LM (me): Hi Issa.
Issa Clark (IC): Hey. Thanks for talking to me. I understand you’re having a hard time getting into my head.
LM: Yeah, just a bit. Can you give me some background on yourself? Describe yourself?
IC: Wow, ya, um. Well, I’m about 5’6, thin, but curvy, I guess. My hair is about shoulder length, with waves and some curls. I guess it’s full of body (hahaha!). It’s been described as brown, but with caramel highlights running through it. I went to college for marketing and am currently working as an assistant to the vice president at an ad agency. I manage some of his portfolio for him. We work great together. I mean, Mike is a good guy, cute too. But those are definitely shark-infested waters.
LM: I can imagine. What about your friend Sam? Can you tell me about your relationship with her?
IC: Wow, do you have all day? I’ve known Sam forever. She’s been my best bud since elementary school. She’s there for all the good and bad times. She’s sarcastic as hell and tells it like it is. No filter on that one. But that’s what I like about her. She can have different men every single night and she’ll remember each and every one of them. How she manages that is completely beyond me. Yeah. She also hates the idea of me getting involved with Mike, my boss. I know she’s right, but it’s just something I’ve been exploring, you know?
LM: (I nod my head) So Nick Castle…
IC: What about him? (she seems defensive)
LM: Why don’t you describe him to me. Give me an insight into why you could possibly fall for him.
IC: Hmmm… well he’s enigmatic. He’s got this dark brown hair and these god-awfully sinful blue eyes that just blow anyone away. You know, he looks like he could see right through you. It’s scary in a way. But once he opens his mouth to sing. It’s incredible. There could be a million women in the room and he makes it so that he’s singing to you and you alone. I can’t describe it. There’s this je ne sais quoi. It’s just something about him. He’s something special.
LM: uh huh. Why would you pursue a relationship with him?
IC: Have you seen him? (I nod yes) But there’s something else about him. He seems lost and can’t quite figure out where he should be. Do you understand what I mean? Even though his eyes can pierce the soul, they also show that he’s conflicted. Women are throwing themselves at him. I can’t imagine that’s always exciting. I don’t want to come across as that type of person. I want him to like me for me. What I can bring to the table.
LM: Sure, I understand. What if he had secrets? Very dark and potentially life altering secrets?
IC: (she stares at me for a minute and shakes her head) Don’t we all?
LM: (I frown) Are you telling me you have dark, life altering secrets too?
IC: (she giggles) No, silly, just trying to throw you off your game. So what if he has secrets. Everyone has a skeleton in their closet. If he wants to keep things quiet, I’m not the person to be angry or mad at him. To err is human or some shit like that.
LM: Yes, but what if you got pulled into his secret? You gotta give me something here.
IC: Well, I don’t think I’d be happy, but I’ll have to work with it, you know? Why do you care if he has secrets?
LM: Well I am writing this story and I want to make sure that people will like it. How do you feel about having your sex life described?
IC: (here she blushes a deep red, I’ve embarrassed her) Well, obviously it’s kinda weird, but isn’t that what people want to read? But who am I having sex with?
LM: (I just smile)
IC: Fine, be that way. (She sighs)
LM: I still don’t feel like I’ve gotten enough information from you. How can we make this work?
IC: Well I know what people are going to say. Write every day and just keep going. I know that you’ve got some scenes worked out. Not sure how that is going for you, but I know you want to keep my scenes in the first pov. Which is why we’re doing this exercise? Listen. I’m not overly complicated. Just make me sympathetic, but not dumb. Make me sexy but not trashy. Don’t overthink things.
LM: Wow, so now you’re my Jiminy Cricket?
IC: (she laughs) Not really. You want to get this out by September and you want it to be good. It will be good if you stop overthinking things. People will like it. You’ve got a hot conflicted guy (from what you told me) and you have me and Sam. The other stuff will come.
LM: Wow, so insightful, Issa. Thank you so much for taking the time to talk to me. I think I have a somewhat better idea about you. You’re a good girl, but also conflicted. We’ll work that out.
IC: No problem, nice talking to you too. Good luck and break a leg.
LM: (I twitch my lips) I think that’s for performing live. Not writing a book. (She waves a hand at me and leaves. Yep, she’s a feisty one.)