Kelly got a chance to sit down and speak with my character BlackMail. BlackMail is a secret agent, and not someone to share information with lightly or easily, yet Kelly still managed to have a conversation with her and draw out information on her motives, history, and current events. Annoyingly Kelly managed to get information that I didn’t even have yet about BlackMail that I’ll have to take into consideration now in future works. Working with Kelly on this interview was a great experience that forced me as an author to look deeper into my character’s history and background as well as some of her thoughts and attitudes towards her situations and other characters she interacts with. My only regret with this interview is that it didn’t happen before I published to give BlackMail a deeper history than what I already had.
Nancy A. Nation
Kelly did a great job of putting my character at ease even through some difficult moments. She brought out somethings about my main character’s history I hadn’t thought about. If anyone out there gets a chance to be interviewed by Kelly Blanchard, I say do it.
Stephanie R. Sorensen
Writers, you simply must get your characters interviewed by Kelly. Even though I had lived with my character for a year while writing him, the role-playing of the interview made me see aspects of him that I already “knew” but did not grasp how vehemently he felt about those things. My character ranted and raved, and [spoiler alert] leaked some plot points, finally opening up about some stuff that he would never say or admit to in the book, for in the story he had to be incredibly stoic and controlled. Both my character and I enjoyed the process, although it was a pretty emotional ride. And kudos to Kelly, for bravely climbing a rope ladder to board my character’s dirigible as we sailed through the blue open sky!
I totally enjoyed and learned from my characters interview with Kelly, and wish all writers could enjoy the same marvelous experience!
When I went into the character interview, I wasn’t entirely sure what to expect and how it would go. Thanks to this interview, however, I have an idea that can be implemented in a story sometime in the near future. Would definitely be interested in doing another interview, if the opportunity arises!
Hye Jin Choi
I had a panic attack when the character interview started lol I am still shaking a little bit, my mind was fuzzy, I couldn’t think properly. However It became soother, and I tried the best I could to focus, I gave in everything, I truly tried to be Hope and not someone else. Hope was tense too but her tense feelings disappeared as her curiosity took over and that she started wondering about things. It is amazing to see that even the characters don’t think of everything, as a writer of course. I didn’t plan her to be insecure, but it won’t be correct if all she fear is herself. She fears her insecurities too.
the experience is amazing, I think I’ll do the same with Hope, often, and ask her things, maybe it will direct me to what I want the story to come up with. My stories are all about acceptance, fighting fears and the struggle of it, and about trust, particularly this story.
I am thankful for this experience, I’ve never seen hope for real until today, and she is way more complex and more interesting than I thought.
I found the character interview very fun! Kelly gave me a short questionnaire and went right to the heart of my main character’s issues. It was a nice challenge to answer the way my character would, not knowing who this person was or how she knew what she knew about her. Kelly got information from my main character which no one else knew – I was really impressed! I would love to do this again sometime. I would highly recommend this exercise, especially if you’re having trouble with a character’s motivations or issues. Great job!
Carol Ann King
What a wild ride! Make sure your character hangs onto their hat. Kelly’s character interview delves deep into the psyche you never knew existed. Not only is this an experience you won’t forget, but, also a great tool, especially for new authors. If you find yourself stuck on character development this is where you need to be. It only takes a couple of hours to bring the personality of your work out and breath new life into it. So who you gonna call? Dr. Kelly with a PHD in fiction.
Clarisse Almeida Alvarenga
Kelly could do what no one in my book could. Let Victoria’s guard down. For two hours that felt like mere minutes, she told Kelly things I didn’t know about her. I absolutely recommend the experience! If you have some difficult questions for your character, fear not. Kelly will get them answered.
I found doing the Character interview will Kelly Blanchard rather enlightening. I’ve been working with Caeden (my character) for some time but have had difficulty getting into his head for the second book in my Progeny series. Choosing to use him for the character interview pushed me out of my comfort zones and helped me get to the core of who Caeden was. Kelly knew how to orchestrate the interview in a way that addressed the hard issues even when I tried to redirect the interview, which meant that I was made to explore Caeden’s personality where I hadn’t before. I found this experience most valuable for my writing and would recommend it to anyone.
Kelly is a wonder. She managed to get my untrusting protagonist, Seluna, to talk with her as though they were old friends. Kelly even got her to talk about her relationship with her father, which Seluna had never mentioned before. In two hours with Kelly, I learned many new things about my character, even though I’ve been working with Seluna for six years. It was time well spent, and I highly recommend Kelly to anyone who needs to delve deeper into their character’s mind!
