Our authors interviewed their characters. Get to know Michael, a hero from Ashe Barker’s Gideon.
- What do you consider your greatest achievement?
Getting accepted at Cambridge to study medicine. I’m not a natural academic so I worked like crazy to get the grades I needed, but once in I seemed to do all right. Medicine has always come pretty easily to me and I love my job.
- What is your idea of perfect happiness?
I need to be loved. It took me a while to realise this, but now I’ve come to accept that it’s a core part of my psychological make up. I need to be in a relationship, and now that I have Gideon I can’t imagine ever being happy with anyone else. He’s my soulmate, incredible though that still seems to me given that he’s such a self-serving dick most of the time. I suppose it’s true that love is blind. I’d add that it’s deaf too, and just occasionally plain stupid.
- What is your current state of mind?
Euphoric, but grounded too. I love my man, he loves me, but neither of us expects life to be just peachy all the time. He has his responsibilities. I have a demanding job. We spend a lot of time together but it takes work, compromise and determination.
- What is your favorite occupation?
Medicine, naturally, though I also found that being Gideon’s chauffeur offered some interesting perks.
- What or who is the greatest love of your life?
See 2. Above.
- What is your most marked characteristic?
Tenacity, I think. Once I set my mind on something I stick at it and see it through. I’m a starter-finisher as the psychologists would say.
- Which talent would you most like to have?
I play the violin, though not especially well. I’d love to be able to really master a musical instrument, concert standard.
- Where would you like to live?
Anywhere, with Gideon. We tend to split our time between London and Cumbria, and we make it work
- What do you regard as the lowest depth of misery?
A rainy Sunday in February. I like warm weather.
- What is the trait you most deplore in others?
Deception and duplicity. This was what first attracted my attention with Gideon – I was convinced he was a cheat and a murderer and I couldn’t get that out of my head. It was an obsession, I see that now, but I just couldn’t let it lie. Like I said, I’m a starter-finisher so I wouldn’t rest until I got to the bottom of things
- Who is your favorite hero of fiction?
Robinson Crusoe. I’ve always admired his resilience and ingenuity, and his sheer bloody-minded determination to survive. He spent 27 years stranded on a desert island but he never gave up. Even though the book was written almost 300 years ago I still think this is a magical story
- Who are your heroes in real life?
You mean apart from the entire Team GB from Rio 2016? Seriously, I admire individuals who make a difference and who leave this world better than they found it. Given my profession, the ones that come most readily to mind are scientists – Newton, Einstein, and my personal favourite, E Donnell Thomas whose research paved the way for bone marrow transplants to cure leukemia. He won the Nobel Prize for medicine in 1960.
- How would you like to die?
Quietly, at home in bed.
Get to know Michael and Gideon more in:[tb_book id=”207″]