22) Tell us about one scene between your characters that you’ve never written or told anyone about before! Serious or not.
Okay, this is just a very odd question. ‘Never written’ I get. There are scenes that go unwritten all the time – sometimes because it’s more effective if such events take place ‘off-page,’ or because of pacing requirements, or to heighten suspense, or… you get the idea.
‘Never told’… is the part that makes less sense. Sure, there are scenes that I haven’t ‘told’ anyone about. Usually these are scenes that are, as yet, unwritten, though I know just what is going to happen in them. There may be scenes in a given character’s backstory that won’t ever get written and may only ever get teased out to readers, but I doubt that’s what the question writer was getting at.
So… I’m taking a pass on this one. Sorry.
21) Do any of your characters have children? How well do you write them?
With one major exception, I have largely avoided writing child characters. As far as my Superguy writing goes, only a couple characters have kids, and I didn’t write much featuring them until they were at least in their mid-teens. My adult novels and short stories have not featured child characters in any capacity–they just weren’t relevant to the stories.
The one exception is Onyx Fire, the children’s fantasy book I co-wrote with my wife, and which is currently in search of a publisher. That one featured an elementary-school age girl as the primary protagonist, with assorted other kids and talking animals in other roles. I like to think I wrote them well, but the credit likely belongs more with her.
20) What are your favorite character interactions to write?
I find that the scenes with two characters talking with their guards up are the most interesting to write. Especially if there’s secrets being withheld on both sides, and the characters are both trying to pry those secrets out without it being obvious that that’s what they’re doing. I don’t know what it is about these charged discussions that attracts me, but they always draw my full attention once I’ve started writing them.
My second favorite character scenes are the ones where intensely weird and dangerous stuff appears to be happening all around, and the character is trying to figure out how to react. This happens fairly often.
18) Favorite antagonist and why!
I have a perverse desire to give the same answer to this one as I did the favorite protagonist question, since Akane Moroboshi/Radian of Superguy sometimes played the antagonist. And there’s no question she’s in the running, as she was fun to write in that capacity as well. But I think my answer to this one has to be the Creyts brothers, Gordon and Kelly, from Brutal Light.
They’re both dangerous, and mad in counterbalancing ways. Without one another, they would go off into the aether with their own peculiarities, and might be more fun to write in some senses, but less appealing as characters otherwise. Together, they have a sinister dynamic that was endless fun to write.
17) Favorite protagonist and why!
My favorite protagonist would have to be Akane Moroboshi, aka Radian, from Superguy. She was originally introduced as an ancillary family member for another hero, Rad, and later on got powers of her own. From there, she got into a team series, and then I really started screwing with her fictional life.
What I liked (and still do) about her so much is how perfectly willing she is to not be understood, to remain an enigma in situations where someone else might be trying to explain their actions to avoid sanction and gain forgiveness. (She needed this on a few occasions, such as when she tried to destroy the Earth, see.) Her defiant nature was invigorating to write, and has come up in other characters I’ve written since (notably characters in Brutal Light). I suspect Akane remains my favorite because she is the one through whom I really learned to tap that feeling in my writing.
10) What are some really weird situations your characters have been in? Everything from serious canon scenes to meme questions counts!
There’s too many of these for me to enumerate. Just off the top of my head, in Brutal Light, one of my characters has been imprisoned in her memories while another character runs her physical body, and realizes the way out may involve murdering herself in said memories. In True Places, there’s a situation where a character finds he can only escape by, essentially, holding himself hostage. In my current SfStory storyline, various characters are trying to thwart the revenge of a breakfast food item from before the start of the universe. And… well, I could just go on. Most of what I write could be counted as ‘weird situations.’
11) Who is your favorite character to write? Least favorite?
This, of course, depends on the universe and the situation. I find that the characters of mine with the fewest internal brakes are the ones I like writing the most. Kelly, from Brutal Light, is one — a trickster type with no detectable moral inhibitions, who is undermined only by his tendency toward distraction and unwillingness to remember, let alone stick to, a plan. Conversely, characters with a lot of internal baggage, such as Kagami, another Brutal Light character, are my least favorite to write. Emphasis on ‘to write’ — I wouldn’t carry that baggage for the character if I didn’t like them — it’s just a lot more work. Satisfying in the end, though!