Tired of talking to yourself? Writing unanswered letters to your subconscious? Character being closemouthed about his, well, character? Need a break from your own reality? Whatever it is eating your brain, having your character interviewed by Kelly is a good way to explore a character, a story, and productively spend your time.
D. L. Pitchford
I’m not sure what to say other than WOW! This was such an awesome experience that I don’t know how I haven’t spent a million dollars doing fifty more of these yet. Not only was this a unique experience, it was also fun.
While initially nerve-wracking (even after the author interview the day before), it was much easier to settle into the skin of a well-known character and write things out. I wanted my character to open up to Kelly and talk to her so badly that I kept typing out phrases only to have to erase them because I knew she wouldn’t be that upfront with anyone.
It was so wonderful to be able to role play with an already developed character instead of just bouncing ideas off myself. Kelly really got down to it quickly, and though my character was less than compliant, it still allowed me to see more depth into her personality and past than I’d previously been able to.
I can’t wait to set up another interview to figure out more about some of my other characters. Kelly’s interviews are fantastic — 100% recommend!
Whether you’re a planner or a pantser having Kelly interview your character is something any author can benefit from. Within minutes of her sitting down with my character I was discovering things about him I didn’t expect to and by the end of the interview I’d gotten as much development and growth with him from her short interaction as I had in the year I’d been writing his tale. Whether you’re struggling with writer’s block, needing a bit more clarity on a character’s motivations, or just want a new perspective on them working with Kelly Blanchard is time and money well spent.
In the two hours that I spoke with Kelly during this interview, I learnt more about my character than I had in the three years I’d been writing the novel for. Kelly is definitely blunt, but it helped me to cut through the shield my character usually wears to the real side of him, that nearly nobody gets to see. All the kinks I had have been worked out, and I feel as if I can get right back into the novel after a seven month gap of writer’s block. Participating in this interview was a brilliant idea and I recommend it to everyone else who might be struggling with a character, or just wants to learn more about their world and its people.
While the author interview was fun, the character interview took things to a whole new level. With two hours instead of one, you are more able to delve into the character and their world, exploring who they are and what makes them tick. Kelly is a master at asking the right questions (or the wrong questions, as she bravely kept pressing my villain on subjects that he was not so fond of touching) to keep things moving at a brisk pace while also getting to some interesting information about the character. A real joy, I recommend any writer to give it a try!
After my author interview with Kelly, I felt like I had a pretty good idea of what to expect when she interviewed my character, Emma. For the most part, I was right. There were some questions that I expected, and quite a few that I didn’t. Kelly did a very thorough job of bringing out Emma’s personality. I felt at ease throughout the entire interview, and I was able to explore parts of Emma’s story that I hadn’t given much attention to before then. I also had to work out a few overlooked details on the fly, but I feel more confident in my character now because of it. Kelly really knows how to get to the heart of a character, and it’s something I enjoyed having the opportunity to do.
I signed up for a second interview with another character as soon as Emma’s interview was over, and I really look forward to seeing what Kelly brings forward in Ben when they meet later this year. If you’re trying to make up your mind about whether or not to do the character interview, do it. You definitely won’t regret it.
Kelly’s approach to interview’s is unique, and very relaxed I felt totally at ease, and able to get into character with no fuss. It even gave me a idea for a new novel. I will definitely be using her again
Molly Hertig Darcey
Kelly makes you feel at ease during the interviews. She makes the interviews fun with the setting and informative. She asks questions both of the characters and of the writer to make us think of things we haven’t thought of. If you are having trouble accessing a character, I would come ask for an interview. I am pleased how they both turned out. Thanks Kelly!
I had so much fun during my character interview between Kelly and one of my main characters, Theresa. Theresa can be hard for me to crack open sometimes but she opened right up to Kelly and it gave me further insight into her personality. I’ve already scheduled our next interview!
I admit to being worried about my Character interviewing with Kelly. Krystianna can be extremely hard headed and stubborn and really hates the whole idea of interviews. I spent a week with her in my head telling me what a pain in the ass she was going to be about her interview. She even went out of her way to be late to the interview with Kelly. But Kelly, being the amazing Muse she is, simply sat down and started poking at Krystianna. And Krystianna simply went with the flow for the first time in our history together. In the two hours that they talked I learned so much about my own character it was almost scary. I got insights that were painfully needed and which have helped me tell my character’s story with more ease and grace. Kelly is a delight and a wonder to work with. I think she could get the Devil himself to confess his deepest fears, and he would be happy to do so. I highly recommend these interviews to any writer, published or not. They give you so much more than you could ever expect!
