I’ve been working on my NaNo novel for three days now! Before the month of NaNo began, I had started planning out my novel. One of the things I was working on was character development and personality. I used character interviews to help me flesh out my characters and learn a bit more about them. I had a great time writing them, and they were incredibly helpful to me to discover who each of my main characters were. I wanted to post one of the interviews today, and I chose Tessa’s. She is my protagonist. I had something in mind for Tessa before I wrote the interview, but after writing it, she changed into a slightly different character.
What is your name? Any nicknames?
My name is Tessa. My brother calls me Tess sometimes.
How old are you?
I’m 17. I’ll be 18 on December 15th.
What do you want to be when you grow up?
Before the war, when I was young, I always wanted to be a dancer. I don’t do much dancing any more, though. Now, I think I’d want to be a doctor if the war ever ends, like my mother was.
You mentioned a war?
You don’t know about the war? I wish I didn’t know about the war. The war has been going on since the Primarins arrived. Earth’s citizens have been trying to keep the invaders at bay for about 9 years now.
You live on Earth?
Yes, I do. Earth is truly beautiful – when not covered in rubble.
What year are you from?
What year? If you mean what the year is right now, it’s 2215.
Where are you from on Earth?
My brother, Jace, and I come from a little town on what was once the West Coast. After the war started, our parents sent us to the East where it was supposed to be safe, but shortly after, the city we were sent to was bombed and taken over. We live in what we jokingly call a POT – Primarin Occupied Territory. We say that our world has gone to POT. Sorry – a little inside Homeland Defender joke. We live in a small apartment on the 5th floor of an old building. It’s a little dusty and crumbly, but it serves its purpose.
What is it like living in occupied territory?
Horrible, really, although I guess I’m kind of used to it since I’ve been living this way since I was 11. Most buildings are half-destroyed and the streets are always covered with rubble. The city was completely taken over 6 years ago, and as a result, the city is now the property of the Primarins. The Primarins have done a good job of annexing it, too. You can barely walk out of your home without seeing an alien soldier. Also, because we’re living in occupied territory, we don’t have many freedoms, like being out after dark.
Do you have any siblings?
Yes, I do. My brother Jace is three years older than I am, so that makes him 20. He’s always been there for me, and definitely is my best friend. Jace is usually pretty serious and logical. He likes to think about things for a while before he does them. He never gets a joke, either. I’m the more impulsive one. I hate waiting for anything.
Who are your parents?
My parents are missing. When they sent us east, the West Coast had already been under attack. My parents stayed behind because my Dad was a Homeland Guard, a captain in our military force. My mom was a doctor, and she was supposed to join us a week after we left. We never heard from them again. Jace says they must have been killed. I hope they weren’t, but I know he’s probably right. Their names were Sophia and Kayden.
Do you go to school?
A school teacher from before the war ran a small school for all the kids living in the POT. The Primarins shut it down, though. I try to learn at home with textbooks Jace finds me, but it just isn’t the same.
What was your favorite subject in school?
I really loved history, hearing about the earth before the war. I wish I could remember it more. I like science a lot, too.
So, can you tell me anything about this war? Who are you fighting? Why are you fighting them?
I better start at the beginning. In 2032, Earth was invaded by aliens. We defeated the aliens, and all of them limped back to space where they belonged. We never thought they would return, but they did, 176 years later. The Defenders always talk about how we should never have let any of them live. We’re paying for our mistake now. At this point they’ve taken over several whole countries on Earth, including the North American Union. That’s where we live.
What is your biggest fear?
I think it would be losing my brother, Jace. I’ve already lost my parents, and I don’t want to lose my brother, too. Without Jace, I never could have survived here in the city.
Do you have any interests or anything you like to do in your free time?
I don’t usually get a lot of free time, but if I can get my hands on a book, I will devour it. If there were no war and no Primarins, I’d probably just spend my time reading.
Do you have any pets?
I used to feed a stray dog that hung around our apartment, but he hasn’t shown up for a while. He was super cute though, big brown eyes and creamy fur. I named him Dr. Watson, after the doctor in Sherlock Holmes. Jace managed to find that book a few years ago, just when the doctor (that was the dog’s nickname) started coming around. That was a good book.
What is your favorite book?
All of them!
What is your favorite food?
When we can find some sweets, that’s always exciting. Like chocolate.
Do you like to listen to music?
I remember when I was little, my mother used to play The Nutcracker Suite for me to dance around to. I haven’t heard music in a long time. One of the rules in the POTs is no technology. I can’t tell you the last time I’ve seen a computer, either. Another memory I have of my mother is of her using one in her office, when she took me there when I was young.