I like to discover who my characters are in rather unusual ways. Today I'm going to share one of my methods, Facebook style surveys. Yep. I go to one of the many quiz/survey sites or just find a survey that's circulating on the Net and pull some questions. Believe it or not, I find this extremely helpful when I'm just getting to know my characters, especially secondary characters. Also, I find it really fun. It's great for discovering their voices too.
So I'm going to share a Facebook style survey for the characters of my upcoming book, AMPLIFIED. In this case, I just had the band answer some questions (note: I did not write these questions).
Jasmine Kiss (yes, that’s really her last name), 17, lead guitarist
Veta Ramirez, 19, singer + rhythm guitarist
Sean Ramirez, 17, bassist
Bryn Thomas, 19, drummer + producer
Felix Horowitz, 20, keyboardist + programming
What was the first thing you did this morning?
Jasmine: Begged for five more minutes
Veta: Danced like a fool
Sean: I woke up
Bryn: You probably don't want to know
Felix: Well, my mom called to complain about her psycho neighbor. She's threatening to sue my parents over a weeping willow tree. It's really stupid.
What is your favorite cereal?
Jasmine: That's easy. Cinnamon Toast Crunch
Veta: Bare Naked Granola mmmmmm
Sean: Cinnamon Toast Crunch
Bryn: That Reese's Pieces one is the shit
Felix: I like to take the marshmallows from Lucky Charms and mix them with Cheerios. It's kind of less sweet that way?
How old were you when you had your first kiss?
Jasmine: Dares don't count, right? 16...*sigh*
Veta: 12. Worst kiss EVER. Boys suck.
Bryn: Can't remember, but I started early ;)
Felix: Well, 19 technically. But it would've happened when I was 14. Her mom walked in and she was super religious so I wasn't allowed over after that.
If you were the opposite sex for a day, what would be the first thing you'd do?
Jasmine: Probably freak out
Veta: Show Bryn up and steal his ladies
Sean: Ask Felix if he put acid in my cereal
Bryn: I'd feel myself up.
Felix: I kind of do that every day. I'm a cross dresser, minus the girl parts. If I actually had the girl parts, I'd invest in some bras I guess.
What is the scariest thing that has ever happened in your life (that you can share)?
Jasmine: When my dad kicked me out of the house...
Veta: I almost drowned and saw a ghost underwater. I get chills just thinking about it.
Sean: Nothing I want to share publicly
Bryn: When my mom OD'ed in front of me and my brother
Felix: Um...one time I woke up on the beach, and I didn't remember how I got there. But then we figured out it was this prescription I was taking. Apparently one of the side effects is sleepwalking.
If you could spend a day in another person's body, living their life; who would it be and why?
Jasmine: I don't know..that kind of creeps me out. I'd rather just stay in my own body.
Veta: Zia Martin. She's pretty much the most divine creature on the planet and an amazing songwriter. I'd love to get inside her head and see how she thinks.
Sean: I don't know. Who thinks about this crap?
Bryn: Trent Reznor like way back in the day. Can you imagine how much he scored?
Felix: Madonna. Do I need to explain why?
Who is the one person who can always make you laugh?
Jasmine: My best friend Jason. Sometimes he's the only person in the world who can.
Veta: Felix all the way
Sean: My little sister
Felix: My mom
If you and a member of the opposite sex were the last people on earth, but they looked like Cruella Deville and Mister Ed had a baby, would you procreate? (Just to populate the earth)?
Jasmine: Are they smart and amazing? There's more to a person than their looks
Veta: It would take a lot to get me to sleep with the opposite sex. End of the world might do it. Dunno.
Sean: Again. Who thinks up this crap?
Bryn: Depends. Is she willing to wear a mask?
Felix: Probably. I'd kind of have to, right?
What are you passionate about?
Jasmine: guitar, songwriting
Veta: Life, baby
Sean: Marine biology, drawing, music
Bryn: Ladies and music, what else?
Imagine you're an inmate waiting on death row.
What would you request for your last meal?
Jasmine: Pizza with like a pound of cheese
Veta: Bean and cheese burritos from Raul's Cafe. That's all I need.
