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Monthly Archives: October 2013

Interview of Fiction Character by Fiction Character – Part 21

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

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

We care what happens to people only in proportion as we know what people are.

          Henry James

Today Bast interviews Detective Larry Hutchinson who investigates a murder in “Missing in Action,” from Sharon A. Crawford’s short story collection Beyond the Tripping Point (Blue Denim Press, 2012)

Bast: Detective Hutchinson. Glad you could make it. Have a seat.

Hutchinson: Thanks.

Hutchinson sits down on one side of the table. Bast sits at the head.

Bast: Now Detective, this case turns into quite a complex one. Could you elaborate a bit?

Hutchinson: As you know there was the murder behind the church on Bloor St. and police had a number of suspects for that.

Bast: Yes. Could you tell me why you went after Robbie Stuart first?

Hutchinson: He wasn’t the only one. Police were looking at a number of persons of interest.

Bast: Would you care to elaborate?

Hutchinson: I’m not at liberty to say too much – police business, you know. But I will say that Robbie Stuart did have the habit of disappearing a lot and conveniently shows up back in Toronto when the murder occurs. So police took a close look at him and went on the local media to ask the public to call 911or Crime Stoppers if they had seen him.

Bast: Who were these other persons of interest?

Hutchinson: I can’t say at this time. Police business, you know.

Bast: Weren’t you looking into the disappearance 13 years ago of Robbie’s father, Roger Stuart and his secretary whom he ran away with?

Hutchinson smiles: Perhaps.

Bast: Let me put it another way. Didn’t you find it more than just a coincidence that these other people suddenly showed up – one way or another around the time of the murder?

Hutchinson shrugs his shoulders.

Bast: Let me put it another way. Isn’t it true that police were already re-visiting the disappearance of Roger Stuart and his secretary before the murder took place?

Hutchinson: No comment. Police Business.

Bast: What happened to make police suddenly re-open this cold case? Was it because one of the principals had died?

Hutchinson: No comment. You’ll have to contact our PR Corporate Communications department for more information.

Bast: With a PR twist, no doubt. No, Detective Hutchinson. I need the details from the horse’s mouth and that is you.

Hutchinson stands up: I am not at liberty to tell you anymore as it could interfere with the police investigation. All I will say is that police are looking at all angles and all people concerned.

Bast: Including Chrissie, the cousin.

Hutchinson: I said all people concerned. Now, I have an investigation to conduct. It’s been a pleasure Mr. Overture.

Hutchinson shakes Bast’s hand and exits the boardroom.

Bast remains seating and shakes his head. He becomes aware of a noise at the other end of the room and looks up at the far wall. He sees what appears to be mist coming from the picture on the wall. The mist starts to take on the outline of a human, but Bast can’t tell who. He stands up.

Bast: Who are you? What do you want?

The misty form shoots towards him and a misty hand reaches out and grabs his arm. As Bast is pulled forward, inside his head he hears a soft, but angry voice.

Voice: How dare you and the others ignore me. I am important. I am the key to all of this.

Bast is sucked into the picture.

The room is now empty and quiet.

Stay tuned next week for more. Meantime…

 You can read more about the characters and the strange situation in “Missing in Action” from 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://store.kobobooks.com/en-CA/ebook/beyond-the-tripping-point or go to any bricks and mortar store and order in a print copy.

See Sharon A.’s Upcoming Gigs at http://www.samcraw.com/Articles/BeyondtheTrippingPoint.html  The rest of November’s will be posted shortly.

Cheers.

Sharon A. Crawford

 

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Interview of Fiction Character by Fiction Character – Part 20

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

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

You take people, you put them on a journey, you give them peril, you find out who they really are.

Joss Whedon

Bast has found Chrissie’s elusive cousin Robbie from “Missing in Action” (Beyond the Tripping Point by Sharon A. Crawford, Blue Denim Press, 2012). So he tries to nail Robbie down about some situations.

Bast: Come on in Robbie. Glad you could make it.

Robbie: Do I have a choice?

Bast: What do you mean by that?

Robbie: Well, the police seem to be after me and you’re a PI so you’d probably tell them you found me. I mean you found my email.

Bast: Your cousin Chrissie had it so I got it from her. Not rocket science. Now why don’t you sit down and get comfortable.

Robbie shrugs as if in resignation and sits on a chair on the side, two down from where Bast sits at the head of the table.

Bast: Okay, let’s get started. You and Chrissie were once close until your father ran off with his secretary. How come you aren’t close anymore now?

