Posts Tagged ‘Character Interview’

Character Interview: Beck Stryker with Whitley Gray

Character interview questions—Beck Stryker, High Concept 

What is your name and occupation? Beck Stryker. I’m mid-thirties, and I work as a homicide detective for the Denver Police Department.


Do you like your job? Why or why not? I like it, but I miss the cop I used to work with: Danny Halliday. He died in the shootout where I got this (Points to left shoulder). I don’t want to get shot again.


Who is the person you dislike the most? Right now, I’m not big on Warren Sands. He’s the director of the Minneapolis division of the FBI’s Behavioral Science Unit. Sands keeps roping my… (clears throat) boyfriend, Zach, roped in to further investigations.


Is there anyone special in your life? Zach Littman. We worked together on a recent case, and we’re…working on a together kind of thing. Still pretty much on the lowdown. I haven’t come out at work. Yet.


What’s your favorite meal, and do you fix it yourself or have someone fix it for you? Steak and baked potato. No one makes a meaner steak than Zach. I’m not much of a chef, and he enjoys cooking.


Football or baseball? Football. The Denver Broncos.


Favorite holiday? Christmas could be it, depending on how things go this year (grins).



Damn rainy weather.

Beck’s left shoulder ached, and he rearranged his holster. If this kept up, he’d need pain meds to sleep tonight. Meanwhile, time to take a break and sneak some ibuprofen. Even if it was a nonsteroidal, couldn’t have the boss thinking he wasn’t 100 percent and ready for the field.

He made for the men’s room. In a stall, he dry-swallowed three of the blue gelcaps, then peed and washed his hands. On the way back to his desk, he stopped at the drinking fountain and gulped water, making sure the pills would dissolve. Twenty minutes, and relief should kick in.

Beck reached his desk and lowered himself into the chair. A pile of reports sat waiting for his attention. Ridiculous. He was a homicide detective, not a secretary. This was a waste of his skills. Field cases waited, infinitely more interesting and requiring a detective’s intuition.

Across the room, Van met his gaze and looked away. Beck spun his chair toward the windows behind him. Sheets of water rippled down the windows, blurring the building across the street.

After the shooting, Beck’s ex-lover had made it clear as still water that there was nothing left between them. At least Van had understood the pressures of the job, the danger, both on the street and in the department. Homicide was a macho division, and the other detectives were unlikely to accept an alternate orientation. He and Van had agreed to keep their relationship under wraps. Had they had a relationship or just been fuck buddies?

Nights in a soft bed, Van’s hot tongue everywhere until Beck squirmed with need. A firm grip on his cock, stroking.

“What would you like tonight?”

Heat rushed to his groin. Mind-blowing sex—no doubt about that—but was that all they’d had?

They’d never eaten at a restaurant unless it was out of town. They’d never taken a vacation together. Van liked sun and sand and room service; Beck preferred snow and skiing and grilled steaks at the lodge. And they never stayed over at each other’s places.

Sure didn’t sound like a relationship. Hell, when he’d been lying in the hospital with his shattered shoulder pinned together, wondering if his hand would ever work again, he’d turned to Van expecting emotional support, and his lover had gunned down the only thing Beck had left.

Van had left nothing at Beck’s apartment except travel brochures.

The first time Beck had risked his heart, and he’d gotten blown away for his trouble. Staying secreted in the closet precluded Van paying attention to a disabled boyfriend. “It would look strange if I spent extra time with you,” Van had said, and he’d been careful not to visit more often than any of the others. At that point, Beck had wished his injuries had been more severe, that the bullet had hit a few inches to the right and down, preempting Van’s assault on Beck’s heart. Death had sounded better than total bereavement.

Anger had overtaken depression in short order. The first thing he’d done after arriving home was deep-six the tropical-vacation brochures littering the kitchen counter.

In the ensuing weeks, Beck had fought through the pain of physical therapy and the loss of the relationship.

As Beck’s psychologist, Jay had helped him work through most of that. And the painful inquiry about the shootings.

