An Interview with Ram

Victoria: Well, Sir Hawking. Always a pleasure.

Ram: So you say.

Victoria: Come on. For once could we just have a quiet and cordial conversation? Can I make you tea?

Ram: (slouches in chair and gives me a look of incredulity, which is distracting because the slouch posture is very sexy and I’m supposed to be concentrating on the interview and not another woman’s husband) ‘Tis your best plan for makin’ up to me? Fuckin’ tea?

Victoria: Well, uh, I can’t say that I actually had a plan per se. Did you have something else in mind? Something you wanted?

Ram: You know perfectly well what I want.

Victoria: I know it probably seems that way, but it’s not entirely true. I suspect that you want to go back to your little bit of Irish heaven with Elora, Helm, and Blackie and raise Alsatian dogs in quiet familial bliss.

Ram: Could no’ have said it better myself. Like I said, you know perfectly well what the fuck I want.

Victoria: Yes, but are you sure? I mean you lived a pretty tumultuous life as a vampire slayer. You’re the most celebrated Black Swan knight of the last hundred years. That’s a lot of excitement to trade in for life on the farm.

Ram: Aye. And I can no’ wait to be doin’ precisely that. You, mistress, have the power to make that happen with a simple stroke of the pen. Or click of the keyboard or whatever.

Victoria: I could, but here’s the thing. I saw the little smile and the dark twinkle in your eyes when I was just talking about you as legendary hunter. I know you love the recognition. Remember how you felt when Elora gushed all over you, repeatedly. “Oh, Ram, your portrait is so handsome, your beauty captured for all time here, where you belong, in the Hall of Heroes. You’re perfection personified. So special, so unique, unlike any other.” (I delivered this paraphrase in an exaggerated mock-Elora voice.)

Ram: (laughing) Aye, you have me there, mistress. Who would no’ fuckin’ crave hearin’ such thin’s from his beautiful mate?

Victoria: Everyone longs for that sort of attention, Ram. The point is that you don’t get that sort of attention down home on the farm.

Ram: Perhaps ‘no. But as was pointed out in Book Five in a tussle over whether or no’ Storm and I would be playin’ rugby, I’m no’ gettin’ younger. Will you be gettin’ me sliced up in bar fights when I’m ninety then? Give the others their fair chance at sheet time.

Victoria: But you’re my favorite, Ram.

Ram: (gaping) And bein’ your favorite means always bein’ one fuckin’ step away from catastrophe?

Victoria: Well… yes. Fact is, slogging about in Wellies feeding chickens and watering wolf-dogs is not novel-worthy because, well, because it’s not novel.

Ram: For the moment, let’s be leavin’ me out o’ the discussion. What about my wife? The injuries you’ve visited on me are paper cuts next to what you do to her. Great Paddy in the Mornin’. The way you punish her is beyond… (stops abruptly, narrows eyes, then pins me with a glare) So I’m your favorite, am I? Are you jealous of my wife?

Victoria: What? Of course not!

Ram: Jealous enough to be punishin’ her in unspeakable ways?

Victoria: No! Ram! Do you hear yourself? That’s crazy talk.

Ram: Oh? ‘Twas you who’s so fond o’ sayin’ the simplest explanation is probably the correct one. And that is, without a doubt, the simplest explanation.

Victoria: This is an exception to that rule.

Ram: After everythin’ she went through to reach my world, you would think a writer with heart would be seekin’ to brin’ her only happiness.

Victoria: Again, happiness without incident? Not interesting.

Ram: Cold-hearted bitch. Tell your husband I said ‘tis unbelievable you snagged a mate.

Victoria: If that was true, the cold-hearted bitch part, shouldn’t you be trying to suck up to me instead of insulting me?

Ram: Well, then I would no’ be the hot-blooded rash personality you’re so hot for, would I?

Victoria: (nothing to say to that)

Ram: So here’s my proposition. If you want me to continue cooperatin’ with your farfetched ridiculous pain-in-the-ass stories that no one in their right mind would be believin’, which – by the way – says quite a lo’ about your readers, then you will lay off my wife. AND my child.

Victoria: First, my readers are perfectly sane. They have excellent taste in literature and marvelous creative imaginations.

Ram: (smirks)

Victoria: You may be my favorite, at least you were before this interview, but the Black Swan saga is Elora’s story. I can’t make promises about the entire future of the tale, but I can promise you that Elora and Helm pass through Book Six without injury. How’s that?

Ram: (considers) How ‘bout me?

Victoria: (seeing the opportunity for pay back, smiles wickedly) You, my love, will have to wait and see.

Ram: Paddy.

Victoria: Exactly.