When I write a book, the characters appear in my imagination as though they were alive. So if a character were to walk into my fictional office, I could interview him or her. In fact I am expecting Lois Bunting to arrive any moment now. Lois is James Conway’s neighbor and the romantic heroine of Reducing Medical Costs (At The Cost of Health) published by Kellan Publishing.
Interview with Lois Bunting
Lois: Pardon me, Mr. Conger, but I’m here for my interview.
Author: Oh, I’m sorry. I was expecting an older woman. You don’t look a day over forty.
Lois: Thank you for the complement. I still have my natural hair color. I do my best to keep slim and trim, but I’m a year older than James Conway.
Author: I hear you are a retired English teacher.
Lois: I suppose I would still be teaching English if my arthritis hadn’t forced me to retire. I taught for twenty six years, most of that time at Belen High School.
Author: How did you meet James Conway?
Lois: Our subdivision backs onto the range where they graze cattle now and then. Everyone who has a dog runs their dog out there. I met Jim and Nancy shortly after they moved here. They were out with their dog Atlas. When they and I would meet on the range, Atlas and my little, white dog, Rags, had a lot of fun together. We have been good friends ever since. I was so sad when Nancy died.
Author: James talks about having taught school with you. Tell me about it.
Lois: After his early retirement from industry, he earned a teaching license and taught math. Most years we taught in rooms across the hall from each other. It was nice to have a big strong male teacher across the hall. We worked together to maintain discipline. He handled the fellows who thought they could intimidate me. Of course, they couldn’t, but it helped to have Jim backing me up. On the other hand the sassy girls present a problem for the male teachers. They would try to trap teachers into saying something sexually inappropriate, so I helped him out there.
Author: So you and James know each other very well.
Lois: Yes, both as neighbors and as coworkers.
Author: There have been rumors about James meeting with a younger woman and her white dog when he runs out on the range. Is that you?
Lois: I wouldn’t say we meet, but we do frequently cross paths out there.
Author: You are a widow, and James is a recent widower. Claudia, Charles’ wife says she thinks a romantic interest might be developing. Any comments?
Lois: Us romantic? At our ages? I’m not surprised Claudia said that. She writes romances. If we were starting a romance, do you think we would tell her, or you?
Author: So are you denying there may be a romance?
Lois: We are friends of long standing. We help each other, and I guess we do spend time together. Look, he’s lonesome. He needs a friend, especially after losing his wife.
Author: So, it appears you don’t mind keeping company with him.
Lois: Cooking for two is more enjoyable than cooking for one.
Author: I presume cooking for two also means the two of you enjoy the meal together.
Lois: You are getting awful personal in your questions.