Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Now I have a reason to be nervous

Last night Gianino Zoppe called me. He had gotten my email, and he called me by my given name (which I hadn't given him) so I think he probably checked up on my references before he called. That's okay by me, one of the things I hoped for is that he wouldn't think I was a Nino Stalker.

Of course, the timing was such that he got my voice mail, and left me a message that he'd love to do an interview and giving me his phone number.

I was so excited, just hearing his lightly accented voice on my voice mail. I had really given my request for an interview a less than 50/50 shot of working. I proved myself wrong!

So now I sit here in front of a blank page trying to come up with a reasonable list of questions I want to ask him. I don't want to have too many, he's doing me a great favor by doing an interview in the first place. But I need to ask the questions that need to be answered in order to fill out my main male character, too. I don't want to ask too many personal questions, but I need to ask some, so that I understand how he lives, why he performs, what his life is like outside of the ring. That's the part of my characterization that is not coming together well.

That is my job this get my list of questions ready. Then I can be prepared for my interview, which I hope to conduct tonight or tomorrow.

Monday, February 12, 2007

Why am I so nervous?

I finally decided after a week of continuing to play around with my story that my clown is just not going to become three-dimensional unless I get more research. I need to talk to a clown who is like my main character. I need to talk to Giovanni Zoppe.

I sent an email last night, that it took me over an hour to compose, and am hoping for the best. An in-person interview would be best, I think, and I wouldn't mind driving to northern IL where they have winter quarters. Believe it or not, I'd be less nervous face-to-face with him than I would be on the phone. In a face-to-face interview I could get all the nuances of facial expression and body language, and hope to capture some of the passion of the man who is Nino the Clown. Phone interviews are hard for me...they always have been.

We'll see if I get a response.

Sunday, February 04, 2007


While I still tangle with this issue of making Tino "real" in my book (he is flat as a board right now), I continue to meet people that inspire and intrigue me in the areas of characterization.

On Thursday, my husband and I bought a Toyota Previa minivan from a man named Sebastian (leaving his last name out here as it might be an invasion of privacy). He hadn't seemed all that interesting on the phone, but in person, I was struck by several things. It occurred to me that I needed a man like this in my book.

He spoke with a muted German accent; definitely there but dulled somewhat by years in the states. He was tall, about 6' 4" if I had to guess, but not in an imposing way. He was slender but not emaciated, and had the bluest eyes I think I've ever seen short of my husband's. He shook hands firmly when we made the deal on the van, spoke firmly but softly. He gave off the appearance of calm effectiveness, yet beneath the surface, there seemed to be a roiling river of passion that could have erupted at any time. Yeah, I know that sounds trite, but it was almost like a feeling of "still waters run deep" with this guy.

Definitely a character I needed in my novel. I believe he will replace my existing ringmaster/owner character (Sam). I would have added him in and made him ringmaster and maybe performance director, but with a circus such as mine, the owner would have too little to do if I put in a secondary character. And I don't need a "right-hand man" for the owner, either, as I've developed that character already in the form of the circus "Patch," Marty.

Today I'm going to see what Sebastian can tell me about himself as I sit at my computer screen. Then I need to bite the bullet and do the same with Tino, who is getting flatter and flatter every day, instead of developing into something.