Interviews with my imaginary friends: Marleah Carlisle

For this year’s A-to-Z April Challenge, I’m interviewing characters from my and/or my twin’s fiction. Some of them are major characters, some are supporting cast, and some have managed to avoid any page-time (so far).


Today’s interview is with Marleah Carlisle, one of the main characters from “that novel” (the one without a real working title).

Thomas:  Could you tell my readers a little bit about what you do in this story?

Marleah:  I’m a telepath.  The government of the Solar Commonwealth hired me as a spy, basically, because someone within the government has reason to believe that the JMC — that’s the Jellico Mountain Complex, a sort of shadow government except that everyone knows about them — is planning something big having to do with certain sudden advances in technology, especially military technology.  It’s my job to find out what they’re up to.

Thomas:  I’m asking this because other people have mentioned it:  Aren’t you worried that the JMC will find out what you’re doing, that they’ll know you’re a spy?

Marleah:  [grins]  It doesn’t matter if anyone knows.  In fact, it could make my job easier.  Try not thinking about something you want to keep secret…  All I have to do is ask the right questions, because most people don’t have the ability to shield their thoughts, especially not long-term.  Sooner or later they’ll slip, and then I’ll know.

Thomas:   Here’s a question from one of my blog followers:  What do you think of the other characters in your story — what it’s like to work with them, etc.?

Marleah:  I was surprised at how well Aiden and I get along, all things considered, but it turns out he’s not the JMC minion I thought he’d be.  I can’t quite say we’re friends, but I respect him.  And speaking of the JMC, their liaison can go back to whatever hole he crawled out of.

Thomas:  So you’re saying you don’t like him much.

Marleah:  Trust me, I’m holding back on what I really think.  He’s smug, he’s secretive, and he works for a dictator — I can’t see anything to like there, can you?  And I don’t want to hear any shit about ‘the lady doth protest too much.’  Okay, maybe I would have liked him if we’d met under different circumstances, and if he didn’t work directly for the Old Man… and if he didn’t have that damn implant or whatever that lets him block every attempt I make to read his thoughts.

Thomas:  Well… You’re a major character, and I’m not GRRM — I’m sure everything will work out all right in the end.  🙂



About Thomas Weaver

I’m a writer and editor who got into professional editing almost by accident years ago when a friend from university needed someone to copyedit his screenplay about giant stompy robots (mecha). Having discovered that I greatly enjoy this kind of work, I’ve been putting my uncanny knack for grammar and punctuation, along with an eclectic mental collection of facts, to good use ever since as a Wielder of the Red Pen of Doom. I'm physically disabled, and for the past several years, I’ve lived with my smugly good-looking twin Paul, who writes military science fiction and refuses to talk about his military service because he can’t. Sometimes Paul and I collaborate on stories, and sometimes I just edit whatever he writes. It's worked out rather well so far. My list of non-writing-related jobs from the past includes librarian, art model, high school teacher, science lab gofer… Although I have no spouse or offspring to tell you about, I do have six cats. (The preferred term is "Insane Cat Gentleman.") I currently spend my time blogging, reading, editing, and fending off cats who like my desk better than my twin’s.
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8 Responses to Interviews with my imaginary friends: Marleah Carlisle

  1. milliethom says:

    I think this is a really good way for an author to get to know and understand his/her characters better. By writing out characters’ answers, we are analysing what makes them tick, their motives for their actions, uncertainties and fears, etcetera. Of course, the questions must be carefully phrased to start with – which yours certainly are. 🙂 I enjoyed reading this very much, Thomas. Thank you. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    • I had help with the questions themselves; several people made suggestions on what to ask.

      I have never found typical character creation questionnaires useful. I don’t know what Marleah’s favorite color is, for example, and I don’t care. SHE would probably respond to a question about her favorite color with, “Really? THAT is what you want to know about me? It’s almost as bad as asking me about my shoes. Wouldn’t you rather know my opinion on the latest progress with the re-terraforming project? Or what I’d do for a job if I didn’t have the one I’ve got? Or why I never visit Anglin Oldcity?”

      Liked by 1 person

      • milliethom says:

        Well, we all know that some things about a character aren’t important. I think an author writing his own questions would target areas he wanted to think carefully about and get consolidated in his head. I’ve seen lists of senseless questions, too, and agree that they’re just irrelevant. Like you, I don’t care whether my character (Alfred the Great) washed his face every morning or not. His motives and actions for doing what he did in his battles and personal life are what interest me. What I’m trying to say is that I agree with you. Opinions and ideals, motives and aspirations are much more important. Thank you for this thought provoking reply, Thomas.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Laura L. says:

    Dumb question #412.A.g83
    Since you are the person who got me into this A to Z thing, you are the first person I’ll ask because you obviously Know Your Stuff.
    Um. Is there a link back to the main site/challenge that we are supposed to be using? On WP’s Daily Prompt, you link back to that day’s prompt and your blog shows up in the list of participants. I haven’t seen anything like that for A to Z. Just the first sign up list and then banners/badges that don’t like to anything.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I have the participant badge (in the right-hand column here on my blog) link back to the main page for the challenge ( As far as I know, there’s no ONGOING list of participants’ posts individual posts. We use the sign-up list for the order in which to visit other participating blogs; you start with the one immediately after your own on the list, not at the start of the list, so everyone has the same opportunity for getting views throughout the challenge. (If everyone started at the top of the list instead, the people who signed up later would get no views, but the ones who signed up early would get hundreds.)

      Does this make sense? If not, feel free to ask for clarification.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Laura L. says:

        That made perfect sense, thank you! I just did the same thing you did and placed the badge with a linking url into my widgets. One thing that I don’t like about my new WP theme is the very thing I like about it. In order to keep it clean and decluttered (LIKE!) the widgets are kind of hidden and have to be accessed via a little icon (DON’T like).


  3. I’m excessively fond of this idea, but I don’t have nearly enough characters yet to pull it off.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I don’t have characters for a couple of letters, and I had to pull in some obscure ones for a few others. I don’t know if Zane will EVER get any page-time. He was just this guy in the background in one story — no dialogue or anything. Then again, Geoffrey was an anonymous walk-on character once upon a time, and now look at him: major supporting cast in one novel and scheduled to be a main character in another.

      You could always interview some of your people without making it an A-Z Challenge thing. (I’d love to hear what Brazel thinks of how his author has been treating him.)

      Liked by 1 person

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