Archive for the ‘#characterinterview’ Tag

Jason Breen   7 comments

We usually interview our good guys and gals when we do character interviews. How about we do an interview with our favorite bad guy?

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A Hard Prompt

I don’t really write a lot of bad-guy characters. In Transformation Project, the Big Bad is a world gone crazy in the grips of ongoing terrorist attacks and my town doesn’t know who might be the perpetrators (that’ll come later in the series). I figure my characters’ various reactions to society going off the rails is conflict enough and so I don’t really need a particular bad guy. But I do have characters who act in awful ways because … well, let’s ask Jason Breen why he is the way he is. Here’s an interview Click Michaels did with Jason. For his own safety, Click probably shouldn’t run this on his radio broadcasts.

The whole book series is premised on the idea that a small town in the Midwest must cope alone when terrorists attack major cities, shattering the communications and supply grid. It’s now January in Emmaus and things are looking bleak for the citizens of the town.

Jason Breen is Marnie Callahan Delaney’s father which makes him a shirt-tail relative of the Delaney family who are the main focus of the series.

The Interview

CLICK: Jason, thank you for talking with me today. As the town’s unofficial news source, I’m trying to get to know the residents and I’m curious about you. Tell me something about yourself.

JASON: Well, thanks for talking with me. My bark is bigger than my bite, I tell you. Let’s see — I own Liberty Trucking. I’m the father of two — used to be three. My company keeps the town supplied when we can find anything out in the world worth bringing home.

CLICK: That fascinates me. You’re a marauder?

JASON (Laughing): I prefer “provider.” I can get things the town can’t and it gives the town plausible deniability. They can throw us under the bus if someone comes to complain.

CLICK (chuckling): C’mon, man. You’re a highwayman.”

JASON: Sometimes. (shrugs) I prefer to engage in voluntary exchange if possible or to take what nobody seems to be claiming. That’s getting harder though. The last time we were out, we found a lot of other marauders. It’s not a safe world anymore. But Emmaus would become a lot more unsafe for my family if the townspeople couldn’t get what I can provide. Do you know how scarce antibiotics are now that China’s no longer sending them and pharmacists are no longer selling them?

CLICK: I like antibiotics. How did you get into that business?

JASON – Yeah — I was a mechanic for Frelander’s Garage. Had just had my son. Well, my ol’ lady had just had my son. I dropped a car off at this guy’s house. He didn’t answer the door, so I left the bill and the keys in the screen and headed home–or — well, I was young. I was probably headed to the bar — which I was legal by then. Anyway, I woke up at the crack of dawn to cops handcuffing me at gunpoint.

CLICK: Why?

JASON: The guy was dead. Someone beat the crap out of him. It must have been around the time that I dropped the car off.

CLICK: Was that the only reason they suspected you?

JASON: I didn’t know I knew him–we’d met at the bar a few weeks before and he got a little rowdy with one of the bartenders, so I kicked his butt. I guess something I said sounded like a threat. But I was over it as soon as he left the parking lot. I didn’t even really remember him by the time he died. But, there were people in town who liked me for it. They put me in county jail, wouldn’t let me have bail, basically found me guilty without the jury even deliberating. I went to Levenworth. But Jacob Delaney — you knew Jacob, right?”

CLICK: Of course.

JASON: He and Carl Sullivan — you knew him too?

CLICK: Yup.

JASON: They believed I was innocent, so they paid for a lawyer for an appeal and DNA evidence showed it wasn’t me. It took almost three years to get out though. And when I got out, nobody would hire me. Even though I’d been exonerated, I couldn’t find a job. My ol’ lady didn’t want to pull stakes — she’s got family here — but I was pretty sure I needed to leave the state or move to Kansas City or Denver to find a life again. That’s when Jacob stepped forward and gave me a lifetime lease of $1 a year or 1% of the profits on the land here by the airfield and he staked me a loan for my first truck.

CLICK: That sounds like a legit business. How’d you end up smuggling?

JASON: It wasn’t like that. When I was trying to find work, I started delivering cannabis to some of the towns and then once I had my truck, some folks asked if I’d haul booze. Do you know Kansas still has dry counties?

CLICK: No. That’s fascinating.

JASON: Of course, I guess it doesn’t matter now. There’s no real law but what we make now, right?

CLICK: I think Rob Delaney and your son-in-law might disagree.