Robbie: I dunno.

Bast: Let me rephrase. Why do you keep disappearing, and have done so since your father ran off with his secretary, and only come back for funerals and the like?

Robbie: I have a life elsewhere.

Bast: Okay, tell me about that life.

Robbie: Look I came back when I found out my sister Susie was having problems and when I heard some news of my father.

Bast: Okay, you’ve mentioned two separate things. Let’s deal with them one at a time. What is this life you have elsewhere?

Robbie remains silent.

Bast: Come on Robbie. You opened that book. Now read me some chapters.

Robbie shrugs: Fine. I live on the west coast and I’m not saying where and I work in the publishing industry. Don’t earn big bucks but I make a living.

Bast: That sounds like the newspaper business. Am I right and if so, which newspaper?

Robbie shrugs.

Bast starts Googling “Newspapers British Columbia and Robbie Stuart.” He gets a long list with the former but the only Robbie Stuart that pops up is connected to his dad’s disappearance.

Bast: Okay. Obviously you use a pseudonym. Care to tell me what?

Robbie: No, but my job is legit and you are right it is with a newspaper in BC. And that’s all I’ll say.

Bast: Very well. Let’s address the other situation you mentioned – you came back when you heard Susie was having some problems and there was more information about your dad. How did you know this?

Robbie: I phone Susie two or three times a year and this time she told me she was having problems with someone spying on her and she found out that Dad might be back in Toronto.

Bast: Did she say how she knew your dad was back in Toronto?

Robbie: Someone told her.

Bast: Who was that?

Robbie: Well…

Robbie looks up at the far wall as if driven there and starts to shudder.

Robbie: Okay. I won’t say any more.

Bast: What are you looking at? What do you see?

Robbie: Nothing. It’s just best that I say no more and leave.

Robbie gets up, nods at Bast and rushes out the door. Bast looks over at the far wall. He sees nothing but the wall and the abstract painting on it. He scratches his head.

Bast, muttering to himself: What the hell are they all seeing?

You can read more about the characters and the strange situation in “Missing in Action” from 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://store.kobobooks.com/en-CA/ebook/beyond-the-tripping-point or go to any bricks and mortar store and order in a print copy.

Sharon A. Crawford continues to take Beyond the Tripping Point to several readings this month. Sharon A. reads with other East End Writers’ Group members at the group’s showcase presented by and at the S. Walter Stewart Branch of the Toronto Public Library. See Sharon A.’s Upcoming Gigs at http://www.samcraw.com/Articles/BeyondtheTrippingPoint.html

Cheers.

Sharon A. Crawford

 

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Interview of Fiction Character by Fiction Character – Part 19

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

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

Writing gives you the illusion of control, and then you realize it’s just an illusion, that people are going to bring their own stuff into it.

          David Sedaris, interview in Louisville Courier-Journal, June 5, 2005

Bast Overture interviews Todd, Chrissie’s co-worker at the Ontario Government. From “Missing in Action” one of 13 short stories in Beyond the Tripping Point by  Sharon A. Crawford (Blue Denim Press, October 2012)

Todd enters the room, nods at Bast and sits down.

Bast: Thanks for coming Todd.

Todd: Yeah. Why am I here?

Bast: I just want to know how you fit in with Chrissie.

Todd: We work in the same office at the Ontario Government.

Bast: Which ministry is that?

Todd: Natural Resources.

Bast: What do you and Chrissie do there?

Todd? Mainly reports. Chrissie got stuck with the beaver report this year. (He chuckles). Annual report of beaver activity in Ontario…interesting if you like that type of thing.

Bast: And you don’t. So, tell me, what is your relationship with Chrissie?

Todd: I said she is my co-worker.

Bast: Nothing else?

Todd (face turning red): Well, friend, I guess.

Bast: Don’t you sometimes wish it was more than just a co-worker and friend?

Todd: Well, no. It can’t be…I mean…

Bast: It can’t be? Care to explain.

Todd: I’m going to take the fifth amendment.

Bast: I’m not a cop, just a private investigator. And this is Canada, not the US.

Todd (looking down at the table): Whatever.

Bast: Let me rephrase the question. Do you have any connection with Chrissie outside of work and being her friend, of course. For example, her family?

Todd: Her family? She haw a cousin Susie and I met her once at our ministry’s Christmas party when Chrissie brought her along.

Bast: That’s it? Are you sure you didn’t check out Susie where she lived and saw someone else there?

