I’m sitting down with the main character, Loni, from my novel, Project Thoughts* in a tea shop high above Dallaston. Once we’re both settled with our drinks and finish chit chatting, I dive into the interview:

1. If you, Loni, could do anything you wanted in this story, what would it be? 

Hm. Kick Khan’s butt. But besides that, have another disc race. Not to outrun anyone or with the pressure of keeping anyone safe, but just to see how fast I can go. Just for the pure adrenaline and kicking-good fun of it.

That does sound fun. I’ll see what I can do. 

2. What are you most afraid that I’ll put you through? 

You put me through my worst fears. Especially at the end when I…

Spoilers! Don’t forget that they haven’t read the book yet. 

Oh, sorry!

3. What am I not seeing about someone else in this story? Who has a secret? Who’s secretly working against you? 

Well, that one character, of course. But their secrets don’t remain secret for long.

Maybe one of the test subjects? That Kaila girl is ripping annoying. Maybe she could have a secret?

But wires and nerves, this book is already so long. Do you have to add something else?

I don’t have to. But I will if it makes the book better. If I do, I’ll delete something else, don’t worry! 

4. Who, by contrast, is better than they appear? 

Yan’s always been stronger than she seems. I often forget that and don’t let her become who she can be by always protecting her. I’m glad you give her opportunities to show her strength and remind the rest of us that she’s more than she appears.

5. What does any other character want to do that they’re not getting a chance to do now? 

Maybe Fres. I think he wants to be funnier than you’re making him. He thinks his jokes will impress Yan. Or at least make her laugh. I think they’re just wired. Or will be once you write them.

Anyone else?

I think my brother Axton’s annoyed that he doesn’t have much of a part to play. Axton, what are you doing here? Rachel’s talking to me.

He can say something. What would you like to do in the story, Axton, that you’re not already? 

“I want to do something ripping like Loni: flash people or at least punch someone. I don’t do anything interesting except kiss my girlfriend.”

Which is disgusting. I guess we can’t take that out?

No. Sorry, Axton, but you don’t have the experience that Loni does. It’d be strange and unrealistic if you just started using a flasher or punching people. But I will try to think of something that you can do that’s a little more exciting. 

6. What do you want to say out loud, Loni, that you haven’t said? 

Why do you have to put us through so much ripping pain?! Haven’t I been through enough before the story even begins? Was having terrible parents not enough?

I’m mostly mad at myself, though. Why in all the stars above did I have to race Yan that night through the construction zone? Why did I choose to be a test subject?

You did the best with what you had at the time. And if you hadn’t raced Yan, there wouldn’t be a story. 

7. Whom do you want to forgive? 

No one at the beginning of the story. But you made sure that changes, which is good, I guess.

8. What’s this story really about–to you? 

Family. It’s messy and broken and painful. But so good and necessary. And there’s more than one kind of family.

The story’s also about being vulnerable, about being willing to let people see all your broken bits even though that’s more terrifying than facing down an army of Beetles with flashers.

Thanks so much for being real with me, Loni. I know I put you and your loved ones through the fire (so to speak) in this book, but you do come out the better for it. 

Just give us a kicking-good happily-ever-after to make up for it.

I’ll think about it :). 

*This is not the actual title.