Thursday, September 5, 2013

Skip Generational Characters in Novels

What are skip generational characters in novels? Basically, it means grandparents and grandkids who work together in some way. In my Paul Jacobson Geezer-lit Mystery Series, Paul and his twelve-year-old granddaughter, Jennifer, team up to solve mysteries. In our fast-paced, mobile society, we don’t have that many households where grandparents and grandchildren experience each other on a regular basis. This is a shame. I know I enjoy the time I spend with my four grandchildren, but since we live in different parts of the country, these times are infrequent.

In addition to solving mysteries, Paul and Jennifer also enjoy telling each other politically incorrect geezer jokes in the most recent book, Care Homes Are Murder. The further skip generational factor is that Jennifer’s mom (Paul’s daughter-in-law) thinks Paul is being a bad influence on Jennifer. This leads to Paul and Jennifer sneaking off to tell geezer jokes to each other. When they get caught by Jennifer’s mom, Paul admits that he’s the “ba-a-a-d grandpa.”

In my just released paranormal geezer-lit mystery, The Back Wing, a skip generational relationship exists between the protagonist, Harold McCaffrey, and his teenage grandson, Jason. Jason comes to stay with Harold in the retirement home where he lives because Jason’s parents are off on a vacation. Jason thinks it will be boring being with his creaky grandfather and all the old people, but, boy, is he surprised. It turns out that the back wing of this retirement home is full of aging witches, vampires, werewolves and shape-shifters. Jason has an exciting time meeting vampires who gum people on the neck and helping to solve two murders.

I have one other manuscript (not yet published) that plays upon this grandparent and grandchild relationship.

Skip generational relationships provide ample opportunity for the young and old to come together, help each other and learn from each other. This is something we need more of in today’s world.

What do you think?

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