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, Constance Walker, and her characters from In Time. It’s a fantastic paranormal contemporary romance with wonderful characters so without further ado here is the interview with Noah and Allie.
How did you first meet your writer?
ALLIE: Connie was driving along the highway on a summer day and she saw an old abandoned farmhouse and she started to wonder about the people who used to live there. And then about two weeks later she was on the same road and there was another ramshackle house and this time she stopped to look at it and wondered when it was abandoned. And then she sort of played around with the “what if?” theme and I was driving by on my way to a photo shoot and she watched my car and thought “what if that woman takes a wrong turn and drives into another century? And as soon as she thought that…I stopped my car and introduced myself and that was it.
What are your favorite scenes in your book?
ALLIE: We both have to answer this because we have different thoughts about it. For me, it was when we were sitting in the café trying to figure out what we were going to do and I knew I wanted to stay in Evermore but I didn’t want to tell him that he was the reason and it was as though he read my mind. Out of the blue, he suddenly and very quietly said, “I’ve think I’ve fallen in love with you, too.” It’s one of those times where you just hold your breath. I’ll always remember it. Even now I can recall just about everything of that moment.
NOAH: I think my favorite scene was when I took her up for her first ride in an old barnstormer of a plane. She was used to passenger jets. And she was sort of frightened but then she relaxed and started smiling. And for those fifteen or twenty minutes, past or future times really didn’t matter.
Do you like the way the book ended?
ALLIE: Absolutely! Except it was cold.
NOAH: And wet.
ALLIE: Yes, and snowing and sleeting and raining.
NOAH: But it was worth it, wasn’t it?
ALLIE: Oh, yes, it certainly was! I was so afraid I wouldn’t be able to find Noah. I was frightened I would never see him again. I couldn’t find Evermore or the road to the town and I kept driving round and round in circles. And there was no way I could ask for directions. You just don’t go up to someone in the Midwest and say, “excuse me, but can you tell me where the road to 1941 is.”
NOAH: When she told me she had done all those things to find me – listening to old Glenn Miller and Perry Como and Frank Sinatra records and reading old newspapers, just to find out about me and just trying to find a way to get back to Evermore…well…. How could I not like the way the book ended?
What is your least favorite characteristic your writer has attributed to you?
ALLIE: She made me a smart-mouth woman. Cynical.
NOAH: You are.
ALLIE: Now? Even now?
NOAH: No, but you were. You had all the answers. Just like your writer.
ALLIE: Hey, don’t knock it. Or her. If my writer wasn’t my writer we wouldn’t be here.
What is your greatest fear?
ALLIE: That I’ll wake up one morning and I’ll be in my condo and this will all have been a dream. You know when things are going right how you fear something will happen? Well, coming from another century I know bad things will happen. That’s the problem.
NOAH: We said we wouldn’t talk about the future, remember? It’s now that matters.
What’s your favorite thing to do on a rainy Sunday?
NOAH: Listen to the baseball games on radio. I even have Allie listening to them, too.
ALLIE: He thinks he taught me the game. He forgets I’m a big city girl and knows things.
NOAH: She has the Brooklyn Dodgers where she lived.
ALLIE: That’s the one thing I will tell you about the future –there are no more Brooklyn Dodgers – they moved.
NOAH: I don’t believe it.
ALLIE: Believe it!
What is your least favorite word?
ALLIE: War. We both agree on that.
How do you react when people sing “Happy Birthday” to you in a restaurant?
ALLIE: That’s funny – because he pulled that stunt on me just recently. It wasn’t in a restaurant — it was at a barn dance. I was still sort of new in Evermore and we went to the dance because Noah had to write it up for his paper. And I was there taking photos for him. It was fun and then just before the last dance the banjo player rapped on the microphone for a “special announcement” and we all gathered around. And then he said, “We want to welcome Allie Winters to our town and also wish her a happy birthday. And then the band started to play and all these people – some I hadn’t met yet – started singing to me. And I liked it – it made me feel welcomed in the town. Of course it was Noah who tipped them off.
NOAH: But I didn’t tell your age.
ALLIE: No, you didn’t and that’s one good thing. But I just smiled and laughed and thanked everyone. And I wasn’t one bit embarrassed. It was kind of nice.
What’s your favorite animal?
ALLIE: DOGS. Lots of dogs. They used to follow me home and my aunt and uncle would let me keep them.
NOAH: I didn’t know that about you – we had dogs and cats, too. Ran all over the farm… my mother put out pans of water and food for the strays. We didn’t have a Humane Society where we lived – it was rural and farm country and so we just let any stray animals live on the property. They slept in the barn.
ALLIE: And that’s another reason I love you.
NOAH: Tell your – our—writer she did good!
It never occurred to Allie Winters that there was something different about Evermore—the small town that she was forced to spend five days in because her car had to be fixed. Yes, it was quaint and yes, it seemed maddeningly out of step with the current times, but it was nevertheless like all those other “remember when” towns she had visited—people in different era clothing, out-of-date music playing on the radio, roads that were only semi-standard and no modern conveniences to be seen or heard. In other words, just another tourist trap.
