Saturday, August 29, 2015

"I'm with you till the end of the line, pal."

 As promised I have a character post today. Brothers-in-Arms character, since that book seems to have all my attention at the moment.

 I've spent all week going over who I wanted to do. I almost did the main antagonist but I'm mad at him and not ready to let him have his own post yet. So I am doing Karl, since I did his best friends and he's feeling left out.

Karl Ritter

I have mentioned Karl twice now in Caleb and Warren's posts. The three of them were best friends growing up, almost completely opposite each other as anyone could get, but inseparable for all that.

Karl is considered very handsome. He even has dimples in his chin - which Japhet finds out when Franz's sister mentions them to her best friend.
Medium of height and build, Karl has light brown hair and his eyes are pale blue. Every fall he grows a mustache, which he shaves off a week later.
He is 24 during most of the story.

Karl grew up in the same town as Warren and Caleb, but unlike them his family wasn't Jewish. He lived next day to Warren and grew up playing together. Their favorite game was to teach Caleb whenever he walked past their homes. Later they all ended up in the same school where, one day, Warren and Karl saw some of the other boys teasing Caleb because of the way he dressed. (He wore the traditional Jewish clothing.) Both boys ran to his aid and because of that the three became best friends.

After they graduated grade school they went to the same university together where Warren began to study to be a pastor, Caleb a doctor, and Karl a history teacher. Warren kept his friends active with his wild schemes but in spite of that Karl was able to dedicate a lot of his time to studying. He got his degree and moved to Berlin until he could find a position. (As mentioned before, Caleb moved into the city as well with his new wife. Warren went back to the town he'd grown up in. They kept in close contact and visited each other almost every weekend.)

When things began to get hard for the Jews Karl tried to talk Caleb and Annie into moving. Caleb finally consented a few days before the Night of the Broken Glass, but didn't get out in time. (I keep feeling I should add little explanations about him but really, this is Karl's post.) When he saw what was going on in the streets Karl ran to check on Caleb and Annie and keep them safe but he didn't get there in time.

Caleb managed to get away when he was being taken off with the other Jews and Karl found him two days later. He'd hidden in back alleys and didn't recognize his friend when Karl did find him.

Karl took Caleb back to their boyhood home and to the house Warren lived in alone. Together they tried to help Caleb heal. It was during this time that they learned of the resistance. They joined at the same time and began to help smuggle Jews out of Germany. (Warren and Karl also made a pact they never told Caleb about. Seeing how devastated Caleb was over the loss of his wife they promised that if either of them died in the war they other would not tell Caleb until they were certain beyond all doubt he could take the news without loosing the last bit of sanity he had left. Neither knew if it was the right decision, but they also knew they couldn't bare to see their best friend suffer anymore.)

And this is how Karl met the Buchanans and Kappels. He was given their name and met up with them to secure the proper paperwork. He also met Gabi Kappel, one of Franz's sisters. He started to date her and a few months later proposed.

While both Karl and Gabi knew their wedding might have to be postponed for a few years they were both happy. (It gave them both a strong sense of hope, having something in the future they could look forward to.)

Even after he got engaged Karl never told his to be wife or her family of his work in the resistance. He didn't want to put them in anymore danger than they were already in, that and it put the resistance at too much risk.

Karl is quieter than Warren. He likes to be around people but after a few hours usually wants to be left alone. He loves to ready, especially anything to do with history. He hates textbooks and planned to teach his students using real life journals, letters, and other historical accounts.

When Warren and Caleb weren't around Karl would go for long walks alone in the forest. He'd sometimes bird watch but usually would look for and identify plants - a hobby of his.

Even though he moved into Berlin Karl had no plans to spend the rest of his life there. He always planned to find a little school away from any big cities, build himself a little house, and raise a family. He even agreed to telling Warren uncle his kids even though he knew it would likely mean some of them would turn out as wild as he was.

