1.- Hello, and welcome to 20 Questions! What is your real name and nickname?
My full name is Alina Aguilar-Almanza vda. de la Saucedo. That reflects my heritage through my father and mother, as well as my marriage to my late husband when I was very young. Growing up in Chicago, it was simply Alina. My students have some names they call me when they think I can't hear, the least rude of which is the "Botany Babe," but I'm Professor Aguilar when they want a good grade.
2.- Very Nice to meet you, what is your current age?
28. What's yours?3.- What is your alignment in the great never-ending battle of good and evil?
My alignment? Trying not to get killed in the battle. Doing what I have to do to survive and still be a good person. I don't always manage that last bit.4.- What skills do you have?
If you mean am I elite at anything, I have no special skills. I have good outdoor skills. I've lived in the wild for weeks with little equipment. I'm pretty good with a knife. I can shoot a gun okay. I've even picked up a little Brazilian jiu-jitsu from a friend in South America. I've got excellent endurance from trekking around jungles so much. I'd say my biggest skill is that I'm not an idiot. 5.- Fascinating! Now, skills aside, what do you feel is your greatest strength as a character?
I have a remarkable instinct for self-preservation.6.- Here's what may be a bizarre question: What kind of Universe do you exist in? Is it serious? Comical? Sexy? Noir? Horror?
Pretty damn serious. Personally, I like to have fun and just live my life doing what I want to do, but there are a lot of twisted nuts who want me to be the star of their dark fantasies. I get it - I'm smolderingly sexy and have huge tits, but I'd rather skip the sadistic deathtraps, thank you!7.- A lot of heroines have certain recurring elements of tragedy in their background. The readers would like to know if you do as well. For instance, are your parents still alive and/or did you come from a destroyed planet? Stuff like that.
You mean like my childhood sweetheart started running with a gang and got shot dead on Blue Island Avenue, and, oh, did I mention we'd just gotten married in a civil ceremony three hours earlier? How about how my parents kicked me out of the house the day after high school graduation because of my relationship with him, did I mention he was a drug dealer, and I ended up having to work my way through school? Maybe you want to know how my husband's death jolted me into quitting doing drugs so I could concentrate on studying biology in between my sets at the strip club earning enough at night to pay for the next semester? Thank god for this body, I was in demand and got to work the classy joints.8.- Really?
One of the rules you laid out was I have to tell the truth. It is what it is. It made me a strong person. 9.- Do you have siblings?
Only child.10.- What is your biggest fear/ worst nightmare?
At this point? Being bored.11.- Are you a solo act, or part of a team?
I'm an acquired taste. I'm pretty loyal to a few friends who put up with me and treat me fairly so I'm not against helping them out, but I tend to rely on myself.12.- Who is your worst enemy and why?
I am. I'm super hot, I have giant knockers, a lot of self-confidence, and a smart-ass attitude. That sets me up as a target for a lot of people, but I'm too proud of myself to be pretend modest and too stubborn to rein myself in. I am what I am and I'll deal with the fallout.13.- Huh, okay. interesting. Then, who is your best friend?
I don't have a best friend. That implies a tight relationship that I don't have with anybody. There's a few chicks I like to get together with and have a shot or a beer or an adventure. I have a friend named, Irish. She's pretty cool. She's a jungle queen. We're pretty good friends. I'll make an effort to see and hang out with her when I'm in her area. I don't really have time to maintain and cultivate friendships. Plants are easier to deal with. 14.- Confession time; Who is your lover?
I have a few lovers in a few places. One of them's this big albino guy I met a while back. He's an American ex-pat living down in Panama. Kind of scary to a lot of people, which makes him a safe port in a storm for me!15.- Existential question: What would you do if you could ever meet your creator?
Thank him for my existence. It's been interesting times, but he's kept me around.16.- What is your lifelong dream?
Dreaming's for slackers. Do.17.- Do you have any goals?
Be grateful for every breath I take.18.- As a character, do you have any personal demons or overarching regrets that haunt you?
I've had some horrible stuff done to me mentally and physically. I have to kind of move those memories aside to function, but every now and then they force their way into my thoughts. It makes for some sleepless nights and some drunken binges. I regret the over-reliance on alcohol. It leaves me vulnerable to bad decisions and bad people.19.- What do you do for work?
I'm a tenured professor of botany at UIC, and I make some money on the side leading jungle treks when I'm on sabbatical.20.- Last question, and it's a DOOZY: What is the WEIRDEST thing that has happened to you?
Yeah. I was with this guy, and things were getting kinda kinky and he had me tied spread-eagle, naked, on the bed and he was taking ice cubes and sucking them in his mouth and then spitting them into his hand and rubbing them all over my nipples making them erect and the whole thing just kind of triggered some bad memories for me and I told him to stop, and he did. He untied me and put the bedsheet around me and just held me next to him sitting on the edge of the bed while I cried. That kind of stuff never happens to me. Pretty weird.