Today I’m interviewing Claire, one of a trio of unlikely friends from my women’s fiction novel; The Shell Keeper. It’s a humorous and touching story of three women who become unlikely friends-in Claire’s case, despite herself!
As I might have mentioned in the book’s blurb…Claire’s past is her own friggin’ business, but she’s a tough real estate agent who will gladly suck-up to assholes to get a deal done. Still, when Del literally crashes into her life in front of Gwen’s bakery, bringing the three women together, Claire finds herself rethinking her attitude toward friendship. Toss in a charmingly persistent guy named Bob, and she might be rethinking men, too.
Sounds like this interview could get interesting…
RN: So Claire, do you have a minute?
Claire: Just. I’m swamped, what do you need? (Claire is in her usual sort of attire: DKNY black skirt suit, three inch Jimmy Choo’s and lush, black hair just skimming her shoulders-all very professional)
RN: Well…I was hoping you could give us your thoughts on these new friends of yours-Del and Gwen. I mean, it was a rather surprising development in your life. You haven’t exactly been a girl’s girl in recent years, have you?
Claire: If by that you mean I have more than my share of men in my life I can only plead guilty! (She’s laughing). What can I say, I like a nice set of pecs…and other things. Did you see that paramedic that checked out Del after the accident? I might have to buy some cookies from Gwen’s bakery and delivery them in person to the fire station…just to say thanks.
RN: That was when Del ran into the flower pot out front?
Claire: You’ve got that right. That kid’s got problems, not the least of which is bad timing. Who does relaxation therapy while driving!?
RN: She’s pretty stressed, huh?
Claire: She’s nuts. But maybe not certifiable…I was thinking of giving her a call. You know, just be sure she hasn’t fallen off a bridge or tripped in front of an oncoming bus.
RN: You think she’s suicidal? I don’t think I wrote her like that but—
Claire: Hey! Don’t beat yourself up, you never know. I don’t think she’d do anything intentional, I just think she’s a little less than all there these days. That husband of hers sure messed her up. What an ass—“
RN: Yes-right! He’s definitely less than charming.
Claire: And you know she’s just the type who dreamed of growing up and meeting Prince Charming.
RN: And you’re not?
Claire: I got the frogs. But that’s okay, I figured out a long time ago that you can’t let a guy mess with your mind. I just don’t go there. After all, I don’t need to get inside their heads to have some fun. And neither do they.
RN: What about this friend of Gwen’s, Bob?”
Claire: Who? (She reaches for her cell and starts absentmindedly checking her messages…she thinks she’s fooling me into believing she’s not interested in Bob, but I’ve heard differently)
RN: Tall, dark, polite, ruggedly handsome in a wealthy wine-maker from the western slope of Colorado kind of way?
Claire: Oh, him. Well, he’s got nerve to spare.
RN: How so?
Claire: Keeps showing up. Guy thinks I’m interested. Of course I’m not…I’ve told Gwen that. She gets it, she’s a business woman and she understands some things have to take priority. I’m a busy woman-real estate sales are off the charts up here; I don’t have time for that kind of extracurricular activity.
RN: What kind?
Claire: You know…relationships! Bob’s looking for more than a little fun. And don’t get me wrong, he’d be fun… (Noticeable pause as she seems to be thinking of something) But, like I said-no time for that. Speaking of which-what time is it? (She reaches again for her cell) Shit! I gotta scoot.
RN: But wait, I wanted to ask you about—
Claire: Maybe next time, kiddo. (She stands and stops for a second, a small wince crossing her face, as if she’s uncomfortable.)
RN: You okay? You want something?
Claire: No-no, coffee’s full and I’ve got my late night snack right here. (She picks up a small bag from the bakery) You stay-talk to Gwen why don’t you. I think maybe things are a little tight around here…finances-wise. And I heard something about her husband’s company, he’s a trucker you know, I think they’re gonna strike. That won’t help pay her son’s college tuition. She could probably use some good publicity-write something nice, okay? And don’t pester Del—kid needs a break! (She looks at her cell again) Shit! I gotta call this asshole…I mean client, back. See your round!
With that Claire scoops up her briefcase, tosses her hair off one shoulder and heads out the front door. Though she does pause a moment to smile at the gentlemen who is coming in and has stopped to hold the door open for her. If the look on her face as she runs her eyes up one side of him and down the other could talk…well, I couldn’t print it here!