26 September 2015

Proust Your Protagonist with author Chris von Halle

Meet Stausha, one of the lead characters in
Chris von Halle's YA dystopian novel. Available now
from Clean Reads Publishing!



of Faction 304

My name is Stausha. I am sixteen years old and I dwell in the large town of Middleton in the Old World state of Pennsylvania. As with everybody in my society, I am part of a faction. The chief function of each faction is to hunt for relics left over from the Old World in the middle of town. It has been one hundred years since the advent of the plague, a birth-transmitted disease that kills everyone around the time they turn seventeen years old. As for me, I speak with elevated diction because I love words and the English language, and at one point in my life was fortunate enough to be taught by a privileged member of society how to speak eloquently.

What do you regard as the lowest depth of misery?
That is a tough one, as there is so much misery in Middleton. I would have to say, however, that having one’s children cruelly ripped away from you—as has been done to me—and not subsequently be permitted to raise or be with them is the largest hardship I’ve had to—and still have to—endure.

Where would you like to live?
Quite realistically any place other than Middleton. However, one of the empty, abandoned farms that litter the outskirts of the town would provide a wonderful place for me to live, as it would be far enough away from the rulers and their unjust clutch on Middleton.

What is your idea of earthly happiness?
A life in which you are allowed to raise your own children, live in your own house or home, and perform the job you wish to perform—rather than one designated for you—on a regular basis.

The quality you most admire in a man?
I have never actually met a member of the opposite sex, as it is illegal in my town for the sexes to intermix. Therefore, I’m afraid I cannot give you an accurate answer for this one.

The quality you most admire in a woman?
Kindness, sensitivity toward others.

Your favorite virtue?
Again, kindness. I believe that one of the main reasons my society has degraded to such an abysmal state is because the rulers have lost touch with the general concept and importance of kindness.

Your favorite occupation?
I positively adore the artifacts left over from the Old World, and therefore study them on occasion—illegally, mind you—merely for fun.

Your most marked characteristic?
Most likely my curiosity.

What do you most value in your friends?
I would say honesty and kindness.

What is your principle defect?
I am likely to refuse to connect with or to attempt to make friends with somebody because I have had things I hold dearly ripped away from me far too many times. Therefore, I don’t want to risk such a tragic thing occurring again.

What to your mind would be the greatest of misfortunes?
To live the rest of my short, pitiful life without being able to lay my eyes on or raise my beloved children.

What would you like to be?
First and foremost a great mother. Regarding one’s career, I’m not entirely certain, since my society does not allow its citizens to choose a profession. If I were permitted to choose, I imagine I would pick something that deals with language in some capacity.

Who are your heroes in real life?

I don’t believe I have ever met anybody who has been truly heroic, so I couldn’t tell you.

Who are your favorite heroines?
Again, I have never known anybody in my life who I would consider a true role model.

What is it you most dislike?
The rulers. They’re constantly inhibiting the freedoms of Middleton’s citizens, including mine.

What natural gift would you most like to possess?
I wish I could be less selfish.

How would you like to die?
When I’m old and gray—much older than seventeen, mind you, although that would require an antidote to the plague having been created—on a deathbed in a house that I could at the very least call my own. Oh—and with my children—also all grown up—at the bedside, each holding one of my hands.

What is your present state of mind?
A tad cross and dejected, yet hopeful that someday things may yet change in my town and, subsequently, my life.

What is your motto?
Never be afraid to strive to attain what you desire, despite how intense the opposition may be.


(c) Chris Von Halle
Chris von Halle has had many different lives in many different worlds—the near and distant future Earth, other planets, and even other dimensions—and his books recreate his childhood memories of such outlandish locations. In this world and life, he lives in Ridgewood, New Jersey, and enjoys such extraordinary activities as playing video games, tennis, and basketball, and writing the occasional comic strip.

For more of Chris, check out his social media (Facebook and Twitter) and stay up to date on his writing through his author website and blog.

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