We’re thrilled to have here today Dolores Walsh from Marie Bacigalupo’s new novella, Ninth-Month Midnight. Dolores is a 39-year-old full-time mother and former schoolteacher living in Fresh Meadows, Queens, a borough of New York City. It is a pleasure to have her with us today at Beyond the Books.
Thank you so for this interview, Dolores. 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?
Well, to be truthful, I’m not absolutely sure Ms. Bacigalupo believed me. She may have favored my husband, Joe, who trusts the facts and just the facts, ma’am, and doesn’t believe anything without seeing and feeling the concrete evidence. I, on the other hand, believe in a spirit world that impinges on ours and provides a channel to loved ones who have passed over. Mind you, I didn’t accept spiritualism blindly. I researched the literature on extrasensory perception and the spirit world, and came to the conclusion that it was quite possible that Sal Esperanza, my psychic, could connect me with my precious baby. Ms. Bacigalupo never says it outright, but I can’t help suspecting she was skeptical all along.
Do you feel the author did a good job colorizing your personality? If not, how would you like to have been portrayed differently?
She portrayed me as clinically depressed and hinted that my sense of reality might have been shaken. Yes, I was depressed for a long time. Who wouldn’t be? I had lost my baby. But I still insist my sense of reality was intact. I just happen to define reality in much broader terms than some people.
What do you believe is your strongest trait?
I think my strongest trait is my open-mindedness, my willingness to entertain possibilities that aren’t immediately evident. And thank God for that! If I had listened to my husband and my mother, I would still be a zombie, walking the earth but dead inside.
Hmm. I guess I’d have to say I don’t make friends easily. I’m ill-at-ease among strangers. I was a skinny teenager and tall for my age, so I never felt comfortable in my own skin. People tell me I’m beautiful, but I suspect they’re just being kind.
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!)?
Ideally, Mira Sorvino would make a good fit. She’s 5’10”, tall like me, and Italian-American, again like me. She’s an Academy Award winner so I would trust her to understand and express my feelings accurately. Listen to me speculating about someone making a film about me! Now that’s unreal!
Do you have a love interest in the book?
It hurts to talk about it, but yes. I fell desperately in love with Sal Esperanza, my psychic. Though Joe has forgiven me, I still feel guilty for betraying my husband and committing a mortal sin with Sal. God forgive me, I could not resist him then and, if I’m being honest with myself, I’m not sure I could resist him even now if he suddenly reappeared.
At what point of the book did you start getting nervous about the way it was going to turn out?
When I was in labor, Joe and the obstetrician were exchanging furtive glances. I panicked when the nurses wouldn’t let me see my baby after I gave birth. All I could think was, Oh no, no! What’s going on?
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 really would not want to be Lucy Randazzo. She’s a bereaved mother I met at the support group my psychiatrist recommended. Lucy lost her son and husband in one fell swoop in an auto accident. Then she lost Sal when he and I had an affair, though I had no idea they had been lovers. I can tell you I was at least as hurt as she was . . . no, I was enraged . . . to find out there was another woman in Sal’s life.
How do you feel about the ending of the book without giving too much away?
Without giving too much away? Suffice it to say I was surprised.
What words of wisdom would you give your author if s/he decided to write another book with you in it?
If Ms. Bacigalupo decided to write about me in another book, I’d remind her that I’m not the same person I was at the beginning of Ninth-Month Midnight. She’d have to show readers how subsequent events have changed me.
Thank you for this interview, Mrs. Walsh. Will we be seeing more of you in the future?
That remains to be seen. My psychic is no longer around to consult (lol).
Find out more about Ninth-Month Midnight on Amazon!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
A former copywriter and administrator, Marie Bacigalupo studied creative writing under Gordon Lish at the Fiction Center and participated in workshops sponsored by the University of Iowa and Story Magazine. Her work has appeared in The Examined Life Journal; Romance Magazine; New Realm Magazine; Perspective Literary Magazine; Spark: A Creative Anthology; and other publications. One of over 7000 entrants, she won First Place in the 13th Annual Writer’s Digest Short-Short Story Competition.
Visit her at http://mariebacigalupo.com/