AW April Blog Chain–The Character Interview

Secret Admirer

Image by Synorama via Flickr

Blog chain time again.  Preceding me in the chain was Aimee Laine (whose paranormal romance Little White Lies comes out 7/1/11, plug, plug) and I will be followed by Della Odell.  Wow, talk about a talented pair of brackets.

Here are this month’s blog chain rules:

Prompt: The Character Interview

As with last month, this will be two parts.

Part one is optional: describe one of your characters in 50 words or less.

Part two is where things get fun: have that character interview you! Using whatever format you like (Q&A, prose), make a little interview with your character as the interviewer and yourself as the subject.

Part 1:

Ellen from Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell is a sixteen year old girl, living under the sole guardianship of her older brother.  Her father is dead; her mother is a nearly homeless addict.  Ellen ended her Junior year hiding out in the Girls’ bathroom after rejecting the advances of her teacher.

Part 2:

Hi, I’m Ellen and I’ll be interviewing you today, Ms. Gillian.

I’m actually Iris, Iris St. Clair.  Claire Gillian is my (air quotes) mother.  She writes for adults and I write for young adults.

Oh, wow.  You look exactly alike.

I get that a lot.

OK, so let me get my interview notes and questions…

We don’t have to be so formal, Ellen.  We can talk about anything you like, such as boys or high school or whatever…

(Rolls her eyes) Gah, why do adults think that’s all teenagers want to talk about?  We don’t, you know.  Some of us have a little substance to us.  Some of us have hopes and dreams that don’t involve prom or driving or boys.

True.  When I was your age, I used to think living long enough to experience the turn of the millennium was going to be the most amazing feat ever.  It seems so trivial now but at the time it was a big deal to me.

I get what you’re doing here.

Do you?

You’re trying to trick me into thinking it’s ok to talk about typical teenaged things.  But you’re probably too old to understand what it’s like today.  You didn’t have Facebook or email or Twitter when you were a teen did you?

Well, no.  But the emotions behind our communications and relationships weren’t too different even if the means of transmitting them has changed.  For example, if I had a crush on a boy, I’d want to know everything there was to know about him.  It was much harder to do without Facebook.  In a certain sense, you’re lucky.

That’s not always a good thing though, people knowing your business, especially people who say they want to help you but really only want to help themselves.

There are predators out there, that’s for sure.  I hope you’re careful with what you reveal online.

(smirks and looks away) It’s not the online people I’m talking about.  I already know how to avoid pervs and spammers.  It’s the ones I’m supposed to be able to trust, the ones who are supposed to love or protect me…  Never mind.  Forget I said anything.  (Ellen shifts in her chair and shoots a glance over her shoulder before turning back, arms crossed at her chest.) So, Iris, since you brought it up, tell me how you went about  getting a boy to ask you out.

I’m not a good one to ask. I was never very adept at that in my youth.  My shyness was deemed non-interest and I was often written off as ‘just a friend’.

The dreaded “Friend Zone”.  Yeah…  So you never figured out how to turn that around?

I managed eventually; grown men are somewhat easier to figure out than teenaged boys, but not much.  My timing always sucked and I was an extremely late bloomer in terms of recognizing the signs of attraction.  Usually by the time I figured out a boy was interested, he’d have already given up and moved on.  I got plenty of attention, including the uncomfortable kind, from the ones I considered ‘just friends’, however.  Oh, the irony.

Yeah.  Irony.  That does suck–the ones you don’t want, want you, and the ones you want, want someone else.  I hate that…just hate it. (Ellen chews her thumb nail and drops her eyes.)

A word of advice from someone with 20/20 hindsight?


Tell him. Take a chance.  Worst case scenario?  The misery you wouldn’t have known had you not taken that chance doesn’t feel much different than the misery you already know by staying silent and wondering “what if”.

Huh?  I’ll try to decipher that later on because I’m not sure what you mean by…  Wait.  You’re going to spoil my story if you interfere, aren’t you?

Oh geesh.  You’re right.  Forget I said anything.

(pulls out list of questions) Listen, this has been fun and all, but I really need to get your answers to these questions.  I got a 4.0 I need to hang on to if I’m gonna have any chance of getting a scholarship to somewhere other than the local college in this crappy town.

I understand. Ask away.


Here are all the blog chain participants.  Won’t you give them a read and a comment too, please?

orion_mk3 – (link to this month’s post)
Yoghurtelf – (link to this month’s post)
COchick – (link to this month’s post)
Steam&Ink – (link to this month’s post)
xcomplex – (link to this month’s post)
pezie – (link to this month’s post)
aimeelaine – (link to this month’s post)
auburnassassin – <<–You ARE HERE
Della Odell – (link to this month’s post)
Juniper – (link to this month’s post)
Proach – (link to this month’s post)
allmyposts – (link to this month’s post)
jkellerford – (link to this month’s post)
LadyMage – (link to this month’s post)
dolores haze – (link to this month’s post)

23 thoughts on “AW April Blog Chain–The Character Interview

  1. I instantly liked Ellen. I get the feeling someone she knows has betrayed her online (or in person). Hope it all gets sorted for her.

    I have to say, most of the time I think I’m grateful FB, texting, email, etc. didn’t exist when I was a teenager. Sure, it could have been cool, but it also could have been very complicated. Maybe Ellen is right–we had it easy :).

    • Thanks, Erin. Sometimes it’s better to be ignorant and allow your imagination to go where it wants to go in matters of young love. Facebook and Twitter, remove most of that. Where’s one of those old-fashioned paper “cootie catcher” thingies that acts as a Magic 8 ball when you need one?

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  3. Good interview! I liked the back and forth, and you seem to have nailed some things with Ellen that I think a lot of YA authors these days struggle with–romance, technology, and reticence. It would have a nice alliterative ring if I could come up with an “r” word for technology, but it’s too soon after lunch 🙂

  4. I laughed so hard I cried at your opener. 🙂 Great getting into the meat and substance of her character and her problem. 🙂 And good advice in there … Iris. 😉

  5. I immediately get the feeling that Ellen was betrayed and neglected. She has so much in common my my MC, Anya. Great post, Claire.

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  7. Methinks Ellen has been betrayed in the past. Hopefully she’ll be able to move past it in the novel. I do agree with her about adults thinking teens are only concerned with unimportant thing.

    When I was a teen I wasn’t really concerned about boys or high school…then again I’m still single(happily I might add) and I stopped attended school for a couple of months my freshmen year. Meh. I’m not a good example, but I still stand by her words! :p

    • I agree. Many teens have very mature outlooks and even philanthropic leanings. I wish my teens did. They’re more interested in viral videos and video games. Sigh…

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  10. Well done! I really get a feel for Ellen. It’s hard being a teen, maybe even harder now that there are FB and Twitter and you tube. This point was clearly put across. My heart tugs for both Ellen and Iris. I was the shy, wallflower type, too. I hope Ellen doesn’t miss ‘the’ opportunity and that he doesn’t betray her. Great job!

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  12. If there were no hints for her age, her dialogue alone gives it away. Well done. That’s a hard thing to do… well at least for me. Ellen is very real.

    • Aww, thank you! Your observation is very heart-warming to read. Claire is tons older than Iris who is tons older than Ellen so it’s interesting to me to have 3 different ages represented in that post.

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