My last two blog entries have been way too too serious. I thought I’d have a little fun. Here, then, is my appearance on the Stephen Colbert show. Please enjoy!
Stephen: “My guest tonight is Annette Drake, author of Celebration House, Bone Girl and A Year with Geno. She’ll tell us exactly what kind of bone Geno is celebrating.”
(Twenty minutes into the broadcast, Stephen Colbert jogs over to the small circular table and sits down. We shake hands. I smile broadly at him. Inside, I’m quivering. I just hope I don’t vomit.)
Stephen: “Okay, everybody, settle down. Settle down. Let’s get started. Annette, you’re the author of Celebration House, Bone Girl and A Year with Geno. All three have been optioned by Peter Jackson for development into motion pictures. What’s the deal, Annette? Can’t you write a book that doesn’t need to be made into a movie?”
Me: Laughter. “I don’t know. I wish I could. My problem is,” and here I take out Stephen’s book, America Again: Re-becoming the Greatness We Never Weren’t, “my books don’t come with 3-D glasses like yours do.”
Stephen: “Well, you’re no Stephen Colbert.”
Me: I lower my head in shame and mumble, “I know. I know.”
Stephen: “But seriously, I’ve got a beef with you. In Bone Girl, you make unflattering comments about Wal-Mart. How dare you. They’re an American institution.”
Me: “I don’t say those things, Stephen. The character, May Ellen Jones, says those things.”
Stephen: “Oh, c’mon. Are you saying your characters say and do things you don’t tell them to do?”
Me: “As hard as it is to believe, yes. Characters do and say things the author doesn’t intend. May Ellen has some caustic opinions about Wal-Mart. I would never say anything bad about Wal-Mart, like how they built a store in my hometown of Brookfield, Missouri, and killed off all of the small businesses, including my father’s lumberyard. I would never say anything like that.”
Stephen: “Do you shop at Wal-Mart?”
Me: “I spend as much time there as you do, Stephen.”
Stephen: “Another bone to pick: your books are so sad. Frankly, they’re downers. Why can’t you write a happy book? For example, in Bone Girl, the main character’s father is laid off and he can’t afford groceries. Now. C’mon. Why do you need to be so melodramatic? Do you work for the pharmaceutical companies, marketing anti-depressants?”
Me: Laughter. “I don’t, although I think that would be a great-paying gig. I suspect there are many Americans who have been laid off from their jobs and struggle to afford groceries. That’s why the food pantries are so vocal in asking for donations. I don’t think being unable to afford groceries is melodramatic. It’s a reality.”
Stephen: “Now, what’s next for you? What are you going to celebrate next?”
Me: “My hope is for the sequels to Celebration House to premier in 2015. These two books will finish the trilogy. Then, I’d like to write a cozy mystery novel, and I love time-travel fiction. Who knows?”
Stephen: “Not bad for a high-school dropout.”
Me: “It’s amazing what we high school drop-outs can achieve.”
Stephen: “But in fact, you’re not just a drop-out. You were terminated from your nursing job at a hospital in Spokane, Washington. After that, you finished your debut novel, Celebration House, which was published by Tirgearr Publishing in 2013. You blogged that if you hadn’t lost your job, you may have never finished your first book.”
Annette: “That’s all true. I owe that nursing manager a great debt. Thank you, Kim.”
Stephen: “Well, Annette, thank you for coming on. I wish you every success. Annette Drake, everybody. Oh, and one more thing, Annette, enjoy the Colbert bump.” He reaches over and we bump fists.
The episode ends with Colbert reading a printed version of Celebration House and crying, dabbing at his eyes with Kleenex.
Hey, I can dream. Hands and arms inside the cart. Next: I disappear…