Gentle readers, we continue with our series of character interviews I am conducting. Recently, I had the delight of chatting with Carolyn Masters, the heroine of the Futuristic cozy mystery novel Dark Side of the Moon(2011/Muse It Up Publishing) by author Terri Main.
POV Boot Camp(PBC): Carolyn, what do you love most about Living on the Moon?
Carolyn Masters: One-Sixth G. I step on the scales in the morning and I weigh less than last year’s Thanksgiving Turkey. Seriously, It’s classic small town life. I feel like I’m living in Mayberry. We have a Park with a bandshell, Ivy covered Walls at the University, a town square with small shops all around. Of course, there are the holographic sign twirlers during sales events and the Sunlight and weather is manufactured. But it does remind me of towns I lived in as a child.
PBC:So, any drawbacks or challenges?
Masters: One-sixth G. Last year I was having Thanksgiving dinner and forgot about the gravity difference and braced myself to heft out the 13 kilo turkey and ended up throwing it all the way to the ceiling, but it floated back down so I could catch it, but not before putting on quite a show for my friends. And then there are the murders. I thought I’d left that part of my life behind me. I’m not a profiler with the bureau anymore, but Mike, he’s our criminology professor at the college. He’s – well, lets just say he’s an acquired taste, and under that hard as nails cop exterior he is really quite–. What was the question again? Oh yes,. I’m a college professor of history, why do they keep sending for me to play Nancy Drew?
PBC: What are your greatest hopes and dreams?
Masters: There was an old 20th Century Sit com (that’s my field of expertise 20th Century Popular Culture) called Keeping Up Appearances. In one episode the harried husband is asked “So, what do you want?” (meaning for breakfast) and he responds not listening, “Oh, just to be happy in a modest sort of way.” That’s my greatest hope. I’ve done all those “big” things. You know being an undercover FBI agent and foiling terrorist plots are a lot more glamorous on the vids than in real life.
PBC: What are your greatest fears? Weaknesses?
Masters: Uh- well. It’s about Mike. I don’t know if I should say this publicly, but, well, after our last case, well actually during it, right before we went, well, he kissed me and I kissed back. I mean we are both in our 50’s. We aren’t kids. Sure we have another half century ahead of us, but … Well, I’m a life long single. And there are well things… Does that answer your question?
PBC: Do you have any hobbies or special interests?
Masters: Ah, much better. My hobbies and my work overlap a bit. I collect vid chips of old 20th Century television programs. You might see me on a weekend doing a “marathon” as they used to call it of Mork and Mindy or Babylon 5.
PBC: How about pet peeves? What annoys you?
Masters: People not listening to me when I talk. Mike, for instance, I tell him over and over again. He’s the cop. I’m not. I’m retired, but does he listen. No! He just tells me to meet him somewhere for some crime scene. Then he hangs up without even saying “goodbye.” Is that right? I ask you.
PBC: What do you value most?
Masters: Oh, I know this sounds super religious and all, especially for an academic living at the dawn of the 22nd Century, but that would have to be my ability to spend time with God. I know, who believes in God anymore? I mean believe enough to talk to him on a regular basis. I don’t know. Maybe it is self-delusion. My own scholastacism teaches me to doubt everything. But if it is, it’s a delusion I intend to keep. I stand with Pascal on this one.
PBC:Tell me a bit more about your family and friends. What do you like about them? Dislike?
Masters: Both my parents are gone. My mother passed away a couple of years ago. That’s when I decided to move to the moon. I don’t have any siblings. I didn’t use to have many friends until I came to the moon. I guess my best friend is Linda. She’s with the physics department at the university. But we really don’t talk much about the school, except for your basic gossip. Who’s seeing whom? What professor will be taking maternity leave? That sort of thing. Mostly, I doubt either of us could remember half our conversations. They are not so much about topics as they are about being there. I couldn’t tell her much about our adventure, but somehow she knew not to ask about details and just ask about feelings. I’d say she is my first best friend.
PBC: Carolyn, in your own words, could you tell us a bit about the author of your novel, Terri Main?
Masters: Well, we had a lot of things in common we are both college instructors. She teaches communication and is doing something with her students using the Uninet. Oh, that’s right you guys still call it the Internet. These neutron beam calls are great for historical research, but I keep forgetting the nomenclature. She has a tendency to make me sound a bit smarter and braver than I really am. She calls it artistic license.
PBC: So, Carolyn, what do you think of Terri? What do you like or admire about her? Anything you dislike?
Masters: I admire the fact that she works with community college students. Here at the university we screen out all except the most capable to excelling academically. Her college takes everyone from students we would love to have to adults who dropped out of high school and are looking for a second chance. And in two years, she and others like her, make them ready for universities like ours. What I dislike, is how she keeps trying to imply in her stories that there is something going on between Mike and I. We are colleagues. Sure we go out to dinner a lot. But just as friends. And there was that kiss… But that was in the midst of an interplanetary crisis.
PBC: Given name, if you had one question you could ask Terri, what would it be?
Masters: Why me? I’m not that interesting.
PBC: If you could change one thing in Dark Side of the Moon, what would it be?
Masters: Maybe make me a bit less brave. Oh, and to stop implying that all the communities on the moon are upscale. We have miners, farmers, and then there is Aldrin, a poor, “company” town which is singularly depressing.
PBC: Carolyn, if you could spend a whole day with Terri where would you go and what would you do together?
Masters: Well, she and I come from the same hometown. So, I would love to have her give me the tour of the place as it is in your times. I’d love to see a sawmill circa 2011 before the use of particle beam cutting. My Dad worked in a sawmill. I’d love to see how they were back then. I’d also like to take a walk by the ocean. By our time they had planted oil rigs off Trinidad head. I’d like to see the coast for once without them. Of course, I’d probably have to do all this in a wheel chair. I’m afraid my body has adapted to low-G and my legs would break as soon as I tried to put my whole weight on them.
Masters: Well, Mike has a bit less hair and I have this one lock of hair that never lays flat, but other than that they got us pretty close. I have a few more wrinkles, but I refuse to have any procedures done. You can’t tell anyone’s age any more.
Thanks for stopping in and chatting with us, Carolyn! Readers, it’s your turn! Got any questions for Carolyn about the moon or anything else on your mind? Comment away. If one of your characters would like to chat with us here, send me an email and we’ll set a date.