Tuesday, March 24, 2009

An Interview with a Star

Interview your characters. No kidding. The best way to get to know them is to interview them like they lived. With this in mind, I sat down with the star of my book for a serious interview. Had to make sure he was the man for the job. But like everything I write, it got out of hand and ended up like this.

j0434431"This is Giddy Gerda, and I’m here interviewing Jack Troy, the starring character in E.A. McKenzie’s soon to be completed book, ‘Bum’s Rush.’

“Thank you for joining me here today, Jack. I must say, you are one handsome dude. I like ‘em tall, dark, and handsome. Where do you get your suits? No, let me guess, J.C. Penney’s.” --Honking donkey laugh from Giddy. -- “Just kidding."

Giddy turns toward the audience: "Jack is the CEO of Galaxy International Internet Services and works in that big tall building on SW 6th and Morrison."

Giddy turns back to Jack: "Making the kind of dough you make, that suit is probably some brand name I can’t pronounce. I don’t speak Italian.”--Honking donkey laugh from Giddy—“Oh, I just crack myself up.”

Back to Jack: “But seriously, you look like you just stepped off the cover of GQ Magazine.”

j0438367Jack Troy remains unruffled and smiles:“You are a funny lady, and I know there were compliments in there somewhere. My mother always said, 'It’s not how well the package is presented, it’s what’s inside that counts.' And my father was always around to take me down a notch. He rode me pretty hard to take care of business—academics and sports, but most important they both taught me responsibility.”

Giddy contemplates Jack: "Hmm, I detect a little resentment, Jack. Was Daddy too hard on poor Jack?"

Jack’s smile fades and his eyes glaze: "He and I had some moments, shall we say."

Jack recovers his smile: "What normal, young, healthy boy doesn't lock horns with his father?"

Giddy taps her bottom lip with a manicured fingernail: "We'll come back to that another time. It’s a good thing your parents taught you responsibility, no matter how many "moments" it took. When they kicked the bucket, you were saddled with your nine-year old brother. I hope they instilled a lot of patience in you as well. And I hope you and he haven’t had ‘moments.’”

Jack Troy still smiles, but is now guarded: “I wouldn’t say I was saddled with him. With the difference between our ages, Ancel and I really didn’t know each other. By the time he was two, I was off to college. When I became his guardian, yes, it was rough, but for Ancel too, and there have definitely been ‘moments.’”

Giddy: “It must be easier now you’ve become acquainted, and he’s a teenager.”

Jack looks at Giddy as if a horn has just sprouted from her forehead: “The key word there is ‘Teenager.’ Easier doesn’t factor in.”

Giddy:" You look awfully young for a man with such a high post. I mean most CEO's are shriveled up, gray-haired men with wrinkled foreheads. They have one foot in the grave, another on a banana peel, and both arms clutching all the money they can get their hands on, in case there's a bank where they're going. Like that's possible. Money is made of paper, after all."

Jack Troy still maintains a pleasant, yet strained expression: “Let’s say I'm just the other side of twenty-nine. Don't worry, by the time this book is completed, I may look like your stereotypical CEO, minus the money."

Giddy: "Well that's all the time, or rather, space we have for today. We'll finish interviewing Mr. Troy in another post. Until then, this is Giddy Gerda saying, 'True heroes are fictional.'"


  1. Your interview is great. If your character is that strong in your mind, probably the only things that will change around him are his circumstances and the setting. *grin*

    Don't be afraid to start subbing once you finish the first round of writing and take a good break from the story. you'll need the perspective from both us and yourself at that time.

    There's a great book called "Self-Editing for Fiction Writers" by Renni Browne and King you should read. It's the big book that gets recommended in the Well and gives so many handy tools for editing.

  2. Interviewing characters is a great idea.

    It's interesting how characters can take on traits of their own. I suppose it just goes to show that a character isn't always what we intend, but often a reflection of our subconscious ideas. Evolving as if they were real.

  3. Very cute (and smart) having a blog about your characters. Enjoyed the visit.

    Hope Clark

  4. Great interview! This is too too funny . . .that Giddy is such a character! Love it!

  5. Another great way to get to know your character's better is to fill in a CV for each of them. It's surprising what you find out about your character's as you plot out their past careers.