‘Curse of Stone’ Character Interview

Writing the first book in the ‘Curse of Stone’ series was a four year process as there are many characters, twists, subplots, and many facets to the main plot. I needed to be clear on who was whom, what they looked like, their background, their role, and how they would react in certain situations as the story unfolded. I ended up creating a one-hundred page character book, giving each character a profile and biography. Many of these characters do appear in the first book, however, there are still many yet to appear. It was a great exercise for me, and a tool that I have referred back to countless times to check certain things, including small things like eye colour or hair colour, or even if that character had tattoos.

Because of this, I developed a great sense of character and have modelled the character development I did for this book into a workshop. For each character, I can tell you everything about them, and eighty-percent of it isn’t information included in the book, but it was critical to how they come across on the page.

One such character development tool that I frequently use, is the character interview tool, but that is just one of many tools I use to develop a character (can’t give away all my secrets in one post).

Below is the character interview I did for Jamie. He is the second main character in the ‘Curse of Stone’ series, and his story is told from first POV, and he is intertwined from the very beginning with Danielle Stone – the main POV. I decided to interview him with different questions to that of Gabriel (third main character) as he has different motives and background.

Basics

What is your full name? Do you have a nickname (if so, who calls you this)?
Jamie Wildhorn, but my friends call me Jay.

Where and when were you born?
I was born 16 June 1994

Who are/were your parents?
My biological parents died when I was young. The man who raised me and ultimately I see as my father is King – my alpha.

Do you have any siblings?
Not that I am aware of.

Where do you live now, and with whom?
I live an apartment on the fourth floor of Stone’s building.

What is your occupation?
What do I do? Let’s just say that I work in a team situation, it’s like security guard type work, and we protect the city.

Are you right-handed or left-handed?
Left-handed.

What is your hair and eye colour?
I have long brown dreadlocks, and my eyes are blue.

Do you have any physical traits that stand out? If you have tattoos, why did you get and what meaning do they have to you?
My upper body is covered in tattoos. They tell my story, my history, where I come from, and my loyalty to my pack.

How would you describe your childhood?
Normal I guess, except I also had to learn things that regular kids didn’t, like the history of our species and our role in society. I had to learn how to fight, pack law, and learn about demons and how to kill them. I got all of that knowledge from King, but I feel like I had a normal childhood like regular kids because Stone was my best friend back then, and still is, and after my parents died, her grandmother took me in as sort of like a foster grandson, I spent a lot of time at her house.

How much schooling have you had?
I finished high school. Didn’t need to go to university.

Did you enjoy school? If not, why did you struggle?
I enjoyed the social side of it, and being there with Stone.

Where did you learn most of your skills and abilities?
From King.

Do you have any role models? If yes, describe them and why they are your role models.
It would honestly have to be King. He raised me by himself, and taught me everything I know today. He is the strongest, fiercest, and smartest man I know.

Do you get along with the other members of your family?
I don’t have any blood relatives but I consider my pack as my family – we are like a big extended family. So, yes, we all get along for the most part.

What did you want to be when you grew up?
Even back then I knew I didn’t have a choice. I can pretend to have a normal job, but my real job is so much cooler. Who wouldn’t want to be a werewolf, right?

What are your favourite activities?
Sex. Partying. Going to the gym. Flirting.

Who were you friends with growing up, and what were they like?
I had heaps of friends growing up. There was a big group of us. Kyle, Marcus, Harley, Tiffany, Stone, Flynn. They were all really nice and laid back.

When did you have your first kiss, and who with?
My first kiss, that takes me back. I think I was like six or seven years old and it was with Danielle Stone.

Are you a virgin? If not, when and with whom did you lose your virginity?
Ha, ha, ha. Me? A virgin? Yeah right. But I don’t kiss and tell…all the time.

Do you have a criminal record?
No

If you could change one thing from your past, what would it be, and why?
Not making Stone mine before Harley transferred to our high school. She should never have dated that loser. But I have waited for her to come back to me, and now she is back…in my life.

