(Kelly was written by Kelly Blanchard. Tyler was written by Tyler Wise.)
Kelly sat in an empty movie theater with a bag of popcorn. The lights were dim, no movie playing. She wasn’t here for a film anyway. Her interviewee wanted to meet in a movie theater, so here she was. She just couldn’t resist getting popcorn. She let out a sigh as she glimpsed around. Very interesting choice of location. She had to admit, she’d never done an interview in a movie theater before, but she was game for anything.
Hearing the door open, she looked and waited until a young man stepped into view, and she smiled, rising to her feet. “Tyler Wise, it’s nice to meet you. I’m Kelly Blanchard. Care for some popcorn?” She offered the bag to him.
“H-hi!” Tyler said, a tad nervously as he quickly took his seat. “It’s nice to meet you, too! And no thanks, I brought some Rasinets instead. You can have some if you like.”
Kelly smiled as she took the popcorn back. “I’m good, thanks though. So…quite an interesting place to meet.” She motioned to the quiet theater around them then smiled at Tyler once more. “But it works great. So tell me about yourself, Tyler. What is it you do? besides writing that is, of course.”
Tyler laughed. “Yeah, I suppose it is pretty interesting. But theaters are special to me. I’ve had social anxiety for most of my life and, for some reason, theaters have always been a place where I can be in public yet have very little anxiety, no matter how many people are around.” Tyler rubbed his head, a nervous twitch, feeling a little uncomfortable for revealing something like that so soon. “As for what I do,” he continued. “I’m mostly just a writer! Not a very successful one yet but I’m trying my best!”
“You’re mostly just a writer? Wow! Do you have any idea how many people are envious of you right now?” Kelly chuckled then ate some popcorn. “Real life tends to get in the way, forcing us to do other stuff than just writing, but I’m glad you’re able to write. When did you first start writing? When did you start becoming serious about it?”
“Haha, it’s nothing to brag about right now, but I suppose it is nice to be able to focus on writing.” Tyler noticed his drink out of the corner of his eye, forgetting he had even bought one. He took a sip of it before continuing. “I first started writing in elementary school. My teacher gave us writing prompts and at that time my stories were mostly just Digimon fan fiction.” Tyler laughed at the memory. “But I became serious about it probably when I was thirteen. I remember sitting in the middle of my room one day and asking myself ‘What do I want to do? What do I enjoy?’ And as I looked around, at my book shelf with books, my TV surrounded by movies, shows, and video games, I realized that there was one thing that all the stuff in my room had in common: stories. Everything was about or came from a story. So I decided then and there that I was going to be a writer.”
Kelly smiled when she heard this. “That is wonderful! I’m glad you determined it early on. So, what kind of stories do you write? And have you published anything, or are you close to publishing any of your work yet?” She raised her brows then had some more popcorn.
“Yes, I’m glad, too!” Ty said, cheerfully. “I write all kinds, I don’t really stick to any set genre. My main book that I’m focusing on right now is a Young Adult book though. And then the other story I’m writing is sort of a comedy story about a group of teenagers trying to destroy Walmart, haha.” Ty took another sip of his soda, grabbed a handful of Raisenets. “I’ve self-published on Amazon, that’s about it. But just recently I’ve seriously edited my main book, and even had an editor look at it, so now I’m submitting it to agents, hoping to find someone who wants to represent me. I’m feeling hopeful!”
“Quite ambitious! That’s great!” Kelly grinned at him. Realizing her popcorn was now gone, she set it aside to turn and face Tyler more fully. “So which story would you like to focus on? I’d love to hear about all of them, but unfortunately time won’t allow that.” She sat back in her seat to listen
“Thanks!” Tyler smiled back. “Probably The Choice of Twilight would be best as it’s my only finished work, currently. I work on too many stories at once, I have so many in various forms of completion. It gets pretty crazy sometimes!”
“Oh I can totally understand the craziness!” Kelly laughed then scooted to the edge of her seat as she leaned forward to listen closely. “So what’s The Choice of Twilight about?”