JASON: You mean, they might pretend to disagree, but they’ll still not ask any questions when I show up with something they need.

CLICK: Tough times do change the view of the law, yeah.

JASON: Anyway, it was never a mainstay. Mostly we were a cartage company – moving furniture, hauling firewood or lumber, groceries for Huffman’s, materials for half the businesses in town. I was barely doing the booze at all except for a few old-time-sake customers and if my guys were making cannabis deliveries, that was on them – a little gravy for them from my meat-and-potatoes. Besides, it was legal in Colorado.

CLICK: So you have a reputation in town….

JASON: It’s not deserved. (Stares at the ceiling, chuckles) Yeah, maybe it is a little. I don’t much care for all those people who judge me. It’s my life and I wasn’t guilty. Stop looking down your noses at me. So, I guess maybe I’m a little gruff, pushy even.

CLICK: Didn’t you threaten to kill Shane Delaney when he helped to put your son in prison?

JASON: Yup, and he richly deserved the threat, though I’m glad I didn’t go through with it. I’ve never killed anyone and I don’t think I want to.

CLICK: What if the town needed you to help with defense?

JASON: Nah. I’d defend my compound, but the town’s on its own.

CLICK: I’ve heard people say you’re a libertarian.

JASON: Yeah … kind of. I believe in liberty, hence my company name. But obviously I violate the non-aggression principle outside the borders of the town, so I can’t really claim I’m a libertarian. But, here’s the thing — I figure if people don’t value their stuff enough to defend it, I might as well benefit from it. You lean to be practical in prison. Ain’t nobody innocent in there, not even the ones that are not guilty of the crime they were incarcerated for.

CLICK: Your son did about five years for conspiracy to commit treason. Was he guilty?

JASON: Of shooting his big mouth off? Sure. What 18-year-old isn’t? Of acting conspiring to overthrow the government? Naw. The militia were just preparing for the collapse when it came. And turned out they were right. Is that treason or just good future-gazing?

CLICK: What about now?

JASON: Josh is doing his own thing and I don’t ask. When they’re adults, you gotta stop asking.

CLICK: Was that your rule with your daughters?

JASON: Marnie’s like her mother. Callahan women are a force of nature. Marie never got to be an adult and I don’t want to discuss her.

CLICK: How do you think the future is going to work out?

JASON: We’ll have a future. Life as we knew it is in transition right now, but the world will go on. That’s why I’m trying to keep my neighbors supplies with food. I don’t want to be living in the middle of nowhere all alone. Can’t get a lot of customers that way.

CLICK: Thanks for talking with me.

JASON: Sure. Just, you know, be respectful about what you run about me and I’ll stay friendly like.

CLICK (laughs nervously): Absolutely. I might not even use this interview.

JASON: That might be a healthy choice.

Posted December 15, 2020 by aurorawatcherak in Blog Hop

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Cai Delaney Speaks   Leave a comment

Link Up WordPress:

November 6, 2017 Open Book Blog Hop

Pick a character from one of your books and interview him or her.

Rules:
1. Link your blog to this hop.
2. Notify your following that you are participating in this blog hop.
3. Promise to visit/leave a comment on all participants’ blogs.
4. Tweet/or share each person’s blog post. Use #OpenBook when tweeting.
5. Put a banner on your blog that you are participating.

 

Welcome to the blog. My guest character today is Malacai Delaney from Transformation Project. Thank you for stepping out of the pages of my books and into our world for a brief moment. Tell us something about yourself.

Life As We Knew It (Transformation Project Book 1) by [Markham, Lela]Hi, Most people call me Cai. I don’t know that I’m all that interesting, but I’m willing to talk to you because you are my creator and I’m curious.

I wrote your character to be an intensely spiritual person who is curious about God. As authors are, more or less, the gods of their fictional universes, it makes sense that you would be curious about me. But this interview is about you. Where are you from?

Emmaus, Kansas, which is a community of about 5,000 people in northwest Kansas, just off I70. You know, mainstream, middle America. The most exciting thing we usually have is driving to the State Fair in Hutchinson and maybe drinking a beer in a corn field, round a bonfire after the harvest.

Life as We Knew It available on Amazon

How long have you lived there?

Pretty much my entire life. My father was born and raised there. The family goes back more than 100 years and lived at the old townsite of Jericho Springs before it was relocated to Emmaus for the railroad. Dad was in the military, so I was born in Seattle where my mom is from, but he retired when I was two and went to work for my grandfather at his feed store. I lived in Lawrence for several years through college and grad school.

