This week’s Character Interview is from the contemporary book Modern Day Fables by Jason Petersen and Aarti Patel. It was published by D2 Books and is currently only available as a Paperback (ISBN 978-0996775922, 05.08.16) and an eBook (Amazon ASIN B01FTBY9UG, 05.16.16). Modern Day Fables by Jason Petersen and Aarti Patel is aimed at readers aged 18+ but it contains no adult themes.
Synopsis of Modern Day Fables by Jason Petersen and Aarti Patel
Fables encourage kids to think about the question, “What would you do?” They’re not simply dry lessons on how to live life, but rather imaginative adventures with clever outcomes. Adults need fables too! Modern Day Fables presents eleven stories that ask the reader to dive in to the modern day dilemma at hand:
-Would you rather live in a screen or in the real world?
-Would you join a club that promises to take all your pain away?
-Would you indulge a magical looking pharmaceutical pill that brings you to a new level of enlightenment and eliminates all anxiety in life?
Not everything is as it appears on the surface. Bend, twist, and unfold reality through these fables that ultimately question the status quo and ask both the adult and kid in you: What would you do?
Name of character to be interviewed
Why was this character chosen for this interview?
Misha bravely introduces the first short story in this collection, venturing out to a place where no one has ever gone before: behind the screen. While there, she must answer a question upon which her very survival depends.
Question 1: How did you come to embark on this adventure?
Answer: It seemed like an ordinary day for me in San Francisco. I was to zoom in for work pretty soon, but before that time arrived, my big screen rang. I answered the call and it was my friend Tsai, who I used to work with a long time ago. You might say, well what’s the big deal? Well, these days people don’t contact each other out in the real world much…the way Tsai was doing. I hadn’t heard from anyone in a long time, because interaction was limited to the virtual world. Tsai needed to see me. I was comforted, yet alarmed to hear from her. Nevertheless, I had to see her and find out what was wrong.
Question 2: Why did you think that something was wrong when Tsai called?
Answer: Well, it’s like you see cats and dogs everyday and then a zebra runs out from nowhere. People don’t talk in the real world. Something had to be amiss for her to want to reach out in this unusual manner. Don’t get me wrong, I like talking to old friends. It’s just that no one does that on a real level anymore, other than inside the screen. Naturally, when I heard from Tsai after many years without contact, over an actual honest to goodness phone call, I was somewhat worried.
Question 3: What did you do next?
Answer: I agreed to meet with her. She wanted to hang out in the real world, not the virtual one. I was looking forward to it. It’s like you haven’t had a home cooked meal in a while, and you’re craving that. That’s how I felt about seeing her. Even if something was wrong, I felt I could help her out. I’d do whatever I could to help out a friend in need. She knew that.
Question 4: You have a little twitch there in your hand. Are you okay?
Answer: Oh, that’s just the buzz. You don’t know about it? It’s pretty common these days. People get it from being inside the screen too much. That’s the world we live in though. The buzz is involuntary, and it comes and goes for me. For some people it’s mild, for others it can get worse. I have some medicine that my friend Earl gave me while I was working in the screen, at Mind Memo. There’s more to that story, but I know we don’t have too much time right now to cover it all. Long story short, my medicine helps keep the buzz under control. I thought maybe Tsai was calling me about the buzz, and I was ready to offer some of my medicine if she needed it.
I know that living and working inside the screen, like so many people do, is not easy. If Tsai was dealing with challenges that were similar to what I’d gone through, I could offer her some support. That was my thinking anyway. Instead of being able to directly help her, however, I found myself closer to the screen than I ever imagined I would be.
Question 5: What question did you have to answer in order to survive? Did you have any help?
Answer: The question was:
“Who was she while she was on the screen?” My friend Earl asked me after telling me the story of how the big screen was invented. You may not understand what that question means, but it was at the core of everything I, and many other people, were facing.
As far as help, it may sound silly, but my dog came with me that day. His name is Poof. He gets so excited when I zoom back out of the screen. I couldn’t just leave him at home worrying about me when I left to meet up with Tsai. Poof has always been a bit wary of the big screen, with his little doggy senses. Maybe he knew that taking him would help me summon the courage I needed. Call me crazy, but I felt in my gut that heading out that day was a big deal. When you don’t talk to people very often in person, it’s kind of scary to try it out again. But it was more than that. Whatever had divided me and Tsai all these years, the big screen, it seemed like it was coming out to lunch with us too. Even though we were meeting in the real world, the imprint of the screen couldn’t be fully escaped. I had no idea just how right I was about that, or what I was about to discover.
This post was submitted by Aarti Patel
If you enjoyed reading this Character Interview from the contemporary book Modern Day Fables by Jason Petersen and Aarti Patel, please buy your own copy now via your favourite book retailer or my Amazon affiliate links.