1. Tell me a little about yourself—name, profession, home, family, the usual.
My name is Jane Margaret Blake (my dad watched a lot of M*A*S*H, what can I say? I think he longed for Margaret and Henry to wind up together somehow). I grew up near Seattle, but I’ve bummed around a lot in my life: taught English in Japan, slept on some friends’ couch in Boston, did my time at a hippy ashram in Taos. I guess you could say that’s my profession: never staying in one place long enough for anything to be permanent.
Now that I’m closer to forty than thirty, something seemed to pull me back to Seattle. It could be my best friend, Charlie, who lives here with his annoying wife and his wonderful little boy. Or it could be the little stories I write when I’m in a trance, fables I call them. They have a way of coming true and creating havoc in my life. I don’t control them, I promise. If I could, my life wouldn’t look like this, would it? I’d be settled with the man I love, happily ever after. Right?
Good thing my neighborhood is chock-full of taverns, including my favorite, Molly’s bar, just a short walk down the street from my apartment.
2. What happened to you, so you ended up in this crazy adventure the novel talks about?
Yeah – how did I get here? As far as I can tell, the central mistake of my life happened when Charlie and I were about to graduate from college. I was in love with him – crazy in love with him, still am, really – but I didn’t know how to tell him. So instead I shared my deepest secret: my ability to write these damn fables that come true. One had come to me just then, and it seemed to say that Charlie was going to run off to Vegas and marry some other girl, someone he wasn’t really in love with. I guess the same Wicked Spirit who puts the stories in my head made me share that little fable with Charlie, and it made him so mad he threw me out of his apartment. Worse, he did marry that girl. And I started wandering.
So now it’s a million years later, or whatever, and he’s a father and he doesn’t need me. Why did I come back to Seattle? Did the Wicked Spirit bring me here, with that one little story I just discovered, about a man leaving hell to seek paradise? This guy’s been in my tales for a while, and now I seem close to being able to write a happy ending. Maybe.
3. Jane, do you believe in happy-ever-after?
Me? Well, I… I mean, you know, I think… happy-ever-after? Um… Can someone pour me a drink?