Good morning, Abby. I have to tell you, this is kind of strange – interviewing the main character in my novel, REDUCED.
Yeah…imagine how I feel…I’m not real comfortable with all this publicity.
Well, let’s start with you. Tell us a little about yourself.
Not much to tell, really. My parents died when I was eight, I went to live with Aunt Lois. She was okay. Not a lot of fun for a kid to be around. I kept going to camp every summer; she was happy to get rid of me for a few weeks and I met a lot of great friends there.
Where did you go to college?
Oh, a small school, in central Missouri. Not much to tell about that either. I finished my degree and got out of there as soon as I could.
Then I bummed around Arizona and New Mexico for a while; sometimes up into Colorado. Did a few odd jobs to get by, worked on a couple ranches.
How did you learn about tracking and hunting, and all those other skills you show us in REDUCED?
Some of those I actually learned about at camp. But the rest, well, I met this old Indian out west, his name was Peytah. He taught me all about animal habits, tracks, hiding out. All that stuff. Came in handy, wouldn’t you say?
Well, yes, absolutely! How do you feel about your role in REDUCED?
Honestly, I was kind of surprised. I usually like to stay in the background, taking care of things, behind the scenes, you know? So here I find myself front and center, and it was a little uncomfortable. But then, well, everything changed. When the world as you know it has so completely vanished, you do what you gotta do I guess.
Tell us about Juliet.
Oh, Jules. She can be so sweet, but she’s really a tough kid. Even when she first came to us, she was so small but so determined. She’d just lost her parents – I don’t even want to know the details of that, and she’s never talked about it – and she really just took to me. Not sure why, except I was the one who found her that day. Maybe I reminded her of her mom, I don’t know. But she was eager to learn, and very responsible. She doesn’t seem to have any real issues, growing up like she did, which is kind of surprising; on the other hand, it’s all she’s known.
So what’s next for you two?
It’s been pretty quiet around here for a few years; five or six, actually. I’m sure things are going to pick up, I’ve seen a lot of activity in the sky lately. We never stop watching and waiting. Colonel Barton couldn’t possibly give up so easily, and Co-opCom never stops – we do hear things out here. But, at the same time, we just carry on. Until the next…whatever it is that’s coming. Because it’ll show up – “they” will show up, here, sometime. Soon.