Sorry for the radio silence last week. I was in deep mind meld with my current WIP's characters as I finished up my latest revision. But, we all made it through, so...celebration!
For me, part of keeping in touch with the characters, is doing occasional interviews outside the narrative. This way I know I'm paying attention to how they're approaching their lives and issues.
Today, I'm sharing one of my rounds of 20 Questions with my MC, sixteen-year-old AJ Fallon:
1. What is your real, birth name?
Ahnah Jane Fallon, after both my grandmothers. But nobody but my sister calls me Ahnah. It’s AJ.
2. What’s your family like?
Mom, dad, brother, sister. I don’t really remember the first three that well. They disappeared when I was eight. It’s mostly just little images and feelings and crap. And those might actually be more from what my sister tells me than actual memories. Now, my sister – Ri – she’s the best and most annoying person I know. And a hell of a lot chattier than your average person in a coma. My aunt Gael’s pretty kick ass. The Bisharas are family now too. And the Delgados. And…You know what? Let’s just say my family’s suprisingly extensive.
3. Who was your best friend when you were growing up?
Other than Ri? Deepti. We’re not friends now.
4. Who’s your best friend now? What’s she like?
Ri and Muna. They’re both crazy smart. Ri would help everyone in the world if she could, only taking the ocassional break to watch really bad dance movie sequels. She keeps me on the right track. Muna’s the most genuinely nice person ever and is totally going to run a museum some day or be on Broadway or rule the world. Something along those lines.
5. What one word best describes you?
I’m guessing you haven’t been talking with my old classmates, because otherwise you’d know the go-to is “crazy.” But, they’re a bunch of idiots. I’d go with “determined.”
6. What’s on your dresser right now?
Chapstick, head bands, picture of my family at my parents ice cream shop from the year they disappeared, pictures of me and Muna stuck on the dresser mirror, couple boxes of granola bars, three nickles, eleven pennies.
7. Are you ticklish?
If you’re cool with getting punched in the face, you’re welcome to try and find out.
8. What’s your favorite song?
Favorites are stupid. I like a bunch of music. I run to “Fire” by Delta Rae a lot.
9. What one act in your past are you most ashamed of?
I've cut my own bangs a few times. Oh, and none of your business.
10. What would you like it to say on your tombstone?
I have a t-shirt that says “World’s Okayest Sister.” I could rock that to the grave. Really anything from my t-shirts would be cool with me.
11. When you were little, what did you want to be when you grew up?
Bus driver. I liked to people watch.
12. Do you have a job now?
Yeah, I work weekends and some nights over at Haven – the only Otherworlder bar in the city. Waiting tables. Playing music. Polishing the never ending freaking bannisters. That sort of stuff. I also do maintenance for the apartments on the Walk. Otherworlders feel the same way about technology that humans feel about magic – 100% suspicious. One of their toasters break and it’s like a national disaster.
13. What impression do you make on people when they first meet you?
14. How about after they’ve known you for a while?
Poor adjacent. I’m told my sixth impression is just great, though.
15. What embarrasses you?
After you totally lose it in front of your 2nd grade class, screaming things at your invisible sister, and scaring all your friends away, your embarassment tolerance kind of changes. So, not much.
16. What do you like to do when you’re alone?
I’m never alone.
17. Are you lying to yourself about something?
If I won’t tell me the truth, why would I tell you?
18. What are you most afraid of?
The answer to that question. Oooh, and mascots. If I can’t see your face, I don’t trust you.
19. Do you think the future is hopeful?
I think I’m going to make it hopeful, whether it is or isn’t.
20. Do you have a secret?
Only boring people say no to that. I try not to be boring.
How do the rest of you writers out there check in with your characters?