This post is to celebrate my completion of my first wave of query letters. (Woohoo!) It is a special treat, formed using question ideas from the Gotham Writer's Workshop's Writing Fiction questionnaire: an interview with my MC, Peter Lawrence.
Peter is answering my questions as though he is ten years older than he was when the novel ended. He sits down urbanely, strokes his chin, then chuckles to himself and scoots forward in his chair.
"I'm sorry," he says humorously. "This is a bit of a bigger deal than I thought it would be.
"Well, you're quite an important man to get to know, Peter," I say.
He lets out a breif laugh. "I suppose so."
"So, Peter, the silly question I have to get out of the way first--any nicknames?"
Peter raises his eyebrows. "No, nothing I can think of."
"Any birthmarks? Scars maybe?"
"Birthmarks, no. Scars, yeah, I've got plenty of those." Peter rolls up his shirt to show a variety of lash marks from years past. He smiles to himself and sits back down. "It's all for a good cause though, I guess. They're more of reminders really."
"Reminders? Of what, Peter?"
"Of my place--why I'm here, what I've fought against." He runs his hand through his hair. "You can't get change without a fight, and it's hard to fight without picking up a few scars."
I nod, pressing my lips tightly together. "Well said."
Peter bows his head slightly. "Thank you."
"So who are you closest to? Out of everyone, is there any one person, a gal perhaps, in particular?"
"A gal? Well, ha, there is to be honest." He smirks and I raise my eyebrows. "My mother," he laughs, wiping his mouth with the back of his hand. "And there's my lovely wife of course. And the crew. I'm close to a lot of people. So, I guess...I guess then the answer is no, there's not just one."
"Alright, alright. When you're angry, Peter, where do you go to?"
"Home usually," he replies matter of factly. "Sometimes I'll head to the woods or something like that, but usually I just go home to my wife. She's too tough to let me mope."
"Any fears, Pete? The audience is dying to know."
"Fears?" He shrugs. "I can't say I have any of those. ...No, honestly. I'm not just being a jackass about it, it's just that when you've been through certain things-" he sighs- "you learn not to be afraid."
"No fears," I say. "Wow. How 'bout secrets. Got any of those?"
He shifts in his chair and shakes his head. "You're just groping for anything to get me on aren't you? Wow, no, no secrets. At least, nothing that I hide from my wife...or the crew for that matter. Though, my mother, she doesn't need to know everything." Peter winks charmingly, causing me to blush.
"Aww, come on now," he says. "Don't tell me you don't have things you hide from your mother, huh? Huuuuh?"
"True," I reply, putting my hands up in surrender. "But while we're getting personal, how 'bout you tell me a bit about what makes you laugh out loud?"
Peter chuckles, smiling and glancing upward as though conjuring a specific memory. "My son and daughters," he says. I can't help but smile with him.
"And speaking of family-"
"Oh yes, those people."
"Yes, them. You seem pretty in love with love with them, sooo were you ever in love, and have you ever had yout broken heart."
"I guess you're answering my questions for me then? Yes, I have been in love and have had my heart broken. ...At the same time, in fact. By the same person. Fell in love, had my heart broken, stayed in love, won her heart."
"Awwwww." I can't help it. He has me feeling so fantastic. I almost want to leave it at that, but continue after a moment's pause. "So what's in your refrigerator right now," I say to break the ice again.
"Some beer. Some cold cuts. Meat loaf. Pasta. Lots of crazy and expensive organic items that my wife purchased. We've, uh, gone pretty green in our house. And not in a moldy sort of way."
"Favorite shoes?" I ask.
"When you think of your childhood kitchen, what smell do you associate it with?"
Peter scratches his head and leans back in his chair. "I don't know if my adolescent years counts as childhood, but I associated the Sunny View kitchen with breakfast. My mother used to make me eggs, every morning, with cheddar cheese and ham. I'd wake up to the smell of it."
"Mmm," I reply, wishing I'd had something as delicious for breakfast. "It's a Saturday afternoon--What are you doing."
"Reading. Grading my students' work. Playing with my kids. Or, you know, other things," he raises his eyebrows, "if Grandma's watching the kids for the weekend."
I raise my eyebrows in reply and nod. "Other things," I laugh. "Right. Okay, one last question. Your biggest fan wants to know 'what memory has stuck with you from your childhood?'"
"Childhood," he says nostalgically, "is one long memory that I don't think I'll ever forget." He tilts his head, leans back, and thinks for a moment. "Really I can't imagine why I'd ever want to."