What is your best memory so far? Why is it so powerful and lasting?
When I transformed to my human form for the first time, when I turned two years old. We are born in wolf form, so that moment was incredible.

What is your worst memory so far? Why is it so powerful and lasting?
My first transformation back to wolf, after taking human form at age two.

What is your biggest secret? Does anyone else know about this? Which person do you least want to know about this secret, why?
That would that Stone doesn’t know I’m a werewolf. I don’t even know how to tell her that.

Are you optimistic or pessimistic?
Optimistic.

What is your greatest fear?
My greatest fear is telling the woman I have loved all these years that I love her and being rejected by her when I finally decide to tell her and make myself the most vulnerable and honest, I have ever been.

What is your greatest extravagance?
Women

What are your religious views?
None – the devil exists.

What are your views on sex?
The more the better.

Do you believe in the existence of soul mates and/or true love?
Perhaps, but there is more than just one person who is our soul mate, but I believe that there is only one soul mate that is right.

In your opinion, what is the most evil thing any human being could do?
Side with evil.

Are you able to kill? Under what circumstances do you find killing to be acceptable or unacceptable?
Yes, I can kill anything I want; however, I am designed to kill demons, without being susceptible to human law.

How honest are you about your thoughts and feelings in the company of others?
In a round-about way I am honest, except about Stone. Sometimes people don’t need to know.

Who or what would you die for, or otherwise go to extremes for?
My pack, my alpha, and Stone.

In general, how do you treat others?
I’m a bit of a smartarse, I am cheeky, and make people laugh. Although sometimes I can be annoying. I treat others with respect, absolutely.

How close are you to your family?
If you are talking about my pack, then we are close.

Which person do you wish you were closest to?
Danielle Stone.

Do you have a spouse or significant other? If so, describe this person in some rough strokes.
Not right now, but there is someone special I wish to make my mate for life.

Have you started your own family?
No, because the only person I would ever consider settling down with, doesn’t know how I feel about her.

Who is the most important person in your life, why?
My dad, my pack, Danielle Stone.

Who would you turn to if you were in desperate need of help?
Dad or my pack.

What is/are your favourite hobbies and pastimes?
Sex, partying, working out.

Do you like to read? If so, what do you like to read?
No

Do you smoke, drink, or use drugs? If so, why? How do you get the money for it? Do you want to quit?
Drink alcohol. Don’t smoke – that’s bad for you.

How do you spend a typical Saturday night?
Having a few drinks with mates on occasion, having sex, annoying Stone, or working.

If you usually walk away from a situation that makes you angry, where do you go to calm yourself?
I like to be alone.

How do you deal with stress?
I don’t get stressed, but if I’m really fustrated or bothered by something, then sex.

How do you deal with pain (physical and emotional)?
I put a mask up when I am hurting, I don’t like anyone to know.

Are you spontaneous, or do you always need to have a plan?
Depends on what you are referring to.

What are your pet peeves?
Girls who don’t stick up for themselves.

What is the quality you most like in a woman?
Confidence, and calling me on my shit.

Where would you like to live? Why?
Wherever Stone is.

Describe the routine of a normal day for you. How do you feel when this routine is disrupted?
I don’t have a routine, what each day brings is unknown for me.

What is your greatest strength?
My strength.

What is your greatest weakness?
Danielle Stone.

Do you like yourself?
Absolutely, I mean look at me.

If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?
Nothing, I’m awesome.

Name three things you consider yourself to be good at, and three things you consider yourself to be bad at.
Good things – flirting, talking, sex. Bad things – feelings, monogamy, honesty.

What three words best describe your personality?
Playful, charming, genuine

What three words would others probably use to describe you?
Sexy, handsome, manly.

Where do you see yourself in five years?
Wherever Stone is. I hope to be able to muster up the courage to tell her how I feel about her, so I guess I secretly hope for us to be together. Married to Stone with one or two kids already.