But was it? The clues were always there for Allie but in the beginning she misreads them and thinks she has come upon yet another “restored” town that Americans like to visit during summer vacations. When she finally understands that by some strange trick of fate she has actually entered a time warp – it’s only August, 1941, in Evermore – it’s too late for her to just leave for she has already fallen in love with the editor of the town’s weekly newspaper. Noah Wilson, in the course of only a few days, has won her heart in a thousand small ways – from his low-key acceptance of life to his extraordinarily old-fashioned ways of loving her.
IN TIME is a love story of two people who, through some “window in time” are able to meet, get to know each other, fall in love and then understand that that love—though they don’t know how—will be bound forever and ever throughout eternity.
Whatever possessed her to take this assignment? Leaving New York and traveling practically non-stop in the Mid-west in July was definitely not the thing for any sane person to do. It was hot. That was about the best and the worst thing you could say about the weather. Even with the air-conditioning in the car at full blast she could still feel the heat. She could actually see it in the wavy lines that rose up from the straight road ahead of her. The weather forecasters had it right this time; it was going to be a hot and humid day. “A scorcher” one of the early morning radio announcers had called it and apparently his prediction was on target. She pushed her hair up and back with one hand while she kept the other on the steering wheel thinking that with no one on the long stretch of road the car could have almost driven itself.
“So, Allie Anna Winters,” she said aloud to herself, “whatever made you take this assignment? Whatever sent you out to this area to take pictures of America in the 21st century? Was it the bonus money? Maybe. Was it the chance to get to do something different? Could be. Or, if she was being totally honest, she might have to admit it was a chance to finally make a new start without Drew. She pursed her lips. Was it really a chance to forget Drew? Was it really to make a new start without him?
When they had called her into the office and gave her the assignment she thought at first it was a joke. Although, doing photos for a special-edition calendar seemed interesting, it was still a long way from the photographer’s pool at the magazine. “Girlie art? Muscle Men?” she had asked sarcastically. “What calendar art? We’re a newsmagazine, for Heaven’s sake.”
“Look, Allie,” they had told her, “we’re going to put out a retrospective at the end of the year and Promotions thinks a nice accompanying glossy calendar of America as we are today might be good publicity.” Drew had stepped forward then. “It’s an assignment from upstairs,” he had said with emphasis, and she nodded her head and knew that whatever “upstairs” wanted they usually got and that Drew-on-his-way-to-the-top would push the idea to the limit. “But, they don’t want any old-fashioned glorified photos of America like giant redwood forests shot through a star-filter or idyllic pictures of sunrises over mountains. You know what we’re talking about. What they—what we—want is how America looks today. They want real faces, realistic scenes, that sort of thing. Hard-hitting stuff to reflect today’s headlines.”
“Uh, huh.” She let her anger take over her emotions. “You mean like guns and victims and homelessness? With maybe just a smattering of people lining up for non-existent jobs in front of warehouses or, I know—I’ve got it—how about some fatal high impact car crashes? We could show bodies all around the scene. They’re always good in calendars. For July: Celebrate July Fourth with a crash on the expressway. For August: Poor people working at low paying jobs. That what you want?”
“No, of course not.” Drew’s voice had gone deep, which indicated a sure sign of irritation. “You know exactly what we mean.” He had stared at her and she could see that there was nothing in his face that would betray the fact that for the last seven months they had been lovers and had just recently broken up. Not one iota of acknowledgement of their past. Drew and Allie…Allie and Drew. Never happened. Never was. He had always been good at hiding his feelings and since their split she had spent too many sleepless nights wondering if he had ever really cared for her. Or if now he ever thought of her in quiet, odd moments? Or if he ever considered he had made a mistake leaving her? No. She knew the answer was no; he always told her he never looked back. Never regretted. Just moved on. And now, since their breakup, it seemed as if he was perfecting the art of disinterest whenever they met in the office, acting almost as if they were strangers and had never spent late evenings together lingering over “one more wine” or warm Sunday mornings drinking coffee and reading the newspaper on his terrace. It hurt. Really hurt. Seeing him almost every day and barely getting an “I remember you and I miss you” nod of the head. He just walked by her. Never stopping to ask about her or inquire if she was okay. She felt betrayed. Numb.
Buy the Book:
I like telling stories and people always ask me where I get my ideas. I tell them that I look at people and I listen – to snatches of overheard conversations in restaurants, while standing in check-out lines in grocery stores or even on street corners while waiting for a light to change. Everyone has a story and even though I hear only a minute or so of the dialogue I turn that tiny bit of information into a “what if?” situation. Suppose the woman counting her change in the grocery store is down to her last dollar? Suppose the flowers just bought from a street vendor is an “I love you” bouquet from an older married husband to simply tell his wife he loves her? What if the young man getting out of a car smiles at a passing young woman? And that “suppose” and “what if?” begins the novel. Endless situations, endless possibilities and endless stories. And I hope you like reading mine.
Connect with Constance:
Thank you for joining us today! I hope you enjoyed this round of Meet the Characters and will join us again next week!