Writer's Digest recently published these nine questions for an author to use to get to know their characters better. I decided to use it to interview a few of mine. I've done interviews before, but these questions were different and I was anxious to learn their responses.
Below is an interview with the main character of my upcoming sci-fi novel, The Lone Wolf. Wil VanLipsig is a genetically enhanced super soldier. After living an artificially extended life, he's somewhat jaded and cynical.
Dellani: How do you learn best?
Wil:I learn best by doing. I've always been a hands on learner. The things I learn quickest & remember best are things I learned that way.
Dellani: How open are you to new ideas and information?
Wil: In my line of work I can't survive without innovation and information. A good commander plans for every contingency. Without information, I can't do that. I use the tools best suited to the job. Without new ideas & equipment, I'm screwed before I get started.
Dellani: When you walk into a party, what do you notice first?
Wil: I process everything more or less simultaneously. However, most important – how many exits besides the way I came in? Next – number of people and level of threat each presents. After that, I usually plan how I'd take them down and prioritize the order I'd take them on. I rarely eat in a crowd. It's too easy for someone to slip you something. Unless I bring my own, I don't drink either. No such thing as being too paranoid.
Dellani: Is one sense more highly developed than another?
Wil: All my senses are highly developed. What I didn't have already, the Marine Corps doctors enhanced. One thing I've noticed though, I have a very sophisticated sense of smell. I can filter out extraneous scents and follow one specific one. Your perfume is intoxicating, by the way.
Dellani: Do you usually notice problems around you?
Wil: Baby, I'm usually the one causing the problems around me. If it's one not of my making, I analyze and deal with it quickly and efficiently. I abhor chaos.
Dellani: Would you say you are an optimist or a pessimist?
Wil: People will tell you I'm a pessimist. Piss on that! I'm a realist. After all the shit I've seen in my life, I'm probably willing to think the worst of everything and everyone. If that makes me a pessimist, so be it. That glass half full crap is bullshit.
Dellani: Are you more interested in the past, the future or living now?
Wil: Since the past and the now affect my future, I'm looking at all three. I'm one of those rare individuals who sees the long term big picture. I can assess the consequences of my actions as well as everyone elses'. I have to know what to expect and what my team can do. That means knowing what they've done in the past because that affects the now – and that affects the future of whether we live or die.
Dellani: How do you decide if you can trust someone?
Wil: I don't trust easily. It has to be earned over time. There are only a handful of people in this life that I trust and most of them earned it by walking through hell with me.
Dellani: Are you a deliberate, careful speaker, or do you talk without thinking first?
Wil: Depends on the circumstances. Mostly I think about what I'm going to say very carefully. Words carry weight and should be used sparingly. I used to be very impulsive and said what I thought. After nearly getting myself killed a few times, I learned. From time to time I slip up.