An Interview with My Personal Vampire

One thing I always try to do is keep up the excitement … for my reading buddies as well as myself. Okay, especially for myself. There’s that lull. You know the one I’m talking about. You’ve done everything you can think of. You’ve written and rewritten, edited and put your work out there. Your novel has been scrutinized by everyone from your mom to your critique group to your published-author friends. You’ve written a sterling query letter that has garnered a surprising amount of interest. You’ve send out your sample chapters, first 100 pages, or full manuscript as requested and … 

Now what? 

Now you wait. Patiently. 

For me, that’s a little too much downtime to be comfortable with. Even though the second novel in the series is already outlined and begun, I still find myself wanting to keep on top of things. With Cold in California, I chose to create a special universe on the feature pages at my Author’s website, I wanted an opportunity to continue to explore my characters, give them a chance to show more of themselves to me and the viewers, and in turn, give me more reason to in fact write all five books in the series I envision. It’s been fun. Every week I write a little ditty as dictated by the vampires, trolls, leprechauns, werewolves and shape-shifters living inside my urban fantasy. 

This week I focused on my main character, Gabriel Strickland, a twice-baked, double-dead vampire living out a period of limbo in a West Hollywood warehouse purgatory of sorts. He wants to earn heaven and it’s his last chance. In his section of the site he’s told me a lot more about his background than I knew when I began writing Cold in California, and he’s whispered a few things in my ear to help steer his adventures in the second novel, Monkey Jump. He asked for a photo album and guided me to the pictures that capture his heart and soul … and I managed to bring in an entirely new character just for the Cold in California pages. 

Introducing former Elf and field reporter for The Purgatory Press, Glissanna Stinger. She recently visited the West Hollywood holding tank to report on the demised supernaturals residing there. She takes her chances and interviews new arrival, Gabriel Strickland. 

Amazing how much he told a reporter that he didn’t even tell me! 

Ms. Stinger will be interviewing several of the residents at the holding tank, including Crudo Cushman, the Troll in charge and his former werewolf buddy, Pete Maloney. 

Ah well. It’s fun. And who says you can’t have fun with your characters? 

By the way, just a small note to those suffering through the development of a character. Have you ever thought about interviewing them before you start your story? I mean, really. Already they’re alive and bopping around inside your mind; perhaps the whole process of putting them on paper would be easier if you just ask them a few questions. Things you don’t imagine will be part of your story but may well influence it in a polished and well-rounded sort of way. Ask about their family history; their first crush; the worst thing they ever did as a kid. You just might be surprised how much these characters want you to know. Give your characters a say before you start. You’ll never be sorry!

About Deborah Riley-Magnus

Deborah Riley-Magnus is an author and an Author Success Coach. She has a twenty-seven year professional background in marketing, advertising, and public relations as a writer for print, television, and radio. She writes fiction and non-fiction. Since 2010, she had two novels released. In 2013 her nonfiction, Finding Author Success (Second Edition), and Cross Marketing Magic for Authors were released. Her newest book, Write Brain/Left Brain, focuses on bridging the gap between the creative writer and the marketing author. Deborah produces several pieces monthly for various websites and online publications. She writes an author industry blog and teaches online and live workshops as The Author Success Coach. She belongs to several writing and professional organizations. Deborah has lived on both the east and west coast of the United States and has traveled the country widely. She is a native of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and recently returned after living in Los Angeles, California for several years. View all posts by Deborah Riley-Magnus

4 responses to “An Interview with My Personal Vampire

  • sulci

    Glissana STRINGER if she’s a reporter?


  • Rob Charron

    Hi 🙂
    What a great blog post.
    I’ve read about doing the interview technique before and it really works, bringing the character more into focus and giving the character depth too.
    Thanks for sharing.
    Love and best wishes,
    PS- Nice title for this blog post too!

  • Deborah Riley-Magnus

    Thanks so much for visiting, Rob! I honestly think the interview technique is one of the best I ever tried. It helps me understand the characters’ motivations and really gives them a voice.


  • Judy

    Hi Riley! Love that concept of ‘interviewing your own character’. It really puts it into a whole new perspective! I am going to go interview my main character now – then go ask her friends what they really think of her…*wicked laugh* 😉

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