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Monthly Archives: July 2013

Interview of Fictional Character by Fictional Character – Part 7

Cover of Sharon A. Crawford's mystery short story collection

Cover of Sharon A. Crawford’s mystery short story collection

Sometimes your destiny is wrapped up in a veil of fear to check if you really have the courage to face it.

— Marcus Hades

Bast Overture, crime reporter turned PI, stays in present time (2013) and interviews Jessica Myers, the terrified passenger in the car with the brakes that don’t work. Jessica is Millie’s best friend when the story “No Breaks” starts out. But do the two remain friends after their ride, harrowing in more ways than one? And “breaks” is spelled correctly as it refers to something else beyond car brakes. You’ll have to read Beyond the Tripping Point to find out.

Bast: (referring to the near crash – see last week’s post). That was close. Everyone okay?

Millie scowls and nods. Jessica curles into the corner by the window and gives a slight nod.

Bast:  Okay, Jessica, in the story, “No Breaks,” you were the passenger in a car with no brakes. How did you feel about that?

Jessica: Scared. (Her voice is low and soft).

Bast: How did you react?

Jessica: Tried to find a bay – that’s what Millie said we needed. So I tried to go online but there was no wireless connection. I kept trying, I really did. (Jessica holds up her BlackBerry). See – connection now but not then.

Bast: You don’t drive?

Jessica: No. I left that up to Millie.

Bast: Hm. But what about now after your harrowing experience?

Jessica: What about it? The brakes failed. Millie used her parking brake…

Bast: Millie does something else, something unexpected?

Jessica: What do you mean? She drove until she found a bay and then she drove in to the bay.

Bast: Yes, but something happens in the bay.

Jessica shrugs. So?

Bast: Would that be the result of a conversation you and she had at a pit stop for something to eat?

Jessica: That’s between Millie and me.

Bast: And what about that deep dark secret Millie keeps referring to – a deep dark secret you have.

Jessica: That’s between Millie and me. I’m not saying anymore. I want my lawyer. I want… (She begins to cry).

Millie hits the accelerator and the car jerks forward into high speed. Jessica tries to shrink even further into the passenger seat corner. Bast starts talking into his tape recorder.

Bast: I’m in the car with Millie Browne and Jessica Myers and it looks like we are having a repeat of their adventure in “No Breaks.”

You can read more about Millie, Jessica, and Eddie in my mystery short story collection Beyond the Tripping Point, (Blue Denim Press, 2012). Click on the book at the top and it takes you to my profile – including book reviews – at www.amazon.com. The book is available there in print and Kindle. For Kobo e-book  go to http://www.chapters.indigo.ca/books/search/?keywords=Beyond%20the%20Tripping%20Point or go to any bricks and mortar store and order in a print copy.

The video link to my thatchannel.com interview and reading from Beyond the Tripping Point on You Tube can now be accessed via the new page “Video” at the top of this blog.

Cheers.

Sharon A. Crawford

 

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Interview of Fictional Character by Fictional Character – Part 6

Cover of Sharon A. Crawford's mystery short story collection

Cover of Sharon A. Crawford’s mystery short story collection

Lots of people want to ride with you in the limo, but what you want is someone who will take the bus with you when the limo breaks down.

          Oprah Winfrey

In this week’s interview, Bast Overture, crime reporter turned PI, interviews Millie Browne, the driver of a car in peril in the short story “No Breaks,” from Beyond the Tripping Point. This requires Bast to time travel from 1999 to present time.

Bast: Millie, I understand you have a problem with your car.

Millie: You could say that. The brakes don’t work.

Bast: Not a good thing for travelling up Highway 11 into cottage country. Did this brake failure happen suddenly or were they acting up before you left?

Millie: Suddenly when Jessica and I were driving up the highway. You don’t think I’m stupid enough to head on a road trip with faulty brakes. Hey, I even got my mechanic, Eddie, to check out the car yesterday and he found everything working fine.

Bast: You sure of that. In light of what happens…

Millie: What are you saying? My mechanic missed something. Hey do you know something I don’t know?

A snort comes from the front passenger seat. Millie, glaring at Jessica: Hold on, your turn will come soon.

Bast (from the car’s back seat): It just seems a little strange that the brakes would suddenly start to fail. Did you have to brake anywhere before you noticed them not working?

Millie: Well, no.

Bast: So, what are you going to do about it? You obviously are continuing to drive to your destination.

Millie: We have to get to Jessica’s grandmother’s cottage.

Bast: Important business up there?

Millie (scowling, face turning red): None of your business.

Bast: Very well. I’ll repeat my question: What are you going to do about the brake situation?

Millie: I’m looking for a garage with a bay to fix the brakes.

Throat clearing from the passenger seat.

