I hope everyone enjoys the character interview! :)
Tell me about you. What’s a day in your life like?
My days are pretty simple really. I work two part-time jobs, so I work nearly every day at one or the other. I’m a columnist for the Oshawa Herald, and I love that job, so I spend a lot of time at the paper, when I’m not working at the grocery store thing. My column is about exceptional teens in the community. That means I spend a lot of time around high-schools and libraries too, since that’s where most of the kids want to do the interviews, but sometimes I go to their homes. When I go to my home, I spend most of my time preparing my column, dabbling at fiction writing, or snuggled up on the couch, reading one of my favourite books.
If your best friend had to describe you in five words, what would they be?
I have two best friends. I really need to call them, too. We haven’t talked in forever! Lise would probably say, “book-smart, heart-dumb, silly, weird and absent”. Charmy might go with, “stubborn, fierce, naïve, secretive and busy”. Charmy’s more of a diplomat.
If your enemy had to describe you in five words, what would they be?
The only one I can think of wouldn’t have anything to say that you could put in print. If I had to clean it up, it would probably be, “vindictive, meddling, cruel, liar and useless”.
Which song sums up your life and why?
Don’t Look Back – by Boston. I try not to dwell in the past, now. There are a lot of things back there I’d rather just leave there. I’m much more interested in what I can do with the future.
What one book title sums up your love life and why?
Right now? War and Peace, unfortunately. Trevoe, my husband and I have been arguing a lot lately about silly things, but the making up part is great!
What motivates you?
Earned praise. There’s a reporter at work, Stan? He’s pretty hard to please. When he tells me I’ve written a decent article, that’s the highest praise I can get for my work. Actually, he really gets me working with criticism too, so maybe criticism would be a better answer. Oh, and his coffee. Stan makes coffee that eats the spoon if you don’t stir quick. That stuff could motivate a comatose elephant!
Tell me about yourself.
I’m twenty-five, but most people think I’m a teenager. That’s partly because I inherited my Mom’s looks. It’s a blessing now, but I hated it when I was a teenager, believe me. It could be because I’m really short too. I’m pretty easy to get along with, but if someone “gets my Irish up”, I can be a real witch. I’m really a sucker for babies, two legs or four. I love music, nature walks and the full moon. That’s really all I can think of right now. I’m not terribly fascinating.
Can you tell us a secret about you that few/no one else knows?
Not a lot of people know I’m a wicked shot with a pistol. I have a little SIG Sauer P225, and I go to the shooting range with Trevor a lot, though not so much lately. The guys there call me “Firecracker”.
Describe an incident in your life that’s helped mold you into the person you are today.
Well, like I said, I don’t really like to dwell in the past. If I had to pick one thing, I’d say it was my parent’s death. They had a car accident just before I turned eighteen. I had to jump into being an independent adult right away. I think that made me a stronger person than I was before that.
What’s your favorite color and why?
I know it’s weird, but golden brown — like dark honey or stained oak. It’s just such a warm, rich, comforting colour. I think most people prefer bright colours, but I’ve always liked neutrals better.
What are you passionate about?
Words. It would be great to get a book published one day, but I’m not sure I’m ready for that yet. I read all the time, probably a book every two days or so, and I’ve been writing poetry for as long as I remember. I have boxes of old scribblings at my house. I do crosswords, and word search puzzles, and my favourite game is Scrabble, of course. Until I’m ready to really go for being an author though, I’m working toward being a news reporter.
What would I find in your couch cushions?
Probably some change, a hair tie or two, maybe cracker crumbs, and a couple of pens. A movie rental receipt, maybe? I love to rent old black and white movies.
What’s your biggest fear?
Describe your ideal mate?
Strong, patient, gentle, supportive, smart, loyal, great sense of humour, a tiny bit vulnerable, considerate, great with kids, generous, loves animals, cuddly and passionate. Oh! And he’d be willing to read every word I write, and tell me I’m brilliant once in a while.
Is the glass half-full or half-empty? Also, what’s it filled with?
I’d like to think it’s half-full, and usually with rye and coke.
It’s 10:00 on a Friday night. Where are you?
If Trevor isn’t working, I’d probably be on the couch, watching a movie or TV show with him. If he’s working, I’d either be on the couch reading, or maybe taking a long, hot bath. I’m kind of boring.
For the author:
Would you like to say anything to your readers / fans?
