Monthly Archives: March 2014

Interview with fiction characters by fiction characters – Part 41

Click on the book cover to go to

Click on the book cover to go to

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
In last week’s post, Dana Bowman and PC Oliver are just getting ready to leave the Thurston Public Library boardroom to head down to Toronto to Roger Stuart’s place.
The scene shifts as PC Joseph Oliver and Dana Bowman meet Detective Sergeant Donald Fielding and Detective Larry Hutchinson at the Stuart residence in Toronto. Dana doesn’t listen to Fielding’s instructions to wait until the three police officers check out the place, but follows them right in. They find Robbie Stuart, his sister Susan’s spirit and a third spirit sitting around the dining room table, as if involved in a séance.
Hutchinson: Detective Larry Hutchinson, Toronto Police Services.
The three at the table ignore them.
Hutchinson: We received a call there was a commotion going on here.
The three at the table still ignore them.
Fielding: Detective Sergeant Fielding, Cooks Regional Police.
Still no acknowledgement from the table. All three seem to be in a trance.
Dana (whispering): Let me try. (She raises her voice.) Dana Bowman here. Bast Overture’s twin and business partner. Susan and Robbie, we’ve met before and I’m guessing you (she points to the third figure) are Roger Stuart, in spirit of course.
Susan’s Spirit: Very clever Ms Bowman. But don’t think you coming here will help you find your brother or change anything.
Fielding: We just want to ask you some questions.
Susan: Questions, questions. We’ve had too many questions hurled at us and we’ve had enough.
Roger’s Spirit: I haven’t. And I have something to say to all.
Fielding: Very well. In your own words.
Roger’s Spirit: Boo. Hah, hah. Well, isn’t that what ghosts do?
Fielding: Very funny.
Hutchinson: Don, let me try. Now a couple of you are in serious trouble and it is in your best interests to answer our questions.
Susan’s Spirit: And if we don’t you’ll what? Two of us are already dead and you can’t hurt us. Hah. Hah. Hah.
Hutchinson: Robbie Stuart isn’t dead.
Susan’s Spirit: You’re sure of that.
Dana: Oh for Christ’s sake. Let’s stop playing games and put our cards on the table. We are basically looking for my brother Bast and also for Cory Swan. You should be interested in both, especially Swan as he didn’t exactly treat you in your best interests.
Susan: That’s putting it mildly. Nice try, but I can’t see how we can help each other –I gather that’s what you are after.
Dana: Look, Susan and Roger, you probably want some peace and maybe by sorting all this out, you can get that.
Hutchinson, raising his arms: All right. That’s enough dodging around. Fielding and I have some questions and you are all going to answer them.
Susan and Roger: Hah. Hah
Robbie suddenly stands up and glares at his father and sister: Cut it out you two. Let’s get this done for once and for all. Detective Hutchinson and Fielding? Ask your questions. I’m willing to answer anyway.
Hutchinson: Okay, we’ll start with you. What do you know about your father’s and Cory Swan’s dealings?
Robbie: Swan was blackmailing Dad about marrying his secretary while still married to Mom.
Hutchinson: Yes, we know that. But what else?
Robbie, looking over at the two spirits as if for confirmation: Well it was later, when Dad and his secretary returned to Toronto, just before Dad died. He knew he had a heart condition and he wanted to see Susan and I again before he died.
Hutchinson nodding: Yes, go on.
Robbie: Dad found out that Mom had died from cancer and he blamed himself. He wanted to make it up to us. But his second wife was jealous and turned on him. Dad met up with Susan and I – it was when Susan was just starting to make it as an artist and she was getting interviewed by various newspapers. He didn’t tell his second wife this. Dad, well, he seemed afraid of her for some reason.
Dana: Not surprising, considering what she did later.
Fielding: Dana, let Mr. Stuart tell his story.
Robbie: Not much more to tell. Dad told us what happened, but while he did so, that photographer Cory Swan was snooping around outside taking preliminary photos or so he said. But he was inside the house and Susan and I didn’t let him in.
Susan: But you left the damn back door open, Robbie.
Hutchinson: And so Swan heard your dad’s story and something in it got his attention. (He turns to Roger’s spirit). You told Robbie and Susan about the blackmail.
Roger’s spirit: Yes, and that bastard Swan was going to tell the reporter – Bast Overture – and make sure the whole world knew, knew I was back and well the whole sordid story. I couldn’t have that happen, she…she would come after me and my kids if she knew I’d told.
Hutchinson: Who would come after you?
Roger: My second wife.
Hutchinson: And what didn’t you want your second wife to know?
Roger’s spirit: What she was really like.
Hutchinson: And what was that?
Roger: I can’t tell. I can’t
Fielding: So Cory added to the blackmail?
Roger’s spirit: Yes.
Dana: That’s not it, is it? Cory, did tell my brother, didn’t he?
Roger: No, not that I know of.
Susan: Dad… Oh very well; Robbie blabbed Dad’s story to Bast, so your brother knew Dad was alive and back in Toronto.
Dana: And did Bast interview your Dad?
Susan: Yes, and it killed him. Dad had his heart attack and died right after your precious twin brother interviewed him.
Dana: So this is payback? But why now.
Susan: Because my precious brother, Robbie is writing a tell-all memoir about our family and it’s being published this year.

