Previously on Ever On Word, I began peppering the main characters from my next novel (“So Super Dead”) with a series of questions found via the NaNoWriMo blog. Because the questions were so numerous, we broke off about midway – meaning that there’s plenty more questionnaire fun to be had in today’s blog post!
Yes, Annabelle Iole Gray, co-protag and character questionnaire enthusiast from the “Inspired” novels?
“May one of my characters join in, this time?”
“Come on! You said!”
I said ‘possibly next time.’ This isn’t even next time; it’s the second half of last time. But sure, go ahead and pick a character of yours.
“HOORAY! And oh no. I don’t know which one to pick.”
How about Avelaine? These are my “So Super Dead” MCs, after all, and if any of your characters can be said to fit the morbid theme, ‘tis he.
“Valid. All right, let’s do this!”
Moving forward, then, let us welcome once again: the ghost of small-town teen Brenna Walsh; reality TV star Thackeray Kyle, the Vampire Hunter; and Nicky “Xtra-Medium” Ellenbogen-Jones, moon mutant/up-and-coming superhero. Also, ‘the boy who dances with death’, Annabelle’s Avelaine.
What’s the 140-character version of your character’s life?
Nicky: “Lol, no. There’s a reason I’m not on Twitter (besides, y’know, my planet having already moved passed it). Nothing I say has a short version.”
(Annabelle: “Fun fact: Counting spaces but not quotation marks, that response totaled 140 characters exactly.”
Author Danielle E. Shipley: #GetOnMyLevel)
What important statistic would they want displayed above them?
Thackeray: “It would really put a crimp in my hunting style, but think of all the lives it would save were I too carry overhead a tally of all the lives I’ve taken.”
Nicky: “You’d want that?”
Thackeray: “…Yes and no.”
What’s the first thing they would buy if they won the lottery?
Brenna: “A house in a better neighborhood. Some big city where vampires are too chicken to prey. Even if it’s too late for me, at least my uncle could get out of the sticks.”
What profession do they most respect?
Avelaine: “Professional muse.”
Annabelle: “What, just because it’s the family business?”
Avelaine: “And an overall underappreciated one, at that.”
What childhood injustice did they never get over?
Brenna: “Does 17 still count as my childhood? Because MURDERED.”
How would they handle having a panic attack?
Thackeray: “Oh, I have mild panic attacks with some frequency. People generally don’t notice, because my conscious coping mechanism is go very inconspicuously still and quiet, lest I tear somebody’s head off their shoulders.”
Nicky: “…Yeah, head-tearing would be a worse coping mechanism.”
Your character is burdened with an inconvenient superpower. What is it?
Nicky: “After waiting 16 years for my power to manifest, I might think even an inconvenient power was worth celebrating. Or I’d feel like the universe was mocking me further. Dunno, it depends how much glass-half-full energy I have to spare that day.”
If they died and could come back as any person, animal, or object, what would they be?
Brenna: “Come back as something other than a ghost, huh? That has consolation prize potential… Could I be a werecat? Either one with total control over my shifting, or one that never shifts – that’s just in huge monster cat form, all the time. That would be mildly epic.”
What’s the best meal they’ve ever had?
Thackeray: “It actually didn’t come out that great, but I nonetheless quite fondly recall the first Passover dinner my stepmom ever put together for us, as a revised family unit. She’d tried really hard to make it special, and for that reason, it was. Though subsequent culinary efforts on her part may have been more technically successful, that’s the one I get nostalgic about.”
Where would they stand at a dinner party?
Avelaine: “Is it a murder mystery invite-only casual dinner party/gala for friends potluck? Because, apart from the social aspect, that could easily be my scene.”
Who would they invite to the dinner party?
Thackeray: “My kid sister.”
Nicky: “My best friend, Boomerang. And any ghosts who wanna hang out.”
Brenna: “Those ghosts do not include me.”
What makes a perfect day for your character?
Nicky: “The more perfect I can make someone else’s day, the closer to perfect mine is.”
If given the opportunity, would they want to know how and when they died?
Avelaine: “ ‘There are worse things than not remembering one’s story. Like knowing how it ends.’ ”
What’s the one thing they’ve always wanted to do? Why haven’t they done it yet?
Thackeray: “I wanted to go to a prestigious college and have the accreditations to back up my know-it-all side. But I guess becoming a reality TV star was the path of least resistance.”
What do they tend to joke about?
Nicky: “Oh, all sorts of corny stuff. Humor tends to lean that way, on the moon.”
What’s off limits?
Thackeray: “It didn’t take long for me to get really, really tired of vampire jokes.”
Whose wedding would they cross the world to attend? Whose funeral?
Brenna: “I hope Thackeray Kyle tries to get married, so I can rain all kinds of poltergeist wrath down on his marital parade.”
Nicky: “First of all, that’s not great, Brenna. Second, I should really start making a point of going to funerals. Who knows how many recently deceased could use someone to talk to?”
Thackeray: “Third things third: The odds of me getting married are immeasurably low.”
What impossible choice did they make that turned out to be the right one? The wrong one?
Thackeray: “My choices have been neither impossible nor right. Only drastic.”
Your character now has a hype man (or woman). What would they say to get everyone excited about your character?
Thackeray: “This very much sounds like Nicky’s job.”
Brenna: “Yeah, moon freak. What would you say?”
Nicky: “Dudes. I talked about you guys for an entire novel. What more am I supposed to do?”
Avelaine: “Nothing. Factually, hype is the author’s job.”
Danielle: *looks out at the audience* How am I doing?
And oh, would you look at the word count. Methinks it’s time to call this post a wrap.
“But there’s still 11 questions to go!”
Which is exactly what next time is for. Don’t worry, Annabelle, you’re welcome to join us once again – as I certainly hope this blog post’s readers will. ‘Til then, let’s end on a word from our sponsor…
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 end of the Camp NaNo character Q&A – coming in some future blog post!