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.
19) Favorite minor that decided to shove himself into the spotlight and why!
Alice Riesling, from Brutal Light. This is the sort of character that happens when I don’t rigorously outline before I write. She was dead before the start of the book, but got called back in so one of my less sane main characters could have someone to talk to. From there, it was a matter of her personality asserting itself, plus consideration of the whys and wherefores of how my main characters knew her, that propelled her into the spotlight.
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.