Heartstrings, characters, interviews, and all related elements © Nova Arisól LaMason, 2015.
Vladimir Andante Interview
Vladimir: Hello. (smiles) *roses and sparkles everywhere*
2) Uh… *ahem* So! Please, introduce yourself.
Vladimir: Sure. My name is Vladimir Andante. I’m nineteen years old, and a second-year opera student at La Università di Prodigi Musicali.
3) You’re very beautiful. Tickets would sell out just for a glimpse of you.
Vladimir: (giggles softly) Thank you, but I hope that my singing and acting would be appreciated as well.
4) You’re the Best Male Vocalist at the world’s top music university. Surely, they would be.
Vladimir: That’s a title that I hold now. I am proud of myself for it, but it’s just a stepping stone.
5) Sounds like you have big plans.
Vladimir: Yes. I want to sing on stages all over the world.
6) So you want to be an opera star.
Vladimir: If fame is what comes out of it, sure. I only care about using my talents to play a role in a bigger story. I love singing, and I love stories, so opera’s a perfect fit for me.
7) What is life in U.P.M. like?
Vladimir: It’s a lavish environment, but the work is beyond intense. It’s not just reading and research. A lot of our coursework involves philosophy, self-reflection, even science. You have to be prepared to learn a lot, because there’s no breezing through.
8) What’s the hardest thing for you there?
Vladimir: Probably being able to synchronize with the orchestra provided for me. For graded performances, the members of the orchestras are also students, so the vocalists and instrumentalists have to be on the same note at all times.
9) What was life like before U.P.M.?
Vladimir: I had a privileged life with wealthy parents and an older sister who I loved. Despite having the best of everything, I wasn’t really happy. I was put on a pedestal, and everyone had high expectations of me. It was extremely frustrating. I attended cocktail parties where my parents’ friends boasted about their sons and daughters. My parents felt that they had to prove something, so they had me sing for everyone. Eventually, that became a popular thing—my singing at parties and family friends’ events. I didn’t want to sing for people with false appreciation.
10) So your sister was different?
Vladimir: Yes. She loved my singing—not that our parents didn’t. But she didn’t get along well with our parents. She got tired of having to amount to everyone else as well, so she moved out to live with her boyfriend. She always loved children, and felt that every child needs a home. Eventually, she got married, and they opened up their own orphanage.
11) You miss her, I bet.
Vladimir: I do. We’ve both been busy since then. But I’ll visit her and her husband someday.
12) Would you feel comfortable, talking about your relationship?
Vladimir: That depends on what you want to know.
13) What are your thoughts and feelings about Guy?
Vladimir: Guy is my soul mate. We’ve only been together for a year, but we already know so much about each other. We started as just roommates. I was attracted to his sunny smile and disposition, and we became friends, and soon boyfriends, and now, this. It’s a psychic bond. We basically have our own telepathic language. I trust him with everything.
14) What about Sergio?
Vladimir: (pauses at length and looks around for words) What I feel for Sergio… It’s on the same level as what I feel for Guy, but the aura of the feeling is different. I can’t describe it any other way. I know it in my heart, but… I’m not quite ready to confess it out loud.
15) But he loves you two.
Vladimir: I know, and I appreciate that love. He has a place with us, but… Before, I was very uneasy about being in a three-way relationship. I can’t just be one hundred percent open about it overnight. I need time to get used to it.
16) That’s true.
Vladimir: Besides, Guy and I are a popular couple on campus. We have eyes on us, whether we like it or not. There are many who won’t agree with Sergio’s inclusion to our relationship. I don’t care what they say about me, but Sergio is still fragile. He’s just beginning to open up to others. I don’t want him hurt.
17) Well, it sounds like you really do care about him.
Vladimir: He deserves to be happy. If that means being with me and Guy, then we’ll be with him. It’s not like we can decide whom our hearts lead us to.
18) What are your plans for yourself and your relationship after U.P.M.?
Vladimir: The three of us, together. I hope to be performing on stages all over the world, with Guy and Sergio in the orchestras. (laughs) I feel like a prince with two faithful knights.
19) Perhaps that’s your “bigger story.”
Vladimir: (smiles) Maybe.
