Beautiful People is a series of questions you ask your characters to answer as a way to get to know them better. It comes from the blog Further Up and Further In, which I’ve begun to follow and occasionally comment on. I first saw this set of question in March. They were repeated again in April (just this past Sunday, in fact). They are questions meant for a couple or pair of Protagonists. So who better for me to use than Sarah and Jason, now known as Hasón (aka the Spanish pronunciation of Jason).
Now, before I start grilling them, there are two important facts for people who don’t know Sarah and Hasón, my Phoenixes of Vervell. First off; Sarah is from our world, which is on the brink of, and then collapses into, World War III. Secondly; Hasón is from another plant/parallel world that’s similar to our 18th century but without gunpowder. Sarah ends up in his world, which is where their trilogy takes place.
1. Do they believe in anything that most people think is impossible?
I can’t say that Sarah does, though by the end of the book she believes in things she would have never believed in before.
Hasón doesn’t believe in the impossible so much as hopes that what seems impossible will become possible. He prays a lot to the Gods about this.
2. Are they strong, or the "damsel/knight in distress" sort?
Oh goodness no, neither one of them. They are both people of action, though Hasón thinks things through a bit more than Sarah does. Then again he’s been trained to do so.
3. Do they have a special place? (e.g. a corner in his/her bedroom, under a tree...)
They both feel The Grove is their special place. It’s a ring of Willows with one Dogwood tree and a spring hidden inside. No one else can come into it, even though they’ve tried to share it with other friends. It’s also where they met (see Part Two Question 1). :}
4. What occupation do they have, or plan on having?
Sarah is an elementary school teacher. She’s following in her mother’s footsteps and it’s also a way for her to avoid the draft (and war). But, she also really cares about kids and in the time of war wants to give them a safe place to just be kids.
Hasón is a Scout, a trained swordsman. It’s not a typical profession for a Nobleman’s son, but he didn’t want to become a Knight due to their arranged marriages. Now he’s a Sergeant and leads his own small group of men, patrolling the boarders of the Kingdom and generally keeping the peace.
5. Describe their current place of residence.
In the beginning of the story, Sarah’s moved back into the farmhouse in which she grew. There, she’s helping work the farm with her father while tending and teaching the city children that they are sheltering from the bomb threats. Once in Hasón’s world... well let's just say that finding a new home is part of the plot. *grin*
Hasón lives in a Sergeant’s house when he’s not on patrol. It’s a simple wooden duplex, with a outhouse and small yard in the back next to the barracks where his men live and the practice fields and what not. My own medieval version of army base housing.
6. Explain their last crisis. How had they changed when they came out of it?
Sarah’s last big crisis was a gang rape. Five guys did some nasty things to her and as a result she had to get a full hysterectomy or die. She was twenty. Afterwards she dove back into taking self defense classes, mistrusted most guys and decided she was glad she had decided to become a teacher. In fact, it was easier for her to accept the fact she’d never be anyone’s biological mom than it was for her to start trusting guys again.
Hasón’s last crisis was being captured by unfriendly kingdom next door. He managed to escape with his men, but not until after they’d been tortured by General Wholawski. Hasón left the fortress knowing just how much pain his body could withstand and how a woman can pull apart friends. His exterior self became a hard shell, but thankfully, he’s still a lovable huggable teddy bear at his core.
7. If they could drive any kind of car they wanted, what would it be?
Sarah would have a red pickup truck. In fact, I suspect she drives her Dad’s, which is probably an old ford. At least she would drive it if the war hadn’t put a ration on gas.
Hasón has no idea as his world doesn’t have cars, but he prefers horseback to a carriage, despite being open to the elements. He likes being able to see around him – it’s the military training.
8. How do they deal with change?
Sarah will moan and groan about it, but she deals. She’s seen a lot of change in her life, with the conversion of the ranch to a farm, her mother’s death and then the war. The war has changed a lot of things like de-modernizing the farm, and the rationing of food and gas.
It depends on the change with Hasón. He thinks a lot, internally running through the various ways to deal with it before selecting the one he wants. Essentially, change is just another mission to conquer. The amazing part is he can do it quickly, which is why he’s a good leader.
9. If they had to amputate one body part, which one would they choose?
Sarah would choose her hair, and if that didn’t count she’d go for a pinky toe. Easy to get used to having and easy to hide in shoes or show off in tevas for amusing conversations.
Hasón would give up his sword arm so he could retire from the Scouts and spend the rest of his life with Sarah. And if the Gods won’t let him do that, he thinks Sarah’s idea is a reasonable one.
10. What would their favorite be at the local coffee shop?
Sarah would probably order a French Vanilla, light, extra sugar, from the local Dunkin Donuts. Starbucks would be too pretentious, though a good chi from her hometown coffee shop always hits the spot.
Hasón would have no idea what to do with coffee. I presume his land probably drinks tea like the English, so I suspect, if Vervell has small cafes, he’d order a nice black tea... No, scratch that. Apparently, he prefers light green tea. Go figure.
1. How did they meet?
Sarah’s best friend had just moved away and she didn’t want to deal with her brothers that day (she has four, all older) so she slipped out to the Willows behind their house.
Hasón, disappointed no one would spar him with his new shiny and sharp sword, went into some woods to fight imaginary foes and rescue damsels in distress. He stepped under a Willow tree and found Sarah.
They became best (imaginary) friends, almost immediately, as she joyfully joined in his game, but not as the damsel in distress mind you... at least not one without a few tricks up her sleeve to get herself rescued.
2. How do these two deal with conflict?
They both face it head on. Sarah might be more stubborn, but Hasón is well versed in the way of compromise. He rarely yells though, and would rather think it through and let Sarah rant and rave before throwing in his two quinnies (Vervellean cents). After all Sarah isn’t completely illogical and she often has good points hidden in her ranting.
3. Do they have a special song, phrase, item, or place?
If they had a song it would be “Some Where, Out There” only they technically are not ‘sleeping underneath the same bight star’. They definitely have a place though – The Grove – the place I mentioned above where they met and played, and later just talked.
4. What kind of things do they like to do together?
They like to just be together and talk about whatever comes to mind, or hash out whatever is in their thoughts. Only, it’s mostly Sarah doing the talking. Hasón loves to listen to her and be near her. He wants to wrap his arms around her, only there was a limitation to the Grove where he couldn’t actually touch Sarah. Once she’s in his world, he’s not all sure what he should do.
5. Describe their relationship as a whole in 3 words or less.
Skeptical true love
:} Cathryn Leigh