Saturday, July 6, 2013

What about now?

Just as with Sundays, I bring you a new episode of Hell Breaks Loose, I'm beginning a new theme for Saturdays, one I particularly think you'll enjoy!

What About Now? - An Interview Series, unlike most.

I first happened upon the notion of interviewing your own characters years and years ago, and it was mostly done for an author to get a deeper relationship with the people they're creating.  Why do this?  Well, the better you know someone, the better you can write about their quirks, their experiences, their reactions; make's your characters '3D', relatable, and hopefully, lovable.

I'll admit, though, at the time I thought that was silly, that I could better use my time actually diving in head-first with the writing.  But, I was a young, naive smart-ass who thought he shit gold.  Humbleness has taught me otherwise, and I owe it many, many thanks.  I did it for Lonely Moon, with my 3 main characters, and I think the proof is in the Jell-O puddin'.

So, what the hell am I doing, you may be asking yourself as you sit there, drinking your coffee, being smug and cheeky...and

Every Saturday, I'm gonna' interview one of my characters, spanning from books to short stories, and maybe even a few scripts if we start to run low on stock.

Today, the LAUNCH, I introduce you to my personal favorite (sorry to all my other characters, but it's true), Captain Michael Hane.

Hold your nose, we're diving in.
What About Now?
Captain Michael Hane - First Appeared in -

Me: Good Morning, Michael.  Thanks for taking the time to meet with me, it's a pleasure, really.  I know you're prolly busy and all that, seeing as how I made you up and I'm not really sure what it is that you do when you're not around.

Michael:'s Captain, thanks.  Is this going to take long?
(Looks at Datapad)

Me: Okay...?  We'll just jump right into it then.  I'd just like to start simple.  Tell me a little about yourself.

Michael: I'm an Alliance Captain...seriously, is this going to take long?

Me: Moving on.  When have you been most satisfied with your life?

Michael: Fine...Christ.  Well...okay, eight months ago, I was Planetside, in New York City.  My wife, Sarah, met me at the front door with this big-ass grin on her face, ya' know, like she knew something that I didn't.  She pulled me inside the house and walked me to the kitchen with her hands over my eyes, guiding me upstairs, past our bedroom, to the upstairs bathroom.  She nudged me inside with a giggle and I heard her pick something up off the kitchen sink.  She took her hands off my eyes and the first thing I saw was a pregnancy strip, cuz, ya' know, it's the future, we don't use those stick things anymore.  Ya' still gotta' piss on it, though.  Anyway, my first thought was Eww! but then I saw it, the tip, the indicator....she was pregnant.  If you knew the full story, you'd know how incredible, how absolutely impossible it was that I could be standing there, staring at a pregnant strip.  I don't think I've ever been more satisfied than I was, looking at a future we'd given up on.

Me: What is the full story?

Michael: (Stares) Next question....

Me: Alrighty...What do you hate most about your job?

Michael: There's not too much I don't like about being a Captain.  My dad, and my grandaddy were Captains, so I kinda' grew up already filling the boots, lovin' the job.  I will say, I hate being away from home for months on end.  Space is uh....Space can be lonely.  I swear if you tell anyone what I'm about to say, I'll throw you out'an Airlock, Andrew.  But, sometimes, I'll just sit in my quarters and go through pictures of Sarah.  Makes me feel close to her.

Me: Awwww, Cap'n's gotta' soft spot.

Michael: (glares)

Me: Moving right along, how did you and Sarah meet?

Michael: I was in Basic, and our base was just outside Chicago.  On, oh god, on Saturday nights, me and the guys, we'd go downtown.  There was this dive bar called 'Joey Jays', real piece of shit place, but it was right next to a strip club, and they had dollar shots on Saturdays.  Anyways, at 2:30, every Saturday night, when the strippers got off work, they'd come over and drink with us.  I mean, they were pretty trashy, and I never touched 'em, swear to God, but my buddies don't have no shame in their game.  If it's got tits, they don't much mind anything else.  This one night, after the strippers had come on over and were gettin' fresh with the guys in back, I was sitting at the bar, drinking straight Whiskey, and this little blonde thing walks in, wearing this tiny cocktail dress, holding herself.  She hurried up to the bartender and asked if she could use his phone, said she'd been mugged down the street, assholes took her phone too.  She called a shuttle car to come pick her up then sat beside me and said she'd have what I'm having, and that I was paying.  I couldn't help but laugh, but I felt bad for her so I went right along with it.  We talked for a half hour.  Turned out we both loved the Cubs, both liked big-ass greasy peanut butter and jelly burgers when we're hungover, and we both liked the classics like Hendrix and Clapton, the stuff you can't find anymore.  I told her to forget about the shuttle car, that I'd give her a lift home.  So, we left, and I flew her home, and we stood outside her apartment for the better part of an hour, still talking.  The sun started to come up and I thought I was feeling it, ya' know.  She gave me that look, that, you gonna kiss me or take a picture?  Well, I went in for it and....she slapped me!  My mouth dropped, and hung there...I'm talking, drooping, full of rocks, hanging.  I was shocked.  She stood there, gawking at this man in front of her who couldn't believe he'd completely gotten the wrong signal, and then she smiled and said 'I'll see you tomorrow night'.  One day, I got the balls to ask her why the hell she slapped me that night, and she said, and I quote "I knew you were the one that night, was sure of it, in fact.  If I slapped you, and you walked away, you didn't stick around, then I'd know it wasn't meant to be.  But you did, you stayed.  It was fate that I got mugged that night."  The rest, as they say, is history.

Me: If you could do one thing over in your life, what would it be?

Michael: (Sadly smiles) I don't think it's good to think about things like that.  We deal with what we're given.  To live and think what-if's, it's pointless, and it opens wounds that should be healed.  Obviously, I would say that I would save Sarah before that building collapsed.  But, I can't, and it hurts to think that no matter what I did, I couldn't make it right.  Next question...please.

Me: Last one, I promise.  I know you've got...well.  Anyway, favorite song lyric.

Michael: I heard this song once, when I was in Austin, Texas.  We were doing flight training and upper-atmosphere maneuvering, and we sat down to dinner one night, and this guy walks in to the restaurant we were eating at, puts a quarter in the mp3-shuffler, and this rock song came on.  I don't know who sang it because it was at least a hundred or maybe two-hundred years old, but the words stuck out, and to this day, I think about them every now and then, whenever I think of Sarah.  It went 'What about now?  What about today?  What if you're making me, all that I was meant to be, what if our love, never went away?  What if it's lost behind words we can never find'.

Me: Thanks again, Michael, for coming out.  I know there was some tough stuff thrown in there, but I wish you the best, and we'll see you soon, I think.

Michael: Yeah, yeah.

Me: Thanks for reading!  Hope you enjoyed, we'll see you again, next Saturday on "What about Now?"
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