Author, Charles French, asks “which 2 or 3 fictional characters I would like to sit down with over coffee, tea, or beer and with whom I would like to have a conversation.”
You can read Charles choices here: https://charlesfrenchonwordsreadingandwriting.com/2021/05/05/conversations-with-characters/
Upon reflection, I would not choose a mythical character from a fantasy novel to invite around for tea and a chat. My choices would be characters who have gone through personal trauma and experience growth and personal development as a result. I think my choices would reflect the elements of fictional novels that interest me the most: What makes the character tick? Why did the character make the choices or decisions he/she made? Were their choices and attitudes influenced by their background?
The first character I would like to chat to would be Van Helsing from Dracula. I would want to know more about his background and his Catholic faith and how his respect for the ancient customs and belief in superstitions and folk remedies fitted with his enthusiasm for modern medicine and understanding of the importance of science for the future of mankind. I would also want to know what he knew about vampires and how he came by this information.
My second choice of character would be Oom Schalk Lourens from Herman Charles Bosman’s The Complete Voorkamer Stories. Given the difficulties I experienced with researching certain aspects of the lives of the Boers before, during, and after the Second Anglo Boer War in South Africa, I would love to chat to Oom Schalk and learn more about his life, especially during this war.
One of the most moving concepts for me in this book related to Oom Schalk’s comments about his wife going into a concentration camp with their two children and coming out alone. I would like to learn more about both of their experiences, living conditions, and emotions. I would be interested in the small details relating to their lives that are so difficult to discover through research.
You can learn more about Herman Charles Bosman and his books here: https://www.amazon.com/Herman-Charles-Bosman/e/B001JS25GO
My thoughts about chatting to characters are that if the author has done a good job of showing the emotions of the characters and explaining the circumstances of the story and how the entire story lines comes together, there isn’t that much I would need to chat to the characters about.
Having tea with an author now, well that is something entirely different. There are dozens of authors I would love to talk to about their ideas and delve into the greater meanings of their storylines and underlying messages and meanings.
Do you have any characters you would like to chat to? Why? Let me know in the comments.