20. What are your favorite character interactions to write?
This is kind of a broad question, as any scene that isn't just a character doing something on her own is essentially "character interactions," but okay, let's say that I most enjoy writing character interactions that bring out traits I like in characters. Azilie and Solar are a lot of fun because of the way their intense, competitive, and teasing personalities play off each other; Azilie and Questri less so, although they're best friends, because even though they've always been best friends, they're not all that much alike, and at this stage it makes you kind of wonder about their friendship, which is a little sad. So yeah, any character interaction that shows the character acting in a way that I think would make them a fun person to be around is my favorite to write. However, those aren't generally the most important scenes. (Azilie and Questri's scenes are rather more important to the point of the story, for the reason I just described.)
So if I can take this vague question on a tangent, this kind of shows why I tend to write happier stories in general. If a character is upset, then I get upset. I have to really try to feel what they are feeling. (Probably why darker stories are hard for me, because I have to get into people's heads when they feel hurt or anger that I may never have felt in that way or that degree. I think this is a really useful and rewarding exercise for an author, but it's just that: exercise. And exercise can hurt, and if you're not ready for that level of exercise, you can injure yourself!) So it may be a masochistic streak that makes me want to put myself through that (though I think authors who do that contribute something very important to our culture). Then again, most of the stories I write are pretty positive, so I'm obviously not that mean to myself.
21. Do any of your characters have children? How well do you write them?
Haha, no, as many of them are children themselves! I'd say I'd have to turn this question around to read, "Do any of your characters have parents [who are important to the story]? How well do you write them?" Because being a young adult myself (and therefore a kid for more of my life than an adult) it is easier for me to get into the perspective of a child than a parent, having already lived through that stage. It would be very easy for me to write from the perspective of the children of any characters I had; it would be the parents who would be a challenge.
But the few times I've tried it, I think I've managed. The main ones who would come up are Robin and Peter Carlson, the Septuplets' parents. They were as one-dimensional as you might expect from the work of a teenage writer who just wants to focus the attention on the kids and not the parents (who are the usual foci of multiple birth stories, since they're the ones who made the decision to carry all of them to term and all that). But I think as I grew as a writer, I did a passable job presenting them, when they came up at all. Which wasn't really all that much.
Azilie's parents (just "Mr. and Mrs. Precalio" or "Azilie's mom and dad") have minor roles which may become more important, and some adults whom she meets are important as well. As I do my rewrite, I'm finding that people from a wide range of ages are becoming important to her story.
One of the weirdest ones to write, actually, involves Azilie (age 11) interacting with a "grown-up," who's really a 21-year-old college student. So to me, "a kid." Haha. But then, I was once in Azilie's position, being the cute cool kid (age 12) talking to 20-year-old college students on Usenet (alt.tv.animaniacs, to be precise) so I can still draw on personal experience. But it's funny how relative this all is.
Age is a weird thing. A 26-year-old can be called a kid by some (I was happy when President Bartlet did that on the West Wing in an episode I recently watched) but is a definitely grown-up to others. 30 seems like OMG SO OLD from some perspectives but for most of one's life (if one doesn't die prematurely) it's actually very young.
And now I've digressed away from the question, so let's move on to the next.
22. Tell us about one scene between your characters that you've never written or told anyone about before! Serious or not.
I...actually don't know what to say to this one. There's one I'd like to tell people about but it's kind of a spoiler. Actually now that I think about it, it's a pretty major one. In more ways than one. (One way directly related to the story, and one that just gives more information than I'd like people to have when they read the first book.) Hmmmm.
Yeah...I got nothing. I'll consider this a kick in the pants to hurry up and get something ready for people to actually read!
I'm making decent progress on Defying Gravity's rewrite, though. It's still got a long way to go, but if slow and steady wins the race, I am on pace for victory. :)