As a way of introducing you to my debut novel, The Sweetest One, coming soon to an ebook reader near you, I thought I’d invite my main character, Paul Kingston, to come over and say a few words. He was gracious enough to agree to an interview. I had a great time talking to him, but I’m biased, since I created him. Well, without further ado, here we go.
Stephen L. Moss: Paul Kingston, welcome to StephenLMoss.com.
Paul Kingston: Thanks, I think.
SLM: Why don’t you tell us a bit about yourself?
PK: Well, what do you want to know? I’m 42 years old. I live in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and have for most of my life. Go Pack! I play bass guitar for a living. I’m a really big fan of good beer. I’m left handed and divorced. Not that those two things are necessarily related.
SLM: What part of Milwaukee do you call home?
PK: I’m in the Bayview section of town. South side, near Lake Michigan. It’s a beautiful neighborhood. I’m two blocks from the lake, only about 10-15 minutes from Downtown. We have an awesome farmers market in the park during the summer. In the winter it’s cold as a witch’s –
SLM: So, you play music for a living? That’s pretty cool. Are you with a band?
PK: A bunch of them. I gig regularly around town with three groups. One is called Josie Comes Home. It’s a Steely Dan tribute band. I sit in with the Clive Peterson Quartet quite a bit, when Clive is in town. Clive plays jazz trumpet, if you don’t know him. Very smooth. I’ve got a top 40 band that does weddings. We call ourselves the Screaming Jays. Besides that, I sub for a whole lot of other groups. I’m the first call bass guitarist for all the musicals when they come to town, the ones that use rock instruments anyway, and that’s most of them these days. I’m doing more and more studio work too. Commercial jingles, mostly.
SLM: Wow, so you are pretty eclectic musically.
PK: Yeah, I like just about every kind of music. Playing bass isn’t rocket science. Playing with Clive and his group kicks my ass, though.
SLM: So, you stick around Milwaukee, or do you tour as well?
PK: I’ve been around. I used to travel more than I do now. Let’s just say my last touring experience didn’t end well.
SLM: That was the Billy Reno tour?
PK: Look, I don’t really want to talk about that, okay?
SLM: Sore subject?
PK: You could say that.
SLM: And you mentioned that you were divorced?
PK: I mentioned that I was left-handed, too. But do you ask about that? I don’t think so.
SLM: How long were you married? And to whom?
PK: Her name was Susan Feranski. Well, that still is her name. She’s with the Milwaukee Police Department. We were married for less than two years. It ended about four years ago. She left me for a bigwig she worked with. I think his name was Dick Foreskin.
SLM: Did the divorce have anything to do with the Billy Reno tour?
PK: I thought we agreed that subject was out of bounds.
SLM: Sorry, can’t blame me for trying.
PK: Yes I can.
SLM: So, how does it feel to be the star of my debut mystery novel?
PK: I’m glad you asked me that, Moss. I’ll tell you how it feels. It feels lousy. You frame me for murder, send some cop with an attitude and an agenda chasing after me. I’ve got to run around trying to prove I didn’t kill anybody, and as if that’s not bad enough you’ve got this crazy girl stalking me and telling me the dead guy promised her I help her. All this while I’m trying to keep things together for one of the highest profile studio gigs I’ve had in years, with Mandy Silver, the country star. Yeah, I could have thought of a number of better things to do with a few April days than being in your book.
SLM: Yes, but I’m going to make you famous.
PK: Don’t quit your day job.
SLM: This probably isn’t a good time to mention I’m working on a second book about you.
PK: Keep that up and someday I might really be guilty of murder.
SLM: Well, we shouldn’t talk too much. I don’t want to give away the story.
PK: Funny you should say that. I was going to mention that the real killer is –
SLM: Hey, um, how about a beer?
PK: You buying?
SLM: Absolutely. Lefty’s?
PK: Best idea you’ve had in a while, Mr. Novelist.
SLM: Thanks for coming to talk to our readers.
PK: Did I have a choice?
SLM: No, not really
PK: You’re welcome.