Hello and welcome to my blog for another round of Meet the Characters! Today I am featuring a guest blogger who has graciously agreed to let me do a character interview, which is my favorite kind of interview. Join me in welcoming author, Diane Burton, and her characters from Switched Resolution. It’s a fantastic science fiction romance with wonderful characters so without further ado here is the interview with Marcus and Jessie.
If you could rewrite anything in your book, what would it be?
Jessie: I’d take out the part where Marcus disappeared. I needed him and he wasn’t there. *tears fill her eyes*
Marcus: *puts his arm around her shoulder* I know, love. The rebels’ timing sucked. But I made it back in time.
Jessie: *wipes tears and smiles* That you did.
What do you do for a living?
Marcus: I am—I mean I was the captain of what you would call an alien spacecraft.
Jessie: Think the Star Trek Enterprise. I still can’t believe you gave it all up for me.
Marcus: What else could I do? You refused to go back to Serenia with me. How could I leave you and our babies here on Earth?
Jessie: I didn’t want them to have to pretend to be something they weren’t—like you had to do. I wanted them to have the freedom to choose their own spouses and their own way of life.
Marcus: And they will. Back to the question—my greatest wish when I was working in space was to take over my uncle’s farm when he retired. I have always wanted to till the soil, raise crops, bring new life to the land. Here on Jessie’s farm I will get my wish.
What is your greatest fear?
Jessie: That Marcus will regret what he has given up and resent me for strong-arming him into staying with me.
Marcus: Never, love.
Jessie: *gives him a skeptical look*
What do you think is your strongest attribute?
Marcus: My ability to change. When the readers first met me in Switched, I was rather formal.
Jessie: *snorts* Rather? You had a stick up your—
Marcus: Uh, uh. Isn’t this blog PG-rated? As I was saying, now I have to pretend to be my twin and thanks to Jessie *gives her a special smile* I’m learning how to speak and act more casually. However, my author includes many of my mistakes. I am not a happy vacationer about that.
Jessie: Oh, sweetie, you are doing very well. *leans close and whispers* It’s happy camper.
What is your vivid memory of your mother and father?
Jessie: That they were always too busy for me—and my brother. *sadness creeps into her eyes before she blinks it away* I will never be too busy for my children. I’ve even slowed down my business. I repair small appliances. I’m preparing for when the twins come.
Marcus: I noticed you started to turn away business. Is that wise?
Jessie: I don’t want our children to think my work is more important than they are. And you promised to whap me up the side of my head if I do. By the way, your parents were no gems either.
Marcus: When you were asked your greatest fear, you did not allow me answer.
Jessie: Sorry, sweetie.
Marcus: My greatest fear is that I do not know how to be a good father. My own resented me. My mother lied to him about my origin. I was part of an experiment where twins were separated before birth—one left on Earth, the other implanted into a Serenian female. My father thought I would be a Serenian. He never forgave my mother for giving birth to an alien. I don’t ever want my children to feel the way I did—unwanted.
Jessie: *leans into him* We will take our cues about being good parents from our parent substitutes—my grandmother and your uncle. Together we’ll muddle through. Our children will know they are wanted and loved.
Do you like the way the book ended?
Jessie: Absolutely. Best ending ever.
Marcus: I have to agree with that.
Would you be interested in a sequel, if your writer was so inclined?
Jessie: *laughs* This is the sequel. Rather, it’s the 3rd book in the series. We’ve had our moments of joy and those of despair; we had our doubts and our—
Marcus: *taps her lips* Our author is finally letting us go. It’s nothing but smooth boating from now on.
Jessie: *squeezes his hand* Smooth sailing, sweetie. Now that our author is leaving us alone, there won’t be any more problems. We’ll finally be able to live our happily ever after.
Actions have consequences as Space Fleet Captain Marcus Viator and NASA reject Scott Cherella discover when they switched places. Does the reserved Marcus have what it takes to imitate his smart-aleck twin? Despite help from his love, Veronese, Scott’s already been outed by two of Marcus’ best friends.
When rebels steal the ship with part of the crew aboard, Scott has to rescue them and retrieve the Freedom. The stakes increase when he discovers the rebels are heading for Earth. They know he’s a fraud and they want Marcus. The safety of the Alliance of Planets depends on Scott and his allies.
Switched Resolution, which wraps up the Switched series, takes the reader from Earth—where Marcus adjusts to a pregnant Jessie—to the starship Freedom commandeered by rebels, to the chase ship with Scott and Veronese aboard.
Gloria Cherella—the woman from whom Marcus had received half his genetic makeup—walked toward the workshop, her head high, spine straight, with a little bounce to her step. She wore a red and white checked blouse tucked into the waist of blue jean capris and white tennis shoes. Her golden brown hair, cut in a short bob, feathered her plump cheeks. Nicely rounded, with laugh lines around her eyes and upturned mouth, Gloria Cherella was a sharp contrast to his Serenian “mother”, with her worried eyes, pinched mouth and tightly-controlled manner. From Gloria’s face, Marcus could see her open happiness.
Imitating his twin’s loose-limbed stride, Marcus went to meet her. He kissed her on the correct cheek and said what his brother always did.
Giggling, she patted his cheek. “I should hope not, Scottie dear. Jessie should be your favorite girl.”
Doing his best to mimic Scott’s drawl, Marcus said, “Ah can have two fav’rits, can’t Ah, dahlin’?”