Guy Largo Interview
Guy: Good day! (beams) *sun rays*
2) Let’s start with an introduction.
Guy: Certainly! Name’s Guy Largo. I’m twenty, and I’m a second-year Romantic and Classical piano student at La Università di Prodigi Musicali.
3) You’re a chipper one! You’re quite handsome, too.
Guy: (laughs radiantly) Thanks! A smile’s the best face to wear.
4) Well, you have plenty to be happy about.
Guy: I do! I got more than I expected! (laughs) *clouds part*
5) Tell me about that. There’s more than just your title of Top Pianist. What about your relationship?
Guy: Well, I’ve been with Vlad for a year, now. Love ‘im to death. I mean, it’s not a long-long time, but we’ve been through a lot—tough studyin’, a couple o’ duets, each other… He can be a real hard-ass, but ’e cares. I feel it every day. But then, there’s Sergio. Same level, different vibe, I guess. He’s got that magnetic air of mystery, like ya just want to talk to ’im. He an’ Vlad are the perfect balance, like light an’ darkness—[babbling to himself tangentially] or maybe I’m the light one? I think that Vlad’s the light one… but I’m the friendly one… Would we both be light? (shakes his head and chuckles) Vlad would have some poetic answer for this. Anyway, Sergio’s awkward an’ vulnerable, now. We can’t help but want to protect ’im. He really has strong feelings for us, an’ we can’t just flat-out shoot ’im down, so we’re willin’ to give this threesome thing a shot.
6) You can’t, or you don’t want to?
Guy: Don’t want to. (giggles)
7) So you love both of them.
Guy: I’m not ready to say it aloud. I’ve been with Vlad for a year, an’ we’ve only been with Sergio for three days. We need time to adjust to this.
8) That’s understandable. How’s Sergio feel about that?
Guy: I don’t… really know. Guess it’s somethin’ that we should talk about. I don’t want to assume that ’e knows.
9) You want things to be clear. I got’cha. That’s how relationships work.
Guy: Yeah. Guess we’re on the right track wi’ this, then. (chuckles)
10) What was your life like before U.P.M.?
Guy: I lived most of my life with my grandfolks in Cork, Ireland, in a manor surrounded by trees, sort of out of the way, but not too far from town. We had two pianos—one is mine, which I brought with me, an’ then theirs, in the ballroom. When it was good weather, we’d to open the ballroom doors, an’ I’d wheel their piano outside to play. It was a treat for the neighbourhood, but I didn’t mind. It was fun!
11) You enjoy the attention, huh?
Guy: I enjoy seein’ happy folk. (laughs jovially) *all seems right in the world*
12) How’s your life different now?
Guy: (puffs a long sigh) Well, I can’t be so laid back anymore. Classes’ve got me pretty engaged. Vlad’s the more organized one. I think I burden him a lot wi’ that. But I’ve met some great folk. Makin’ new pals is always a plus. It’s the best music school in the world, guaranteed to get ya anywhere, but that’s why it’s real strict. Ya have to keep up more than yar marks.
13) Like what?
Guy: Oh, professional appearance an’ behavior, livin’ conditions, social standin’, sometimes. We get event planners an’ contractors every now and again. We’ve got to be ready for anythin’.
14) Any events that you’ve been called for?
Guy: A few cocktail parties an’ a weddin’ reception.
15) That’s pretty good!
Guy: So’s the wallet. (laughs)
16) You got paid?
Guy: Of course! They’re still jobs!
17) Did you and Vladimir ever take jobs together?
Guy: Not the cocktail parties. He’s seen enough o’ those.
18) What are your plans after U.P.M.?
Guy: I’ll follow Vlad, wherever he goes, but we’ll wait for Serg before we go anywhere.
Sergio Grave Interview
Sergio: (looks down and back up tensely) …Hi.
2) Uh… Why don’t you start with an introduction?
Sergio: … My name is Sergio Grave. Um… I’m twenty-five. I’m a first-year Romantic, Classical… and Irish folk violinist at La Università di Prodigi Musicali.
3) You’re… quite handsome.
Sergio: Oh. *awkward pause* Oh! Um… Thanks.
