This month I'm spotlighting one of my absolute favorite characters: Arthur Benedict Williams. Arthur is the main character from my 2015 NaNoWriMo story. He's cute and adorable and really, really sad (at least at first). Basically, I just want to give him a big hug and keep him safe from everything that scares him.
Arthur is a nine year-old boy with dyslexia from the late 1950s. He learns he has a special connection with books and that the secret world of libraries needs his help to protect books from enemies. Here are the questions.
1. How often do they smile? Would they smile at a stranger?
Not enough. I know, it's sad. Do you see why I want to give him a big hug? He would never smile at a stranger. He barely smiles for his own family.
2. What is the cruelest thing they’ve ever been told? And what was their reaction?
Arthur is bullied a lot at school. The other kids know he can't read, and they use that against him. When the story starts, one of the bullies comes up with a chant that hurts Arthur a lot: "King Arthur can't read, King Arthur can't lead." Arthur gets mad and sad, throws a book at the bully, and runs away. Poor Arthur.
3. What is the kindest thing they’ve ever been told? And what was their reaction?
Everything his mother says is encouraging and thoughtful. She tells him he is a special boy and that he is smart and kind. Whenever Arthur gets compliments, he kind of goes into turtle-mode and gets shy and awkward. So he doesn't say much, and he tries to hide. But that's when he does smile.
4. What is one strong memory that has stuck with your character from childhood? Why is it so powerful and lasting?
He's still a child, but he likes to remember his mother reading to him before bed or when his father would carry him on his shoulders so he could see the world. Arthur longs to read, but because of his dyslexia, he has a hard type concentrating on books. When his mother read to him, he could experience stories and the magic and wonder that came with it. Any memories of his father are important to him because his father died when he was little and he almost can't remember him.
5. What book (a real actual published book!) do you think your character would benefit from reading?
Any book, really. But I think it would do him well to read Peter Pan and Alice's Adventures in Wonderland and The Chronicles of Narnia.
6. Have they ever been seriously injured? How severely? How did they react?
He's never been seriously injured. Just scrapes and bruises, but those still make him cry.
7. Do they like and get along with their neighbours?
He doesn't really know his neighbors. He's shy, so he doesn't like to talk to people.
8. On a scale from 1 to 10 (1 being easy and 10 being difficult), how easy are they to get along with?
I'd say somewhere in the middle 5 or 6. He isn't hard to get along with if you know him. He's quiet and likes to listen more than talk, but he can still have fun and learn to get along with people.
9. If they could travel anywhere in the world, where would they go?
Arthur hasn't ever really thought about traveling other places. I think if he did, he would want to go into outer space or fly in an airplane far above the world.
10. Who was the last person they held hands with?
Before the story starts, his mother. After the story starts, Sam--his new friend.
Did you do Beautiful People?