You can find the other character posts I've done for Brothers-in-Arms HERE


Tuesday, August 25, 2015

"Go on. Say it." "Alright. Friendship is magic."

 Because Brothers-in-Arms is strongly a friendship story I thought I might list my top favourite friendships. Both fictional and real.

Tintin and Haddock
"Tub? TUB?!"

 From The Adventures of Tintin comic books. Or graphic novels. I don't know which term is supposed to be applied to these books.
 These two have a strange friendship. I can't ever decide if they are more like brothers, or if it is something like a nephew/ uncle relationship.
 They don't meet in the very first books, but when they do it is hard to imagine one without the other. They are inseparable, even though Haddock reaches a point where he could separate himself from Tintin's adventures.
 Before he meets Tintin, Haddock is a drunk. And while he still drinks after they meet he gets better. So it is obvious to see how their friendship changes Haddock. But the more I read the books - over and over - the more I pick up on how Tintin changes after he meets Haddock.
 Always alone with just Snowy, Tintin is reckless and often nearly gets himself killed. He seems to not care if he does end up dying, rushing without putting much thought into danger. But after he meets Haddock he has someone around who cares about him, and he becomes more careful. He seems to realize if he died he'd leave someone behind who would be grieved over his death.

 Steed and Mrs. Peel

 From the Avengers TV series.
 The series ran for years, but it is most famous for the Emma Peel years.
 The main character of the series is a spy named John Steed. He works for some British government agency and works with various different partners. He becomes good friends with all of them, but his friendship with Emma Peel is different.
 They have a kind of brother/sister relationship. When they aren't saving one another from almost being killed in elaborate ways they are picking on each other. Insulting each other. Making faces at each other. They're hilarious. But every once in a while they will get into a situation where death is just a little too close, and when they escape it they'll give each other this special look and you realize how close they are.
 Then they go back to sitting on the same couch and nudging or kicking each other.

 Jaron, Rodin, and Tobias
 From The False Prince books. These three have a rough friendship at first. It takes about three books for them to work everything out, but when they do they have one of the best book friendships ever. (For those who have read it, THE SWORD FIGHT! Need I say more?)

 Jill and Eustice

 I think the best part of their friendship is they spend half their time arguing. I don't know why that should make it so special, but it does. I love their relationship, just about everything about it. From the bickering to how they look after each other.

 Pippin and Merry
"Great! Where are we going?"

 Do I need to say more? These two should have remained inseparable, but of course, that didn't happen in the books. I have a feeling they made up for it later in life.

 Louie and Phil
"He said my bombardier's a dope."
"I'm glad it was you, Zamp."

 From Unbroken. Their's was a real life friendship. Trapped together on a raft for 47 days, they would have had to come away best friends or worse enemies. (They remained friends long after the war.) But their friendship started before the raft and consisted of them pranking each other and almost getting themselves killed when they tried to float their mattresses in the ocean.
 I love their friendship, and I just love both men. They were inspiring, the things they went through and how they helped each other through a lot of it (Or tried to. There was the guilt Phil felt for not being able to land their B-24. While he didn't ever say it, everyone who knew him believed he blamed himself for his crew dying for the rest of his life.)

 Bucky and Steve
"Punk." "Jerk"

"I'm with you till the end of the line, pal."
Best friends moments

 While they are hardly together in either movie there is something special about their friendship. Steve, the idiot who always gets into fights, and Bucky his long enduring friend who gets him out. Then, of course, you get the brain washing and the killer assassin and all that entails later on.

 Sokka and Aang
"Yep, we're idiots."

 From Avatar the Last Airbender. I really love these two together. They balance each other out while at the same time they make each other worse. Sokka is reckless and while he plans things out, he also rushes into things without thinking. Aang sometimes works through more of the details. But leave them together for too long and you get...