Another wonderful experience with Kelly! She interviewed my character and it was so much fun! She has the character chose the location for the interview and set the scene. Then she goes to work! She can really uncover what makes the character tick, and reveals things the writer may never before have realized about their character. Kelly has a true talent for making the character come to life. You know you have a great interviewer when it doesn’t even feel like you’re being interviewed! Thanks for the opportunity, Kelly!
Oh my goodness, alright. Let me tell you how awesome Kelly Blanchard is.
She interviewed Nathan. Yes, my Nathan who refused to speak and talk about how he felt, and who refused to allow me to write. And he spoke. A lot. And things got very deep, and it just comes to show that I know he’s deep cause he just proved it to me. She managed to untie his tied tongue and just get right into the business of things. She got a lot of backstory out of him, which is vital in writing his character. He’s broken, he’s hurt and he’s the deepest and most well thought character I have. Anyways, now he’s taking a break from the interview, but he wants to help me write. He’s actually willing to let me in and let me write him; which is brilliant! A massive thank you to Kelly for this.
I have to thank Kelly for interviewing Kane Aiden, my main character for my book. I’ve had him in the back of my mind for nearly 4 years, and I knew a lot about him. The interview reminded me a lot of why I love this character and why he means so much to me. He’s a gruff, lovable guy, who understands that his life is messed up, but also understands that without his one goal, he would just fall apart in a world that moved on without him.
If you have a chance to have your character interviewed, you should. Don’t hesitate okay? You can flesh the character out or, in my case, remember exactly why you loved them so dearly in the first place.
I didn’t know how I was going to write an interview with my character when I knew so little about her. But of course, that’s what Kelly does! She sits across from you and brings out the bits of your character that they were trying to hide from you, and before you know it, you find out things you didn’t even imagine about them!
If you’re struggling to understand parts of your character, it really helps to have Kelly chat with them and ask the questions you didn’t think about asking. I’m definitely doing this again!
On Wednesday the 20th, I had my second interview with Kelly Blanchard. After the first I was very excited, and expected a similar event. This, of course, was not to be true. I had not considered the ramifications of introducing a new person, via writing, to my main character, Daniela Rosales. There were a lot of things to consider. When this meeting took place, where, and at what point in the story. Kelly, true to form, laid this out for me, prior to the interview, and I was able to think on it before hand. I finally decided upon the meeting taking place after the ending of my book ‘Angels Deserve to Die’.
As with the first interview, I set the scene with an opening paragraph or two, and Kelly wrote herself into it. As with our author interview, I had never co-written anything. Unlike that interview, this one was different. I was allowing someone into the world that I had created, and giving them, albeit a small amount, of creative license over it. Thankfully, Kelly is a gracious and kind person. In no time at all, she was seated in the sitting room of the shotgun shack in Bywater, New Orleans, speaking with my main character, Daniela Rosales.
I was not sure what to expect, as Daniela can be difficult to deal with at times, even as her writer. Kelly performed her interview, asking questions, and pushing Daniela to not only answer them, but also to think past her answers. Which, for the character, is a good thing. The discussion continued and it began to rain. Kelly was even given a short encounter with another character in the book, Etienne. By the time the interview was finished, which took about two hours, I think we were both exhausted, she from dealing with Daniela and I from channeling her.
Like the Author interview it was intense and spurred my creativity, giving me thoughts that I had not considered while writing it. Unlike the author interview, it was altogether different, nearly every aspect. That does not mean it is a bad thing. If you are considering Kelly’s Author/Character interview, as a writer, I highly encourage you to do so. It will not only open your eyes to aspects of yourself, but your character(s), plot and story.
V. P. Allasander
Kelly really delves into knowing the character she is interviewing. With her friendly questions, she gets the feel of the character and with her exquisite wording, she manages to portray the character in the light the author wants. The character interviews are based in the author’s world/universe. She interviewed my character, Francesca, from my upcoming novel, The Girl in Cinders, and it was a fun experience. I really loved being the character and while the author interview had me being me, the character interview enabled me to enact my own character, to get a first hand feel of how the character would interact with another. Her questions are straightforward and adapts to situations quite well. Her interviews are not something that an author would want to miss.
I had a wonderful time with Kelly meeting my antagonist, Set. He was actually on his best behavior (and for a darker God that is probably a really good thing). We learned a bit more about him (he actually isn’t always a pain in the arse apparently) and found out that he does like some people (like Mother Earth). He is still too driven to possess someone for his own good but who knows maybe in the end he will be a little better. I don’t know.
