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Wednesday, June 29, 2016

RJ Sullivan guest post: Character Comparison: Sayuri Arai and the Little Mermaid

“Wish I Could Be Part of Your World”
Character Comparison: Sayuri Arai and the Little Mermaid
So I’m sitting here wondering how to introduce Commander Sayuri Arai, the protagonist of Commanding the Red Lotus, to new readers. I Smell Sheep is a favorite stop for these blog tours and I consider Sharon a friend. So I wanted to do something worthy of the space she’s allotted to me. I decided that comparing her to a famous fictional character was the way to go. But who? Captain Kirk? Luke Skywalker? Sherlock Holmes? Ripley?

Then Mrs RJ brings me my morning coffee in my second favorite Little Mermaid Mug (Yes, I have two. Doesn’t everyone?) and I knew I had my comparison. In fact, the characters are so similar in many respects, you might be inclined to think that the author had some unconscious goal to retell his favorite Disney movie in outer space. To which I say, “never deny an interpretation.”

Poor Little Rich Girl
Ariel is the daughter of King Triton, she lives in the palace, and has the “responsibility” of being part of Daddy’s chorus to break out into song whenever he rides down the street. This is something she considers such a drag that she skips out of practice.

Sayuri is the daughter of Tomatsu Arai, who is the founder of Taio Industries, a highly successful minding company. As our story opens, Sayuri has just graduated college and is catching a ride on the company shuttlecraft to fly from Earth to the Pandora orbital space station where Taio operates its home office. Sayuri is bracing to step into a Vice President role that her father has held for her. She bemoans her “golden handcuffs” and fears her younger brother will always outshine her.

Break out your tissues and weep for our heroines!

Secret hopes and dreams
Ariel longs to see what’s beyond her ocean kingdom and wants to find a way to enter the world above. She feels there must be more than this prudential life—oh, wait, wrong Disney Princess—and wants to know what that is.

Sayuri also feels trapped by her future as a subordinate to her father, and feels equally compelled to break beyond what she knows and learn more of the solar system beyond.

Love at first sight
When Sayuri spies the alluring “Spacer” in the station food court, she feels attracted and compelled to want to get to know him. To Sayuri and others, the Spacers have made space travel into a way of life, and a secret one. The people who commit themselves to ship piloting and upkeep mingle with the rest of society but are also separated from it. The Spacer culture is a mystery to those who stay “grounded” to more traditional society. Sayuri learns that this Spacer, Dravin Sow, is second-in-command of the Red Lotus, a mining ship in her father’s fleet, and about to be de-commissioned. Her curiosity about him and about the ship grows. This is much like Ariel’s attraction to Eric. She understands nothing about him, but her attraction stimulates her curiosity.

Plotting against her father
As Sayuri tries to settle in to her new role as a VP of Taio Industries, she finds quickly that her worst fears appear to be coming true. Then as she learns that the Red Lotus has been placed up for auction, Sayuri must make a choice to do what is expected of her or to act on her own behalf and betray her father.

Ariel similarly enters into an agreement that betrays her father in an attempt to gain her independence (though to be fair, Sayuri never conspires with her father’s enemy to achieve her goals).

A little help from her friends
Sayuri takes ownership and command of the Red Lotus. She immediately finds herself in way over her head, trying to appease a disgruntled crew while keeping a dilapidated ship together with spare parts and good wishes. Then, before she knows it, she faces a pirate attack and later still, a potential mutiny. Sayuri is smart and savvy, but she doesn’t resolve these problems on her own. Fortunately, she makes a few friends along the way, and those friends prove to be vital when the chips are down.

Similarly, Ariel also gets herself into terrible trouble, but fortunately her friends Sabastian, Flounder and Skuttle are there to fetch Daddy and his army while Prince Eric does his part to bring the story to a happy ending—at least, in the Disney version. (Google it, kids)

Commanding the Red Lotus is the story of a strong-willed young woman who gets in over her head and finds herself pitted against incredible odds in a quest to find her independence. It’s a story in which a headstrong girl’s act of insolent rebellion leads to the need to grow up under fire. I’m not saying that if you read my novel that you’ll be inclined to break out into goofy songs with titles like “Above De Stars”, but I’m not saying you won’t, either.

April 27, 2016
236 pages
Seventh Star Press; 1 edition
Money Can’t Buy Respect
Sayuri Arai, privileged daughter of a corporate mogul, abandons a promising career to find her own path. She invests in a broken-down asteroid mining ship and steps in as the commander of its crew. Every day presents a new challenge just to keep her ship from falling apart and the bitter crew from killing each other. Can Sayuri unite the feuding factions, or will her rivals turn the entire complement against her?

Commanding the Red Lotus offers a classic sense of wonder for today’s science fiction readers.

Volume one of the Red Lotus Stories, now in softcover for the first time. Commanding the Red Lotus includes the previously released ebook novelettes:
Red Lotus: Innocence Lost 
Plus the brand-new novella Mutiny on the Red Lotus 

About the author:
Best known for his ghost story thrillers, Commanding the Red Lotus is R.J.Sullivan’s fifth book and his first release in the genre he most adores. R.J.’s critically acclaimed, loosely connected ghost story trilogy and his short story collection are all available in paperback and ebook though Seventh Star Press. R.J. resides with his family in Heartland Crossing, Indiana. He drinks regularly from a Little Mermaid coffee mug and is man enough to admit it. 

Tour Schedule and Activities
6/27/2016 Sheila's Guests and Reviews Guest Post
6/28/2016 Deal Sharing Aunt Interview
6/29/2016 Cover2Cover Guest Post
6/29/2016 I Smell Sheep Guest Post
6/30/2016 Jordan Hirsch Review
7/1/2016 Jorie Loves A Story Guest Feature/Interview
7/2/2016 MyLifeMyBooksMyEscape Interview
7/3/2016 Swillblog Review
7/3 Jorie Loves A Story Interview

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