July 22, 2011

Beautiful People - Justin King

It's that time again! The next batch of questions for "Beautiful People" has arrived. For those of you who are not yet aware of how this works, here is the summary:

Once a month Sky and Georgie will be posting a list of 10 questions for you to answer about your characters. You can use the same character every month, or choose a new one for each set of questions. Your call. You can answer all the questions, just one, or however many you have the time and energy to answer. Just go for it and have fun.

This month I will be combining the June/July and July/August questions, since I did not get a chance to answer the former, and this month's Beautiful Person will be the hero of my novel Wordcrafter:

Justin King

1. What kind of music does he like?

Justin likes a variety of music, but dislikes heavy rock, rap, and heavy metal. He prefers peaceful or cheery songs, and I was just realizing the other day that he would probably like the style of Owl City.

2. Does he like to go outside?

Justin is an outdoorsy person, as long as the outdoors is fairly tame.

3. Is he naturally curious?

No, not really.

4. Right or left handed?


5. Favorite color?

Blue, very light or very dark.

6. Where is he from?

Justin describes himself as a British mutt: he has a little bit of everything in him. He has some Irish from his mother’s side, Scottish, Welsh, and a little English from his father’s. His family moved around frequently when he was young and he spent most of his first six years in southern Ireland, but when he was seven or eight his parents moved to a farm outside Edinburgh.

7. Any enemies?

As he develops friendships, he also develops enemies. I can’t say any more than that.

8. What are his quirks?

He has a habit of rubbing the side of his right hand, which is always stained with ink and graphite, against his trousers. If under extreme mental strain, he takes to straightening his things obsessively.

9. What kinds of things get on his nerves?

People touching his books and being interrupted during his writing. Also, forward women.

10. Is he independent, or needs others to help out?

Justin is more dependent than independent.

11. What is his biggest secret?

That his father committed suicide.

12. Has he ever been in love?

The first time he has been in love was when he fell for Jamie Fairbairn.

13. What is his comfort food?

Tea. Not really a food, but he loves Ceylon.

14. Does he play a musical instrument? If so, what?

Justin does not play an instrument, but he does have a good singing voice; he used to be in a choir as a boy and the talent stuck around.

15. What color are his eyes? Hair?

Justin has brown hair and coffee-brown eyes.

16. Does he have any pets?

Ram, his horse, is the only ‘pet’ he has. As a child he used to have two squirrels.

17. Where is his favorite place to be?

Justin has a lot of comfort places—the park; the library and his bedroom in Tera; the pastures. He likes quiet, meditative places.

18. What are some of his dreams or goals?

Before meeting Ethan and going to Tera, Justin’s biggest dream was earning enough money to leave the plant at which he was working and write for a living. He wants very much to be married, a dream he very rarely talks about.

19. Does he enjoy sports?

Justin is not cut out for sports—physically or mentally—and has no interest in participating in or watching them.

20. What is his favorite flower or plant?

He is fond of honeysuckle.


  1. Justin is fantastic. In that shy and awkward way, he comes across as cute. In other, more important ways, in which Ethan factors, he comes across as strong. I have a hard time describing him. The best description I can think of is of a shadow, but most people would assume I meant he was dark and shifty.

    Aw, pfft. Justin is Justin. There's no other way to put it.

  2. I was just realizing that the whole interplay between Justin and Jamie reminds me a good deal of Edmund and Maria from 'Mansfield Park.' Not exactly, of course, because Edmund didn't have anyone as awesome as Ethan stalking about (Fanny, while a stellar character, does not reach Ethanlike proportions in terms of Fantasticness), but the similarities are enough that (having found a sympathy for Edmund) I understand that portion of Justin's story a little better. Perhaps this is a misappropriated understanding, but there you have it (it may be WRONG, but it's THERE!).

    Of course, much laud to Jenny for the picture, and I adore the nod to Owl City. (I might have been afraid of your bringing up The Song We Do Not Name, but I knew that was for 'Sails.') I'th'meantime... *steals Justin's secret and tucks it away for later* ^.^

  3. Haha, Owl City is awesome. I can't see how anyone could NOT like Owl City! ;)

    Justin sounds neat... my sisters would be jealous of his pet squirrels. ;)

  4. Yes! Yes! When I read Mansfield Park I kept thinking, "Wow, Mary Crawford just gets more like Jamie by the page!" I'm glad you picked up on that too. I am Most Pleased indeed.

    I can no longer say that I'm not really a fan of Owl City; I've found too many of his songs that I like. It's more appropriate for White Sail's - I don't know why - but I think Justin would like the music. However, the Song We Do Not Name is entirely for White Sail's.

    Daddy and I were talking about Wordcrafter some while ago, and he remarked that in the end, you realize that while Ethan is the best loved of the two among the story's characters, Justin is in fact the stronger of the two. At first I thought, "He is?" but the more I thought about it, the more I realized that he is. But I mustn't give too much away...

  5. Taylor - that realization about the squirrels was new to me, actually. Doesn't that sound cute? Apparently they don't do much, though.

  6. Yes, definitely! Squirrels are so adorable, especially red ones... imagine a little boy with squirrels crawling all over his shoulders! *smiles* Epic. :D

  7. Oh, I'm so glad you chose Justin this time! He's interesting without being eccentric; there's something wonderfully sweet and strong about him. Jenny's right -- he's just Justin, and that's all there is to say about it.

    And it seems so right that he would like Ceylon tea. ^.^

  8. Very amused by all the Owl City love. Tim was telling me about him the other day and I happened to see the new CD in Target so I picked it up. On first listen I was like, "Seriously, Tim? Emo much?" but now I'm all rolling up to stoplights all, "Wake me if you're OUT there!" and getting weird looks from the people next to me. I think I may have blown out my speakers (which were hanging by a thread to begin with) but it sounds great at high speed and high volume.