If you could choose, how would you want to die?
In the arms of Stone.

If you knew you were going to die in twenty-four hours, name three things you would do in the time you had left.
Tell Stone how I feel about her, hold her close to me and love her with all I have, and I would marry her.

If you were to die and come back as a person, animal, or thing, what do you think it would be, and why?
Well since I am already both human and wolf, I would like to come back as me.

What is the one thing for which you would most like to be remembered after your death?
The greatest lover of all time.

What do you have in your pockets or purse?
My phone, wallet, lip balm.

What in or on your nightstand?
Condoms, light, glass of water, phone charger.

What is in your refrigerator?
Beer, water, vegetables, leftover pizza

Flash Fiction Exercise: Wildest Dream Phone Call

Outside, grey blankets overhead act as a net, but one without holes, preventing the rain from falling any longer. A tree that stands crooked outside the window, groans. A glistening cobweb, decorated with caught raindrops, and the busy red-striped, black spider, with legs spindlier than knitting needles, plucks at the reforming of broken strings. Trees shadowing the window mirror upside down in the puddles. The residual drip drops of lingering catchment hit the puddles, causing them to ripple in circular waves. My old ticker clocks into rapid action at the erupting noise from my phone on the coffee table beside my old, tangerine armchair. Walking as urgent as I can with a bad hip, I answer the incoming call. “Hello.”
“Hello, is this Mr. Forrester?” a male voice asks.
“Yes. Who is this?”
“This is Doctor Nobi up at Taupo Hospital.”
“Ah, right. Is everything alright with Daisy?” I ask.
“Yes, yes, your wife’s episode was only minor. In fact, you can pick her up this afternoon, around three.”
I drop to my knees. My heart explodes as a wave of relief and happiness fills me. Tears roll down my cheek.
My wife, my Daisy is coming home.

Flash Fiction Exercise: Stuck on an Island – Day 52 Diary Entry

Day 52
The flames from the fire have begun to dwindle for yet another night. It’s a romantic notion. Penning my deepest thoughts by candlelight of sorts. The gentle caress of the ocean lapping at the shore, like a lullaby gentling me to slumber.
The stars dazzle like twinkling diamonds. I can’t help but stare. Only a quarter moon tonight.
The sand beneath me is cool. It’s the only place to sit where the large green ants won’t attack and bite me. Little buggers.
There is no breeze. No rustling in the tree canopy. No haunting whistles of wind whipping through the forest. Every footfall of wild animals draws my attention. I never know if one will become curious enough to approach me.
I heard them again today. The voices. Carried along the with wind as whispers. The island
isn’t inhabited but I still won’t step foot in the caves at the base of the waterfall.
I must head inland tomorrow to retrieve fresh water again. It’s a tedious trek, back and
forth, carrying small amounts in my makeshift bucket.
Oh, and my lips cracked again today and bled. The residual salt from the ocean spray made
them sting

Flash Fiction Review: Chapter V – by Ernest Hemingway

Hemingway sets the scene immediately with the first sentence being direct and descriptive – it sets the initial tone and feeling of the story. He then continues with four short sentences to really convey a sense of setting and the mood: “It was a glum day, dead leaves, puddles and rain, windows nailed shut, it’s all reiterating the feeling of gloom and despair.” – there is a coldness, lack of empathy or emotion.

For the flash fiction it has not been over described but rather exactly described without using too many words. I found that reading this it is clear that Hemingway wanted to convey a sense of gloom for the reader and focuses it around that. I feel a slight lift in the mood part way through, but that reaffirms the setting as described.  