Nervously awaiting this chance for a meeting with the muse, I was afraid I would ruin my chance to discover new things about my character. However, the character that I chose to be interviewed by Kelly is one that will star in my next novel. No spoilers, but a hint: a medieval teenage princess learning her trade.
In this interview, Kelly was able to find the gaps in the story, and helped me to fill them in. I will now be able to expand and continue the plot I had been stuck on for weeks. Thank you for a job well done!
The character interview with Kelly was perhaps the most fun I’ve ever had. I used someone who features lightly in my first book, but more heavily in the next, which is still in draft stage. Though I thought I knew this character inside out, her insightful probing revealed multiple layers of backstory and character conflict that I can easily work into this and future stories. It was a blast, and really helped me get into this characters head and feel him like never before. I’d recommend this project to anyone who’s having writers block, character issues, is struggling with worldbuilding or backstory or just wants to stimulate creativity and have fun!
I recently did a character interview with Kelly Blanchard, what a fun experience. This was my first character interview ever, and Kelly made it simple, easy and interesting. Would recommend to all of my author friends!
Kelly, I just want to thank you again for that interview with Rachel. As an author with two books published and the third waiting merely for a publication date from my publisher, and having used Rachel as a peripheral character in all three of those romance novels, one would think I’d know her fairly well. Unfortunately, I still couldn’t get a firm handle on what really made her tick. I’ve used her much later in her life, when she’s living the happily ever after romance novel heroines are supposed to have. After that interview, and just writing whatever came to mind for her responses, I learned a lot about the strong, feisty character she is and what made her so strong.
I will strongly recommend to any author struggling with character development, motivation, even back story on that character to do a character interview with you. Go into it viewing it as a learning opportunity on what makes the character tick, what drives that character, and even how to turn the character’s weaknesses into strengths.
Lynda J Cox Author of *The Devil’s Own Desperado*, *Smolder on a Slow Burn*, and *Seize the Flame* (soon to be released)
Kelly methodically took apart my ex-army, paramedic, road-worn character and found his soft spots. It was really amazing how well she poked around until she found where to “drop the hammer.” Best monetary investment into my character, hands down!
I should have had my characters interviewed by Kelly *months* ago! Part of me had been afraid that I wasn’t “good enough” to participate in something so on the fly, and another part insisted I’d known my characters long enough and wouldn’t’ get anything new from them. Let me tell you, no matter where you are in your writing journey, Kelly is motivational and inviting, yet still has the ability to pry out things your characters have been hiding from you. Our session uncovered a very sensitive aspect I’d been unaware of from a character I’d known for 13 years, and I strongly recommend any writer, at any stage of their career, schedule a character interview. You, your cast, and your story will be thankful for it!
On September of 2015, Kelly interviewed my character Sayid over Facebook messenger. Interviewing a character really helped develop him and his back story. I plan to do this with future characters. I really recommend this for anyone who writes.
Kelly Blanchard is absolutely amazing at delving into the characters mind as she has on the spot interactions within a fiction realm. The dialogue is top notch and she really pulls out another side of your character that will sometimes surprise you. It was an amazing experience and I can’t wait to do it again!
I came to Kelly with an already developed character, all fleshed out and ready to be the star of her own novel. There was one hitch; I hadn’t written her in over a year and felt like I couldn’t quite get back into her mindset. That’s where Kelly’s character interview came in. It was a good, entertaining chance to dive back in and reacquaint myself with a character who had been going sorely neglected during the year I pursued a different project. Now I’m all ready for November, and feel confident in my ability to get this character on paper.
Joshua L. Cejka
Oh My God! He actually spoke! My review of Kelly’s Character Interviews.
What would happen if someone asked to interview one of your characters? Could you do it? Would they talk? What would they talk about?
Those were the sort of things I had to answer in the latest interview where Kelly Blanchard interviewed me in the person of Max, my dwarven Milwaukee homicide detective. Max is not normally a talkative guy. In fact, he’s downright tight lipped most of the time so I was a little worried that the entire interview would consist of his usual series of cigar chewing interspersed with a few incoherent grunts. But, that didn’t happen. Somehow she caught him on a good day, that or she’s just that good of an interviewer.
Max opened up in a way I’d never seen him before. Sure, he still chewed his cigar but he never lit it, which I found amazing. Even his girlfriend Sasha got into the act a little bit, showing up late in the interview after her shift. Then again, she always tries to steal the show.
