Thursday, April 26, 2012

Character Interview with Greer MacManus

You know how much I love meeting new fictional peeps!  So, today we have a special guest: Greer MacManus.  

Hi Greer.  Thanks for agreeing to do this interview.  Can you tell our readers a little about yourself?  Age... where are you from...

Hi Daniele and thanks for having me! I’m in my last year of high school, a few months away from being 18. I was born in South Carolina and was raised there until just last year. I’ve been living in Prescott, Arizona since my dad moved my mom, my sister, Emily, and me there at the beginning of my junior year.

What do you like to do on your free time?

I’m a big reader. My dad kind of instilled it in me, probably before I was even born. You know how some parents play music to their yet-to-be-born children? My dad read to me. So, it makes sense that I can’t drive by a bookstore without going in and buying something. I have a huge collection – they won’t all fit in my room. I’ve taken over the bookshelves in the family room and Emily’s room, too.

I also like writing poetry. Have you ever heard of Slam Poetry? It’s like a performance, almost like a rap, but not quite. I’ve started getting into that, too.

What is your favorite book?

Oh, man, that’s hard to say. How can I pick just one? My dad would want me to say something by Dickens or Salinger, probably. But, if there was one book I could read over and over again, it would be Through the Looking Glass. I love the idea of a whole different world being so close to us all the time, we just need to look a little deeper to find it.

I hear you are curious about what makes people tick.  What about you?  What makes you tick?

That’s hard to say, too! I think other people make me tick. I read and I write to get a better understanding of others, in a lot of ways. I love reading a variety of authors in different genres, to get a better glimpse of the world and those in it from a bunch of perspectives. I also like to write in order to get out all of my own feelings, which are usually tied to people I have relationships with – whether they be romantic relationships, sibling or parental relationships, or even just the relationship I have with myself.

I hope that doesn’t sound like a cop-out answer? It’s true!

What's one thing about yourself you want to change?

There are definitely things I’ve done in the past that I’m not proud of; but everything I’ve gone through has made me the person I am today. I don’t like having regrets, but I would change the fact that, technically, I’ve cheated on people I care about.

Cameron seems like an intriguing person and so does Rebecca.  Can you tell us what was the first thing that came to mind when you met each of them?

Well, Cam, I was definitely aware of how good-looking he was. That’s impossible to miss. To be honest, though, it was something in his eyes that I noticed when I met him that stood out beyond his sandy brown hair and strong chin. Unlike most high school guys, when he looked at me, I felt like he really saw me.

Pretty lame, right? I know it sounds that way. Maybe the things I know about him now are affecting my memory of him, who knows. I just know that Cameron is a sensitive musician in a football jersey, when it comes down to it.

Then there’s Becca. That girl just oozes confidence. I remember her giving me a wink on my first day of swim practice and my knees literally felt like Jell-O. Nobody had ever actually made my knees weak before her. 

I understand that there was a certain level of confusion as you came to grips with your sexuality.  Do you feel like things would have been easier if Cameron and Rebecca had a different status in high school?  Let's say, if he wasn't a football player and Rebecca the swim team captain?

I’ve never thought about it that way, but now that you mention it, yeah I think it would have changed a lot of things. Being involved in their groups of friends, in those circles, everyone in the entire school had their eyes on me, on all of us. If we all hadn’t been the center of all of that attention all the time, I don’t think I would have felt as much pressure to maintain the status quo, so to speak.

What is your favorite thing about Cameron and what is his worst flaw?  What about Rebecca?

For Cameron, my favorite part of him is tied to his worst flaw. It has to do with his music. But I don’t want to give away more than that…

And Becca. I loved the way she didn’t care one bit what anyone else thought of her. It was so attractive and a trait I’ve longed for to have myself since the moment I met her. It’s hard to say she has any flaws, except maybe that she could have been a little more patient with me at times. Then again, that really speaks more about my own flaws than hers.

What is your biggest fear?

Probably losing all of the people I care about the most. That and scorpions.

What is the one thing that you want the most in your life?

True love – don’t we all? That and one of those floor-to-ceiling libraries with a rolling ladder, like in Beauty and the Beast.

What advice would you give teens that are going through a similar experience as yours?

Stay strong and be true to yourself. That can be hard at first, when you’re not sure who you are yet. Listen to yourself, deep down. Never ignore a gut feeling. The people in your life who matter and love you, always will, regardless of the person you come to identify as. Because, after all, we are all born who we are. Nothing will change that and nothingshould change that. Times may be hard, but that’s what makes us all strong and even more sure of ourselves. And if you need help, never be afraid to ask. It will get better, I promise.

Thanks for stopping by! 

***

A.J. Walkley is the author of Queer Greer and Choice. She is currently writing her third novel, Vuto, inspired by her experience as a U.S. Peace Corps health volunteer in Malawi, Africa. Follow her on Twitter @AJWalkley and Facebook at facebook.com/ajwalkley.

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