(This is a guest post from the D/A Dialogues. Thank you to Katie for writing this post and I hope everyone goes to follow her site. Her posts are always informative and entertaining.)
A: Welcome to the D/A Dialogue Roundtable. First, I would like to thank our host, Charles Yallowitz for inviting us to be guest posters on his blog, the Legends of Windemere. This is an honor and I am really excited. So are the characters in my head! So thank you, Charles – this is wonderful!
We’ve been asked to discuss what it’s like handling multiple characters at once, especially when one has a strong, overpowering personality.
D: Who would that be?
A: (Eye roll) Gee, D. I don’t know.
D: Oh, you mean me? Thank you.
A: I’m not sure it was a compliment.
Sean & Maureen: Um, excuse us, but I think we’re supposed to be in on this conversation too?
A: Yes, of course. Forgive me. Let me do a few introductions:
The participants in today’s Dialogue:
D: Dubh an Suile (Duv en Sule), a seventh century Pict warrior and Druid. Also a time-traveller and god-impersonator.
A: the author (Katie Sullivan).
Sean: Sean McAndrew, a 16-year old orphan and altar boy being reared at St. Cormac’s Convent and Boarding School near Rockfleet, Ireland. Loves comics.
Maureen: Maureen O’Malley, Sean’s best friend and fellow orphan at St. Cormac’s. Maureen is not an altar-anything and prefers seditious reading material to Sean’s comic books.
Sean and Maureen were born in 1942. Their mothers grew up together near Newport, Ireland and both their fathers were shot down over Nuremberg in 1944. They stumbled on a time portal in their church and were catapulted through time. Currently, they are in 1916 Dublin, right before the Easter Rising.
Maureen: And he (jerks thumb at Sean) won’t let me have any fun.
Sean: Fun? Fun!?! Helping a failed uprising is not fun, Maureen.
Maureen: You had no problem helping pirates in the 16th century.
Sean: only because it meant saving your life.
A: Please excuse the children; they’re not seeing eye-to-eye at the moment. Maureen wants Sean to be happy but also wants to help the leaders of the 1916 Easter Rising. So, she’s lying to him.
Maureen: And? It gets the job done and skips the lecture. Because he does lecture.
Sean: I do not; it’s not my fault I can see reason, whereas you are so completely consumed by some blind idealism that is going to get us killed.
A: Yes, and they’ve been doing that for two weeks. Same argument. Every other page. No matter how many times I delete them.
Sean: And he didn’t do anything to stop her.
D: Let’s not point fingers. I tried to warn you.
A: Despite that D is quite the large personality, Sean and Maureen – their relationship to one another and to the events of the story – really are the driving force of Book One. I think D has such a strong personality on our blog because he has to bide his time until he gets his own book. He’s a bit of a scene stealer, but he has only a few scenes to actually steal.
D: Can I ask Sean and Maureen a question?
A: Um, why?
D: I don’t get to interact with them often – and when I do, it’s under circumstances of dire peril. I’d like to know their feelings on how their story has changed.
A: Okay, but behave yourself.
D: Behave indeed! Anyway, Sean and Maureen, you were the initial front-runners of the Out of Time series. How does it feel to have me, essentially an interloper, take over your book and get a blog too?
Maureen: Actually having you around gave us a really good reason to exist. We make sense – we have a backstory and a future, and there’s a reason for us gallivanting around a time portal in a church. . . .Sorry, that always makes me smile.
Sean: I like it because now we don’t have to shout. You and A bicker so much that when we whisper our stories to her, she listens.
Maureen: But she does have a problem getting us to Dublin.
Sean: Oh yeah. Every time it’s this agonizing thing. I mean, she re-wrote that chapter in Part 1 what, three times before it sounded okay?
Maureen: At least.
Sean: And in Part 2? I think three or four chapters had to be re-written several times “because the mechanism was wrong!” It’s exhausting.
Maureen: D, you can be a bit of a bad influence. You’re epic, you know? You’ve done and seen a lot. I’m not entirely sure why he picked us, and I guess we’re not supposed to know until we’re older.
Sean: How much older? Maureen, have you been reading ahead?
Maureen: Oh my god, you are way too good. Why do you put up with me?
Sean: I’ve been asking myself that a lot lately.
Maureen: Fine. Whatever. Anyway, D is also a bad influence because A is normally pretty spare in her writing, but when she’s been talking to him too much, we get all dramatic and angsty.
D: This coming from the teenager.
A: She’s not wrong, D. It is a drawback to paying attention to you. I started out writing a fun adventure story, and my style tends to be straightforward. Acknowledging the “D Factor” certainly adds another layer, and I like it, but it is a challenge. It’s still a fun romp, but you’re pretty deep, D. You make lighthearted go cry in a corner.
Sean: But in general, D is well-mannered enough to stick to the background when necessary.
Maureen: Although, I think he should really take A by the hand and help her get us to Dublin.
Sean: Good point.
D: (Sniff) A, I’m so proud.
A: . . .
D: They’re putting aside their differences to castigate you as well as me. Our babies are growing up.
A: And with that, I think we ought to wrap it up – thank you again to Charles for letting us have this chat, and thank you to all of you for reading! Managing multiple characters when one is an overbearing, opinionated—
D: A. Stick to the point.
A: –powerful personality isn’t too difficult, so long as you don’t take them too seriously.