A Character Interview with Ayma Kuntz from BROKEN plus a conversation with author Izzibella Beau!

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 Ayma Kuntz, a character from Broken, the Assumption Series Book One. We'll get a chance to talk to the author, Izzibella Beau, in a bit, but now we have on the stage...Ayma!

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

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

Ayma:  Sure.
Marie:  So, what is your occupation? 
Ayma:  Well, right now I’m a full-time student at Bayshore High.  
Marie:  Are you any good at it?  
Ayma:  I guess I’m good at school. I’ve taken every course that is available. Yep, that even includes all the honor and college prep courses. I’ve managed to pass them all with ‘A’s and as far as I know, I'm in the running to be valedictorian of our senior class. 
Marie:  Do you like it?

Ayma:  Does anyone really like high school? I like to see the friends that I have. But as far as sitting in a building for eight hours a day with people who were probably placed solely on this Earth to make my life hell, it is not what I would call ‘the best times of my life’. 

Marie:  Yeah, I know what you mean. So, what is your family like?  

Ayma:  My family is dysfunctional. I haven’t seen my father for two years and my mother is a controlling snobby bit…wait, I can’t cuss in an interview. My mother is a force to be reckon with. She tells me what classes I have to take for school, picks out my daily wardrobe, and seems to have an issue with me making friends. Since we live in the high end part of Tampa, like on Bayshore, and all of my friends are from outlying areas, it’s not like I can ever have a group get-together at her house because of her conceited attitude.  

Marie:  I see. Sorry to hear that. 

What did your childhood home look like?  

Ayma:  I’ve lived in the same home, or mansion, as my friends like to call it, since I was born. You know it’s your normal six bedroom, six bath house here on the Bay. I don’t know, I’ve never paid much attention to it. My friends who know where I live say it’s an awesome place, but how can I really like something when all I have is me, myself, and I? Yeah, there’s the beach right across the street and I have just about every tech device out there, but even that can get boring when it’s there constantly.   

Marie:  Do you have any hobbies? 
Ayma:  Hobbies…hmm…let’s see. I’m not athletic, coordinated, and I’m totally dance dyslexic. I guess my hobbies would have to be listening to Taylor Swift and One Direction, studying, and, of course, going on Facebook to see what everyone else is doing or has planned while I sit at home all alone every freaking day of the year. Oh well, never mind. You aren’t here to listen to some lonely girl whine about her life. I’ll try not to bring up my sorry-butt life again. See, I even remembered not to cuss.
Marie:  (Clears her throat.) Let's try something else.
So, what do you enjoy doing?
Ayma:  I like to…um…talk to Tabby. She’s been my best friend since sixth grade. I think she knows me better than I know myself sometimes. I have a sort of boyfriend, Colton. I mean I like spending time with him, but sometimes question whether or not he really likes me. He’s like all that and I’m so…just me. 
Marie:  Okay. What is your greatest dream? 
Ayma:  My greatest dream would have to be to move away from Bayshore and far away from my mother. Maybe get married after I finish college, that’s if Colton and I make it that far in our relationship. And I forgot, maybe have at least two children. I’m an only child and most of the time that means a lonely child. I would want more than one child so they would always have someone to play with, fight with, and do all the normal things that siblings should do.  
Marie: Good point. 
What kind of person do you wish you could be? 
Ayma:  I wish I could be more outgoing and not really worry about what others may or may not be saying behind my back. Well, most of the time it’s to my face, but I’m sure my nemeses say stuff when I’m not around.
Marie:  What is stopping you? 
Ayma:  This is an easy one to answer, my mother stops me from doing EVERYTHING! No friends, no social outings, no after school clubs, no dances…she’s what stops me from being like I wish I could. Other than that, my social anxiety and fear of looking like a total butt-head in front of a group of people stops me from being outgoing. 
Marie:  All right. Who was your first love? 
Ayma:  My first love would have to be Colton Greyson. He’s this awesome, sexy, so perfect guy. He came back to Bayshore Academy after being in juvenile hall for two years. I still don’t know why he was there, but all I know is he makes me feel alive. So yeah, Colton is my first love even if he doesn’t feel the same.    
Marie:  So, what's the most terrible thing that ever happened to you, Ayma?
Ayma:  You want just one? I can name probably a hundred that all stemmed from one day. Okay, lets’ see the most terrible thing that has ever happened to me. It would have to be my first day of middle school. As you can tell, I have a name that is…what would you call it, um…unique. As you know, my name is Ayma Kuntz. When I was in elementary school it was at high prestigious school. The kids there were from elite families and most didn’t know the slang words that other kids their age were using. So, I decided to go to public middle school because I just didn’t fit in to that whole ‘I’m so rich’ crowd attitude. Anyways, I had to tell my new teacher my name and well, you can probably figure out what all the kids in class said. It was humiliating for one, I didn’t even know what that meant and two, I had to go to school with these kids for the next six years. Yeah, my name has brought me a lot of grief. 
Marie:  Oh, no! I'm so sorry to hear that.  I know it's hard to be different.


