Monday, June 2, 2014

Interview with characters from 'Imogen's Chance'

Welcome to the final blog tour post for 'Imogen's Chance'. It's also the first interview/guest post for this blog. As I'm hoping to have more from now on, I thought it would be perfect to start them rolling with my own characters. I want to thank those who have sent questions for my characters to answer. For everybody who has sent one or enjoyed the book, I hope you'll sit back and enjoy this post to wrap up the blog tour.

Iola - Imogen, where did you fit into the American High School pecking order? We all know they are full of cliques. There are geeks, nerds, sporty guys, cheerleaders, chess and more.

Imogen - Hi Iola, that was the big question that drove me crazy for a long time. I've noticed, from talking to my brother-in-law who works as a High School chaplain, that school clubs are quite different in Australia. My school was full of exclusive clubs called sororities.

We students attended what they call 'sorority parties', which reminded me a bit of the job interviews I've done in latter years. The heads go off to whisper and write down their thoughts about you on pieces of paper. Then, if you impress them, they offer you a bid to join. We all knew that decisions were made based on who the sorority heads thought would make their group look good. Sometimes there were sorority 'legacies' in which girls whose mothers, aunts or sisters had been members received invitations based on nostalgia, keeping others out.

All I did, toward the end of my time at school, was try to keep a low profile. I did get invited to join the Chemistry club once, which pleased my dad, who's a doctor. It soon became clear to me that I didn't have the same passion or aptitude as the others, and they all knew it. Toward the end of my schooling, I ended up in the library reading books.

Jeanette - Imogen, who is your favourite author, and why?

Imogen - Hi Jeanette, I find it hard to single out one particular person, but visiting Australia in my past made me curious about your country's literature. I noticed that I couldn't find many Australian titles on the shelves of our bookstores in New York City, so I grew fascinated to look for Australian fiction. As my parents and brothers had gone off as missionaries to remote Alice Springs, I started with classics such as 'A Town Like Alice' and 'We of the Never Never'. It stimulated my appetite stories about your beautiful country, and my interest hasn't stopped.

More recently, I've discovered Australian Christian fiction authors. Somebody gave me 'The Greenfield Legacy' so I started with those four authors and branched off from there. I don't know what to think of Paula Vince's writing but her characters are so easy for me to relate to, it feels strange and even a bit bizarre.

Susan - Asher, now that you're well again, are you going to return to your old job, or look for something completely different?

Asher - Hey Susan, that's a good question. To be honest, I've been enjoying the break and haven't given that a lot of thought yet. Actually, it's only been a little while since my boss from Lewis and Thorne stopped sending me urgent assignments to do from home. It was a drag and I definitely don't want to go back. I'm wondering whether to do some further study and go for something entirely different. Dentistry, maybe. Anything but computer software engineering.

Seth - Yeah, dentistry would be perfect for my little bro. He'd have a captive audience. Go on, be a dentist. You could talk to your heart's content.

Asher - Very funny. I think my brother missed his own calling. He should have been a comedian instead of a chaplain.

Seth - Sometimes, in my job, you have to be both. Seriously though, Asher is the sort of person who can find a way to be anything he wants to be. We're all proud of him and will keep encouraging him to make sure that whatever it is will tick all the right boxes for him and inspire him.

Julia - Marian, how does it feel to have a new grandson named Hayden? I can see why they chose that name, but does it hurt a bit, after all that happened with your husband?

Marian - Hi Julia, wow, I'm flattered to have been asked a question. He's a gorgeous little baby, and I don't think it's just grand-parental bias. Seth and Jodie are wonderful parents, so I guess it's natural that he would be. We all love him, and he seems to enjoy being passed around from hand to hand for cuddles at every family gathering.

As for your question, no, I have no problem with them naming him Hayden. I always loved my husband and I'm sure it would have touched his heart very much. The more I think about it, the more it strikes me what a trendy, modern name it is with its English origins. Most of the people I counsel and attend church with seem to have named their children after people from the Bible. That gets a bit old after awhile, so I'm glad we have something different.

