Thursday, March 22, 2012

Guest: Mia Darien Hears Voices

Mia Darien Interviews Characters, not Authors. Do you know anyone to send her way? She'd love to hear from you. Visit her at

I hear voices.

No, really. As a writer, I have every character I've ever written - even ones I have killed off - in my head. They talk to me while I write. Sometimes they yell at me when I write something about them they don't like. When I've really annoyed one, they might stop talking to me and make writing very difficult.

The fun part is that I'm not the only author I've ever talked to who felt this way. It makes for entertaining conversations amongst writers. It's also the basis for a somewhat new section on my author website: Character Interviews.

I had seen them mentioned on other people's sites and when talking about blog tours, but I didn't have a lot of experience with them at first. But, since I do hear those voices, it wasn't hard to imagine. Really on a whim, I thought it would be fun to keep a continuous section going on my site and invite authors to let their characters loose on my site for a post.

It's been a learning curve, figuring out the best ways to go about it, but I've had some great authors jump on the wagon and we've put together some fun stuff.

I think it's enjoyable for both the reader and the writer for a variety of reasons. As a reader, you get to learn about the characters in a very "first hand" way, and get to learn about authors' fun sides. You learn about the book, and knowledge is power. It's a way to learn about new stories you wouldn't know of otherwise.

For the writer, it's a chance to step outside of ourselves. We can have fun, let the little voices loose for a while and get to interact with potential new fans in a different way than we usually do, but close enough to the usual (i.e., our writing) that it's not scary either.

Besides, who doesn't want a little time for fun every now and then?

I've now done interviews with all different types of authors with all kinds of books. It's been great for me to get a chance to interact with fellow writers, which I love to do, and to help them out with the ever difficult marketing and promotion, which I also like to be able to do. And I get to bring (I hope!) some enjoyment to my readers as well.

I offer two different kinds of interviews. Out of World interviews are where the character knows they are in a novel and answer a set of pre-arranged questions. This is kind of tongue-in-cheek and particularly light-of-heart. I ask the characters how they feel about being in a book, about the author, and who they want to play them if a movie was ever made of the book.

The In World interviews are where each interview is tailored specifically to the character and novel they are in, without the character 'knowing' they are in a book. This is fun in a different way. We get to see more of the setting and the character in that setting. Some of my authors, when I've been able to read their book before the interview (which isn't always possible, I'm afraid) have let me "play" in their world a little bit.

For example, in the interview with A. F. Stewart's Narwis, I got to write a vengeance-crazy monk training a deadly apprentice and in the one with Graham Stewart's Harry Charters, I got to write a big-shouldered broad in an earlier decade.

These are just a few of the different ways the interviews can happen, but no matter what the format, they're all fun... for all the reasons I've already said, and because it's nice to know I'm not the only one who hears voices!

And Mia's not the only one whose characters have a way of getting their attention. For an outspoken Michal who really rips into her author, check out Mia Darien's Character Interview: Rachelle Ayala & Michal from “Michal’s Window” at

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