Interview With the Hero by Henriette Gyland

I’m nervous. There are no two ways about it. Sweaty palms, unable to sit still, I keep touching my hair and face to make sure it isn’t sticking out in all directions, and that I don’t have toothpaste on my chin.

This is the first time I’m interviewing one of my characters for the Choc Lit Gazette, and this guy, Aidan Morell from Up Close, is Drop Dead Gorgeous. Classic features, thick brown hair (a tad too long?), a physique to die for. Bright green eyes, like peridot gems, regarding me as if he knows something I don’t.

I clear my throat and begin the interview with a confidence I don’ t feel. “So, Aidan,” I say, “I understand you trained as an artist.” He nods. “I did a college course, yes, but I’ve always enjoyed drawing. I used to scribble in my school books, much to my mother’s horror, but now I’m a bit more sensible and carry a small sketch pad with me for whenever inspiration strikes.”

Photo by Stonda via Wikimedia Commons

Photo by Stonda via Wikimedia Commons

“I’ve noticed you do a lot of seascapes,” I continue. “Is this why you chose to make your home on the North Norfolk coast?” “Not really,” he shrugs. “One of the joys of being an artist is that it’s a very mobile profession, and you can do it anywhere. As it happens, I was born and raised here, and came back to help my mother when, uhm, my brother became ill. I then realised that the wild beauty of the place inspires me in my work.” He throws me a smile, and my stomach does a little dive.

“But before that, I understand you were in the Navy, as a Mine Clearance Diver,” I say. “Could you tell us a little bit more about that?” “Sure. An MCD deals with any explosive ordnance below the high watermark. The Iraq War was over, but there were still a lot of unexploded mines bopping around in the Gulf, and it was our job to make sure it was safe for shipping. And before you ask, because I can see you’re about to, I was injured, yes, but not by a bomb, just an accident on board. One of my colleagues wasn’t quite so lucky…”

Feeling bolder, now that the interview is going so well, I pose the question I’ve been burning to ask him. “Your mentioned earlier that you came back because your brother was ill. Isn’t it true that he attempted suicide several times, and eventually succeeded? What were your feelings about that?”

In the silence which ensues it dawns on me that I have truly put my foot in it, and in my first interview too. A vintage Gyland gaff. Choc Lit Gazette are never, ever going to ask me to interview one of my characters again!

“Are you for real?” he says eventually. The gentleness in his voice is almost too much for me to bear, and makes me feel like a naughty child brought to task by a kindly neighbour. “What do you imagine my feelings to be? However, if it’s all the same to you, I’d rather not talk about it.”

“Okay,” I say, swallowing hard, “perhaps we could return to your art. I’ve had a good look at some of your pictures and see you use a lot of greys, but when I get up close to the paintings, those greys suddenly turn into many other colours. How do you achieve that effect?” His eyes light up, and he launches into a lengthy explanation about blending oils, about light and brush strokes, all of which appears to be quite involved and technical.

But it’s his passion which shines through – passion for his work, for what he regards as purity, indeed for life and everything in it. I’m beginning to form a picture of the real Aidan which unfortunately is outside the scope of this interview.

Finally he gets up, and we part, shaking hands and exchanging promises to keep in touch. “And I’m sorry about that personal question earlier,” I add. “Don’t sweat it,” he replies and turns to leave. From the doorway he sends me another smile which has me in turmoil and makes me wonder what life with this guy would be like.

If I wasn’t already hitched, and he wasn’t fictitious, I mean…

21 thoughts on “Interview With the Hero by Henriette Gyland

  1. A fun post, Henriette! I wonder how Kalden (The Road Back) and Tom (Evie Undercover) would respond in such a situation. In an equally drop-dead gorgeous way, I hope.

    Liz x

  2. A great post. Can’t wait to read Up Close! By coincidence the hero in my current Wip, (well one of them) is an photographer/artist. He looks very different to Aidan though. Look forward to meeting Aidan again soon 🙂 xx

  3. It’s always nice for a lady to have other men in her life, Henri :-). We all need friends. A great interview with Aidan.

  4. Am really enjoying Up Close [trying to eke it out!] and happened to ‘overhear’ his radio interview along with the heroine. Great ways [this interview, and the radio interview] of giving information to the reader without giving the whole thing away!

  5. Brilliant, Henri, really enjoyed this interview! Makes me sorry that I’ve already finished the book so I can’t spend more time with him. And just for the record, his hair could never be too long 😀

  6. Great post, Henri. Really enjoyed it! So looking forward to reading Up Close 🙂 X

  7. Many thanks for your comments. So glad you like Aidan. He certainly had quite an impact on me when he walked in that door… Feel quite bereft now 😉

  8. Oh, I love this interview, Henri! Aidan sounds fabalicious 🙂 Lovely to meet him. I’m looking forward to reading Up Close even more now xx

  9. What an original idea Henri, loved the interview and thought your last line was perfect!x

  10. Henriette,

    During your interview, I imagined Aidan with razor sharp eyes. After reading most of your book, he behaved in your interview much like he does in my imagination. You’ve really jumped into this hunky guy’s skin. Save some for the rest of us 🙂


  11. Great interview of a delicious Choc Lit hero, Henri. And who can resist an artistic hero? Not me, that’s for sure, I wrote about one and married one!

  12. So glad people got a positive impression of him – I’d be happy to introduce you 😉 When I met him, he seemed a lot gentler than I’d expected, but I also sensed that he was keeping quite a tight control on himself. It made me wonder why…

  13. I love the concept, Henri:) If I wasn’t already planning to read Up Close in the next week this teaser would absolutely make me want to go out and buy it ASAP. Aidan’s responses made my heart flip-flop. What a darling hero.

  14. Brilliant, Henri – original,entertaining, and a real hook. Can we all steal the idea and make interviews with our characters a regular thing? 🙂

    Liv x

  15. Excellent fun, Henri. Really enjoyed meeting Aidan and can see I will have to pursue him into Up Close. Love artists!

  16. Of course you may, Liv. I’m sure Aidan would love to meet some like-minded individuals 😀

  17. Brilliant, Henriette. I think interviewing our characters is a great way to delve deeper into their psyche… I’ve done a couple and they’ve already changed the way I write. Sooooo looking forward to reading Up Close now!

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