This is a little different from my usual guest blogs. Greg and I were discussing ways of doing the old "author interview/guest post" bit with a twist, and this is what we came up with. His intrepid reporter, Roy Elliott, conducts a rather awkward interview with Ethan Banning over at Greg's blog. And my slightly less intrepid reporter, Janey Carter, interviews Jessica, the protagonist of Greg's new novel TORMENT right here. Let's go!
This is Janey Carter reporting for the Herald, March 21st 2011. I'm with Jessica Newman. Jessica, thanks for agreeing to meet with me today. Maybe we can start with your coming to Scotland. What brought you here?
Um…I’m here to sort out my father’s estate. He … passed away …very sudden. I haven’t seen him for a long time. I’m actually surprised I came here, but I suppose I didn’t have a choice.
Can you tell me a bit about your childhood memories of growing up with a deacon for a father? How did that shape you?
I don’t know if I want to talk about that… My childhood was … tragic. My mother died when I was a little girl and it tore my family apart.
A lot of people think they understand Catholicism and exorcism, but have your experiences correlated with what we see on TV? Or is there more to it than we're lead to believe?
How did you know about that – have you been checking up on me? What my father did to my mother was horrible! (crying heard) I don’t think I want to answer your questions anymore! Where’s my husband – where’s David?
Let's talk about the house - what's it been like to be there at a time like this? Has it been a distraction?
It’s just a house! It’s falling to pieces… my father just wasted away in it! Please can we stop now?
Okay, I'm sorry. I didn't realise this was such a difficult issue for you. Do you want to take a break?
(Sniff)….No, no, I’m sorry; just a bit of a mess at the moment. Sorry. It’s just so hard trying to deal with all this after so many years.
Okay then, let's start over. Why don't you tell me how your husband's been dealing with all these … stresses? You're obviously a very close couple...
Oh, David’s fantastic; very understanding. He’s been by my side ever since we met in college. He’s a real tower of strength you know? When I told him about my childhood and my mother’s death he was never judgmental – he just wanted to help me recover. So when I said we had to come here he didn’t hesitate to come with me. I’m very lucky to have him. Our son, though – we had to literally drag him here. David’s actually been fixing the manor since we first arrived, but I think it’s beyond repair.
So you don't see the two of you relocating here permanently?
No, oh God no! I couldn’t live in that house. Just feels like there’s something wrong with it – apart from the fact my father lived there. I’d say we’ll probably sell it, but still, maybe I’ll find something there that will help me get some closure, you know?
Can we talk about your mother again? I know it's hard, but do you feel you had to grow up faster as a result of her loss?
I guess I didn’t have a choice. I was a victim too. My father murdered my mother and I was just left to deal with it. It wasn’t her fault…she was sick and he… he just (crying heard). He was supposed to be a man of God!...
Alright, this is … this is clearly too upsetting for you. Is there anything you'd like to say to finish things off?
(Sniff) I’m sorry. I bet you wish you didn’t decide to pick me at random for an interview hey? I just want to get out of Scotland…I’m sorry, it looks lovely, but I think I would have preferred to visit under happier circumstances. Memories hurt. They hurt so much…
I think that's enough now, Jessica. Thanks for your time.Find out more about TORMENT over at Damnation Books.