Interview Subject: Tracy Douglas Allen, a.k.a. “The Big Baritone”, strong support character, famous performer in his day, skilled gambler, and often makes women go weak in the knees…..
AUTHOR: Welcome, Mr. Allen. It’s so nice that you could be here. I know how busy you are.
TDA: (tipping his hat) My pleasure, ma’m. This being the 21st century and all – you may call me Tracy.
AUTHOR: Thank you. Tell us all, Tracy, how did a country gent like yourself end up in New York City?
TDA: Well, I’ll tell you, (he leaned back comfortably, filling out the big chair with ease, stretched out his long legs and folded his hands over his chest) my parents both passed away and I had no other family in Kentucky at all. So, when my preacher suggested I look for a job in New York I thought that sounded like a nice idea.
AUTHOR: What happened when you got there?
TDA: I took a job at a very fancy restaurant, and one day while I was serving caviar I started singing. People thought it sounded good, so I kept right on singing. From there I signed a very lucrative contract with a manager who got me on stage and earning more money in a week than I thought I’d ever earn in a year. Of course, I was very happy about the whole arrangement.
AUTHOR: And your personal life? You’re married?
TDA: Yes. (clearing his throat quite elegantly) I have a wife in the story. She’s a good woman. We have children together. She settles on a few thousand acres in what you’d now call Wyoming. It was Cheyenne country, but, I met a Cheyenne family in my travels and assisted them in their time of need. They assured me my wife and children would be safe near their people’s land.
AUTHOR: May I ask – why did she live so far away from you? Why not live in New York?
TDA: She said she wanted to live out where she could breathe. Didn’t like cities. She was born in Pennsylvania but grew up in Europe. Her family had money. Has money.
AUTHOR: I see. And that arrangement works out for the two of you?
TDA: (nodding) It does.
AUTHOR: What about this other woman – Nora Wells? How did you meet her?
TDA: (he paused to look out the window before answering) Nora’s special. I met her in a hotel lobby. She’s a widow. Some years older than myself but I’ll be damned if she isn’t the prettiest thing I ever……(stopping abruptly and changing his tone) Nora Wells is a fine woman. I admire her very much.
AUTHOR: And she’s a fan of your music?
TDA: I believe so.
AUTHOR: Tracy, I think my readers would very much like to know if you fell in love with Nora. Did that happen?
TDA: I’d like to change the subject.
AUTHOR: All right. I can do that if you’d like. Let’s talk about your gambling skill. I hear it’s quite strong.
TDA: YES! (the powerful baritone voice filled the room) Is that what your readers wanted to hear from me?!
AUTHOR: Uh….are we still talking about Nora then? I thought you’d rather not…..
TDA: Confound you modern women! Is the art of discretion really dead? I’m not supposed to just say that I love her so openly! No one in my time just blurts it out!
AUTHOR: I’m so sorry. I was only trying to conduct an interesting interview…
TDA: Interesting? Nora? You have no idea!
AUTHOR: Tracy, would you like to talk more about Nora? Or should we switch to your gambling skill?
TDA: Look, (he leaned his large frame forward) what’s between Nora and me is private. It comes out in the story of course. But for now it needs to be kept quiet.
AUTHOR: All right. Would you care to tell us about your gambling expertise?
TDA: (smiling broadly) My late Uncle Cleetus taught me when i was but 10 years old. I took to playing poker like a fish to water. He saw right away that I would be far better than he ever was – God rest his soul.
AUTHOR: Uncle Cleetus was shot during a poker game was he not?
TDA: (nodding) Yes. He never was a good cheat. The ace he had pulled from his secret pocket was still in his hand when he died. We buried it with him. Thought it was fitting.
AUTHOR: I see. But you’re very good apparently. You win a lot?
TDA: Oh yes. Often. It’s not polite to discuss how well I do each time, but, suffice it to say the benefits are worth the risks.
AUTHOR: One last question, Tracy – what would you like to see happen in Book # 3?
TDA: More action and devilish doings. (he flashes that dazzling smile) I think you’ve started that already in Book # 2, and I’d like to see you continue down that path.
AUTHOR: Thank you, Tracy! It’s been a pleasure having you here!
TDA: (once again touching the rim of his hat, still smiling) Ma’m.