A Character Interview with Alice from GUARDIAN HOUSE plus a conversation with author Natalie O'Neil!

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 Alice Liddell, a character from Guardian House. 
We'll get a chance to talk to the author, Natalie O'Neil, in a bit, but now we have on the stage...Alice! 


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

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

Alice:  All right.
Marie:  So, what is your occupation? Are you any good at it?  Do you like it?
Alice:  I am a student and I'm unemployed.
Marie:  So, what is your family like?
Alice:  Considering they dumped me at Guardian House as a child, making me a ward of the state, I'd say they are pretty crappy parents.
Marie:  What did your childhood home look like?
Alice: My parents were typical rich snobs. They wore only the finest clothing, had lavish dinner parties, and pawned me off on nannies while they took luxurious vacations without me. Then they wondered why I had a wild imagination and make-believe friends.
Marie:  Okay.  
Do you have any hobbies now? What do you enjoy doing?
Alice:   I love exploring. I'm very inquisitive! I also like hanging with my bestie Dorothy, and planning and designing the apartment we hope to share one day when we leave Guardian House.  

Marie: What is your greatest dream, Alice? 


Alice:  I want to get out of Guardian House, and live a normal life. I want to date, and sip coffee at a Bistro, and watch cheesy movies in my flat with my best friends!



Marie:  Well, good!  :)


Let's try something else. 


What kind of person do you wish you could be? What is stopping you?


Alice: I wish I could be like everyone else. I wish I could remember and understand what happened to me when I was little, and I wish I could put it all behind me. 


Marie:  So, who was your first love?


Alice: Ha ha ha, I think I'm just getting to that point. There's this guy, Tim, and I think there's something there between us. But it's pretty new, so I don't want to jinx it.


Marie: All right. I can understand that.
So, what's the most terrible thing that ever happened to you?


Alice: That's a tough one. I think you'll need to read Guardian House. I don't want to give it away.




 Marie:  We'll be sure to check that out.


Let's try something else, shall we? 


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?

Alice: I think, before entering Guardian House, I never thought about those kind of things. But now that I'm stuck here, all I dream about is getting out!


Marie: That's understandable.


So, who is your role model, Alice?


Alice:  Dorothy Gale, my best friend. 


Marie:  Is there someone you pretend to like but really dislike?


Alice:  Oh yes, every day. Any of the Drones at Guardian House. We all have to pretend to like them to avoid getting put in solitary. But it's no secret, none of us can stand them!


Marie:  All right.  


What is your deepest desire?


Alice:  Right now, I want nothing more than to solve the mystery of Guardian House. 


Marie:  So, what is your greatest fear?

Alice:  Losing my best friend.


Marie: I see.
Well, it looks like we're running out of time, Alice. Thank you for visiting us today. 

Alice:  Thank you for letting me visit.

Marie:  Of course! 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 Natalie O'Neil on the stage today!  Hi, Natalie!


Author Natalie O'Neil:  Hi, Marie! It's so nice to be here!
Marie:  (Smiles.) Welcome to Writing in the Modern Age!  It's good to see you again. The last time I got to see you was on the MLB blog
So, we just got to talk a female character from your story...Alice.  Quite an interesting character. Can you tell us a little about her?

Natalie:  Alice is a very bright, yet extremely curious young woman struggling with the trials and tribulations of becoming an adult, finding her true self, and understanding how her past may come to shape her future. 

Marie:  All right. 
What are your character's greatest strengths? 

Natalie: Her drive. Alice won't stop until she uncovers what she's searching for. 


Marie: Well, I can certainly admire that!
So, what are her greatest weaknesses? 

Natalie: Ironically, her curiosity can also lead her to truths she may not be prepared to learn about.


Marie: What else can you tell us about Alice?


Natalie: Alice is a reader. She'll read anything with a mystery!


Marie:  Great! 