 I present to you the Avatar and the greatest warrior in the Southern Water Tribe

 Mr. Jelliby and Bartholomew
 From The Peculiar by Stefan Buchmann. Read this book if you haven't. Seriously. One of my favourites.
 Mr. Jelliby and Bartholomew are an unlikely pair. There's a vast age difference between them, and they don't meet until far into the book, but when they do something connects. Their friendship is more of a guardian...whatever you would call the person someone guards...type. But nevertheless it is a true, deep friendship and it's one of the best I've read.

 Sherlock and Watson
"What have you done?"

 There's just something about these two. Sherlock with his incredible lack of people skills, and Watson, who has nothing but people skills. Somehow, being as opposite as they are, they manage to become two of the best friends in the book world.
 Their friendship has lasted for ages.

 Winnie-the-Pooh and Piglet

 I think all of us know how special and wonderful their friendship is.

 Halt and Will

 The mentor and apprentice from Ranger's Apprentice.
 It starts with Halt promising Will's dad he would look after him, and ends with Halt pretty much adopting Will. Not that he'd ever admit it. That would mean admitting he has a heart and forbid that ever happen.
 On top of that they're sarcasm spikes to new heights when they are together.

 10 and Donna
Their friendship in one picture

 Most of the time 10 and Donna spend their time trying to out sass each other. But when it truly matters all of their teasing insults fall away and you see how much they care about each other. (Example? Pompeii and the farewell to Donna.)

 12 and Clara

 With 12 and Clara there is more of a grandfather/ granddaughter feel to their relationship. Much like with One and Susan. They have their disagreements and fights, but they somehow become their own little family. And don't anyone dare insult the other. Only 12 and Clara are allowed to insult each other. Everyone else, those are fighting words.

 Aragorn, Gimli, and Legolas
Because men and elves are taller than dwarves and don't you forget it

 From The Lord of the Rings. What I like best about these three is they spend half their time together trying to be more fabulous than the other ones, annoying each other, or debating about which race is better. And somehow they cross Middle Earth without killing one another.

 Kirk, Spock, and McCoy

 Because I can't have a list without these three. Spock and McCoy who are so completely opposite, and Kirk, who amuses himself by keeping them riled against each other.

 Rudy and Liesel
"He was her best friend."

 From The Book Thief. While it is obvious Rudy loves Liesel, they spend most of the story acting like brother and sister. Standing up for each other, getting in and out of trouble together. That kind of romance story I don't mind one bit.

 Also Max and Liesel, who were more brother and sister

"One was a book thief the other stole the sky."

 Jeeves and Wooster
Silent judging

 The master and servant friendship. Though most of the time the servant shows more wit and brilliance then his master. And he somehow always manages to get his way where clothes are involved. "Get good sir."

Mady and Verity
From Code Name Verity. The friendship that still hurts me.
 "It's like falling in love, discovering your best friend."
 "We make quite a team."
 "Kiss me, Hardy. KISS ME QUICK!"

 So there you have it. Some of my top favourite friendships. I have a lot more but tried to keep the list short. Honorable mentions are Hiccup and Toothless. Max and 99. Winters and Nix, Franz and Charlie, Seb and Nat, Nick and Monroe, and Jared and Jensen. While I might not like Supernatural, those two fellas crack me up and make me happy.

 Which are some of yours? If you do a post send me the link, I'd love to read a list of yours!

 Quote is from My Little Pony, another favorite friendship of mine.

Sunday, August 23, 2015

"I told her I'd take her away where no one could find us." "This would work."


 Not sure if I'm happy enough to all caps it, or if it just seems like something which should be all capped. I am glad to have internet. It is easier than having to bike somewhere to commandeer it. And I need it if I plan to market my book. It was also nice though to not have it and not have to worry about having to check my email.

 But anyways, here I am, back.

 This week I won't be doing a Music Monday post. I have a post planned for probably Wednesday about some of my top favourite friendships. I then will do another character from Brothers-in-Arms on Friday. But I am posting today instead of tomorrow.

