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Lillith1991
05-19-2014, 03:15 PM
One of my project is a series of vampire novels, the first book is about mixed race vampire. Her life, her turning, after her turning etc. I'm not having trouble with her but with the vampire that turns her. I've actually got a pretty good handle on my MC, Katherine.

Gabrielle, the vampire who turned her on the other hand not so much. I'm exceedingly thankful it's still in my outlining and brainstorming stage because of this.

My main character's father leaves his plantation to his business partner, the story takes place in the 1830's, when he dies. Simplicity would say make the business partner, Gabrielle white. But during the time periode my characters are living in, Creole people also went into business, owned land, and slaves etc.

I know it's my story, but I'm curious. What would you do? Would you take the "simpler" road( let's be honest, it wasn't only white people who owned slaves then. What would today be considered black people owned slaves sometimes if they were freemen.) or the more challenging one?

MynaOphelia
05-19-2014, 03:34 PM
One thing to keep in mind--if you do make her Creole (which I think is a good idea, there is such a lack of black and Creole people in historical fiction that aren't slaves) you might want to explain somewhere in-story that Creole people were not just slaves in that time period. A lot of people probably won't know that and will feel it's unrealistic otherwise.

Lillith1991
05-19-2014, 04:47 PM
One thing to keep in mind--if you do make her Creole (which I think is a good idea, there is such a lack of black and Creole people in historical fiction that aren't slaves) you might want to explain somewhere in-story that Creole people were not just slaves in that time period. A lot of people probably won't know that and will feel it's unrealistic otherwise.

Yea, it happened. Not a ton, white slave owners were always the norm. But creole, and freemen owning slaves wasn't seen as abnormal. Also, creole had a lot more variation at the time than we think in a modern context. And of course freemen and creoles are different groups, though they share a similar genetics.

White people interacted with, and did business with creole peoples. More so than with freemen, because freemen were seen through the lense of always being a slave all be it, freed ones.

KarmaPolice
05-19-2014, 05:03 PM
Sometimes, the truth is less believable than fiction. There's a book (can't remember name) of a true account of a free black volunteer soldier fighting for the South during the US Civil War. Even then, people laid into the writer, saying it was just re-hashing Uncle Tom propaganda. It ruined his career, even though the poor bloke actually produced the evidence.

One way you could somewhat side-step this blinkered disbelief is to make her somewhat 'exotic' - a mixed-race middle-class refugee from when Haiti declared independence and slaughtered everyone not a former slave, a scion of an old trading family from the British West Indies, or a plantation owner from Brazil (who were less racist - their prejudice was for people not Catholic).

It's nice to see I'm not the only person who's dealing with a mixed-race vampire who is not the product of a rape/slave 'mistress' - my guy was feeling rather lonely...

Lillith1991
05-19-2014, 05:37 PM
Sometimes, the truth is less believable than fiction. There's a book (can't remember name) of a true account of a free black volunteer soldier fighting for the South during the US Civil War. Even then, people laid into the writer, saying it was just re-hashing Uncle Tom propaganda. It ruined his career, even though the poor bloke actually produced the evidence.

One way you could somewhat side-step this blinkered disbelief is to make her somewhat 'exotic' - a mixed-race middle-class refugee from when Haiti declared independence and slaughtered everyone not a former slave, a scion of an old trading family from the British West Indies, or a plantation owner from Brazil (who were less racist - their prejudice was for people not Catholic).

It's nice to see I'm not the only person who's dealing with a mixed-race vampire who is not the product of a rape/slave 'mistress' - my guy was feeling rather lonely...

Actually Katherine my primary character is the slave daughter of a white planation owner. Kat's mother was a house slave who dies in childbirth. Her father loves her and dotes on her as much as he is able to without getting frowned upon too much. He spends time with her, makes sure she's decenty clothed, teaches her society etiquel, teaches her arithmatic etc. But she's never introduced into society, taught to read etc.

She's still clearly a slave dispite her father's fondness for her. That she's a product of a consenual and loving relationship during the time when it was frowned upon impacts how he treats her. Better but still a slave if you know what I mean? That's something else I worry about with this novel. That my readers will question why he doesn't teach her to read etc before his death. From what I gathered it wasn't legal to teach a slave to read in most place including the area my story is taking place.

KarmaPolice
05-19-2014, 06:33 PM
Putting myself into the mind of a racist Southern landowner of the early 19th Century; I'd see the girl as 'superior' for her white blood, but naturally inferior due to her mother. Yes, I was fond of her mother, but I'm also fond of my hunting hounds - doesn't mean I think they're anywhere near the worth of a white man. Can't let the others find out about my 'lapse', but I'm too cold to sell up and move somewhere less racist and marginally too decent to simply dump her with a foster family or orphanage. I know - a girl's school. Up north. Run by those damn Quakers; they're always banging on about how 'Our Peculiar Institution' is somehow an affront to the Lord. She can stay there, then when she's an adult, I'll find her a nice, sober husband and give her a dowry so set her up in modest comfort. Another product of a 'lapse', naturally.

Just a thought of how it could play out and be at least marginally believable of what such a man would do. It would also explain how she had an elementary education - though remember, during this period many whites couldn't read or write either.

Lillith1991
05-19-2014, 06:50 PM
Well, considering his business partner is creole and female. I don't think he'd be as racist as other planation owners, but still a product of his time. Which would still make him racist to a great degree. Hence why he would do everything he could for his only child while not inviting talk of his behavior. Though if he had other children through his legal wife, I would be all over your idea.

KarmaPolice
05-19-2014, 08:41 PM
Were there even businesswomen in this period? Come to think of it, even control their own property? If I was such a woman in this period, I'd hire a white man as my manager, and let him be the frontman - for how many men would take a female business owner seriously in this era? I'd play as the 'exotically foreign' assistant / secretary / mistress and secretly control the business. That would clear the landowners' raging sexism & racism.

Remember, during this period each 'big house' would have some white staff, and the stories about a mixed-race kid being kept in isolation would leak out eventually,people would put two and two together and he'd be ruined socially. He's also walking a fine line - he'd have to be human enough not to be an utter tyrant, but still needs to (morally) justify the fact he's still keeping slaves. He's in good company in this regard - Jefferson had this problem too. Yeah, and there's the problem with the rest of the family - if he's getting on in years, cousins, nephews etc would start sniffing around, waiting for the inheritance to fall in their laps. That and all the socialising expected of a 'civilised gentleman'.

Lillith1991
05-20-2014, 04:58 AM
There were most certainly business women in this time period that weren't just witches or in or madams( a madam could of been considered a business woman), though they were rare. Like freemen and creoles owning slaves etc. And yes, women could inherit and control their own property.

kuwisdelu
05-20-2014, 07:16 AM
How would it change the story if you make her Creole?

Which would be more interesting?

Lillith1991
05-20-2014, 07:35 AM
How would it change the story if you make her Creole?

Which would be more interesting?

Well their would still be the tension of being owned, but the layer of being owned by someone who looks similar to you would add a different type of tension. Slaves of the time may not of known different but it's likely they would resent their creole or freemen masters more.

Wilde_at_heart
05-20-2014, 04:23 PM
Maybe include a foreward that would include your research on that subject?
Just a thought.

Cyia
05-20-2014, 08:52 PM
And yes, women could inherit and control their own property.

Double check your stats on this one, if your setting is Louisiana. Their laws were and are different from much of the US. Even as late as the 1990's, when one of my teachers was selling of her family's property in the state, someone from the parish contacted her husband to ask if it was okay to sell.

(His response -- I don't feel like dying today, so do what the wife says and leave me out of it.)