Friday, March 20, 2015

A Character Interview with Kristen Mancuso from THE GUARDIAN OF MY SOUL plus a conversation with author Emily A. Lawrence!

Today we're bringing something different to Writing in the Modern Age in the form of a character interview.  These character interviews, now and in the future, should prove to be very enlightening for all of us. 

We have the pleasure of meeting Kristen Mancuso, a character from The Guardian of My Soul. We'll get a chance to talk to the author, Emily A. Lawrence, in a bit, but now we have on the stage...Kristen!
 
Interview

 
Marie Lavender:  Hello, Kristen.  Please have a seat.

Character Kristen Mancuso:  Thank you.  It's a pleasure to be here.
 
 
 
Marie:  We're going to start out with some simple questions, okay? 

Kristen:  Sure.
 
Marie:  So, what is your occupation? Are you any good at it?  Do you like it?
 
Kristen:  I graduated from UCLA with a degree in management, and now I work for my mother, who is a fashion designer, in her marketing division. I enjoy the experience and being able to learn from her, but one day I hope to be my own boss.  
 
Marie:  Well, that's understandable. What is your family like? 
 
Kristen:  Born and raised in a wealthy family, I’ve always had everything my heart desired, except the freedom to make my own choices in life. Ever since my father passed away when I was little, I’ve lived with my mother. Her over-protectiveness increased as I grew older. Even though I know she means well, that she loves me and wishes nothing but the best for me, she sometimes smothers me too much. That’s when I wish I had other siblings the most.  
 
Marie:  I see. What did your childhood home look like? 
 
Kristen:  I was raised in my family’s mansion in Los Angeles, where we still currently live. Located in Beverly Hills, it offers a wonderful panorama of the rolling hills north of Sunset Boulevard. My home is peaceful and it’s equipped with any facility one could possibly wish for, including a gym and a large swimming pool.   
 
Marie:  Wow!

So, do you have any hobbies? What do you enjoy doing?
 
Kristen:  I love horses and I’ve been riding ever since I can remember. Whenever I get some free time, I’m eager to escape the madness of the city and head over to my family’s ranch in Kentucky where I spend most of my time with Marley, my fourteen-year-old black stallion.  
 
Marie:  Okay. What is your greatest dream?
 
Kristen:  One of my other passions is designing jewelry. My biggest dream is to one day have my own company. I’m just waiting for the best moment to bring it up to my mother, who is unaware of anything that has to do with my love for sketching all kinds of new designs, nor of the stash I’ve created, which I keep hidden from her. She’s always envisioned us working together and one day passing on her company to me. Now that her dream has come true, I’m not sure how she will receive the news, but I can’t help but hope she’ll be supportive.  
 
Marie: What kind of person do you wish you could be? What is stopping you?
 
Kristen:  I wish I could be a normal twenty-one-year-old girl and experience the freedom that comes with that age. What’s stopping me? My mother’s fame. I can’t go anywhere without a bodyguard. She says it’s imperative to be protected at all times. Sometimes I wonder if it’s just another way for her to keep up with what I do or if there’s really any danger out there...
 
Marie:  All right. Who was your first love? 
 
Kristen:  I used to tell myself I would never fall in love...until I did. Problem is? He’s the very last person I want to love, the man I consider to be like a symbol of my lost freedommy twenty-four-year-old bodyguard. 
 
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Marie:  Wow! Now I really want the juicy tidbits...(Laughs.)
 
So, what's the most terrible thing that ever happened to you, Kristen?
 
Kristen:  My father’s death. He was my everything and then he was gone. Things were never the same after that... 
 
Marie:  Oh, no! I'm so sorry for you loss, Kristen. 

(Pauses.)

Let's try something else, shall we? 

(Nods.)

What was your dream growing up? Did you achieve that dream? If so, in what ways was it not what you expected? If you never achieved the dream, why not?
 
Kristen:  I’ve always wanted to be independent, be able to do everything I set my mind to do, travel the world and grow outside the influence of high society. I’m still working on that...   
 
Marie:  Well, that's a worthy goal. So, who is your role model? 

Kristen:  My father. He was gentle, caring, successful, and he always knew the right things to say.
 
Marie: Is there someone you pretend to like but really dislike?
 
Kristen:  There are quite a few...but the one who creeps me out the most is the CEO of Jaya Cosmetics, Niall Tomlinson, who’s helping Mother with launching a fragrance.
 
Marie:  Let's try another question.

What is your deepest desire?
 
Kristen:  To grow old with the man I love and our children. To live life to the fullest and at the end of the day to have no regrets.  
 
Marie:  I can respect that.

So, what is your greatest fear?
 
Kristen:  Losing another person I love. I’ve watched my mother suffer for so many years. I don’t know if I’m strong enough to survive another loss.
 
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Marie:  Oh. I can understand that.

Well, it looks like we're running out of time, Kristen. Thank you for visiting us today.
 
Kristen: Thank you for having me, Marie! :)

I wish you luck with everything. It was so interesting getting to know you.  (Waves at her guest as she heads off the stage.)

Now, let's shift over and get the author's perspective.  We have Emily A. Lawrence on the stage today!  Hi, Emily!
 
 
 
 
Author Emily A. Lawrence:  Hello, Marie! 
  

 
 
 
Marie:  Of course!
 
We just got to talk to the heroine of your story, Kristen.  Quite an interesting character. Can you tell us a little about her?

