Grab a cool drink and help me welcome Michael D. Smith as today’s Wednesday’s Guest. Mike is the author of numerous books, some of which I previewed here last Friday. We should also welcome Colonel Laurie Lachrer who is sharing the spotlight with Michael.
And, oh, there’s a robot. Hang on to your space suit.
This is one of twelve character interviews conducted in preparation for Balloon Ship Armageddon, Book Seven of the Jack Commer, Supreme Commander science fiction series
Mike: We’re interviewing Colonel Laurie Lachrer, one of our most successful characters. A minor figure in Book One, The Martian Marauders, Laurie went on to excel in the demanding physician/engineer position on the Typhoon spaceships, and had a major role in Book Five, The Wounded Frontier.
Laurie: Before we go any further I’m registering an official protest at being cut from Book Seven. I see the robot has been given my part, and I won’t have one line of dialog. Even Rick Ballard, who’s a totally minor character, gets a death scene in Chapter One. Why even bother interviewing me?
Mike: Well, I wanted to see how you and your robot double Laurie 283 compare. Who’d be best in Book Seven? Maybe, with your great scenes in The Wounded Frontier, your Laurie character’s been sufficiently explored. Maybe it’s time to see into the soul of an upgraded Laurie robot.
Laurie: Her soul! She has major software glitches left and right! You really want to trust that? All she does is lie, and lust for power!
Mike: I really had no idea you’d take all this so personally.
Laurie: Of course you had no idea. Do you even bother getting to know your characters? You’re so enamored of your robot you don’t delve into my soul!
Mike: Okay, try on this concept: what if everyone thinks Laurie 283’s the copilot of the Typhoon VII, but it’s really you masquerading as Laurie 283? Everyone thinks they’re dealing with a robot, but in reality, you’re pretending to be a robot that’s a perfect replica of yourself.
Laurie: Huh. I don’t know. That’s kind of scary … outside what the real Laurie would do.
Laurie 283: Dammit, that’s the most idiotic idea you’ve come up with yet! I’ve contracted to do the Laurie part in Book Seven and that’s final!
Laurie: How did she get in here? I mean, it?
Mike: Okay, Ms. 283, this is Laurie’s interview. And I’m sure I locked that door!
Laurie 283: Oh, getting past that little lock is child’s play for a robot!
Mike: Ms. 283, please leave. Laurie and I are discussing a new plot development. Your contract stipulates your full acceptance of all authorial decisions anyway. If we go with Laurie masquerading as you, you’ll cheerfully support the plan.
Laurie 283: No! The series is doomed!
Laurie: Does Laurie 283 need to be dismantled? That’d make a great plot line!
Mike: No, I don’t want to dismantle her.
Laurie 283: He loves me! He’d never dismantle me!
Mike: Wow, we’re seeing some interesting psychological underpinning to Laurie 283.
Laurie 283: He knows he can trust me! He knows I’ll faithfully act out any part he thinks of! Unlike some people I could name!
Mike: And note, Laurie, if you are to masquerade as the robot, you’ll need to be aware of these underpinnings and ramp up your sense of humor.
Laurie: Okay! I’ll do it! I’ll do your robot masquerade! You’re always wondering which character needs completion, but that’s not the point. The point is to grow. Look, I’ll even seduce Rick Ballard. The jerk’s obsessed with me, I’ll lure him to his horrible death in Chapter One–
Mike: I see Colonel Laurie Lachrer taking some chances!
Laurie: I want the part!
Laurie 283: No! I’ll masquerade–as the masquerade! Everyone thinks Laurie’s switched with Laurie 283, but at the last minute–
Mike: This is priceless! I see I need to keep both of you!
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Sometimes we really do have this kind of conversation with our characters.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Michael D. Smith was raised in the Northeast and the Chicago area, then moved to Texas to attend Rice University, where he began developing as a writer and visual artist. The first six novels in his Jack Commer science fiction series have been published by Double Dragon Publishing. In addition, Sortmind Press published his literary novels Sortmind, The Soul Institute, and Akard Drearstone, as well as his novella The First Twenty Steps. His dystopian, black comedy novel CommWealth was published by Class Act Books. All titles are available from Amazon.