Hello! My name is Katelina, and welcome to Weekend Character Interviews. Using state of the art-mumbo-jumbo author magic, Jo has temporarily bent the laws of fictional space and time to allow various literary universes to converge long enough for me to ask different characters a few questions. Since I spend a lot of time in the Amaranthine series quizzing vampires on what they’re doing, where they’re going and why, Jo thought I would be the perfect interviewer.
Today we have Geraldina Pottwatts from a collection of short stories by D M Yates – and it looks like she’s brought her cat. I think this is our first pet! Now we’ll have to have a dog later to even things out.
Geraldina: Well, hon, I’m 65 years old. I hate glasses, but I do use these here pince nez. As you can see, I’m properly groomed with short styled hair. I’ll admit I’m rather tall, but my late husband, Wally, didn’t mind. God rest his sweet soul. He was an archeologist. That’s someone who digs up old stuff. Now, I devote my time to the Lard (at this, she throws up her arms, looks to the ceiling and yells ‘Hallelujah, Lard’) and to my precious widdle Snookums-Doodles. (She looks fondly at an excessively overweight cat, wearing a knit sweater, laying on his back in a pet stroller eating a cat treat. As if in answer to her, he stops eating for a second and produces a rather loud belch, then continues eating). I live somewhere in the Midwest, but I ain’t gonna tell you where. You can see how attractive I am, and I don’t want a lot of male visitors coming by. (She leans forward and with her hand to her mouth, she whispers, ‘you know what I mean’) Now, the Midwest is in the United States, Sweetie, in case you didn’t know.
K: Actually, I was just there recently. There’s not much in the Midwest, is there? Or at least not in my literary universe. So you’re not actually in a novel yet?
G: I think we established that, dear. That’s ok. Don’t feel bad. You’ll smarten up with age. I’m a character in a collection of short stories, named after me (My idea to name ’em after me. One thing my author did listen to.) You can see a couple of ’em on her blog-thingey at http://dmyates.blogspot.com, including the one with the young boy who thought he was a vampire. (Gerri laughs and slaps the table again). I straightened him out, right proper, I did. I’ll tell ya, I don’t know what’s wrong with a good sturdy typewriter and paper. This world, mm, mm, mm.
K: You’re sure he wasn’t a vampire? I mean, I do know a few… *stops at look from Geraldina* Um, anyway, over the course of the short stories how do you change or evolve or-
G:Mm, mm, mm. Such difficult questions from someone so young. Are you married? Marriage is holy in the sight of the Lard. (She repeats the gesture of throwing her arms up and looking at the ceiling. She yells ‘Hallelujah’) Now, Shirley – she’s my friend- (someone has to be her friend, you know) – she has this lazy son, Buddy, whose not married. He ain’t much of a catch, but at your age, well, take what you can get, I say. What’s that? I’m a tch deaf. Oh yes, your fancy question. I’m simply a character composite of older women barn in an earlier time. (She leans forward with her hand to her mouth and whispers ‘that’d be last century, but we don’t have to tell the world that, since I’m so young looking’).
K: What’s the biggest challenge you face in the stories?
G:What’s that? Biggest challenge? My, my. That’s easy. Why, it’s getting people to listen to my advice, my words of wisdom. (She repeats her gesture but this time cups her hand to her mouth and whispers, ‘Thank you, Lard that I’m not as dumb as this girl here’. She looks back kindly at Katelina and smiles politely).
K: Uh-huh. I suppose you probably don’t have any enemies then?
G: Enemies? Don’t be silly, Missy. Everyone who meets me stands in awe of me. Why, most people barely talk when I’m around. (Repeating her favorite gesture, she yells, ‘Thank you Lard for making me so perfect). Mm, mm.
G: Well, that’s a no-brainer. One night, a starving young actor just pops up in my bedroom. Mm, mm, mm. Poor lost soul. Thought he could act and that he was a vampire. (She laughs and slaps her hand on a nearby table). Lost little young ‘un, wasn’t he, Snookums? (She looks lovingly at her cat who had just grabbed another cat treat from a large pile next to him and munches away unconcernedly). Poor boy. No decent coat, just some old cloak. Thought he was from Transylvania – as if such a place exits. (She slaps the nearby table again). See what can happen when you don’t eat right or get enough sleep? Now, the way your eyes keep getting bigger and your mouth gets prunier while we talk, why I’d say, you need a good dose of Prune Juice daily and start eating prunes for snacks, you poor girl. Take my advice. I know what I’m saying, and I’ve seen that look many a time before when talking to people. Mm, mm, mm. The foods people eat today. All plugged up, like you.
