Hello lovely readers! Recently I promised a couple people that I would post some more details about my NaNoWriMo novel (still unfinished, darn it. But I DID make my word count!). It's a historical romance set during the 1940's, about love and loss and trusting that God's faithfulness IS great, no matter what.
I thought that, with Valentine's Day approaching, it might be fun to interview my hero and heroine about their relationship with some questions from the Beautiful People archive. And maybe some snippets will be shared, too. You'll have to keep reading to see. ;)
*All writing snippets are my own work, please do not steal.*
I smile at my characters. "Well, first off, let me introduce everyone. Readers, this is Rose Aldrich."
Rose tries to hold back a laugh."Uh, hello. "
"And this is Isaac," I say.
Isaac's mouth lifts in a small smile, but he looks at me. "What about my last name?"
I put on my best "I'm-the-author-don't-argue" look. "Well, I'm still not sure about it. It hasn't come up in the story so far, so let's worry about it later."
Isaac looks unconvinced but shrugs, leaning back in his seat.
|Isaac and Rose|
I look at the questions."Let's begin. How long have you been a couple?"
Isaac glances at Rose.
"Well..." Rose looks back at him. "We're really not....yet. I mean, we love each other but..."
"Try to keep as far away as possible from anything spoiler-ish," I pipe up.
Isaac rubs the back of his neck. "Spoiler-ish isn't a word," he mumbles.
Rose hesitates. "Umm.."
I jump in again. "Well, you both certainly don't start out as a couple in the story. We'll just leave it up to my readers to guess whether you ever do or not."
I read the next question. "How did you first meet?"
Rose sighs. "You know how, you wrote it."
"Shh. This is for the reader's benefit. Act as if I don't know anything," I say sternly.
I catch Isaac smirking out of the corner of my eye and give him a glare.
Rose restrains from rolling her eyes. "Fine. Isaac showed up on our back porch, bleeding from a bullet wound. "
"You didn't know him, right?" I ask.
"Of course not. I'd never seen him before in all my life."
"You could hardly call it a first meeting," Isaac says.
"Well, it's certainly not something I'll ever forget," says Rose. "You scared me half to death."
"What were your first thoughts of each other? Love at first sight or “you’re freakishly annoying”?" I ask.
Rose smiles."Um. Well, I was scared stiff at first. Having a stranger bleeding on your back porch kind of sends your mind into a place incapable of thinking coherently. But..." She glances down at her hands clasped in her lap and I see her smile. "I thought Isaac quite handsome. And that he simply seemed too nice to be a criminal, so his gunshot wound couldn't possibly be the product of shady activities."
Isaac began suspiciously coughing at this point, so we paused our interview so he could have a drink of water.
"What about you, Isaac?" I ask. "What did you think of Rose?"
He sets down his glass. "Uh, I was grateful someone was saving my life."
"Nothing else?" I ask, waiting.
He catches my eye and gives me a look. "Well, I suppose I noticed how pretty she was. After I regained consciousness, that is."
I try not to laugh and turn to the next question. "What do you do that most annoys each other?"
Rose looks at Isaac.
He begins to laugh. "Oh no, here it comes."
"Isaac has a penchant for cigarettes," Rose says, her eyes narrowed. "And I'm trying my best to change that."
He frowned. "At least I don't drown my coffee with sugar."
"I don't drown it! But black coffee is so bitter."
Isaac leans forward earnestly. "Pure black coffee is heaven on earth, Rose! Sugar ruins it."
Rose frowns. "Oh really, well—"
"Not to mention, you don't always finish your coffee." Isaac folds his arms.
"If it's cold and there's only a little left then—"
"Wasting coffee is a sin, Rose."
Rose opens her mouth, but I cut her off. "Well, guys, let's draw it mild. No need to fight online."
Rose looks at me. "What's online?"
I frown as I type on my laptop. "Never mind, it's not important."
"Are you personalities opposite or similar?" I ask.
Rose gives him a glare. "We're very different."
"If we were temperatures I would be hot and she would be cold," Isaac says.
She frowns. "Why would I be cold? You know I hate winter."
"You don't hate winter," Isaac says.
I hold up a hand. "Guys. Please. Don't argue."
Isaac smiles. "Fine. Rose, you can be hot. I'll be cold."
She grudgingly nods.
I look at them. "Why don't you explain your differences a little more?" I hesitate. "Without arguing."
Rose smiles sheepishly. "Well, I live by the rules."
"She lives by her sense of obligation." Isaac supplies.
Rose nods slowly. "Yes...I feel responsible for my family and for their welfare. I guess I can be a little controlling at times."
"Not controlling," Isaac says, watching her gently. "You just....care too much."
She swats at him but he catches her hand and holds it. They smile at each other.
"Ahem." I reach out and pull their hands apart. "For real, guys. Don't get all mushy during the interview, please."
Isaac rolls his eyes and Rose blushes, but I see them sneak glances at each other, a smile on each of their faces.
"Isaac, what about you?"
He looks up. "Hmm?
"How are you different from Rose?" I raise my brows and look at him expectantly.
He spreads his hands wide and grins. "I prize my freedom. I hate rules, commitment, responsibility....I just want to roam the world the way I want, you know?" He hesitates and glances at Rose. "But...I'm starting to see that may not be wise...forever."
I was starting to understand—at least, I thought I did. He must have been an orphan, or perhaps his family died in some tragic accident, leaving him bitter and callous. “Don’t you have anything?” I asked softly.
He snorted. “The only thing I have is my freedom. And that’s how I intend to keep it. Signing up would be throwing it away.”