 I have pictures of the Flat to share!

 Of course it isn't all done yet. I'm hoping to get some bookcases soon so my books don't have to sit on the floor. And a desk. I really want a desk before October so I won't have to spend all of my editing time moving from my cot to the floor to the chair.

  Okay, but here are pictures.

Its got just one room. It is a studio cabin, and the wood is all new so it smells and feels like a cabin

The cute little outside. I am going to get some wind chimes and next spring plant some flowers out in front of it. (I'm hidden from the road. There is a boarded up cabin in front of mine and then a fence, so no one knows I'm back here and I love it.)

The bitty kitchen with the massive oven. The kitchen wind is like a little green house, it is a bay window. Soon as I can find the kind of plants I want I am going to get some and put back there. And try and not kill them as I am known to do

My very girly bedspread.

And the pile of books on my floor

And lastly, my Red Baron plane and a pile of books above my sink. Because I had to do something with the shelf up there.

 There. My little home. I really like it and I'm having fun decorating it. Of course, I've always been able to decorate my bedrooms, but our houses were small so I always had other family members things in my room. This is the first time I've a place completely to myself. 

 I've kind of run out of things to say now. Mostly because I'm hungry and want dinner and I can't think while I'm hungry.

 This next week I will be hard at work editing Brothers-in-Arms so I can send it into my publisher. (I still get all giddy that I get to say that now.) I also really hope to get caught up on my book reviews, but I will just have to see how that goes. 

 And that is all. I'm going to get dinner.

 Sorry. I'm doing a quote I've done before. Because I can't think of another right now, it is from Unbroken, and it is Phil and Louie. That's a good enough reason.


Wednesday, August 19, 2015

"It's called a hard stare. My aunt Lucy taught me to do them for when people forget their manners."

 This isn't a real post. It is only to reassure you I've not run off and joined the circus. You see, I have no internet at the Flat until Monday (if all goes well. Haha, things with internet hook ups never do.) And I've been so busy I haven't had time, nor the sociable interaction, to go over and commandeer some internet.

 The only reason I have it right now is I signed MY CONTRACT and wanted to come and celebrate. So I biked down to Steve and Bucky's with Dog and got a "not really coffee, coffee thing."

 I nicknamed Dog, did you see? She has another name, but since I nickname everyone on here she had to join in. (Those who know her real name, you know whos, must help me in keeping it secret.) Because Dog is like me. Mysterious. Living under a false name. With no identity so her arch enemies cannot find her.

 (I'm SO happy I live in a place now where I can have a dog. She's my constant buddy now.)

 And for those of you who didn't catch on, Dog is what Columbo named his dog. So I stole it. Because I do that.

 Tomorrow I will probably have internet again, so I will post pictures of the Flat. (See, I even nicknamed my new home. Flat, because...Tintin.)

 Once again, a lot seems to have happened since last I posted. Highest on the list is the CONTRACT. MY CONTRACT. MY VERY OWN CONTRACT!! Which I printed off, all six glorious pages of it, and now I have it displayed for all to see. Because it is GLORIOUS AND ALL MINE.

 I don't know how much I can talk about right now, but because I now have a CONTRACT and a DEADLINE I have had to start editing Brothers-in-Arms again. I also plan to start marketing it better. Which will help on Monday when I get internet.

 I've even kind of started to write again. I still can't do much, but I'm writing a little each day which is a start.

 There is still so much going on I'm not even sure where to begin, or how to. Most of it has just involved getting settled and figuring out how to do some of those boring adult things. (Not that I feel more adult. To prove this, I managed to nearly break my neck twice over the last week.)

 One time involved me stubbing my toe on a flat surface. Talent. I then went shopping with three of my friends ad bought a little pot with a lid. While we were waiting in line I had the brilliant idea to place the lid on Ben's head. 
 Because Ben has been in my company for a while now, she has gotten a little jumpy around me. (Can't imagine why...) She leaped away from the lid and it dropped onto my stubbed toe.

