[Marie Lavender interviews David Russell and Selene, a character from his novel "Self's Blossom"]
Marie Lavender: Hello, Selene. Please have a seat.
Selene: Thank you for having me, Marie.
ML: Of course! It’s my pleasure! We’re going to start out with some simple questions, all right?
ML: So, what is your occupation? Are you any good at it? Do you like it?
Selene: I’m an upmarket journalist, and I feel I have proved myself by my brainpower and tenacity.
ML: Okay. So, tell us…what is your family like?
Selene: Rather stern, authoritarian and self-righteous, but with a strong sense of justice.
ML: If it doesn’t bother you at all, can you let us know what your childhood home looked like?
Selene: Very spick and span; they always made me tidy up my chaos.
ML: I see. Do you have any hobbies, Selene? What do you enjoy doing?
Selene: Lots of sports, writing, music.
Marie: Nice! So, what is your greatest dream?
Selene: To be free from material care, to have the run of a palace, to have a tryst with an intellectual, body beautiful.
ML: What kind of person do you wish you could be? What is stopping you?
Selene: I would like to be warmer, more outgoing, and more spontaneous.
ML: I hear ya there! In real life, I have my introverted moments… Okay, I’m going to throw another random question at you now. Who was your first love?
Selene: Someone I knew at university, with whom I was rapidly disillusioned.
ML: Oh, I’ve been through that kind of thing. So … not to be a downer, but I do have a pretty deep question next. What’s the most terrible thing that ever happened to you?
Selene: An abortion.
ML: Oh, no! Sorry to hear you experienced that…
Let’s move on to something a bit lighter now, shall we? What was your dream growing up? Did you achieve that dream? If so, in what ways was it not what you expected? If you never achieved the dream, why not?
Selene: I guess I wanted to be a tycoon or a megastar. I didn’t get that far, but I feel I’ve made a fair success of my life.
ML: All right. So, who is your role model, Selene?
Selene: I have several -- Eva Peron, Hilary Clinton, Kate Winslet, Madonna, Virginia Woolf.
ML: Okay. Now, you’ll probably think I’m digging for dirt. Is there someone you pretend to like but really dislike?
Selene: I have had associates and rivals in my working life whom I have had to admire, but whose vicious side is very apparent.
ML: Yikes! That’s unfortunate… Let’s try another question. What is your deepest desire?
Selene: For all humanity to hold me in loving memory.
ML: And what is your greatest fear?
Selene: A crippling injury.
ML: Okay. I’m glad you were comfortable enough to tell me everything. Well, it looks like we’re out of time. Thank you for visiting us today, Selene. It was so interesting getting to know you! Now, let’s shift over and get the author’s perspective. We have author David Russell on the stage today. It’s such a pleasure to have you here! Hello, David!
DR: Hi, Marie! Thank you for taking the time to interview me.
ML: Of course! So, we just got to talk to a character from your story, Selene. Quite an intriguing character. Can you tell us about her?
DR: She is the sort of woman who has always fascinated me -- aloof, mysterious, reflective, inhibited.
ML: Okay. So, what are your character’s greatest strengths?
DR: A cool, clear, analytical mind, a sense of circumspection.
ML: And your character’s greatest weaknesses?
DR: She is sometimes unable to act spontaneously.
ML: Let’s try something fun, shall we? What are some of Selene’s favorite foods?
DR: Avocados and pasta dishes.
ML: Great! How about another question? What’s a positive quality that your character is unaware that he or she has?
DR: Psychic vision.
ML: Wow, love it! Will readers like or dislike this character, and why?
DR: Some readers have expressed the deepest admiration for her courage and determination; others have expressed a dislike for her apparent coldness and cynicism. Some have said they were fascinated by her fictional role, but would not like to meet her in real life.
ML: She sounds complicated! Now that we have a real taste of Selene, we have a few questions for you as well as the author. What first gave you the idea for Self’s Blossom?
DR: A female writer friend of mine wrote a sizzling romance which inspired me. The title was evoked by the idea of a beautiful experience, through which a character could blossom forth.
ML: Cool. Let’s try something else. What is your writing style like? Are you a pantster or a plotter?
DR: Definitely a pantster.
ML: How about another question? Now I’m throwing this one in for our aspiring writers. Did you come across any specific challenges in writing Self’s Blossom or publishing it? What would you do differently the next time?
DR: This work had several editions. The first was as a limited edition (50 copies) paperback. When that publisher folded, I still had the Word doc file, and had a succession of e-book publishers. The last of these went out of business, so I regained the copyright. All my titles are now online under my name.
ML: Glad it’s working out now!