Millie: Okay, okay. We are looking for a garage with a bay. And I’m using the parking brake if I have to brake. Can we stop talking about the damn brakes?

Bast: Very well. Now in “No Breaks” you mention something about a deep dark secret. What…

Millie: Not mine.

Screeching from the passenger seat. The car swerves throwing Bast’s head forward against the back of the driver’s seat. The screaming from the front reaches a high pitch level as Millie pulls the parking brake.

You can read more about Millie, Jessica, and Eddie in my mystery short story collection Beyond the Tripping Point, (Blue Denim Press, 2012). Click on the book at the top and it takes you to my profile – including book reviews – at www.amazon.com. The book is available there in print and Kindle. For Kobo e-book  go to http://www.chapters.indigo.ca/books/search/?keywords=Beyond%20the%20Tripping%20Point or go to any bricks and mortar store and order in a print copy.

The video link to my thatchannel.com interview and reading from Beyond the Tripping Point on You Tube can now be accessed via the new page “Video” at the top of this blog.

Cheers.

Sharon A. Crawford

 

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Interview of Fictional Character by Fictional Character – Part 5

Cover of Sharon A. Crawford's mystery short story collection

Cover of Sharon A. Crawford’s mystery short story collection

“Live passionately, even if it kills you, because something is going to kill you anyway.”

– Webb Chiles

Starting with this week’s post, Bast Overture, crime reporter turned PI will be interviewing characters from the other stories in Beyond the Tripping Point. Some of them will require him to do a variation of time travel. This week’s interview is with Elsa Richards, the main character in “16 Dorsey St.” Elsa and Bast are in the same time frame (late 1990s).

Bast: You are a fashion designer who works from home?

Elsa:  Yes, I prefer that because my boss, Monsieur Louie is always breathing down my neck at his place. I’m a very creative person and I need solitude to create my best. It’s like I’m in another world with all senses, all areas of my mind focused on the current dress or skirt.

Bast: But your new home, an apartment in a former old Rosedale home doesn’t turn out to be so solitary. Could you elaborate?

Elsa: The other tenants were mad and scary old people. It makes me shudder to think about them.

Bast: I understand. But could you tell us something about them?

Elsa: (Takes a deep breath). Okay. Did you ever watch those old Frankenstein movies starring Boris Karloff? (Bast nods). Well, Harold Marchant has a face just like him. But believe me, he doesn’t move around stiffly like Frankenstein. And the old biddy, Winnifred Hoyle – her eyes just bulge out so far you’d think they would pop out. She says she’s a retired school teacher.

Bast: Probably scared her students into studying?

Elsa: (chuckles slightly). Probably. Don’t know when she was a teacher, maybe in the 1940s because that’s how she dresses, complete with padded suit jackets and nylons with seams. Who wears stockings with seams anymore?

Bast: Didn’t you think for a time that there was a third person living in the old house?

Elsa: Well, I suppose so.

Bast: Tell me about that.

Elsa: I’d go out to run errands and such and when I returned I’d find some of my things like my lipstick and hairbrush moved from where I put them. I’m very particular where I put my stuff. Then there was that wig. I couldn’t figure out where that came from until my sister, Sylvia, reminded me of a Halloween party costume I word a few years ago.

Bast: That brings up my next question. You tell your story through emails to your sister. Why is that?

Elsa: Because, Sylvia doesn’t live in Toronto. I know; there is the phone. But I’m like you a computer techie and then there is the privacy issue. Our mother keeps popping unannounced into Sylvia’s place and stays for a bit. So Sylvia and I don’t want her to know about all out conversations.

Bast: Your mother comes up with a cryptic revelation later on in “16 Dorsey St.” What do you think of that?

Elsa: I’d rather not say. I go through a harrowing experience…

Bast: That’s right. Life threatening, even.

Elsa: Sh. We don’t want to tell the readers all.

Bast: Right. Well, thank you Elsa for your time and I hope you, your sister and your mother can sort out all these, er, matters.

You can read more about Elsa, her sister and the scary oldsters in my mystery short story collection Beyond the Tripping Point, (Blue Denim Press, 2012). Click on the book at the top and it takes you to my profile – including books reviews – at www.amazon.com. The book is available there in print and Kindle. For Kobo e-book  go to http://www.chapters.indigo.ca/books/search/?keywords=Beyond%20the%20Tripping%20Point or go to any bricks and mortar store and order in a print copy.

The video link to my thatchannel.com interview and reading from Beyond the Tripping Point on You Tube can now be accessed via the new page “Video” at the top of this blog.

Cheers.