Was it your intention to live in Emmaus after you got your law degree?

No. Actually, I sort of wanted to move to Kansas City, Wichita, Denver, but my wife – my girlfriend at the time — was offered a job at Emmaus Clinic, working with her mentor Dr. Vashon, so I changed my plans. It’s worked out. The City attorney of Emmaus retired and the City Council accepted my application. I’ve picked up some extra work with Mara Wells — a nearby town that is important to the Transformation Project — and Beulah County. Plus we’re living with my parents, who have a huge house, and that’s allowing us to pay down our student loans.

Do you wonder what happens to your debts in the current situation?

I think I still owe them. I spent the money, after all. Working three jobs — four with Marnie’s job — and living at my parents’ house makes more sense to me than my brother’s way of dealing with student debt. I still don’t know how I feel about what Shane’s been doing the last few years.

Conflicted?

Definitely. My feelings about Shane would be conflicted anyway, I guess, but … I just can’t imagine him as a mercenary, even though I’ve seen him in action.

I tried to interview him, but he’s pretty taciturn.

He’s always been a private person. These days, he’s very closed-up. Something’s going on behind that facade, but he isn’t letting any of us in.

So why’d you go to Wichita and leave him as your dad’s only deputy? Sounds like a cooler head might be needed.

Image result for image of objects in view markhamHe’s not the only deputy. Dad’s got Grandpa Jacob and Joe Kelly really ought to be in charge. He was a deputy before. He’s got training and a more even personality than Shane. But, fact was, I thought I’d be more use going with Ren Sullivan to advocate for the town. I’m a lawyer, not a cop. I didn’t expect things to slide sideways on me.

Do you kind of wish that Shane had come with you now?

That feeling comes and goes. I’m a 30-year-old man. I’ve spent more than half a decade living as an adult in Lawrence. I shouldn’t need Shane or anyone else to hold my hand, but his skills would be nice right about now.

Objects in View available on Amazon

What’s going on right about now?

That’s a long story. The night of the bombs, I’d just left Denver and I got stuck in a traffic jam near Kanorado. Shane knew the military was planning to kill all the people in the containment zone because of the radiation risk, so he came to get me. That was … wow! For as much as we fought when we were kids and even as adults … that he would do what he did to save me … I really need to rethink our relationship. (shrugs and sighs).

I guess the military was still looking for us. When I was in Wichita, the military tried to detain me, but I ran. I dove into a river to get away from the drones and soldiers chasing me. I climbed into a culvert and now I’m waiting to see what happens. So far, no humans have followed up searching for me. I guess we’ll find out tomorrow when the third book in the series comes out whether I’m still alive. Since you started Objects in View by killing over a hundred Emmaus residents, some of them named characters, I’m not real hopeful.

You’re talking to me so as not to piss off the person with control over your fate?

(Laughs nervously) Something like that.

I only kill characters if they stop talking to me, so that’s a good strategy. So, you think maybe someone with Shane’s skills could rescue you?

The guy I met at the Kanorado line sure could, yes.

Are you scared of what happens if they find you?

Image result for image of a threatening fragility markhamVery much so. Shane shot two National Guardsmen. He deliberately shot their body armor, but that’s still attempted murder and this is the military — so I think it’s probably treason. But they had summarily decided my fate without a trial, so I’m … there’s that word again – conflicted. I’m not sure what the charge is if you’re the one who was being rescued.

You’re a lawyer and you don’t know?

Not my field of expertise. Of course, neither is municipal law and I’ve been teaching myself that for the last year.

A Threatening Fragility available on Amazon

Do you have any hope?

Of course, I do. My faith gives me hope in all things. I just don’t know where rescue is coming from. I’m cold, damp, dirty and scared and I want to go home to my wife, take a shower and sleep for a week. (Pauses) Now that look on your face is making me nervous. You don’t have home and showers planned for my future, do you?

It makes a much better story if you have adventures. A Threatening Fragility comes out tomorrow and readers can find out what I’ve got planned. I’ll let you go, Cai. I hope you can get some sleep in this culvert. We’ll see you in the morning … if you survive.

LOOK FOR “A THREATENING FRAGILITY” ON AMAZON AND CREATESPACE TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 7, 2017

LELA MARKHAM

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