Can I do this...?

Question: OK, I don't know if you've read Interview with the Vampire, but in it is a character called Claudia, who is turned into a vampire at (I believe) age 6. Since vampires do not age, she matures into a woman in every way save in body. She also seems to develop some sort of romantic feelings (I read the book quite a while ago, I apologize) with a vampire named Louis, who was turned at age 24. Both vampires are already decades old by the time this quasi-romantic relationship starts, but it still appears to the eye as a 6 year old girl with a 24 year old man. My novel has something very similar, yet very different: A certain character appears in the form of a young boy when really he is a lot closer to a demon. He isn't evil or anything, but he is a supernatural entity whose origins nobody seems to know. Anyway, I wanted him to develop an "intimate relationship" with a character who appears significantly older, but is actually far younger. This entity is centuries old, but looks to be a child. I haven't decided yet just how young he appears (mostly because I don't know how young I can get away with), but this relationship would be noticeably more graphic than that of Claudia and Louis, especially because vampires in Anne Rice's work cannot have intercourse at all. My point is, do you think I could make that work in a dark fantasy? An being in the form of a child having such a relationship with an adult character? If so, how would you say that gender roles figure in it? I haven't yet decided what character this being should be with, and thus I don't know the gender. Any help or opinions or anything would help a lot. Thank you!


Answer: I think a lot depends on the audience you intend to write for. If this were aimed at a young adult audience, it might raise some red flags. It might be read as too analogous to a championing of pedophilic relationships, regardless of the characters' gender, and hence unsuitable for certain school libraries, etc. This is especially true if the relationship is graphically depicted.

On the other hand, you can get away with almost anything in adult literary fiction or underground comics

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