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


Natalie: Alice is unbelievably resilient. Even though she may not remember, she has handled a lot of trauma in her life, and will have to face much more as she becomes a woman. 


Marie:  Will readers like or dislike this character, and why?


Natalie: I think readers will relate well to Alice, her quirks and her struggles. 


Marie:  I agree. After meeting her, I want to find out what happens next too! :)
Well, now that we have a real taste of Alice Liddell, we have a few questions for you as well as the author.

What first gave you the idea for
Guardian House

Natalie: I love Alice in Wonderland and The Wizard of Oz, but I always wanted to see them as they got older, and wondered what it would be like if I got Alice and Dorothy together in the same universe.


Marie: Fascinating!  
Let's try something else. 
What is your writing style like, Natalie?  Are you a pantster or a plotter?

Natalie:  I am a dialoguer. I like getting characters talking. 


Marie: Great!  

So, I’m throwing this one in for our aspiring writers.  Did you come across any specific challenges in writing Guardian House or getting it published?  What would you do differently the next time? 

Natalie: I struggle with staying on track, and with verb tense agreement. I need to write continuously. I can't have a lapse in between. 


Marie:  That's great advice!

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


Marie:  Of course!

Readers, here is the blurb for Guardian House.

Curious. That’s the one word Alice uses to describe herself in her Group Therapy sessions. She thinks it has a nicer ring to it than the crazy her parents called her before they abandoned her at Guardian House with other unwanted misfits. Thanks to a childhood incident, Alice can’t remember if she actually visited the fantasy land that appears in pieces of her memory. But she knows her instincts are trying to tell her something is up at Guardian House, and she is too curious to avoid it.  

After years of struggling to find her own kind of normal, Alice has found a sense of sanity with some of the patients, especially her best-friend-she’s-basically-family Dorothy, and her hunky crush Tim.  Alice’s goal, aside from finding the courage to let Tim know how she feels, is to be discharged and leave Guardian House. That is, until mad Hattie reminds them of the legend of the evil Red Queen. Aided by quirky Therapy friends, secrets of the mysterious Dr. Wize, and a little magic, Alice must fight to save her friend’s lives – even if it means betraying the only thing she has grown to rely on.

Purchase Links:

Universal Amazon Link:  http://bookgoodies.com/a/B013V3NS7Y

Barnes & Noble:http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/guardian-house-natalie-oneil/1122544334

CreateSpace:  https://www.createspace.com/5675963 

Sounds like a great book!

Readers, don't forget to pick up a copy of Natalie's awesome new release!

And if you're in the New Jersey area on Saturday, swing by for her cool release party! :)


About Natalie O'Neil:

Natalie O’Neil is proud to announce the publication of her first novel, Guardian House, an urban fantasy mash-up of her favorite childhood mischief-makers. Enticed by the bizarre, Natalie’s unconventional predilections have been know to lead her down more than one path not frequently taken, and she’s always up for the adventure. 

Natalie is fascinated by the Victorian Era, Steampunk, and alternate realities, allowing her to often romanticize about a time and place that never actually existed, except for in her mind. This magical, whimsical, and sometimes frightening imaginary world inspires both her writing and her real life. 

A graduate of Rutgers University, Natalie taught high school English & Creative Writing for many years before becoming an innovator in educational technology. As a Technology Coordinator, Google Certified Teacher and Trainer, Raspberry Pi Certified Teacher, and Adjunct Professor, Natalie is passionate about sharing the benefits of technology and the arts with educators around the world. 

When she isn’t traveling, Natalie can be found at home in New Jersey with her husband, often spoiling her American Eskimo pup, refinishing shabby chic home furnishings, or finding creative ways to entertain and educate. 


Author Links: 


Website/Blog:  http://natalieoneil.com/
LinkedIn:  https://www.linkedin.com/pub/natalie-o-neil/90/492/797
Google+:  https://plus.google.com/+NatalieVazquezONeil/posts

Natalie's Book: 


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