Wednesday, May 16, 2012

I had breakfast at Pach’s Place with Jack McGowan this weekend.
He was most gracious during our interview, one of many reasons I chose him to be the male lead of “Obedient Heart.”
M: = Me (Janet)
J: = Jack

M: – Hi Jack…oh, I guess we don’t say that in your line of work, do we?
J: – {laughs} Not a good idea. The FAA has no sense of humor.
M: – I’ll begin again. Thank you for meeting with me today, Jack.
J: – Anything I can do to get our novel published.
M: – I appreciate that, as do the other characters who want to meet the public. Let’s begin with your family. J: – Okay. I was born a poor black child in Mississippi. {chuckles} Sorry. I’m a big fan of Steve Martin. I love that movie.
M: {looking at my notes} I don’t find that in your profile.
J: – {winks} I held back some details.
M: – What do you mean you held back details? I created you.
J: – No. God created me. In your imagination, it’s true, but still I am His creation for the purpose of this novel.
M: – I’ll concede your point on that.
J: – Okay. I was born and raised in Tampa, graduated from Plant High School, joined the Air Force because I wanted to—
M: – Slow down, my impetuous friend. Didn’t you graduate from college first?
J: – Yes, but I wanted to avoid the college question. If I graduated from UF, you’ll lose Seminole readers. If I graduated from Florida State, you’ll lose ’gator readers. Let’s just say I have a bachelor’s degree and let it go at that.
M: – You are very wise. Sorry for the interruption. Please continue. Why did you join the Air Force?
J: – Because my older brother, Jimmy, went in. We were typical competitive siblings, but he was my best friend, too. And I wanted to learn to fly.
M: – Were the two of you ever stationed at the same base?
J: – No. I hadn’t planned on that part. He got married, too, and had a family. And I met a great friend, Roger, who resurfaces in the story.
M: – And what about you? Did you want to marry and have a family?
J: – Yes. {brooding frown} It didn’t work out.
M: – I’m sorry.
J: – Betrayal of that magnitude is hard to overcome. It took meeting Jennifer to learn all women aren’t like my ex-fiancée. Then I got custody of Jimmy’s children when he and his wife died.
M: – Wow. One tragedy after another. But you have a bit of your brother with his children.
J: – Yes. I see Jimmy in his son, and their daughter looks so much like my sister-in-law.
M: – So, you’ve been like a “Bachelor Father.”
J: – That’s your generation, Janet; way before my time. Maybe there’s a website for your readers to check out that old TV program.
M: – Sure. Here it is: Great. {smack on forehead} Now I just told the world how old I am.
J: – You don’t look your age.
M: – Thank you. So, after the Air Force, you became a pilot for Panorama International Airlines.
J: – Yes. After transporting equipment to military bases all over the world, I now transport people to glamorous destinations like London, Paris, and, my personal favorite, Chicago.
M: – Who takes care of the children when you’re on your flights?
J: – My parents. Sometimes they stay at my home in Palma Ceia, and other times they take the kids to their home in Carrollwood. By the way, the children are both teenagers now. Almost grown.
M: – Explain those locations for the audience not familiar with Tampa, please.
J: – Sure. Old Carrollwood is a neighborhood on Lake Carroll in north Tampa.
M: – And Palma Ceia?
J: – That’s a plotted neighborhood in south Tampa known for its eclectic collection of old bungalows and new mini-mansions. It isn’t as prestigious as Hyde Park, but still an impressive zip code. {grins} And we who live south of Kennedy Boulevard are called SOKS, which stands for South of Kennedy Snobs.
M: – I’m a SOKS, too.
J: – Well, duh, Janet. That’s one of the interesting aspects of the novel. Almost everything takes place in south Tampa.
M: – {winks} I wanted to let you bring that up.
J: – Oh. Okay. So, now Joyce Hart of Hartline Literary Agency is pitching our novel for us. What can I do to help?
M: – Remember when I had writer’s block, and you came into my dream?
J: – Oh, yeah. You left us all in suspense with those scary guys plotting something terrible against Jennifer. So, I came into your dream and asked you if you were ever going to finish the novel. Would I rescue Jennifer, or would it be that nosy FBI agent, Daniel Hearty?
M: – Well…
J: – Aha, you want me to go into an acquisition editor’s dream and demand he or she publish “Obedient Heart” for you?
M: – Demand is such a strong word. How about ASKING him or her to take a chance on an unknown?
J: – You got it. {strokes his chin} Hey, post a picture of the actor you think I look like so my victim will recognize me when I pop in for a visit.
M: – Okay. Here's a photo of Tom Berenger. Wow. Jack. You're gorgeous! Wait...did you say Victim?
J: – {wicked laugh} I mean, dream host, of course. I promise I won't make any threats, like, "I'll haunt you until the day you die if you don't publish this great novel!" I'll just remind them of all the publishers who are kicking themselves for rejecting "Harry Potter." 
M: – Thanks, Jack. I love your sense of humor.
J: – Any time. Come see us. We get lonely sitting in your computer.

1 comment:

  1. I was born a poor black child. :) You're funny, Janet.