Sharon A. Crawford
You can read more about the characters and their stories in from Beyond the Tripping Point (Blue Denim Press, 2012). Click on the book at the top and it takes you to Sharon A. Crawford’s profile – including book 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. Spread the word.
This Saturday, March 29, 2014,Sharon A. hosts and reads at another Crime Writers of Canada Murder and Mayhem at Du Cafe in east end Toronto, Ontario, Canada.. If you are in Toronto, drop in – the food is to die for and so are the stories read by crime writers Howard Shrier, Lynn Albrecht, Rob Brunet and Rosemary McCracken.
More info on this and Sharon A.’s other upcoming gigs, workshops, guest blog posts, etc. at


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Interview with Fiction Characters by Fiction Characters – Part 40 link to Sharon A.'s short story collection link to Sharon A.’s short story collection

I always have a basic plot outline, but I like to leave some things to be decided while I write.

          J.K. Rowling

Susan Stuart’s spirit has finally manifested and Dana and PC Oliver learn that she is not to be trusted. There is also another spirit involved and the missing Bast has just phoned his fraternal twin, Dana. Dana and Oliver remain in the Thurston Public Library boardroom. All characters, except Cory Swan, are from Beyond the Tripping Point by Sharon A. Crawford (Blue Denim Press, 2012).

Dana (on her cell phone with Bast): Bast, where are you?

Bast: Can’t tell you right now. It’s not safe for you to know.

Dana: But Oliver and I could come and get you.

Bast: It’s better that you don’t know where I am right now.

Dana: Okay, but I’m worried.

Bast: I know you are, but it is also a safety measure for you and David.

Dana: David? Where does he fit into all this? He wasn’t even born when…

Bast: I know, but CS is very cunning and determined and will go after family members if he has to.

Dana: All this just to keep a blackmailing scheme quiet? Bast, the police know and have a document showing that Roger Stuart was illegally married to his secretary while still married to Susan and Robbie’s mom before he and the secretary disappeared.

Bast: I know. But it’s more than this.

Oliver interrupting: Dana, let me speak to Bast.

Dana (covering her cell with her hand). Just a minute Oliver.  (Dana holds her cell out a bit so Oliver can hear the conversation).Yes, Bast you were saying.

Bast: Is Oliver with you?

Dana: Yes.

Bast: Okay, I’ll talk to him in a minute but as I was saying, it’s more than just Roger Stuart’s bigamy.

Dana: I gather that. And Susan Stuart – or rather her spirit is not what she seems. Do you know what she’s up to?

Bast: Partly. That’s what I’m working on and to do so I must remain “undercover.” What I have found out is Susan’s spirit is conspiring with her Dad’s spirit to get revenge on Cory Swan for the blackmail scheme.

Dana: What are they doing?

Bast: That I don’t know. But they must be meeting somewhere but I don’t know where.

Dana: I can answer that. Susan said her Dad’s spirit is tied to their house. So it’s there. And Bast, Roger is living there I think. Is he in danger?

Bast: He might be. That might be the other part of the puzzle. But I don’t know what if anything he had to do with all this. He always seemed to disappear himself.

Dana: Right…

Oliver, interrupting: Bast, Cooks Regional and Toronto Police Services have  some info on where Roger has been living when not in Toronto and you are correct Dana, Roger is living in the house now.

Dana: Can he see his sister’s and father’s spirits?

Bast: I don’t know. Oliver, do you know what Roger’s been up to when away?

Oliver:  Like I said, we have some idea but need more information.

Bast: Then I need to talk to him.

Dana: No, let me. You have to stay safe.

Bast: I also need to get some answers.

Oliver: So do the police. Bast, I need you to tell us where you are.