Sean: Vegetarian sushi with extra wasabi
Bryn: A burger with cheddar, bacon, and heaps of guacamole.
Felix: Start with Caesar salad. Fried zucchini and mozzarella sticks for an appetizer. For the main course...this four cheese lasagna my mom makes. Loads of hot sourdough and butter. For dessert, I'd want a brownie with vanilla ice cream, whipped cream, strawberry sauce, and nuts.
Where do you see yourself 10 years from now?
Jasmine: Still playing in a band, I hope. But I'd like to be a music teacher some day.
Veta: On stage, breaking hearts
Sean: I'm a shark biologist still living on the ocean
Felix: Hopefully I'll have a girlfriend by then. Other than that, I'd like to be a graphic designer.
Have you ever made out with someone you weren't dating?
Jasmine: Yep. I've yet to find a guy who actually wants to be my boyfriend
Veta: Of course
Bryn: Daily. I don't get people who settle down before they're 25
Felix: I haven't even gotten to 2nd base.
Do you have any interesting tattoos/piercings?
Jasmine: Nothing, but I'd really like to get a tattoo. Something musical.
Veta: Pierced tongue and belly button. Used to have a lot more pierced, but I got tired of it. Tats: An Anais Nin quote on the inside of my wrist, this amazing drawing Sean did of a guitar in flames on my shoulder blade, and a tramp stamp (yeah, yeah shut up)
Sean: A blue clover on my forearm and barbed wire around quarter notes farther up. My ex has a tattoo apprenticeship, so I let her practice on me if she used my drawings. My eyebrow is pierced too, but that's not all that interesting.
Bryn: Too many to list. Some I love, others I regret
Felix: I'm kind of anti-needle. I won't even get a flu shot.
Do you care what people think of you?
Jasmine: I wish I didn't...
Veta: Only if I love them
Sean: Depends on the who
Bryn: Nah, screw the haters
Felix: Too much
Would you call yourself smart?
Veta: I'm people smart
Bryn: When it comes to music
Felix: Not really. It seems like I have to study much harder than everyone else.
Have you ever touched an elephant?
Jasmine: Not that I know of
Veta: No, but I'd love to see one in person
Sean: That was...random
Bryn: You're a sick bastard
Felix: Rode one at a zoo once. It was awesome
Would you kiss anyone on your friends list?
Jasmine: I could say no, but it would be a lie
Veta: A couple people, actually
Bryn: I've already kissed half of them...
Felix: Yes :)
Do you have a good relationship with your parent(s)?
Jasmine: Let's just say no
Veta: My mom is like my best friend. Don't know my dad and don't care to
Sean: Love my mom, despite her vivid imagination. My dad took off when I was a kid.
Bryn: My parents aren't around, but my uncle is cool
Felix: Pretty much. My dad is cool, super mellow. I get along with my mom most of the time, but she's super conservative and a control freak. If she knew I wore girls clothes and make-up, she'd probably have a heart attack.
How many siblings do you have? Do you like them?
Jasmine: None..I always wanted a sister, though
Veta: A younger brother and sister. Sean can be a snarky butthead, but he's got a big soft teddy bear heart (don't tell him I told you). Zoey is pretty much the female version of Sean. I'm the black sheep, obviously. I love them to pieces, though.
Sean: 2 sisters--one older, one younger. Of course I like them. Most of the time.
Bryn: I got a little bro. He's awesome. Already charming the ladies.
Felix: Only me, thankfully.
Do you currently like someone?
Jasmine: No. Okay, yes. I'm trying not to.
Veta: Mmm hmm
Sean: I don't know yet...
Bryn: I like a lot of people
Felix: Yes, but I can't tell if she likes me. Veta thinks she does. I mean, she talks to me all the time. Sometimes we dance together at Club Neptune. Well, not together/together. That would be dumb. But she bumps into me a lot. I can't tell if its on purpose or she's just clumsy.
If you want to know more about the characters of AMPLIFIED, I'm holding a giveaway on my blog as part of my Realistic YA Revolution. Lots of signed books from other realistic YA authors are up for grabs too. Check it out: http://thetaratracks.com/blog