I don't have an agenda with the book other than wanting to present some philosophical questions for people to think about: Just because we can do something, does that mean we should? Put into similar circumstances what would you think, how would you react?
To that end, I worked hard to present balanced arguments to some of the ethical questions raised. I especially wanted my villain to be a rational person with grounded reasons that make sense for the choices he makes. He's countered by a protag who's a veterinarian and who's closer to being the spokesperson for my own ethical beliefs.
People die in the book. Animals who aren't human die. Although I've been told the animal deaths are more emotional than the human ones, I again tried for balance.
The ending doesn't wrap up neatly. It doesn't necessarily leave room for a sequel, but it does leave more questions about how the reader would react in the situation the world is left in.
My intent is not to manipulate anyone's thinking one way or the other. But I'm also concerned that because I start with a hunting scene and have some rational arguments for what the fictional company is doing, readers will believe I've written a pro-hunting treatise. Or that I'm anti-science. Or that I'm something else that I'm not that will somehow taint their attitude toward the book.
I think my subconscious was wrestling with that concern and that's what helped spur the creation of the Confessions of an Animal Junkie blog. I now have a public site that pretty much defines where I stand ethically. A pre-emptive block. One that I didn't necessarily realize I was glad to have until I had it.
So my questions for you are:
- Do you judge an author by their book or by the speeches they put into their characters' mouths?
- Are you planning or have you planned any "damage control" activities before releasing one of your books?