From the Interrogation Room


Fellow author and former LAPD cop, Kathy Bennett, interrogated – I mean, interviewed – me on her site in February. If you missed it, and want to know how I squirm under the lightbulb, read on…

I’m Kathy Bennett and I’m askin’ the questions and you’re going to give me some answers.  Don’t even think about not telling the truth.  This isn’t my first rodeo.

You see that big glass window over there?  There are readers behind that glass.  They’re gonna judge you on your answers and how truthful you are here in the Interrogation Room.  Don’t let your readers down.  Now, lets get to it…

State your name:

 Alyssa Kress
Tell me about your last interaction with a police officer. What did you think about it?
The police in my city were holding a press conference regarding a slew of gang arrests they’d made. I was there because I occasionally write news stories for my husband’s local newspaper. The press officer for the police made a point of meeting me and introducing himself. I’d spoken to him on the phone many times (occasions where he was usually being cagey and not answering my questions about some news story), so it was interesting to meeting him face to face. He was very nice! Still cagey, though.
Tell me about the last time you were afraid.
There’s nothing that frightens me so much as when my children are threatened, particularly by something I can’t control, like illness.
How would your worst enemy describe you?
Brash, opinionated, and talks too much.
How would the love of your life describe you?
Brash, opinionated, and talks too much. The difference is he loves me that way! Really!
What’s the biggest misconception about you?
Definitely that I’m brash, opinionated, and talk too much. Only I may be the one with the big misconception regarding that…
What’s your biggest self-doubt?
I think most decent people’s biggest self-doubt is if they’re a good enough person. Have I been patient enough, polite enough, kind enough? I believe I fall short too much of the time.
What would you like to tell readers about the writing business that would be a surprise?
Perhaps it would surprise most people who haven’t tried it how hard it is to write a novel that makes sense – even one that supposedly follows a ‘formula.’ Those potboiler bestsellers that seem like they write themselves really don’t. Not even close!
What is your greatest weakness?
Being brash, opinionated, and talking too much.
What is your greatest strength?
Being confident (also known as brash), analytical (also known as opinionated), and articulate (also known as talking too much).
If you were going to wind up on a reality television show, which one would it be – and why?
I contend my husband and I were already on “Survivor.” We claim to be the first people kicked off the island. See, back in the 1990s we rented office space next to a guy who was producing this show nobody had ever heard of called “Eco-Challenge 2000.” This guy, Mark Burnett, had an idea for a new show, and wanted more office space in order to produce it. He asked our common landlord to give us 30 days notice so he could take over our space. I assume he was offering more money than we were in rent, so we got our 30 day notice and had to move out. It was a nice office, too: good location, lots of parking, decent rent. Thanks, Mark.
Have you ever been so mad you would have liked to punch someone?  Tell me about that situation.
I have three sisters and a brother. The number of times I have punched each of them is too high to count.
Have you ever divulged a secret?  Did the person who expected your discretion ever find out you’d blabbed?
I am sure I have, and I’m sure they did. Didn’t I say something above about talking too much?  I strive to keep confidences, but I know I’m not perfect.
When was the last time you righted a wrong in a public place?  What was the ‘wrong’ and how did you fix it?
Because my husband publishes a local newspaper, I have the opportunity to write about issues in the community. An article I felt needed to be written regarded a harsh discipline policy in the local middle school. A teacher had taken advantage of this policy to molest at least 8 girls over a period of 10 years. (He pled guilty.) My article, based on an interview with the attorney who prosecuted the case, explained how child molesters work. The most surprising and important thing to know is that molesters are rarely strangers, but almost always a trusted adult who has some relationship with the victim. The other important fact is that almost no children lie about having been molested.
For reasons probably exclusive of my article, the discipline policy at the school has been revised.
How old do you think is the right age for a first romantic kiss?  How old were you when you had your first romantic kiss?
Thirty-five. Does that sound unreasonable? Oh, did I mention I have a teenage daughter?
I was seventeen, but I’m not sure how romantic the kiss was.
Now, for the most revealing question of all…
Do like your hero in boxers, briefs, or commando?
This is a toughie, because I prefer my guys clothed. But I’d say it depends on body type. A bigger, more muscular guy looks better in boxers. A leaner fellow can go with briefs. Commando just makes me worry about zippers and things.

Okay Alyssa Kress, I think I’ve got enough information – for now.  But I know where to find you and I may need to do some follow up.  

 Oh, and Alyssa, this interview is confidential.  I know you like to talk too much – you’ve admitted it here.  Let me give you a piece of advice: Keep our little chat to yourself.  If anyone’s going to share your secrets, it’s going to be me…


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