Interview with a Faeran . . .
Recently my friend Lua, from Bowl of Oranges, did the most extraordinary interview on her blog between herself and one of her characters. I thought it would be a really hard thing to do and wanted to have a go. The difficulty is that with the book Paperweights/Glass Flowers at the submission stage, I had to be careful just how much of the story and the character was revealed, which makes an interview really hard. In this instance however I was really lucky because Finnian is like a closed shop.
I’ve never made any secret of the fact that Finnian was inspired by Richard Armitage in his Guy role, his Lucas roll, his JT roll and so if you can, imagine Finnian and I sitting in a radio or TV studio talking together.
P: Finnian, welcome and thank you for agreeing to do this.
He sat back and looked down at me, for he is tall, Finnian of the Færan, and has a deep voice with a faint accent that reminds me of provincial England. ‘It is my pleasure, Prue. I owe my very existence to you. It is the least I can do.’
P: ‘You’ve agreed to answer difficult questions, so let’s jump right in. Do you think you are a hero or an anti-hero?’
He thought for a moment, swiping a hand through hair that brushed his collar. ‘Both, I think. The early part of my life created a persona that was dysfunctional and any action on my part was generally ill-judged, even cruel.’
P: ‘Do you relish being a hero?’
He smiled slightly, lips curving off the straight line that is his habitual expression. ‘Hero is a big word implying grand deeds. I doubt my grand gestures ever made up for what happened earlier.’
P: ‘Have you forgiven yourself?’
He was grim and unequivocal. ‘No.’
P: ‘Will you?
F: ‘What happened is not something for which I can forgive myself. It requires forgiveness from another.’
He had twisted his body slightly away from me as if he no longer wished to engage and I sought to draw him back. ‘What gives you the greatest pleasure?
This time he really did tip his head and laugh and it was heart-warming to see and to hear. ‘Well there is an obvious answer but I will not give it, because some parts of my life are private. But the less obvious answer, although perhaps one that readers may pick up from Paperweights/Flowers, is that I love libraries and reading. Solitude marked my life as a child and the collection of books in the . . . home . . . in which I lived was extensive and gave me an escape from a life that I could never have countenanced otherwise.’
P: ‘Was it that bad?’ I hoped he would expand, that time had passed and allowed him to look at his terrible early years with more equanimity.
P: Ah well, I was wrong there. ‘Finnian, if I could talk about what it is to be Other, to be Færan, can you explain to those of us who have no idea?
Finnian moved in his chair. With every question he seemed uncomfortable and at odds and I wondered if we would get through the interview. ‘To a mortal it seems odd. But to us it is the norm. To be able to magick things, mesmer, to change a life in the flick of a finger, it’s an extraordinary power and one that I learned to respect too late.’ He became pensive and brooding, his lush black hair once again feeling the brunt of powerful fingers as they swept it back from his forehead in a gesture that implied temper. ‘The world of the Færan is magnificent. Beauty unsurpassed. Indescribable. You need to see it.’
P: ‘But if I do, I can’t return. Is that right?’
F: ‘You can, but you would pine to death for a life you’ll never have.’
I felt the interview needed to move into happier climes and asked the next question lightly. ‘Tell me about Lalita.’
His face softened, his blue eyes changing from storm-tossed to deep sky blue. His voice was like velvet and again, the lips drifted up at the sides. ‘She is the love of my life.’
I waited, expecting largesse, but none was forthcoming and I realised that this man was as deep as the oceans and as closed as a locked door and try as I might, I wasn’t going to pull anything more than the gems he had already revealed. I quit while I was ahead. ‘Finnian,’ I reached forward to shake his strong hand and a frisson surged to my armpit causing me to gasp. ‘Thank you so much,’ I managed. ‘Your story is one of the saddest and inspiring that I have yet written and I hope that readers of the book will come to know you as I have. Thank you again.’
He smiled and stood, a dark presence that filled the space in front of me and without another word he walked away as if he had never been.
OMG ! I already love your Finnian and I only had a rapid glimpse of him…think after reading your book! I know this does not sound surprising to you. You know me well, don’t you, mesmered?
I can’t wait for more Finnian. I love sad , tragic stories. Do we have to expect something like that?
Have a great weekend!
Now I just have to convince the publishers, MG. Yes, it is a sad and tragic story as were my other two but there is hope at the end.
I loved this post so much that I twitted about it!
Oh very nice. Very nice indeed
Well SJAT . . . you know all about strong characters, I’d love to read an interview between any of your lead protagonists and yourself!
Oh, this is cruel. Even knowing Finnian as I do, this leaves me wanting much, much more.
Let’s hope the publishers feel the people will want more!
Oh Finnian is such a charming man, Prue! And see how he’s thanking your for the interview… Now why can’t Ali be more like him ?! 🙂
And he loves libraries and reading… wow, I think he deserves to be forgiven!
I loved the interview, his personality really shines through, he’s such a deep soul… Can’t wait to read Paperweights/Glass Flowers!
Very very deep, Lua but so very misguided, deeply so, in the beginning. The editors felt my readers may never forgive him and wouldn’t want to read on. My point is that one must have faith that goodness will eventually rise to the top.
What a great idea it was for you to do the interview with your character. Inspired and boy, did it make me dig deep.
Oh, you got me! I will have to get your book … NOW!!
Still waiting for the publishing contract for this one, iz4blue. Must hope!
Came to you via Lua’s blog. I love reading character interviews–and I adore the interviewer’s commentary on Finnian’s body posture and nonverbal reactions. Thanks for posting!
Thanks Rowenna. The interview had to a be a really tangible and visual thing for me because it was important to reveal the character without revealing the plot. Partly this was due to the fact that I’m submitting at the moment and agents and publishers are quite cagey about how much of your book is revealed online. The other part was that Finnian is a darkly secret person.
Thanks for calling in and please come again.
wow, look forward to reading this one!
Will have to do something like that too real soon…
Thank you Barb. I found it a really hard exercise actually and a very good one because of the need for subtlety and only a small reveal.