Welcome to Swoon Sunday where you get to meet some of our swoon-worthy heroes. Today we have a visit from Max Herrara from Life After Juliet by Shannon Lee Alexander!
Max, why don’t you describe yourself to us.
Um, wow, okay…this is weird. I’m average height, I guess, definitely taller than my best friend Victor, so there’s that. I’ve got black hair (which Becca says is very shiny, and it’s adorable when she says it because she blushes so hard even her ears turn pink) and dark brown eyes, and I’m pretty tan, I guess. To be fair, since I called Becca out on her blushing, I should mention that Becca says when I blush I turn coppery, like shiny pennies.
That’s about it, I guess. Other than, Becca likes my T-shirt collection. Don’t tell her, but some of them I bought because they were books I saw her reading in class over the years, and then I’d read the books, too. I was always hoping one of them would catch her eye.
What’s your profession?
High schooler. I’d like to do set and tech design in college. I like designing and building things. My practical mother says I should study engineering.
What kind of music do you listen to? (What song are you listening to on your iPod right now?)
I’m currently listening to the Hamilton soundtrack. I like to listen and imagine how the musical would look on stage, and then design sets and lighting for it. Sometimes I’ll even sketch my ideas.
Do you have a special skill?
My dad’s teaching me welding and metal working. It’s crazy to bend metal to your whims. I feel like Superman!
What’s your biggest regret?
Not talking to Becca sooner. That’s cheesy. Um…I can’t think of anything else. I mean, I wish I’d been able to visit my cousin at Stanford, but we live really far away and plane tickets are expensive. That’s not so much a regret as a wish, I guess.
But I do regret not talking to Becca sooner because she’s really amazing, and I kind of feel like I wasted some time there. If there’s one thing I know, it’s that time is fleeting.
Describe your idea of an ideal date.
Any date with Becca. *blushes the color of pennies* Um, okay, sorry. Let’s see.
So, Becca has this list she showed me in a book, and one of the things she’d like to do is eat ice cream in the middle of the ocean. We don’t live near the ocean, but I want to paint these huge flats to look like the sea and set them up onstage all around, and then we could eat ice cream in the center and it’d be almost like her dream.
What would be your idea of an ideal vacation?
I’d like to go to Venezuela with my parents so they can show me where they grew up, went to university, and started their lives together. It’d be cool to see them there, back in the places they came from. It’s kind of weird to me to know I have roots in this place I’ve never seen.
Dad’s told lots of stories about growing up. Mom doesn’t talk about it much. But Dad’s stories are full of color, food, and culture that sounds amazing. If we went, I could experience some of the things that inspire my dad’s artwork. I think it’d be pretty cool, but they say it wouldn’t be a good idea—at least not yet.
Who is your idol?
My cousin, Benicio, was my idol for a long time. He was smart and funny, and I really thought he was going to make a change in the world—like the whole world, not just mine. But something happened in college, and he changed.
I guess my dad is my idol now. He’s made it through some rough times, escaping a tough place to follow his dream of being an artist. He never settled for the “safety” job. That takes guts and determination.
Boxers or briefs?
What? No. I’m not answering that! *blushes like a whole fountain full of pennies*
Froot Loops or Lucky Charms (or both)?
Lucky Charms. But you have to be careful to eat them at just the right pace so the marshmallow have the optimum time to fluff, but not get too squishy and dissolve.
Early bird or night owl?
Both. Herrera men don’t need a lot of sleep. My mom does though! DO NOT wake my mother!
Favourite fictional character?
There’s no way to pick a favorite. But I do like Neville from the Harry Potter series. I like that he’s always there when he needs to be, and he’s honorable, and he’s happy to be in the background, you know. He doesn’t require the spotlight. He’s a techie for sure!
Liked the Interview with Max? Now see how Becca feels around him in the swoony excerpt:
We narrow our eyes, sizing each other up over the table. My insides are on fire watching him this closely. I imagine sliding my fingers forward, locking them with his. But this isn’t a story in a book. And that stuff doesn’t happen in real life. So I stay firmly planted in my seat, staring at his mouth.
He must notice that my gaze is trapped on his lips, because instead of speaking out loud, he mouths the words I’m in.