A Special Interview With Robt Emmett
I met Rob some years ago in a writer’s group on the old, Eons website. His stories of a teenage boy growing up in a small, lake town drew me in. This teenager had engaging stories to tell, and before long, I felt like I knew the characters personally and liked them.
Rob has not pushed to have his books published, but I wish he would. The world is missing some fine stories!
Carol: Hello Rob. Please tell us a little about yourself.
Robt Emmett: My career as a machine designer and project engineer was dictated by my imagination. I’ve spent a lifetime creating new machines. Upon retiring, I found that I couldn’t turn off my need to create. My woodworking was one outlet, but not enough, so I started writing.
Carol: Now, can you tell us three things most people don’t know about you?
Robt Emmett: I never wanted to be an engineer, but it was that or starvation. I’m a well-adjusted introvert. Which means that I don’t blush as easily as I did in my youth. I only dated three girls in high school.
Carol: What was the first thing you ever wrote?
Robt Emmett: My ABCs, but the nun said I spelled them wrong. My first ‘official’ writing was ‘Premature Birth.’ It was about the birth of my twin nieces.
Carol: What prompted you to write that particular piece?
Robt Emmett: I needed to pass English 101. It was the fourteenth English course that I’d taken and I needed it to graduate. (Read that as I passed four in high school out of eight tries and two of six in college.)
Carol: What does writing mean to you?
Robt Emmett: Relaxation. I would like to be a published author, but my ego will not allow me to go the ‘Vanity’ route. I enjoy putting my MC, Robin Benôit, in awkward situations and see how he works himself out of them.
Carol: What are the genre and the name of your latest published book?
Robt Emmett: Right now, I’m between published novels…zero and one. I challenged myself to write a work of one hundred thousand words. (Why? I don’t have a clue!) I titled it, “What Happened to Schultz.”
Carol: What’s the story about?
Robt Emmett: The setting is 1961. Robin Benôit, a twenty-year-old bachelor, has a number of girlfriends. They don’t know he’s an analyst for a woman who heads a spy organization, one who keeps track of communists on university campuses in the upper Midwest. Barbara, the spymaster, also does other ‘odd jobs’, including ‘wet work’, for the CIA.
One of Robin’s girlfriends asks that he look into a bit of his family lore and he agrees to investigate.The story concerns his grandfather’s involvement in a land deal that went bad at Mitchell’s point on Beaver Lake. One of the land partners, Schultz, mysteriously disappeared.
Then someone wants Robin dead, who? His aunt who hates him? She is unhappy that he is looking into a thirty-year-old happening. The Monsignor’s chauffeur, an ex-IRA hit man, because Robin let out a secret about the Monsignor’s past, or the shyster lawyer for Robin foiling his attempted seduction of Patty. Robin liked her a lot. On the other hand, was it the communists, were they upset that he would uncover their plan?
Carol: If it were made into a movie, which actor would you choose to star as your main character?
Robt Emmett: A young Harrison Ford or a totally unknown actor that has no plans to make acting a career, as playing Robin is, professionally, a bad idea.
Carol: What advice would you give to new writers just starting out?
Robt Emmett: Have a day job! It is easier to be a professional athlete than a well-paid writer.
Carol: Where can people connect with you online?
Robt Emmett: Facebook Robt Emmett
Robt Emmett: I’m only writing this because I owe Carol. She requested that I do this as a mea culpa. For me to write about myself is, in my opinion, a mea máxima culpa!
Here is a small excerpt from What Happened to Schultz.
I closed the arched, oak door at the parsonage. The Monsignor had conned me into purchasing the place and now it was my home. Easing the lock in place, we went into the study. I lifted a stack of records up on the spindle and set them to play soothing music. I wanted a glass of wine. As I poured, Patty surprised me and asked me to pour one for her also. I handed it to her and sat on the sofa next to her. She inched away, tasted the wine, and smiled. We made small talk while we sat and watched the moonrise over the lake through the large window.
Patty sat her half-finished glass of wine on the end table. She took a breath and looked at me. “Robin, I don’t think you understand that all this… this whatever you are into, bothers me. It bothers me a lot. And I…” She talked and I listened. She had a point.
When she finished, I was more candid with her than maybe I should have been. Between me being honest with her, mostly, and the music, she started to mellow. She moved back closer to me. I wasn’t quite home free. When I rested my arm over her shoulder, she flinched. I told her that what happened at the lake was a freak thing. It should never have happened, and it never would again.
She bought it and allowed me to kiss her. It was a cold kiss, but a kiss nevertheless. I eased away from the subject of the lake and asked about how she liked being an archeologist and digging in the dirt at the Point. That improved her mood. The kisses were getting better—a lot better.
I looked into her eyes. “Patty, I really appreciate your work at the dig on Beaver Lake, it should answer what happened to Schultz.”
On the record player, the drummer finished his intro to “Night Train”and Buddy Morrow started his trombone solo. Patty finished off the rest of her wine.
The study door slammed open. The record player’s arm skated across the record. Patty screamed and dropped her wine glass. It shattered on the hardwood floor.
I drew my Walther as I shot to my feet. A hand pushed me back down and ripped the pistol outta my grip. Looking cross-eyed at the large-caliber gun Barbara held at the end of my nose, I said, “Bar! Damn it! What the hell’s going on?”
To her bodyguard, Barbara ordered, “Max, take the shiksa home!”
This was the old Bar, the hard-assed one. I saw a muscle jump in her cheek before she said, “You’re dead Benôit!”
“Bar, what the…”
After cocking her pistol, she said through clenched teeth, “Shut the fuck up!”