This was supposed to be a short interview, till it became super long like an essay, and now it is transformed into a novella.
Bold: the original questions set by me
Blue italics: James J Cudney IV
Red: Me, the interviewer extraordinaire
I have always wanted to do something different, and since I have already reviewed the book Father Figure, I decided to grill James J. Cudney, the fourth, crown prince of the land, This Is My Truth Now.
You know it’s a real place, right? Any time you tease that I haven’t responded to a comment on some social media platform, it’s because I am visiting my homeland, This Is My Truth Now. It’s somewhere in Europe, I believe, but it’s also got an element of time travel, so I can’t be certain. Nor am I permitted to reveal the exact details. (Wow!! I need someone to investigate this!!
Initially I thought I would char and burn him with the most serious, boring questions I could think of. But I realized I couldn’t do that to him (I am kind at those rare times)
There are many times you are kind. And when you are not, I just assume I’ve done something wrong to deserve it. Seems fair, right? Oh, and thanks for making this one of the kinder times.
You wish, don’t you?? Look at the questions I have for you… (cackle of a laughter follows..)
So let’s try humor.. (not that I am humorous, but I can always make fun of James J Cudney, the fourth… Oh I mean fun WITH Jay😉)
All humorous escapades need audience, and I can’t think of one better than Nina, my cozy babe. Nina, get the popcorn and the drinks (the soft ones, we know what happens when both you guys drink… Refer Twitter )
Oh, wait, you’re just trying to be funny now? And I thought all along… never mind. I feel like you’re going somewhere with this drinking and cozy thing. Perhaps we need a cozy mystery series where a trio investigate… a lush, a flirt and a professor. I’m not saying who is who, but while one tries to discover the crime, another just makes a mess of it. The third is of course the one with all the sense who solves it finally.
Well, Nina and I know who is a lush… We got to see the effects of it first hand a few days ago😂😂 (Refer Twitter)
Hey Jay, thank you for being part of my blog. I have written many posts on you and on your books. So this post, I’ve decided that it would be more interactive. You get to ask questions too… And make fun WITH me…
There are many others who would ask you about your book and your writing, so I will keep to borderline questions, some humorous ones.
My first question: Who is your book boyfriend and where would your first date be?
What??? Did you start the questions before the interviewer??Just to remind you, you are the interviewee (cackle like a witch…)
My book boyfriend would be Roarke from the J. D. Robb series (Eve Dallas’ husband. I hate her for having him. I WANT HIM!!!). With Roarke, everyday would be a date… He is so fucking sexy!!! The lady in me says dinner and dancing. But the woman in me says BED!! Hell yeah!!
Now let’s start the real interview…
You and me are like the characters in your book Father Figure, 2 parallel lives from different time zones like Amalia and Brianna, yet having their meeting point. Was it gradual for you, getting to know me? I liked you from day 1. Are you the sort who would get to know people slowly or do you make the occasional snap judgements? Hmmm… I’m a bit stuck on trying to decide which of us is Amalia and which is Brianna. I think I’d like to be Amalia only because I already live in NYC and that’s where Brianna is from. (Sheesh.. Focus, babes) Aww… you liked me from day 1, that’s kind to hear. I knew you couldn’t be mean to me. (blush blush) I’m a mix of both. If someone does something bad or that I don’t like, I will immediately write them off in my head. If I’m presented with facts or an opportunity to see them in a different light, I can change my mind. But I won’t actively go in search of changing it once I’ve seen that negative side first. As for you… I did immediately like you, but it’s gradual to get to know someone, so it probably took a few comments and posts before I knew you were more than just a random drive by responder. Did I just make up a word again? (Again??? What else did you make up?? The mystery deepens. Nina, this one is for you to investigate.)
