You’d probably imagine this man in a magnificent home library – rare leather books lining the walls, a to-die-for Serapi carpet over marquetry floors, a fire burning softly in a massive fireplace, French doors leading to a stone terrace.. He sits in a tufted leather chair, a brandy snifter in one hand as he contemplates the history of ancient Rome. Or, you might want to drop him on the deck of a paddle wheel on the Mississippi thinking about that poker game he just won and wondering when Rhett Butler was going to show up. On the other hand – you wouldn’t be far off picturing him sporting a chef’s toque, or opening a magazine and seeing him modeling the lastest Brioni suit – or even -hold your breath here, accepting an Oscar! But check out the other photo – see the chick at the pool table? Hell, you wouldn’t figure him to be in a smoke-filled, seedy pool house in Texas with Tammy’s voice blaring away on a juke box, now would you? Well, think again – this is the former chef, male model and Oscar winners baby – and she’s aptly named – BABY SHARK!
Grab your coffee, and join us:
EE: So, Robert – going along with ‘write what you know’, uh, care to tell us how many roadside pool halls you frequented in order to soak up atmosphere?
RF: Like I can remember? My buddy, Snake, and I used to slip out the window during Ms. Herbert’s class and go to Chili Jake’s to shoot nine ball. That’s all I recall, and that’s all you get.
Oh sure…memory loss. Happens all the time.
EE: We will assume the rumors of that mini-rumble you supposedly were involved in at Ruby’s Red Dragon bar in Waco wasn’t your fault, right? You were just kinda setting things up for those knock-out scenes in BABY SHARK to get some flavor, right? I mean, we all know it wasn’t really your fault the place went beserk.
RF: You’re never gonna let me live that down. Have I got this right? The blonde in the purple corset said she’d be right back and I was just waiting around. It was all a mistake from beginning to end. Well, that brass knuckles business was a little bit my fault.
Well, I wasn’t going to mention the blonde in the purple corset, but since you did…
EE: Any truth to the buzz that Allison Fisher – the Number One – female champ of the billiards – aka The Duchess of Doom (yes, you read that right!) – was on your mind as you conjured your incredible Kristin? Talk about one determined female!
RF: Would she make a great Kristin, or what? If there is any justice in life, I’ll get to meet her some day.
Send her a copy of the book! Who knows? She might call you over for a game or two. Pool, of course.
EE: But the real buzz around ThrillerVille is that Efren Reyes – the top men’s money maker in the game – hoped to convince you to model your protag after him instead of a woman. Is it true you had to let him beat you at pool to soothe his ego for being rejected?
RF: I’m thinking you know an awful lot about snooker and such, Ms. Flinn. But re: Mr. Reyes – not on his best day can he take me at the table – and you can tell him I said so.
Darling, I know a lot about a lot of things – but there just isn’t space here. I’ll pass your message on to Efren when I see him later. We’re having coffee at his place.
EE: At what point in your life did you decide that writing a sizzling page turner could be fun? What? Are you totally crazy?
RF: Oh, you jest. Writing the novel is not the fun part. Marketing and selling that novel – now that’s the fun part. Miles behind the wheel. Those motels. That food on the road-not roadkill. You know what I mean. That crowd that pours through the bookstore doors to hear you sing a medly of your hit.
Sing? Hell, I’d lose sales if they heard my voice.
EE: Rumors have it that Ralph Lauren discovered you’d once been a male model – and after reading BABY SHARK – he’s been pestering you to do a series of ads for his new ‘writerly’ campaign, but you turned him down when he insisted you lose the goatee. What? Really, Robert – you could always grow it back, right?
RF: I was waiting for the ‘hair’ stuff to start. At least you didn’t do that Barbara Bush thing I hear so often. Ralph, I said – That Markey Mark bit is so yesterday. And how many times did I have to tell him no tattoos. But you know how he can be. We’re still negotiating.
How true – that darn Ralph can be such a pain. I gave him hell too when he wanted me to wear a bustier. I mean, really. We’re working on a new Chanel design that might pan out.
EE: After winning an Oscar for special effects for Dune, it’s almost crazy to ask what your Walter Mitty dream might be, but what the hell – let’s see what you can come up with.
RF: I’ll have my people get back to your people.
I know it’s tough to follow that naked bald guy…but surely, you can think of something?
EE: Other than roadhouse pool rooms in West Texas, what is your favorite retreat? And what do you do there?
RF: Zihuatanejo. Nothing.
Ah,yes – just north of Acapulco and on the Mexican Riviera. Yeah, I’d do nothing too. Well, maybe read a good book. Got any suggestions?
EE: Which writer would you love to have all to yourself in a cozy corner of the bar at the next con?
RF: You, Elaine. Only you. It was that red rose in the teeth thing that did it for me.
Oh, no! Now the whole world knows. But hey – it works every time.
EE: Now that we know you were once a chef at an A-list Lala Land restaurant – tell us the six people you’d have over for dinner – and what would you serve?
RF: Holy Toledo. Let me think a moment. Okay. The six guests may bring someone with them and no one knows who that will be. Six surprise guests and six invited guests. Mick Jagger, Maureen Dowd, Kobe Bryant, Beverly Sills, Titus Welliver, and Catherine Deneuve – and my wife and daughter would be there, of course. The meal would take too long to explain, but easy and delicious. And wonderful wines. Sorry you asked, right?
Moi? Sorry I asked? Nope. I could handle that bunch. Think Titus might fill you in on all the gossip around the Deadwood back lots? Let me know, okay?
EE: Who would be your ideal panel mates at a con? And what theme would you like to have discussed?
RF: This seems too serious.
That’s not fair! You’re supposed to answer ALL questions.
EE: Okay for you. Just for that – here’s your last question. You’re going on a book tour – which writer would you love to tour with?
Really. You mean she can read?
My thanks to Robert Fate for playing with us at ON THE BUBBLE. If you haven’t read BABY SHARK yet, mosey over to Bob’s site and see what you’ve been missing! http://www.robertfate.com
Wit for the week: From Anthony Trollope – The definition of an author: ‘Someone who gets words wholesale and sells them retail.’
Hope to see you next week – I’ve got a big surprise for you! And – speaking of surprises – Typepad decided to get cranky – so – no spell check again – and no pretty colored text either.