Todd, (pounds the table and looks up): No way. You’re making all this up.

Bast: Am I? Todd, do me a favour. Look over at that far wall.

Todd: Look at the wall? Are you crazy or something?

Bast: Humour me.

Todd: Fine. (He looks over at the wall at the end of the room, then jerks in his chair as if something has startled him). No, you’re supposed to be dead. No…:

Bast: Whose supposed to be dead? Did you have anything to do with it?

Todd: Get away. (He places an arm across his face, stands up, almost knocking the chair over as he scrambles to get away. He runs out the door.)

Bast looks over at the far wall. He can’t see anything but a stagnant wall painted light green. An abstract picture hangs in the middle. He strokes his beard.

Bast: What the hell are Chrissie and Todd seeing?

Next week Bast will interview the elusive Robbie…if he can track him down.

You can read more about the characters and the strange situation in “Missing in Action” from 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://store.kobobooks.com/en-CA/ebook/beyond-the-tripping-point or go to any bricks and mortar store and order in a print copy.

Sharon A. Crawford continues to take Beyond the Tripping Point to several readings this month. Sharon A. reads with other Crime Writers of Canada authors tonight (October 17) at the Brentwood Branch of the Toronto Public Library and October 19 where she hosts and reads at the monthly Saturday afternoon Murder and Mayhem at Du Café. For more info on October’s events go to http://www.samcraw.com/Articles/BeyondtheTrippingPoint.html

Cheers.

Sharon A. Crawford

 

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Interview of Fiction Character by Fiction Character – Part 18

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

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

If you will practice being fictional for a while, you will understand that fictional characters are sometimes more real than people with bodies and heartbeats.

          Richard Bach

Today Bast Overture interviews the main character, Chrissie, in “Missing in Action” from Beyond the Tripping Point (Blue Denim Press, 2012) by Sharon A. Crawford. Alert: another dysfunctional family but of the disappearing kind.

The door opens and Chrissie enters. He notices she seems pre-occupied with the far corner of the room.

Bast: Welcome, Chrissie. (He shakes her hand.) Please have a seat.

Chrissie: Oh hi. (She sits down to the right of Bast.)

Bast: Your family seems to be a little scattered…

Chrissie: What do you mean?

Bast: Let me finish. I’m referring to your Uncle Roger and Cousin Robbie – your uncle who ran off with another woman when you and Robbie were in your teens and Robbie who seems to stay out of sight until some important family function like a funeral comes up..

Chrissie: Well, what would you expect from Robbie? His dad deserted him.

Bast: However, his sister Susie stayed put.

Chrissie: True. But Susie was close to her mother, my Aunt Sheila, and Robbie was close to his father.

Bast: And which cousin are you close to?

Chrissie, looking over at a spot on the far wall.

Bast waving his arm in front of Chrissie: Earth to Chrissie. Which cousin are you close to?

Chrissie continues staring at the wall.

Bast: Whatever are you looking at?

Chrissie: Don’t you see her? Over there? (She points to the far wall.)

Bast: Who do you see?

Chrissie: You mean you can’t see anyone?

Bast: No. Only you and I are in this room.

Chrissie: No. No. If you can’t see her then we can’t communicate.

Bast: Fine. Then tell me who you see so I can at least look harder.

Chrissie (shrugging her shoulders): Never mind. You can’t see her, then you can’t see her. What was the question again?

Bast: Which cousin are you closer to – Susie or Robbie?

Chrissie: Both, but I guess Robbie until Uncle Roger ran away with his secretary; then Susie. I can’t do this. (She again focuses on the far wall).

Bast, following Chrissie’s eyes. He shrugs: You get a cryptic email in the beginning of the story which seems to affect you. Can you tell us how?

Chrissie: Huh? Oh, the email. I didn’t know if it was from Robbie or not. I mean he didn’t usually communicate by email. Just showed up at funerals and the like.

Bast: Like your Aunt Sheila’s funeral?

Chrissie: I don’t want to talk about that.

Bast: She died of cancer, right?

Chrissie: I said I don’t want to talk about this.

Bast: Why?

Chrissie: Because it’s all his fault?

Bast: Whose? Robbie’s?

Chrissie: No, Uncle Roger’s, for deserting his wife for his secretary. Did you know she wasn’t young and beautiful? She was old and ugly. How could he leave a beautiful loving caring wife for that piece of crap? Although the chemo and cancer took away all Aunt Sheila’s beauty. I hope Uncle Roger rots in hell. I hope… oh my God. She’s coming closer. What is it? No, I know he’s your dad but he did you wrong, too. He… Stop!

