In Character With Yours Truly

Let me start by saying this was not planned, but sometimes you have to roll with things. My original guest had something unexpected come up and as I typed their post, I just didn’t feel comfortable posting it. Not under the circumstances, anyway. Hopefully they will agree to another guest post with their new project when it’s finished sometime in the future. Until then, if they are reading this, I’d like to wish them well and say that my thoughts and prayers are with them and their family. Stay strong.

That means I get to sit in the hot seat and answer my own character questions. Tonia set the bar pretty high. Here’s hoping I don’t fall flat on my face. Let’s get started, shall we?

Why don’t we start with a little bit about your WIP and how it came about?

The story behind The Key To Eden came to me around ten years ago in the middle of my Air Force enlistment. I hadn’t even decided to write yet, but this idea kept bubbling to the surface about a war for heaven. It bothered me so much that I wrote things down in a small steno notebook and tucked it away. Fast forward a few years to when I decided to start writing. I wrote about a third of a different story, which I still have, but life got in the way. Writing took a back seat to life. Fast forward a few more years to where I had the time and energy to write, and the rest is history. Basically Eden rattled around my brain until I wrote it. Can we move on now, please?

What, in your opinion, makes a memorable character?

This is a tough one for me because I don’t feel qualified enough to give a real answer. To me, a memorable character doesn’t necessarily have to stay with you, but should be a character you can relate to. You know, the one you root for even though they may screw up. A memorable character gets the reader invested in their journey. It could be in a “why are you doing that?” kind of way, or a “I would totally do that too!” kind of way. The point is the author gets the reader to care enough to put themself in the character’s shoes.

What makes your main character unique?

My main character, Mitsuko, is a Nephilim, or half angel, but doesn’t know it until some bad dudes come looking for her. She struggles with her identity a bit. Whether that makes her unique or not, I don’t know. But that’s what I’m going with.

Who, or what, served as the inspiration behind your main character?

To be honest, I don’t know. She started off as an eleven year old, in a previous draft, and grew from there. Obviously that didn’t work out and now Mitsuko is twenty. Some of you may remember her name being Mikado. Sometimes we have to change things around and shake things up to get the most out of our characters.

How important are physical traits, or quirks, in the creation process?

Every story I write starts out with character bios and a rough outline of the plot, so I’d say physical traits are pretty important. They help me envision my characters in three dimensions. Once I know how they appear, it’s easier to build up their actual character. For instance, I may start out with a character who slouches. The slouching may come from constant worry because they were beaten as a child. They don’t want to be noticed by anyone and the smaller they appear, the less of a target they make. I take the physical trait and put reason behind it.

How much of yourself, if any, is in your main character?

I would challenge any writer who says their characters are not inspired by something in their life, or contain at least a small trace of them. Even though we may not look alike, be the same sex, or any number of other things, I have to look at Mitsuko and think what she would do in certain situations. The only way to do that is to think what I might do and go from there. Sure, Mitsuko’s reactions aren’t 100% mine, but inevitably some of me is in there. The same can be said of every character. Good or bad, doesn’t matter. There is a piece of me in each of them, even if it is miniscule. I can say Mitsuko’s favorite color is purple because that’s my niece’s favorite color.

How does your main character change by the end of their journey?

My goal for Mitsuko was to have her come out of her journey stronger than when she began. All of the pain and sacrifice had to be for something. She sees the world differently because she was forced to and as a result becomes a little colder.

What can we expect from your main character in the future? Will we see more of them or is their story finished?

The plan from the start was to pen a trilogy. It is my hope to have Mitsuko around for at least two more books. As I mentioned in the comment above, she won’t be the same. Expect a darker, tougher Mitsuko for the sequel.

Name a character who most closely resembles your main character and tell us why?

Maybe some of my critique partners could give you a better answer than I can. I honestly don’t know, and I’m okay with that. When I sat down to create Mitsuko, I never once thought to make her like anyone else. I wanted to make her, her. Hopefully that’s an acceptable answer.

How would your main character respond if they knew this post had been written about them? (A response in the voice of your main character.)

With so much going on I don’t have much time for anything, let alone a blog. I never asked for any of this but who does? I’ve got to figure out these visions and prepare for the next battle before anyone else is lost. Vampires, feral vampires, fallen angels, or demons, doesn’t matter what they throw at me. I’ll fight to protect the people I love and you better believe I’ll be ready. Thanks for having me, but I’ve got to get back to my Bushido training. A master swordswoman isn’t made overnight and my enemies grow stronger each day.

We all know how much I love music. Can you share a song which best represents Mitsuko?

I’ll do one better and tell you why. The song I chose was Just One Day by Better Than Ezra. This song is about regret and what you would do differently if you could. I think we’ve all had those ‘what if’ moments. Mitsuko is deeply affected by one. Enjoy.

I hope you enjoyed seeing a little about my main character. Feel free to ask questions or make comments below. May as well open myself up for anything, so let me have it. Make sure you come back next week to see who our next special guest will be. I have a feeling they’ll have some awesome answers, maybe even an adorable one too. 😉

Author Bio: Please refer to the ‘About’ section for more on me. Feel free to poke around the pages of this blog too if you like. Thanks for stopping by.

In the spirit of Fall and Halloween, here is a younger version of me carving a pumpkin. Aren’t pumpkins fun?

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12 comments

  1. Aw, that Better Than Ezra song was just what I needed today. And yikes, I’d better get on my entry for you, lol. No worries, just slacking, but seriously, I’m getting on it.

  2. Great answers! I especially liked your answer to memorable characters as simply being a character the reader invests in and cares about – so true! Personally, I have a lot of trouble reading about a mc that I don’t like or don’t feel at all connected to, even if the story itself is good. Mitsuko sounds like the kind of well-fleshed out character I could get behind.

    p.s. Love the pumpkin pic – carving pumpkins is the best!

    1. Thanks. Like I said, I’m no expert but figured maybe some of my thoughts could help writers who may be struggling with their characters. I saw that old pumpkin pic and thought it would fit nicely at the end. Carving pumpkins was the best part of Halloween for me. Thanks for stopping by.

  3. I want to read more about Mitsuko(still getting used to her new name, though it does suit her better.) After all she’s been through so far, I can only imagine her growing a little tougher, a little colder. Sometimes, even in real life, that’s what we have to do.

    I’m 100% with you when you mentioned that every character has at least a small piece of ourselves in them. I think that’s why I like my villain so much- I understand what’s it’s like to watch your world fall apart and do whatever it takes to hold it all together.

    Fantastic job, Brian. It’s a bit tough answering these questions, isn’t it? But, at least for me, they gave me more insight into my characters and the story.

    Looking forward to the next one. 🙂

    1. When I sat down to answer these questions my only thought was to be as honest as possible. I think by doing that it helped me see certain things in a different light. My goal with these questions was to get us (the writers) and even readers thinking about characters in ways they may not have before. I’m sure we both struggled with one or two questions, but overall I think our answers were as diverse as they were honest, which is one the things I love about each In Character post. We each bring something different to the table. I really had to think about how Mitsuko would react to a blog post. Especially after all she’s been through. Again, great job with your answers, Tonia, and thanks for hanging around for the others. The next one is going to be great. See you then!

    1. I can’t wait to hear your thoughts. The characters will likely change some, but the overall plot will remain the same. I realize Eden needs another coat of paint. 😦 But knowing is half the battle! 🙂

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