Friday, December 7, 2012

Character Interview: Alan Ashley

Character Interview:  Alan Ashley
 Where Is Papa’s Shining Star?

TWP:  Thank you for making time in your schedule for The Word Place, Mr. Ashley.

AA:  What is it you’d like to talk about?

TWP:  You lost your vision serving in the trenches in France during World War I. Has it been difficult, given your disability, to run a major company like Ashley Enterprises?

AA:  Yes, but then I have many good people around me who serve as my eyes.

TWP:  Your administrative assistant, Lenore Seldon, is one of them.

AA:  That’s right. She’s exceptionally intuitive. She knows what I need before I do.

TWP:  An interesting statement. Tell us something about her, if you don’t mind.

AA:  She knows her job and does it well and faithfully. What else can I say?

TWP:  What is she like outside of work?

AA:  She lives in--well chaperoned by my housekeeper, Mrs. Swane, who raised me from the time I was two. Because of that, I’ve been able to teach her to use the Braille writer, something my former assistant was never able to master. It’s made all the difference in my ability to be less dependent on the eyes of others.

TWP:  I meant, what is she like as a person?

AA:   She’s well-educated…cultured…kind…but there’s something about her…something mysterious…

TWP:  Mysterious?

AA:  I shouldn’t have said that. It doesn’t concern me.

TWP:  No?

AA:  Well, perhaps it does. To be honest, I find myself attracted to her.

TWP:  And how does she feel about you?

AA:  It’s difficult to tell. She keeps her distance. She disappears every Saturday morning and returns late on Sunday evening. She says she has ‘responsibilities’, but she doesn’t elaborate.

TWP:  Family?

AA:  Perhaps.

TWP:  Or, if I might be so bold, a lover?

AA: No! Absolutely not! Her moral character can’t be questioned.

TWP:  I wasn’t questioning her character, only the mystery that surrounds her.

AA:  It’s puzzling, I’ll admit. I’ve tried to draw her out, but she keeps her own counsel.

TWP:  It seems you might consider her more than just an employee.

AA:  I…I suppose I do. When I returned from the war, my fiancée broke our engagement because I was blind. She said she couldn’t marry ‘half a man’. Lenore…Miss Seldon…doesn’t seem to look on me that way.

TWP:  Is the beautiful? Oh, I beg your pardon, I…

AA:  My housekeeper says she’s quite attractive, though when she came she was too thin…and rather shabby.

TWP:  She’d come from less than optimal circumstances.

AA:  It’s happened to many during this crushing Depression. Mrs. Swane says her appearance has improved with regular meals and the security of employment.

TWP:  Where do you see your relationship going?

AA:  I didn’t say there was a relationship, although…

TWP:  Perhaps we should move on.

AA:  An excellent suggestion. In fact, my schedule, which Miss Seldon prepares daily in Braille, tells me I have another appointment in five minutes.  However, my secretary has agreed to give you a tour of Ashley Enterprises. I believe Miss Seldon is in accounting this morning, so you might meet her if you go there.

TWP:  Thank you for your time and candor, Mr. Ashley. I’ll make it a point to meet Lenore Seldon. A woman of mystery always intrigues a writer.

To learn more about Where Is Papa’s Shining Star?, visit my website where you can see a video trailer and read the first chapter. Where Is Papa’s Shining Star? is available in print and as an eBook from The Wild Rose Press and Amazon.

MONDAY:  Lenore Seldon speaks with us--reluctantly. 

Leave a comment today and Monday and be entered in a drawing for a free PDF copy of the book!

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