This past month – *waves back at April* – was the year’s first Camp NaNoWriMo. (There’s another camp session happening in July, in case anyone’s interested in signing up. ^o^) And somewhere in there, I came across a character questionnaire—
“Did someone say ‘character questionnaire’?!”
Yes, Annabelle Iole Gray of the “Inspired” novels, I did indeed say that.
“Fun and a half! Where’d you find the questions?”
Fittingly enough, on the NaNoWriMo blog.
“Can I be the one to A the Qs? Ooh, or one of my characters?”
Actually, I was thinking I’d bring in the main trio from my camp project.
The refining of my Fall 2018 novel.
“Ah. Okay. I guess that’s… allowed. Just keep us in mind for next time, will ya?”
I shall strive so to do. Now, let’s see what kind of answers we can pry out of Brenna Walsh, Thackeray Kyle, and Nicky Ellenbogen-Jones – the big three of “So Super Dead”!
What does your character do when they think no one’s looking?
Thackeray Kyle, the Vampire Hunter: “Kill people.”
(Annabelle, in the background: *spit take*)
What’s the one thing your character would save in a fire (beyond the necessities)?
The ghost of Brenna Walsh: “Would’ve been nice if I could’ve saved my parents.”
(Annabelle: “Well, dang.”)
Who’s on speed dial?
Nicky, aka superhero Xtra-Medium: “Dead people, mostly.”
(Annabelle: “Okay. I’m getting it. This book’s got a theme.”
Brenna: “<_< Did you not read the title?”)
Your character gets turned down for their dream job. What’s their second choice?
Nicky: “If I can’t make a career out of talking to ghosts, there’s always… um… real estate agency? I dunno why that’s the first thing that came to mind, but I mean, I could do worse.”
What would they tell their ten-year-old self?
Thackeray: “ ‘Find a non-vampire-related hobby. Just… trust me on this.’ ”
Where would they want to go on a first date?
Brenna: “First, ew. Second, 24-Hour Pancakes. Third, no.”
What’s the best advice they’ve ever received?
Thackeray: “ ‘Find a non-vampire-related hobby.’ Sorry, Dad. Maybe if you’d been me from the future, I’d have listened.”
What’s the worst advice they’ve ever received?
Brenna: “I’ve lost track. Grownups are always giving crap advice. It’s like they think I care.”
What’s one physical detail they’d change about themselves?
Nicky: “I, ah, well… if I could maybe have, um, one or another kind of standard reproduction system, that would be… special.”
When was the last time they were held? By who?
Nicky: “Oh, my best friend hugs me all the time. He’s demonstrative, like that.”
What’s their favorite thing about their favorite season?
Thackeray: “Winter is quiet. Muted colors. Muffled sound. Nature half in hibernation. I find it restful in a way the rest of the year can’t match. Figures the novel takes place in summer.”
Their wallet gets stolen. What do they do?
Brenna: “Before or after my life got stolen from me?”
Author Danielle E. Shipley: …Before?
Brenna: “In that case, I hate humanity.”
(Annabelle: “My money says that’s her ‘after’ answer, too.”)
Prioritize: Love, money, power, knowledge?
Nicky: “The power of love!”
What’s something nobody knows about them?
Nicky: “Who my birth parents are, and why they abandoned me and my phone as an infant. Like, the book doesn’t look into it, but low key, you know I’ve got questions.”
What’s in their fridge?
Thackeray: “Whatever my camera crew wants. They’re the ones with opinions on the matter.”
What (creature, object, substance) are they most disgusted by?
Brenna: “Thackeray Kyle.”
(Thackeray: “Way to steal my answer.”)
What’s their second worst habit?
Nicky: “Second worst? Um, well, if the first is my tendency to chatter too much, I guess the second would be negative self-talk.”
Brenna: “So… both of your worst habits are talking.”
Nicky: “I’m consistent?”
What are the victory conditions for their life?
Brenna: “There is no winning at life. We’ll see how the rules change once you’re dead.”
In the end, your character fails to save the day. Assuming they survive, what do they do?
Nicky: “See Worst Habit #2. I’ll also probably get ice cream.”
Your character is charged with a crime they didn’t commit. What do they do?
Brenna: “Canonically? Get murdered.”
Your character is charged with a crime they did commit. What was the crime?
Thackeray: “Well, shoot. Sounds like someone found out what I do when no one’s looking.”
And on that full circular note, we’ll pause so as to prevent this post from going on for twice as long. Thanks for what cooperation you had to give, “So Super Dead” peeps! We’ll continue with the questionnaire another day. ‘Til then, let’s remind our audience (of however many plus Annabelle) of the novel’s summary:
The ghost: Sure, seventeen-year-old Brenna hadn’t thought much of her life, but she’s not about to take her murder lying down. With one death to live and nothing left to lose, Brenna’s out for vengeance. Trouble is, her murderer’s already dead.
The killer: The reality of TV star Thackeray Kyle, the Vampire Hunter, is not the kind one lives to tell about. He’ll do whatever it takes – and take out whomever he must – to keep his secret safe. If only he could get his dead conscience to quit haunting him…
The talker: Agender mutant teen Nicky finally has himmer’s superpower, and s/he’s ready to save the world. …Or, y’know, talk to dead people, since that’s really all s/he can do. But now, caught between a responsibility to Brenna, a debt to a closeted monster, and the inevitability of a super-villainous terrorist attack, Nicky’s scrambling for the right words to bring two lifeless friends peace and prove himmerself a hero. Because if s/he doesn’t, the world’s dead will number far more than one ghost-whisperer can handle.
“So Super Dead” – coming this fall!
The rest of the Camp NaNo character Q&A – coming in some future blog post!