Every so often if a character gives me problems during the development stage, I like to play twenty questions. Let’s get to know Talan McKenna, shall we?
(Note: These answers are all pre-The Darkness Calls. No spoilers here!)
- If you had a free day (or in this case, night) with no responsibilities and your only mission was to enjoy yourself, what would you do? If I had a night with no responsibilities, I have no idea what I’d do with it, to be honest. I’m so used to working. I think if, given the opportunity, I’d most likely turn off my cell phone and shut myself in with a good book, some even better Scotch, and a cigar. That sounds really nice, actually. *looks at watch*
- What impression do you make on people when they first meet you? How about after they’ve known you for a while? I’m powerful. I’m rich. I drink human blood. I’m a pretty big guy. I would say I probably intimidate most people. Lots of people know who I am, but few of them really KNOW me. I’d like to think that the ones that do find me to be a decent and fair person. Who knows whether that’s actually the case though. I think most people are too afraid to tell me.
- What’s your idea of a good marriage? Do you think that’ll happen in your life? I’ve long since given up on the idea of marriage for myself. I don’t know that there’s anyone out there I’d want to spend the rest of my life with. I find myself too busy to read a book. I can’t imagine what feelings my wife would have about a man who isn’t able to make time.
- What are you most proud of about your life?
I was born a son of poor Welsh peasants. Now I own all of this. *waves hand around gesturing at casino*
And what about something more personal?
Christ. Are we going to talk about my feelings now?
Stop deflecting and answer the question.
I pulled myself up from my bootstraps. I lived in a hut with a dirt floor with nine siblings. Now, I can afford to buy anything I want. I’ve made myself into something entirely different than I was. How is that not personal?
- What are you most ashamed of in your life?
*sighs* Loss of control. When the change began to happen, I was ravenous and had no idea how to control myself. I’ve inadvertently taken lives. There was a child in particular that… Can we please move on?
- If you could spend the day with someone you admire (living or dead or imaginary), who would you pick? My mother. She died when I was a young boy. There was just something about her hugs. They brought me a comfort unlike anything I’ve ever known.
- Do you think you’ve turned out the way your parents expected? *laughs* I can assure you, my parents never excepted anything like this to happen. I’m sure they thought I’d be a farmer, have babies, and die just like the rest of the world at the time I was born. There’s no way they could have imagined a world like this, let alone my place in it.
- What do you believe about God? What do you suppose God thinks of you?
Honestly, I’m not convinced there’s a God. Watching everyone you know and love turn to dust around you while you live forever is rather cruel. If there is a God, I can’t imagine he likes me very much. Would you do this to someone you loved? *gestures to self*
- Is there anything you’ve always wanted to do but haven’t done? What would happen if you did it? I haven’t been in the sun for over 450 years. I miss the warmth on my face.Not enough to go outside and kill myself, mind you, but I still miss it.
- What’s the worst thing that’s happened in your life? What did you learn from it? I was trapped in a snow storm in Northern Ontario once. Basically buried in. I had no food supply, animal or human. That was a painful week and a half. Extremely painful.
- Tell me about your best friend.
Lachlan is probably the closest thing I have to a best friend. He’s more like family, honestly. He’s one of the only people I know who isn’t intimidated by me. It doesn’t hurt that he has a few stone and half a foot on me.
- What’s the worst thing you’ve ever done to someone? Why? We talked about this already. Inadvertently drinking too much. I was hungry.
- What would you like it to say on your tombstone? Will I even have one of those, do you think? “Here lies Talan McKenna. He lived until he died.” *snort* I don’t know. Who thought up these questions?
- Describe your ideal mate. Back to this, eh? She would need to be smart, motivated, understanding, and completely unafraid of me.
- What are you most afraid of? That I’m going to actually live forever, I think. I lead a somewhat lonely life.
- What’s the most important thing in your life? What do you value most? My work. I think the tangible results of my efforts to build this little empire of mine are what I value most. That and the few true friendships I’ve managed to foster along the way.
- What do you like best about yourself? Least? Even though I drink human blood, I do my best to stay connected to the universe. I give back. Charities, hospitals and things like that. I think maintaining that link helps keep me grounded. I like that best about myself, that I still feel the need to do that. It gives me hope for some reason.
- How do you feel about your life right now? What, if anything, would you like to change? All this talk about marriage and ideal partners makes me want companionship. Sex, sure. But the rest of it too. I miss simple contact. Maybe I should try to date more.
- Are you lying to yourself about something? What is it? I try to be honest, above all things. Lying takes too much energy and I’m far too busy to waste time.
- What trait do you most deplore in others? This goes back to your last question. Dishonesty. Nothing will make me lose respect for a person more quickly. What’s worse is when they think that I somehow don’t realize that they’re lying. Four hundred and eighty five years gives me a damned good perspective on the human/vampire nature. It shows weakness of character.