Let's try something else, shall we? 


What was your dream growing up? 
Ayma:  I don’t know, I guess I just want to be loved. All through my childhood, I didn’t feel like I was loved. Yeah, my dad was there and tried to do things with me, but it seemed my mother always put a stop to whatever he wanted to do as a family. If you want to know what I want to be when I grow up or what I plan on majoring in college, I don’t know. My mother has groomed me to follow in her footsteps and become some high well-to-do lawyer, but that isn’t for me. I really don’t know what I want to do.  
Marie:  Have you achieved that dream now? If so, in what ways was it not what you expected? If you never achieved the dream, why not?
Ayma:  Not really. I know Tabby and my other friends love me and maybe Colton, but I don’t have the love that one needs from their parents.  

I haven’t achieved it yet because my mother is still a, well, I rather not say what I actually think of her just in case this interview gets leaked out. My father left and never looked back after the divorce, so him helping me achieve the feeling of being loved for just being me is one thing that may never happen.  

Marie:  I'm so sorry, hon. Let's try another question, hmm?


So, who is your role model? 
Ayma:  I really don’t have a role model per se, but I love how Taylor Swift can relate to how I feel with every song that she’s written. So, I guess maybe Taylor is my role model as she can understand the anguish that most of us suffer from in our lives.
Marie: Okay.  Is there someone you pretend to like but really dislike? 
Ayma:  Can I claim my mother? She’s about the only one I dislike, not hate because well, she is my mother, but I truly dislike her for how she acts. I don’t pretend to like anyone and NOT actually like them, that’s just being as fake as everyone else at school. 
Marie:  All right. Let's change tactics here.

What is your deepest desire?
Ayma:  Okay, I can feel my cheeks turning red from this question. If we are talking about like the whole sex thing, then I’m not the most experienced teen girl to discuss my deepest desires. I like never even seen a porn movie or you know, a guy’s thing in real life. I’ve seen pictures of naked guys, you know from the internet, but that’s about as far as my experience goes. 
Now, deepest desire in life is a little easier to answer. It’s all about the love. I think we all want to be loved unconditionally. 
Marie:  You got it. That's more what I meant.

So, what is your greatest fear, Ayma?
Ayma:  Losing everything that is close to me. I don’t think I could function properly if it weren’t for my best friend Tabby. She’s the one who I probably wouldn’t have made it through school without. I just couldn’t imagine NOT having her in my life. 
Marie:  Oh. I can understand that.

Well, it looks like we're running out of time, Ayma. Thank you for visiting us today.
Ayma:  Of course.
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 Izzibella Beau on the stage today!  Hi, Izzibella! 
Author Izzibella Beau:  Hello! 
Marie:  We just got to talk to the heroine of your story, Ayma.  Quite an interesting character. Can you tell us a little about her?
Izzibella:  Ayma is just like every other girl in high school. She’s beautiful, smart, funny, and a great person, but yet fails to realize it. She’s an only child of two high profile prosecutors. Her parents got divorced about two years ago and it seems her father has dropped off the face of the Earth and her mother is a control freak. Ayma has her close friends at school, but hasn’t had the chance to enjoy the experience of being a normal teen girl. She's never been out on a date, to a school dance, or even been kissed. She feels like she’s missing out on a lot of things because of her mother. She has a crush on Colton, but she feels he only likes her because they were stuck together as partners for one of their classes.  
Marie:  So, what are your character's greatest strengths? 
Izzibella:  Ayma’s greatest strength is her commitment to her friends. She would do anything for them, well, within her ability to do so. 
Marie:   What are her greatest weaknesses?  
Izzibella:  Ayma’s weakness is her inability to stand up for herself. She has let the same group of kids torment her since middle school. She also has anxiety attacks when a certain boy, whom she likes, talks to her. She needs to be more outgoing and realize that everyone in high school has their own insecurities.  
Marie:  Okay. What are some of her favorite foods?
Izzibella:  Well, she is quite fond of chicken since that is what the helpers that her mother has hired usually make for her. She doesn’t eat any type of fast food since her mother has strictly forbidden that and constantly mentions the ten pounds that Ayma may need to lose. But maybe Colton will be able to help her experience the pleasures of dining out once in a while.
Marie:  I hope so too!

