Thursday, June 23, 2011

Twenty Questions With...

Hi all! I had another idea that I wanted to try...

Twenty Questions with...

Basically it will be a game involving one of my favorite writing-related exercises: Character interviews.

It's a really good exercise to do, be you a plotter or pantser, because the answers help you to know your characters on multiple levels...

So how does it work?

My friend, Theresa and I are picking ten (this time eleven) questions, alternating who's asking. Then we're letting one of our characters answer then. After that, we have a more specific section where we ask the characters specific questions. 

Her character's interview will be posted here. My character, James Braden from Doorways, will be on her blog.

So, without further ado: Please welcome Mia to My First Book.

OK, Mia, we're going into some easy questions first.

1)  How old are you?

I'm not sure.  Nobody ever told me and since I was so young when I was taken from my mother  that I can't remember.  I am of "indeterminate age".  I guess I am about 18.  Maybe a bit older.

2)  Where were you born?
In a small house near a river.  My first memories are of bright light shining off the surface of the calmly flowing water.  It is still my favourite place.

3)  Do you like animals?

I guess so.  The only pets I have ever had are the rats that share my room.  They are really kind creatures once you get to know them.  My owner had a dog once but it was vicious and dangerous.  I avoided it at all costs.

4)  What is your favorite pass-time?

I like to think about what it is like out there.  I see people walk about without someone guarding them.  I wonder what it is like to go to the park.  I walk around the city in my imagination.

5)  If you could take a holiday anywhere, where would you go?

Home.  I would go back to where I lived with my mother.  Maybe she is still there.  Then we can go to the beach like we used to.

6)  Who's your best friend? Be honest.

My best friend is Charlie.  We don't talk much.  He is actually my guard when I get to go outside the compound.  But he once bought me an ice cream.  I think I like him *blush*.

7)  What really gets on your nerves?

Incessant drinking.  And people who treat you like dirt.  I know I am just a servant, but would a little kindness and consideration really hurt that much?

8)  Have you ever wished anyone dead? Who?

I have wished that Jules was never born.  He is my owner.  He treats me like dirt.  Please refer to previous question.

9)  Have you ever been in love?

Not officially *smile*  Maybe a little bit with Charlie.  Please don't tell him!  He would hate me forever.

10)  What would you rather have: a house or a car?

I would prefer a house.  Who needs a car when you can walk?  But I would love to one day have a place of my own.  With a bit of garden.  I know it is highly unlikely that that would happen though.  Unless Jules sells me as someone's wife.  I think he's up to something...

11)  Describe yourself in three words.

Strong but frail.

That's an interesting combination. OK then, on to the more personal questions:

12)  How did you end up working for a beast like Jules?

He bought me from my mother when I was three. She had to pay off my father's drug debts. I was all she had to pay with. He would have killed her.

13)  Three?! Wow. How did you survive growing up like that?

I had to. My mother wouldn't want me to give up. The important thing is to not draw attention to yourself.

14)  You said earlier that you think Jules is up to something. Does he get up to stuff a lot? What does he do?

Jules is a drug lord. He has gang wars, orgies, you name it. But lately he talked about getting rid of me. At first I thought he would kill me. Now I think he has something much more sinister in mind.

15) Like what?

Strange as it may seem, I have never been ... Used. I am very valuable as a wife.

16) You mentioned that Jules might sell you. Would you see that as an escape?

It depends on who he sells me to. I don't think his usual business partners would treat me well. But maybe a stranger... I don't know.  This is all I've ever known.  I am afraid that a change would be for the worse.

17)  Rather the devil you, know...
Something like that. Still, maybe I could get away one day.

18)  Why would you wait to see what happens? Why don't you escape right now?
Where would I go? Who would help me? I am no one. The police would put me in jail because I don't have papers. Nobody would give me a job for the same reason. I am on my own.

19) I see... And Charlie? Does he make you want to stay too?

Charlie.  In a way I want to stay with him. But he made his choice. He is here because he wants to be here. If he wants to leave I would definitely go with him.

20) But if you had your chance, you'd leave him to Jules?

I... I would leave him *sniffs*

Aw. I really hope things work out for you, then. Best of luck, Mia!

Thanks for lending me your character, Theresa. It was fun!

So, ladies and gents. What did you think of the characters and the interviews? Anyone else interested in playing? I've got plenty of characters who'd love to talk. Let me know if you're interested. Extra reminder: Tomorrow's post will have a voucher up for grabs. So don't miss Guest Post Friday!


  1. Thanks for interviewing my character, Misha. Maybe one day when I have a few more characters, we could have another meet and greet.

  2. What an awesome idea! I really liked reading this. Really makes me want to read the book that she's in!

    I'd be interested in playing this game at some point.

  3. This is an interesting concept. For some reason I feel I just can't share my characters yet. Because I'm still in the first draft I think I'm nervous about "jinxing" anything. All very odd I know, but you know how we can be about our work :)

  4. Thanks for visiting my site and commenting! Good luck with your book - your character interviews are interesting! rcj (

  5. Cute idea. It was fun to read the interview.

  6. Mia sounds like an interesting character--with a turbulent history, to say the least.

    I'd be interesting in playing. :)

  7. Interesting character interview! :-)

  8. I like the idea of interviewing characters to get to know them better. I thought 4) What is your favorite pass-time? was a great question. It really gives insight to what makes the character happy.

    I'll be sure to stop by tomorrow!

  9. Very heartfelt Mia, all the best to you, and looking forward to reading about you!

    Great interview! :)

  10. Great questions and the answers make me want to know more about the story she is involved in.

  11. You know, this character interview thing is actually a really good marketing device for selling a book because it really draws you in. I want to know more... I want to read this story! Great questions. And answers.

  12. I did the question and answers type thing with my MC once. It was more of an interview really. It was fun, and interesting, and different things that I hadn't thought of before would jump out at me from no where. I think it's a very good exercise for writers to do with their characters!

    The character here is interesting and gives a small peak into her world and life. I want to know more!!

    I also went to check out the interview of your character and James sound very interesting as well :D

  13. Very interesting to read. You should do more character interview exchanges~

  14. Aw, shucks. You guys really make my character feel great :D thanks for the great feedback - it is a great motivator to keep writing her as well as possible.

  15. Hi Misha,

    Wow ... what an interesting concept for an interview; and that book sounds really good.

    Have a great weekend,

    Kathy M.

  16. My pleasure, Theresa.

    Caitlin, just let me know when.

    Thanks Shelly.

    Rebecca, I think we all go through a stage like that. It's a really good way to get to know your characters, though.

    Thanks RCJ!

    I'm glad you enjoyed it, Mary.

    I'm glad you enjoyed it, Eagle. :-)

    Thanks K.C.

    Laura, that was an interesting question. It was actually one that had me stumped for a moment, because James isn't a very happy guy.

    Thanks Amy!

    Same here, Summer. Luckily I happen to sort of be Theresa's writing mentor. :-)

    Margo, that definitely occurred to me too. I'll definitely be using it to get people interested in Doorways one day.

    TayLyee those little surprise realizations are one of the best parts of interviewing my characters. I'd do it over and over again if it didn't keep me from writing.

    Thanks Devin. I'll definitely consider it. Maybe we can think about doing it too. ;-)

    Thanks Odie!

    Thanks Kathy. :-)

  17. That was pretty interesting way to meet a character. Kind of cool for sure.

  18. This sounds like a book I would enjoy reading. Mia is interesting and the plot possibilities are just opening up before my eys.

  19. Thanks Joe. I'm glad you enjoyed it.

    Brooke, I can't wait to read it either.


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