“But you’d be protecting it. Your freedom, I mean. The freedom of America.”
He grinned. “‘The Freedom of America.’ You sound like a piece of propaganda.”
My sympathy was sizzled away by the flare of my anger. “My brother is out there right now, defending that freedom! The freedom you claim to love.” I stood. “And yet you let others do the work.”
“Are you calling me a coward?” he asked, eyes flashing.
“I certainly aren’t astounded by your courage,” I spat.
~Rose and Isaac
"How would your lives be different without each other?"
Isaac begins to open his mouth, but I speak quickly. "Don't answer this."
"Spoilers. You know. We can't give away secrets."
"It's not really a secret." Isaac looks frustrated.
I turn away and shuffle some pages. "We're still not going to talk about it. Next question."
"They can kind of figure it out considering what we were just talking about," Rose whispers.
"Hey!" I reach for the recording machine and snap it off before either of them can say anymore.
*At this time I had a long, private discussion with my characters about the difficulties of being an author and how hard it is to decide what to share with the public and what to keep secret so their reading experience won't be tainted by prior knowledge of events in the novel. Rose and Isaac apologize for being so insensitive and promised them wouldn't do it again. They're going to try harder to respect my wishes. No, I didn't threaten them with an unhappy ending. I think they understood. At this time, I switched the recorder back on.*
I sigh and crack my knuckles. "Well. Where were we?" I scan my list. "Oh. Okay. Are you ever embarrassed of each other?"
Rose lifts a shoulder. "Not really."
Isaac's gaze is roaming the room as if he's thinking about the question, but I realize it's simply boredom so we move on.
"Does anyone disapprove of your relationship?" I look up and see Isaac jerk to attention.
Rose bites her lip and laughs. "My Daddy."
Isaac rubs the back of his neck and looks around the room as if Mr. Aldrich would pop out of the corner. "He scares me..."
"He's coming to like you," Rose says sympathetically. "He just wants to protect me, that's all."
Isaac frowns. "Yeah, but Natalie left off in the middle of writing out a really crucial conversation I was having with him. I'm not going to be able to sleep until I know how that turns out."
"You're nervous?" Rose asks.
"Heck yeah. I sweat thinking about it."
I try to hide my laugh. "Okay, here's another snippet."
Isaac was listening to Grandpa politely, amusedly even, but not in a ridiculing way. He glanced our way and froze. The warmth in his expression was quickly masked. Distrust and apprehension showed in his eyes.
His reaction was, for once, something that didn’t surprise me. Most boys and young men ran for cover when they saw my father. I sometimes attributed my single-ness to my Daddy. At 6-foot-three and arms like a lumberjack, my father would scare any prospective suitors within a fifteen mile distance.
Not that there were many prospective suitors where we lived. But still. I loved my father, but he really needed to learn how to dial down the intimidating father glare. ~Rose and Isaac
"Do you see your relationship as long-term/leading to marriage?"
Rose sneaks a glance at Isaac. He's shifting uncomfortably.
Noting their hesitance, I tell them. "Don't answer this one. I'll answer it for you later."
(Note to readers. Rose definitely dreams of marriage with Isaac. Isaac didn't at first, but he's coming around. ;))
He entwined his fingers into my hand. “I never…” He shifted in his chair, studying our clasped hands with a frown. “I never thought I’d ever meet someone I’d consider giving up everything for.”
I held my breath. What was he saying?
A smile tugged at his mouth and he glanced up. “But I think I want to.”
“Want to what?”
He leaned close, whispering into my hair, “Give up everything for you.”
I let out a shuddering breath. “Is that why you didn’t say it?”
“Yeah.” His murmur held a note of regret. “I wasn’t meaning to hurt you, Rose, I swear. You just…” He pulled back and fingered a curl of my hair. “Caught me off guard. I never expected you to put into words what I was thinking all night.”
My eyes questioned him.
He chuckled. “I didn’t sleep at all.”
“You were sleeping when I came downstairs.” My eyes narrowed.
He grinned. “Well, maybe I dozed. Just a little.” After a moment, he stood and ran a hand through his hair as he began to pace. “Look, I’ve lived my whole life on the rails. Free. Just me. I’ve been in charge of my own life, could do what I wanted, when I wanted. I answered to no one.” He glanced down. “And I liked it. I still...love it.” Shoulders slumping, he turned back and sat on the chair next to me, arms propped on the back. “But I’ve found something I love more.”
The look in his eyes was so sincere, so gentle, so caring. He really, truly loved me...and was willing to give up his freedom for me. ~Rose and Isaac
"If you could plan the “perfect outing” together, where would you go?"
"Travel out west," Isaac says just as Rose says,
"Go for a walk in the woods."
They look at each other.
Isaac shrugs. "That too."
I put away the list. "Well, guys, that's it! Thank you so much for doing this with me. I hope I haven't taken away too much of your time."
Isaac's brows rise. "No, it's fine. It was good. It took my mind off of that conversation."
"It's not like we have much to do right now," Rose says wryly. "It's the middle of winter."
I look at Isaac sympathetically. "I'm sorry. I'll try to finish that conversation soon."
Isaac nods. "That'd be great."
I bid my characters farewell—for now—and turn off the tape recorder. Then I sit down to start typing it all up as a blog post.
And here I am, all done. :) Thank you for reading, anyone and everyone who stuck through the whole thing! This post became much longer than I first envisioned. (I feel like I say that everytime.)
Happy early Valentine's Day!
Do you have any romantic couples in your own stories?