 Then on Monday I was running up some stairs, tripped, and threw myself flat. I thought I'd hurt my knee, but it turned out I'd cracked my ankle against one of the steps. I now have a bruised and swollen ankle and a bruised wrist, because I managed to hit my wrist too.

 Talents, my friends.

 So there, that is my sort of not really update on life.

 Sort of because all I really did was mention Dog and CONTRACT. But you know, the important things and all that.

 Now I need to get back home. I'm getting rained on by some kind of sappy stuff. (Who knew it rained sap here?

 Quote is from Paddington


Wednesday, August 12, 2015

"Ten thousand thundering typhoons!"

 Wherein Jack shouldn't shout

 I meant to write this post in a....intelligent....way. (See how well that is going to go? I can't even explain it without blundering it.)

 Things have happened. And quickly. I guess that is just how things work. When everything decides to happen it does it all at once instead of in little stages so you have a chance to get used to it. After all, who needs time to adjust to changes?

 I think I will save one of the best bits for last. (Though all of it is pretty best as far as I can tell....)

 To start, when I moved away from Wyoming I wasn't sure I would stay. I thought I might end up back east somewhere after a year. That was until I got here and realized how much I'd grown to love this area. It is pretty. It is relaxing. It has a lot of the things close that I've always wanted to do. And I also became very fond of my job. (I chase two-year-olds around all day, let them sit on my lap, read them books, what is not to love?)

 When I realized I liked it here so much I'd like to stay for the foreseeable future I considered - off handedly - getting my own place. I'd never thought of renting my own place or living by myself. For one thing I didn't think I could afford it. But I kind of liked the idea, and thought maybe in a year I would do it.

 So I started to figure some things. I figured how much I would need to live on my own and how many hours I would work. The only way to make it work, I finally decided, would be to get another job. Which I figured I could handle.

 I don't even really remember how it happened, but I started to look up apartments. Not because I planned on renting one soon, I wanted to see how much they cost, the highest I could go on rent, and how much deposits are. (You know, all that boring money stuff.) While doing this, I stumbled across one for much lower then the price I figured. I passed it up though, since I only had the one job.

 (After this a lot more happened. A friend told me that when I considered getting one to check Craig's List. So I thought I'd try it, see if there was anything. I was surprised at what good prices they were. Especially one, which I instantly loved. It was a studio cabin, really tiny, and I loved it so much I started to look, just to see to see how much it would all be in the end.)

 That is the shortened version of what happened. Because I was only off handedly looking into this one, even though I really liked it. I called the lady and went to look at it, and then filled out an application, certain I wouldn't get it. (I have no credit.)

 The next thing I knew not only did she want to see me I stood a good chance of getting it.

 I kind of fell apart and started praying really hard. The shortened version of my prayer was that if I was meant to get it I'd get another job. (I had been filling out applications for the past month.) There were other problems though. With no credit to my name it would cost supposedly something like a small fortune to get the lights and gas in my name. So I kept praying, and trying to prepare myself for disappointment. (See, I still really liked the place.)

 During the middle of all the talking to the land lady and all of that I saw a job online. So I emailed about it.

 Then on Monday, worn out from being on edge that I would get the place or that I wouldn't get the place, the land lady called and told me she'd decided to rent to me. Not only that, for a little more rent a month she would keep the lights and gas in her name because she knew how hard it would be for me to get it all with no credit.

 I was completely shocked.

 Then, as if that wasn't enough, I had an interview yesterday and got the second job. The schedules worked out where I can work both jobs, though for the rest of the month I will be working about six full days a week which will be a lot. But it is just for a month so I can last. It isn't as if I sleep anyways.

 But of course, that all wasn't enough of sudden, life changing moments. Nah. Since all of that happened in so short of a time I guess everyone decided to get it all over with at once.

