That seems to be where my first horror novel is headed, too much focus on the wrong thing. Red Sounding is a vampire novel set in the Soviet Union during the Cold War. With no daylight to fear and few places to hide, Mikhail Koryavin must find a way to survive, to save humanity from a submarine roving the coasts and preying on the world unchallenged. What I haven’t mentioned, what might detract from the primary focus, is that one of the main characters is a homosexual. It plays into an underlying theme of how harsh judgments drive people to dangerous extremes for survival.
Is it a gay vampire novel? No. Is it a call for all of us to re-evaluate our treatment of those different from ourselves? Definitely. In my decades of judging others, I’ve not spent enough attention on correcting my own misgivings and counting my many blessings. Rather than tell you what you’re ‘doing wrong’, I should concentrate on what I need to make right and let you discover your own path. If you ask me my opinion I’ll readily deliver, but except when I’m asked I’ll try to leave my nose out of others’ business.
Love who you love but don’t hate who you hate. Rather, try to give those contrary to your ways grace enough to not feel the heat of your disdain.