Bast: Can’t do that – it’s a safety issue.

Oliver: Bast, for your own good and your sister’s, you need to come in. We can give you protection.

Bast: No. It’s better I stay underground for now.

Dana: What did you actually write about Susan Stuart and her painting and where was it published?

Bast: In the Toronto Herald. There’s a print copy in the office where I keep all my published story clips.

A loud noise, like a siren comes over Dana’s cell phone.

Dana: What’s that?

Oliver: Bast, where are you?

Bast (his voice getting weaker). Gotta go. Talk to you lat…

Dana: Bast, are you there?

Silence on the other end.

Oliver pulls out his cell and starts punching in numbers: Fielding, you and Hutchinson better meet with us. Bast has called and…what? Okay…

Dana: Where? I’m coming too.

Oliver into his cell: Did you hear that? Dana’s coming too. She has info. I’ll bring her.

Dana: Where?

Oliver: The Stuart residence. Something’s going on there with Robbie Stuart.


Sharon A. Crawford

You can read more about the characters and their stories in from Beyond the Tripping Point (Blue Denim Press, 2012). Click on the book at the top and it takes you to Sharon A. Crawford’s profile – including book 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. Spread the word.

Sharon A. Crawford will be returning to Aurora where she lived for 23 years. If you are in the Toronto area (GTA) and in particular just northof Toronto in York Region, join Sharon and four other Crime Writers of Canada authors reading from and talking about their crime books in A Shot in the Dark at the Aurora Public Library, Monday, March 24, 2014 from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m.

More info on this and Sharon A.’s other upcoming gigs, workshops, guest blog posts, etc. at


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Interview with Fiction Characters by Fiction Characters – Part 39 link to Sharon A.'s short story collection link to Sharon A.’s short story collection

An artist is his own fault.

            – John O’Hara

The lights went out and the painting started vibrating in the Thurston Library board room just as PC Joseph Oliver was showing some information to Dana Bowman. Now, one minute later, the lights go back on and the painting is still. But there is a different character sitting at the board room table. All characters except Cory Swan are from short stories in Beyond the Tripping Point  by Sharon A. Crawford (Blue Denim Press, 2012)

Dana, looking around and almost jumping up at the woman sitting in the chair beside her. Susan Stuart? No, it can’t be. You’re dead. I mean…

Susan’s ghost: True, but I did mention that I do get around in spirit. Sometimes I can manifest myself to a few people.

Dana: And that’s why the lights went out – while you were er, manifesting?

PC Oliver: It’s gone.

Dana, turning to Oliver on her left: What’s gone? The paper you were showing me?

Oliver: Yes. I had it right in front of me.

Dana, glaring at Susan’s ghost: You took it. What did you do with it?

Susan: No, I didn’t.

Dana: Well, no one else was here.

Susan: Are you sure. The lights went out.

Dana: But that was you.

Susan: No. I don’t need lights turning out to manifest myself. Just people to believe I am real.

Oliver: Then who took the paper? Who was in here? I didn’t see anyone. Dana, did you?

Dana: No, but it was dark.

Susan: I might be able to answer that. I’m not the only spirit involved.

Dana: Right. So now we have multitudes of spirits running around and interfering.

Susan: No, just one other besides me.

Oliver: Who?

Susan: Can’t you guess? Who is also dead?

Dana: Roger Stuart?

Susan: Bingo.

Oliver: Okay, I’ll bite. What interest would Roger Stuart have in all this?

Susan: If you will remember, when Dad was still alive, just before he disappeared, he was involved in a sort of blackmail scheme with Cory Swan.

Dana: And I suppose you know what that all involves?

Oliver (interrupting): I think I do. The paper I was just going to show you was a document. It was a marriage certificate between Roger Stuart and his secretary.

Dana: But he was still married to Susan and Robbie’s mother.

Oliver: Yes, but the marriage certificate was issued in Mexico.

Dana: But it wouldn’t be valid in Canada? I mean with Roger still married to your mother. (Dana nods at Susan).

Oliver: No, not valid in Canada or the US for that matter.

Dana: How did they get it in Mexico?

Susan: By not giving any info about prior marriages.

Oliver: You could get away with that there.

Dana: So, Roger Stuart was a bigamist and he didn’t want his second marriage known.

Oliver: Or the fact that he had two so-called marriages with no divorce for the first one.

Susan: Exactly, to both. And Cory Swan wheedled this out of Dad and I believe threatened to tell all if Dad didn’t pay him. Which he did, for awhile, until he decided to disappear with the wicked secretary of the well, south.

