brooke carlson: character interview

Today’s interview features Brooke, who, along with Lorylyn and Brady, dates back to the Spin the Bottle days. And yes, “dates” is an interesting word to use with those 3 names in the same sentence. 🙂 While Brooke hasn’t made an appearance in a scene since 2001, in A Stranger Thing it’s May 2009, and she’s back full force. And if she’s anything like she was 8 years ago, that’s probably not good news for many, if any, other characters. 😉

brooke stranger

Brooke, one of the main characters in A Stranger Thing (doll created at dollzmania.net)

-What’s your name?

~Brooke Carlson

-How old are you?

~26

-Where do you live?

~Chicago

-If you were an alcoholic beverage, which one would you be and why?

~I would be a White Russian because it’s cloudy and you can’t see what’s hidden beneath the surface. I buried my past a long time ago when I moved to Chicago, and I thought it had sunk all the way to the bottom, but the problem w/ a White Russian is all the different kinds of alcohol tend to swirl together so you can’t really tell what’s where, and something you didn’t realize was working its way up can suddenly surface.

-What’s your biggest secret?

~A 9-year-old ghost.

-What’s the biggest surprise we’ll see from you in A Stranger Thing (without giving too much away, of course)?

~I think you’ll see 2 big surprises from me, the first being the way I’m reintroduced into the storyline and Lorylyn’s life, and the second being a friendship that gets rekindled…or maybe not even rekindled, because it was a pretty threadbare friendship the first time around. We’ll just say a relationship that gets started back up…and this time I would call it a friendship. And I’m pretty happy about it. 🙂

-What’s one thing that happens in A Stranger Thing that you would change, if you could (again, without giving too much away)?

~Well, that’s a tough question. As the book goes on, there are a lot of things I would change in the moment or even several weeks afterward. But by the end…I’m not sure I’d change anything that actually happens in this book. Just something from way back in the day.

-Thanks, Brooke! This concludes this series of character interviews for A Stranger Thing, but stay tuned for more on the book as the release date gets closer! In the meantime, be sure to check out the other character interviews: Lorylyn, Kylar, Zibby, Brady, Xavier, Taylor, Cade, Jansen, Jason, Thaler, and Kella!! Thanks for reading! 🙂

 

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kella auerbach: character interview

The other day on Facebook, I called Jansen my most mysterious character. I guess at the time, I wasn’t thinking about Kella. Although I’d have to say Kella is really more secretive than mysterious…because as you read A Stranger Thing, you might not label her as either. So not only is she secretive, she’s really damn good at it. 🙂 Kella’s brother Jason describes her as having quant-à-soi, a sense of coolness and calmness in every situation, someone who is never surprised because she’s so aware of everything going on around her. I don’t really think anyone could describe her better. But for someone who never gets surprised, she sure drops a lot of bombshells in this book.

Kella, one of the main characters in A Stranger Thing (doll created at dollzmania.net)

Kella, one of the main characters in A Stranger Thing (doll created at dollzmania.net)

-What’s your name?

~Kella Auerbach

-How old are you?

~24

-Where do you live?

~Brussels, Belgium

-If you were an alcoholic beverage, which one would you be and why?

~Absinthe. It’s almost a mythical drink…most people have heard of it and have some image of what it’d be like, but not that many have actually tried it. By partway through A Stranger Thing, most people have heard of me, but few get close to me and even fewer really know me. Absinthe is so potent on its own that it has to be diluted with water and sugar, which makes it sweet. I would say deep down I’m also very…dangerous, but what most people experience, like when drinking absinthe, is my watered-down sweeter side.

-What’s your biggest secret?

~My entire life, since about age 14 or 15.

-What’s the biggest surprise we’ll see from you in A Stranger Thing (without giving too much away, of course)?

~Everyone I grew up with, went to boarding school or college with, work with, etc. will be most surprised when my name comes out as part of a huge story that’s going around in the media. Readers will probably be most surprised on my wedding day, although there are a few hints in my answers here. When I say my entire life is a secret, I really mean everything. I think most people will see the first big secret that’s revealed and not look farther. As I intended. 😉

-What’s one thing that happens in A Stranger Thing that you would change, if you could (again, without giving too much away)?

~I would change losing one of my best friends, which happens before the start of the book and would in turn change everything I do in A Stranger Thing.

-Thanks, Kella! As Kella tells Jansen in one scene, “Mystery likes to follow me, I guess.” That’s probably the understatement of the last decade in Kella’s life. To read more about that last decade, look for the upcoming trilogy Not Like Paradise, which is the story of Jansen, Jason, and Kella growing up in NYC. And after that will come the story Kella tells Jansen in A Stranger Thing about “what happened at boarding school.” Stay tuned!

In the meantime, be sure to check out the other character interviews for A Stranger Thing: Lorylyn, Kylar, Zibby, Brady, Xavier, Taylor, Cade, Jansen, Jason, and Thaler!!

