Topic: Character Interviews
1. Can you tell us your name and the title of the book you live in?
My name is Maisie Thurlow. I'm a leading character in High Places.
2. Describe to our readers what your role in the book is.
I am (or at least I was) captain of a Star Guard patrol ship, the Commodore Dudley Saltonstall. That's the name of a general who scuttled his fleet at a battle along the Maine coast during the American Revolution, so it's not an especially heroic reference. When I was 10 years old, the government sent a team of "minders" to round up the religious sect my father had founded. They'd decided we should be split up and relocated. They chartered a star liner to take us away from the planet where we'd been living, and all but one of them (the minders, I mean) were killed when the liner's crew mutinied. I became separated from my big sister, Eve, after I saw our parents murdered. So when I had orders to take the Saltonstall near the planet where I remembered Eve's lifeboat being pointed, when the mutineers launched it 20 years earlier - well, I couldn't help myself. I had to find out what happened to her. I wasn't planning on crashing there, though, and getting trapped without much hope of being rescued!
3. How did you convince your author to put you in this book? For example, did you visit a dream or make yourself known some other way?
I started bothering her about three years ago, but I wouldn't tell her exactly who I was. I came into her head the way characters usually do, by asking a "What if?" question. In this case, "What if a whole planet's air acted on Humans the way a compressed air acts on scuba divers when they get ‘rapture of the deep'?"
4. Is your author easy to work with or controlling?
She tries to control me. I don't let her, though. I do just what I want to do, and when she's smart she comes along without giving me a fight first.
5. Would you tell us about one of your favorite friends from this book?
My executive officer, best friend, and lover is Jacques Quiero. I call him Jack, and the worst thing that happens is having him turn on me when the planet's air makes him crazy.
6. Do you plan on appearing in another book or are you happy to be where you are?
I'm already in another book. My author is working on The Minder's Oath, which you could call a sequel. Or you could call it the rest of the story that High Places begins.
7. What would you like our readers to know about you?
I hate anyone who tries to control me. That includes minders, in particular. I don't agree with my parents' religion at all, now. I've grown up to have my own life, and it's very unlike the one my folks wanted me to live. But that's my choice to make! Not someone else's to make for me.
8. Did you learn anything during your adventure in this book?
I learned that nothing turns out the way I think it's going to. And, of course, that life goes on even after you're sure it can't.
9. Can you tell us what you think is the most exciting thing that happened to you in your book?
When I accidentally found out how to counteract that planet's crazy-making air, is what I think was most exciting. Readers may disagree, though, because a lot of other things happened; and I guess reading about them would probably be a lot more fun that living through them.
10. Is there anything in your story you wish you had not done? Why?
I wish the decision I made to look for my sister hadn't cost most of my crew their lives. I'll never get over that. But I can't change it now.
11. What was your main motivation?
I wanted to find Eve. It was just that simple. She was all the family I had left, and I needed to know what happened to her.
12. Introduce us to your main adversary?
I suppose that would be Miles Mindlothian, the "minder" responsible for kidnapping my whole community because the government didn't approve of our beliefs and how we lived them. I thought he died in the liner mutiny, but I found out otherwise soon after my ship crashed on the planet where my sister was marooned.
13. Is there anything you would like to have done but your author stopped you?
Yes. Get home, of course! She said she couldn't make it too easy for me, because "deus ex machina" endings are a cop-out.
14. Here's your chance to speak your mind. What do you want to tell everybody?
If you've got a family, appreciate it. Love them even when you don't like them, because you'd miss them pretty badly if they weren't there. Believe me, I know! And if you're in a profession where this applies, don't compromise your duty to satisfy a personal need.
15. Please tell everyone where they can find out more about your story and where they can purchase it.
High Places is due for release by eBooksOnThe.Net, an imprint of Write Words, on 9/1/08. You'll find it at the eBooksOnThe.Net web site, Fictionwise.com, and in Amazon.com's Kindle bookstore.