Then he smiled at Jessie, giving her a special look. She responded with a special look of her own, reminding him of their kiss and of what they would do that night instead of watching movies. By the stars, how he loved that woman.
His mother looked from one to the other before squeezing his arm. “Go on with you.”
“How was your trip, Mrs. C.?” Jessie had gone behind her workbench while Gloria approached.
He wondered if she had done so to give him time to greet . . . his mother. How odd that sounded.
“I had a marvelous time. You absolutely must go on a cruise to Australia. Absolutely beautiful. Sydney! Melbourne! Cairns! Fabulous, absolutely fabulous! You know, it’s Autumn there. The scenery. Oh my. I took an obscene number of pictures to bore you with. I love the digital camera you gave me, Scottie. No film to mess with. You know how your father insisted on taking all the pictures. He said cameras were too complicated for me.” She gave Marcus a sly grin. “I wish he could have seen me. It was so easy.” Her expression changed. “If he were here, we never would’ve gone on that tour. He didn’t want to leave the U.S.”
How odd to hear casual references to the man who had hated Marcus’ very presence, who had heaped guilt on his mother, and demanded that she abandon the babe she had so desperately wanted. After a moment he realized he was thinking of his Serenian father while Gloria referred to her husband, Marcus’ biological parent.
An uncomfortable silence ensued until she again glanced at Jessie then aimed a pointed look at him. “I’m glad you finally came to your senses and decided to marry Jessie. I always knew you would do the right thing. Like your father, despite his faults, you are a good man. I wish he could’ve lived to see you settled down.”
Grief passed across her eyes. Marcus had no idea what to do.
“We really should have said something to your sister about letting us tell your mom our good news.” Once again, Jessie saved him.
Gloria’s momentary sadness disappeared and she laughed. “Do you think that would have stopped her? I know my daughter. I love her dearly, but she never could keep a secret.”
“Ah’m sorry, M-Mom,” he stumbled over the word. “We shoulda told ya first.”
She cocked her head at him then smiled. “As long as you invite me to the wedding, I’m fine. Now, Jessie dear, I know your parents will want to take care of everything, but I would dearly love to help. I hope you will let me.”
From his observations of Jessie’s parents, Marcus rather doubted any assistance would come from that quarter.
“Of course,” Jessie said. “I’d love your help.”
“I’m just so excited that my baby is finally getting married.” To his surprise, she hugged him again.
As he was quickly discovering, Terrans often hugged. An unusual occurrence for him. He tried to relax and return the embrace of the woman who should have raised him. Max returned from bird chasing and began bumping Marcus’ leg then Gloria’s in a bid for attention. When they ignored him, the dog tried Jessie. She shooed him away.
Gloria held out her arms to Jessie who seemed to have no qualms about accepting a hug. “Oh, I can’t wait to see that grandbaby. May I?”
She reached toward Jessie’s protruding abdomen. Jessie took her hand and brought it to rest on top. Gloria’s eyes widened, and she quickly removed her hand. “It kicked. Oh, my goodness.” She giggled and touched again. “Active.”
“Oh, yes.” Jessie laughed. “Very active.”
“Do you know what it is yet?”
“I—We want to be surprised,” Jessie said. “We can tell you we’re having twins.”
Gloria jerked her hand away as if burned. “Twins?”
She actually stumbled back against Marcus. He put his arm around her to steady her and felt her tremble.
“Are you okay, Mom?” He was surprised how right it felt to call Gloria that.
Jessie ran back into the garage and brought out a canvas chair. As he eased his mother into it, Jessie asked, “What happened?”
Gloria touched her temple. “I’m being silly. Pay me no mind.”
“Seriously, Mrs. C. Did Max trip you?”
“No, no. It’s nothing.”
Jessie went back into the garage and came out with a paper cup. “Here’s some water. Do you think the heat got to you?” The late April day, which started out cool, had gotten progressively warmer.
“No.” Gloria took a sip of water. “Hearing about twins always . . . affects me. I—I thought I was going to have twins. When I was pregnant with you, Scottie.” She patted his hand.
Since he and his twin had switched places, Marcus often had to remind Jessie to call him Scott. More often than not, she called him an endearment, like honey. Hearing his own mother call him by another’s name seemed . . . wrong.
Gloria cleared her throat. “One day, I felt— I can’t explain it. I felt different. The doctor said he must have been mistaken about twins. When you were born, I was so sure there would be another baby.” She pulled a tissue out of her pocket and dabbed at her eyes. “Don’t listen to me, Jessie dear. Nothing will happen to your babies.”
Marcus knelt beside her and held her hand. It seemed like the right thing to do. He knew exactly what had happened all those years ago, and anger surged through him as her words reminded him of the Gemini Experiment. Only a lifetime of controlling his emotions enabled him to conceal visible evidence of hatred for the one who had stolen his mother’s baby. Her other baby. Him.
Buy the Book:
Diane Burton combines her love of mystery, adventure, science fiction and romance into writing science fiction romance. Besides the Switched series, she is the author of The Pilot, a series about strong women on the frontier of space. She is also a contributor to the anthology How I Met My Husband. Diane and her husband live in Michigan. They have two children and two grandchildren.
For more info and excerpts from her books, visit Diane’s website: http://www.dianeburton.com
Goodreads: Diane Burton Author
Thank you for joining us today! I hope you enjoyed this round of Meet the Characters and will join us again next week!