Madison is the main character of my novel The Shades and the Elect, which takes place in 2315, several decades after Earth collapses and the United States becomes Concordia. She’s part of an elite group called the Elect, who protected Concordia from supposedly mythological creatures when they were first formed and who now mostly protect against Shades, corrupted members of their order. She also has a superpower, because she’s descended from one of the original Elect, and can control fire. I hope you enjoy her interview!
Madi: *steps into the interview room and takes her seat with a smile, extending a hand to the interviewer* Hello.
Interviewer: *shakes her hand* Hello. How are you today?
Madi: I’m doing great. *grins* How are you?
Interviewer: I’m also doing well. What’s your name?
Madi: Madison Thompson. But everyone calls me Madi. What’s yours?
Interviewer: I’m Isabelle.
Madi: Ooh, that’s my sister’s name!
Interviewer: Really? How old is she?
Madi: She’s eight. I also have a five-year-old brother, Landon.
Interviewer: How old are you?
Interviewer: Is it hard for you to connect with your siblings due to the age gap?
Madi: It can be. The bigger issue is that I recently moved… basically to a boarding school? I don’t know how better to describe it without revealing confidential information. But it’s on the opposite side of the country from my family, so now I don’t get to see them.
Interviewer: I already know about the Elect; you can talk to me about it freely if you want.
Madi: Oh. *eyebrows raise* Okay. Well then you know the Reaches. *chuckles* I’m all the way in there, and my family is in D.C.
Interviewer: What other family members are you close to?
Madi: My parents… especially my dad… *swallows* And a lot of my aunts and uncles and cousins, actually.
Interviewer: Is your dad okay?
Madi: *shrugs* Comparatively, I suppose? He’s not dead and doesn’t have a terminal illness, if that’s what you were thinking. Generally that’s what people assume when I mention him. *chuckles slightly* He went to jail about two years ago, right after Christmas, when he was framed for the murder of my great-aunt and -uncle. A Shade was possessing Uncle Billy at the time, after already killing both Uncle Billy and Aunt Georgina, and my dad threw a knife at him in an attempt to kill him. The Shade got out before he could die, but Dad’s fingerprints were on the knife in Uncle Billy’s chest. Now he’s in jail with no expectation of getting out soon.
Interviewer: That’s awful. And I assume there’s no way to prove it was the Shade, given the nature of Shades…?
Madi: Not unless he were to confess for some reason. But he’d likely have to do so within an innocent host and that wouldn’t be any better.
Interviewer: I’m very sorry. *offers Madi a sympathetic look before glancing at her question sheet* So, are you Potent Elect or just Elect?
Madi: Potent. I have fire powers, which is pretty cool. Several years ago my mom was baking cookies and I wanted them to cook faster, so I ended up setting the oven on fire by mistake. I had no idea at the time that I’d done it; I thought the cookies had just spontaneously combusted. *laughs* I learned after coming to the Reaches that those were my powers.
Interviewer: *laughs* I hope you made a new batch. *winks*
Madi: *laughs* I think we did.
Interviewer: Do you have a favorite food?
Madi: Chocolate chip cookies. Not just because they happen to be on my mind. *grins*
Interviewer: A favorite color?
Madi: Orange. It’s kind of “my color.” My friends and I formed a club when we were kids and one of the rules was that every member has to have a pair of Converse in “their” color and then various other things could be color-coded accordingly. I’ve loved orange since I was little – it reminds me of watching sunsets with my dad – so I went with that. Braedyn has dark green, Jeevan has yellow, Kaitlyn has brown, Juliet has blue, Zachary has black, Jara Lee has– had neon green. *frowns*
Interviewer: Did Jara Lee leave the club?
Madi: No. She was killed in a recon mission a few months ago. Before I was brought to the Reaches.
Interviewer: Oh. I’m sorry. It seems like you’ve experienced a lot of loss in the past couple of years.
Madi: *nods* I generally try to focus on the friends and family I still have. I think the loss has given me more of an appreciation for spending time with the people in my life before they’re gone. *offers a wry smile*
Interviewer: That makes sense. I’m sorry that appreciation came through so much pain.
Madi: *nods a bit, looking around the room, eager to move on*
Interviewer: Do you prefer movies or books?
Madi: Books, but I enjoy both.
Interviewer: Do you have a favorite?
Madi: Of which one?
Madi: Favorite book would probably be Dreamtreaders by Wayne Thomas Batson. I love all of his books. Favorite movie… I think I’m going to go with Gal Gadot’s Wonder Woman. She did an excellent job with the character. *smiles*
Interviewer: I agree. Do you have a favorite Dreamtreaders character?
Madi: Oh definitely Kaylie. She’s so much fun. *grins* Second place would probably be Amy.
Interviewer: I wouldn’t be surprised if Kaylie is everyone’s favorite. *laughs* She’s a wonderful character.
Madi: She is.
Interviewer: Do you have any hobbies?
Madi: Aside from reading, I listen to music and I play soccer and Braedyn is teaching me basketball and football. I’ve watched football for a long time, so I catch on pretty quickly with that one, but I enjoy basketball more. Even though I’m short. *laughs*
Interviewer: Yeah, that would be a disadvantage.
Madi: And Braedyn is almost six foot, so he has a clear advantage when we practice. *laughs*
Interviewer: So it seems like you have a pretty good group of friends around you. What’s one of your favorite things to do with your friends?
Madi: Hmm… I enjoy most of the things we do together. We tend to go on a lot of adventures, whether they’re just trips to the ice cream shop or they’re Elect missions. Somehow even the missions feel less daunting with that group around me. *smiles*
Interviewer: I think the best Elect teams are like that, all the way from the first Elect. You can have fun in the down time, and you know they’ve all got your back when things get dark.
Madi: *nods* Definitely. It’s a really healthy dynamic, I think.
Interviewer: *nods* Which of these is most important to you: Kindness, intelligence, or bravery?
Madi: Bravery. But kindness is also extremely important.
Interviewer: And which of these: Honesty or selflessness?
Madi: Selflessness leads to honesty.
Interviewer: Is there anything you can’t leave home without?
Madi: Well I literally can’t leave without my griffin, Maxon. *chuckles* But as far as a trinket or tool or something like that… I usually bring along my MP3 player.
Interviewer: Do you have any favorite songs or artists?
Madi: Favorite songs is hard, but I really like old music like MercyMe, Lexi Walker, Lindsey Stirling… I like a broad variety, but I generally tend toward old classic styles, instrumental, and Christian music.
Interviewer: *nods* That’s a good selection. *smiles* We’ve actually reached the end of the interview. It was great to talk to you. *extends a hand*
Madi: Yeah, it was great talking with you, too! *shakes Isabelle’s hand* I’ll talk to you later. *smiles and leaves*