Tête-à-Tête: Proust and The Rebellious Princess

Dear Reader,

Welcome back to the Proust series! I acquired Ballad not too long ago, and realised today that she did not get to have her turn at this just yet.

Ballad has been a delight to shell. In my opinion, she is not as fleshed out as her companions as of the moment; her character was created to fit the Marien sculpt (which I was quite adamant on getting because we shared a name!) What I did know from the get-go was that I wanted Jin to have younger siblings. I have always been fascinated by the dynamic between and among the Crawley sisters of Downton Abbey; I wanted to have something similar present in my own characters.

Much of Ballad was inspired by the youngest Crawley sister, the late Sibyl. Ballad, though much younger than most of the characters in the novel, certainly knows her own mind. She is effervescent, kind-hearted, and adventurous, and has little to no regard for authority figures that try (in vain) to temper her spirit. She is close to both Jin and Maddox, and often takes the role of being the glue that holds her eternally feuding brothers together.

I still have to take some new photographs of Ballad (as well as the rest of the crew so they may have matching profile photos), so bear with me for a bit while this remains blank.

Your Friend and Author,

Marien

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Tête-à-Tête: Proust and The Playful Hacker

Dear Reader,

This is the last Proust questionnaire for now. The doll himself still isn’t fully complete because I put his body on a long-term layaway. Hopefully, I can pay him off soon so he can permanently join his ragtag band of crimefighting friends.

The Jazz that’s in the story now is under very different circumstances from the Jazz that first came to be. He used to be a demon masquerading as an exotic dancer (I was a terrible writer once upon a time – please pardon me), and while I loved him as a character, his origins did not fit in with what I as writing, so I scrapped that idea completely. Many years later, I found myself emboldened and delighted by the presence of empowered computer geniuses such as Felicity Smoak (Arrow) and Harold Finch (Person of Interest). I loved what these characters represented, so Jazz the Exotic Dancer became Jazz the Master Hacker. The purple hair stayed, of course, and so did his introverted, slightly paranoid personality.

Too much thought on Jazz will probably give a good chunk of the story away, so I’ll cut it here and go straight to the questionnaire. This will be the last one in awhile, so I’ll try to come up with other interesting things to add to this blog.

Your Friend and Author,

Marien

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Tête-à-Tête: Proust and The Sociopathic Hero

Dear Reader,

I haven’t done one of these in a long time, and we still have two characters to go. I’ve been holding off on releasing Nil’s bio since my plans for him have changed over the course of time, and he has been elevated to the Hero of Heroes.

I won’t discuss that in detail, though – it would ultimately spoil the story for all of you.

Nil, in all honesty, is one of the most difficult characters to work with. To start, he is a clone of an original human specimen designed to be more bioweapon than actual human. He has a tendency to exhibit aloof, detached behaviour, and is only somewhat expressive when interacting with his Great Dane, Gambit. Nearly everyone is in awe of him due to the extent of his abilities, all of which he uses freely to accomplish what is expected of him.

What I enjoy most about him is that his thoughts and actions are that of a man living in the post-apocalyptic future. He is by no means materialistic, and is geared towards ensuring the survival of those he has sworn to protect. He has a rather dysfunctional moral compass; he would not hesitate to trade one life to save a more valuable one.

I hope you enjoy learning more about my favourite hero.

Your Friend and Author,

Marien

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Tête-à-Tête: Proust and The Hope Bringer

Dear Reader,

Had we followed my so-called “proper” order, we would have begun this series with its protagonist, young Lucian Gale Hawke. At the time of the conception of this idea, he had been away visiting a few friends, so I had not been able to prep him to go first. Lucian – or Lucy, as he is referred to with affection – is a very special character who underwent a pretty drastic evolution over time. I had originally created him to be the protagonist of a story with a fantasy-oriented plot, which had died quickly after I decided that I wanted to work on something more sci-fi contemporary. Lucy, in consequence, had to put up with a complete overhaul. From a dark-haired, red-eyed God of Death, he became a bleach blond, violet-eyed actor-in-the-making whose greatest nightmare would probably be a filthy rest room.

Lucy is the kind of protagonist who would much rather not be the protagonist. He walks into this story with his personal goals all set up, and basically ends up disgruntled as he finds himself dragged into this dangerous world he doesn’t have the slightest bit of interest in. What I like most about him is that he is just as equally determined – if not more – to prove himself worthy of his own expectations aside from those of others.

I hope you support him on his heroic journey!

Your Friend and Author,

Marien

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Tête-à-Tête: Proust and The Charmer

Dear Reader,

Max, the newest member of my resin crew, has also quickly become one of the most loved. This is highly indicative of his personality, as he exhibits a certain warmth that is rare among the other agents.

I’ve always liked the Claude and Eric Iplehouse sculpts; I have a certain affection for dolls with expressive, smiling/smirking faces, and that particular trait is present in most of the sculpts I own. I used to own a Claude – he was my very first Iplehouse doll – but his character wasn’t really working out for me anymore, and I felt it would be best to re-home the sculpt so I could use the money to pay off my Leonard. A rather long time later, this Eric appeared on the website for auction, and I fell in love with him instantly. I was able to snag him at a terrific price, and he found his way home to me very quickly.

Because of what happened with Claude, I had some initial reservation about getting a sculpt before really fleshing out the character, but seeing Max pretty much did away with that paranoia. I managed to create what I feel is a pretty decent character to suit his sculpt, and I am very, very happy with him.

Please continue on to find out more things about Max.

Your Friend and Author,

Marien

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Tête-à-Tête: Proust and The Diabolical Mastermind

Dear Reader,

This afternoon’s tête-à-tête is with the illustrious Shinomori Jin, the mastermind behind Project Dianthus. Jin has always been very special to me because he was my very first original character. His personality and background have evolved over the years – his first incarnation was a far cry from what he is now – but his design has more or less remained the same.

One of my most favourite things about him is that he is enigmatic without trying to be. He doesn’t seclude himself from society – rather, he immerses himself into it and ensures that people will remember exactly who he is and exactly what he does. Despite this candour, nobody really knows what goes on in his head.

I doubt even his answers to these questions will allow us to find out more.

Your Friend and Author,

Marien

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Tête-à-Tête: Proust and The Femme Fatale

Dear Reader,

Over the past few days, I’ve been creating a mental list of things that should go into a decent doll blog. Said list has been growing longer and longer by the day, and I feel as if it will take me ages to get things moving the way I intend them to. We must, however, begin, with the basics – our plot and our characters.

The Proust Questionnaire is an interesting means of exploring one’s characters beyond the basic requirements. The questions allow one to dig deeper into the psyche of his or her creations as the nature of the questionnaire is quite personal. All of this is attributed to French writer, Marcel Proust, and the answers he gave to his own interview.

I usually sequence these things by the sculpt’s arrival date. However, Lucy and Nil are currently visiting with some friends, and I am left to choose among the newer members of the crew. To honour the old ‘Ladies First’ adage, I chose to begin the tête-à-tête with Miss Gainesborough, the lone female in the Alpha Squad’s merry band of five, and one of my absolute favourites to work with. I have always wanted to create a sophisticated twenty-second century Bond Girl type with the ability to kick serious ass, and her character quickly grew from that basic concept.

Sierra’s place in Dianthus reflects my dream for each and every woman across the globe. She is recognised by her colleagues – most of them, men – as one of the best agents, and she is never belittled or dismissed because of her gender.

Powerful women can be such inspirations, don’t you think?

Do enjoy.

Your Friend and Author,

Marien

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