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Interview a fictional character.

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Guilliean: thank you so much for your time.

Betty: no, thank you.

Guilliean: so tell me a little bit about yourself.

Betty: My name is Betty Jones. I was born in San Jose, California, on April 15, 1922. I love reading, going dancing, and trying new recipes. [laughs]

Guilliean: What else do you like to do?

Betty: I love road trips. Don’t you? It helps to live so near to the beach. We can come and go as we please.

Guilliean: Road trips are my favorite thing ever. I don’t have time to do many overnight trips which is fine because I hate sleeping in beds that aren’t my own. It really takes me a minute to relax in strange bedrooms.

Betty: Overnight trips are a treat. It’s tough for my husband to get away from work but I always try to get him to pack up on Friday evenings after work and at least spend one night away. Relaxing in strange bedrooms makes me appreciate what I have.

Guilliean: Mmm. Yes. I can see how that would be fun for you.

Betty: [chuckles] I don’t see what’s funny about that.

Guilliean: Betty, we both know why I’m here.

Betty: I don’t think we’re on the same page.

Guilliean: let me remind you. You’re in jail for the murder of your husband Walter Jones, and your friends John Smith and Margaret Kensington-Smith.

Betty: [sniffs] Allegedly.

Guilliean: no, I understand what you’re trying not to say. I mean, this entire conversation is being recorded. You obviously don’t want to trip up and say something you may regret at your trial.

Betty: [silence]

Guilliean: I had hoped that you wouldn’t clam up like this but I’d like to hear more about your side of the story.

Betty: I’m not sure I have a side of the story. I’m innocent.

Guilliean: As innocent as the driven snow, am I right?

Betty: where did you… hear that?

Guilliean: your diary. The one they found in the safety deposit box. In Fresno.

Betty: This interview is over.

Guilliean: Understandable. Whenever you want to talk, you let them know. I’ll come right over. I was hoping to make everything easier for you, you see.

Betty: why do you care?

Guilliean: Because you’re not stupid, Betty. I don’t have much say about what’s going to happen to you, I’m only a writer after all. But I was hoping to get to know the real you. I really did want to tell your side of the story.

Betty: you already did.

Barbara Stanwyck in Double Indemnity (1944)

Betty Jones is probably my favorite femme fatale that I’ve ever written. I had Double Indemnity Barbara Stanwyck in my mind when I wrote her story, ‘L’appel du vide’, for my MFA thesis. I’d love to get it published someday.

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