Dana: And you know this how?

Susan: I just do.

Dana: You’ve connected with your father’s spirit.

Susan: Oh, all right. I’ve been talking to Dad.

Oliver: If this is so, then it has to be his spirit that took the document.

Susan: Actually not. Dad can’t get around like me. He’s stuck in our old house. I have to go to him.

Dana and Oliver: Then it was you. You lied.

Susan: Yup. A girl has to protect herself.

Susan then disappears.

Dana: What was that all about? She’s obviously got her own hidden agenda? Now we don’t have that document.

Oliver: Yes we do. There’s an electronic copy on the police computer and a photocopy at police headquarters. But I better call Fielding to let him know that Susan is not to be trusted.

Dana’s cell phone rings. She picks it up.

Dana: Yes.

Voice on the phone: Dana, it’s Bast. I’m okay. But we need to talk. You and a few others are in danger.


Sharon A. Crawford

You can read more about the characters and their stories in from Beyond the Tripping Point (Blue Denim Press, 2012). Click on the book at the top and it takes you to Sharon A. Crawford’s profile – including book 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. Spread the word.

Also see more of See Sharon A.’s Upcoming Gigs, workshops, guest blog posts, etc. at


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Interview with Fiction Characters by Fiction Characters – Part 38 link to Sharon A.'s short story collection link to Sharon A.’s short story collection

I never plot out my novels in terms of the tone of the book .Hopefull,y once a story is begun it reveals itself.

          Alice Hoffman

In last week’s post, the woman in the abstract painting was finally revealed as the spirit of the artist, Susan Stuart. Susan says she didn’t kidnap Bast Overture but pulled him into her realm to protect him from Cory Swan the photographer. Bast, however, managed to return to earth and was then kidnapped by Swan. Now he is missing again and Detective Sergeant Fielding and Detective Larry Hutchinson (along with Susan’s spirit) are off to Thurston to find Bast. Dana stays behind with a police constable awaiting Susan’s return with news. Except for Cory Swan, all characters are from stories in Beyond the Tripping Point by Sharon A. Crawford (Blue Denim Press, 2012)

Dana, staring at Constable Joseph Oliver: How did you, head of Records Bureau, wangle coming here? I was expecting a newbie.

Oliver: I convinced Fielding I would be the best choice as I am shall we say close to you and Bast professionally.

Dana: You mean you are our police source.

Oliver chuckles: Glad you can keep your sense of humour.

Dana nods: Yes, well in that vein I would like some more information about my brother’s kidnapping and in particular, why Cory Swan is so upset about that photo of Bast, Susan and Robbie Stuart.

Oliver: You know as much as I do.

Dana: Come on, Oliver.

Oliver shrugs his shoulders: Very well. Swan has a checkered background.

Dana: In what way?

Oliver: He was well connected to the Stuart family.

Dana: What do you mean? Beyond photographing Robbie and Susan for Bast’s story.

Oliver: No, before then…with their father.

Dana: Roger Stuart? The one who disappeared with his secretary years ago?

Oliver: Yes. I shouldn’t be telling you this. But Swan took some photos of Roger and his secretary…

Dana: Yes, but Roger is dead and the secretary is…

Oliver: I know. But for some reason Roger was taken with Swan – it wasn’t only his photography that connected him to people. He was also able to get people to talk about themselves and listen as if it was the most important thing in the world. We think that Swan found out about Roger Stuart ’s impending disappearance with his secretary and Roger paid him some money before he vanished.

Dana: You mean blackmail money?

Oliver shrugs his shoulders. Perhaps.

Dana: All right, say it was blackmail. How does my brother fit in with this? Roger Stuart disappeared before Bast became a crime reporter.

Oliver: We think that Bast uncovered this part of the story and confronted Swan with it – probably outside the interview with Robbie and Susan.

Dana: So, did he include it in his story? Where is that story anyway? Fielding, Hutchinson and I only found the photograph. We don’t know where it was published so can’t check the newspaper morgues.

Oliver shrugs his shoulders.

Dana: Oh, I get it. You did find the story. Come on Oliver, give it up. What did the story say?

Oliver: There was no mention of the connection between Roger Stuart and Cory Swan in the story.

Dana: So, what got Swan riled? Bast isn’t a reporter anymore.

Oliver: This. (Oliver hauls out a piece of paper from his folder.)

Dana leans over to look. The abstract painting starts vibrating and there is loud pounding on the door. The lights go out.


Sharon A. Crawford


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