K: *swallows* I have a bad feeling about what happened to that vampire-
G: Poor Lost Soul, you mean. Confused-
K: Right. Next question. You mentioned marriage earlier. Are you in a relationship or-
G: Now, you shouldn’t ask such personal things, young lady. What kind of mother did you have? My sweet Wally has been dead this many a year. There was one man once I thought would do alright, but he must have been intimidated by my smarts. Never did see him again. What about you? Buddy is still single and with that scrunched up look on your face, well, you know. I bet you don’t get asked out much. Think about it, Sweety. And don’t forget to drink Prune Juice. Might make Buddy like you more if your face wasn’t like that. My, my, and it’s getting worse as we talk.
K: Um, yeah. Thanks, anyway. I think Jorick might get a little upset about that. *looks towards the door he usually appears through, but he fails to show up*. Okay, then. Thanks, Jorick!
G: MM? What? Who are you talking to? Are you alright?
K: Yeah, yeah. Peachy. Oh, it looks like we’re running low on time. What’s the one thing you want in the whole world?
G: Why, I just want the whole world to love the Lard as I do. (Again, she does her favorite gesture. ‘Hallelujah, Lard, hallelujah!). Then everyone would be as near perfect as me, and my work here on this tainted earth would be done. Mm, mm, mm.
G: Why, I’d tell them to carry the Good Book where-ever they go. Makes for good reading. AND, it’s useful if you have to smack a stranger to get your point across. Listen here, little girl. You ain’t one of those who talk about them vampires, are you? Silly young ‘uns today. My, my, my. What’s the next question? I haven’t got all day, you know. You just talk too much. No wonder young men don’t come around you much. You’re not too bright, are ya? And that face, and my, my, my, do you ever stop talking for one minute? Mm, mm, mm. You need a lot of work. (She repeats the gesture of throwing her hands up and looking at the ceiling. ‘Thank ya, Lard, for bringing me to this needy child). An adult, you say? (Gerri laughs). You young people all think you’re adults. Silly young ‘uns today. Why, when I was your age, not that long ago, we young people were much smarter. Probably ’cause we ate right.
K: *scowling* Uh-huh. You know, Jorick thinks I’m just fine! *again he does not appear* Fine! Just stay hidden!
G: There you go again. It’s things like that that are causing your trouble!
K: *through gritted teeth*I don’t have any trouble. If you could say one thing to your author, what would it be?
G: Her writing needs work. Now, I write a weekly newsletter for my church. I’m willing to show her how to write a story properly, but she pretends she can’t hear me. Thinks she’s Miss Perfect Writer. Well, she’ll see. Someday, she’ll come begging me to help her. And she has that same pruney face, like yours. I told her what to eat. Stubborn as a mule, that one. You know, you didn’t ask where I’m going from here. This writer – and I use the word lightly, if you know what I mean (Gerri winks at Katelina) – tch, tch, has some more ideas she’s working on. She’s slow and a bit lazy, if you ask me. I’d have all these stories done by now. What am I supposed to do while waiting. I’ve already read my Good Book cover to cover many times. How thoughtless can you get, but then, she fancies herself a writer? Mm, mm, mm. Dreamer, more likely.
K: *softens a little& I can sympathize with lazy authors-
G: Now, Snookums Doodles and I have typed up a few more suggestions on how to improve our church. I’m meeting with our Pastor and so I best be on my way. I’ll leave you my phone number. You give me a call. You and Buddy are aging quickly, you know. (As she strolls Snookums out, she stops and using her favorite gesture, she yells, ‘Hallelujah, Lard, I just saved ya another soul.’ Meanwhile Snookums Doodles releases gas so vile smelling that Katelina really puckers up, holding her breath). I’ll be sending along some prunes. Mm, mm, mm. So young to have a face like that. (Gerri and Snookums Doodles leaves).
K: *stares after them* Well, that was – erm-
Jorick: *appears through doorway* Interesting?
K: Where the hell have you been?! Oh never mind! Thanks to Geraldina and, um, her foul smelling cat for stopping by today. You can find her on DM Yates’ blog at http://dmyates.blogspot.com/p/geraldina-pottwatts-short-stories.html
And a special thanks to DM Yates for playing along!
If you’re an author and would like your character(s) to be interviewed by me, then check out this very cool page that has all the details: