A week ago, K. R. Brorman imagined a Q&A with her Female Main Character (FMC) who inhabits Eden’s Fall, Kenna Campbell. I’ve learned today that it was a more difficult exercise than one would expect. We believe we know our characters so well – they live in our heads, we create their life stories and we try to show their adventures, trials and triumphs in a way that does them justice and entertains our readers.
And, still, they surprise us.
We’ve talked before about how our collaboration got off to a good start, and then we retooled our approach, reordered the first three books in this series and more or less rebooted the process. That was when I decided to get to know my main characters better. I had never felt like I was representing them truthfully, so I wrote their biographies and have spent quite a lot of time discussing them, their backstories and their motivations with K. R. and S. A. Young.
To test my understanding, I decided to use K. R.’s Writer’s Studio Top 10 Questions in a talk with my Male Main Character (MMC) – Mike Chapman – whom you’ll meet in Eden’s Fall, but who will play a pivotal role in Winter’s Thaw. *picks up the mic K. R. dropped yesterday, blows off the dust bunny and lowers voice to an Elvis pitch – “test test”*
Hey, Mike! Wow, you walk in and my office seems so much smaller…here, let me move those binders off the chair. Comfy? Can I get you a – oh, sure, I’ve got beer, hang on a sec.
Okay? I’ll start.
What is your favorite word?
Is this going to be lame? This is going to be lame, right? Fine. Favorite word…hell. No that’s not the word, still thinking. You know words are not my thing, why are you asking me this shit? Okay. Just at the moment, I’d say “downtime”. As in, I need some, haven’t had any in the past year or so. Too many fires to put out, you know? Yeah, you know.
What is your least favorite word?
Status. As in, ‘what’s the status?’ Goddamn, I hate that phrase.
What turns you on creatively, spiritually or emotionally?
You’re kidding, tell me you’re kidding.
Moving on. What turns you off?
I see that look. I really wish you’d take these questions seriously, Mike.
The obvious answer aside, what turns me off is narrow-minded, yet loud-mouthed demagogues – how’s that for a word? – who try to impose their pig-headed intolerance on everyone else. Can. Not. Stand. It.
What is your favorite curse word?
*laughs* Yeah, fuck.
What sound or noise do you love?
The sound of a well-loved woman breathing.
What sound or noise do you hate?
Footsteps coming at me in the dark.
What profession other than your own would you like to attempt?
I love what I do. Nothing I like better than tunneling into a secure system and sucking out the intel. But, you know, I think I’d like to design and build cars. Yeah, that would be a kick.
What profession would you not like to do?
Any job that makes me obey orders no matter how stupid. Been there, gave away the uniform.
If Heaven exists, what would you like to hear God say when you arrive at the Pearly Gates?
Get real. IF there’s a Heaven, I won’t be going there.
On that note, I’m going outside.