Chrissie pushes back her chair and rushes out of the room. Bast stares ahead but sees only the walls and the room’s furniture. He shrugs.

Bast: The whole situation must have affected Chrissie’s mind.

 Next week Bast interviews Todd, who may or may not be more than just Chrissie’s co-worker.

You can read more about the characters and the strange situation in “Missing in Action” from 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.

Sharon A. Crawford continues to take Beyond the Tripping Point to several readings this month. Next week Sharon A. has three readings: October 15 for the monthly Crime Writers of Canada Murder and Mayhem at the Annette St. Branch of the Toronto Public Library, October 17 at the Brentwood Branch and October 19 where she hosts and reads at the monthly Saturday afternoon Murder and Mayhem at Du Café. For more info on October’s events go to http://www.samcraw.com/Articles/BeyondtheTrippingPoint.html

Cheers.

Sharon A. Crawford

 

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Interview of Fiction Character by Fiction Character – Part 17

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

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

Character gives us qualities, but it is in actions – what we do – that we are happy or the reverse….All human happiness and misery take the form of action.

– Aristotle

Today Bast Overture interviews C.U. Fly. After his previous interviews with Annie Everglades, Ratty, those two wacky sisters-in-law and their dog, Brutus, from “The Couch” by Sharon A. Crawford (Blue Denim Press, 2012)m Bast isn’t sure what to expect. There’s a knock on the door and two people enter. One in trousers and jacket is easy to identify as C.U. Fly.  The other, a middle-aged man going bald and to belly fat is not. However, from his proprietary arm around C.U.’s back, Bast has his own idea. The latter introduces himself as C.U.’s lawyer.

Lawyer: You can understand that at this point, C.U. can’t divulge all. So I will monitor the interview.

Bast: Fair enough. It is not my intention to give away the whole story to the readers. Please sit down.

The two sit down. Bast looks C.U. in the eye, causing the PI to look down.

Bast: Okay, let’s begin. C.U. – may I call you that?

C.U. Nods in the affirmative.

Bast: I’d like to go into your background a bit. I understand you were raised by a single mother. Do you know who your father is?

C.U. No…

Lawyer: What does that have to do with anything?

Bast: The readers would like to know more about C.U.’s background.

Lawyer: The story “The Couch” already gives a lot of that.

C.U. looks at the lawyer: It’s okay. I don’t mind talking about my background. As far as I know my mother was never married. She once told me that my father was someone she dated briefly in high school; they broke up; she found out she was pregnant with me, and he wouldn’t help. And that was that. She never mentioned his name. Fly is my mother’s maiden name.

Bast: Okay. Now, I gather you and your mother were close. How did this affect your adult years?

C.U.: Well, as you know from “The Couch” she used to confide in me and I seemed to be a good listener so I carried that into high school.

Bast: You decided to become a P.I. instead of a psychiatrist because of all the years of university for the latter. What did your mother have to say about that?

C.U. She was supportive. Remember we lived on a tight budget so no money for a long time at university. So I became a PI and opened my business.

Bast: And became rich and overwhelmed with too many clients, many who are shall we say somewhat “shady.” Didn’t this bother you?

Lawyer: You don’t have to answer that.

C.U. But I want to. Yes, it did bother me. So did the time I spent with work. I wanted some free time.

Bast: To spend with Annie Everglades? Tell me about that situation.

C.U. Nothing much to tell. I fell in love with her.

Bast: And she didn’t reciprocate?

C.U. Not at first. But I was sure she would once I got rid of some of these clients.

Bast: Got rid of. That’s an interesting way of putting it when you nearly…

Lawyer: Don’t answer that. (He stands up.) This interview is concluded. Come on C.U. We have a meeting in an hour.

C.U. stands up and looks at Bast as if wanting to say more, but doesn’t.

Lawyer and C.U. exit the office. Bast turns off his recorder. He is glad he at least recorded the interview.

You can read more about  C.U. Fly, Annie Everglades, Honor Rita, Amelia, Brutus II and of course the couch, in 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.

Sharon A. Crawford continues to take Beyond the Tripping Point to several readings this month. For October’s events go to http://www.samcraw.com/Articles/BeyondtheTrippingPoint.html

Cheers.

Sharon A. Crawford

 

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