And tomorrow, meet a character many readers of my past novels probably didn’t expect to grace a scene again…Brooke! And yes, by “grace a scene,” I mean steamroll other characters’ lives with her usual well-planned delivery of chaos and disaster. 😉

thaler davis: character interview

Today’s interview features Thaler, Jansen’s roommate for the last 5 years and friend with benefits for the last 3. In A Stranger Thing, Thaler, Jansen, and their other roommates Kylar and Xavier are headed to Chicago to continue living together as they take the next steps in their careers. But let’s be real, most of the drama will be in their personal lives. 😉 Thaler has recently realized he’s in love with Jansen, and even though she has a crazy history with her ex-boyfriend and best friend Jason and is about to go spend the summer with him, Thaler decided to tell her how he felt.

-What’s your name?

~Thaler Davis

-How old are you?

~26

-Where do you live?

~Chicago, for the next several years at least. Just starting my residency in orthopedic surgery.

-If you were an alcoholic beverage, which one would you be and why?

~I would just say I’m Bud Light, ‘cause I’m light and easygoing, and everybody’s my bud. (Haha, I’m lame, I know.) It takes a lot to make me mad; my attitude towards life is just go with the flow and roll with the punches. Everything is easier to handle when you don’t get overly upset about it.

-What’s your biggest secret?

~Well, it was that I was in love with my college roommate Jansen. But I just asked her to be my girlfriend when she moves to Chicago at the end of the summer, and she said yes, so I don’t have any secrets anymore. Gotta say I’m feeling pretty good about life. 🙂

-What’s the biggest surprise we’ll see from you in A Stranger Thing (without giving too much away, of course)?

~Well…let’s just say even though I’ve known Jansen for 8 years, she has some surprises in store for me. Maybe the way I react to those is surprising, but I don’t think so.

-What’s one thing that happens in A Stranger Thing that you would change, if you could (again, without giving too much away)?

~You know, this may actually be a surprise, but I think the one thing I might change is I might stand up to one of my friends and tell him to quit being a douchebag. I’ve always just let it go ‘cause it’s not about me, but maybe when I saw him treating one of my other friends like shit…maybe I should’ve said something.

-Thanks, Thaler! If you want to know how Jansen and Thaler’s eight-year friendship turned into love, read the full story in All That Sparkles Isn’t Real Sapphire and I Don’t Want the Rest of Your Life. And to find out the full backstory about Jansen and Jason’s past, look for the upcoming trilogy Not Like Paradise.

If you haven’t already, make sure to read the other character interviews for A Stranger Thing: Lorylyn, Kylar, Zibby, Brady, Xavier, Taylor, Cade, Jansen, and Jason!

Tomorrow, meet a character who’s been mentioned in previous books, and whose bed Lorylyn and Zibby have slept in, but who has never made an actual appearance in a scene…Jason’s sister Kella! And let’s just say she goes from a mere mention to the center of attention in about 3 lines. 😉 And…let’s also say that if Thaler knew something Kella knows and Jansen is soon to find out…he might not only change his answer to the question about what he’d change in A Stranger Thing, he might change a whole lot more. Or at least be substantially less nonchalant.

Until tomorrow! 😉

Kella, one of the main characters in A Stranger Thing (doll created at dollzmania.net)

Kella, one of the main characters in A Stranger Thing (doll created at dollzmania.net)


jason auerbach: character interview

Meet Jason, Jansen’s best friend growing up in New York City, her ex-boyfriend, and her friend with benefits for the last 10 years. In A Stranger Thing, Jansen and Jason’s relationship is about to undergo a major shift, because Jansen has a new boyfriend, her roommate Thaler. At the beginning of the book, Jansen has just gotten to NYC to spend her usual summer in the city with Jason, and the two of them are about to embark on their annual trip to Europe. Also on her way to NYC is Lorylyn, one of Jansen’s best friends with whom Jason has a newly developed friends with benefits relationship. And Lorylyn’s coming because she got a surprise plane ticket from an anonymous source…could it be Jason? 🙂

-What’s your name?

~Jason Auerbach

-How old are you?

~26

-Where do you live?

~New York City

-If you were an alcoholic beverage, which one would you be and why?

~I’d be the beer Delirium Tremens, because its name comes from symptoms of alcohol withdrawal, and I spend a good portion of the book in a kind of withdrawal from something that’s been probably the most important thing in my life since I can remember. The bottles of Delirium Tremens have pink elephants on them, and the whole time I’m in Budapest I feel like there’s a huge elephant in the room, so to say. But the beer goes down surprisingly smoothly, and I’d say my life stays pretty smooth through everything.

-What’s your biggest secret?

