Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Twenty Questions Character Interview: Wolf Cowrie

This week, I'm going to add a new occasional feature: Character interviews! I can't guarantee that this will be anything approaching regular, but it should be a fun exercise, and informative for both me and my readers.

I will be using Auto Crit's "Twenty Questions" method, described here. I will be answering the question in-character as Wolf in italics.

  1. If you had a free day with no responsibilities and your only mission was to enjoy yourself, what would you do? I don't get any of those. I guess I'd go out hunting--just me and nature--or maybe go to the local saloon for a drink.
  2. What impression do you make on people when they first meet you? How about after they've known you for a while? I'm a half-Sioux in the frontier. Most folks know me by skin color first and by reputation second. Most folks might write me off as short-tempered or even rude, but when you've been through all the stuff I have you learn how to get to the point real quick. That said, if you manage to get me as a friend, I'm about the best feller to have on your side when things get tight.
  3. What's your idea of a good marriage? Do you think that'll happen in your life? Marriage, huh? Do I look like the marrying type to ya? Well, if ya insist. my idea of a good marriage is a feller finding a woman who completes him, and the other was around. A rough feller like me couldn't exactly hook up with a high-class lady--she's gotta know how to handle herself. I used to think that I wasn't gonna get married, not after Kimimela. Now, though... things are starting to look up. I still love Kimimela, you understand, but she's gone. I gotta keep moving forward now. I guess it all depends on whether I can step out with this lady I've been fancying without her Pa feeding me a shotgun.
  4. What are you most proud of about your life? (If they answer with something other than a personal statement, like a business achievement, ask "What about on a personal level?") My proudest moment, I think, was finally taking down that son of a bitch Russeau. I'd been hunting him for five years, and now I've got my payback from him for Kimimela. [He runs his hands through his hair.] It wasn't all sunshine and roses after that, but I got him good. A close second would probably be earning the respect of the people in Goldwater--which is nothing short of a miracle considering the place is up in the Black Hills.
  5. What are you most ashamed of in your life? (Again, if necessary ask "What about on a personal level?") I still ain't proud of the fact that I couldn't save Kimimela. I mean, some nights I lay away wondering... was there something more I could have done to get her back after she'd been turned into a vampire. [He looks down.] I keep wondering if I could have saved her rather than just had her head off and been done with it.
  6. If you could spend the day with someone you admire (living or dead or imaginary), who would you pick? Doc Meadows, I think. He seemed a bit limp-wristed when I first met him, but he save my life, and he's tough when push comes to shove.
  7. Do you think you've turned out the way your parents expected? [Laughs.] Probably not. The thing is, I don't think my Pa ever found out my Ma was a skinwalker, so he'd be all shocked to heck if he found out I was a shapeshifter. My Ma, though... I think she had it in her head that I'd grow to be a respectable Sioux man rather than a wandering gunslinger and monster hunter. Then again, none of us predicted Russeau, so where it is.
  8. What do you believe about God? (If they believe in God, ask "What do you suppose God thinks of you?") I believe that there's lots of things out there that can help a good man if he's in a pinch. The white folks got the God they pray to in their churches, and I got the Great Spirit that Indians follow. Hell, for all I know they might be the same thing. As for what either of them thinks of me... [scratches his ear thoughtfully] Well, I like to think I've been doing the best I can with the hand I've been dealt. I ain't pretending I'm an angel--I've done some bad things in my life, but all of them needed doing. I've been getting rid of the monsters and such that would be hunting down His people, using what I have and what I know to protect people. I'd like to think that He figures I'm doing a good job of that.
  9. Is there anything you've always wanted to do but haven't done? What would happen if you did it? [He purses his lips thoughtfully.] Whelp--strange as it might seem, I've always wanted to live a peaceful life. You know, settle down with a nice woman, maybe have a couple of kids. I don't know what kind of kids we'll have... whether they'll be more like her or more like me, but... [shrugs] Worth a shot anyways. Trouble is, the lady I got my eye on--and her on me, by the way--is a white woman, and even if I've got me a reputation as a hero in these parts there's still gonna be people who won't like me stepping out with her, let alone marrying her. They'd have some loud arguments against it, in fact, and she might get caught in the middle. That could get real sticky in a hurry.
