(Characters enter. First on stage is a lanky and slender business-woman with her hair pulled back into an attractive chignon. Behind her is a broad-shouldered man in a polo and slacks. Next is a pretty teenager with wiry curls, followed by a well-behaved little girl who looks very pleased to be here. The four take their seats.)
Let's start with Mara. I understand that you own your own business in Miller's Creek, Texas. What kind of business is it?
Mara (smoothing her business skirt and crossing her ankles in a very business-like manner): Yes. I own a real estate company. I started the business when Ashton and I first moved to Miller's Creek.
Where did you move from?
Mara: The Dallas area.
That seems like quite a stretch--from a city like Dallas to a small town like Miller's Creek.
Mara: It is quite a bit different, but I knew that Miller's Creek, because of its peaceful and nostalgic atmosphere, attracted a lot of attention from people moving to the area. I also felt like it would be a good place to raise my daughter Ashton. (She smiles at the youngest girl on stage, who has big blue eyes and a smile bigger than...well, Texas!)
Ashton, how do you like living in Miller's Creek?
Ashton (her eyes sparkling and her face radiant): It's fabulous. That's where my mom met and fell in love with Carter, and where Chloe met and fell in love with me. (The audience and characters all share a laugh.)
Chloe (the pretty teen-ager sitting beside Ashton elbows the little girl and winks): You got that right, squirt!
And Chloe, how do you like living in Miller's Creek?
Chloe (her smile disappearing): At first it was really hard. I struggled because I didn't really know my dad too well. Most of my childhood, he was in either Iraq or Afghanistan serving our country. Also, it was a new place and I didn't know anyone at school. That's hard for a teenager. (Her eyes glisten with tears.)
Carter (puts an arm around his daughter's shoulder and hugs her close): But she handled it like a pro. Now she has lots of friends in Miller's Creek and is the best cheerleader you've ever seen. (They exchange a smile.)
Carter, tell us about yourself.
Carter (places one ankle on the opposite knee): As Chloe told you, I served in the military for several years. When we first met Mara and Ashton I was on the Miller's Creek police force.
Sounds like you enjoy that kind of work.
Carter: In a sleepy place like Miller's Creek? Hardly.
Mara (begins laughing, a raucous laugh that totally doesn't fit her polished business image): Carter, is...how shall I put it? Well, let's just say that he lives for danger. (She pats him on the knee.) Miller's Creek is about as dangerous as a baby kitten.
Mara, how has knowing Carter impacted you?
(Now Carter chuckles.) Carter: Well, first of all, I taught her how to have fun again. (He reaches over and squeezes Mara's hand as they smile broadly at one another.)
Mara: That would be true.
And what is his idea of fun?
Mara (her smile disappearing and her tone wry): Jumping out of airplanes and rappelling off cliffs.
(My eyebrows shoot upward.) And you did those things as well?
Mara (her toothy grin back in place): Not right away. It took a little convincing.
Carter: Huh. More like a shove.
Ashton, do you find Carter to be funny?
Ashton: All the time! If you ask me, he's the best thing that ever happened to my mom. (She rolls her eyes knowingly.) Totally necessary for her happiness, in my opinion.
Mara: Watch it, prissy. (Mara faces me.) Back to your question of how Carter and Chloe have impacted our lives. The most important way in which they've made a difference is in being there for us and never giving up hope. (Her eyes pool with tears as she turns their way, her voice husky with emotion.) Ashton and I are very grateful.
(Handing Mara a tissue, which she takes and uses to gently wipe her eyes.) Can you be more specific?
Mara (suddenly cautious): While I'd love to go in more detail, there's no telling what predicaments Cathy Bryant, the author of our story, would make us go through if I gave away the storyline of CROSSROADS. (She stands, and the other three stand with her.) Come on, let's get out of here before we get in trouble.
Carter (placing a protective arm around her waist): Agreed. (The four make their way off-stage.)
(Turning to the audience.) Well, I guess that's the end of the interview. If you want to find out more about these characters, I guess you'll have to read CROSSROADS, the sixth stand-alone book in the Miller's Creek novels and a Christian contemporary romance. Below you'll find a link where you can find out more about the book. Thank you so much for joining us today!
To find out more about CROSSROADS and its characters, please visit:
After checking out this interview, who is your favorite character and why? Who are you most intrigued with? Which character makes you most interested in reading this book?