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Friday, March 31, 2017

Character Profiles and Interview: Dr. Wilcox

***Spoiler Alert***
 If you have not read the novel yet, reading the character interview questions and answers below may spoil it for you. This is meant to be read after you’ve finished reading the book.

Character Profile

Name: Dr. Samuel Wilcox
Age: 58
Hair Color: Gray
Eye Color: Gray
Favorite Color: Colors are too trivial to have a preference
Favorite Place: His workshop
Biggest Pet Peeve: People that value social adeptness over intellect

Personality Description:
Dr. Samuel Wilcox is a brilliant scientist, inventor, and all-around recluse. Preferring to be by himself rather than in a group, living alone in a remote area of the Engineering District suits him well. Although his brilliance allows him to come up with incredible inventions, he sometimes struggles with the simplest things in life like organizational skills and taking care of himself. He has little patience for individuals who refuse to better themselves through education and knowledge but will talk with anyone interested in his work. Socially awkward, he fails to notice social cues and when his statements may be insulting or demeaning to others. Nonetheless, he can be caring and compassionate to those he cares about such as Dylan and Allie.

If Dr. Wilcox could be summed up in four words, they would be Intellectual Genius, Socially Awkward. He has the INTP or Logician Personality type. If you want to read more about this personality type, you can visit https://www.16personalities.com/intp-personality.

  ***Spoiler Content Below This Point***

Character Interview

Question 1: How did you become friends with Dylan Baker?

Answer: During Dylan’s middle school days and before I became the Chief Engineer of the city, I was a professor of engineering at Oceania University. Members of the engineering department were encouraged each year to attend science fairs across the city to either help judge the students’ projects or to be on the lookout for new talented students. One year I finally decided to go to one that happened to be held at Dylan’s school. Back then Dylan had been going through a phase where he wanted to be a marine engineer like his mother and he had created this astonishing nanobot specifically designed for measuring various quantities of the marine environment. I was so taken aback by his invention that I offered to help him improve upon his design. [Laugh] If only you could have seen his face light up at the prospect of further improving his invention. Since I don’t like to be around other people very much, I invited him and his mother to visit my workshop and showed him around. From then on, he visited me every weekend to work on his invention and even after he started becoming more interested in marine biology and left behind his pursuit of marine engineering, he continued to visit me. Often Dylan gave me hints and tips on what he saw that was lacking in my designs. I admired his innovation and persistence and we became friends.

Question 2: What were your first thoughts when Dylan introduced you to Allie?

Answer: Well, at first I didn’t even notice that Allie was in the room when Dylan arrived at my workshop. When I did, I was curious as to who she might be. Dylan had never brought any of his friends to meet me after several of them voiced their opinions that they thought it was weird that he spent so much time with me outside of his studies. So, I was surprised to see anyone with him. My first thoughts of her were that she seemed a little odd and out of place. Perhaps a bit nervous to be in my presence. I am the Chief Engineer of Oceania after all. I surmised that she had come to seek some advice from me, but I never guessed that she was a Land Dweller.

Question 3: Why did you continue to help Dylan and Allie when the mayor had incarcerated you along with them and after you’d successfully escaped?

Answer: Well, that’s an absurd question! Why wouldn’t anyone help them? I’m not a people person myself, but I wouldn’t leave the children to fend for themselves. That’s nonsense! Besides, Dylan is the only friend I had until Allie came along. It’d be a shame to lose them both.

Question 4: What is your opinion of merging the Above World with Oceania?

Answer: My opinion on the matter is quite irrelevant. The event has already occurred. However, I do believe it can be both beneficial and detrimental to both worlds. Oceania, as well as the Oceanians, are accustomed to being isolated from the Above World. Surely not everyone will be willing to share our hard work and ideas with the residents of land. My hypothesis is that if both worlds can coexist and respect the other, then we should be able to have a peaceful merging. Unfortunately, that so rarely occurs in the real world. I fear that the merging could cost Oceania some of its independence that it has thrived under. There’s no telling how the politics of the Above World could hamper or influence the city of Oceania. Not to mention if we are to share our inventions, ideas, and solutions in a free open environment like we have here, the Above World may not be receptive to it and may even perhaps steal some of our technologies. Regardless, I admire Dylan and Allie for doing what they did and I wholeheartedly support them.

Random Question: Can you really find anything in your workshop?

Answer: Certainly! Given time, I always find exactly what I need. I know where I placed my tools, scrap metal, and other inventions. I know them like the back of my hand.

 *There are also Character Profiles and Interviews for Allie and Dylan. If you missed the one for Allie, you can view it here. If you missed the one for Dylan, you can view it here

Friday, March 17, 2017

Character Profile and Interview: Dylan

***Spoiler Alert***
 If you have not read the novel yet, reading the character interview questions and answers below may spoil it for you. This is meant to be read after you’ve finished reading the book.

