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Sunday, October 21, 2012

Character Interview: The Chupacabra by Stephen Randel

Interviewer: Today we’re sitting down with Avery Bartholomew Pendleton of Austin, Texas. He’s the star of The Chupacabra: A Borderline Crazy Tale of Coyotes, Cash & Cartels by Stephen Randel. It’s a laugh-out-loud dark/comedy thriller about a Texas family that unwittingly becomes caught up with a Mexican drug cartel. Thanks for taking the time to visit with us today, Avery.

Avery: How long is this going to take? I’m expecting a call from the President.

Interviewer: Not long. Anyway, many people consider you to be a lazy slob. How would you respond? And by the way, what’s up with the tracksuit?

Avery: I’m not lazy. I’m hyper-efficient. There’s a difference. As for my wardrobe, Americans, in general, have a pathetic sense of fashion. And just for the record, my yellow tracksuit is the quite popular in the Ukraine these days. Am I getting paid for this interview?

Interviewer: No. Why do you still live at home with your stepfather? You seem like a bit of a loner.

Avery: Because the mortgage and utilities are in his name. It makes it more difficult for the ninjas and foreign operatives to track me down. Can I borrow twenty dollars?

Interviewer: Ninjas? There weren’t any ninjas in the book.

Avery: There should have been. Ninjas always make a story better. Randel doesn’t know what he’s doing. How about ten?

Interviewer: No. Why the infatuation with chupacabras?

Avery: Because global warming is pushing their feeding grounds north toward Texas and no one is doing anything about it. They could be here any day.  Did you even read the book?

Interviewer: You do realize that scientists don’t believe chupacabras exist?

Avery: That’s because most scientists aren’t fully accredited cryptozoologists. I refer to them as spherical bastards.  No matter what angle you view them from, they’re still bastards.  It doesn’t really bother me, though.  True genius is never fully appreciated in its own time. Someday they’ll name elementary schools after me. Maybe even bridges.

Interviewer: Speaking of bothersome things, you have a bit of a thing about writing absurd and abusive letters. Why so angry?

Avery: Who called them absurd? I want names!

Interviewer: At the very least, your letters are a bit abrasive. Would you agree?

Avery: I agree to nothing, particularly in writing. My tone is proportionate to the level of stupidity of the recipient. The bigger the idiot, the more punitive my correspondence is. If individuals or corporations are offended, they need to put their “big boy” pants on and grow up. Most of the time the truth hurts. Deal with it, losers.

Interviewer: You were involved in a very sticky situation with a member of a Mexican drug cartel. What really happened?

Avery: I have a confession to make. I have to come clean and admit that it was completely his fault. I’m sure he’s quite embarrassed by the whole situation. I expect a “thank you” fruit and chocolate basket in the mail anytime now.

Interviewer: But weren’t you worried about your family and friends?

Avery: Not really.

Interviewer: Not really?

Avery: Is that a trick question?

Interviewer: You were involved with a large cast of eccentric characters. Who did you enjoy working with the most?

Avery: I’m the headliner. That’s all you should write about.

Interviewer: Okay, then. Will we see a return of Avery in the next book by Stephen Randel?

Avery: There better be, or I’ll unleash my unholy legion of permanently retained attorneys against him. Without me, there’s no story. Randel knows that. The moron.

Interviewer: Where can the book be found?

Avery: On Amazon, of course.  Idiot.

Interviewer: Thanks for your time, Avery.  We hope to speak to you again soon.

Avery: Piss off…how about five bucks?

The Chupacabra: A Borderline Crazy Tale of Coyotes, Cash & Cartels
By Stephen Randel

233 pages
Publisher: Knuckleball Press
August 19, 2012
Genre: Dark Comedy

He is called El Barquero. He makes his trade along the border, smuggling guns and killing without remorse. As he faces his one last mission, his perfect plan is unwittingly foiled by Avery, a paranoid loner obsessed with global conspiracy theories who spends most of his time crafting absurd and threatening letters to anyone who offends him. That means pretty much everyone. 

What unfolds is a laugh out loud dark comedy of madcap adventure stretching from Austin to the West Texas border featuring a lunatic band of civilian border militia, a group of bingo-crazed elderly ladies (one packing a pistol nearly as long as her arm), a murderous and double-crossing cartel boss, a burned-out hippy, and a crotchety retired doctor and his pugnacious French bulldog. Read it to believe it.

Stephen Randel, CFA, was born in Houston, Texas. He is a graduate of Texas Christian University. Steve now lives in Minneapolis, Minnesota with his wife and their two rescue dogs.