If you get a chance to take one of Kelly Blanchard’s character interviews – DO IT! Jump at it. Leap for joy. It’s not just a fun and interesting promotional tool for your work in progress. It’s an exercise in character creation itself. You may find you’ve created something new, or at the very least, gotten to know your characters even more than you did before.
It’s really a fantastic experience.
I have to admit, I was really pretty stoked about the character interview—having heard so much about it. I chose to use a character that I was already pretty familiar with and didn’t think I had too many issues with. As it turned out, the character interview helped me out immensely with one particular plot point that ended up resolving the entire novel! Thanks to Kelly’s probing questions, she gave me some brilliant ideas for how to use a secondary character to achieve the same result with this same character. Overall, I would definitely use her services again to flesh out any character—even one I’m pretty sure I had well figured out! Her insightful questions and fun with the characters definitely allows different facets of their personalities be seen and gave me time to explore the meanings and history behind the character and his motivation. Plus, having someone fresh come to the table and get to meet the character was an exciting opportunity to see how well they stand up to scrutiny. Thanks, Kelly, for all your help. I’d definitely recommend the character interview for any character—even the ones you think are fleshed out enough.
Artemis Blackbourne is a character I’ve been living with for 3 years. I felt like I knew her, inside and out, and that nothing about her could surprise me. When Kelly interviewed her, things changed a bit.
Kelly asked a lot of hard questions, questions which everyone in Artemis’ world is too hesitant to ask. It was a challenge to respond to them, and it gave me more insight into Artemis’ personality, and how she reacts when she’s challenged.
When the interview first started, I was hesitant, and thought too much about how Artemis would respond. But the more Kelly interacted with her, the more Artemis took over, and the more it felt effortless. It was an awesome experience, and I highly recommend it!
My interview with Kelly Blanchard was nothing less than amazing. I haven’t written with or thought about this character at all in the past six months. Sliding back into her shoes was a challenge, but rewarding beyond measure. I’ve written six pages in the past six days, which is more than I’ve written in the past six months. Because of this experience, I fell in love with the characters and the world of my novel again. Kelly is great at seeing characters for who they are, and she even made some revelations that I didn’t even realize about my character. All in all, it was a great experience and I had such a fun time that I have been inspired to write again. Meeting with the Muse *indeed!*
When Kelly asked if she could, additionally to the author interview, talk to one of my characters, I was torn especially when she wanted to interview one of my villains. But since I refuse to back down from a challenge, I agreed.
Oh boy, little did I know I’d be having a full blown panic attack in the hour before the interview. I started doubting my character, my plot, my ability to write and I thought about tossing my whole computer out the window to have an excuse not to let Kelly meet Michael.
Michael is the charming vampire villain from my book “Blood Oath”, well charming when he isn’t kidnapping girls and torturing people.
When it was time for the interview, several people had talked me down from the ledge and I took a deep breath.
With Kelly’s help and patience, a dictionary (I am German, so my English is far from perfect) and loads of coffee, the interview turned out to be a fun experience and I loved showing Kelly the world and the characters I had created.
Kelly managed to dig deeper into my villain, help me get to know sides of him I didn’t know – he is a lot nicer than I expected and she managed to get him enraged once. Thanks to this interview I could let Michael interact with not only other characters from my story he never actually meets “onscreen” in my book and he got to tell his story to an outsider. It was a unique chance to study a character I thought I knew inside and out from a different perspective (I’ve never written from his POV, only ever seen him through the eyes of my female main character who hates him).
So if you ever get a chance to let Kelly talk to one of your characters, do it! It is really worth it!
Thanks Kelly for the amazing time! The character interview wasn’t only a blast, but it also helped me dig more in-depth to my characters mind because I was able to have him communicate with a character from another universe. I can’t wait to see the posted interview!
When two strangers first meet, there is a natural feeling out process in which they must each gauge whether they want to know each other, and if so to what degree to let them in and trust them. In an interview, it is much the same when it comes to the degree of trust each extends the other. For the character interview, Kelly interviewed my antagonist Ansgar, and the initial part of it showcased this facet of interviews quite a bit. Once Kelly was able to convince Ansgar she was not going to judge him, a much more open interview began to take shape.
It was an experience having a character react to somebody that you were not writing as well, and allowed certain elements of Ansgar’s character to shine through a little more than they otherwise might have. Kelly takes everything in stride as an interviewer and treats the character as a real individual and it makes for a great experience.
Ryan T. Nelson
Character interview in the bag. Carlos of the Human+ series had a great chat with Kelly Blanchard and we actually dug a little into his motivations for doing what he does.