~I don’t really see myself as having secrets, but only a few people know about the crazy stuff that went down during high school when Jansen and I were growing up in the city, so maybe that. It also gets carried into the present in A Stranger Thing, so what happened back then plus what’s going on now is probably my biggest secret.

-What’s the biggest surprise we’ll see from you in A Stranger Thing (without giving too much away, of course)?

~Maybe what I do in Budapest? I don’t know.

-What’s one thing that happens in A Stranger Thing that you would change, if you could (again, without giving too much away)?

~Budapest and the few months after…I mean, I end up saying it was the best thing I did in 2009, but I could have done that same thing in some other way. Maybe never going to Budapest at all would have been better. But maybe it wouldn’t have. I just wish I could’ve made it less painful at the time, or been better prepared, somehow.

-Thanks, Jason! If you’re curious about Jansen and Jason’s past or how Jason’s relationship with Lorylyn began, find out more in All That Sparkles Isn’t Real Sapphire and I Don’t Want the Rest of Your Life. And for the full backstory about Jansen and Jason and the mystery and danger that made up their teenage years, look for the upcoming trilogy Not Like Paradise.

If you haven’t already, make sure to read the other character interviews for A Stranger Thing: Lorylyn, Kylar, Zibby, Brady, Xavier, Taylor, Cade, and Jansen!

And tomorrow, come back to meet Jansen’s new boyfriend, Thaler! See you then! 🙂

jansen montgomery: character interview

Today’s interview features Jansen, who has a way of catching those around her completely off guard with sporadic and unexpected glimpses into a past few of her friends can fully grasp. Like sophomore year of college, when Lorylyn, Kylar, and Zibby learned her parents disowned her at 16 because of a drug overdose, or when they found out her big sapphire ring has a secret none of them could have guessed. Or a few years later, when Jansen told them about her life growing up in New York, a story Lorylyn calls the craziest one she’s ever heard, yet a story none of them even knew existed before that night. In A Stranger Thing, more secrets from Jansen’s past will make themselves known, and her new boyfriend Thaler is in for quite a shock. Or maybe a few shocks…

Jansen, one of the main characters in A Stranger Thing (doll created at dollzmania.net)

Jansen, one of the main characters in A Stranger Thing (doll created at dollzmania.net)

-What’s your name?

~Jansen Montgomery

-How old are you?

~26

-Where do you live?

~In three months I’ll be moving to Chicago to live w/ my friends Kylar and Xav and my boyfriend-to-be Thaler. 🙂 He just asked me, the morning we were moving out of our house in Irvine, Indiana, where we went to college and lived with a bunch of our other friends, to be his girlfriend when I get to Chicago in the fall. In the meantime, for this summer, I’m living in New York City with my best friend Jason and his roommate Sinead.

-If you were an alcoholic beverage, which one would you be and why?

~I would be a gin and tonic because my life looks transparent and harmless, but if you get close enough for a real taste of my story, it’ll be hard to swallow and linger long after. 😉

-What’s your biggest secret?

~Probably my past. I don’t think of it as a secret, but only a few people know about it. By my past, I mean growing up in NYC w/ Jason and everything that happened there.

-What’s the biggest surprise we’ll see from you in A Stranger Thing (without giving too much away, of course)?

~I don’t know, because actually there are a lot of surprises. Maybe what happens in Budapest…or what happens later b/c of Budapest, or maybe the person who contacts me totally out of the blue, or maybe the very end of the book, when you find out something I’ve been keeping secret for a year at that point.

-What’s one thing that happens in A Stranger Thing that you would change, if you could (again, without giving too much away)?

~I would change how things ended in Budapest and how I was out of touch w/ the most important person in my life for a few months. I don’t think it would’ve had to happen that way.

-Thanks, Jansen! To read about Jansen’s college years and learn more bits and pieces of her past, check out All That Sparkles Isn’t Real Sapphire and I Don’t Want the Rest of Your Life. But don’t expect all the answers…those will be coming in a trilogy called Not Like Paradise, the full story of Jansen’s life from ages 14 to 18.

If you haven’t already, make sure to read the other character interviews for A Stranger Thing: Lorylyn, Kylar, Zibby, Brady, Xavier, Taylor, and Cade!

Tomorrow’s interview will be with Jansen’s best childhood friend and other half, Jason! He’s the only one who knows everything about Jansen’s past…but no, he’s not telling yet either. 🙂 Still, come find out what he does have to say…it’ll be good. 😉 See you tomorrow!

cade walsh: character interview

Meet Cade, Lorylyn’s ex-husband! Even though Cade and Lorylyn’s marriage only lasted about 13 months and ended in 2005, they have remained best friends…and roommates…over the nearly 4 1/2 years between then and the start of A Stranger Thing in May 2009. Now, as Lorylyn moves to Denver, they’ll be living in different cities for the first time since they met, other than a few college summer breaks.

-What’s your name?

