I decided to interview Jessie today. She is my fifteen-year-old heroine from CONFLUENCE, and I’ve kept her stashed away for too long. Jessie was the last brainchild to join the CONFLUENCE cast, but she was the one who took it from a vague idea about a family with a five-year-old who makes friends with a homeless man, to a concrete, writable story. From the first Jessie scenes I wrote, I knew I could really write the book. The plot came together, with her always having the strongest voice. I tried to upload images as to what I imagine Jessie to be. Amber Tamblyn (from her Emily Quartermaine days) is a favorite as a teen that is alternately tough, vulnerable, or pissed off. The image loader though, keeps failing…
So Jessie, tell me about yourself.
What is this, therapy?
Not at all. My readers would just like to get to know you a little better.
Okay, maybe I should try a different approach. What brought you to Clear Springs?
The forces of evil? Seriously, my dad, who I haven’t lived with since I was five, got this job offer, professor or something. See, he was gone for five years, went to Los Angeles to get his PhD, so when he said he was leaving, my mom said no way, but then there was this job for HER, in flipping Hong Kong, and she wants to take it for a few years, so she made me go with my dad. Totally sucks.
So you don’t like Clear Springs?
What’s to like? It’s a stupid little college town with nothing to do.
Have you made any friends?
Yeah, Brian’s cool. He’s part of a band, so I guess I know all of them, though Reg is a real prick. But Dave is nice, and Axe is funny. He’s stoned a lot, but mellow stoned, so that’s okay.
You don’t do any of that do you?
Get stoned? Naw. I saw a girl a couple years ago get really messed up and pull some stupid shit. I don’t need that. Anyway, so friends… I’ve also met a girl named Coqui who’s cool. I like her and her friends. So I guess on friends it’s okay here. There’s just nothing to do.
And what do you like to do?
I like acting. I was in a performing arts school in Seattle, but Clear Springs doesn’t have anything like that. Stupid high school did South Pacific last spring—so cliché!
I like South Pacific.
*snort* You would. You’re making my point.
And what about your family?
What, my dad that’s never home because of his stupid job? Trish is okay. I give her a bad time though, mostly because she’s there and dad’s not.
She’s your step-mom?
Yeah. And then there’s my sister and brother.
How old are they?
Hannah’s five, and she’s pretty adorable.
Not hard to live with siblings after all this time?
No—they’re actually the good part. I love that little Squirt. And Snotmeister is pretty cute too, though he’s just a baby.
So all in all, it doesn’t sound so bad.
This interview was completed before the real action of CONFLUENCE starts, when Jessie is first getting acclimated, but hopefully it will give you a little bit of an idea about her personality. She is in many ways a typical teen, but somehow more grounded, and definitely an Aquarius—meaning very comfortable being her own person, rather than following.