Tid “Bites”

WELCOME AUDRA MIDDLETON:

Welcome to my blog, Audra. It’s my turn to make you think. So let’s get to it.

AUDRA MIDDLETON RUNS DEEP:
Thanks so much for having me!

WHAT DRIVES YOU TO WRITE?

My stories come from my daydreams. Give me a few minutes alone with my thoughts, and next thing you know, I have a whole set of characters playing out scenes in my head. Sometimes these characters and scenes are inspired by real people, places, or events, and sometimes they seem to come out of nowhere. Once inside my head, though, they tend to take on a life of their own and run the show.

DO YOU WRITE ESCAPE TO ESCAPE, OR TO HELP US ESCAPE?

I write to escape. If I am bored or stressed out, I escape inside my own mind and become someone else. If a cohesive story develops, I write it down. I consider it a double-bonus if others enjoy my writing enough to escape along with me. It’s a lot more fun to share my stories with other people than with a file drawer.

HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE YOUR MAIN CHARACTER, AINSLEY (PHYSICALLY, MENTALLY, MORALLY AND EMOTIONALLY)?

Ainsley is an average-looking art teacher with a talent for sarcasm and a nervous bladder. Although Ainsley is strong and independent, she also has a hefty fear of commitment, failure, and responsibility. This former army brat is a loner looking for a place to fit in, and her supernatural ability to hitch a ride in other people’s central nervous systems provides her with the opportunity to do just that, at the FBI’s Department of Interagency Investigations.

SHE SOUNDS A LITTLE LIKE YOU. ANY TRUTH TO THAT?

There are pieces of me in most of my characters, especially the protagonists. But, yeah, Ainsley may have gotten several big chunks. I don't have the same family background that she does, but I did teach junior high once upon a time, I definitely have sarcasm skills, and she and I share similar fears. Unlike Ainsley, however, I haven't let my fears hold me back.

ONE REVIEWER DESCRIBED AINSLEY AS STRONG AND NOT WHINY, SOMETHING THAT COULD GET IN THE WAY OF LIKING HER. WHAT DEVICES DID YOU USE TO PREVENT HER NEGATIVE OVERRIDING HER ADVENTUROUS SIDE?

To be honest, Ainsley’s personality, like most of my characters, formed fairly organically in my mind. And her form is seriously flawed. The only thing I remember tweaking was her use of profanity. She swore a lot in the first draft of my first chapter, and it made her off-putting rather than strong, as I had intended. In the final version, Ainsley only pseudo-swears unless she’s really stressed out. “Sheezus” and “A-hole” are some of her go-to words. Dove’s character, on the other hand, required more planning than any other character I’ve written. I wanted to show his struggle with his mental illness in a genuine way, which required a lot of thought and research.

WHERE DID THE DESIGNATION SYMBIANT COME FROM? THIS IS THE CHICKEN/EGG QUESTION BECAUSE IT’S SUCH A WELL-CHOSEN WORD, WHICH EXISTS IN RELATED FORMS. HTTP://WWW.SYMBIANT.CO.UK/TRACKER/ (FYI, ONLY)

I was going to go with the term symbiote – remembering the term from science class, referring to two different animal species which benefit from each other. But when I looked up how to spell it in my ginormous dictionary, the word symbiant came into view, and I went with it. My dictionary is one of my favorite writing tools. If I’m blocked, I sit and read it for inspiration.

DID THE OCD GERMAPHOBE EVOLVE FROM SOMEONE YOU KNEW, OR FROM YEARS OF OBSERVATION?

I’ve definitely known a few neat-freaks in my day who may have inspired my character Dove’s habits, but Dove’s OCD tendencies come from his efforts to control his disease. He manages his symptoms better when life is calm and organized and in his control. And Dove’s not really a germaphobe, he’s an Ainsleyaphobe. He’s terrified that Ainsley’s is going to sneeze and her parasitic cells are going to get on him and she’ll be running rampant in his central nervous system. For a paranoid schizophrenic, having someone else seeing, hearing, and feeling what you do is just too much like having them in your brain, reading your thoughts.

SHORT FUNNY EXCERPT:

In this scene, Ainsley has been recruited by the FBI's freak squad and is about to help them catch some home-grown terrorists using her extra-sensory powers, if she doesn't wet herself first.

“It’s him. Watch Harris for the signal.”

Ainsley swallowed her gum and crossed her legs. No pee break for me. Need to invest in some Depends. After five minutes of rocking back and forth in her seat, hands death-gripped to the upholstery, Ainsley heard Claudia announce that Jack had been successful. When Claudia started up the Suburban, Ainsley nearly lost her bladder control battle.

“Are you sure? I’m not getting anything. Won’t he notice this monstrosity following him?” she rambled.

Artemus placed a giant, reassuring hand on her shoulder. “Claudia knows what she’s doing. Besides, this is Idaho. Anything that gets better than eight miles per gallon would stand out.”

They followed Jones to his shop, parking at the bowling alley across the street. Ainsley watched the skinhead leader take a sip of his coffee as he entered his auto-repair shop.

“I might pee,” she whimpered, wiggling her feet.

“I might punch you,” Claudia warned.

“It’s scary and exciting and I have a bladder the size of a walnut. What do you want from me?” Ainsley sucked in a loud breath and held up her hands before Claudia could respond. “Wait! I’m getting something.”

She sat back in her seat, pupils dilated, taking shallow breaths. Prior to joining the DII, most of Ainsley’s hitchhiking experiences were brief, fuzzy, and dreamlike. She found blood-borne hitchhiking much more intense. It felt awkward, a bit like wearing a full-body Halloween costume, only having no control over what she looked at, touched, or tasted while wearing it.

Quick Questions: THIS or THAT?

CONTEMPORARY: Stephen King or Dean Koonz?

Steven King.

GENRE: Conspiracy Theory or Whodunit?

Conspiracy Theory – of course! The big case in HITCHHIKER Hitchhiker by Audra Middleton is a creepy conspiracy.

CLASSICS: Wilke Collins, Robert Louis Stevenson or Edgar Allen Poe

Edgar Allen Poe

FAVORITE TV SHOWS:

I'm extremely addicted to the GAME OF THRONES series as well as the WALKING DEAD. Compelling characters, edge of the seat story lines, always wondering which major character will get whacked -- what's not to love?

WHERE CAN WE LEARN MORE ABOUT YOUR BOOKS?

My website: www.audramiddleton.com

My Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/AudraMiddlet...

& Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show...
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Published on November 18, 2014 04:28 Tags: conspiracy, escape, humor, spies
Comments Showing 1-2 of 2 (2 new)    post a comment »
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message 1: by Audra (new)

Audra Middleton Thanks so much for having me! It was a fun interview.


message 2: by Julie (new)

Julie Eberhart Painter Thanks again, Audra. Tomorrow, read about the new requirements for visual book titles.


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