Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Character interview - Brody Parkhill

Return to Hoffman Grove will be available for sale in just a few short days! (Sunday, to be exact.) Until then, you can pre-order the ebook for $0.99 at the links to the right. After that, it will sell for $3.99.

In preparation for the launch, I'm interviewing the hero of the book, Brody Parkhill. (No, he's not a real person. Yes, this is slightly schizophrenic, but this is how I find out more about my characters.)

Me: Hi! I'm so glad you could join us today. We met Cinda and Audrey in Living Canvas, but your name never came up. How do you know the ladies?

BP: We all went to high school together. In fact, Cinda was my best friend back then, but after graduation, I went out into the world "to seek my fortune." The rest of the gang I used to hang out with all stayed around town.

Me: You said Cinda was your best friend. How did you meet her?

BP: We played on a co-ed tennis team every summer, from junior high into high school. She and I used to compete for the tops spots on the team, and we occasionally played mixed doubles to break a tie at the tennis meets.

Me: It was the tennis that drew you together?

BP: Well, not really. I mean we had that in common, but it wasn't until I found out what an idiot  her father was that I actually noticed her. He gave her a hard time when she didn't win, chastised her for not being good enough, when she was actually damn good. I know what that feels like. I had a rough time with my dad, too. I guess I felt sorry for her, and once we started talking to each other, we realized we had more in common than we thought.

Me: So you started dating?

BP: {chuckles} We never dated back then. We were both too screwed up to attempt any sort of mature relationship. Mostly, we went out with our group of friends to commiserate about our dysfunctional home lives. For some of us, living through the day was an accomplishment. Add in teenage insecurities, lack of self-confidence, those things make it hard to maintain an emotional commitment.

Me: It says here you were gone for nine years, that no one knew what happened to you except your mother. Why didn't you keep in touch with your friends?

 BP: I was a bit of a hot-head. My temper got the better of me more often that I would have liked. I quit the tennis team when my closest opponent won the scholarship I wanted, and he got it because of my bad temperament. I started running instead, cutting myself off from everybody so they wouldn't see me as a loser. Whenever I tried to let Cinda know how I really felt about her, she used to joke and laugh me off. I figured that was her way of telling me she wasn't interested. It was easier to walk away than be rejected.

Me: But when you told her you were going to move away, didn't she ask to go with you?

BP: Have you seen her? The woman flips my switches. I couldn't live with her and maintain a platonic relationship, and if I pressed the issue, I would have lost my best friend. No, for the the same reason I quit tennis and took up running, I figured I'd be better on my own. I learned how to control my temper better when I was alone.

Me: I'm hearing that you had a few outbursts after your return to town though.

BP: {chuckles again} Yeah, well. After I left town, I didn't care enough about anything to get myself worked up. I didn't know anyone, didn't take the time to get to know anyone when I moved away. When I came home, my emotions rose right back to the surface.

Me:  Once a hot-head, always a hot-head?

BP: I prefer to think of myself as passionate, now. I know how to control my temper.

Me:  You have some friends who have tangled with domestic violence. Do you ever worry that your temper will push you too far and you might hurt the people you love?

BP: Absolutely not. I've found other outlets for my anger. I would never intentionally hurt the people I love. Anyone who threatens me and those people is another matter. I went a long time without my friends and family. I'd do whatever was necessary to protect them now that I have them back.

Me:  And you and Cinda?

BP: Man, she was mad at me for leaving her behind! I had no idea. I really didn't think she'd even notice I was gone. She has a passionate nature, too, and that bubbled up when we ran into each other again after all these years. I probably should have guessed right away from her reaction that she was fighting the same emotions I did. If she didn't care about me, she wouldn't have been so angry that I'd gone, right? All I can say is as much as I never thought I'd step foot in my home town again, I found out a lot about myself, including it's all right to be a hot-head sometimes. It's better than being numb, walking through life not feeling anything and not caring about anyone.

Me: Welcome back to Hoffman Grove, Brody!

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