Interview with Jacob Delaney   7 comments

This week the blog hop is about interviewing one of my characters.

Jacob Delaney is one of my characters from Transformation Project and I decided to interview him, quite frankly, because he’s an older fella and I don’t think he’s going to make it to the end of the series, so I wanted to catch him while he’s still talking to me.

Yes, I know that’s weird, but that is how I roll as a writer. My characters talk to me or they die, because I can’t write their stories without their cooperation. Jacob doesn’t appear when I think about where this series ends, so I have to wonder if we’ll be attending his funeral sometime after the third book in the series.

My interview takes place right at the end of Life As We Knew It.

Before we get started, check out PJ MacLayne’s blog and catch her interview with a character from one of her books.

Welcome to the blog, Jacob. Tell us something about yourself.

Thanks for having me, Lela. I’m from Emmaus, Kansas, the town I was born in. I’m 95 years old, a widower, a World War 2 veteran and a crop duster. I’ve been the mayor of my town and I own a feed store with my son, Rob. I have four children (two women and one man living, our eldest son died young). I have over a dozen grandchildren and two great-grandchildren. My daughters do not play a roll in the books and only three of my grandchildren live in Emmaus. One just got back from … well, he’s not saying. Let’s see, I like singing and flying and I’m a deacon and trustee at Emmaus Baptist Church. And I miss my wife, who died last year.

How long were you mayor of the town?

Six years. One term. That was enough. It was like herding cats. That was before I realized you don’t need to herd people. If you leave them alone, they’ll mostly figure out what’s good for them all on their own, but it probably won’t be what you thought was good for them, so maybe you ought to just figure out what’s good for you and let other people alone to figure it out for themselves. Which is not to say that you can’t give them your opinion when they ask.

Front Cover LAWKI no windowYou sound like an anarchist.

I am. Don’t get me wrong — I’m not for blowing things up and destroying society. I don’t hold to violence unless someone is being violent toward me. I just think we don’t need our neighbors banding together to decide what we should all do as a community and then forcing those who don’t want to go along into doing what the majority wants. That may be very democratic of folks, but it’s also dictatorial. Government’s not a bad thing when it represents a community outside of that community, but when it dictates to the people inside of its community, you end up with half the folks feeling like they’re not be represented and being bossed around by the other half. That’s democracy, which is no more than two rattlesnakes and a rabbit voting on what’s for dinner. It never works out well for the rabbit.

But you served as mayor?

Yeah, 45 years ago when I didn’t know better. A man can change his mind as he grows wiser with age and I did.

Interesting! Tell me what’s going on in your life right now.

Well, we were having a nice, if somewhat tense, visit with my grandson who just got back from parts unknown when some idiots decided to blow up the world … well, not the world, just select cities in the United States. Right now, we’re hunkered down in our storm cellars, basements and my concrete feed store waiting out the radiation rain. The Geiger counter says we’re okay for now. I guess when it stops raining, we’ll have to decide what we do from there.

Who do you think did the bombing?

How would I know that? And does it matter? The radiation doesn’t care who unleashed it on us. We’ll still have to clean up the mess they made no matter who they were.

Why do you think they did it?

Now, there’s a more intelligent question. Why indeed! If I were to conjecture, I think I’d guess they were angry at someone. They hit cities, not rural areas, so maybe they hate city-dwellers. They hit American cities, so maybe they’re angry at the United States. It’s not like we don’t deserve that — messing in other countries, dictating their politics, bombing their people. It was bound to happen sooner or later. But there are plenty of homegrown nuts who might have done it too. Half the country can boss around the other half of the country only so long before someone with a lower tolerance for totalitarianism blows a gasket and figures out a way to smash some china.

How many cities?

I don’t know. A dozen, maybe. Two within driving distance of here, I know. Denver and Kansas City are gone. Shane, my grandson, said it’s mostly transportation and communications hubs. If he’s right, then I think they meant to disrupt the United States, not destroy it entirely. Maybe it’s a foreign government that wants our resources. Maybe we owe them so much money we were refusing to repay. Maybe it’s Americans who are just tired of how far this country has drifted from its founding principles. LIke I said, it doesn’t matter who they are. We’ll still have to clean up the mess. Maybe we’ll do it better after.

You don’t sound hopeless.

Now what is there to be hopeless over? The world as we knew it just ended. All hail the past, get ready for the future. The sun will come up tomorrow and we’d better get ready for it.

Now that doesn’t sound very anarchist.

Sure it does. I’m very willing to come alongside my neighbors and help them clean things up … if they want me to. I just don’t think they have to do it the same way I do it.

What about your son? Isn’t Rob the current mayor?

He is. He’s going to have to decide whose side he’s on — the military or the town? My experience is that the military will roll up to our town line soon enough and they’ll have their own ideas of how we ought to do things and Rob’s going to have to say if the town will cooperate with that. He served 20 years in the military. It’s going to be hard for him to put that aside. He needs to realize that he can either represent the town to the military or represent the military before the town, but not both. We’ll see if he’s been listening to me over the years.

What do you think will be the most important thing for your community when the rain stops?

I’m not going to dictate to the community what it needs. They can figure that out for themselves. I know what I think the family ought to do and that’s secure food and medicine. Winter’s coming and the town is surrounded by absentee corn fields. I say we need to confiscate that corn and worry about paying the owners later.

Isn’t that stealing?

If the owners were in Chicago, Houston, Kansas City … can you steal from dead people? You don’t waste resources in a survival situation and, if we do, we pretty much accept that we’re going to starve. Think about what it means — the major transportation hubs destroyed — trucks and trains no longer have direct paths to get anywhere. We’re going to have to look to feeding ourselves at least for the near-future.

Won’t the military or FEMA bring supplies?

My son has been trying to get FEMA on the phone all day. No luck so far. The only reason we knew to hunker down before the rain got here was a National Guard report telexed to the local newspaper. That’s an organization that can’t handle a single storm, let alone dozens of terrorist attacks all across the country. No, we need to act as if we’re on our own. If they show up, we can be pleasantly surprised.

Do you think there will be more attacks?

Hmmm, now how would I know that? Just because I’m as old as dirt doesn’t mean I’m God. I can’t read minds. I guess you’ll have to check back with me later to see what’s happened.

Thank you, Jacob, for speaking with me during this crisis and I wish you luck in the coming days.

Watch for “Objects in View” to find out what happens to Jacob.

If you care to join the blog hop

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7 responses to “Interview with Jacob Delaney

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  1. Reblogged this on aurorawatcherak.

    Like

  2. Jacob sounds like an interesting old man. Love how he speaks his mind.

    Like

  3. Hehehe! He sounds like some of my neighbors from my hometown. I guess that means you did a great job making him real. Thank you for sharing him.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Awesome interview Lela. I’m with Kelly, I think I know him as well.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. The irony of your first line struck my funny bone and Jacob kept me giggling throughout the interview. He is so real and quite a hoot. I like him.

    Like

    • The thing about Jacob is, he’s fine with going home to his wife. He’s lived a nice long life. He isn’t tired of it yet, but he’s not going to go kicking and wailing either. He’s lived a life and he’s ready for the next whenever it’s time to go. I love that about the man he is partially patterned after.

      Like

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