4) You seem nervous. Are you all right?
Sergio: I’m not good at interacting with people.
5) You weren’t always like this, were you?
Sergio: I was. Actually, I… was worse.
6) What was your life like before moving to U.P.M.?
Sergio: I lived most of my life believing that no one ever wanted me. (fidgets in seat) My parents put me up for adoption, and I grew up in the orphanage. I kind of just existed with no life, selfishly pushing forward with no guarantee at feeling wanted again. I heard the violin once, a long time ago, but I knew: That was all that I wanted to do with my life. When you’re alone for as long as I am, you develop a strong understanding of your own emotions. With the violin, I could express myself without having to burden anyone with my voice. After seven years of hard work and—(starts sobbing) I’m sorry. (wipes face with palms) When you grow up believing that you’re unwanted, being alone doesn’t sound so depressing in your head then.
7) But you weren’t very receptive to people who approached you.
Sergio: (nods) I was… (chuckles through tears and sniffs) I was terrible. I didn’t want anyone close to me. Having hope means holding a positive expectation. When that expectation isn’t met, it leads to disappointment. I didn’t want to believe that someone could like me, only to find myself alone again. It was just better to push everyone away to save them the trouble. (cracks a quivering smile) But there was always that sliver of hope that I couldn’t get rid of.
8) Well, because of that, you’re in a better place.
Sergio: I am, thanks to Vladimir and Guy.
9) How’s your relationship with them, now that things are… intimate?
Sergio: I never thought that I would have two lovers, or even one. I love them very much, and they accept me.
10) But do they love you?
Sergio: (chuckles) I’m not so ignorant. Not everyone enters a relationship of three people. Plus, they’re very close. I know that they need time.
11) You’re okay with waiting?
Sergio: The thought of my being with them like this was always just a thought to me. I love them, but our relationship was their idea. I’m happy to be with them, but just having their acceptance and help… (wipes tear) That’s enough for me. They’re precious to me.
12) Most people are more assertive of their relationships.
Sergio: I don’t have that right. I treated them poorly before this. It’s up to them to decide where we stand.
13) You’re a very complex character.
Sergio: …? I see.
14) I guess opening up to people is your next step?
Sergio: Yes. I’m still nervous about the risk…
15) Well, good luck to you.
Sergio: (silently nods)
16) So, Irish folk music?
Sergio: It’s from my past. It means a lot to me. The Butterfly is a folk tune that symbolized hope for me and helped me fall asleep. After I decided to give up on hope, the tune became just a lullaby.
17) What do you intend to do with that kind of music?
Sergio: I’m not sure. I decided to learn about it because it sounded different. I never considered it for a career.
18) So what are you aiming for?
Sergio: Before I enrolled, I didn’t have any direction. I was hoping to find my way once I get there. Now, (shrugs) I really just want to follow Vladimir and Guy. I don’t want to be away from them. I don’t know if I can succeed in a people world without them.
19) Well, Irish opera is a thing.
Sergio: (brightens) Really!? (laughs joyously) *world is torn asunder in streams of rainbows* That’s great! I… Author?
20) (lies on floor, trembling with overwhelming desire to hug)
Sergio: Author!? D:
Thank you all so much for reading my character interviews of Vladimir, Guy, and Sergio from my ebook Heartstrings. I read manga (Japanese comics), and when I thought of doing a character interview, I really wanted to do one in the style that mangaka (manga artists) use when they do interviews with their characters. It’s cute and fun, like a little role-playing. I used to do online erotic role playing (not the same as cybering), so this was pretty easy, albeit tedious. Nonetheless, I really wanted to do it, and I’m glad that I did. There were some facts about Heartstrings that I never got to include in the ebook because the opportunities never presented themselves, so this interview was very important to understanding the story. I also wanted to make the main moral of the story a bit more apparent. As Vladimir says, “It’s not like we can decide whom our hearts lead us to.” That is very true, especially with Vladimir and Guy. We can’t control the circumstances of love.
Thank you all for reading. Bye-bye~ owo
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Thank you, Nova, for taking the time to interview your characters. We have found out so much more about them.
Heartstring is avaible from all distributors, and from Luminosity HERE