Feb 5, 2012

Mary and Pamela O'Shaughnessy (aka Perri O'Shaugnessy) - Author Interview: Characters

Pick one of your favourites among the characters from your published fiction stories or a character which is an interesting example from your published fiction. What makes this character one of your favourites or an interesting example of your fiction?

We write a series, so naturally our favorite character is our hero, Nina Reilly. She's a self-employed lawyer in a setting that lends itself to all kinds of disaster; South Lake Tahoe, California. There are mountains, a cold, deep lake, gambling, addictions, desperate people. A single mom, she's absorbed in her profession but also looking for love. The love she finds is tangled and real. Her life is complex; her job is sometimes frightening. She runs into murderers, thieves, drug dealers, card cheats--and lot of good people, too.

What kind(s) of character do you consider this character primarily to be, or how would you describe this character?

Strong, scared, learning as she goes, she's not easy to pin down. She makes mistakes and plays fast and loose sometimes, all for a good cause.

What is a character from a published fiction story by another author you would compare this character to and why are they similar?

We were inspired by the character of Perry Mason. We have a Washoe Indian standing in for Della Street, and a detective similarly named Paul, who is updated into a sharp, funny, and difficult man.

To what extent did you use any pre-existing character formula, template, paradigm, character design, archetype, or theory or principles of making or analysing character in planning, writing, and refining this character?

Other than being inspired by Erle Stanley Gardner, we don't think so critically about our stories. We just invent them and try for a delicious outcome.

How would you describe the first chapter, scene or section of this story in one paragraph?

The first scene in our first novel, Motion to Suppress, begins in a casino at the lake. A babe in high-heels gets hit on, and gathers tips like a pro. She drives home in the dark to her husband, who is waiting and upset. Things end badly that night.

Pick one of your published stories. How would you describe the introduction of the main character, or one of the main characters, in this story?

We wrote a story called The Underground Man which is loosely based on Dostoevsky's Notes from the Underground. The main character is a peculiar collector of literary relics, mostly found in graves.

What makes this an effective character introduction for this story?

He's quite the anti-hero. You never know what he might do next.

What major changes does this character go through, or what major challenges does the character encounter and how does the character respond to them?

He confronts his personal nemesis, someone who beats him to the treasure he seeks.

How would you describe the most important minor characters in this story and the changes in their character, or the challenges they encounter and how the respond them?

The most important minor character is a female, and a direct threat to our anti-hero.

What does the story gain from the minor characters?

The story gains a strange night time confrontation, and a loss for our guy to a female. He's angry, challenged, and invigorated by being beaten.

To what extent would you describe the characters in this story as typical or atypical of characters in your fiction stories?

Every character we have written is different, so I guess that means atypical.

Author website: www.perrio.com

Kobo ebooks Visit Powells.com

No comments:

Post a Comment