Character Profile
Name: Dylan Baker
Age: 15
Hair Color: Dirty-blond
Eye Color: Green
Favorite Color: Green
Favorite Place: Intertidal Zone
Biggest Pet Peeve: Being Waterlogged

Personality Description:
Dylan Baker is an exceptional scientist and well-adept for his age. He takes his passion for marine science very seriously, although he has a general passion for all knowledge. His pursuit of knowledge often supersedes all else, even his own safety. Around his friends, Dylan is a completely different person. Outgoing, friendly, competitive, and rambunctious, he could be easily mistaken as any other teenage boy. Fiercely loyal, he’ll do anything to help a friend. Growing up with workaholic parents, Dylan absorbed himself with science and friends to fill the void of parental care. The Above World is fascinating to him and he takes pride in being one of the few people allowed to visit it. Intent on becoming a one-of-a-kind scientist like his friend Dr. Wilcox, he’s furious when he thinks Allie may be encroaching upon his research when he first meets her. Once he realizes she’s a Land Dweller, his curiosity is piqued and his thirst for knowledge kicks in.

Dylan has the ENTJ or Commander personality type. If you want to read more about this personality type, you can visit https://www.16personalities.com/entj-personality.

***Spoiler Content Below This Point***

Character Interview

Question 1: What did you think when you first saw Allie, your first Land Dweller?

Answer: My first thought about Allie was “How dare she?” I thought that she’d tampered with my study location and interfered with my data collection. Having no idea that Land Dwellers still existed, I assumed she was from Oceania, which was why I questioned her. At first sight, I really didn’t like her. I never would have guessed that we’d become such good friends.

Question 2: What initially motivated you to take Allie to Oceania?

Answer: Once I found out that Allie was a Land Dweller, I had to show her my city. I wanted to see her reaction to it. But above all, I didn’t want to lose the opportunity to talk to her and get to know more about the Above World. I’d been going to that same beach for a few years and I’d never encountered any other human before. For all I knew, Allie was the only one I’d ever meet. I couldn’t lose the opportunity to gain knowledge of the Above World that no one else in Oceania had. After I returned to Oceania, I couldn’t stop thinking about Allie and so I made up my mind to devise a plan to sneak her into the city. It took me a while, but when I returned to the surface, I was ready to take her back with me.

Question 3: What was it like growing up in an underwater city?

Answer: What was it like growing up in an underwater city? Well, that’s kind of hard to answer for me because it’s all I know. I’ve seen from Allie what living in the Above World is like, but to me, growing up in Oceania is normal. But, I guess, for you Land Dwellers, you want to know the exotic things about growing up under the sea. Well, from birth we’re taught to learn all that we can and to be inquisitive about everything. School takes up most of our time and we don’t aspire to do much else until after we graduate. If you’re wondering whether or not we get to go swimming outside the city all we want—that’d be a no. In fact, most people in Oceania never leave the city. The only exception are those in the various fields of marine science or in city maintenance. You have to be justified in checking out a seamobile or other watercraft. If it weren’t for the docking bay and the dome that projects images of undersea animals, we probably wouldn’t even know we were underwater. I’m sorry if I didn’t answer your question, but that’s just the way it is.

Question 4: What are your hopes as Liaison to the Above World?

Answer: My hopes as the Liaison to the Above World is to bring our two worlds together in a harmonious way. I want to share Oceania with the Above World and the Above World with Oceania. My city has been hidden for too long. Both Allie’s world and mine have so much to benefit from one another that together we can improve each world. I want to show the Land Dwellers how Oceania runs as an entirely green, self-sustaining city where we live in harmony with one another instead of at war with each other. I want to prove to the Above World that we can all live in peace and improve the world by working together.

Random Question: Whatever happened to the motorcycle you stole from the barn?

Answer: [Dylan laughs] I really wanted to keep that bike, but the Sunnyville police confiscated it after they realized that I didn’t have a license to drive it and that I had stolen it from an abandoned barn. I explained that it was a life or death situation, but they said that my driving without a license was a bigger issue than me stealing it. Apparently, licenses are needed for manual vehicles, but I didn’t know. I’ve asked for it back many times since then, but so far, they haven’t given in. Maybe one day I’ll get it back.

*There is a Character Profile and Interview for Allie as well, if you missed it, you can view it here.

Thursday, March 2, 2017

Character Profile and Interview: Allie

***Spoiler Alert***
 If you have not read the novel yet, reading the character interview questions and answers below will spoil it for you. This is meant to be read after you’ve finished reading the book.

