The theme for June is childhood. All the questions are based on the childhood of the chosen character. I admitted to Sky (from Further Up and Further In) that when I saw the theme of the questions I internally groaned because I realized none of my characters have 'happy' childhoods. I know, problematic? I have some characters that do have decent, even good, childhoods, but the ones I first thought of to spotlight do not. (It's actually pretty sad how many characters I had to list before I found one with a decent childhood.)
Anyways, it's always hard for me to choose one character to spotlight. I want to share about all of them. They're all important even if I'm not writing all of their stories right this minute. So I had to narrow it down. I decided to write about Leezander, the main character from my science-fiction novel Glimpses of Stars. While his childhood has some trauma and not-good things, he does have some happiness in brief glimpses. Plus I don't get to talk about him enough. (Yeah, yeah, I know he was spotlighted in A Novel Idea recently, but come on, I haven't spotlighted him for Beautiful People in a long time.)
What is their first childhood memory?
His first memory is when his mother took him down to Earth for the first time. He'd been born on a starship and lived there for the first four years of his life. His parents are both from Earth, so he'd heard about it before. This was the first time he experienced it for himself though. And as the shuttle descended on to the planet, the sun was just setting in the West and the sky was alive with dazzling colors and the stars were just starting to peak out of the sky. He was astounded at the sight. It made him fall in love with the stars all over again.
What were their best and worst childhood experiences?
His best childhood experiences were running around the starship with his two best friends, Emmett and Grace. They had many misadventures, and they explored every nook and cranny. His worst childhood experience is when one of his misadventures backfired and caused the death of his mother. (I know.)
What was their childhood home like?
Cold, sterile, and hollow. The starship was big for a ship, though tiny in comparison to the Void outside the windows. While they had sufficient heating, there was always a coldness to the starship--as if it could feel the Void beyond the walls trying to get in. It was always clean and tidy, everything had to be in order on the starship, everything they owned was necessarily and had a purpose. There was no frivolity. His father also enforced a strict schedule and set of rules.
He wasn't easily scared as a child. Living in space helped him overcome most fears, and because he loves the stars so much, he's never been afraid of outer space. However, he was afraid that someday the stars would all go out and the Void would become only darkness.
Who did they look up to most?
He definitely looked up to his mother. She was smart, beautiful, and brave. He wishes he could be more like her, but he knows he has his father in him. He also looks up to many of the famous starship captains.
Favourite and least favourite childhood foods?
He didn't get much of a choice. He ate what was given to him on the starship. He wasn't fond of the vegetable paste he was forced to eat to "become strong" in space. On the rare times they would step foot on a planet, he would beg to try the best foods from the area. He's fond of real fruit.
If they had their childhood again, would they change anything?
He would spend more time learning about how a starship works instead of running around causing trouble. He learned a lot growing up on a starship, but he also missed a lot of things to pull pranks or explore places he knew he wasn't supposed to go. He would also make sure to spend as much time with his mother as possible.
What kind of child were they? Curious? Wild? Quiet? Devious?
He was a mixture of a lot. He was always curious, he was wild when he was with his friends, he's very clever so he could be devious, but at times, he was also quiet and unsure. He's adaptable. He likes to observe people get a feel of the atmosphere in a room before speaking up or taking action. He's very analytical, and he has been since childhood.
What was their relationship to their parents and siblings like?
Leezander doesn't have any siblings, but his relationships with his parents were very different. He respects his father, but he somewhat feared him. His father was strict and stern, which made Leezander feel that if he did something out of line that he was a big disappointment. He was a child, but his father treated him like an adult and expected him to act like one. His mother, however, was his closest friend. He could do no wrong in her eyes. She always smiled and played along with him. She let him be a kid. She would take him to do fun things, even to places children weren't supposed to go. She was his light.
What did they want to be when they grew up, and what did they actually become?
When he was young, he always wanted to be the greatest starship captain the Verse had ever known. He wanted to explore new worlds, help people, and keep peace throughout the Verse by commandeering the greatest starship vessel ever made. Instead, he became a well-known pirate captain in the Verse, which involved running from the starship captains, breaking the laws of space, and pillaging innocent people. It's not what he would have chosen, but he feels it's the only option he has.
Did you participate in Beautiful People? What are your characters' childhoods like?