It is a pleasure to have her with us today at Beyond the Books!
Thank you so for this interview, Emily. Now that the book has been written, do you feel you were fairly portrayed or would you like to set anything straight with your readers?
I’m glad to meet you. My new foster mom, Mrs. Bradley, told me to mind my manners and not be afraid. I don’t know what that big word means, but I’m glad not to live at home anymore. Ma didn’t like me and she was mean. My cousin, Ted, says I’m a little backward, but Mrs. Bradley says I’m just shy and need to be around normal people to get over it.
Do you feel the author did a good job colorizing your personality? If not, how would you like to have been portrayed differently?
I don’t know what that word colorizing means either, but I like having that story about me and Ma and Pa told. I’m sorry they hated everybody too. I wish Ma liked nice things and didn’t drink all the time. Pa and Joey and Bud did too, and they all hated everybody, like Ma. They had fights all the time. Ma liked to hit Pa. And me. I still got scars on my back and arms from the belt buckle. I wish Ma liked me a little, like Lorie did before the State took her away. She’s a beautician now and has lots of friends. She writes me letters and says she’s going to come see me soon. I hope she does. I want to be like her when I grow up. She won’t go see Ma though.
What do you believe is your strongest trait?
What’s a trait? I am strong because I always had to do work at home. Ma didn’t like to wash dishes or do house stuff and Rita who was married to my brother, Bud, made me clean after Cooger. Ted says that’s why I got muscles like him. Is that what trait means?
I guess the worst thing I did was run away a lot. I was afraid of Ma whipping me with the belt, even when stuff wasn’t my fault. She didn’t whip nobody else because they was big like her. When I run off and police or Bud would bring me home, she always hit me with the belt. But the last time, when I saw that girl get killed, nobody took me back. They let me go live with Mrs. Bradley after that and she’s nicer’n anybody I ever knew.
If you could choose someone in the television or movie industry to play your part if your book was made into a movie, who would that be (and you can’t say yourself!)?
Do you mean if I could be in a movie, who would I want to be me? I don’t know. I never got to see movies or television until I lived with Mrs. Bradley. Are there many little kids in them? I saw a book in the library about some girl named Shirley Temple and it said she was in movies. Do you think she’d like to be me in a movie?
Do you have a love interest in the book?
No. If that means do I like boys, no, I don’t. Most of them are mean like Bud and Pa. I like Ted and his friends who talked to me before I lived with Mrs. Bradley. The boys that Lorie knew mostly think about sex like Pa did. I had to put a chair against the doorknob like Lorie taught me to keep him out when he was drunk. He scared me a lot.
At what point of the book did you start getting nervous about the way it was going to turn out?
I don’t know what that means. I was scared all the time when I lived with Ma. Is that what you mean? A nice policeman said I didn’t have to go home no more and that was before Pa and Bud and Joey died. Ma didn’t like me living with somebody else, but some man called a judge said she could go to jail for how she beat me. She lives over by the railroad tracks now and still gets money for beer. She always said Bud would have to do for her if Pa left her, but he’s gone too and she’s all alone. Ted says she got what she deserved. That judge guy said I didn’t have to see her no more and I’d get over being scared. Maybe he’s right.
If you could trade places with one of the other characters in the book, which character would you really not want to be and why?
I wouldn’t want to be Ma or Pa or Rita or Bud or Joey. They were all mean to me and I hate them and got in fights all the time. Ma and Rita hit me a lot, and Ma, Bud, and Pa were drunk a lot and mean. Joey didn’t get drunk, but he started some fights and hated them all too. So I don’t want to be any of them. But I would like to be Lorie who isn’t in the story. I would like to be her or like her. She moved to a town called Minnefer somewhere out west. She says the sun is out most every day. I’d like that. She told me in a letter there’s no junk yard to play in either like I used to do. I’d like to be Lorie because she’s all grown up and don’t got to see Ma. There’s some man who knows Ma says I might have to see her or maybe even live with her, but nobody can make Lorie see her. I’ll run away again if they make me see her. I will. I will.
How do you feel about the ending of the book without giving too much away?
I’m sorry about Joey and Cooger, but not Ma or Pa. I didn’t like Bud much, but he was nicer’n Pa. But I’m happiest for me because I got a new home where there isn’t any belt. I never get hit no more. I hope nobody makes me go live with Ma again.
What words of wisdom would you give your author if s/he decided to write another book with you in it?
I don’t think I can be wise because I’m a kid. I like to read but I don’t want to be in any more books. It’s scary when you don’t know what’s going to happen and what if that writer decided she didn’t like me? I don’t want to be scared no more.
Thank you for this interview, Emily. Will we be seeing more of you in the future?
I don’t think so. I want to live with Mrs. Bradley forever and ever until I get my horse ranch. Then I’ll live out west and nobody will want to write a story about that. I won’t tell them where I live. Only Ted and Lorie and Mrs. Bradley.
Anne K. Edwards enjoys a life shared with her husband and several cats who rule the household and lives of its inhabitants. She is an avid reader, reviews ebooks, writes in several genres, and enjoys meeting other writers. She’s currently touring the blogosphere to promote her latest book, Dark of the Heart.
About the book
A runaway son has returned to the Tyles family fold after an absence of several years. A frightened boy when he left, Joey Tyles has returned a bitter man bent on revenge on the family that made his childhood a hell.
Find out more on Amazon.