I feel a distinct sense of favoring all my characters because each has for me an almost perfect balance of heroic and damned fool traits. This is deliberate. As I write, each has the potential to surprise me by doing something of heroism or damned foolishness. But okay, you wanted one character. At the moment, it is Matthew Bender, the actor in “Between the Acts.” His very name—Bender—was a discovery for me because, while I was getting him into difficulties, I was also reading in and about The Odyssey, thinking what a piece of work Odysseus was, then finding out the translation of his name means “a man of many turns.”
Wham! The light of inspiration. Odysseus. Bender. The former was returning from the Trojan Wars. The latter, my guy, was returning home from an off-Broadway production of Troilus and Cressida, which is about the Trojan Wars. What this means for me is a series of inter-related short stories of Bender, coming home from what was likely his most significant performance to date. And what’s next for him? I’m well into “The Man in the Chicken Suit.” An actor’s got to work, right.
My favorite scene? This question, also, makes me reaffirm my belief that I’d better like them all, or they don’t earn their way into the story. Wishing to give you a specific, I still enjoy the implications of the protagonist of “Death Wishes,” wanting to acquire a cat from the animal shelter, then being refused because he is not a cat person.