~Cade Walsh

-How old are you?

~26

-Where do you live?

~Irvine, Indiana, where I went to college at Irelan and am now an athletic trainer for some of their teams. It’s been a blast staying here after college with all my roommates, but now that most of them are moving on, it’ll be different. Hopefully still fun…we’ll see.

-If you were an alcoholic beverage, which one would you be and why?

~I’d just be some kind of classic beer, but not the cheapest one, and maybe not an American one either, ‘cause probably the coolest thing I’ve ever done was study abroad. Maybe Guinness. I’m a pretty simple guy, but I’d like to think I have a little bit of a refined taste.

-What’s your biggest secret?

~I mean, it’s not really a secret—at least not to my friends—but my marriage to Lorylyn. My family has no idea about it, and even Darcy, who I dated for a year after Lorylyn and I ended things, didn’t know it was serious. She thought it was just a drunken night. I guess I didn’t tell her the truth ‘cause it was easier, but the next girl I date, I’m definitely gonna tell her.

-What’s the biggest surprise we’ll see from you in A Stranger Thing (without giving too much away, of course)?

~Probably the decision I make near the end about what to do next with my life.

-What’s one thing that happens in A Stranger Thing that you would change, if you could (again, without giving too much away)?

~Maybe I would have moved to Denver when Lorylyn, Zibby, and DJ invited me.

-Thanks, Cade! Cade is also a main character in 2 previous books, where you can read all about his and Lorylyn’s friendship and marriage, as well as his relationship with Darcy. Those books are All That Sparkles Isn’t Real Sapphire and I Don’t Want the Rest of Your Life. And make sure to read the other character interviews for A Stranger Thing: Lorylyn, Kylar, Zibby, Brady, Xavier, and Taylor!

Coming tomorrow, the much-awaited interview with Lorylyn, Kylar, and Zibby’s other original roommate from freshman year…Jansen! And yes, there are many teasers in this book about her mysterious past, but no, you don’t find out the answers yet. 🙂 There is one pretty big surprise related to her past though…

Jansen, one of the main characters in A Stranger Thing (doll created at dollzmania.net)

Jansen, one of the main characters in A Stranger Thing (doll created at dollzmania.net)


taylor cren: character interview

In today’s A Stranger Thing character interview, you’ll be meeting Taylor! Taylor and Lorylyn first meet shortly after Lorylyn arrives in Denver and is searching for roommates on Craigslist. Taylor has lived in Denver ever since college, but her current roommate and best friend Crissy is about to move in with a guy, so Taylor is on her own. Lorylyn’s roommate criteria include someone who’s either new to Denver like her or someone with an established life and fun friends, and Taylor seems like the latter. The two of them, as well as Crissy and Zibby, hit it off immediately, but even as she gets to know Taylor better, Lorylyn continues to be caught off guard by Taylor’s love life.

Taylor, one of the main characters in A Stranger Thing (doll created at dollzmania.net)

Taylor, one of the main characters in A Stranger Thing (doll created at dollzmania.net)

-What’s your name?

~Taylor Cren

-How old are you?

~26

-Where do you live?

~Denver

-If you were an alcoholic beverage, which one would you be and why?

~I’d be a vodka soda because it’s fun and classic and gets you going, just like I do. 😉

-What’s your biggest secret?

~Before the start of the book I don’t really have any secrets. Shortly after I meet Lorylyn and we become roomies, this guy hurts me pretty badly but I don’t tell anyone because no one even knows we were involved (except Crissy). I also do tend to date multiple guys at once and don’t tell any of the guys there are others. 🙂 It’s not like I give them any indication it’s exclusive though, so there’s nothing wrong with that, right?! 🙂

-What’s the biggest surprise we’ll see from you in A Stranger Thing (without giving too much away, of course)?

~Probably just things with guys that you don’t necessarily see coming, because while I date a lot of guys, I don’t always give the details, because sometimes they just don’t matter. Or sometimes, they matter too much. But then other times, I give all the details. So I think that’s why people are surprised when they find out there was something they missed, or something I didn’t tell, because they think they’ve heard the whole story.

-What’s one thing that happens in A Stranger Thing that you would change, if you could (again, without giving too much away)?

~I wouldn’t want to be separated from some of my friends at the end of the book!!! 😦 And…I’d probably avoid dating all those guys by being with the one I really like the most, if it was in my power to change that. Who knows…maybe I can. We’ll see… 😉

-Thanks, Taylor! Taylor is a new character in A Stranger Thing, but if you’d like to find out about some of the other characters prior to this book, check out All That Sparkles Isn’t Real Sapphire and I Don’t Want the Rest of Your Life. And make sure to read the other character interviews for A Stranger Thing: Lorylyn, Kylar, Zibby, Brady, and Xavier. Up tomorrow…Cade, Lorylyn’s ex-husband!