He can be found at his homepage, where he blogs, and as well. at his Facebook author's page. Storm Chaser and Storm Chaser Shorts can be found at Mark's Amazon page. Today he's taking an opportunity to interview several of his characters here; something I always have fun doing myself. Somehow the characters really tend to get up to all kinds of mischief at these things.
Take it away, Mark!
They say one good way to get to know your characters is to interview them, so I gathered together the leads of my short stories from Storm Chaser Shorts – who, of course, are also characters from Storm Chaser. They include:
State Trooper Chance Hamlin, from “A Little Routine” and others
Disaster photographer Allie Craine, from “Rest Stop” and others
State Police Detective Fran Vargas, from “Bar Fight” and “Pocket Universe”
High school student (and Chance’s sister) Beth Hamlin, from “Hello, Blondie"
Chance’s and Beth’s mother Elsa Hamlin, from “Storm Warning”
To avoid spoilers, I didn’t ask any questions relating to the three post-Storm Chaser stories in the collection, “Aftermath”, “Standing on Ceremony”, and “Honeymoon, Not in Vegas”. Since Storm Chaser is a romantic comedy, I don’t think it’s a spoiler to suggest there’s a happy ending.
Okay, first question, and one I’m told is pretty much a necessity for character questions: Boxers or briefs? Or, in this case, underwear preferences in general?
Chance: What the hell kind of question is that? I’m not answering that – it’s none of anyone’s –
Allie and Fran: Briefs for Chance!
Fran: We saw him changing into a chemical protective suit at a crash scene.
Allie: Tragically, I didn’t think to snap a picture. As for me, I prefer something comfortable and practical – sometimes I have to move around a lot on the job.
Fran: Me too, but after work sometimes I like to put on silk or black lace … it’s nice to feel feminine.
Fran: Would you like to go shopping? We’ll fix you up.
Chance: Hm …
Allie: Sounds like fun! Elsa, would you like to go?
Elsa: Dear, at my age everything I wear has the word “support” in it.
Beth: Wait, why don’t you ask me that? Is it just because I’m fifteen?
Um … er … okay, how about you?
Beth: You can’t ask me that – I’m fifteen. Hah!
So, um, how did you all come to meet each other?
Elsa: Three days labor for Chance, three hours labor for Beth. Chance has been difficult ever since.
Allie: When we first met, Chance almost got me killed. Then he arrested me.
Chance: What is this, dump on Chance Hamlin Day?
Fran: Great idea! Chance was my field training officer. As a rookie I thought he was so intimidating, before I discovered he’s only tough on the outside.
Beth: Chance came home one day with Allie in his patrol car …
Allie: First Chance arrested me, then his sister fell out of a tree, then we caught his mother breaking into his apartment. That’s how I met the Hamlin clan.
Elsa: You didn’t actually catch me, dear.
How did you all decide on your careers?
Chance: My dad was a cop, so I became a cop. My sister will be … something else.
Fran: That’s it? You were a copy cop!
Chance: I wanted to keep people safe. Why did you take the job?
Fran: I, um … liked the excitement.
Allie: When I was ten I snapped a photo of a waterspout off the northern California coast – it’s in my first book. I’ve been fascinated by the weather ever since.
Elsa: I was a homemaker, back when we were called housewives. A much harder job than any of yours, and more rewarding.
Chance: Here, here.
Beth: I want to be a photographer. Or maybe a model. Or a firefighter. Or a fire photographer who models on the side. Or a jockey.
How do you think recent events have changed your lives?
Everyone looks at each other.
Elsa: It’s a rebuilding period. In more ways than one.
Fran: That’s the truth. I put in a lot of overtime … and moved. Involuntarily!
Beth:Chance has been much happier lately. I think he and Allie have been spending a lot of time being happy … together.
Elsa: Elizabeth Marie!
Chance: That’s none of anyone’s … He looks at Allie. What I mean is, for all the bad things that have happened … this is one force of nature that ... was good.
Allie: Oh, Chance … that’s so close to being poetic.
Fran: You should practice, then start over.
Beth: If he’d just watch a romantic movie, every now and then …
Chance: All right.
Fran: Allie, you’re not expecting too much of that, are you? Because it probably took him all day to come up with that much …
Chance: Okay, I get it!
Okay, one last question: What do you see in your futures?
Allie: A white picket fence.
Chance: Really? I can do that. Wait, is that a metaphor?
Beth: Eek! Don’t look at me. I’m going to go to college to be a photographer … or a meteorologist. Or an astronaut. I don’t have to decide right now, do I?
Fran: I just want to arrest bad guys. I hear some of Allie’s family from California is coming to town, better look into that.
Allie: Hey! No, you’re right.
Chance: I guess … well, I suppose I just want all these people to be around me. And I want to make sure they’re happy. Even if I have to shoot someone to do it.
Fran: That’s better. Next time you’ll be writing sonnets, lover boy.