Monday, November 16, 2009

Clap Your Hands If You Believe

So, you've forgotten me, have you? I know it seems like I'm hiding behind my Character Interviews series, but really, it's such a great opportunity for writers to get to know their characters (click here to find out the how and why). And what a thrill to have such amazing writers post on my blog to introduce us to their delicious characters! (To be quite honest, it also gives me the chance to focus on my own writing, most recently a YA magical realism novel, but Shhhh...that's a carefully guarded secret.) But just so you don't forget, here's a reminder of who I am. And just for fun, you can see what I'm feeling and thinking.

And now, on to the good stuff....
Totally Sane Interviews with Vampires, Hobbits, and Talking Toads
An Interview with Penelope Hue
by Harley May
Please give a roaring round of applause to our most welcome additions to the Character Interviews series: author Harley May and Penelope, the cheeky, but oh-so-charming main character of Harley's modern day, coming-of-age YA faery tale, The Winged Life.

Yep, that's right, folks. We've got ourselves a faery in the house (and yes, that's faery, not fairy, in Harley's dialect), a seventeen-year old faery, to be exact, who wants nothing more than to be human. But first....

A little background on our author, Harley May
Her self description: Harley May grew up in South Korea but attended a total of 7 different schools during her k-12 years. That’s right, 7. She’s always loved books. They’ve been her escape and home through all her moves. She majored in English at BOTH The University of Alabama and The University of South Florida. She now lives in Florida with her husband and 3 children. One of her favorite movies is The Prestige (Hugh Jackman and Christian Bale. Hello) and she always, always, always has a pair of sunglasses on her head. Except for when she’s sleeping, showering, this picture, etc.

Wait. Check that. Only while sleeping and showering. (For some reason, these activities recall Hugh Jackman and Christian Bale to mind, with or without sunglasses. Huh.)

Be sure to check out her personal blog as well as her collaborative blog How Many Blondes Does It Take to Write a Blog? where she admittedly, does "nothing but get into trouble" with her writer-mom friend, Keli.

Now, for the pièce de résistance....

I Believe In Faeries

[Penelope Enters]
Harley: [looks at watch] You’re late.
Penelope: Demon killing waits for no woman.
Harley: Is that where you were?
Penelope: Sure. Let’s just say I was sidetracked from chocolate acquisition.
Harley: By acquisition, do you mean stealing?
Penelope: [purses lips together]
Harley: I’ll take that as a yes.
Penelope: ....
Harley: When did your love affair with chocolate begin?
Penelope: Love Affair. You’re so dramatic.
Harley: When did you start liking chocolate? Whatever.
Penelope: I guess the minute my great love affair with humans did.
Harley: I’m ignoring your sass. So you like humans?
Penelope: Well I only know 3 humans, but I love learning about their world.
Harley: What got you interested in human life?
Penelope: You’d be interested too if you had the Council squashing every dream a faery could have. I’ll never be able to leave the Colony. No one ever does.
Harley: [shakes head] The Council sounds horribly oppressive. You can’t let the Man keep you down.
Penelope: Good grief. Stop trying to be so anti-establishment. You’re so square you don’t even pee in the shower.
Harley: Wha? You have no idea what I do in the shower.
Penelope: Actually I…
Harley: [clears throat] Let’s move on to the next question. Being a faery, Penelope, you certainly know a lot about human stuff. How is that?
Penelope: Well, I practically grew up in Henley’s bookstore.
Harley: He’s one of the humans you know.
Penelope: Uh-huh.
Harley: He doesn’t mind letting a faery in his store.
Penelope: Oh, he doesn’t know I’m a faery. I acquire big t-shirts and they cover my wings nicely.
Harley: Again, by acquire, you mean steal, right?
Penelope: ....
Harley: That’s what I thought. Who’s another human you know?
Penelope: There’s Grayson. I just met him.
Harley: And what is he like?
Penelope: He’s quiet and moody. He’s dark and will have outbursts directed at no one that come out of nowhere. He’s troubled, but I like being around him. He seems to like being around me. He’s really tall. Like really. I don’t mind looking at him. Let’s just say that. Personality wise, he is the complete opposite of Elias.
Harley: And who is Elias?
Penelope: Elias. He’s another faery. I’ve been in love with him almost every day of my life. He’s my brother’s best friend and my best friend’s older brother. They’re orphans and live with us.
Harley: That’s not confusing at all.
Penelope: [glares] You wrote it. Anyway. Elias ignores every innuendo and hint I drop, and I do those a lot. I think he doesn’t want to hurt my feelings. He has to know how I feel but just doesn’t reciprocate. [shrugs]
Harley: Have you tried telling him?
Penelope: ....
Harley: Maybe you should just tell him how you feel.
Penelope: Geeze! Who are you? My Mom? Quit telling me what to do.
Harley: Alright. Alright. Moving on. [widens eyes] Who is the other human you know?
Penelope: That’d be you.
Harley: Oh. [smiles] And what do you think about me?
Penelope: You’re fine, as far as vessels of story telling go.
Harley: A vessel? I’m more than a vessel. I’m the author!
Penelope: Really? “The Winged Life”? Is that what you’re going with now.
Harley: Look, you’d be nothing without me. I created you. I’m the one in charge here.
Penelope: [snort] Okay.
Harley: You know what? This interview is over. I’ve had it with your sass. I can only take so much snarkiness. [storms out]
Penelope: [looks pointedly at audience] She’ll be back.

Oh Harley, you have your work cut out for you--Miss Penelope is quite the handful! But you just can't help but love her. Thank you so much, Harley, for introducing her to us and for guest posting on my blog. It's been a pleasure to have you!

If you would like to submit a character interview, just let me know! Please be sure to refer back to my post on character interviews.


  1. Well, this is the first time I've seen an author storm out of a character interview. Kudos to Penelope for driving Harley away. Now what does she do? (Probably gets an ugly pimple on her chin or something... authors are vindictive like that.)

    Nicely done, good lady. Sounds like an interesting twist on the Faery thing. Have you read Tad Williams' The War of the Flowers? You might like that.

  2. Thanks Harley (and Carol for letting our characters grandstand on her blog) - you've given me the best laugh of my day so far. I love Penelope's snarkiness, and I'm glad YOU have to deal with her and I don't. Katie is enough of a handful, but I dare say when she gets to 17 she'll be as bad or worse.

    Love it!!

  3. "You’re so square you don’t even pee in the shower."

    hahahahahaha great line, seriously. Can't wait to

  4. Love it! Totally love it! I seriously want to hang out more with this character. :)

  5. Great post - again!

    Love these character interviews. I still haven't sat mine down for a chat. Must work on that.... :)

  6. Another awesome interview :) Lots of fun!!

  7. Thanks guys for stopping by and for all your great comments. Harley's Penelope is such an amazing kid. Such a strong voice! Don't you just love Harley's interaction with her? Like Simon, I'm also drawn to the way that Harley got so angry she stormed out. I think you should always have strong reactions/attachments to your characters. If you're feeling sort of "blah" about them, its probably because they're sort of "blah."


Make your comment stand out. Use bold words. Or italics. Whatever.