I’m at Brio, a quaint Italian café on Lexington Avenue in New York City with Sami Saxton, from Douglas Wickard’s thriller, A Perfect Husband. Sami is having a martini with lots of large green olives. Seriously. That’s how she ordered it. I’m sticking to coffee.
She looks younger than the early forties that she is and combined with her above average height I wonder why her ex-husband strayed. His loss.
“Sami, at the beginning of A Perfect Husband, you sold your house you shared with your ex-husband for many years to move to a cabin you inherited from your family in New Jersey. It seemed from this reader’s perspective the move gave you the opportunity to do some soul searching about your upbringing and marriage you might not have accomplished had you stayed in the city where you’d lived all your life. Do you agree?”
“Well, let’s just say I needed a major break from the City. I wanted a disruption. Kind of like when you move to a foreign country and you don’t speak the language, know the customs, the people… at the time it felt like the right move, the right choice. Little did I know…?”
That’s an understatement. Learning new customs doesn’t even compare to fighting for her life. “What did you hope the move would do for you?”
“Here goes Sami; wearing rose-colored glasses…I think in my mind, I had an ideal picture of the country house being my own personal Walden’s Pond. You know, solitude, peace, the great outdoors. I didn’t really get in touch with all those childhood memories until I actually stepped over the threshold. Then, they sort of all came crashing in on me… do you mind if I order another martini. If you catch Luigi’s eye, can you wave him over…thanks.”
The immediate raising and waving of my arm reminds me of the veterinarian in the story who wanted to please Sami. Get a grip, Dana. “Putting aside the fact you and your dog, Blue, came close to being murdered, do you have any regrets about making the move?”
“Other than coming close to being murdered? No. (laughs nervously) Luigi, this is Dana Griffin. A wonderful writer friend of mine. Can you shake me up another? This is my limit, though, Dana. Only two. Promise.”
I give Luigi a nod while wondering how often Sami feels the need to limit herself. Is it me, or did she avoid answering the question. “If you hadn’t had the encounter with the serial killer, do you think you would’ve come to enjoy living in your cabin? Or, might’ve spent summers there?”
“I think the idea of living at the cabin was more intoxicating than the actual reality of it. Kind of like LOVE. Thank you, Luigi. Cheers, to love… I would’ve gotten bored. It was a nice fantasy. I’m glad I’m back in New York. Blue misses the country, the woods…but this is our home. Right Blue? (Blue is curled up in a ball beside her. He looks up for a second then goes right back to sleep after a sigh) I grew up here. I love the City. Don’t you?”
“Ah… I enjoy visiting it.” It’s amazing the ability she has to turn a conversation away from herself. She doesn’t even seem to notice she does so. “During your time at the cabin, you discover clues it was used in your absence. You also discover a scarf from a young woman who’d been murdered in the woods behind the cabin. Now, do you wish you’d looked further into who and why your cabin had been used?”
“You know, once my mother died and my father abandoned the cabin, I never thought of it. I didn’t drive at the time and I was overly concerned with my father, who was in Florida living in a retirement community developing Alzheimer’s and suffering from Leukemia. I didn’t have an opportunity to even think about the cottage. What it was being used for… the thought never crossed my mind. I was working full time, living my life, going through a divorce… (a big gulp of Vodka) I did have a dear friend of mine go up and check on it from time to time. He’s a writer, also. I’ll have to introduce the two of you.”
“That’d be nice.” I sip my coffee while thinking about how we get so caught up in life we ignore signs of trouble. “Without giving away the ending of the story, or the following sequel, A Perfect Setup, how has the experience in the story changed you?”
“I’m alive. And, getting stronger every day. Drew, you know Drew… we’re taking a transatlantic cruise together this summer… to Italy… I don’t know how she ever convinced me to do that! Hopefully, it will be perfect!”
I chuckle. It seems everything in Sami’s life that is perfect is just the opposite. “Thank you for your time Ms. Saxton. Hopefully we can meet again to continue our discussion.”
“Thank you, Dana. I’m looking forward to your next novel. I loved the first two COERCED and THE COVER UP. Maybe I’ll take it along with me on the cruise… xoxo!”
I lay a credit card on the table. “Thank you, but I doubt my wife would approve of me going on a cruise without her.”
“No, no, this is my treat! Even the tip!”
If you wish to read the adventure Sami has in A Perfect Husband. You can find it here: http://www.amazon.com/Perfect-Setup-Sami-Saxton-Novel-ebook/dp/B00E9BT8LI/ref=sr_1_3?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1394976012&sr=1-3&keywords=Douglas+Wickard
You can find out about her creator here: http://www.douglaswickardbooks.com/
Dana, I should have warned you…
Thank you for the interview, Sami…errr I mean Douglas. 🙂 It was fun.
This was fun! What a great way of doing this. 🙂
Thanks, Elyse. I like doing character interviews. Their much more fun than asking an author what they eat for breakfast. Thanks for stopping by.
Sami sounds like my kinda gal pal. I should meet up with her for martinis next time I’m in the Big Apple. Great interview!
Ms. Cheevious, I’m sure Sami would enjoy having martinis with you. You two would get along, as they would say in NYC, fabulously.
Very fun interview!
Thank you, Rebecca. I appreciate you stopping by and commenting.
Always a joy to read these, when the characters takes on life outside of their intended pages. Love doing these.
Javier, you make it seem characters aren’t real people. What’s next? There’s no Easter Bunny, or Santa Claus? Or that the Great Pumpkin doesn’t exist? 🙂
Thank you for commenting.