One of my blogging friends, Gina Barlean, released another book that blew me away (and not just because of its title—Dead Blow). This book is Mayberry meets The Shining, with sinister undertones, and an antagonist that makes your skin crawl. But Shhh! Don’t tell him I said that.
He’s here…on the phone. We’re doing an interview today with Jackson Samuels (JS) from Fallbrook Mental Hospital (yeah…he’s the guy looking at you right now. Kind of creepy, huh?). Now be quiet…and listen.
Me: Um, Hello, Mr. Samuels. How are you today?
JS: Fine…just fine. Get on with the questions. I don’t have all day. Therapy, lunch, a nap…my day is full.
Me: Uh, okay. Sorry. This is my first phone interview. How about telling us a little about your childhood.
JS: Are you a shrink?
Me: No. But I’m kind of shrinking right now.
JS: I don’t remember much of my childhood. I think it was good…enough. I do remember, though, how much I enjoyed messing around with my dad’s tools out in his shop. I loved tools ever since I was a kid. They just felt so good in my hands…heavy, cold…like I could just as easily destroy something with them as make something…uh…what were we talking about again?
Me: Who were some of your friends growing up?
JS: My dog. Definitely my dog, Boris. My wife, Elaine wouldn’t let me have a dog. She didn’t like dogs. But a dog…you know, they’re good for kids. Especially boys…but I don’t want to think about my boy. It’s a sore subject, you know.
Me: Yeah, I know. You mentioned Elaine. Tell us how you met your wife?
JS: Ah, that was college. I shared a dorm room with a guy from Dawson. He had a job as a hired hand over the summers for Clive Marshall. Clive needed extra help the summer of my junior year, moving pipe, baling hay, that kind of thing. Elaine stayed there over the summers because Clive and Berta were her grandparents. The moment I saw her, I fell in love.
Me: Tell us about your marriage.
JS: It all seemed so perfect. I had my own insurance business. She was a great mom. Shelby, our daughter, was the light of our lives. We enjoyed being a family. And Elaine and I were like a hand in a glove. I could have never imagined anything changing our love.
Me: What about your children?
JS: My children? You want to know about Jackie, don’t you? You have the audacity to ask me about Jackie. My only son. The son that was taken from me. You have a death wish, lady?
Me: Uh, never mind. Bad question. What are some of your pet peeves?
JS: Anyone who tries to control me. I can’t take it anymore. No one should ever try to manipulate me. I especially don’t like people who ask too many questions. Like those psychiatrists…question after question. They paid, though…they paid for it real good…all I had to do was find the right tool…yeah…the right tool… you know, you’re asking a lot of questions.
Me: Now calm down, Mr. Samuels. That’s what you do in an interview. No need to get upset. Let’s talk about something else. Do you have a hobby?
JS: Working with tools if I could just get my hands on some. That and thinking. I’m always thinking. Mostly about what I’ll do when I get out. By the way Char. Exactly where do you live?
Me: Oh my! Will you look at the time. It was nice chatting with you, Mr. Samuels, but I better wrap wrap this up since you’ve got such a busy schedule there at Fallbrook.
JS: Yes. I will get out of here someday…and when I do, I’ll come see you, in my car to see you…Char!
Me: I think he just hung up on me. Rude!
I guess that ends my first phone interview. I probably should have picked an easier character to call, one that wasn’t so moody. Oh well…live and learn.
I highly recommend Dead Blow. It’s a great psychological thriller set in the Midwest filled with suspense, unique twists, and characters as human as you or me. Gina Barlean lives on a farm in Nebraska and is an independent publisher. Dead Blow, released at the beginning of this month, is her 6th book. She enjoys blogging, volunteering for her church and community, family, her unique group of friends, her many pets, living in the country (particularly mowing the lawn), the Nebraska Writers Guild, and cooking.
Hope you enjoyed delving deeper into Dead Blow. Leave a comment for a chance to win an eBook of this spine-tingling thriller. You can find out more about Gina and her books on her website, blog (where she’s interviewing me today about my character Suvi; I think she got the easier deal), Amazon, About Me page and her book trailer.