Here i will share my journey of hopefully one day recognising my dream of becoming published writing what i love to read; Romance!

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Character Interview

Do you interview your characters to try and get a better idea of them? Discover what makes them feel and do what they do?
I discovered some really great questions to 'ask' my characters from Nicola Marsh's site. Take a look.

So i used her questionnaire to get to the root of Billie and Cooper's characters, but i've never done an interview.
I'm a shy person - overcome this by being a tad too loud and exuberant! - and the idea of an inteview makes my palms sweaty.
But last night i had a very real image of Matthew Jackson Dean, the hot hero with a troubled past, in my latest untitled WIP, walk in the front door and sit on my couch, ready for questions.
So i jumped out of bed, and furiously typed our interview.

Here it is, let me know what you think when you've done reading it! If nothing else, it was actually lots of fun to write. It has also revealed to me a lot about where the story could go, and what has happened to make Matt the way he is. Next i'll try Emma, if she wants to!

Me: Welcome Mr Dean. Thank you for taking the time to speak with me.

Mr Dean sits back in the couch crossing one ankle on a knee, one arm thrown casually over the seat back the other hand tapping on his expensive but practical plain shoes.

 Mr Dean: Call me Matt

The flash of white teeth makes me blush and stutter.

Me, I nervously tuck a strand of neat hair behind my ear: Ah, right, Matt. Um. Tell me a bit about yourself

Dean: You wanted to speak with me. Shoot.

Again his smile has my thoughts scattering. Geez pull it together Kerrin!
Me: Ahem. Yes. So, how did you get into game designing.

Matt visibly relaxes, his restless fingers stop tapping on his shoe and relaxes, wrapping around the top of his foot.
Matt: Well, you know. 
Shrugs. Smiles. 
Matt:I played a bit as a kid. Wanted something better.

Me:Better? As in bigger car chases? More blood and guts?

Matt shakes his head, calm grey eyes turning shuttered: No. More action.

His stare is very unnerving. I feel a line of unease in my spine.

Me: More action? How?
He shrugs and shifts his denim clad butt on the cushions, fingers start tapping again.
Me: More fighting? Flying?

A quick tightening of the jaw, flash of something in his eyes.
Matt: You ever played Wii, Kerrin?

Nervous giggle (I’m the interviewer!)
Me: Wii? Yes. Though there aren’t enough action games. Seems to be dominated by fitness stuff.

Eager nod, eyes lighting to a fascinating silver
Matt: Exactly. My games get you off the balance board and fighting. Arms, legs, head. Whatever you want to do.

I’m still fascinated by the liquid silver of his eyes. I love a guys eyes. Did I mention he’s very hot? His intent, excited stare has elicited zooming butterflies and I have to remind myself I’m happily married!
Me: So, um, you mean like karate, ninja type fighting?

He leans forward, elbows on knees, his face, covered with his 4 o’clock stubble, totally focused on me.
Matt: Yeah, with a bit more. If you want a gun, you hold your hands like one.

He points his finger at me pistol style

Matt: You want to get bloody knuckles.
He holds them up and his expression is so fierce, makes me gulp and wonder where the fierceness came from.

Me: Why fighting games? Why not car chases.

He sits back abruptly and I feel an instant loss of his focus as his gaze wanders to the window.
Matt: Prefer to use my fists.

I gulp, suddenly my throat is dry.
Me: Do you have much experience?
Sharp eyes pinpoint me and I try really hard not to call back my question

Matt: Using my fists?
I nod. He nods
Matt: Yeah.

Strong silent types. I think I prefer my men to talk. I need to find out why he has experience, I think it may help with his story.

Me: Um, were you like a bully, or did you go looking for trouble?
I really hoped not. He had the type of face that as a child would have been adorable. It was adorably sexy and rugged looking now.

Matt: It found me.
Eyes turn as cold as a stone in ice.

Why do I have to know?
Me: So you had to defend yourself?

Long. Silent. Stare.

Me: from who?
Did he hear me? It came out as a whisper. I want to know, but I don’t.

Matt turns his gaze to the window again, rubs a hand over his chin and I hear the scratch of his stubble.
Matt: Dad.

