Welcome to another interview-with-a-twist in the Barren Island Books series! The rules remain the same: guests imagine they’re being exiled to a remote island with only five books for company, selected from the categories I give them. But the twist is, these guests aren’t authors but fictional characters.
My interviewee this week is Lizzie Mosher, the protagonist of What the Town Knew by C.W. Farley (aka Emily McKeon). Lizzie is a widow with a secret – but in a small town, secrets have a habit of coming to light …
Lizzie, thanks for joining us. First of all, could you please tell us a little bit about your history. Have you always lived in Cloverdale? How did you meet your late husband, Dale?
Thank you for having me here.
I've only lived in Cloverdale for a few years. We moved here shortly after we got married. I met Dale at a bar. Back then he was a charmer. Sweet and sexy. He tried buying me a drink, hoping to get my number, but I never gave out my number to a guy I just met.
A week later, I went back to the same bar and Dale was there. He argued he no longer counted as someone I just met. By the end of the night he walked away with my phone number and the rest, as they say, is history.
And what about now – who or what are the most important people or things in your life? How do you like to spend your free time?
I'm starting to restart my life. New beginnings. With the investigation into Dale's death, I've spent a lot of time with Officer Bev Chambers. He's been supportive during this difficult time.
I've also taken up painting again, something I missed. When Dale was alive I couldn't paint. The fumes made him sick. I couldn't have a dog, either, since he was allergic. Now I've got a dog, a sweet German Shepherd mix I named Belladonna.
Now, as you know, the idea of this interview is to choose the five books that you’d take into exile with you. So first of all, what was your favourite book as a child, and why?
As a child I liked to read mystery books like Nancy Drew. I'd try to find out who did it before she could. My copy of The Secret of the Old Clock is well-worn.
For your second choice, which novel published in the last five years have you enjoyed the most?
I haven't had much time to read over the past five years. Not since before I was married. Last year I managed to read Nora Roberts' Dark Witch, which wasn't bad.
You've been through some very painful and difficult times in your life. So for your third choice, is there a book you turn to for comfort when you feel sad and alone – one you can escape into or that brings you solace?
My mom used to read Love You Forever by Robert Munsch. I know it's a kids' book, but it makes me feel better. I always hoped I'd be able to read it to my own child someday.
For your fourth pick I’d like you to go a little further afield and choose your unexpected love: a book you really enjoyed from a genre you usually dislike.
Before I met Dale, I read Lamb: The Gospel According to Biff by Christopher Moore. I'm not big on humor, but this one was a surprise read. One of those Take A Book Home Blindly from the library type deals and it paid off.
And finally, you’d probably want to take something useful with you to a barren island, as well as reading material for entertainment. Which non-fictional book would you choose to help you survive?
Something about skinning animals and fish? I'm confident I can hunt the animals, but I'm not sure what to do with them after. Perhaps The Hunter's Guide to Butchering, Smoking and Curing Wild Game and Fish.
Now you’ve chosen your books, we’ll also let you select one song/piece of music, one film and one other item of your choice to take to the island with you …
Let's see. Music, I'd want something soothing and calm. Beethoven's Für Elise would be a good fit.
Film, I've always loved The Princess Bride. Westley and Buttercup never allow the other to dominate the relationship.
For my last item, I'd bring my paints. It's amazing how calming painting can be.
Many thanks for joining us, Lizzie. I hope your ‘exile’ gives you a chance to relax away from the whispers of the town.
Note to readers: Emily is currently running a fundraising campaign to help her share Lizzie's story in What the Town Knew. You can find out more about it on her Indiegogo page – there are many awesome rewards to choose from if you make a contribution. In addition, if Emily succeeds in raising $2000, she'll donate a percentage of her sales to domestic abuse charities. So you'll be helping an author and a good cause at the same time!