I’d like to thank the powers that be at Read My Mind for inviting Dylan, the main character in my book THE MARKED SON, and me to chat.
Seventeen-year-old Dylan Kennedy always knew something was different about him, but until his mother abandoned him in the middle of Oregon with grandparents he’s never met, he had no idea what.
When Dylan sees a girl in white in the woods behind his grandparents’ farm, he knows he’s seen her before… in his dreams. He’s felt her fear. Heard her insistence that only he can save her world from an evil lord who uses magic and fear to feed his greed for power.
Unable to shake the unearthly pull to Kera, Dylan takes her hand. Either he’s completely insane or he’s about to have the adventure of his life, because where they’re going is full of creatures he’s only read about in horror stories. Worse, the human blood in his veins has Dylan marked for death…
That gives you a quick overview of THE MARKED SON, but I thought it’d be interesting to ask Dylan a few questions and see what makes him tick.
Warning: right now, Dylan isn’t particularly fond of me. In fact, I think it’s safe to say, he loathes me like a dog loathes fleas. I’m hoping he’ll be cooperative and talk. Let’s find out.
1. Hi, Dylan. Can you tell everyone a little about yourself:
Did you tell them I’d rather hang upside down over boiling oil than talk to you?
(sigh) Not in those exact words, but yeah, they know. I promise things will look better soon, now please, answer the question.
I’m not sure I believe you. I read your Facebook account. You’re a trouble maker.
(grrr…I knew I didn’t like Facebook for a reason.) I’m begging you, Dylan. If you answer these questions, I promise cross-my-heart-hope-to-die-a-terrible-death that you’ll like me very soon.
Okay, but you’d better keep your promise. Honestly, there’s not much to say. I live with my mom who’s a real head case. She one of those women looking for the “one”. She’s intense, which in plain English means she’ll throw herself at any guy moving faster than a shuffle. We move around a lot. I don’t know why. Okay, I do know why, but she’ll throw a fit if I tell you. Let me put it this way. The men she leaves behind aren’t sad to see her go.
2. You move around a lot, huh? That must be difficult keeping a hobby going. What are your hobbies?
I have one hobby. Music. It’s one of the few things that calms me down or cranks me up. Slip in some metal head stuff and I zone out. Sometimes a guy’s just got to forget, you know?
3. Yeah, I know. I pop in RED for that. They have some sweet riffs and raspy vocals that I love. Oh, sorry. This isn’t about me. What’s your job, and how did you get hooked into it?
I don’t have a job. I’ve tried, but every time I get one, Mom springs a new move on us, and we leave for the next town. I’m experiencing what intellectuals call a “wanderlust” upbringing, but basically we no better than gypsies.
4. That sounds lonely.
You have no idea. I change friends more often than I change underwear.
Sorry about that. Really. Since you move a lot, I guess you don’t have any enemies, right?
Everybody loves me. Well, okay, Leo’s dad isn’t that crazy about me, but I don’t think he likes a lot of people. He’s got trust issues.
Oh, and then there’s Navar. He’s got this thing about killing those he doesn’t like, and since I’m in love with the girl he loves, well, yeah. He’s not exactly my best buddy.
5. What’s the biggest challenge you face in your story?
I wish I had only one. I’m kinda messed up. (again, thanks for that)
Listen, if you had a mom like mine, you’d be cruising Crazy Street too. I dig at Leo’s dad for not trusting people, but I’m worse than he is. I think it’s because I’m forgettable. Do you know what that does to a person, knowing one day everybody is hanging with you and having a good time and the next, they can hardly remember your name?
6. I can see how that would be frustrating. What’s the one event that you feel has shaped your personality?
Oh man. You just had to ask that one, didn’t you. Fine, I’ll tell you. It’s the day I asked Mom about my dad. She went ballistic, and I mean, nuclear explosion. It taught me that the people who say they love you don’t. It taught me not to trust anything anyone says. People lie because it’s easier than facing the truth. How’s that for biting the bullet and having it explode in your mouth?
7. Easy, buddy. Let’s try something less traumatic. What’s your earliest memory from your childhood?
I don’t think you can ask me anything that doesn’t wind back into some kind of trauma, even when I was a kid. Okay, this is going to sound… weird, but the first thing I remember are trees. They were trying to attack me. I don’t know if it was a dream or the beginning of my wacked-up imagination, because soon after that, I found my one and only true friend, except she only appears in my dreams. See? I told you I’m messed up. How many seventeen-year-old guys do you know who have make-believe friends?