Shocked silence. Why would his own father want to beat up on such an adorable boy?

Me: Ah, your mu-?

Matt: Died. Put up with too much and finally gave in.
Anger there. At his dad, or his mum for dying and leaving him defenseless?

Not going there. Chicken.
Me: Did you have any friends.

Ah! A smile, full and instantly clearing the shadows in his gaze.
Matt: Yeah. Emma Wakefield. Lived next door and was the sweetest, friendliest girl. Made me talk even when I didn’t want to. Biggest brat I’d ever met.

Wistful smile as he gazed at his past.

Me: You still keep in contact?

His fingers of the hand on the back of the couch, start to play with the seams.
Matt: Yep. Live a block away from each other. Meet every Tuesday for a movie.

Aw, that’s so nice! But why the agitation?
Me: So, just friends? Ever been anything else? Ever wanted there to be?

Fingers still. His gaze sharpens but I don’t think he’s seeing me.
Matt: No.
His eyes though, they flicker from liquid silver to ice rock and back again. An internal war.

Me: Oh. She married?
Matt: What? No, no. Married.
He says it with a grimace. Okay, so she’d not married.

Me: You’re in a relationship.
Matt frowns at me like I’m an idiot: I don’t do relationships. They’re messy.

But he’s had a relationship with Emma for years. Has a date every week.
Me: Your friendship with Emma could be regarded as a relationship.
Oh he didn’t like that one.
Starts pacing all over my little lounge so fast I’m about to ask him to slow down.

Matt: It’s not supposed to be that way! We’re friends. I don’t want anything more.
I heard the question at the end, even if he didn’t say it.

Me, gently: She wants more?

Matt freezes: Asked me to, marry her.

My heart speeds up, oh, this gotta be good!
Me: and?

Matt shakes his head, fists his hands in his short dark curls (I told you he was adorable as a child!): It’s not going to be like that. Even if…
He trails off and I hear the longing, the possibilities.
Matt: No. She’s my friend. I need her to be my friend. Always.

Me, gently: Friends have a way of making the best life partners.

Matt: Not me. She’d be wasting her life on me, wasting her dream of having a family.

Oh dear god, what have I gotten myself into?

Me: Well. These things have a way of sorting themselves out. I’m sure if she sees you just want to be friends she’ll find someone eventually.

The ice rock stare has me blinking. So he doesn’t want to be more than friends, but he hates the idea of her being with anyone else. Interesting.

Me: Well, thank you Mr Dean, Matt. Good luck with your fight games.

Matt swallows and takes a deep breath. Takes my offered hand and smiles sheepishly: Sorry about that.

Me: No, no. It’s okay. Really.
I have heaps to work with. Now to get an interview with Emma….

Matt: Have a good day.
He’s already thinking about something else as he absently bids me farewell, probably Emma
Sigh. Oh to have those eyes turning to silver for me…oh wait, I’ve already had my HEA. That’s why I get to pry into others’.


  1. Crusader here.

    Thanks for sharing that link. Very interesting idea! Seems like it really helped you out, too.

  2. This is such a great idea. I'll have to do it for the new novel I'm working on. I love that your interview wasn't just question and answer. The little descriptions in between tell so much about a character. The only thing I didn't get was how he went from sitting almost completely still to pacing furiously. It makes me think that if you haven't you need to make a really in depth (at least mental) plot of his relationship with this woman, since it has such a huge impact on him. That is, if you haven't done this already. :-)

    <3 (Fellow Crusader) Gina Blechman

  3. I'm sorry, can't get past the picture of JDMorgan :D *DROOL*

    But this IS a good idea. I shall have to think about doing it for my characters ;)

  4. Yes, I did this too, at your suggestion once and it was of great help. Mine was not as good as yours, but the process was helpful to me.

  5. Fellow crusader and new follower. Hello!

  6. Another new follower and a crusader, too. I like this post!

  7. Hello fellow Crusaders and new followers :)
    thanks for popping by.
    Trisha - yes he is yummy isn't he!
    SH -- i find it helpful, so i'm glad it helps you too!
    Gina - i thought the little descriptions added quite a bit to it. And yes the story starts with Emma proposing and man what a start that is!