Referencing:

Hemingway, E. (1925). Chapter V, in our time. Retrieved from https://biblioklept.org/2012/08/12/chapter-v-in-our-time-ernest-hemingway/

Short Stories: A Comparison of Pace

Comparison of pace

The two short stories I have compared are:

  • The Girl-Shaped Jar by Camille Alexa
  • The Perfect Mark by Melodie Campbell

The Girl-Shaped Jar starts slow and a little confusing as to the relevance of the story.  The paragraphs are longer.  Then after three paragraphs the pace increases with a series of short paragraphs, like actions.  Then breaks again to a slower paragraph in which this tone is continuous for the rest of the story.  This is because the main characters thought wander aimlessly and are unstructured.  I don’t feel like there is one section where I was sitting on the edge of my seat, heart beating, hands sweaty, in suspense with the speed of the action.

Where as in The Perfect Mark, starts with bang, bang, bang, short sentences.  The first sentence draws me in immediately.  The first 6 paragraphs are brief and to the point to bring you straight into the action as fast as possible, then the author pauses and slows it down for one longer paragraph which describes the setting.  Then the second half of the story is bang, bang, bang, again.  Suspenseful, mysterious and full of fast paced, short paragraphs.  The story is over before you realise it. 

Writing Exercise: Good vs. Bad Dialogue

Good dialogue

I don’t know why I like this story or the dialogue used, but there is just something about it.

The Slave’s Reward by Will Lawson

“Already the gods help us,” she said. “It is the beginning of Tainui, the Great Tide, which surges through Raukawa, between the two mainlands. See, it helps us in its flow to the south.”

Parekohu saw that she spoke truly. They were being carried by the tide towards Mana and Cook Strait. A school of kahawai – sea mullet – flashed past as if in flight.

“Repeat a karakia, O chieftainess,” Tairua said. “Te Arawa the shark will be pursuing the fish, and will pass near. It is more fitting for you to say than I.”

I think its because the dialogue compliments the flow of the story, and helps it move forward in a way that is spiritual almost.

Bad dialogue

There is a part in the book Fallen by Lauren Kate, where Luce and Daniel are finally opening up to each other, and there is one line that I found so unbelievable that any guy would say.

“What did you say?” he asked slowly.

“Oh, you know,” she said, shrugging now, trying to downplay what she’d just said. “Once a day or so, I get these visits from these dark things I call shadows.”

“Don’t be cute,” Daniel said curtly.

When this happened, it didn’t play in with his character so far, and I couldn’t imagine the character actually voicing this. I ended up skimming over the entire conversation after a few more sentences.

Article Review: Billy T: The Untold Story by Donna Chisholm

Billy T: The Untold Story by Donna Chisholm is a powerful truth by those closest to the entertainer.  Growing up I watched Billy T all the time, he was a lovable character who filled me with joy, I even chose his as a person of interest to write assignments on growing up.  However, being young I never sought to read about his personal life, so this article is so fascinating to me.

The lead is so powerful in this article, it hooks the reader, and makes raises questions about why his friends and family would be up in arms over the truth about his marriage.  It makes it intriguing.  There is just the perfect amount of information there to leave the reader wanting to know more.  It compliments the title perfectly by offering an overview explanation of the contents of the article.

The title is to the point, no embellishments or ruffles.  It is exactly what the content of the article is about. 

To readers who loved Billy T the entertainer, it is fascinating to finally learn the truth of his marriage and how his wife was present and almost seemed to resent his fame.  Even more curious is how she claims to be the doting wife and be more interested now in protecting Billy’s estate and intellectual property.  I think this comes from a financial motivation.

I have heard Peter Rowley talk previously about his work with Billy T and how he was, and this just reiterates to me Billy’s true nature, laid-back joker with a big heart.  That is the tone the article sets, I guess when reporting about the life of Billy T it is hard not to be casual in representing his character.

Although the lead is formal because of the serious nature of the accusations and the need for the truth to be reveal finally 20 years after Billy T’s death, the article that follows states facts, statements, interviews and reports but the undertone left in my mind is a strong mix of his character and his warmth.  Great article with an appropriate and complimentary title and lead paragraph.