Asher - Mum, that sounds a bit rich coming from a lady who named her sons Seth and Asher.

Marian - That's enough cheek from you. Sorry, on second thoughts, keep it coming. You can joke as much as you like. I'm taking on Imogen's decision to never tell you to be quiet again.

Seth - Well, I think you'll both be sorry for speaking too soon, so I'm not making that decision.

Asher - Not that it matters if you do or not, because I'm not going to keep quiet anyway.

Dale - Imogen, what is your favourite daydream?

Imogen - Hi Dale, my favourite daydream has always been to have a husband and children of my own to care for. After growing up with hostile foster brothers and sisters who would come and go, I really want the experience of a close-knit family unit who will stay bonded through thick and thin. 

Now we're up to the part where we share some of Asher's Thank You notes which didn't make it into the novel.

Asher - Hey, this is a bit embarrassing. I was just mucking around and being silly. Nobody cares about all that.

Yes, some reviewers mentioned that the Thank You notes were one aspect of the book that they appreciated most of all. So here are the ones which were taken out, just for this interview post.

Dear Five o' clock Shadow,
Thanks for reminding me that even I've started losing hair fast, it's bound to grow back one day.

Dear Bananas,
Thanks for giving my left shoulder a challenge with your peels. I think it's feeling a bit less sore now. Not all that long ago, even holding you in my left hand while I peeled you with my right would have hurt. Thanks that I get to eat you as my reward for peeling you. And thanks for your peels. At the moment, I can ask family members to put them in the bin for me, and they don't say, "Do it Yourself." I can milk this for all it's worth. You're a pretty awesome fruit.
Dear America,
Thanks for all the stories Imogen is telling me about you, inspiring my desire to want to travel. You're giving me even more incentive to want to get well so I can visit you some day. Thanks for the places she used to hang out at in New York. Thanks for Central Park, Times Square and the Statue of Liberty. Thanks also that she's in Australia right now, because she's a really encouraging and fun person to have around. I suppose I could have made this a 'thanks Imogen' letter, but I find it easier to thank things and places rather than people.

Dear Imogen's Freckles,
Thanks for being so cool and subtle. Thanks for showing me that small things add great character to people. Thanks for being spread so evenly and perfectly across her nose, making me feel cheerful whenever I look at you guys. I suppose this is a really stupid letter but I have nothing better to mention today.

Thanks again. I hope you enjoyed this post.


  Imogen's Chance available from Amazon


  1. Hi Imogen
    Thanks for answering my question. I'm glad you found some great Australian literature. I enjoyed reading the Greenfield Legacy too - and Paula Vince is one of my favourite Aussie authors. Maybe you should read some more of her books.

  2. And thanks very much for putting forward a question, Jeanette. We didn't get a lot, but the ones we did get were great and a pleasure to answer.

  3. Thanks Iola. Actually a little trickier than I'd expected but the challenge was excellent.

  4. I liked the Thank You notes best of all! Their simple/straightforward tone and underlining humor balanced the serious nature of the story. Great idea!

    1. Hi Sara,
      I'm glad I had him write them. They seemed to spring naturally from his heart and personally, and they did add a lighter tone to story that had its more serious moments, I think. Thanks.

  5. Paula, I am so stealing this idea of a reader-generated interview! I'm glad there were questions for different characters, and really, you received a good amount of questions. Too many, and you might have felt the answers needed to be super-short. I enjoyed hearing from these folks I remember as friends. And I'm one of the ones who wanted to see the rest of Asher's thank you notes, so thanks for those too.

    1. Hi Janet,
      Yes, go for it. It was a lot of fun. I think you're right. If there were many more, I might have had to split it into two blog posts. I liked the variety too. That's probably one of the benefits of asking readers to put them forward.

  6. What a fun interview with your characters.

  7. Hi Dale, I loved it. Not knowing what they were going to face was great.