My name is Piper Mondragon, I'm twelve, and I live in Nigel, just a few blocks from the school. I've got shiny black hair that my mom tells me would be much prettier if I’d take time to comb it. But I do comb it! I just don’t have time to comb it for like an hour like my sister Drea does. I mean, whose got time for that? I’d rather go outside and peg someone with a Nerf ball.
What do you like to do in your spare time?
Oh, it’s all about dodge ball with me. I'm the sixth grade champion at our school. The only way to beat me is to cheat (yes, I'm talking to you, Barney Pendleton--I know you cheat). I can do tons of other sports, too, but go against me in dodge ball, and you don’t stand a chance.
What is your favorite color and why?
Hmmm. It just depends. Like, red is nice on strawberries, but not so nice as an eye color, know what I mean? I like blue skies, but not blue faces. Different colors are my favorites for different things. I guess I’m weird like that.
What is your favorite food? Why is it your favorite?
That’s kind of like the color thing. I mean, some people really like pizza dipped in ranch dressing, and if it’s dinnertime, me too. But don’t give me ranch to dip my pizza in if it’s for breakfast. Yuck! Drea would probably do it, though. She’s weird like that. Not that I’m picky, but it all just depends.
What would you say is your biggest quirk?
What’s yours? We've got to make this fair. I’m not telling you mine unless you tell me yours first. Okay, fine, I'll go first, but don’t tell anybody. I like to suck on my pencil. I know, it sounds gross, but who even cares? If someone tries to make fun of me for it, I’ll just peg them between the eyes with a rubber eraser or something.
:) Okay, here's mine. I like to straighten rugs. If someone walks on it, and it moves, I walk right behind them and straighten it. I hate messed up rugs.
What is it about your antagonist that irks you the most, and why?
Antaga-what? Sorry, I don’t know what you mean. Tippet, my brother might know. He’s the reader at our house. Drea might know, just because she’s in high school and probably knows a lot more than me about weird words, and I really don’t want to look it up. But I do have an Aunt Agnes, if that’s what you mean—but she doesn't show up in my book. I don’t even know if she’s really my aunt. She’s like way older than my mom and dad.
Piper, an antagonist is the bad guy (or girl or dragon or whatever) in your story. He/she/it is the one always trying to ruin things for you.
What or who means the most to you in your life? What, if anything, would you do to keep him/her/it in your life?
Oh, come on! All these favorites things are giving me a headache. It totally depends! If I’m playing dodge ball, don’t give me Drea—unless it’s to have her on the other team, because she can’t hit a barn if she’s got her nose against it. I bet Pelapore would be good. He told me about a game like dodge ball he’s played before, and he’s pretty good at fighting, but he’s not in my family. Don't tell her I said anything, but I think Drea likes him. And don’t give me my parents if it’s for saving Tippet—don’t get me wrong, I love them a ton, but they don’t believe me about things like bloodberries, and weird fantasy worlds with shadow animals and barbarians. But I guess you don’t know what those things are either. Oh, well. I guess Tippet is the one that needs my help the most, and it seems like I’m ALWAYS having to save his little rear. But I guess that’s what big sisters are for, right? Even Drea saved mine a few times, but not as much as I saved hers and Tippet’s.
What one thing would you like readers to know about you that may not be spelled out in the book in which you inhabit?
Just that I used to live a normal life. I don’t even think I’ll be going home for more than seven years, I think. There's a long story behind that. But now I have some cool abilities, or gifts, as Pelapore calls them, but they said I shouldn't mention those yet, since you haven’t read the book, but believe me, they’re WAY cool.
If you could tell your writer (creator) anything about yourself that might turn the direction of the plot, what would it be?
Probably just, can you please make it just a little easier to tell who’s the good guys and who's the bad guys? I mean, sheesh, it could have saved us a lot of trouble if we’d… oops, I guess I should be telling you all that. But every time I think I've got it figured out, I find out I’m wrong. But I better be right about it this time, because… well, just read my book.
Ask me any question. I've always wanted to know what a character thinks about writers like myself. I'll answer the question at the end of this interview.
I don’t know. Maybe just, how do you write so much? Doesn't it make your hands tired? Don’t you just want to get up and move once in a while? Because when I have to do a school report, my whole hand, and head and whole body hurt from sitting so long, and my mouth gets all raw from sucking on my pencil (oh, but don’t tell about that part), and I just feel like I've got to get on my feet. I think that’s all. Oh, and if anyone knows anything about where I can find Forbishibe or the metafictionals, I’d appreciate at least a hint. I don’t even know where to start with that. I just know it’s supposed to be kind of important for some reason. But anyway, that’s all.I guess I write so much because I like writing even more than chocolate. My hands don't get as tired as they used to; you, know practice... and I can always get up, take a breather, and straighten a rug or two.
Sorry, I don't know anything about Forbishibe (I even looked it up) so I can't give you a hint on that one. But I can tell you a little about metafictionals.
Meta-fiction is a way of writing used to get the author's message across that sort of forces the reader to look at a work of fiction (stuff that's made up) in a way that keeps reminding them that it's a work of fiction even while they're reading it.
There's a lot of old stuff out there that uses meta-fictional techniques. Books like Don Quixote and the Odyssey, but honestly, I had a hard time understanding what metafiction meant it even after reading up on it.
Listen to Chas' music here: http://chashathaway.com/music/newagemusic-fly
His books can be found here: http://chashathaway.com/books
Chas' website is http://ChasHathaway.com and his blog is http://ChasHathaway.com. The Beast of Yonder will be his debut novel, and it's the first book in a middle grade series.
Learn more about Chas in one of my past author interviews.