Interview with the Author

Ms. Dorothy Moyers, self-appointed and non-ALA certified head librarian at the Dustin Public Library in Dustin, Pennsylvania interviews Harold Eppley, author of Ash Wednesday

(With apologies to real librarians everywhere)

DOROTHY: Well, wouldn’t you know it. The publisher of The Naptonville News has asked me to interview a real live author, who has written a book about our town. But before we get to the interview I want everyone to know that the lady Methodist pastor came by this morning and checked out 3 books about childbirth. She even got one called From Antothijah to Zurishaddia: 666 Biblical Names for Your Baby. Most Everyone knows that lady pastor has been trying to get pregnant for years. And that husband of hers has been shooting nothing but blanks. You don’t suppose . . . ?

HAROLD: Can we get on with this?

DOROTHY: All right then, Mr. Big Shot author. I understand you have written a book about all those horrible events that happened here in Dustin back in 2005. All those deaths! And those awful tragedies! I still think about how—

HAROLD: Please don’t give away the plotline for my book! I want people to be surprised when they read it.

DOROTHY: Oh, come now. Do you really think anyone’s going to read your book? First off, I’ve hear it’s very disgusting. Dick Weinwright read it—the smutty parts at least. Most Everyone knows that man’s a pre-vert. He said and I quote, “It was pretty juicy in places, ‘specially chapter 8.” Do you think I’m going to allow this kind of filth in my library? You know what I say—You’ll find no dust in the Dustin library and certainly no dirty books.

HAROLD: I don’t think it’s a ‘dirty’ book. It’s an honest chronicle of people’s lives, including those parts some would rather keep secret.

DOROTHY: There are no secrets in Dustin, Mr. Big Shot. So what kind of book is this supposed to be?

HAROLD: It’s comedic fiction. Satire really. It’s the kind of book I hope will make readers laugh out loud. But also make them think.

DOROTHY: See there—that’s why nobody’s going to read it. I’ve been the librarian here for 23 years and I can tell you nobody likes books that make you think.

But that’s what satire does. It uses humor and hyperbole to reveal the folly of certain individuals or institutions. In this case, religion and the church.

DOROTHY: You shouldn’t make fun of religion. God will get you for that.

HAROLD: This is a book readers will enjoy on many levels. It’s entertaining and fast-paced, full of twists and turns. Readers will also appreciate my extensive use of foreshadowing and symbolism--how for example, the character Kristina is a metaphor for the Christian Church. Also the mythological struggle between libido and death, and the resurrection theme in the book’s final scene.

DOROTHY: Now you totally lost me. Are there vampires in your book?


DOROTHY: People like vampires. How about chase scenes?

HAROLD: No chase scenes.

DOROTHY: Time travel? Alien invasions? Dramatic rescues?

HAROLD: No, no, and not really.

DOROTHY: Romance?

HAROLD: It is a story about love. All of the main characters suffer the consequences and reap the benefits of learning how to love. I dare say, even you.

DOROTHY: Me? I’m in the book? Now I’ll have to read it. I hope all the stuff about me is flattering.

HAROLD: Well …

DOROTHY: Good Lord, what have you said about me?

HAROLD: I may have referred to you as “Dustin’s leading source of misinformation.” I also may have described your family of origin as “dysfunctional,” or something like that.

DOROTHY: Good Lord, this book must be destroyed! How many copies did you make? Let me tell all readers of this interview—do not buy this book!!! It is obviously full of lies, and it’s smutty, and there are no vampires.

HAROLD: Or car chases. Please buy my book, and if you like it tell someone about it. It’s available at Amazon, other online sites, and brick and mortar bookstores everywhere.

DOROTHY: But NOT the Dustin Public Library!

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