Marked by Alex Hughes: An Interview with Adam, The Telepath in Question

Hi, Adam! Thanks for agreeing to this interview. If you could describe yourself in one sentence, what would you have said?

I'm not quite sure what I'm doing here, but I'm happy to talk. Describe myself in one sentence?
What is this, some kind of personality test Paulsen has you giving me? Well, I like my job and I'll go through worse to keep it. One sentence...

Well, I guess at the simplest I'm a Level Eight Guild-trained telepath, a consultant to the DeKalb County Police Department, a recovering addict, and a guy who's trying to do the right thing.

What is the most annoying part of being able to read people's minds?

Hearing people lie to themselves or make observations about you that aren't flattering, and not being able to do anything about it.

How does it affect your relationships?

I don't have a lot of relationships, per say. There's Swartz, who most of the time doesn't care if I snoop. There's Cherabino, who says to keep my hands and my mind to myself. And of course there's a mess of cops and others who have different policies at different times. The worst is figuring out who needs what, and if I have the energy to play by their individual rules. Mostly, though, I'm figuring it out. Mostly.

Your mentor, Swartz, and your partner, Cherabino, do they ever want to punch you in the face for reading their thoughts?

Swartz doesn't really care, though he'll kick my ass in a heartbeat for other things. Cherabino... well, Cherabino's a puzzle. She's a woman, for starters, and then she has all these layers on top of that, layers upon layers and half of them she doesn't admit to in public. She's been known to punch me for reading her thoughts. And then, on other occasions, she wants me to do the right thing without her having to tell me. I do the best I can.

At last, if you could go back what would be the one thing you'd
change in your past?

I... I don't believe in this question. The Program doesn't believe in this question. The past is what it is, and it made us who we are. Swartz would say it's far more beneficial to look forward than back anyway, especially when your mistakes stick up.

Can I have the next question please?

Thank you for your time. *tries to shake hands*

*backs away and nods deeply* I'm sorry, telepaths don't shake hands. It's for your safety, really.

Thanks for your time as well. Now, can you tell me what's really going on here?

Eh, just a quick personality test, you were right. Paulsen made me do it! *runs away furiously thinking of pink elephant in her head*

* * *

Thank you very much, Alex! That was fun!
If you want to see Alex's previous guest post Top Five Ways to Protect Yourself from a Telepath, please go here.


Freelancing for the Atlanta PD isn’t exactly a secure career; my job’s been on the line almost as much as my life. But it’s a paycheck, and it keeps me from falling back into the drug habit. Plus, things are looking up with my sometimes-partner, Cherabino, even if she is still simmering over the telepathic Link I created by accident.

When my ex, Kara, shows up begging for my help, I find myself heading to the last place I ever expected to set foot in again—Guild headquarters—to investigate the death of her uncle. Joining that group was a bad idea the first time. Going back when I’m unwanted is downright dangerous.

Luckily, the Guild needs me more than they’re willing to admit. Kara’s uncle was acting strange before he died—crazy strange. In fact, his madness seems to be slowly spreading through the Guild. And when an army of powerful telepaths loses their marbles, suddenly it’s a game of life or death.…

Alex Hughes was born in Savannah, GA and moved to the south Atlanta area when she was eight years old. Shortly thereafter, her grandfather handed her a copy of Anne McCaffrey’s Dragonrider series, and a lifelong obsession with scifi was born.

Alex is a graduate of the prestigious Odyssey Writing Workshop and a Semi-Finalist in the 2011 Amazon Breakthrough Novel Awards. Her short pieces are published in several markets including EveryDay Fiction and White Cat Magazine. She blogs about writing craft, revision, and editing at

Alex’s work is complex, dark, adventurous, and a little funny, with a emphasis on great characters and interesting worlds. She gets her inspiration from history (she majored with a European history focus in college), family members, and headlines, as well as whatever book she has in her hand. Lately she’s been reading neuroscience books; the brain’s a cool, cool place and the mind even more so.

An avid cook and foodie, Alex loves great food of any stripe – even better if she can figure out how to put it together. Great food is like a great book; it has lots of layers that work together beautifully, and the result is delicious and harmonious. She’s working on figuring out Indian food right now – suggestions welcome!

Alex loves swing dancing, tetris, music of all kinds, and has been known to get into long conversations with total strangers at restaurants about the Food Network, much to the embarrassment of her sister. She can also balance a spoon on her nose while crossing her eyes, and talk for hours about absolutely nothing.
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