I had an idea, but I was kind of surprised what came out of that kid’s mouth during the interview. Some seriously grownup thoughts running through his head and I’m almost sorry for the huge weight I’ve dropped onto his shoulders.
But it’s given me a lot of ideas for how things need to go and how they need to grow as characters to get through the hell that’s going to be coming their way.
Thank you, Miss. Blanchard, for the wonderful interview and the peek into my own characters world. It’s been educational.
Kelly Blanchard has definitely changed the meaning of being ‘interviewed’ twice over, for me at least. She surprised me when in the author interview there weren’t any staid questionnaires that you plow through, answering one after another.
Instead you and she write the story of how you met and the dialogues are pretty interesting, believe me!
BUT it all went up a notch higher last eve when she interviewed the CHARACTER of my upcoming novel- INFINIMEGISTUS. I was on the edge of my seat talking and thinking like LEILA would- the antagonist/protagonist,narrating her story of magic and the Enatic legacy of Granny’s Grimoire! I began to think and feel like Leila, as if she was in my skin and bones. That helped me sharpen the character portrayal in my book which is still ‘work in progress’. Cannot thank Kelly enough for all the good she brought Leila’s way through the interview. I’m amazed at the level of imagination she brings to writing. I’m already considering a second round of interview between my character and Kelly once the book is out.
Oh my goodness, this was the most fun I’d had in years playing with a character.
It’s not traditionally having an interview with your character, I get that sort of information from my question lists that I fill out for my references. This was a lot of fun and was more like pure conversation that simply explored parts of the character that either hadn’t been revealed yet, or were being hinted at by the characters.
It helped me out a lot with my story, gave me the exploration required to actually figure out what had happened only a few years prior to the novel’s timeline and was such a major pRt of my character’s history.
Last night I had a character interview with Kelly Blanchard and it was awesome. They are completely different than what you’d expect – we were dropped into a world and my character was under a firing squad of questions destined to help ME get to know him better. You should check out her blog to read more about them – truly fun and useful! Worried that your antagonist is a jerk? Let Kelly help you decide!
(Originally posted as a post on Grace Snoke’s blog.)
…Much like the first interview, it’s much like writing a story together, except instead of her setting the scene for it, I set the scene of it, taking on the role of my previously un-named pseudo-antagonist. He’s sort of an antagonist but as the story goes, we’ll quickly learn he’s not the real antagonist – that wasn’t revealed to me until I did the interview with Kelly.
The character, named Marcus Diehl, is an entertainment lawyer who is also a werewolf. Marcus has been a thorn in my side for a while, not really telling me much about himself and I used this interview to help figure out the details by, literally, taking him on as a role and answering the questions she had as him.
In doing this, the character opened up and let me – and her – know a lot more about him than I had previously known…read more.
As much as I loved the author interview, it reminded me that I’m still really touchy on the subject of the first person (independent of being either a teacher or a close friend) who thought I was writing a good story. Even with that, I truly enjoyed the process of getting interviewed, and am eagerly looking forward to my character interview. I would entirely call this a five star interview method for creatives!
So I have to be honest, this interview was a mulligan. The first time Kelly interviewed this character, he did not perform well. I don’t have a lot of experience writing villains and it showed. That being said, this interview was a huge learning experience! Kelly was awesome, she was patient and encouraging, but was very direct about what could be improved. That directness was tempered with kindness and an attitude of wanting to see a fellow writer improve their craft, which cushioned her critique. The “redo” interview was much better, and I really felt like I got to know my own character. She really made me dig into his motivations, and she didn’t hold back in asking him tough questions. It’s helpful to sit down and actually role play a character, which is something I hadn’t really done prior to this interview. This was one of the best learning experiences I’ve had as a writer. I would encourage other writers who want to do this interview to be willing to listen to the opinion of others, and at least be willing to consider that opinion. You may learn something new about your character you never considered before.
I found Kelly Blanchard’s character interviews a fascinating journey into my own character. It is an interesting experience to take a character out of my own head and make them come alive for another person. As a writer, it is a challenge I loved as it brought me a greater awareness as to my character’s motivation and potential. Thanks, Kelly, for the opportunity.
Virginia Carraway Stark
This is what it is like:
You open those doors in your mind that release your characters to be free in their world. When you go to those familiar places, you notice something different… A new door where there was no door before.
That is what it is like to be interviewed as your character like my character, Sasha Wheaton was interviewed last week by Kelly Blanchard. It’s the same as writing in many ways but with the added dimension of penetrating, rational thought being added to the process. By adding this we don’t just stay in our character’s comfort zone but penetrate deep into their hearts and minds. You’ll find more there than when you first opened that door. A vital tool for all writers seeking to hone their craft, and if you’re a writer, you always are a seeker.
