The enigmatic Ames.

Without a doubt, I get more questions about Ames than I do any other character in Another Stupid Spell.

A lot of factors went into makes Ames what they are. That kind of sentence right there, of course, is one that causes the most curiosity. 'They'. Why isn't Ames referred to with gender pronouns?

Simply put, we have no idea what gender Ames is. I'm the author, and _I_ don't know what gender Ames is. And that's intentional. Of the people we've been introduced to in the book, only Sorch knows Ames' gender, and he's not telling. The story is written in his voice, in a non-omniscient manner. We only know what Sorch will tell us... and he's protecting Ames' privacy.

So think about what you say when you see a shadowy figure on a hill. You don't know their gender, but you can still refer to them. 'Look at that person up there, they must be watching us. I hope we don't have to do battle with them.' They, them. The pronouns of unknown gender.

The story of why were-cats are androgynous is in the book (Ice House, in the restaurant). It's rooted in a racial past of sexual slavery. But why are they 'were-cats' instead of werecats? And why are were-wolves not just werewolves?

There are references to two lycanthrope races in the book: Werebears and wererats. They can shapeshift between animal, human, and hybrid forms. Races that can shapeshift aren't hyphenated in magical references on the world of Panos.

The two species that lost their ability to shapeshift over time gained a hyphenated reference in magical texts. Were-cats and were-wolves can no longer change shape, they're stuck in hybrid form permanently. Magical texts only refer to them in an un-hyphenated manner historically, when speaking of the race prior to them losing that ability.

So as an author, why did I chose a character with an unidentified gender as the main character's love interest?

It was interesting to me. On the front of sexual attraction, Sorch and I are much the same: Personality is more important than physical attributes, including gender. Sorch fell for Ames well before he discovered gender details for the feline. It was a non-factor for him.

By creating Ames as an androgynous figure, Sorch's love interest can be the reader's love interest. If they have a personal preference as to the gender of their sexual partner, Ames can be that gender to them. And nobody can say they're wrong.
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Published on September 12, 2017 07:29 Tags: ames-character
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Stupid Thoughts

Bill Ricardi
A record of the random thoughts that Bill Ricardi has, insofar as the world of writing is concerned.
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