This contest was for the die-hards so the entry level was lower than usual. I mention this because we actually wound up with a repeat winner. Red from way over on the other side of the world takes home another one with a last-second entry. Strong work…although I might think about putting a limit on wins per year next time to give the other contestants not blessed with freakish good luck when it comes to random number generators a chance at winning as well.
The entries were great, I had a lot of fun reading your interpretations of my characters and book. Most of you wanted some attempt by me to answer these questions as well so here goes, though I have to stress that there really weren’t many of these that had “right” or “wrong” answers. Basically everyone who entered received full marks and made it to the random number phase of the contest.
- What was Mary in her previous life, and how does it contradict her duties/identity as an angel?
Mary was a nun her first time around. This past has put her at odds with herself as a tester as she seems to gravitate towards relationships and sex for her pushes. It seems to be a minor theme that in their second time around these characters wind up in areas that are almost polar opposites from their original lives.
- Which aspects of his life in the ancient world color how Epp handles decisions as an angel? Does his status as an ancient being influence your regard for him?
I get the feeling that as a Roman slave Epp was kept to a pretty strict schedule and discipline with his work. It’s worth noting that Roman slaves were all over the map as far as their relationships with their owners and a lot of these relationships were actually quite civil…you know, for slavery and all. I get the feeling that where Epp landed as a slave turned out to be a good fit for him and I definitely think he was encouraged to learn as much as possible there. I think it was one of the great ironies of his life that he flourished under slavery in a way that never would have happened as a free man. As for the second part, well, I created him so I’m not sure I can answer that. I will say that anyone who sticks around for two-thousand years and keeps their eyes open you should probably listen to.
- Do you see Matthew as a hero or just an observer? What role does he play in the larger story?
I started referring to Matthew in my head as a robot by the later parts of the book because he started reminding me of C-3PO and R2-D2. He’s very much a guide for the reader, though for me he does start to step up at the end.
- What’s up with the mountain tops? If you could go anywhere to peacefully contemplate the big issues in your life, where would it be and why?
I have absolutely no idea why I started using mountain tops the way I did. Whatever the reason I’m of the opinion it was the right choice. Just look at it! As for where I’d go, it’d probably be Central Park…in the rain.
- What do you think Hector did for a living in his first life?
Sorry. I’m not answering this one.
- If you were an angel and could “push” anyone in history, who would it be and why? What sort of outcome would you want?
I’m pretty sure I listed a lot of my top candidates throughout the book. And I think all I’d want out of a push is to be surprised at the strength of the person I was up against.
- What does the title of Part 9, “Where Sarpedon’s Body Lay,” mean?
Ahhh…this question had so many of you Wiki-ing up. There were some very good responses and I’m hesitant to write the “answer” here because the stuff you came up with was equally fun. So I’ll just say that, in my mind, this is was the title means: Sarpedon was a soldier in the Trojan war and he pops up in the Iliad a few times before falling in battle. I was always struck in that book at how the battles were so fluid, constantly ranging back and forth across the beaches and the front of the Trojan walls and how the fighting could coalesce in a heartbeat around the oddest things. When Sarpedon falls some of his compatriots stop to retrieve his body so that it can be properly buried. Then some of his enemies stop to try and stop his compatriots so that they can’t give him a properly burial. Then more compatriots join in, then more enemies, then more and more and more and suddenly there’s a full on battle being fought. For me that was a lot like what was happening in the last parts of the book as things began to come to a head of their own accord in places nobody would ever have thought to prepare for them.
- Would you want to have Epp as a mentor? Why or why not?
No, but it would probably be good for me.
- Matthew has a “thing” for cigars. Freudian aspect? Habit? What is the most realistic habit that the angels have in Probability Angels?
Ha…I don’t do symbolism much and certainly not Freudian symbolism so that’s out. The most realistic habit these characters have is their inability to keep time zones straight. Kyo in particular.
- Sum up what you think happens in the next book in one sentence.
I can’t quite do it in one sentence but I’ll try and put together an answer using thousands of sentences. You should have it in your hands in a little bit if all goes well.
Thanks to all who entered, congrats to Red and now I’m off to work on question 10 some more.