Nan Sampson Bach
This was possibly the most fun I’ve ever had! I knew my villain had a short temper, even though he prides himself on being so controlled. Kelly managed to enrage him so much he completely lost it. It was hilarious! The questions really made me think too (seriously, it was getting hard to tell who was doing the thinking, me or him), about his motivations, his underlying belief systems and a host of other things. I thought I had a handle on it, but this interview brought up some good stuff I can play with. So not only a FAB time, but useful for me the author and hence for my readers too! Thank you, Kelly!
In my second interview with Kelly, I was able to explore the personality of a supporting character who previously hadn’t seemed real to me. The style of interview was vital to this exploration. Kelly entered the world of my character, Myriam, with curiosity and openness. She easily grasped the unusual setting, psychological climate and areas of conflict. She asked probing questions, gently suggested potential pathways, and showed a general spirit of empathy. Immersing myself fully in my character’s reality, I was able to draw from intuitive methods as well as intellectual ones to understand her better than I had before.
Kelly approached me to do a character interview and, for some strange reason, I agreed. I’d never done a character interview before so I wasn’t sure how it would work out. I was worried about it and considered making an excuse to get out of it. Even at zero hour, as I was typing up the intro to get the interview started, part of me was still trying to think of how to get out of it. I couldn’t think of anything and I’m glad I didn’t. The interview was a lot of fun and I was sad when our time was up. Kelly has a way of putting interviewees at ease and make the interview fun. Janus, the character I used for the interview, is very reticent when it comes to talking about himself, but Kelly got him to open up and reveal more than he has in any of the stories he’s appeared in. She even got him to reveal his plans for the future. Those plans were a surprise to me because I didn’t know anything about them. Because Kelly was able to make the interview fun and interesting, I enjoyed the process and learned something about my character that I didn’t know before. Kelly is a skilled and delightful interviewer. She can interview me or my characters any time she wants.
The Character interview was an awesome experience. I learned more about my character than I would’ve if he was talking to me. I also got more writing practice in third person as well!
Kelly’s character interview is a totally unique experience. In this interview, Kelly comes to visit a character in a location of the author’s choosing. In my interview, Kelly interviewed my antagonist. The antagonist was a difficult character for me to write. He was not well developed. I did not like him, and found him boring and clichéd. Kelly was able to ask questions and prod the character in a way that characters from the story could not accomplish. This allowed me to learn more about the antagonist and develop more depth and humanity to the character. Although he is still a despicable person, I am able to have some compassion for him. This development is allowing me to edit him into a much better character, and to get past some problems that I didn’t even realize were blocking my editing progress.
This interview style can be extremely valuable for writing tutoring that is centered on character development. It could also be a great source for creating bonus material that introduces readers to the author’s characters and writing style without necessarily stepping into existing story material. I found it to be both and enjoyable and valuable experience.
When I decided to do the character interview with Kelly Blanchard, I thought I’d have a good idea of the direction the discussion would take, since I’ve been working on the antagonist’s story longer than the protagonist. What I discovered was an opportunity to explore explore important parts of the antagonist that had been underdeveloped.
The format of the interview allowed me to set the scene and slip into the head of a major character who does not narrate the story. Responding in the character’s voice and gestures made him come alive for me again after a bit of a writing hiatus. Thanks to Kelly’s insightful questions and unexpected candor, the character began to fill out in ways I hadn’t seen before, even after working on this project for many years. It was refreshing and enlightening to talk to someone who didn’t know the narrator and wanted to get to know the antagonist without the narrator’s filter. Just like the author interview, Kelly seemed genuinely interested in the subject and asked thoughtful questions. She put me at ease and was encouraging throughout the process.
The Author interview with Kelly Blanchard was a lot of fun and the Character interview was even better.
I greatly enjoyed introducing Kelly to my protagonist, William. Setting the location in his home/workshop was a fun opportunity and her questions allowed me to flesh out some details of the world that made it all flow better in my head.
She even got me to delve into his past more and I was able to establish details that even I hadn’t considered for his back story.
I would highly recommend the format for any writer wanting to explore their characters. I had a lot of fun and I’m grateful to Kelly for the opportunity.
