Dont_Tell_Anyone_200Two characters from my most recent novel, Don’t Tell Anyone, have decided to interview each other. I swear I had nothing to do with this.

Charlie: Hello, today we’re here with the fabulous Elizabeth Barrett Browning Stanhope, star of stage, screen, and…

Liza: My kitchen. Thank you. Pop me a beer, would you?

Charlie (grabbing two and offering Liza one): Our readers are dying to know, Liza. Just what do you see in my brother?

Liza: I don’t know. What did you see in Adam’s best man?

Charlie: I refuse to answer that, because this might be one of those “safe for work” websites. So what glorious surprise are you whipping up for dinner tonight?

Liza: Are you kidding me? I’ve been studying for my Organic Chemistry midterm all afternoon, so I pulled out one of the casseroles the neighbors brought. It might be lasagna, it might be moussaka. I have no idea.

Charlie: Did you leave the cover on? Or else Mom’s gonna go bonkers again. She keeps yapping that the noodles will dry out and I’ll break my caps.

Liza: Yes, Charlie, I left the cover on. Your dental work is safe.

Charlie: 350 degrees?

Liza: Would you prefer to cook and I’ll ask the questions?

Charlie: Suit yourself.

Liza: Tell me about that mystery man who keeps calling.

Charlie: That, my dear Lizabelle, is the man I’m going to marry. Don’t tell anyone. God, especially my brother. He’ll freak.

Liza: So what else is new?

Charlie: I’m guessing the anger management program was a wash?

Liza: Adam hasn’t put a fist through a wall lately, so I consider it a success.

Charlie: I noticed the place looked a little less…Swiss-cheesy.

Liza: How’s work?

Charlie (shrugging): Eh, the usual. Four divas talking about Prada and health care in front of the camera and wanting to kill each other behind it. Hey, did you know that Joelle’s adopting another Russian orphan?

Liza: Is that the one with the big hair or the one with the bad collagen job?

Charlie: The one Mom keeps calling “Joel.”

Liza: I still have no idea what they’re talking about.

Charlie: Watch the show once in a while. You might get some grooming tips.

Liza: You might get some extra-crunchy surprises in your lasagna. Or moussaka. Or whatever the heck this is.

Charlie (leans over to peer into oven): Is that one of Cara’s dishes?

Liza: I think so.

Charlie: Well, just call Wal-Mart; I’m sure they’ll tell you the ingredients. So here’s another question the world is dying to know: how do you manage to write for the newspaper, go to school, and still have time to play referee between a Jewish mother and her eldest son?

Liza: I’m a good multi-tasker. I record everything. Trouble is, I have to be careful not to mix up the recordings or I could be making my midnight press deadline with an essay about mitochondria and the sodium-potassium pump.

Charlie: It would still be more entertaining than most of what’s in that paper.

Liza: And my chemistry professor might be baffled by my story about school board allocations. Here’s one for you. Back when we were in college, did you ever think you’d be catering to four daytime divas instead of becoming the next Geraldo Rivera?

Charlie: I seriously hate his mustache.

Liza: You’re dodging the question, Mr. Trager.

Charlie (shrugging): It’s a living. Meaning they can’t live with out me. At least you get to be Lois Lane once in a while. Where is Superman, anyway?

Liza: Taking Estelle to get her hair done. You know how much he loves that. God, I hope we have more beer.

Interested in reading the story? Through July, you can grab Don’t Tell Anyone from Smashwords at half off (about $1.50) Go to and use code SSW50 at checkout.

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