Imagery Analysis: In the Empire of Genghis Khan – Prologue by Stanley Stewart

The olfactory of the ‘scent of grass’ and ‘freshly mown grass’, is a distinguishable smell that can place the reader to inside the story.

Tactile imagery is conveyed through the ‘skinned knees’ and his grandmother brushing and straightening his clothes. 

The story is brought to life by the sound of the stallion prancing through a pile of autumn leaves.  I close my eyes and can hear the vivid sound of crunching leaves.  The ‘galloping’ horse, closing my eyes, I can hear the horses’ hooves.  His grandmother’s voice is vivid, ‘looping…like a rope’; ‘long lasso’; and ‘the mooring of’.

Visual imagery follows a theme of twilight, ‘atmosphere of twilight and of horses’, ‘evenings, in the long dusk’, ‘when it grew dark’, ‘each evening in the slow descent of an Irish twilight’.  The organic imagery I feel when reading this was gloom, ‘between the graves’, ‘galloping between the trees in the thickening gloom’.

The visual language used gives me a clear picture of the village, from ‘top of an Irish village with views…to the Mountains’, ‘raised pavement…along the churchyard wall…arch of lime trees’, ‘freshly mown grass and piles of autumn leaves’, ‘sat in a throne of leaves…Mountains…shouldered the horizon’, ‘the mountains were dark and mesmerising’.  ‘Skinned knees…leaves in my hair’, I can visualise the boy coming home from a day of adventures.

The kinaesthetic language, ‘fallen’; ‘pranced’; ‘leapt’; ‘galloping’; ‘tugged’, makes the story present. 

Stewart used similes like ‘her voice looping in the lingering twilight like a rope’.  This line is alliteration for the use of ‘l’, as well as ‘long lasso’, and ‘m’ for ‘mysterious Mongolians’.

There is a strong use of assonance: ‘knees and leaves’, long ‘e’ sound; ‘played…raised pavement…ran…churchyard wall…an arch…’, long ‘a’ sound; ‘stopped…thrones of…south …Mountains of Mourne shouldered the horizon…’, long ‘o’ sound; ‘I liked its unruliness…its ambiguities…live up…idea…it…imply’, long ‘u’ and short ‘i’ sound.

Persuasion techniques used in Leah McFall’s article

In Kate’s headband is a message… are you listening? by Leah McFall I found various persuasive techniques used to get readers on side with her strong point of view.  Firstly, she comes at this article with a humorous, yet satirical tone, it’s is like she is totally baffled by the subject.

One technique that is repetitive throughout, is her use of exaggeration to state the ridiculous subject, for example; ‘you can see these suckers from space’, ‘enormous half-doughnut strapped onto the skull’, and my favourite is ‘weaponised hers, which are more size of small, sovereign countries’.  I feel she is using so much exaggeration to enhance her point of view by showing readers the ridiculousness of the subject of the article.

The other clever technique she is using to prove her point that the headband is making a comeback thanks to the Duchess, is the monkey see, monkey do effect.  Don’t get it wrong, I am not calling the Duchess a monkey, merely pointing out mentality, it is almost herd mentality.  We like what she wears, and we want it for ourselves.  As she point’s out with social proof from retailers as to the ‘Kate effect’.  It is clever to use this technique because she tells us with proof, that if Kate wears a headband, it doesn’t take long at all for many others to want to wear one too, copying her style and trend.

4 Senses: Writing Exercise

Sight: Table, what table. It is covered in a huge wooden train track set I am making from scratch for my son’s birthday on Saturday, there are trees, and snow and bits of craft things everywhere.  My computer nestled in amongst the chaos and paperwork piled on top of the computer.

Sound: I can hear the wind outside turning our clothesline, trees gently scratching against the windows with the wind, my computer humming.

Scent: Dried hot glue from the hot glue gun

Taste: Burnt skin, as I suck on my finger that I burnt with the hot glue again.Touch: Hot sting as I burnt my finger on the hot glue again.