 And here we come to the second part of my news.

 After I wrote Brothers-in-Arms and sent it to some beta readers to see what they thought nearly all of them had the same thing to say. I had to send it in to a publisher.

 I kept refusing though. It isn't that I wanted to be stubborn about it or didn't think it was good enough for a publisher. I just have a lot of issues with publishers and I knew if I sent it in I would only be doing it to make money off the book. It seemed like a bad reason to publish my book through a system I don't really agree with. (I plan to explain this later on but this post is too long for it right now.)

 The beta readers kept insisting though. The book was good enough to be professionally published.

 Before this, I had been considering an Independent publisher. I like how they work better. I like how they are more willing to take books that don't have all of the "necessities" to be best sellers. (Basically, I want to be Jack Lewis Baillot when I publish, not the Next J.K Rowling.)

 Since I  had already been looking into Indie publishers I thought I would see what I could find. After all, maybe one was looking for a massive, painful book set in WWII.

 I sent it in to one company I thought would for sure take it. She said she wanted something Historical Fiction with characters who would rip her heart out. If that doesn't sum up my book nothing does. Sadly I never heard back from her.

 Discouraged, I wasn't sure where else to look until I remembered some of my favourite Authors have been Indie published. I looked up their companies and sent my book in.

 And weeks passed.

 And I waited.

 And waited.

 And then one emailed me back. She was interested in my query and wanted the book. So I sent it in, expecting nothing from it since I've had this happen before.

 Weeks passed.

 And I waited.

 And waited.

 And I got emails off and on. One said she was really interested and would like to offer me a contract, but she hadn't yet finished the book so there was still a chance she might say no.

 And this is when I started to loose patience. I would randomly jump up and down and then remind myself she hadn't officially said yes. So I waited, and waited, and waited, and waited. And it felt like the wait went on forever.

 Then yesterday I got an email. (Like I said, all of this happened at once.)

 And now.....

 BROTHERS-IN-ARMS HAS A PUBLISHER PEOPLE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

 And if it wasn't for the fact my life has been so weird the last few months, or the fact that in the last two days everything happened, I would be shouting this from the top of the roof. As it is, all I can do is sit and try and let it all sink in, and then grin like I've lost my mind.


 A PUBLISHER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

 This is going to change things with my writing, I just haven't worked all of that out yet. I need to get the fact I have a publisher settled in to my head before I do anything else.

 And that is what has been happening. I kind of hope that is all that happens for at least a good few months. I don't think I can take anything else quite as big after all of that.

 The rest of this week is going to be insanely busy. Tomorrow I have to run around and get papers filled out - I hate paper work. Friday I work from 8 in the morning to 11 at night. (This is only because of schedules and last minute jobs. This isn't going to be a thing from now on, I don't think I could handle that long of a work day even if it was with kids.) Saturday I get to move in, then on Sunday after church I get to go and hear a woman who was a Jewish spy in the French Resistance tell her story.

 If you need me between here and next week you can find me sleeping most likely.

 Good bye


Monday, August 10, 2015

"What's my first name then?" "Archibald isn't it?" "Even worse."

 The story of Jack's glasses.

 I have a bad habit of stepping on my glasses.

 Or sitting on my glasses.

 Or driving over my glasses.

 I've gotten to the point where I'm just used to wearing lopsided frames. But even I reach my limits.

 The other night, my roommate and I may or may not have gotten into a pillow fight.
 Rolling around on the floor may or may not have been involved.
 I also may or may not have taken my glasses off to keep them from getting broken.
 There is a chance I might have set them down on the floor.
 (There's an even better chance you've figured out how this all ends)
 Somewhere, in the middle of trying to kill said roommate with a pillow and her trying to do the same, I rolled over, and flattened my glasses.

 Good thing I've kept all my old frames in case something like this ever happened. (Okay, no, to be honest I kept the old frames in case I ever became a spy and needed them for disguises, but you know, they are good for times like this too.)

