Character Interview: Dr. Brookes from False Awakening by Callum McLaughlin

False Awakening

Have you ever read a book, and wanted to ask a compelling character a question?  Or six questions?  That’s how I felt as I read False Awakening by Callum McLaughlin.  I am fortunate because not only is Callum a talented and friendly writer, but he also agreed to let me ask those questions of Dr. Brookes.

Dr. Brookes is the psychologist who cares for Abi, a typical eighteen-year-old young woman, after she wakes in the hospital with only a snippet of a memory about a tragic event.

I asked these questions of Dr. Brooks (ahem, Callum):

Q:  Dr. Brookes, when did you know that you wanted to be a psychologist?

A: Well, my father was a doctor and a rather good one at that. After paying to put me through a good education, I think both my parents assumed that I would naturally follow suit, but I knew otherwise from an early age. People – That’s my passion. I’m interested in the real inner workings of what makes us all tick, and so medicine and biology always felt far too clear-cut for me. Why limit yourself to black and white when there’s a whole spectrum of emotions out there to be explored?

They weren’t thrilled at my chosen path as I’m sure you can imagine. They came from a generation where depression was a financial state, not a mental one. My father lived long enough to see me reach the top of my firm however, and though he wasn’t one for open displays of affection, I could sense his pride, and that was enough for me.

Q: If you did not become a psychologist, which profession do you think you would pursue instead?

A: I’m a people person, as I mentioned, so I can’t possibly imagine a working day without being exposed to the thoughts and worries of others. Perhaps I’d work in a hair salon then, or is that too facetious of me?

Q: You have a way of jumping right in with your patients, as though you’ve known them for some time. Did that come to you naturally when you started practicing, or did you develop that approach over time?

A: When you’ve worked this job as long as I have, you soon learn that every patient has his or her own story to tell. I am merely the channel through which they can release it and must therefore bend my methods to suit the individual. You see, every word that flows past their lips; every flick of the hand or tap of the foot, they all tell us things about how that person is feeling and how best to approach the situation. Some benefit from a direct manner; others a much gentler touch.

Q: Would you have changed your approach with Abi in any way if she was forty years old instead of eighteen years old?

A: As I’m sure you can appreciate, I must maintain a level of doctor-client confidentiality, but what I can say is that Abi’s case was unique. Her age and fiery nature definitely informed my approach however, so it’s fair to say that adjustments would likely have been necessary had she been older.

Q: Would you say that Abi’s instincts are more powerful than other clients you’ve worked with, the same as, or less developed than other client’s instincts?

A: She’s undoubtedly a very impulsive and emotionally charged young woman. Her instincts were powerful, evidently, but it was her conviction that was lacking. I felt a strong sense of Abi fearing failure and so convincing her that recovering memories takes time became paramount to her recovery.

Q How did you feel when you learned that Annabelle Lewis had tricked Abi into an interview? Were you concerned that Abi’s progress would be harmed by Ms. Lewis’ actions?

A: My job is to aid the healing process and as such, anything that can stifle that is a threat. The media should never interfere in matters of such personal magnitude. Sadly, it’s not the first time Ms. Lewis has been sniffing around my firm and I doubt it will be the last.

That said, I’d better leave it there before I get myself in any trouble. If this job has taught me anything, it’s knowing when to sit back and let others do the talking. Thank you for your time.

Thank you, Dr. Brookes!


I reviewed False Awakening on Goodreads.  Please visit the Goodreads page for the book if you’d like to read it, and to learn more about False Awakening.

CallumCallum McLaughlin’s Bio:  Born and raised in the Scottish countryside, Callum McLaughlin works as a freelance content writer and in November 2013, published his first book, The Vessel. His next release came in October 2014 with False Awakening. Outside of fiction, he is also a keen poet and released his first collection in 2015. A lover of all things literature, music and nature, he takes his biggest inspiration from the world around us

I hope you enjoyed indulging in my curiosity of Dr. Brookes, and her role in False Awakening, as much as I have.

As always, thank you for reading,


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