I’ve been putting off saying anything because I wanted all my ducks in a row, but now that everything’s in order, I’m ready to reveal my big, huge, ENORMOUS secret:
I have a publisher. As in, signed contract, paycheck, editing and publication schedule, actual-real-live publisher.
I’m going to be a published author.
Sorry about that; I’m back. The novel I’ve been editing (which I posted snippets of until mid-March), Lower Education, will be out early next year. I think I’m still in shock. Getting this thing whipped into shape is a long, difficult process. Some days, I enjoy it. Other days, I want to smack every single one of my characters and tell them to just do as I say.
In honor of my exciting news, I’m jumping on the character interview bandwagon. I snagged Phin and
locked him in the room sat down with him to chat. I know I didn’t have to play by official rules, but I did anyway. 5/21/14 = 5 + 2 + 1 + 1 + 4 = 13 questions.
Phin sits on the couch, leaning back, one ankle resting on the opposite knee and his arm draped lazily over the back of the couch. He leans his head back and closes his eyes.
Me: Thanks for stopping by.
Phin: I didn’t exactly have a choice. Ugh. Do you have any coffee? I’m dying. It’s way too early.
Me: You got up early when Alex asked you to.
Phin: Yeah, but that was different, and I still wish I hadn’t. Coffee?
Me: Nope. Here’s some water, though.
Phin: Is this going to take long? I have plans.
Me: Oh, really? That’s news to me.
Phin: You don’t know everything about me.
Me: That’s what you think. We’re going to play 20 questions. Well, okay, 13 questions, because this WIP thing has to mesh with the date. That’ll wake you up. Ready?
Phin: Are you sure it can’t wait til I’ve had coffee?
Me: I’m sure.
Phin: [groans] Fine. Go ahead.
Me: All right. We know how you got stuck—er, ended up in North Cowell. First question: Do you miss the city?
Phin: Hell, yes. There is nothing to do here. And also people I’d rather not talk to but can’t really hide from because there is f***ing nowhere to go.
Me: Yeah, I get the sense it’s pretty quiet. If you had a day to do whatever you wanted, no restrictions, and your only goal was to enjoy yourself, what would you do?
Phin: [smirks and uncrosses his legs; leans forward] I think I could find something.
Me: You seem to have forgotten I wrote you. I know all your tricks.
Phin: Nope. You don’t.
Me: [rolls eyes] Whatever. Let’s stick with that theme. What’s your ideal date?
Phin: Why don’t you tell me about yours instead?
Me: Because this is about you.
Phin: No, I mean that is my ideal date. I like to know what the other person wants and then deliver spectacularly.
Me: In order to manipulate them?
Phin: That counts as one of the questions.
Me: Fine. Then answer it.
Phin: Yes. Sometimes it’s because I want something. But sometimes, it’s just because, believe it or not, I like to make people feel good. [winks] In more ways than one.
Me: Is that what’s going on between you and Alex?
Phin: [flushes] No. He just…pushes my buttons, that’s all. And I can’t read him, which pisses me off.
Me: Are you going to tell me what happened between you that made him so angry with you?
Phin: [examines his hands] I don’t really want to talk about that. I was twelve, okay? I was a little s**t.
Me: That’s fair. I shouldn’t have asked. Let me try something different. Where do you see yourself in five years?
Phin: What’s with the heavy questions? I don’t really know. If you’d said five years ago I’d be here, I’d have laughed at you. Always thought I’d be married with kids, living some suburban dream. Life just gets in the way sometimes, I guess. I didn’t really sign up for this s**t, but it found me anyway. God. Can we talk about something else now?
Me: Sure. The rest are just your basic rapid-fire. Here we go. Coffee or tea?
Phin: Coffee, damn it!
Me: Cats or dogs?
Me: Morning or night?
Phin: Night, clearly.
Me: Ocean or mountains?
Phin: Definitely ocean. Mountains are overrated.
Me: Beer or wine?
Phin: Both are good. Nothing else, though. I’m a bit of a lightweight.
Me: Radio station?
Phin: [cringes] News or sports. Sorry.
Me: Last one.
Phin: Thought you said thirteen.
Me: Bonus question. Because I’m in charge.
Phin: Hey! That’s not fair.
Me: I know. Favorite thing about Alex?
Phin: I hate you.
Me: [evil grin] Just answer the question.
Phin: [huffs] He actually cares about people. Unlike you, obviously.
Me: I care. I care deeply about making you uncomfortable. Anyway, I’ll let you go get your coffee now. Thanks for hanging out with me.
Phin: [escapes as fast as he can]