Wednesday, August 27, 2014

CHARACTER INTERVIEW: Toby from Apprentice Cat

Tell me a little about yourself (where you live, who you are, what you look like, what you hope to achieve, etc.)

My name is Toby. I'm a cat who lives in King's City. Although my parents are both black, my Mother was involved in a magical accident when she was pregnant with me, leaving me with bright orange fur. Most of the time it's no big deal, but it makes undercover work challenging. For long term undercover missions I have to use a transformation spell to change the color of my fur. Short term missions require a lot more focus than most other cats need for the illusion spell.

My greatest ambition has always to be the best Master Cat in the kingdom, just like my Father. He was the most trusted Loner to the High Council until the day he disappeared on a secret mission. It was supposed to be a simple recon, but something happened and he vanished just before a human mage named Master Hecktor Ribaldy tried to blow up the High Council during session. Since then, I've done my best to follow in his paw steps and become the best magical cat I can be.

Despite the fact that my human mage partner's grasp on doing magic is tenuous at the best of times, I think we have a great chance of becoming a great team. We've had some trust issues, but I think we've worked them out. Solving a mystery together that involves both our families kind of does that, I think.

What do you like to do in your spare time?

Study.

Of course, that's when I'm not chasing after my partner's shadow trying to keep us from being expelled from the King's Academy of Mages. His need to prove himself means lots of backfired spells and being on the first name basis of the entire staff, especially the cleaning dragons. At least the Head Master Mage and Head Master Cat are willing to overlook the "occasional" indiscretion, otherwise, we'd have been tossed back to our families long before our first year was over. But, considering we solved the mystery of why my Father disappeared and discovered that my partner's uncle wasn't involved in the treasonous act of trying to blow up the High Council during session, a mystery the Head Masters personally asked us to work on, I guess their leniency on Lorn's little projects is understandable.

What is your favorite color and why?

I don't really have a favorite color. I can tell what color I don't like: orange. Pretty obvious why, I think. Hard to be taken seriously when you stick out like dog pee on snow.

What is your favorite food? Why is it your favorite?

Eggs, any kind, though omelets are my favorite, especially mouse-flavored. I just love the buttery texture. That and it's probably the one food that doesn't bother my sensitive nose.

What would you say is your biggest quirk?

A have a good nose. I don't mean like all cats have a better sense of smell than humans. I mean I can smell a dead mouse inside the walls from across a ball room.

I'm also magic allergies, which is pretty peculiar considering I'm a magic-wielding cat. I guess no one's perfect. The one that bothers me most is what I call the "improper spell" allergy. Just one more reason I have a close, personal relationship with the infirmary staff. If one of Lorn's spells doesn't send us both there for a spell reversal, then I'm going there because I've scratched myself bloody. Nothing is more irritating than feeling like you're fur is crawling with fire ants.

Crazy as it might sound, having a magic allergy has been helpful, too. I'm also allergic to blood magic, which smells like blood covered marigolds. One small whiff of that and I'll be sneezing until I can't breath. Never thought I'd be glad to have an allergy, but it's what helped us solve the mystery the Head Masters gave us--and what saved my Mother from a painful death.

What is it about your antagonist that irks you the most, and why?

He hides behind others. I know he's somehow involved with my Father's disappearance, but I can't get to him to find out the truth. I'm not even sure who he is, though I know he scares my Mother, too, and she's not saying anything either.

I think it irks me most because secrets have a way of biting your tail when you least expect it. How can I fight what I can't see, you know?

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?

My Mother, her partner, Master O'dorn, and my partner, Lorn. They're my family. I'd be willing to give up my dreams of becoming a Master Cat for them. I don't know if I'd give up my life, but I don't think anyone knows that until they're faced with that decision. I hope I would be brave enough to die for them.

What one thing would you like readers to know about you that may not be spelled out in the book in which you inhabit?

I'm pretty much an open book. I don't like to be sneaky, but if the situation warrants it, I can be as devious as the next cat.

If you could tell your writer (creator) anything about yourself that might turn the direction of the plot, what would it be?

I think if I lost someone I loved, I might go crazy. If that were to happen, I think I'd be capable of anything, including murder.

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.

How do you react when your characters have a mind of their own and don't want to do what you have planned for them?

Fantastic question! I usually let them have the last word, meaning I send them in the direction they're asking for. Almost nothing is en graven upon stone that can't be changed, and if the character is telling me that they "wouldn't do that," or "say that," or "go there," they're usually right, and I listen to them.

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Thanks, Toby! This is the first time I've interviewed a cat!

To learn more about Toby read on:

Visit my website, like my fanpage, follow me on twitter, or read my blog.
Check out all my books on Amazon, from fantasies about magical talking cats to nonfiction works about prayer and trusting in God's promises.
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