There is one question that is always going to be in my mind how are you today, brief or debriefed? (To the audience, this has been an ongoing joke between us since many months. It has all kinds of innuendos. But it has a bond too between Jay and me)
Well how do I answer this question without a more detailed explanation? And then you’d accuse me of not being brief. So… in physical terms, I am boxer-briefed. In figurative terms, I’m debriefed because I’ve just revealed the secret. That said, they do not match the outfit, which is always a concern of Roda’s @ Growing Self blog. Between the two of you, I worry more about my briefs than I ever have before. Keep it up and I’m goin’ commando from now on. Except at the gym. (What? Where? When? Tell me the time and place, I am there. Till then a pic would suffice. cackle, cackle… Come to me, said the spider to the fly)
My second question: What other country would you live in and why?
Since I have never traveled anywhere, I would love to travel Europe and then probably settle down in Switzerland, coz the Alps look beautiful, and I am fed up of living in humid heat, would love the cold and snow.
When I started blogging, I knew Jay the blogger, when did Jay the author start developing? Was blogging the stepping stone for writing novels?
I wrote a lot as a kid in grammar and high school. When I went away to college, I took many creative and business writing courses. I won a few awards for poems and short stories, but my need to make a living outweighed my desire to write fiction. I led a very different life for the fifteen years after college where it was all about technology, finance, contracts, and people management. I wrote a few pieces from time to time, but I could never find enough time to focus. I began the blog a few months before I left my job in 2016 as a way to force myself to connect with people and find some ‘friendlies’ who might tell me whether I had a voice and talent. From there, I decided to give it a chance and wrote the first book. Now the second is done. And the third, well… I’ll keep that to myself a bit longer. I like to keep busy is all I’ll say. (Oh yeah I would love to be busy with you, if you get what I mean😉😉)
Why did you trust me with your book, with being your beta reader? You didn’t ask me for a single reference. And are you generally a trusting person? What makes you trust the other person? I might just be the smooth talker, the con woman…
Ah, this is where you’re a bit confused at who is conning who. I’m actually not who I say I am. This is a fake profile and I write under a pen name because the world would be shocked if they knew my real identity. (Whoa Nina, another mystery for you to solve. Man, this guy is keeping us busy today. Can opened, worms everywhere)
That said… I am both trusting and not trusting. I’m very legal and finance oriented, so I take steps to protect myself when it comes to my writing. No one gets anything that I haven’t already emailed to myself or had date and time stamped in such a way that I can prove I am the original author. From there, I am trusting. I value all input when it’s constructive, and I really think about what someone tells me. A beta advised me in both books to reduce the number of characters, which I didn’t agree with; however, everything else she said in terms of advice or input was 100% spot on. It’s a matter of understanding where the person is coming from and marrying it with your own beliefs. I do the same with other people… there’s a dance in the beginning until I find a few nuggets of value, then I’m all-in until something negative happens between us. Then I re-evaluate where we stand. (Notice how he has skipped answering why did he trust Me? Should I worry?? 🤔)
My third question: Are you hiding any secretly written works that you’re about to thrust at the world? ‘cuz I feel like you’re that brilliant and just waiting for a moment. (I am that brilliant, eh? Ego, meet Jay)
I wish… That written work is so secretive at this moment, that I am unaware of it. That said, I feel there are still many things unlocked in me. I believe, every person is creative, since I’ve had too many things happening as a child, there was no time to explore that. I was just surviving. Ever since I started blogging, I have allowed those wounds to transform into words and be set free. As the hurt gets released, the inner pain settles, and one day I hope that a story comes out too. By the way, my dreams are always a full storied thriller, the subconscious does it all, but to bring that story into consciousness and into words would be a miracle of sorts. But I am hopeful.
I noticed quite a bit of alcohol in your posts and a lot of deserts. Are these responsible for your good cheer through the year round? Do you have your different moods? And how do you work your way out of shitty ones?
Oomph… a hit right to the core. Alcohol and desserts are my weakness. But I’m also very focused on eating well and exercising. So I’m more a binge-imbiber… I’m down to no desserts or drinking weekdays, and on weekends I can have 5 drinks and 2 desserts. But I still workout 5 to 6 times per week to keep some semblance of looking and feeling good. If I’m in a bad mood, I go right to dessert or drinks for immediate turnaround. I rarely drink in excess as I do not want to get sick! (What!!! Did you conveniently forget 3rd April evening?)