Character Profile
Name: Allie
Age: 14
Hair Color: Black
Eye Color: Brown
Favorite Color: Blue
Favorite Place: Beneath the waves
Biggest Pet Peeve: Adults disregarding teens just because of their age.

Personality Description:
Allie is a nature lover, stuck in a world that’s lost its contact with the natural world. With an adventurous spirit that drives her to take risks and explore the unknown, Allie can’t stand being cooped up in a city and would rather be out in nature. Feeling a comradery with the natural world, she struggles to make friends in the Above World where most people her age are into the latest in technology. Even though Allie doesn’t consider herself a science geek or nerd, she does love increasing her knowledge in various subjects. An underlying cautiousness hints to her internal self-doubts, although on the outside she puts up a shell to mask it. Though she refuses to admit it, the death of her father made a huge impact on her life and she still struggles to cope with it. The strained relationship she has with her mother causes her to revel in rebelling against authority, leading her to the Restricted Beach where she meets Dylan. Unlike the other teens she knows, Dylan’s passion for nature intrigues her, leading her to trust him in taking her on the adventure of a lifetime.

Allie has an INFP or Mediator personality type. If you want to read more about this personality type, you can visit https://www.16personalities.com/infp-personality.

***Spoiler Content Below This Point***

Character Interview

Question 1: What’s the first thing you did after you realized you had helped to expose Oceania to the outside world?

Answer: Since Dylan and I were surrounded by Oceania’s security personnel and cops, the first thing I had to do was explain myself. Because Dylan and I created such a commotion on the way to Gran’s house, the Sunnyville cops had followed and we wound up having to explain to both them and Mayor Aldridge’s guards. It turned out that even though Dylan and I thought we would be untouchable after posting the information about Oceania’s founding on the Network, we were wrong. The Sunnyville police questioned us, but since we were minors, Gran was allowed to stay with us, which made it impossible for Mayor Aldridge’s guys to arrest us. After all of that was cleared up, the first thing I did was explain everything to Gran and my mom who’d called about million times when she thought I was missing.

Question 2: How did your mom and Gran react when they’d realized what you’d done?

Answer: It took a lot of explaining before either of them believed me. Luckily, Dylan was there too and showed them the same information we’d sent over the Network. I had taken some pictures of Oceania on my omniphone while I was there, so we shared that with them as well. Mom was pretty mad at me about everything, but Gran was fascinated. After ending the holocall with my mom, Gran asked so many questions about Oceania that Dylan and I spent hours answering them. Gran was stunned that I’d done the things I had and couldn’t believe I’d swam all the way to the surface from 12,000 feet!

Question 3: How hard was it to return to Chicago after the summer you had?

Answer: It was both easy and hard. Easy because I didn’t have to worry about any more of Mayor Aldridge’s people or deal with questioning from Sunnyville’s cops. Back in Chicago, there was only the buzz of what I’d posted. No one knew that it was me. Life could go back to normal for me there and I didn’t have to worry about being interrogated. It was hard because I missed Oceania and the ocean a lot. I’d grown used to the fact that I could visit the beach every day and see dolphins, sharks, anglerfish and the like. It was difficult to return to the middle of the country with only Lake Michigan to look at. My knowledge of the underwater city and the undersea realm constantly took over my mind and sometimes it was hard to concentrate in school. My only solace was that I knew I would be returning to Sunnyville the next summer and I’d be able to return to the underwater city.

Question 4: How were you able to keep it a secret that you and Dylan had been the ones to expose the city?

Answer: Well, we’d covered our tracks when we posted the information on the Network. We set our post as “anonymous” and Dylan bounced our location throughout a variety of servers to mask our real location. Not that our location would have really mattered. It only made sense that someone in Sunnyville would have discovered it. From then on, neither of us talked about it to anyone else on land. Dylan’s people knew that it was him, but he conveniently left Dr. Wilcox and me out of it. Since he was thought to be the only person to have done it, Oceania’s newly founded Tourism department appointed him as Liaison to the Land Dwellers. Oceania didn’t tell my world that Dylan was the one who’d exposed them because they were trying to keep the whole psycho Mayor Aldridge thing under control. Most of the people in Sunnyville were too confused and more concerned with what would happen to their small town if people started flocking there for tourism than finding out who’d exposed the city.

Random Question: What is your favorite thing about Oceania?

Answer: Hmm, my favorite thing about Oceania? That’s kind of a hard question to answer. I love so much about the city. It’s an incredible place with tech more amazing than what I could dream up in my wildest dreams. I guess I could say that’s my favorite thing—the technology of the city. There I can dream up anything in the OVRR or explore the depths with the SCUBAPS or seamobiles. The entire city is unique and it’s so gigantic that I still have much to discover about it. It’s so different from my world that I can’t help but be drawn to it.