  9. Megan - Justin's a darling. And though I like Ceylon myself, it wasn't something I consciously imposed upon him; it just seems like his kind of tea.

    Chewie - (Can I say your real name, or are we going all undercover here?) I resisted the Owl City love with great success there for awhile, and the first song I heard was just okay to me. Well, it snowballed from there. I'm a fan.

  10. Can I add Justin to my list of literary crushes? (and maybe ethan too?)

  11. Or must I just complement your's and Jenny's artistic literary talent and leave the squee for later?

  12. Okay, so I'm kinda in love with Justin (looks like I'm not the only one, haha). Great interview, and a great character! I would love to read him in a book. :)

  13. Lil - As long as it's just literary, because both Justin and Ethan are taken. But really, I'm glad you like them so much!

    Melody - Aw, thanks! I've been wanting to do a Justin-interview for a while now, but I had to do Tip first so that he wouldn't be jealous. Justin's a patient chap.

  14. No, I'm not trying to fly under any radars here; in fact I had meant to link to my Goodreads profile but then managed to... not. But Chewie has been my online alias since the AOL days of nineteen ninety something, and so it remains.

    Re: Owl City. I wasn't actively resisting; indeed I wanted to like it, and quickly came to do so. But with those big, crunchy synth hooks, it should be apparent from the start that all resistance is futile. If you're looking for something else in the same vein, try HelloGoodbye or, a personal favorite of mine, the Lightning Seeds.

    Re: the actual subject of this post. Do you guys use these little sketches as exercises to help develop your characters, or simply to amuse us, your adoring public, with little tidbits about your work? Or both? Either way, I'll be interested to read this one.

  15. Ah, good. It's really odd calling you "Chewie."

    Anyhow, about the sketches. Technically I think they're meant to help writers develop their characters, but I have to admit that I really just fill them out for my amusement and the amusement (I hope) of my readers. Occasionally I actually learn something new about my characters (never knew that Justin used to have pet squirrels) but those tidbits rarely work their way into the story.

    All that to say...yeah, this is basically just me wasting time in a hopefully enjoyable manner.

  16. I would just like to point out that the above sketch-sketch was wrangled out of me with threats and coercion and such like.

    But I think Justin came out rather handsomely, if I say so myself. Thank you for the laud, Anna! ^.^

    (I'm trying to shove the job of drawing Ethan off on Tim. And don't say anything about a picture of Richard Armitage. :P )

  17. That's funny; "Chewie" was my Counter-strike (computer game) handle freshman year, and quickly became my nickname among my friends at Tech - and it stuck. I have a handful of acquaintances who don't know me as anything but.

    Good luck getting any sort of project work out of Tim at the moment. He still hasn't gotten back to me with character sketches from the comic project we had started. But as I've written exactly one line of dialogue, to say nothing of panel layouts and such, it really hasn't mattered that much. And I do understand that he is more pressingly engaged in the monumental tasks of both educating himself and providing, in all senses of the word, for his blushing psychotic bride. Doesn't leave much time for the other sundry diversions.

  18. Oh goodness, Justin rocks. I love everything about him. The fact that his hand is usually stained with ink, the squirrels, the honeysuckle. I love it. :D

  19. Thank you, Fin! He's a real dear. I can't capture as much of him as I would like in a single questionnaire (this gives more of him at the beginning of the story than at the end), but I'm glad everyone so far has liked this little glimpse into his character.

  20. Oh tell me about it. I adore Beautiful People but honestly, it only allows us a small stab at who the character really is. Less is more, though, right? ;)

  21. That's what they say! But They do say a lot of things, don't they?

  22. Mmm... I've often noted that They never seem to shut up. ;)

    But Jenny! Drawing Ethan would be so easy! *has been forbad on matters of Armitage pictures; instead subjects Jenny to the tantalizing cry of the dread Black Muffins...*

    (I mean, of course, that drawing Ethan would be easy for /you./ My skill extends as far as connect-the-dots, and it's there I draw the line, if you'll pardon the pun.)

  23. Oh, I rather like Justin.

    "People touching his books and being interrupted during his writing."

    Ha! I can relate to that. Being interrupted while I'm reading or writing is one of those First and Most Horrible of Evils in my book.

    Squirrels and honeysuckle. I wait with no small eagerness to read this book. ^.^

  24. Both of those things - the book-touching and being interrupted while writing - are things that bother me to a lesser degree, but Justin's rather obsessive about it. They're some of the few things that can really make him snap.

    I do hope you'll be able to read it in the not-too-distant future; you've been so supportive of The Soldier's Cross that I want you to be one of the first to get Wordcrafter.


meet the authoress
I am a writer of historical fiction and fantasy, scribbling from my home in the United States. More importantly, I am a Christian, which flavors everything I write. My debut novel, "The Soldier's Cross," was published by Ambassador Intl. in 2010.
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published writings

The Soldier's Cross: Set in the early 15th Century, this is the story of an English girl's journey to find her brother's cross pendant, lost at the Battle of Agincourt, and of her search for peace in the chaotic world of the Middle Ages.
finished writings

Tempus Regina:Hurled back in time and caught in the worlds of ages past, a Victorian woman finds herself called out with the title of the time queen. The death of one legend and the birth of another rest on her shoulders - but far weightier than both is her duty to the brother she left alone in her own era. Querying.
currently writing

Wordcrafter: "One man in a thousand, Solomon says / will stick more close than a brother. / And it's worthwhile seeking him half your days / if you find him before the other." Justin King unwittingly plunges into one such friendship the day he lets a stranger come in from the cold. Wordcount: 124,000 words

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