“Hey.” Soft brown eyes gazed down at him, wary, not welcoming. The familiar scent of Van’s bay rum aftershave reached Beck, and his stomach clenched.

“Well. What can I do for you, Detective Gates?”

Van plopped a folder on his desk. “Got a computer request that needs your expertise.”

“Don’t think I can help you.” Beck picked up a pen, tapped it on the folder. “I’m not a computer expert.”

Van’s full mouth thinned, lips pressed together. “It’s a search for vehicle license plates. Need it for the murder book.”

Helpless to resist, Beck’s gaze wandered down Van’s chambray-clad torso. The memory of burying his face in Van’s groin set off a twitch in his own.

“Hey, dickhead. I need the information.”

Head in the game, Stryker. “What’s the case?”

For a moment, Van said nothing, as if he hadn’t heard. Then, “It’s a home invasion.”

It was Beck’s turn to stare. Another one? “When did that happen?”

“A week ago.”

“What’ve you got so far?”

“You’re not on active duty in the field, Stryker. And you’re not part of my investigation.”

Beck barked a laugh. “Same supportive bastard, aren’t you?”

A faint pink materialized high on Van’s cheeks. He opened his mouth, closed it.

Beck waited, twirling the pen.

“Just get the information.” Van turned on his heel. In spite of himself, Beck took a surreptitious look at Van’s ass as he marched back to his desk. Too bad there wasn’t more to him than a hot body.

Across the room, Van’s partner, Katie Coleman, gave him a huge smile. If she were a guy, maybe she’d pique Van’s interest. As it was, she’d be wasting her time. Bats for my team, Coleman. Beck swung his gaze toward the folder.

Whether Van acknowledged it or not, Beck was part of the investigation now.

Copyright © Whitley Gray 






Cat Marsters Interviews Kett

Q. Today we’re going to be interviewing Lady Kett Almet, heroine of Mad, Bad & Dangerous. Hello, your ladyship.

A. Don’t call me Ladyship, you fucking moron.

Q. Er, okay. What would you prefer?

A. Kett. My name is Kett. Kett Almet.

Q. But isn’t your father Tyrnan of Emreland, the Earl of Nirya?

A. So they tell me. Look, he only got that title ‘cos he married a princess, and that happened when I was a teenager. So I don’t get a title.

Q. But your half-siblings do?

A. (Frosty look.)

Q. Okay then. Can you tell me a little about what you do for a living, your la…er, Kett?

A. I train dragons.

Q. To do what?

A. To not blow my head off, that’s what. To not eat me. To fly where I want them to.

Q. So you ride dragons?

A. (Barely patient look.) No, no one rides dragons. They fly at several hundred miles an hour. You have to be protected in a carefully constructed toughened leather cabin. Piloting them is very dangerous, difficult, and not a job for the faint-hearted. Or the sane.

Q. Which I guess describes you. Where do you live?

A. In a stone cabin in the mountains of the Northern Province.

Q. Cosy. Do you live there alone?

A. No, I live with Jarven. Before you ask, no, he’s not my boyfriend. He’s more of a…mentor. Big brother. Something like that.

Q. Do you have a boyfriend?

A. (Sighs.) No. I have a Bael.

Q. Er, what’s a Bael?

A. It’s a highly immature, feckless playboy Nasc who follows me around trying to convince me I’m his mate. Which I so am not. If I was going to be mated to anyone, which I’m not, then he wouldn’t be insane and sex-obsessed.

Q. Sex-obsessed?

A. (Pause) I guess that’s not his worst quality.

Q. Okay. Let’s stick to some standard questions.

Where were you 3 hours ago?

A. Hanging naked from the roof of a cave, my wrist bound to that of a totally naked man. Who’s actually pretty hot. Even if he is a feckless playboy.

Q. Have you ever eaten a crayon?

A. Quite probably. When I was first human (LONG story), I didn’t know what was food and what wasn’t. I’m pretty sure I once ate a roll of bandages.