Rebekkah Hibbert Shaw
My antagonist was a cliche’d template originally, but with mentor sessions with Kelly I learned to let the character speak for himself, so it seemed only fitting to have him meet Kelly in a Character Interview. After all, she helped him escape the cliche box. It started simply, but Kelly asked questions that forced him to truly think about his motives. What he discovered, she stated to his face so he would answer for it. So, to avoid spoilers, all I can say is this: A character interview is so much more productive than a character questionnaire. Never did Kelly ask what his favorite food was. Never did we even address what he looked like. And guess what, it wasn’t important! Now it is time to end this review because I need to add a few things to my story outline! So much was revealed that I didn’t even know yet!
Sarah Elisabeth Sawyer
The character I chose for this interview is normally quiet, but bold, carrying his share of secrets and hurt. He doesn’t like to open up with my other characters, but he was willing to do so with someone who could be no threat to him. It gave him a chance to be himself, a chance to behave the way he would if not for the reality of his life.
Thank you, Kelly, for taking the trek deep into the caves of Aquila and helping us all to unravel a bit of the mystery of Stephen’s life. This was a blast! You should a character therapist.
I usually interview my own characters as part of my process but I can say that now I will be asking a friend to take the role of interviewer. Kelly’s interview was fantastic and gave me insights to my character I never knew before. It was so easy to get into as Kelly makes you feel at ease and was an experience that I found beneficial and fun.
I usually interview my own characters as part of my process but I can say that now I will be asking a friend to take the role of interviewer. Kelly’s interview was fantastic and gave me insights to my character I never knew before. It was so easy to get into as Kelly makes you feel at ease and was an experience that I found beneficial and fun.
Orlandrea Jamiel Shader
My character interview was a flop—the first time around, but that was a great thing. The character that Kelly was interviewing had not been developed completely. She asked all the right questions and the character opened up a side that quite frankly made me want to vomit. I couldn’t even write the character.
Thankfully, Kelly offered a redo and a few suggestions. At the end of the 2nd interview, I was already rewriting the entire story in my head. The character wanted to be written, and I was looking forward to writing them. Kelly’s suggestions opened up a whole new world for this character. And even though they are the antagonist, there is a depth to them that could only be brought out later. Kelly’s character interviews are actually a great tool for the author and the character. Kelly’s tough questions definitely shed light on your characters. And as the author, you need that light.
An interview with Kelly Blanchard is less a run of the mill interview, and more of a valuable coaching session. For the character interviews, this is especially so.
I’m not one to refer to my characters as independent entities, so it was a stretch and an experiment to allow Big Mike to attend the interview and let him speak for himself. Luckily, Kelly was as adept at drawing out the nuances of his background and motivation as she was in the writer interview. I learned heaps about Mike, including quite a few surprises – who knew that he was seeing Fae, too! Or rather, that they were showing themselves to him. And who told Electric Sally she could stop in for a visit?
I am grateful to Kelly for the opportunity to stop by, and recommend one of these interviews/sessions for any writer having trouble listening to what her characters have to say!
Unless you’re asking a sadist who works in an HR department, nobody you ask will say that they genuinely enjoy interviews. They can often feel like interrogations, and sometimes will force the interviewee to ask themselves some uncomfortable questions. Other times, they can feel invasive, and the interviewee will naturally clam up.
Things are a bit different when you place somebody in an environment of their own choosing. My character, Mariko Williams, invited Kelly Blanchard up to her home in the Sea of Nectar, just outside the Lunar colony of New Tokyo. None of Mariko’s eight children were present, and her husband was in the basement preparing for a video conference with his associates back on Earth. The combination of Mariko’s Japanese genes and the low gravity made her appear forty years younger than she actually was, which Kelly didn’t notice until she was well into the interview.
Being rather removed from the corporate politics of the colonization effort, Mariko wasn’t able to go into too much detail about how it happened. Instead, she told about her own involvement. Her children were all contributing to either the scientific or technological endeavors that paid for the continued existence of New Tokyo. As Mariko’s creator, I felt myself filling out many details of her life, which was to be the basis of the story once the voyage was underway.
Despite a slightly awkward start, I was glad for the interview. It helped remind me that I need to stay focused on the whole purpose of my writing: people. My whole purpose in putting words to paper is to remind humanity of what we were before September 11, 2001. We dared to dream, and America makes the best dreams of all. The best part of our dreams was that we didn’t keep them to ourselves, and we didn’t see only ourselves in them.
We need to have that again if we hope to build a meaningful future.
When Kelly mentioned me doing a Character Interview I was confused and was really unsure how it would play out. I can say after diving into the interview with Kelly I learned a lot about my character and it helped me in many aspects. I had went in with uncertainty and came out with a lot of excitement for what the future held. Kelly is positive and easy to work with. If you have the opportunity then please try it out! Thanks for the help Kelly!