So, what's a positive quality that your character is unaware that he or she has?
Izzibella:  Ayma is so unsure of herself in every aspect of whatever makes her unique. She is generous, caring, giving, and an overall great person, but yet she feels tied down because of her name and the way her mother controls her life. Ayma is very naïve in every sense and that helps to show that even though one may have brains, beauty, and wealth, they are still insecure about something in their life.  
Marie:  That's true.
Will readers like or dislike this character, and why?
Izzibella:  I think for the most part readers will like Ayma. She’s a normal teenage girl with the same insecurities that most people have at the age of seventeen. Although she seems like she’s not a heroine in Broken, the rest of the series will show just how much she has gone through and continues to do so in the midst of one year. 
Marie:  Great!
Well, now that we have a real taste of Ayma, we have a few questions for you as well as the author.

What first gave you the idea for Broken,
the Assumption Series Book One? 
Izzibella:  I picked the name Ayma Kuntz because it’s unique. It may seem vulgar and some may say that a parent would never do that to a child, but there are circumstances behind all of it. A true fact is that there are real life people with the same name just spelled differently. The title Broken came about because the two main characters, Ayma and Colton, feel just that way…Broken. They’ve been used and abused in the mental and emotional sense. The Assumption part came from the whole aspect of being a teen, high school, and all the complications that go with that time of our lives. We all assume we know what another is like by the way they dress, talk, act, classes they take, sports they play, and who their friends are…but those are all assumptions and in most cases we are wrong, so very wrong about who that person really is.
Marie:  All right.

What is your writing style like, Izzibella?  
Izzibella:   I just write, like I’m watching the movie in my mind and writing down all the details as it unfolds. I try not to go back and reread what I’ve written because I would end up changing the whole story and just trashing it. 
Marie:  Are you a pantster or a plotter?
Izzibella:  I’m a pantster in the beginning. I just write and let the story lead the way. I have begun to plot what’s going on in the Assumption Series, like for books eight or nine, but only mentally and nothing written. I can’t do outlines because I usually let the characters lead the way when writing. Most authors can attest to letting the voice inside of our heads direct us what to do. No, it’s not a mental illness; it’s just being an author.
Marie: (Laughs.) So true! The voices are often in control.

So, I’m throwing this one in for our aspiring writers.  Did you come across any specific challenges in writing Broken or getting it published? 
Izzibella:  No not really, writing Broken went fairly well. I kept listening to the same songs everyday and that led me to my character creations and their circumstances. I didn’t have an issue with publishing. I submitted book one to Beau Coup in March 2014 and it got accepted within a week. Broken (Assumption Series Book One) was released on Amazon and paperback in May 2014.  
Marie:  What would you do differently the next time? 
Izzibella:  I don’t really know if I’d do anything differently. I can’t complain where my books are ranking right now. I have a great support system within our Beau Coup family, so everything is going good. We all should be blessed with what we have and not expect the world to be handed to us. 
Marie:  I couldn't have said it better myself!

Well, it was such a pleasure having you here on Writing in the Modern Age, Izzibella. We hope you can come back sometime!  :)  
Izzibella:  Thank you for taking time to interview both myself and Ayma, have a wonderful day.  

Marie:  Of course! You have a great day as well. (Waves as her guest leaves.)
(Turns back to the audience.)
Readers, I hope you all get a chance to pick up a copy of this awesome book! 

Here is the blurb for Broken, the Assumption Series Book One.
Start the Assumption Series with book 1 – Broken

A girl’s senior year in high school should be a special time. Ayma’s expectations are not very high. She is the daughter of a control-freak mother and a father who has been absent for the past three years. She is ridiculed by the popular kids in school because of her unfortunate name and the way she dresses. Although she’s nearly eighteen, her mother controls every aspect of her life, including what she wears, who her friends are and even what foods she is allowed to eat. The only bright spot in her life is her friend Tabby. Until she meets Colton.

Colton is unexpected. He’s gorgeous, popular – the guy all the girls want and the one all of the other guys want to be like. When he begins to pay attention to Ayma, she doesn’t know what to think. Things like this just don’t happen to girls like her. One obstacle after another is thrown into their path, but they can’t deny what they feel for one another. Their new-found love will be threatened by secrets from their past, challenges in their present and a future they can only dream about. Ayma struggles to find an identity apart from her mother’s controlling nature while Colton faces the results of an arrest that took place the summer before his tenth grade year.

Can they find love and happiness? Or will they be destroyed by events beyond their control?
Purchase Links:
Universal Amazon link:  http://bookgoodies.com/a/B00K5CKZKS 

About Izzibella Beau:
Izzibella Beau is an author with Beau Coup LLC. She resides on a small farm with her husband and 31 children; 3 biological and 28 canine. Ms. Beau has a master degree in Criminal Justice and many graduate hours in the disciplines of social service and education. Ms. Beau is an advocate of animal rights and supports many rescue groups and causes.
Author Links:
Radio Interview:  http://www.blogtalkradio.com/beaucouppublishingllc/2014/12/16/chatting-with-bc-authors 
Izzibella's Books:  

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