Interview of Fictional Characters by Fictional Character – Part 4

04 Jul

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 The book is available there in print and Kindle. For Kobo e-book  go to or go to any bricks and mortar store and order in a print copy.

The video link to my 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.


Sharon A. Crawford


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