Saturday, April 23, 2011

Interviewed by My Character

I joined the April blog chain at Absolute Write, and now it's my turn. It's hard to be clever or even competent on cue. Improv is not something I aspire to.

The rules of the road:
This month's prompt: The Character Interview
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! 
(oops, did it backwards!)


Oh gee. Since I'm writing a murder mystery, I could be interviewed by a murderer, but then everyone would know whodunnit, so that's not a good idea. Hmm ...

Hey, what about me?

Hi there, Tasmin, do you need your ears scratched? Jump on up here.

No, I mean, I can interview you.

Ha ha, that's cute, Sweetie. But I don't think you know how to conduct an interview.

Why not? I watch those news shows that Mom and Peter have on the TV. And I'm smart. I keep my eyes open, when I'm not sleeping that is. I know the score. And I don't see anyone else willing to give up their Saturday night to spend time with you.

Ok, then, Tasmin, what would you like to know about me, your creator?

First off, I want to know where you got my name. It's a little odd for a Chihuahua, don't you think?

I've always liked the name, and when you made an appearance in the novel, I knew you were the reincarnation of my own little blond dog, who'd recently gone to the Rainbow Bridge. Her name began with a T, so yours did too. And it fits you, don't you think?

I guess so. It's unusual and memorable. That sounds like me. Ok, second question. Why do I live on an island that doesn't really exist? Why couldn't I live on Martha's Vineyard, or Cape Cod? I hear those are nice. 

Well, I think your island should exist, in real life. I like seeing islands just off a coast. Yours is modeled after an island in Maine, and you should be glad I designed it the way I did. It's a beautiful place, don't you think? People seem happy there.

Not everyone. Someone was unhappy enough to bash in that guy's head. 

That kind of goes with the territory, in a cozy mystery. A nice place with some nice people, and also some who do not-nice things. 

You could have written an urban fantasy. Then I could have magic powers. I'd like to fly. And be able to knock the litter out of that big Maine Coon cat who lives in Marcie's barn. Maybe I could scorch off his fir with my laser vision. You wouldn't be hissing at me then, Nekkid Boy! Oh no, you'd be running from the SuperTaz! Heh heh heh. 

Tasmin, I didn't know you could wring your paws together like that! You look rather vindictive, so full of piss and vinegar. You seem pretty meek, usually. I didn't know you could be such a bit--

What's that you're calling me? What's that!

Uh, nevermind. Let's get back to the interview. Do you have another question for me?

Yep. When do I get a boyfriend?

Not anytime soon, I don't think. Isn't Brogan good enough as a playmate?

He's my stepbrother! 

Ok, then, how about Jack?

That old mutt? Although he was pretty cute as a pup, I gotta tell you. I had my eyes on him from the moment Marcie brought him over, but then when he hooked up with Old Rocky, and starting doing the hermit sidekick schtick, I knew he might be good for a night or two but nothing longterm. 

Why not just enjoy being a pampered gal? Dr. Meg takes really good care of you, and she loves you dearly. You don't need a man-dog to be fulfilled.

That's right! I'm a grrrrl. Don't need no hound. Ok, then how about letting me solve the murder?

Well, I think you might play a role. What do you have in mind?

I could fly over the spruce trees and use my laser vision to see through the underbrush, what's hidden there. And then I could see through the walls of that rental cabin,  find out what's really going on behind those logs. I've been sniffing around - I think you'd be surprised. 

Tasmin, you can't fly and you don't have laser vision, remember? This is not urban fantasy! I know that genre's really hot, and I know you'd love to see your muzzle on the cover of a hardback bestseller at Barnes and Noble, but you're going to have to be content as a minor character in a cozy. 

Can I at least have a new squeaky toy?

I think Mack's bringing you one this week. I saw him go to the pet store.

Ah, Mack. Now there's a fine fellow. Why he's playing it so cool with Shasta?

Shasta's gun shy, and Mack can see that. She just went through that nasty divorce with her cheating husband and had to sell her condo, she lost her job -- now she's nervous about commitment and also nervous about losing this job, too, because of the murder. She thinks Bradley will blame her for not keeping the artists safe. She's attracted to Mack, but she's also attracted to Caleb. So give them some time to work it out. 

A threesome! 

No, that would be a different genre, called erotica - hey, what would you know about that, anyway, Missy?

That poodle who comes over on the weekends - she lives in the city. And she kisses and tells.

I see. I think there's some editing I need to do tonight. A certain Fi-Fi is heading toward delete. Is there anything else you want to know?

Am I in the next book? I'm assuming this is at least a 7-book series. 

Tasmin, you are always in my heart, and I'll always find a place for you in my novels. 

Case closed, then! 

Tasmin is a blond Chihuahua mix who spends much of her day snuggled in the arms of her caretaker, Dr. Meg. She lives on a small, isolated island off the west coast of the United States and although often she may appear to be asleep, she's actually keeping her keen dark brown eyes trained on the community and her velvety black nose to the wind. At night, after Dr. Meg goes to bed, Tasmin sneaks out the doggie door to meet up with her canine cohorts in plotting the eradication of the cats from the island. Her inspiration is St. Patrick, who drove the snakes out of Ireland.


Thanks to orion_mk3 for starting the blog chain. Here are the other participants - please check out their blogs!


  1. That was fun, thanks for sharing! I may have to let a character interview me at some point.

    I'm starting up a 'Critiquing and Supportive Crusaders' program, where participants in the Second Crusade can find other writers to exchange critiques with or form supportive critiquing circles. If you're interested, come by The Kelworth Files to check it out!

  2. That was a ton of fun and very clever.

    I have a character named Tasmin but she's er, more of a friend of Fi-fi's. Tell your Taz, I hope she takes your advice about her quest for a man-dog (snort) and sorry, gotta say it, I hope she fails in her quest to eradicate the island of cats. LOL

    I love cozies so good luck with yours

  3. This is freakin' hilarious! Maybe you should let Tasmin narrate your book. She's got a great voice and a very creative POV.

  4. An interview with a dog. Brilliant! Does Tasmin speak in your novel? I doubt it, but she would make an awesome character. I'm loving her personality! Keep up the great work. Cheers! :)

  5. Oh, what a great idea. Tasmin sure has a lot to say! Lovely job, Tasmin!

  6. Cute doggie! (All around, not just the pic!). :)

  7. A very fun read, Kathie. She may have trouble with my Juliet who it appears to be very into herself!

  8. You have mades Tasmin so alive and real that now we will be looking for that personality in the book. Great interview!

  9. Hehe, delightful. You should tell Tasmin how lucky she is not to be in Stephen King's fictionalized Maine!

  10. I'm having fun imagining Tasmin as an Urban Fantasy Hero Dog. Cute interview!

  11. Nice. I started out plotting my novel by interviewing my characters, and letting them tell me about themselves, and what they thought of each other, Great insights. I don't think I used any of it verbatim, but it let me see how my characters thought and reacted. Beth

  12. Tasmin sounds like the kind of doggie I'd like. Your writing is captivating! I always enjoy it.

  13. What a fun idea! Good girl, who's a good doggie?!

  14. HAHA!! Loved the superdog bit, and that her main adversary is a Maine Coon cat. What a great look at the world through the eyes of a dog!

  15. This is really cute. This character sure has a lot of spice to her. She's a small dog, but I get the feeling she's going to do mighty things.

  16. Delightful! I adore doggies, especially the small feisty ones :) And I loved the line about the Maine Coon...
    Good luck with your cozy, I'm a fan already!