As for my mood, I’m generally pretty even-leveled… yet, there are a few things that will impact me. If I get a negative review that is not constructive or seems to be purposefully mean, it hurts. I’ve been that way all my life… kinda wanting people to like me and not understanding anyone who is cruel to another person just because they can be. When it happens, I tend to go silent and retreat. I think about whether I’ve made a bad decision and should I go back to full-time corporate technology work. I bust myself out of it in one to two days, but it’s an area I need to work on. I’m human and accept the need to improve here. (you are perfect, just ask me!! Man, did Bryan Adams just sing ‘look into my eyes and you’ll see what you mean to me’ in the background?)
I have read your posts about writing on the laptop on the dining table. Jay, do you ever go old school, a pen and a paper? And do you have your cozy nook to write your novels?
Nope! I have terrible handwriting. I think too quickly of ideas that I can’t write fast enough to keep up with my brain. At least with typing, 50% of the time it auto-corrects properly and the rest, I can go back to fix. I will make some editing notes with pen and paper. I can write anywhere it’s quiet with a laptop. Right now, I’m cross-legged on the couch with the laptop on a pillow on my lap.
My fourth question: What other job besides your current one and anything to do with writing/reading would you choose?
I would choose accounts/bookkeeping. I like numbers. I would love to work on Word Excel sheet. I have done it for a couple of months for a friend decades ago, and I realized I was good at it. Just need a bit of training and guidance.
I have done an online course in medico legal law, as I thought that would be an area, I would be good at, if only I can get over my fear of public speaking. Also I wouldn’t mind going back to college to study amongst other things. I was quite a nerd while studying medicine and I missed out on a quite a bit of things… Everything actually (lascivious grin😜)
What’s the craziest phrase of our decade? (you and me since we belong to the same, but we are officially in our 20s. You say 26 eh? That many candles on your cake? I say 24 would be my number. Sounds about fair)
I’m any age under 30. So you can choose the exact number. But after 29, it rolls back to 21 again.
Wait, I’m confused about this question… our decade as in right now, or the decade we were born? Let me count… so if we’re ~25, then we were born around 1993… The 90’s… a crazy phrase… now I’m confused again. I’m just gonna say “Bite Me!” by Bart Simpson. I used to say that to my mom all the time. Now she says it to me fairly regularly. Ah, the tides have turned.
Psst… I meant from our real ages…😂😂
I have a funny phrase, the nuns used to tell us — don’t let any Tom, Dick, or Harry take advantage of you — I betcha they would have never guessed what the meaning would turn into (cackles with unholy wicked laughter, that’s it, I am slated for the fires of Hell! Hehehe)
I have had quite a bit of funny conversations with you. What tickles your funny bone? And what gives you the LOL moment with me? And with others?
I tend to lose it over facial expressions. I’m well known in reality for my eye rolls. I was even gifted a t-shirt recently by someone who tells me I’m the master of them. With you, since you can’t see me in person unless we did video chats… I rely on your crazy rants and rambles.
Given our time differences, when I wake up to 15 text messages from you, and I try to make sense of them at 7 in the morning, I giggle and re-read a few times. Not sure it’s you being incoherent or me being half-asleep, but it takes a good 20 minutes before I can connect with you on the same alertness. (why do you think I time my messages in such a way that it hits you when you are groggy? And you thought I was kind!)
My fifth question: How many bloggers do you regularly chat with?
Generally, I chat with whoever takes the time to message me. With each I have a different connection, and it so happens that they come to chat with me, at the perfect time, when I need their words. But there are very few who have stolen my heart, one is right here on this blog with me and I don’t mean you, Nina. Hint hint 😉😉
Jay, I have always found you honest and practical, but not very emotional on your comments. But I have seen those breakthrough moments when emotions hold you more. I love your first comments on some of my posts, which comes from the heart rather than from the brain. What does trigger that?? Have you ever worn your heart on your sleeve?
