March 14, 2012

Character Interview with Mattie (Evans) McCray

Interviewing characters is a practice I always go through when I begin a story. I'll interview my main characters, asking them all sorts of questions to get to the nitty-gritty details of their life. You've heard it said that a person is like an onion and that you have to peel away the layers to get to its core. The same applies to fictional characters. 

Below is a short interview with Mattie (Evans) McCray, the heroine in Snow Melts in Spring. I thought you might enjoy learning about Mattie, as well as read about what she has been up to in the last few years.

1. Tell us a little bit about yourself. - I'm 32 years old, married to my soul mate, Gil, and live on the Lightning M Ranch with Gil's dad, John. I'm also a country veterinarian for small and large animals and run a clinic in Diamond Falls.   

2. Tell us about your parents. - My parents are Owen and Margaret Evans. They used to own a ranch in the Flint Hills, but after bankruptcy moved to the suburbs of Kansas City. I get along well with them—now that they’ve stopped treating me like their little baby.

3. What was your birth order? - I’m the youngest of three daughters. Bridgett lives near mom and dad and Jenna lives in Texas. Let’s just say Jenna has always been the black sheep in the family. I love her, but I spend a lot of time on my knees praying for her.

4. What was your favorite pastime as a girl? - My favorite thing was to ride my horse across the prairie pastures—and I did so often whenever I could get away from my chores at home. But I also liked to help dad with ranch work. 

5. What makes you happy now? - In one word—Gil. I honestly believed I’d never marry, but I found my soul mate when Gil returned to Diamond Falls several years ago. Who would have thought I'd fall in love with a retired NFL quarterback? I don't even like football. 

6. What is your greatest fear? – Losing someone I love.

7. What are your hobbies and interests? – Now that I’m married, I enjoy more baking and cooking, although Gil isn’t a stranger in the kitchen. I also like to knit when I have time.

8. What was your first date like? – That would be the night Gil took me out for dinner at Charlie’s Steakhouse. Afterwards we walked down to the Cottonwood River and talked. That was the night it snowed. I thought Gil was going to kiss me, but he didn’t.  

9. How did you and Gil meet? - We first met in his father’s pasture. I saw him crawling over the fence and mistook him for a trespasser, and I believe he thought I was his father’s girlfriend. Ridiculous story there, but that’s for another time.

10. What is in your refrigerator right now? – Lots of things, but a few items are a partial jug of milk, some orange juice, two pieces of chocolate cake (mine), a huge bottle of hot sauce (for Gil), and leftover roast beef with potatoes and carrots.

11. I understand you’re in the middle of spring-cleaning. What is easy for you to throw out? What is difficult for you to part with? – I’m going through Gil’s old clothes. He hates getting rid of anything. For me, I’ve been looking at some baby items I purchased in hopes of that special day when Gil and I will have our first baby. I’m thinking about getting rid of them. 

12. What is your idea of perfect happiness? –Living out the rest of my days with Gil here on the Lightning M Ranch, and watching our children grow up—if God ever blesses us with them. 

13. What do you most value in your friends? – Honesty and knowing that they’ll tell me when I'm being an idiot. Clara Lambert is my best friend and never fails to tell me what’s on her mind. My father-in-law, John, is a good friend too. He’s never been one to keep his thoughts to himself, either. 

14. If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be? – I’d like to be taller. It’s hard to be taken seriously as a large animal veterinarian when you’re only 5’1”. Ranchers have a tendency to look at me as a child or a frail woman. Trust me, I’m neither.

15. What is your favorite Bible verse? – Proverbs 3:5-6 “Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.”

If you'd like to read more about Mattie, you can read the first few chapters of Snow Melts in Spring HERE. For fun, if you have a question you'd like to ask Mattie, please do so in the comments below. I'll be sure she gets back to you with an answer. 
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