Jennifer Brozek’s new YA series, the Melissa Allen trilogy, features a young female protagonist who carries a baseball bat when she’s fighting monsters. In this special guest post, Jennifer explains why Melissa named it Mister Bat, and how it became a repeating factor in all three books. While most people might think a baseball bat is an unusual weapon for a young lady, Melissa has her reasons.
Why would a nice girl like Melissa favor a baseball bat over all other weapons when fighting monsters? It’s an easy enough question to answer on the whole. Melissa is a young teenager who loves baseball. At the start of the book, she’s unable to play but she still has her named weapon of choice. It is a talisman for her and a source of security—like a blanket, only more protective and less apt to hurt her accidentally.
While some would argue that a gun would be a better weapon, guns run out of ammunition. They are also noisy, illegal to carry in some states, apt to be taken from the owner and used against them, or have the weapon owner accidentally shoot themselves with it. On the whole, in a situation with monsters, the bat is a better choice. No loss of ammo and a sense of familiarity. While it could be used against Melissa, it’s not a long distance weapon, thus running away is still an option.
There’s another reason Melissa loves her bat. Her favorite fictional hero, Deroga Darrington from the Dare Files uses one. They are silent, effective damage dealers, legal, and easily replaceable. Melissa is well influenced by her love of Deroga, constantly referring to him and his gritty, sage advice.
The real question is: why wouldn’t a young woman want a baseball bat for protection? Or an older woman for that matter? I have a lovely aluminum bat I keep near me while I’m at home. It isn’t a named bat, but it is still a comfort nonetheless.