FINALLY! My mother endorses my new novel, Blue Asylum
February 20, 2012 § 34 Comments
It took months of bribing her with rolls of quarters and top shelf margaritas, but finally my mother has agreed to speak on the record about my upcoming novel (Houghton Mifflin, April 10). Here’s my interview with the self-named Saintly Mother, wherein she gives her thoughts on literature, daughters, rabbits and squirrels.
I’m very honored that you are choosing to publicly endorse Blue Asylum. I know it was a close race between my novel and The Help. What gave me the edge?
Oh, no. That book just made me mad. Too many of those Southern women in the 50s – 60s had yet to evolve from their heritage so prevalent during the Civil War era. The low-paying library jobs I held back then gave me a chance to read lots of books. I soon realized that books on the “best seller” lists weren’t always good books, nor well-written. Some of your books may be a little dark, weird or fanciful, but they are not trash and they are very well-written.
I think you said Blue Asylum is your favorite of all my books. Did you just say that because we were in Vegas and you needed a fresh roll of quarters?
Yes, Blue Asylum is my favorite of your books. It’s a bit steamy, but not trashy. (I only had to do my editing peeking through my fingers a few times.) It is a real story, a tragic story, yet a beautiful story, truly believable in every way. It sheds insight into the injustices against women,slaves, conscripted soldiers and common people by many of the socially and economically prominent men of the Old South. What the South really needed was more women like Iris – who had brains and gumption. Besides, I would never prostitute my opinion for a roll of quarters, and I am truly ashamed that I, your own Mother, took advantage of your distraction (oh, yes, I saw you salivating over that fine-looking man at the table next to us) to challenge you to that $100 bet over a particular incident in Blue Asylum. I knew I would win, so that makes me a bad Mother.
Can you guess which character in the insane asylum I modeled after you?
There is no guess to it. In fact, it frightens me a bit to discover how well you do know me. Hummmm… unless you harbor latent hostilities over my nagging about your messy room and unmade bed when you were a teenager??? Oh, no! Surely not the Matron!
You did quite a bit of copy editing for Blue Asylum. Any bitterness that this was such a low-paying job?
Low-paying job? Tender comes in many forms, Baby. When people tell me they think your book(s) are wonderful I feel proud for you – and proud that I helped a little by catching distracting errors. I have been well paid many times over. (Another $100 and I’ll say many, many times over.)
How much have you embezzled from our joint Wells Fargo account since 2008?
How dumb do you think I am? You took my name off your WF account years ago; thus, I can’t embezzle from you. I left you on my account so you could beat the rest of the kids to my money when I kick off, because you are MY VERY FAVORITE.
When the Rabbit was born, how much of her birth weight was the long ears?
Stop being nasty to my precious baby. She kept me from abandoning the rest of you many times.
Suppose I died and came back as a squirrel, and you found me stealing your pecans. And just as you were aiming your shotgun I shouted,“Stop, Mom! It’s me!” What would you do?
Do you think I’ll fall for that one, you thieving little bushy-tailed #@%& B’LAMMM!!!
Every time you crawl behind the wheel of your Buick Rendezvous Maroon Death Tank, you put everyone in mortal danger. And yet I am the one who wrecked it last month. Do you find this ironic?
Mr.Magoo never got credit for his driving skills either.
You are an amazing proof-reader but one of the mistakes you failed to catch was my sister, Becky. Any regrets?
I told you to stop picking on Becky. She may have been “unplanned” but don’t let anyone call her a mistake – why, even your Father called her “the pig of the litter.” She was a true gift from God, I thought, to reward me for not drowning you and Randy.