Saturday, April 12, 2014

Connie Almony and Her Character Interview

Today, I've invited Connie Almony and her new friend, Carly Rose, to visit with us here on the Writing with God's Hope blog.  First let me introduce Carly.

Who is Carly Rose?

I'm glad you asked.



Carly Rose stars in her own novella, At the Edge of a Dark Forest, a modern-day retelling of Beauty and the Beast.
Janet: How exciting for you. Tell us something about yourself.
 
My name is Carly Rose. I develop prosthetics to help people who’ve lost limbs. I work mostly with veterans. Though I grew up in the business, helping my father who started Rose Prosthetics, I wanted to learn all aspects of the field so received training as a physical therapist as well. Right now, my dad and I are trying to start a new company, since my brothers ruined the one he’d originally created.

Janet: What is the quirkiest thing you’ve ever done?

I don’t know if you’d call it quirky or downright crazy, but I moved in with a very bitter disabled Iraq-war vet, Cole Harrison, to help him rehab with my prototype prosthetics. I was hoping to get him to invest in a new company and redeem the Rose family name. Only I didn’t realize the guy would be such a … oh well … Let’s just say he’s not all together pleasant (cough) a-beast. Ahem. Excuse me, I had something in my throat.

 What are three things we might not guess about you?

1)      My favorite part of my work is wielding a blow-torch. Yes, a blow-torch! We use them to heat molds for prosthetic sockets during the fitting process. I don’t know why I love that part so much. I guess it just makes me feel a little dangerous.

2)      I’m not real good filtering what I say, especially if I’ve been insulted. I tend to lash out. Dad says I got my temper from my mom. She’d been a little fiery when she was alive. Dad always smiles and winks when he tells me that.

3)      I’m not afraid of much, but I’m deathly afraid of horses, especially Cole’s horse, Lightning. No reason. No childhood trauma involving the big brutish creatures. I think it’s just because they are big, and I am not. Oh yeah, and they don’t talk so you can’t reason with them about not stepping on you, kicking you, or galloping off with you at top speed. And they’re big. Did I mention that yet?

Oh, I so understand that part. Victoria Peterson who starred in her own YA novel, "Victoria and the Ghost" was afraid of those big animals, too  How was it that your life got complicated?

Things had been going slowly down hill since my brothers took over my dad’s prosthetics company, but it really hit the fan when a disabled vet fell down some stairs while using a prosthetic leg created by the Rose company that had a seriously defective screw. Between the lawsuits against the company and the recalls that followed, my father’s mood had become very dark. It was his dream to help amputees since his brother killed himself years ago, but his own sons have destroyed that dream.

Still, my life changed dramatically when I moved into Cole’s manor. Our arrangement gave my father hope, so I didn’t have to worry about him so much. But now I traded that concern for the man I live with—a man who wrestles many demons, though I’ve been increasingly aware, has a softer, generous side. If only he didn’t feel such a great need to shield it from vulnerability.

I'll bet you despise that Cole, or at least your brothers.

Oh, I can’t say I actually despise anyone, though I’m really angry at those wretched, selfish, beasts of brothers I have—Ahem—I mean, I’m not too happy with my siblings. Sometimes I’d like to wring their scrawny necks and throw mud on their former-model wives’ sequined gowns … but I couldn’t say I really despise them. I know, since God has forgiven me my sins, I need to forgive them theirs … someday … I hope.

I'd like to see you throwing mud at sequined gowns, but forgiveness is a must when God forgave us, isn't it? What stands in the way of your current life goal?

I guess that would be my family’s reputation for creating inferior products that can injure rather than help. That’s why I started developing prosthetics on my own. However, I need to find a way to distinguish my work from theirs, but no one will invest in my new designs. Except, maybe Cole. I don’t know why, because he’s made it painfully clear he wanted nothing to do with prosthetics again. But for some reason, he’s trying mine.

In three words, describe yourself.

Tenacious, hard-working and plain.

Plain?

Yeah, well, next to my brothers’ former-model wives, I think most people would call me plain.

Does Cole find you plain?

Yes, I believe he does. He often mocks me by calling me Beauty. Only sometimes I wonder … well … never mind. Yes, he thinks I’m plain.

Do you trust yourself in your work or do you rely on the wisdom of others, feeling they may know more than you do?

I know the business of prosthetics inside and out. I’ve been trained in all aspects of the job from fitting patients to the right product, to rehabbing them. My father taught me to do everything as if for God, so I take my work seriously.

However, that doesn’t mean I don’t remain open to suggestion. I’ve been very fortunate to have Cole’s horse trainer, Joe Sakamoto, give me advice about how to deal with the ornery owner of the manor. And Sam, the horse trainer’s son, has taught me the benefits of therapy with horses (hippotherapy)—even if they do scare the daylights out of me. We now use this therapy to help Cole heal both physically and from the psychological trauma of PTSD.

That sounds interesting.

Yes, it really is. But don’t tell Sam or Joe I said that. I’d get a tag-team attack of I-told-you-so from the two of them.

Thank you, Carly, for joining us today. I hope Cole decides to invest in your new company.
 
Now, I turn to Connie Almony. I want to learn more about her since she is the creator of Carly Rose.

Connie Almony is trained as a mental health therapist and likes to mix a little fun with the serious stuff of life. She was a 2012 semi-finalist in the Genesis Contest for Women’s Fiction and was awarded an Honorable Mention in the Winter 2012 WOW Flash Fiction Contest. Her newest release, At the Edge of a Dark Forest, is a modern-day re-telling of Beauty and the Beast about a war-vet, amputee struggling with PTSD.

You can find Connie on the web, writing book reviews for Jesus Freak Hideout, and hosting the following blogs: InfiniteCharacters.com and LivingtheBodyofChrist.Blogspot.com.

You can also meet her on the following social media outlets:




Back Cover

Cole Harrison, a war veteran, wears his disfigurement like a barrier to those who might love him, shielding them from the ugliness inside. He agrees to try and potentially invest in, a prototype prosthetic with the goal of saving a hopeless man’s dreams.

Carly Rose contracts to live with Cole and train him to use his new limbs, only to discover the darkness that wars against the man he could become.

At the Edge of a Dark Forest is a modern-day retelling of Beauty and the Beast. Only it is not her love that will make him whole.
I love the sound of that last sentence. Congratulations, Connie on the release of At the Edge of a Dark Forest. I look forward to reading it.  The way you've intertwined your career and Carly's problems must make for an interesting read. Thanks for visiting with us today so we can get acquainted.

2 comments:

Connie Almony said...

Janet, Thanks for having me--and Carly. It was fun!

Janet K Brown said...

I enjoyed it, Connie. I rather find I like Carly.