Grace: I don’t understand why you let that happen, Jackie. After all, you’re the author, you created us, why don't you just make us say whatever you want? I have some suggestions for both Theodora and Wilbur Wimberly, my odious boss.
Jackie: If I only said "nice" things, my readers would be bored to tears. Anyway, my characters always do whatever they want. That's just what happens inside a writer's head.
Grace: Are you sure that you’re not just letting us take the blame for the way the conversation goes?
Jackie: (Eye-roll here) Listen Grace, I had enough of this nonsense from Theodora, and I expected better from you. At least I thought you'd be more polite.
Grace: Don’t you mean wishy-washy? People do say that you modeled me after yourself.
Jackie: Not at all, you’re younger and slimmer and to date, no one has ever yet been murdered in my house!
Grace: Except on paper.
Jackie: Paper is all that counts in your world, dear Grace.
Grace: You can’t kill me off, I’m your heroine!
Jackie: We writers call you a protagonist, and the truth is that I can.
Grace: That’s an empty threat and we both know it. But I will ask a question: I was very close to my mother, why don’t you tell us about how you grew up?
Jackie: My earliest memories are of stories, either listening to or imagining stories. Mother was a single, divorced parent back when such a status raised eyebrows. She was an actress, a story-teller and a writer in Beaver, a small town in the Oklahoma panhandle. (To earn a living, she also taught school.) When I was very young she couldn’t find a teaching job, so we lived on government commodities; forerunner of food stamps.
Mother could concoct a story about any subject, and she told my sister, brother and me, an exciting tale each night. She also read books from the library to us. I don’t remember having any toys, and entertained myself during the day by telling stories to myself. I starred as the heroine, of course, and was most usually, a princess. Because of Mother’s artistic temperament, we moved around a lot. (Translation: her teaching contract was often not renewed.) This may sound hard, and sometimes it was, but life was also exciting, adventurous and fun. Although we were usually cash-strapped, we never considered ourselves ‘poor.’
Grace: One of my first memories was you stripping me of all of my wealth.
Jackie: There was a reason for that, it's called plotting.
Grace: It was still most inconvenient...Oh, mercy, look at the time! It’s time to bake something delicious for afternoon tea. I do have guests to look after, you know. But don’t worry, I can finish the interview later tonight and you can publish it the next time it’s your turn to blog. Bye now...
Jackie: Wait....Oh darn! Urgh. They never listen.
Sorry for the interruption readers, but I’ve told you about my characters. They’re worse than cats when it comes to following orders. But Grace is right, we’ll carry on this conversation on March 22.
Hope you each enjoy many hours of Murderous Reading.
I’m on Facebook as Jacqueline King, and would love it if readers would “friend” me.