 The old frames were badly tilted. But at least they weren't flattened. So I stuck with them until I could go and get them fixed. (Which happened sooner than planned as tonight I sat on them and bent them back into a more upright shape.)

 So that was something I did recently.

 Now for the Music Monday song.

 This is another someone had me listen to because it reminded them of my Brothers-in-Arms book and Franz and Japhet.

 That is all. I'm working on something book related and still waiting for the elusive email.

 Quote is from Tintin, when Haddock looses his memory and Tintin is reminding him what his name is.


Friday, August 07, 2015

"If they harm one hair on his head...!"

 This is a Beautiful People post. I don't do these often, but this is a friendship I couldn't resist. I am going to be doing Franz Kappel and Japhet Buchanan from Brothers-in-Arms.

 1. How long have they known each other and how close are they?

 Franz and Japhet met when they were seven and eight in 1931. Most of the story takes place in 19-43-44. So they have known each other about ten years.
 They are as close as brothers. In fact they often describe their friendship in that way. They became to each other the brother they never had.

 2. What's their earliest memory of being best friends?

Because boys know something mothers might not ever understand. Nothing creates a friendship faster than finding a fellow sufferer in a household of all girls and no boys.
 ~Quote from the book

 Their moms arranging their friendship and them sitting out on the Buchanan woodpile laughing at the things they do to make their sister's lives miserable. After that it all involves snowball fights, pranks, and ice cream.

 3. Do they fight? How long do they typically fight for?

 Oh...well....*Evil grin*. They don't generally fight. They have disagreements growing up but usually get along great. know, things happen. And years pass. All of that. "Spoilers"

 4. Are their personalities similar or do they compliment each other?

 I don't think they are similar. Franz is quieter when they are around other boys. As they get older Japhet withdraws more and more, out of fear someone will find out he's a Jew and kill him or Franz. I don't think that makes them similar though, they just have some traits the same. Not talking when they should, tempers...they do compliment each other though. They balance each other out.

 5. Who is the leader of their friendship (if anyone)?

 Probably Franz.

 6. Do they have any secrets from each other?

 Oh, you know. Nothing huge. Just things involving the Nazis and the Resistance.

 7. How well do they know each other's quirks and habits?

 Better than anyone who ever meets them. Japhet understands why Franz is quiet around their school mates, Franz knows when something is bothering Japhet. (He tends to draw more when he's worried or scared.)

 8. What kinds of things do they like to do together?

 Eat ice cream, go on bike rides, but mostly annoy their sisters. Favorite pastime.

 9. Describe each character's fashion style (use pictures if you like!) How are their styles different/ similar?

Japhet's style

Franz's is more like this (Though Colin Morgan could play Japhet if there were ever a movie or something)

Or this is kind of like Franz's style too

 They are two boys in their late teens living in an apartment together. I think you can imagine how they dress. Something is on the floor, put it on in the morning and eat breakfast. Though Japhet is sloppier about how he dresses than Franz. Franz wears jackets and is more willing to tuck his shirt in. Japhet usually forgets the jacket and never tucks in his shirt unless Franz makes him.
 They dress in very 40 styles, know...Nazis and uniforms are involved.

 10 How would their lives be different without each other?

 I honestly can't decide how to answer this....
 I guess the serious answer would be that Franz would be a lot more bitter and cold. He'd have had nothing to hold him back from hating the world around him and doing something insanely stupid about it. While Japhet without Franz would have given up on life, never left his room as a boy, and might have let himself starve to death or just become really depressed.
 The less serious, but still true, answer. They both would have died early on in the book.

 So there you go. And now I have to do things for a possible Brothers-in-Arms trailer filming tomorrow.

 Quote is from Tintin and Alpha-Art, the final book in the Tintin series. It is a line of Haddock's when he's worried about Tintin