Guest Blog Post – Character Interview with Levi
Introductory Note: this would be, to say the least, a difficult interview to arrange. “Levi Thomas” was the name that would have belonged to Mara Cadell’s fraternal twin, had he survived to be born. He died shortly before that point. Mara, emotionally traumatized by that loss, coped by keeping Levi alive in her mind as a companion. (The traumatic nature of her loss is based on reports from many twin survivors.)
Q. I’ll start with the question many readers would particularly like to ask you: are you purely a creature of Mara’s imagination, or do you have some independent reality?
A. Wouldn’t you like to know?
I could tell you to ask Mara — not that she’s in a particularly good position to answer that question — but of course, she doesn’t like to talk about me. She’d be quite perturbed that you even know of my existence (if that’s what we call it for purposes of discussion).
Q. Do you agree with Mara that it would harm her career, and/or endanger the Twin-Bred project, if people on Tofarn found out about you?
A. Definitely. I’ve told her as much. You must understand, Mara is not the easiest person to get along with. She’s prickly and doesn’t suffer fools gladly. And she has a very low tolerance for organizational politics. All of which means that only her exceptional scientific ability induces people to put up with her. There are many who would like to be shut of her if they had a good enough excuse. Delusions of twin-hood? Good enough.
Q. Do you think Mara would be better off without you?
A. Allow me a small sigh. . . . Mara would be better off if I had lived. And it’s possible she’d be better off if I had never existed. I’m not sure “better to have loved and lost” applies in these circumstances, if it ever does. . . . But there we were, twins. There’s no getting around that starting point. And she’s tenacious, in love as in other things. It wasn’t in her nature to simply move on. All things considered, I think she’s better off isolated and secretive than seriously depressed. And of course, I’m good company.
Q. Do you think it’s made things easier or harder for Mara, being surrounded by twins?
A. Both. But on the whole, I think it’s been more healing than otherwise. All around her, she sees humans and Tofa, most of whom would never have had a twin if not for her. You could say that she’s ensured I didn’t die in vain. Though I doubt she’s thought if it in those terms.
Q. Do you play any part in Mara’s artwork — her drawing and cartooning?
A. Not directly. I don’t think I would have been that visual. I’m more about the words. We often talk about her drawings. Sometimes I lack the context to understand them, and she explains. And her cartoons show a sense of humor that she doesn’t normally indulge. That side of her, that hidden mischief, is where she and I are most alike.
Twin-Bred Playlist Promotion
I’m running a special promotion for Twin-Bred: be the first reader to suggest a song for a Twin-Bred playlist, and if I agree with your selection, your name and song choice will be included in an appendix to a future edition of the book!
Please send an mp3 file, or a link to a YouTube video where I can hear the song, to Karen A. Wyle at firstname.lastname@example.org. (At the same time, please let me know if you’d like to be on my email alert list, so you can hear about upcoming releases and events.)
I’ll post occasional updates about the playlist on Twin-Bred‘s Facebook page.
Mara succeeds in obtaining governmental backing for her project – but both the human and Tofa establishments have their own agendas. Mara must shepherd the Twin-Bred through dangers she anticipated and others that even the canny Levi could not foresee. Will the Twin-Bred bring peace, war, or something else entirely?
Karen A. Wyle was born a Connecticut Yankee, but eventually settled in Bloomington, Indiana, home of Indiana University. She now considers herself a Hoosier. Wyle’s childhood ambition was to be the youngest ever published novelist. While writing her first novel at age 10, she was mortified to learn that some British upstart had beaten her to the goal at age 9.
Wyle is an appellate attorney, photographer, political junkie, and mother of two daughters. Her voice is the product of almost five decades of reading both literary and genre fiction. It is no doubt also influenced, although she hopes not fatally tainted, by her years of law practice. Her personal history has led her to focus on often-intertwined themes of family, communication, the impossibility of controlling events, and the persistence of unfinished business.