An Interview with Jesse...and Remyby Alexandra Shostak
Welcome to the second post of the Character Interviews series, an ongoing series of interviews/chats between fictional characters and their creators.
On that tinkling note, I'd like to introduce you to today's guest blogger, Alexandra Shostak, a brilliant up-and-coming steampunk author (you may have already come across her magnificence on Twitter or elsewhere). But you might be surprised to discover that Alexandra writes, in particular young adult steampunk, breaking--as in all things--the mold. If you're not familiar with steampunk, I urge you to check out Alexandra's succint description of the genre from her guest post, "An Introduction to Steampunk," on Sara McClung's writerly blog The Babbling Flow of a Fledgling Scribbler.
A little something about Ms. Alexandra Shostak
Here's what she told me to tell you: "Alexandra Shostak is a YA fantasy writer and creative writing major in her junior year of college, currently hunting for an agent." Well, okay Miss Emily-Dickinson-totally-downplay-your-abilities-in-every-way. Here's the expanded truth: Alexandra is a brilliant writer--seriously, you should check out her blog, The publication follies of miss Alexandra Shostak . She writes in a very heartfelt, very honest manner--she's totally no-holds barred. Weeks ago, Alexandra posted photos of her scribbled-upon arms and legs, which she'd used as notepads when paper was lacking. Isn't that totally rockin? What I love most about her: she's one of the most supportive writers around. I've never met her personally, but she offers her encouragement as if we'd been meeting for coffee every Friday since the last winter Olympics. And let me tell you a little secret...shh...this girl is gonna be big. So check her out.
A personal note from Alexandra about her characters
Jesse Phoenix is one of the main characters of my steampunk novel MEMENTO MORI, and Remy Daae is the leading lady of PHANTOM BEAUTY, my novel based on Phantom of the Opera and Beauty and the Beast. I promise, they’re not this abrasive in their respective manuscripts. Er… well, not quite, anyway.
Anyway, thanks Carol/Carolina for letting me post an interview! It was a lot of fun to write!
Meet Jesse, the devilish outlaw, and sullen Remy, a most cheeky opera singer
Alexandra: So Jesse, maybe you can tell everyone a little about how you became an infamous outlaw?
Jesse: I was better than the rest of them. (Laughs.) Everyone else got caught by the government, but even as a teenager I came home with stolen gold every night. My brother and I—
(Someone coughs. Alexandra and Jesse look, but no one is there.)
Alexandra: Sorry, Jesse. Go on.
Jesse: We started off with—
(Another cough. Alexandra looks around, and rolls her eyes.)
Alexandra: Yes, Remy?
Remy: Forgive me, but I cannot comprehend what made you choose him for this interview.
Alexandra: (dryly) instead of you.
Remy: Well, yes.
Jesse: Who exactly are you?
Remy: You don’t recognize me? How can you call yourself a citizen of Valo and not recognize me?
Jesse: Well, I don’t recognize you. But come to think of it, why don’t you recognize me?
Alexandra: Jesse Phoenix, meet Remy Daae.
Jesse: Wait. You’re dead.
Remy: Do I look dead?
Jesse: But you’re in that stupid opera—the historical one about the Phantom from years ago. You’re the main character. Gods are you annoying.
Remy: Excuse me?
Alexandra: Yes, Jesse. Remy was born over a hundred years before you. So I really don’t know what she’s doing here right now (fixes Remy with a pointed glare.)
Remy: I’m saving your interview. This boor can’t possibly be as interesting as I am.
Alexandra: I think I’ve got it under control.
Remy: I think you should start over.
Jesse: Maybe you should go back to being dead.
Alexandra: You two do realize that you’re screwing up the entire spacetime continuum of my world by meeting each other, don’t you?
Jesse and Remy: Your world?
Remy: Which one of us is the best opera singer in the country?
Jesse: I’d like to see you steal an entire trunk of gold from a moving train.
Alexandra: Okay! That’s it! (Opens up a word document. Narrates as she types.) Remy Daae was the most beautiful mute to ever—
Remy: Hey! Don’t you dare add that to the manuscript!
Alexandra: Will you let me interview Jesse like I planned?
Remy: (sullenly) Yes.
(Remy stalks off, but when Alexandra looks around for her outlaw, he’s gone off to rob a bank.)
Holy cow, Alexandra has gone and shaken up the interview experiment by having characters from different books collide in the author's world! Pretty cool, huh? No, not just cool--Steampunk FABULOUS! Love it! So, we've got outlaws, opera singers, magic, fantasy worlds...steampunk in all its glory. But poor Alexandra was left all alone at the end of the interview! Wonder how she'll exact her revenge? Hmm....
Oh yes, and my friends call me Carol. So please, call me Carol. Carolina is my birth/author name, which I can't seem to grow into. 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