Do I have to answer this question? (Of course, you are not allowed to skip any, we have a deal) Ugh, fine. It’s really a clear / clean answer. In person or in real life, no, I don’t wear my heart on my sleeve. I cry and feel pain, sometimes I’ll share it to a degree, but I’m very controlling of my emotions. I operate sorta like a dam controlling a floodgate. I’m very sensitive, and if I let myself open, it is hard to control. So I choose not to except for in my writing. In my writing, or choice of words, I will let it all fly. People who know me well see this in my characters, and they actually have come back to me and asked “Did you feel such and such way like character X?” Then I’m wearing my heart on my sleeve.
What attracts you to me?? (Hahaha Gotcha! I apologize to the party concerned. To the audience, I am Jay’s biggest fangirl, and he knows it). We have been friends for less than a year, but we have been there during our bad moments too. What is the first thing that you liked about me? And what is the first thing that strikes you/ attracts you to a person? There are some whom we get along with instantly. Do you hate anyone, Jay, and have you ever?
So many questions at once! To you, I’d say how genuine and intuitive you are. You keep some things controlled, but you also know how and when to be open. That’s both what I like about you and what I first noticed.
As far as any person, it tends to be how much effort they put into something. If they are casual and inconsistent, I worry that’s how they are overall. I’m the opposite. I can be casual and inconsistent on unimportant things, but not when it’s something I value or trust. I can honestly say there is no one I hate that I have met. There are people I see in the news or in history that I hate because of what they’ve said and done. But there are two sides to all stories, so I have a hard time hating anyone when I don’t know them. In person, I give someone two chances. If you blow the first, I’m very hard to convince, but I will eventually come around. You screw it up a second time, and I’m done. The world is filled with too many good people to worry about giving more chances to the bad ones.
My sixth question: Are you trying to torture me with the details in these questions… I’ve been responding for an hour and it doesn’t end. Good thing I like you so much!
Huh?! What?! I thought they were just too brief, so I decided to un-brief them (yp I coined a word all for you). And torture? no babes, you are supposed to smile and say it is a pleasure! (cackles with glee)
You have friends all over the world, how difficult is it to maintain all of them given that there are only 24 hours? (as I calculate 8 hours of sleep, so 16 hours, gymming and personal time, 4 hours?? So it’s 12 remaining. Then 2 hours of blogging so it is down to 10. The 4 hours of noveling (yp new word coined today right here, right now) so it is down to 6 hours. How do you manage +4k friends and followers in 6 hours? Are you superman? (note here: I don’t mind the outer briefs)
I love when I learn new words like gymming and noveling. Thanks, I’ll add them to dialog in my next book. Is there a royalty fee? (oh yes, always! I can be won over by a de-briefed pic)
If you ask Mama Cass, a lovely blogger I’ve gotten to know over the last 8 months, she calls me Superman. I laugh, as I’m really the exact opposite. I can be lazy! I do have two personalities though… Clark Kent and Superman. But I don’t watch cartoons or superhero movies very often, so I’m not sure I totally get it. As for how I get everything done, I multi-task and create To Do lists. I have things assigned to each day and I force myself to get priorities done first. As far as keeping up all around the world, some days it’s harder than others. When I’m writing, I turn Internet off except for 2 hours a day to get everything done. I’m rigid in my schedule. I’m up at 7 and writing/blogging/marketing/erranding (see I can make up words, too) until 7. Then it’s time with my other half until 10. Then I read for 90 minutes and by 12 I’m asleep, then up again at 7.
How would you describe yourself realist or fantasist? (Go ahead… Ask me how I would describe you. Then my next question would be— describe how I see you as in real/blog or in my dreams? again I apologize to the concerned party, but there are some things, the heart wants what it wants)
Realist. I create fantasy in books, but in life, I am very much a realist. So.. 90% real, 10% fantasy. It comes out when it needs to. 🙂
My seventh question: How do you see yourself and how do you see me in those terms? Briefly please. Answer however necessary in terms of dreams or reality. One day I’ll actually appear in a video so everyone can see me for the silly fool I am! (and would I love that!!)