  10. What's the worst thing that's happened in your life? What did you learn from it? The worst thing that happened in my life? That would be when I went to Kimimela's village to ask for her hand in marriage... I had wedding gifts for her and everything, so her parents could see that I'd be a good husband, but... when I got there, the place was in flames. The people who lived there... all dead. Slaughtered. drained of blood. Massacred by the man that I came to hate with every fiber of my being--Russeau. I saw him, up on a hill, looking down at the ruins of the village... and he... he had Kimimela. She was in... some sort of a trance. I... I couldn't stop him from taking her. I tried, but he was too strong and I didn't know near enough about what he was. I keep thinking that I could have done something more... that I could've saved her, but... [He shakes his head.] That was the day I learned about the monsters in the frontier... starting with vampires. That was the day I started hunting.
  11. Tell me about your best friend. (If you think it might be interesting, ask "How did you meet? What do you like about this person? What do they like about you?") I don't got many friends, but I'd say the closest I got to a best friend is Lucifer, my horse. Well, he's mostly a horse. I snagged him shortly after Doc and I took care of Russeau in Salvation, and whatever else he is, he's the only horse in these parts that's willing to carry me. [He smirks.] We had to have a bit of a discussion about that, but it's all settled. He's the devil incarnate on four hooves, and I wouldn't have it any other way.
  12. What's the worst thing you've ever done to someone? Why? ("Why" is usually a good follow-up question to any response!) The worst thing I ever done to someone was shoot his wife with a crossbow. She'd been turned--not into a vampire but into some other kind of nasty hungry critter. There was no time to explain things to him, so I put her down real quick. I'll never forget the look on his face after. I don't think Lucifer ever looked at God with that much hate.
  13. What would you like it to say on your tombstone? [He grins] "Look out, Devil--Here I Come!"
  14. Describe your ideal mate. She'd be strong, pretty... [laughs] patent... and she'd know her way around a gun. [coughs] I got someone in mind, actually... [grins]
  15. What are you most afraid of? I'm afraid that the way I live my life right now, hunting and being hunted by every nasty thing in the frontier, I might just lose everything I've come to love. Everything I care about. I try to get around it by traveling light, but being a local hero makes that kind of hard.
  16. What's the most important thing in your life? What do you value most? [He looks thoughtful and settles back on his heels for a bit] The most important thing in my life? Well, I'd be lying right now if I said it wasn't Susannah Twohill. What we got... well, it's complicated because of a lot of things, but I'd go through Hell and kick the Devil between the legs for her.
  17. What do you like best about yourself? Least? I like that I got the know-how to defend people from the nastier critters on the frontier, but I hate that I wasn't able to save Kimimela, in the end.
  18. What do you like best about Susannah? Least? [He smirks.] Susannah's got grit. You can take that to the bank. She's not like the usual ladies you get in big towns from rich families, all hiding behind their fans and their money and hoping that the boogeyman don't crawll in their bedroom window and get em. Dang it all though... sometimes I just want to strangle her because she's brave, but she's stubborn, too... a real hothead. I could explain to her why something wasn't safe until the cows came home and she'd still tag along anyway. [He smiles fondly.] Maybe I'm crazy, but I wouldn't have her any other way.
  19. How do you feel about your life right now? What, if anything, would you like to change? Right now, I'm at a bit of a crossroads. I could keep on with the monster-hunting, or I could settle down once and for all. There's no real hints about what the right direction is. I've been hunting for a long time, and it would be nice to have a rest, but... I'm worried the nasties will just find me anyway. Reputations tend to cut both ways like that.
  20. Are you lying to yourself about something? What is it? [He thinks about this for a long while.] Well, I'd like to say that what I am--half-skinwalker--doesn't bother me at all. I mean, I've been this way my whole life. I can't imagine what it would be like if I didn't know how to shift. Sometimes, though, I think things might be easier if I was full-human. Heck, even if I was full-Indian a lot of things would be less complicated. 

There's my first character interview! Would you like to see more of these? More questions? Different questions? Any particular characters you'd like to see interviewed? Let me know!