Sharon A. Crawford

 

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Interview of Fictional Characters by Fictional Character – Part 4

Be obscure clearly. – E.B. White

Cover of Sharon A. Crawford's mystery short story collection

Cover of Sharon A. Crawford’s mystery short story collection

 Bast interviews his fraternal twin, Dana Bowman. The twins were close when growing up but in their twenties drifted apart partly because Bast didn’t like Ron Bowman, Dana’s husband at the time. They reconnected a few years before the four linked stories in Beyond the Tripping Point, after Dana’s divorce when Bast helped Dana buy out her ex for the “family” home and moved in to help his sister raise David and meet expenses. Their backgrounds, personalities and looks are different (Fraternal twins don’t necessarily look alike) so all is not always smooth sailing.

Bast: Dana, you have a somewhat unusual approach when we are doing an investigation. Care to elaborate?

Dana: Well, little brother, (From her 4’11” height she looks up at Bast, standing tall at 6’ 3”) I suppose you mean my sketches?

Bast: Yes, in particular your caricatures of the people we interview.

Dana: I’ve always liked to sketch, particularly people and I like to get at what I see as the heart of the person, what makes them tick. And everybody has something they don’t tell the world. So, I look into their face, their body language and see what they aren’t saying. Often that helps with our investigation.

Bast: Yes, but sometimes it startles the person, like Anne Belcher in “Road Raging.”

Dana: Yes, but Anne was pretty upset already when she banged on our door. I guess if someone close to you, like your husband, had been seriously injured in a car collision, you’d be upset…unless it was all an act…and that’s what I am trying to find out when I sketch a person.

Bast: And was Anne all an act?

Dana: Now, Bast, I’m not telling. That would spoil it for our readers.

Bast: Okay. Let’s go to “Digging Up the Dirt” where you were actually doing caricatures of seniors and other guests at Mavis Crandock’s 100th anniversary celebration. Did any of them help solve the double murder here?

Dana: Thanks for not giving it all away. I think probably subconsciously although we did solve this one using other means.

Bast: I presume you mean Great Aunt Doris. She…

Dana: Don’t mention that woman and I’m surprised you do considering what she thinks of you…

Bast: And of you. The two of  you really got into it in “Saving Grace” with her criticising your parenting…

Dana: Don’t you start. You know we were having difficult times because of David being psychologically mute. Aunt Doris didn’t have to live with us day-by-day, thank God (Dana makes a mock sign of the cross).

Bast: Fair enough. But she did help you a lot in “Saving Grace?”

Dana: I suppose so. Without her intervention things might have been quite different for all of us.

Bast: Back to “Digging up the Dirt” which was a few months after “Saving Grace” – Aunt Doris did help you…

Dana: Inserted herself in the investigation was more like it. Bast you should have seen her get-up when we went out to interview people. I wish I had sketched that one although I suppose I could from memory. (She sits down, picks up her sketch pad and charcoal and starts sketching).

Bast: You are also not that fond of computers; how do you get around that?

Dana: Well, at first I wouldn’t touch the damn machines, but then I started a bit with the email.

Bast: Ah, the email will do it every time. (Note to readers: The Dana-Bast stories take place in the late 1990s before Facebook and Twitter and high speed Internet connection was just coming into use in late 1999 in Canada).

Dana (shaking her charcoal at Bast).Yeah, but I’m not glued to it like you are little brother.

Bast: Will you stop calling me that. Just because you are a few minutes older than me. (Clears his throat). Okay, Dana will you tell us what you actually use the computer for?

Dana: Okay, given that you taught me what I know. Besides email, I use that Word program occasionally to type up reports although I prefer to leave that to you. And I do some research on the Internet. But I still prefer my sketches and face-to-face contact. I mean if something goes wrong with the computer when I’m using it, well, I’m out of here. And speaking of that, I have to go pick up David from school. Here… (She stands up, walks over to Bast and hands him her sketch).

Bast: Hm. You’ve captured a good likeness of me, but two things. Why do I have a smirk on my face and why did you draw me with a beard? I shaved that off a few months ago. (He touches his chin).

Dana: Because little brother, that beard gives you some authority and dignity. And if you repeat that to anyone I’ll deny it.

Bast: Fair enough.

You can read more about David, Dana, Bast, Great Aunt Doris, Detective Sergeant Donald Fielding and the others in the four linked stories which are part of my mystery short story collection Beyond the Tripping Point, (Blue Denim Press, 2012. Click on the book at the top and it takes you to my profile – including books reviews – at www.amazon.com. The book is available there in print and Kindle. For Kobo e-book  go to http://www.chapters.indigo.ca/books/search/?keywords=Beyond%20the%20Tripping%20Point or go to any bricks and mortar store and order in a print copy.

The video link to my thatchannel.com interview and reading from Beyond the Tripping Point on You Tube can now be accessed via the new page “Video” at the top of this blog.

Cheers.

Sharon A. Crawford

 

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