Emily:  Kristen is a twenty-one-year-old girl freshly out of college, who instead of being offered more freedom is shackled with a new bodyguard, whom she can’t stand at first. Or can’t she, really? She likes to be in control...until she meets her matchAlec Warner.     
 
Marie:  All right.

So, what are your character's greatest strengths?
 
Emily:  She’s smart and cocky, and knows how to get herself out of a difficult situation.
 
Marie:  I can respect those traits. 

What are her greatest weaknesses?  
 
Emily:  Alec. No one has ever impacted her as much as he did. He opened her eyes in many ways and showed her a different world than the one she was accustomed to. She would do anything to protect him and their relationship.
 
Marie:  Okay. What are some of her favorite foods?
 
Emily:  She loves chicken, chocolate, and her favorite food is pancakes with maple syrup.  
 
Marie:  Well, I certain love all of those too, but not together! (Laughs.) 

So, what's a positive quality that your character is unaware that he or she has? 

Emily:  Despite her wealth, she’s a humble, down to earth person.  
 
Marie:  Will readers like or dislike this character, and why?
 
Emily:  Hmm, I think they will love her once they get to know the real her. She’s a strong woman who’s been through a lot, and I loved watching her grow throughout the story and become a woman in the end.  
 
 
Marie:  Well, now that we have a real taste of Kristen, we have a few questions for you as well as the author.

What first gave you the idea for The Guardian of My Soul?
 
 
Emily:  It was the idea of impossible love. Bringing together two people with apparently nothing in common, and from totally different backgrounds and social statuses, and watching them overcome all the obstacles they had to face in their relationship.  
 
Marie:  All right.

What is your writing style like, Emily?  Are you a pantster or a plotter?
 
Emily:  I never sit down and plot. I don’t have an outline when I start a new story. I have an idea on how I want it to begin, certain events that should take place, and a vague ending, but I never know what’s going to happen next. I’m never sure what a writing day is going to be like. I get ideas as I write. Sometimes I have several options on how to continue and when that happens, I usually take a breather and detach myself from it for a while, thinking about how the story could develop depending on the path I choose. That said, I am definitely a pantser.
 
Marie: Great! 

So, I’m throwing this one in for our aspiring writers.  Did you come across any specific challenges in writing The Guardian of My Soul or getting it published?  What would you do differently the next time?  
 
Emily:  My biggest challenge was and still is time. Since I am also an editor, I am always working on something, so it’s difficult to find time to write. When I do sit down to write, though, I shut everything off and focus on the words playing around in my head. If I were to offer any advice to aspiring writers it would be to write what they know, in the genres they enjoy reading most. If anyone wants to become a writer, they must be readers firstand most importantly they must be willing to learn. It’s the only way to constantly improve oneself.    
 
Marie:  That's great advice!

Well, it was such a pleasure having you here on Writing in the Modern Age, Emily. We hope you can come back sometime!  :) 

Readers, I hope you all get a chance to pick up a copy of this awesome book! 

http://bookgoodies.com/a/B00GQMHNNI

Here is the blurb for The Guardian of My Soul.
 
When Kristen Mancuso turned twenty-one she thought she would finally find the freedom she craved. She was wrong.

In spite of the luxury she lived in, Kristen was unhappy, a prisoner in her own home. When her overprotective mother hired Alec Warner to be her personal bodyguard, Kristen rebelled against it, unaware of the true reason why he was needed. She didn't know the kind of danger lurking just around the corner. 

Having Alec shadow her every move was the last thing she wanted. Or, so she thought...

Kristen was drawn to the handsome, intimidating Alec. While committed to his job, he refused to allow her to control him the way she did other men. Though their relationship was volatile and explosive from the start, they discovered they had more in common than they ever dreamed. They battled each other while they fought demons from their past and secrets which could tear them apart.

This was a battle where losing could very well give them everything their souls desired...

*Content Warning: intended for mature audiences 18+

Purchase Links:

Universal Amazon link:  http://bookgoodies.com/a/B00GQMHNNI 
 

 
http://www.amazon.com/Emily-A.-Lawrence/e/B00D0AYX78/
 
About Emily A. Lawrence:
 
Emily A. Lawrence lives in Transylvania with her family, hence her love for anything paranormal. Her passion for writing began in high school, and she hasn't stopped since.
Having her family's support, and encouraged by friends and fellow authors, she pursued her dream of becoming a published author, landing her first contract in 2013.
Emily loves immersing herself in the worlds she creates and giving life to characters readers can identify themselves with. Usually, she writes contemporary romance in three heat levels: sweet, sensual, and erotic. However, she plans to try her hand at other genres, too, such as paranormal or mystery.
When she's not writing, she enjoys traveling and experiencing new cultures, new sceneries, food, meeting new people, or simply reading a good book.

Author Links:



 



 
 

Emily's Books:   
 
http://www.amazon.com/Last-Surprise-Souls-Desire-Book-ebook/dp/B00S6ZSXQE/
   
http://www.amazon.com/Unforgettable-Hearts-Souls-Desire-Book-ebook/dp/B00JBQAWWK/
  
http://bookgoodies.com/a/B00GQMHNNI
 
http://www.amazon.com/Dream-Come-True-Emily-Lawrence-ebook/dp/B00HCN050I/
 
http://www.amazon.com/Hopeful-Dreams-Beginnings-Weekend-Getaways-ebook/dp/B00EQJ3RXS/
 
http://www.amazon.com/Dreams-Lonely-Soul-Weekend-Getaways-ebook/dp/B00CZXWGNO/
 

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