Q. Is there anything pink within 10 feet of you?

A. Yes. The intimate organs of the man I’ve just woken up with.

Q. Are you wearing socks right now?

A. I’m not wearing anything right now.

Q. What’s the strangest talent you have?

A. I can take on any shape. Beat that.

Q. Are you hot?

A. No, actually, I’m bloody freezing.

Q. What was the last thing you had to drink?

A. I remember drinking beer at the Maharaja’s palace. Possibly, since then, I’ve drunk something with hallucinogens in it.

Q. When is the last time you ran?

A. About three hours ago, shortly after waking up in the cave.

Q. What’s the last sporting event you watched?

A. Does watching trainee knights run away from dragons count?

Q. What is your favorite animal?

A. Well, my sisters have a series of housepets they seem to fiind it amusing to name after me, but really I prefer dragons. We get on fairly well, even if they do try to turn me into a bonfire fairly often.

Q. Last person’s house you were in?

A. The Maharaja of Pradesh. He hired me to perform tricks for his daughter’s wedding. I personally think watching someone change her shape for twenty minutes is boring, but hey, he was paying me.

Q. Worst injury you’ve ever had?

A. Probably when the saber-toothed tiger ripped out my hamstring. Or possibly when I was shot–it didn’t hurt so much, but it did kill me. It’s s toss-up.

Q. Have you been in love?

A. No. Married, yes; love, no.

Q. What is your secret weapon to lure in the opposite sex?

A. I’m a shapeshifter. I can make any shape I want. Think about that.

Q. What are your plans for tonight?

A. I’m planning on finding some clothes, some food, the name of the guy next to me, and where the hell I am.

Q. Next trip you are going to take?

A. Home. I am damn well going home.

Q. Were you an honor roll student in school?

A. I was voted most likely to go to jail, go insane, or get killed. So far, I’ve fulfilled at least two of them, and I’m not at all sure about the third.

Q. What do you want to know about the future?

A. Whether it includes clothes. I’m bloody freezing.

Q. Are you wearing any perfume or cologne?

A. I’m wearing mud, sweat, and blood.

Q. Where is your best friend?

A. Jarven probably qualifies. I’ve known him since I was eight. I’d imagine he’s at home, probably throwing charcoal to the dragons. Lucky bastard.

Q. What are you listening to right now?

A. The forest, and the footsteps of something I’m reasonably sure wants to kill me.

Q. Do you collect anything?

A. Scars. Enemies. Prison records.

Q. Who is the biggest gossiper you know?

A. My stepmother. She’s sweet, but my gods she’s nosy.

Q. Last time you got stopped by a cop or pulled over?

A. About a week ago. Apparently public nudity is a crime these days.

Q. Last time you took a shower?

A. Sometime before I was abducted and strung up by my wrist, etc etc.

Q. What is your heritage?

A. My father is the son of an Anglish earl. He owns the whole of Emreland. My mother was a circus shapeshifter who died when I was young. Nobody knows anything more about her. I was raised in an orphanage. My father’s best friend turned out to be his sister; her lover Striker is a schoolmate who was isolated for a dozen years and went batshit crazy with power. The bastard is a great drinking partner, though.

Q. Are you rich?

A. There’s a fair amount in the bank, but I’ve got little use for it.

Q. What were you doing at 12AM last night?

A. Getting my wrist cut open in a ritual. Apparently.

Q. Is there one thing all of your love interests have had in common?

A. They’re all very bad for me.

Q. What was your childhood nickname?

A. I had about a hundred. ‘Mad Kett’ was about the nicest.

Q. How many drinks does it take before you get drunk?

A. Many. Many, many, many. Striker has this stuff that can make you comatose from one sip (he drinks it by the bottle; I’ve managed a whole shot before passing out). I suspect I may have drunk a bottle last night.

Mad, Bad and Dangerous by Cat Marsters OUT NOW at Ellora’s Cave!