Provided by Dana King
Television exposure is thought of as the Holy Grail for the up and coming writer trying to establish a national presence. The sad truth is that television programs go through so much “product,” there is never time for the interviewer to do much, if any, research. This leaves them at the mercy of their staffs, who may do a good job, yet be undone by the anchor’s unfamiliarity with the subject, and inability to pick up on a potential follow-up question, often with unfortunate results for all involved.
The investigative staff at New Mystery Reader has utilized its broad network of sources to uncover the original videotape from which the following transcript was taken.
Welcome to the studios of “Good Morning, People,” where perky hostess Honey Helmethair is interviewing best-selling mystery writer Clark N. Daggeur.
Honey Helmethair: Where do you get your ideas?
Clark N. Daggeur: I’m not wearing any underwear.
HH: Very interesting. Do you outline your books, or make them up as you go?
CND: I killed and ate the intern in the green room.
HH: The protagonist of your series is named Swift Justice. Is he based on someone you know?
CND: I make them up as I go. I also do a lot of research, killing people in various ways to see which works best for each story.
HH: Fascinating. Do you do much research for your books?
CND: Uh, yeah. I don’t have to, I just like the realism I can provide from knowing exactly what something’s like first hand.
HH: Do you think your research lends an air of verisim-, uh, verisimili-, uh, (Looks at something off screen, nods) realism to your writing?
CND: I hope the books seem more real than this interview.
HH: A compelling answer. Swift seems to have to deal with misunderstandings with the police in every book. Is this just to increase the tension, or are you creating an undercurrent of a recurring theme?
CND: Swift is largely based on a former gay lover, whom I haven’t seen in several years. If the State of California has its way, we’ll be together again no later than 2068. Unless those bastards in Florida, Arizona, Minnesota, and Canada choose to continue their unconscionable vendettas. Someone should tell them Les Miserables was fiction.
HH: That’s quite a mouthful. Dogs appear in each of your books. Are you a dog lover?
CND: You’re quite a mouthful yourself, Honey. Are those real?
HH: These? No, they’re just paste, I keep the real ones at home. (Touches Clark lightly on the knee.) Do you have any advice for aspiring authors?
CND: I’m an excellent cook. I toss a mean salad. I guarantee you’ll like it. Swift always did.
HH: No wonder all your books are best sellers. Who influenced your writing?
CND: Many decisions about what does or doesn’t go into my work are based upon the writings of our Founding Fathers, notably the Fifth Amendment.
HH: An intriguing answer. I guess there’s more to you than meets the eye. How much of yourself is in each book, in the characters and situations?
CND: Writing is a lot like opening a vein. Let me show you the scars. (Rolls up sleeves.) This one is from Blind Justice, where Swift suffers hysterical blindness after seeing his grandmother run over by a steamroller. This one here, that runs along the tendons at the wrist, is from No Justice. That’s the one where Swift is confined to a mental hospital and has to solve the entire crime in his mind, while his friends do all the legwork for him. I’d love to show you the scar from my Edgar-winning novel, Justice with a Capital J, but this is a family show. I can tell you I bled like a stuck pig.
HH: Interesting. Your current book’s a best seller. Are you planning a sequel?
CND: The books are in a series. They’re all sequels, more or less.
HH: That’s right, they are, and that’s all the time we have. Over to you, Jim.
So, to all of you writers dreaming of being big-time enough to rate a television interview: Be careful what you ask for.