If you read “Learn To Love Me” or any of my other work, please look me up on Facebook, Goodreads, Google Plus or Twitter, and let me know what you thought of it.
In fact, I love hearing from readers who are in the midst of the story, letting me know who they think the “bad guy” is! :D If you get a chance, too, I’d love your review. Any constructive criticism is welcome anytime. I see it all as an opportunity to improve my writing.
Since I’m just starting a, (sort of), sequel, any suggestions would be very helpful.
And finally, if you’ve picked up a copy of the book: Thank you!
As a writer, it can be difficult to find enough time in the day to get everything done. Would you like to share your favorite ‘quick and easy’ recipe?
For a super-quick and easy meal, we start with a box of frozen Italian style meatballs. Toss them in a frying pan with ¾ cup of water and cover, and set the heat to high. (If you fill the pan ¾ of the way, the meatballs expand to fill the pan as they cook). While you wait for that, cook a pot of instant rice. When the water in the fying pan boils, remove the lid and turn each meatball over. Cook uncovered until the meatballs begin to brown and turn them with a spatula until they’re fairly evenly browned. Drain any excess grease, turn the heat to low, and liberally coat the meatballs with Diana’s Chicken and Rib barbeque sauce. Simmer until the sauce thickens just a little. Spread some cooked rice on a plate and ladle some of the meatballs and sauce over it. We usually serve it with a side salad or steamed broccoli, but any vegetable works with this.
It’s incredibly simple, but it’s also a family favourite. lol
Yes! Thank you so much for having Me, and Emily, as a guest. This interview was a challenge, and I loved it!
"He was my mentor when I started here too," Greg shrugged. "He’s pretty entrenched in the way things used to be done. I evolved; he didn’t. He was a damn good reporter in his day, but things have changed a lot since then. Don’t let him hold you back, Emily."
"He’s still a great reporter, Greg," I rushed to Stan’s defense. "Not one of us can hold a candle to him, even you, Mr. Senior News Reporter. If he was here, you wouldn’t dare talk like that!"
"Easy, girl!" Greg threw up his hands in mock surrender. "I’m just trying to help. Your loyalty is admirable. Old Stan is a wordsmith of the first order. I'd never deny it. I’m just saying his journalistic ethics are a bit outdated for the times we live and work in. You’ve got good instincts, Emily. Listen to your conscience and follow your intuition, and you’ll do fine." He winked and picked up his phone, punching some buttons.
This new, more gallant Greg made my teeth ache and my skin itch. It was almost as though he was setting me up for something. I wanted to believe he was being sincere, but the goodwill was too much like a brand-new pair of leather shoes, too stiff, oiled, and shiny.
I was saved from having to think of a response, when my phone sprang to life at my desk. I dashed across the newsroom to catch the call before the automated message kicked in.
"The Herald. Emily O’Shea!" I answered, over-bright. There was a brief period of silence, and a loud click followed by a low hiss. I was just about to hang up when someone spoke.
"Do you love me, Emily?" It was spoken in a weary monotone. The receiver clicked again. I didn’t recognize the voice.
"Trevor?" Perhaps he was calling from his car phone, but it didn’t sound like Trevor. Another click sounded, like someone tapping a fingernail on the mouthpiece.
"Do you love me, Emily?" The voice repeated with exactly the same inflection. It was eerily like the tone you’d expect from a robot, a machine, or an old B-movie zombie. It was unnerving. Feeling weak, my knees gave out and I sank into my chair. My heart was pounding in my ears.
"Who’s speaking?" It took an enormous effort to sound composed. The response was one last click, followed by the dial tone. Fear sprinted up my spine on a thousand tiny feet, and I had the sudden, paranoid sensation of being stared at. I spun in my chair to scan the newsroom, but the only one on the phone was Greg and he was obviously still speaking to someone. He caught me looking at him and gave me a grin and a slow wink. If it was intended to charm me, it failed miserably. The chill was wiped out by the rising heat. If this is some kind of sick practical joke, someone is going to pay!
About the Author:
Sinead MacDughlas is a Canadian writer with an addiction to the written word. Though she's been honing her craft for over thirty years, Learn To Love Me is her debut full-length novel, and the result of over two years of intensive work. Her favourite writing fuel is coffee, with the music she loves playing in the background, and the inspiration of a lifetime of people watching. Sinead plans to continue writing as long as there are readers who enjoy her work.
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