8. Make-believe friends aren’t that odd…okay, they’re not that common in guys your age… okay, they aren’t common at all. You’re freaking me out, actually. Let’s move on, okay? Are you involved in a romance?
(laugh) I know nothing about being romantic, but I am in love. That make-believe friend of mine is a girl. I know… it just got really uncomfortable for you knowing I’m in love with a girl who only appears in my dreams. You can see how I don’t talk a lot about that. No one knows about her, and I’d like to keep it that way. I’m going to give her up. After this year. I just need a little more time to get settled at my grandparents’ house before I let go. I get that she’s some mental security blanket, so I’m not freaking about letting her go. I just don’t want to do it just yet, but I will… soon. I promise.
9. Hey, I say ride that carpet of delusion for as long as you need to. I’m not judging you…much. I’ve got an easy question for you and hopefully one not affiliated with your dream girl. What’s your favorite indulgence?
Girls. See? Even I know the girl in my dreams isn’t real. Anyway, I like girls, and they like me. I’m not a jerk though. I don’t use them. I tell them exactly what I’m willing to offer, and that’s a good time. Period. I don’t do attachments. Clingy isn’t my style, though Grandma insists that’ll change once I meet the right girl. She doesn’t get it. I’ve “met” a lot of girls, and I’ve never liked any enough to want one to be my girlfriend. Mom hates me because of that. Thinks I’m just like the guys she dates who use her, abuse her and then lose her. Whatever.
10. Wow, we’ve plunged into TMI territory. How about we jump out? What’s your favorite sport?
You’re the one asking the questions. I’m just being honest.
I like my sports extreme. I’m naturally gifted in that I can shred a rail with my board at top speed and make it look easy. I love catching air, doing flips and curls and wicked pop/spin outs.
11. Do you have any pets?
Mom says I’m allergic. Grandpa says she’s full of it. I think he’s right. Mom just never wanted to bother with me AND a pet. Too much responsibility for a woman who can barely take care of herself.
12. What’s the one thing you want most in the whole world?
This is going to sound cliché, but I just want to be happy. No matter what I do, people find a way to crush my dreams. I can’t live in ruralville anymore. I need to get away, find excitement. I want to live in the city, so that means I’ve got to graduate high school. That’s my main goal. I do not want to end up like my mom, uneducated, underpaid and unwanted. I’m going to make something of myself. Just wait and see.
13. I believe you, Dylan, and I know you’ve had it rough for a long time, but things are going to change. Just wait and see. If you could say one thing to your readers, what would it be?
I know I don’t fit in. I know I’m not like everyone else, but I don’t know why. I’m scared, but guys aren’t allowed that emotion, so I try not to let it show. I’ve got to suck it up and fix my problems myself. That’s how my life has always been. When you’ve basically been left to raise yourself, you tend to screw yourself up. I’m doing the best I can, but even I know I need help. My grandparent’s act like they’re willing to try, but in my world, promises are cheap and always get broken. Kera’s the only one who’s been there for me. I know that sounds crazy, but it’s my life.
14. Here’s your last question. If you could say one thing to me, your author, what would it be?
Even though Kera’s not real, thanks for giving her to me. She’s made life less difficult, but could you maybe think about creating a real girl for me? One that looks and acts exactly like Kera? After everything you’ve put me through, I think I deserve a little happiness, don’t you?
As everyone can tell, Dylan is a bit upset, and rightly so. His life isn’t exactly going in the direction that he wants… so here’s what I promise you and your readers, Dylan. I promise to make your story the most entertaining, fun, thrilling ride I can—and you know you’ve had some amazing fun in this story.
Just remember, Book One is just that, the first part of your story. You may suffer some pretty horrible things, but by Book Three, you should understand that all good things aren’t handed to you. You’ve got to fight for your right to happiness. And you’re tough, Dylan. You’re not a quitter. I’m as certain as I’ve ever been that you’ll have your happily-ever-after ending.
I hope you all have enjoyed getting to know Dylan. He’s a bit frayed around the edges, but he’s a great guy, one I know you all will come to adore. In between books, you can find me at a number of places online.
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