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  • Writer's pictureTeresa Widdowson

Interview with Pax

Updated: Mar 9

clock, cup, glasses and typewriter

Before I decided to use Pax in my first book, The RH Factor, I asked him to come in for an interview. After all, how could I know if he was the right man for the job? Sure, I knew who he was. I had invented him. But there were some important questions I needed answers to if he was going to make the cut. So, we set up a video call, and this is how it went.

When the video window opened and I first saw his face, I was surprised to see that he was better looking than I had expected. He had a chiseled jawline and sandy brown hair that was full but cut short and clean. His five-o’clock shadow was enticing. I wanted to run my hand across his chin to see if it was soft or prickly. His button-down shirt was crisply ironed, and its pale lavender color made his blue eyes look slightly violet. He was luscious—in a manly sort of way. But he didn’t come across like he knew he was. So far, so good.

After the initial introductions, I started with a simple question.

“Tell me a little about yourself, Pax,” I said. “What do you really want me to know about you?”

“Well, let’s see. I guess I think I’m a nice guy. At least, that’s what my friends tell me.”

“Is that what your ex-wife, Julie, would say?”

Pax snickered. Then he took a deep breath. “OK. Well, I guess you already know a little more about me than I thought.”

“I like to research my characters before I decide to use them.”

He nodded. “Makes sense. And to answer your question, yeah. I think Julie would say I was a nice guy—most of the time, anyway. She probably saw more of the bad side of me than most people, though. She brought it out of me. It’s like she couldn’t resist pushing my buttons, especially when she was trying to transfer blame back on me.”

“Blame for what?” I asked.

“You know.” He cleared his throat. “Her affairs.”

“Why would you be to blame?”

He rolled his eyes. “You know. Not giving her enough attention. Always working.”

“And did you deserve the blame?”

“Maybe,” he shrugged. “A little. Still doesn’t justify her sleeping with another man less than a year after being married, does it?”

“She slept around a lot, right?”

“I lost count. After the first year, I gave up.”

“On counting, or on the relationship?”

“Both, probably. Although I didn’t admit it to myself yet—that I’d given up on us. I kept thinking she would stop. Get it out of her system.”

“And you were ready to forgive her? After how many affairs?”

“Don’t know. Like I said. Lost count.”

“You are a nice guy.”

“Some people would just call me stupid.”

“Or in love.”

Pax shrugged again. “I thought.”

“Let’s move on. Do you think you’re a good detective? Have you ever solved any murders?”

“We don’t have many murders here in Snoqualmie. I hope you’re not going to write in a murder scene. Is that what you’re planning?”

“I am writing a murder mystery.”

“But it’s going to be somewhere else, right? I just get called in to help? I don’t want anyone in my town getting killed.”

“I can’t give anything away. The readers don’t want spoilers.”

Pax didn’t seem satisfied with my answer, but after staring at me for a moment, he nodded.

“OK. You’re the writer, I guess.”


“Yeah. I think I’m a good detective. Solved a suspicious death a little over a year ago. Found the body of a man in a remote area on an old logger’s road. Ran his fingerprints and sent his picture out but didn’t find anything. No clues on the body or around the area.”

“How did you solve it?”

“Put his DNA into and found one of his cousins who lived in Portland. That led to discovering his cousin’s fingerprints in the system in connection to a meth-lab bust. He was already in jail. Gave us a few names in return for a lighter sentence. Ended up finding the victim’s fingerprints on some cash in a P.O. box owned by one of the meth-lab operators. All the pieces fell into place after that.”

“That’s impressive.”

“Thanks. Wasn’t just me, though. We have a good team at SnoPo.”

Humble. I like that, I thought to myself.

“Anything going on at the moment that would prevent you from completing this assignment? It might turn into an 80,000 or more word novel. Could take up a lot of your time.”

“No big cases going on at the time. And I’m single again, so…I think I could handle it.”

“Willing to work with Regina again?”

His face registered surprise, but he smiled and said, “It might be a little awkward at first. But if she’s willing, so am I. It would be nice to spend some time with her again.”

I smiled back at him. I was feeling good about Mr. Paxton Tavish. He seemed like a nice, stand-up guy who could solve the case I was going to present to him. And he wasn’t bad to look at either.

“OK, then. You’ve got the job. I’ll start writing on November 1, just in time for NaNoWriMo.”

“NaNoWriMo? What’s that?”

“It’s a writing contest. All I have to do is write 50,000 words in a month.”

“And then you’re finished?”

I laughed. “No, then I keep writing until it’s done. Then I'll probably have to write one or two more full drafts before moving on to the final edits and proofreads. Next comes formatting, creating a cover, writing a synopsis and an author bio, publishing, marketing, etcetera, etcetera.”

“Wow!” he exclaimed. “And I thought my job was hard.”

I said goodbye to Pax, and we closed our video call. I felt good about how he would fit into my book. He had the looks, the brains, and who knew? Maybe I’d be able to renew his romantic spark with Regina?

I opened my Scrivener app, looked at the clock in the upper-right corner of my screen and watched as the time flipped. It was midnight on October thirty-first. I started writing.

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1 Comment

Unknown member
Jan 12

This is SO much fun — I love the character interview, and the additional dimension it adds to the books!

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