There is a website site called Absolute Write Water Cooler that I have used as a well of information mostly for publisher and agent details. Well, I finally bit the bullet and joined. Actually it was a very interesting conversation concerning the future or, more accurately, the imagined future of the Horror genre, that finally drew me in. Along the way I discovered a bunch of writing exercises and one in particular tweaked my imagination.
The exercise was to have one of your characters interview you. Wow! What a cool concept. I really liked it when they did it in Inkheart and often wondered about meeting my characters. Once I decided I wanted to try it, Byron pushed all the others out of the way.
What follows is his interview:
The morning sun just crests the building tops adding a little of the scorching heat it will bring later to the cool breeze currently drifting through the sidewalk cafe. The bustle of passers-by and local traffic is a welcoming white noise background. As I reach for my coffee, my newspaper sags on its released side and a man’s face fills the gap once occupied by stock tips and obituaries.
I scrunch my eyes in concentration. He looks familiar but I can’t place him. Which isn’t surprising, really. I have a great memory, it’s just really short.
“S’matter? Don’t recognize me?” The stranger’s eyes grope the waitress before returning to me. “You should, you created me. Remember that summer in England? ’69 it was.”
“Byron?” The pencil legged pants and black ankle boots crossed on the railing surrounding the cafe, the white frilled shirt sleeves protruding from a gaudy topcoat, the little round lensed sunglasses perched on the end of his nose. He is an image popped right out of my head and come to life before my eyes, one that has my coffee cup rattling noisily on the table, its molten contents sloshing over the sides. “It can’t be…”
“Well it is and I’ll tell you what, we have some unfinished business, you and I. What am I?”
“You… you’re a fictional character.” I cast around looking for someone else that can see him, but the sea of passing faces continues to flow by, uninterested and uncaring.
“Don’t be daft, I know that, but what am I?”
“Umm… you’re Matthew’s friend, a playwrite, a thespian. You’re bit of a rogue; a ladies’ man and scoundrel. You’re…” I snapped my mouth closed.
“Go on, say it. Lord knows you didn’t say it in the book.” Byron’s feet drop to the ground and he leans in close. “C’mon now, say it. You know you want to.” A mischievous smile creeps across his face.
“To tell the truth, I don’t even know. You are what each reader wants you to be. What does it matter anyway?” I back away, my chair stuttering on the cement.
“I want to know if I come back.”
“I… I don’t know. Right now, I’d say no, but…”
“But, I’m a writer, nothing is for sure. Besides, if you were a Vampyre, how could you be here now?” I nod at the sun peeking over the buildings.
Byron looks over his shoulder at the sun, turns back towards me and smiles again, “Because I’m fictional.” He stands and pushes his sunglasses up his nose. “I ‘ave to thank-you, though.”
“For?” I’m curious as to what he could possibly thank me for.
“Claire. Not since Mary Shelley ‘erself, ‘ave I seen such strength and beauty.”
Now it’s my turn to smile. “She wasn’t for you, you know.”
“Surely she’s not for that fop John?” He sneers.
“I don’t know if I’d want to get on his bad side. You saw what happened to the others that got in the way of something he wanted. Even you couldn’t withstand that.”
“Don’t remind me,” Byron grimaces. “You will give further thought as to my… well, after after-life, won’t you?”
I take and slow sip of my coffee. “I’ll think about it.”
“Right then, that’s all a bloke can ask. Well, it’s been a laugh riot, but I ‘ave to go. My troupe awaits. Ta ta!” With that Byron turns and fades to nothing.
I’m left sitting with a half cup of lukewarm coffee, a crumpled newspaper and inside my head a small spark gets bigger.
Here are the other participants entries if you’re interested. Some very cool entries.
orion_mk3 – http://nonexistentbooks.wordpress.com (link to this month’s post)
Yoghurtelf – http://thefarseas.blogspot.com (link to this month’s post)
COchick – http://joannchaney.blogspot.com (link to this month’s post)
Steam&Ink – http://steamandink.blogspot.com (link to this month’s post)
xcomplex – http://www.arielemerald.blogspot.com (link to this month’s post)
pezie – http://www.erinbrambilla.com (link to this month’s post)
aimeelaine – http://www.aimeelaine.com/blog (link to this month’s post)
auburnassassin – http://clairegillian.com (link to this month’s post)
Della Odell – http://dellaodell.wordpress.com (link to this month’s post)
Juniper – http://www.katjuniper.com (link to this month’s post)
Proach – http://desstories.blogspot.com (link to this month’s post)
allmyposts – http://becomingprince.blogspot.com (link to this month’s post)
jkellerford – http://jennykellerford.wordpress.com (link to this month’s post)
LadyMage – http://katherinegilraine.com (link to this month’s post)
dolores haze – http://dianedooley.wordpress.com/ (link to this month’s post)