“Heh, yeah, I definitely feel like a lot of writers work on multiple things at once, too, so I don’t feel very alone in dealing with it!” Tyler paused to think about his book, he has never been great at describing it out loud. “Well, it’s a coming of age story about a boy who wakes up in a dream world that exists to help kids deal with growing up. It pits them against their greatest fears and insecurities and readies them for a final choice at the end of their journey: will they grow up or remain a kid forever? There’s more to it than that but that’s the general idea.”
Kelly nodded when she heard this. “We always need stories like this. So who are the characters? What are the conflicts?” She tilted her head, curious.
“Yeah, I think so. Growing up is important and sometimes it helps to read other characters going through it, too.” Tyler took another sip of soda. “Heh, well, the main character is Ty! I based him a lot on me so I thought it fitting to give him my name. And his grandfather dies at the same time he starts middle school and both of those things sort of send him into a tail dive he can’t seem to recover from. Add to that some more family problems and pressure from his friend Anna to be more than just friends, it all becomes too much for him and triggers the dream world to step in and help him sort it out. And as for the other characters, the main big ones are Genno and San. Genno is a puppet that Ty’s grandpa built for him the day he was born (he’s a toy maker) and his grandmother gives it to him right before he enters the dreamworld. He shows up inside of it to give him much assistance and the two become close.”
Tyler finished off his candy and grinned as he came to one of his favorite characters. “And San, he’s the villain of the whole book. He is an abnormally tall skeleton type fellow who wants nothing more than to trap Ty and keep him a kid forever. He has a fun and silly kind of evil that is super fun to write.”
Kelly had to laugh and give Tyler a smirk. “Evil villains are always fun to write! And this sounds very intriguing. I want to know more, but we only have so much time.” She shrugged with a heavy sigh. “Okay, so why inspired this idea for the story?”
“Yes, they are! And San is sort of childish about it—but he doesn’t see it. He thinks he is being so big and evil but he’s really the most childish character in the book, it’s fun to look at him in that light.” Tyler smiled fondly. “It’s funny, but originally, the story was all about Santa Claus. I was young and had just found out that Santa wasn’t real and it really got to me. So I decided to write a story about it, about a kid who was struggling with believing and coming to terms with the reality. San embodies this idea. He runs a toy factory and everything he does is in mockery of Santa Claus. Instead of fat, he’s skinny and tall. Instead of short happy elves, he has giant, menacing ones. Instead of a nice and inviting smile, he has a horrible mouth full of broken and twisted teeth. After a while with the story, I realized I had more to talk about than just Santa and figured that it would be better to talk about growing up in general and everything that embodies. San keeps the Christmas spirit alive in the real book though.”
“That is really interesting!” Kelly bobbed her head as she took all this in. It was a lot, but it made her smile. “I love it!” But then her phone chimed, and she frowned, checking it. “Ugh, alarm clock. I’ve got another appointment to be at soon, so unfortunately our time is up, but I really enjoyed meeting with you, Tyler. Wish I didn’t have to cut this conversation short.” She rose to her feet. “I love your ideas though, and love how you’re approaching them. It’s fascinating!”
“Why thank you!! That means a lot.” Tyler got out of his seat and stepped to the side, letting Kelly go down the stairs first. “I enjoyed this, too, it was really fun! Thanks for taking the time to talk to me.”
“Of course! Wish this interview could go longer, but the character interview makes up for it.” Kelly smiled at Tyler. “I do wonder who you’re going to let me meet.”
“Haha, I’ve got an interesting one in mind!” Tyler laughed, maybe a tad too loud.
“I can’t wait!” Kelly smirked at him. “I’ve got to head out, but stay in touch, Tyler! And keep writing!” With that, Kelly headed out, smiling all the while. That was a fun conversation.
Tyler Wise’s story ‘The Choice of Twilight’ is not yet published but can be found on Wattpad. Be sure to follow him on social media for more updates!: