Michael Grant’s new ‘Solider Girl’ series has begun with a resounding wallop in the release of ‘Front Lines’. Set in an alternative WWII, it follows the armed forces careers of Rio, Frangie and Rainy.
Here the author interviews Sgt. Rainy Schulterman. Get ready for plenty of sass and snark. Regardless of what Grant might think, it’s pretty clear…Rainy. Is. Boss.
MG: Hello, Rainy. How are you?
Rainy: Fine, sir. May I ask the purpose of this interview?
MG: Someone suggested it.
Rainy: Ah. Of course you realize there’s a bit of a. . . conflict in the idea of you interviewing me.
MG: You mean because I created you?
MG: You could say I’m sort of your God.
Rainy: No, you really couldn’t say that. But of course you already know what I have to say about, well, anything.
MG: Not really. Not in the sense that I know in a conscious sort of way that a minute from right now you’re going to say some specific thing. I don’t plan ahead. I don’t outline. It’s all spontaneous.
Rainy: Yes, sir, we are all well aware of your limitations as a prose stylist.
Rainy: You should apologize to yourself for making me say that.
MG: I’m sorry. And I forgive me. Where were we? Oh, yeah, I’m supposed to interview you. So, um, Rainy, how do you like Army life?
Rainy: It’s a lot of dull with occasional intense. . . um. . . are you going to look up the exact quote?
MG: “War is months of boredom punctuated by moments of terror.” Google isn’t sure who said it.
Rainy: Who is Google?
MG: Oh, yeah, you’re in 1943. I’m in the future. I’m from 2016.
Rainy: Do you have flying cars?
MG: Sadly, no.
Rainy: So the future really is a dystopia.
MG: That’s why I had to go to the past, to create you. Now, stop interrupting and let me try this again. How are you liking World War 2?
Rainy: I feel I’ve made a useful contribution to the war effort. I remain committed to the destruction of the Nazi menace and the preservation of liberty, sir. I’d say more, but as you know you’ve conceived me as a discreet, somewhat secretive type of person.
MG: That’s why you’re a natural for Army intelligence.
Rainy: I have no idea what you’re talking about, sir. I work in supply.
MG: Riiiight. You’ve met Rio and Frangie? They’re your co-stars, so to speak.
Rainy: Yes, I’ve met them both. I met them when you made our plotlines intersect. I like them both, although we don’t really have much in common. Frangie is sweet and comes across as innocent, but I sense that there’s a whole lot more happening in her mind. She’s the sort of person who makes me painfully aware of my own ruthless tendencies. If you know what I mean, and of course you do. And Rio? Well, I don’t think we’d be friends in real life, after all she’s a small town girl, and I’m a New Yorker. And, to be honest, I think she scares me just a little. She’s one of those people you’re glad to learn is on your side. She’s all milk-fed wholesomeness until she picks up a rifle.
MG: Yeah, I didn’t really conceive of you three as friends. I wanted each of you to be a complete character, not defined by anyone else. That was most important to me: creating real, fully-realized characters. That, and I wanted to get the history right, and I think I have, to best of my limited abilities.
Rainy: In the future have you invented the term “humblebrag?”
MG: Cute. You’re very quick. I like you. So, I was sorry about that whole thing between you and the Gestapo.
Rainy: The. . . the what?
MG: The Gestapo. You know, when. . . Oh, wait. You’re Book #1 Rainy. You don’t know what happens in Book #2 yet.
Rainy: Just. . . wait a minute here. Gestapo? As in the Nazi secret police?
MG: I’m sorry, I have a no spoilers policy.
Rainy: Hey! Hey old bald man! Sir. What do you mean, Gestapo? Explain! At least give me a clue!
MG: And that concludes our interview. Stay tuned for 8 out of 10 Cats. David Mitchell’s on, and he’s always very witty.
Rainy: Okay, I’m ready to reconsider this entire enlistment thing.
You can find out more about Rainy and her compadres in ‘Front Lines’. Get your copy here!
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