Wednesday, December 10, 2014

CHARACTER INTERVIEW: Sarah Elliott Bergsen from Overtaken

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           Tell me a little about yourself (where you live, who you are, what you look like, what you hope to achieve, etc.). I’m 32 years old, a professional artist living in London, and I’m also a newlywed. I was raised all over the world, thanks to my parents who were sound engineers working for various documentary film makers. Prior to my marriage I rarely paid much attention to my appearance, but since meeting my husband I've taken a new interest in beautiful, dramatic—and expensive—clothing. My dream is to be a highly-regarded portrait painter worthy of the National Portrait Gallery.

2.      What do you like to do in your spare time? I don’t have a lot of spare time. I’m always working, but I do like to try out new mediums and supplies and go on sketching trips whenever I can.

3.      What is your favorite color and why? My favorite color is Payne’s Grey. I love its ability to add depth and shadow to any color it touches. I also love the way it enhances negative space, which in many ways is one of the most important and interesting parts of a painting.

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What is your favorite food? Why is it your favorite? Tapas. Small plates. Cheese, olives, fresh breads. I’m a vegetarian so I love anything salad-y and light.

5.      What would you say is your biggest quirk? I fantasize the worst possible outcome of any situation. I worry. I’m insecure about absolutely everything.

6.      What is it about your antagonist that irks you the most, and why? I have several antagonists and the thing that infuriates me about them is their inability to ever tell me the truth.

7.      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 husband means the most to me of anything in my life. I would give up money, fame, reputation, even my ability to paint if it meant not losing him.

8.      What one thing would you like readers to know about you that may not be spelled out in the book in which you inhabit?  My childhood frightened me. I knew something was wrong, but I couldn't identify or describe it.

9.      If you could tell your writer (creator) anything about yourself that might turn the direction of the plot, what would it be? I would love to have a child. I want to give someone the childhood I didn't have.

      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. They say many books and stories are autobiographical or based in some way on the author’s life, but does it ever work the other way? For instance, how much do we as characters change your life as an author? Do you ever take on any of our characteristics, hopes, and dreams and make them your own, or wish you were more like us? 

I    I love this question. In most of my books there is an inkling (or more) of me and a bit of what I wish I could be. There are times I want more than who I am and I find that through a character I've created I begin to see things a bit differently, and (dare I say it) even more clearly than when I first began the book. I may even decide to take a particular characteristic, hope or dream, on. 

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