I am both fantasist as far as romance is concerned (that’s why it probably eludes me) and a realist in life. I used to live in a dream world when life was difficult, but now I have learnt to face them, so a balance of both, I would say.
I see you as a realist, I find you extremely intelligent, and I think you are a good businessman. You have a keen eye for finance and you may not invest in money, but you invest in goodwill. I have seen very few people having the patience to do that. I am learning a lot from you, though at a much smaller scale. (How I see you in my dreams — hush hush, I think we are supposed to keep this interview PG rated. Will message you privately.)
I find you extremely polite in your comments, with nary a wrong word.. So my darling Jay, what’s your favorite swear word? Gotta be honest here, Jay, the world and I wait with bated breath… (tell me soon, I can hold my breath only for 30 sec… Oh are you counting me?) What is the word?
It doesn’t come naturally for me to swear. It’s actually forced when it does come out. Almost like I say it to fit in with those around me. If you provide a list, I will choose from it. Oh! How I turned this around. (Oh did you? Really? Look below, I have proof, one written by the esteemed author.)
Where do you see yourself in the next 2 years?…… Oh have you started enumerating? I meant where do you see yourself with me in the next 2 years? (to the audience, note my narcissism hahaha) Jay, you can answer both the questions…
I don’t think I know… maybe I’m afraid to say it out loud as then it won’t come true. If you want facts, I’d hope to be living somewhere else, have 3 more books published, look 5 years younger, fixing problems in the world, having a bigger impact / voice in the publishing and blogging industry… as far as you… it will either be serving as a witness to prevent someone from convicting you of a stalking charge (hahaha, see I can be funny) (I agree this is too funny for me to think of a funnier quip. By the way, the stalking is exclusive to you, just fyi) or helping promote your work somehow. 🙂 (how sweet)
What is the one secret thing that no one or very few people know about you?
My final question: I throw this back at you and refuse to answer it because then it wouldn’t be secret. So… what is the one secret thing that no one or very few people know about you?
I can’t sing, but I think I can, so I am found singing in the operation theatre, and there no one has the guts to tell me to shut up, they try all sorts of stuff to make me shut up, but I pretend to be oblivious.
Any last words… And before you start the last many sentences, I meant last few words praising me, they can be lots of words too.. You are after all, a wordsmith
I started this email at 12 while eating lunch. I assumed it would be done by 1 and then I’d go to the gym. It’s now 2 and I’ve not gotten to the gym. There are very few people in this world I let impact my schedule. You are now one of them, and since you prefer me to be brief, I will leave it with that message as it speaks volumes.
I will also add my gratitude and appreciation for your energy, time and friendship throughout the last ~year. You’re an amazing soul and I wish only good things for your future because you deserve it. You’re not nearly high enough on the pedestal as where you belong, and if you remember my 365 post on this topic, I mean it across the board. You belong there, and you know when to step off it… but nearly everyone around you fails to recognize it, so the rest of us must be sure to constantly tell you so: You’re a treasure.
Awww…. Now all of you know why I love this guy and declare it so often… I am his biggest FANGIRL; I was, I am, and I always will be.
From my heart to yours, Jay — always and forever…
This does conclude my interview. There are questions which may sound funny, some not so funny. But on a serious note, not only Jay and I are good.. Ahem great friends, I have loads and loads of respect for him. There are not many people I like and love in this world, but he is one of them. A rare breed of human, who is kind, courteous, and genuinely doesn’t like people getting hurt or in pain.
I’m blushing. Thank you.
To my cozy babe, Nina, I call you that because you are beautiful both inside and out, and you love your cozy mysteries. Thank you for being a great audience of 1 so far. Now Jay and I are exhausted, we need our popcorn and drinks!!!
Tell me about it! I need a nap.