Act 1 Scene 1 - The Interview
The interviewer is sitting on the left of Shane Carroll, holding the notes for this interview. She is dressed impeccably and doesn’t seem to have a hair out of place. Contrasting with her, Shane has messy hair and has the look of someone always rushing to another thing. Shane is fixing his microphone, which is giving him some trouble.
Interviewer: You’re live, Mr. Carroll.
Shane looks up, startled. His glasses are a little skewed and he has a harried expression on his face
Shane: Oh-Oh, sorry. Can we start again? I completely missed that. This bloody microphone isn’t. Quite. Working. Argh. Sorry.
The interviewer shakes her head, slightly amused. Turns her head to the cameraman behind what the viewer is seeing and motions to him.
Interviewer: No problem. Live in three, two, one. Welcome ladies and gentlemen to this exclusive interview with the author everybody is talking about. Mr. Shane Carroll.
Shane sits up, vaguely uneasy. He blinks into the camera.
The interviewer seems a little put-off, but soldiers on anyway.
Interviewer: So, Mr. Carroll. We’ll start with the easy question. What made you start your writing career?
Shane fidgets with his sleeve, hesitating a moment. He laughs nervously before looking at her.
Shane: Well, that’s a hard question. I have always been told my mind is a place of nightmares, a place of dreams, and a place that nobody would wish upon their worst enemies. Do I believe that? Maybe. Maybe not. It simply isn’t for me to say.
Shane takes a deep breath and sits up straighter
Shane: Is it my fault for having a mind so deviously creative, so charmingly unique and so completely mine? Who am I to say? I suppose it is the curse of an author. To always have some semblance of insanity that prevents them from becoming part of the so-called ‘normal’ world.
The interviewer smiles and shuffles her notes.
Interviewer: Thank you, Mr. Carroll. Now-
Shane interrupts her and she pauses, her mouth open in surprise.
Shane: But what exactly defines normality? The person who came up with the story of Cinderella? That crack-head Charles Perrault didn’t know what a cliche his story would become in the modern world. And I suppose he only wrote it for the theme of kindness towards all, forgiving others for doing wrong, and never let bad things ruin your heart. In the greater scheme of things, his theory of good versus evil and luck changing your life would drastically alter the lives of the 17th century, French. Or at least, those who let themselves read.
Shane is breathing hard and the interviewer looks as if she is thinking she doesn’t get paid enough for this. She collects herself and asks the next question in a slightly trepid voice.
Interviewer: Our next question, Mr. Carroll, is why did you decide to start rewriting these classic fairy tales? What sort of brought you into that mindset?
Shane appears to be thinking hard.
Shane: My problem with these so-called ‘classics’ isn’t about the themes. Those are the only good parts, in my opinion. How these authors created worlds to fit themes that somehow define all of human nature and how people look and view the world around them, is one of the most gratifying experiences an author can imagine.
Shane appears to be on a roll here. He is speaking passionately, eyes bright with excitement and the thrill of explaining his mind. He is gesturing wildly with his hands and the interviewer takes an involuntary shuffle back.
Shane: My problem with those fairy tales is that they are always directed at a certain audience. That they are centered around a theme that everyone is expected to understand. And while some of those themes are vague enough to have practically everyone understand what’s happening, there are always those people who don’t understand why. And that is exclusion right there. And it’s why I rewrite fairy tales. And, not to brag, am quite good at it, too.
He stops. The interviewer smiles graciously.
Interviewer: And you are, Mr. Carroll. Getting on the New York Times Bestselling list every single time you published another rewrite. I think my favorite one is your first one. The Remnant Sky. A retelling of Cinderella. Would you care to explain the motivation behind this bestselling novel?
Shane blinks at the mention of his book. He opens his mouth to say something but thinks the better of it and closes his mouth again. The interviewer smiles.
Interviewer: Go ahead, Mr. Carroll.
Shane sighs, lowering his eyes. He looks uncomfortable.
Shane: My first book was written at a time where I didn’t think I was going to survive. My wife had just passed away from breast cancer and I was in a dark time. I drank, I sobered up, and I immediately went back to drinking. A lot of my family was stressed about what I was doing with my life and they tried to get me out of my depression. I must admit, it didn’t work. If anything, it made me fall deeper into depression because I couldn’t believe that they could empathize with my situation. They couldn’t understand what I was going through.
Shane’s voice breaks. The interviewer looks on, somber. He takes a moment to compose himself before continuing.
Shane: And then one day, I walked into a used bookstore and found a battered old copy of Classic Fairy Tales. I read through it and was immediately struck by the fact that it was so bad. I just hated the ideas it presented - and to kids! I couldn’t believe it. I walked out of the bookstore with a new purpose. I would rewrite those fairy tales to give people some more inspiration and kindness and a little bit of love in this dark depressing world.
The interviewer smiles.
Interviewer: Thank you for that riveting story, Mr. Carroll. Now, for those of you who don’t know, would you share the premise of The Remnant Sky? Just to give them an idea of the story behind the story?
Shane: So the book follows Hunter, the young girl who makes a deal with the vengeful goddess of the night. In return for her soul, she gets to attend the ball where the royals deem who is worthy of the crown. She learns the lie, deceit, and horrors of the royal court but realizes that within all the nastiness, good lies in a lot of people’s hearts.
Shane smiles nostalgically and the interviewer pulls out a copy of the book.
Interviewer: And boy did we love it. I have to say, I didn’t think I could read an entire book in one sitting, but I couldn’t put yours down! Um, to wrap this up, one last question for you, Mr. Carroll.
Shane nods and sits forward expectantly. The interviewer does the same and speaks in a conspiratorial voice.
Interviewer: Any plans for upcoming books?
Shane laughs and sits back. He looks directly at the camera.
Shane: You’ll just have to wait and see, won't you?
The interviewer laughs and then stands up, shaking Shane’s hand.
Interviewer: Ladies and gentlemen, this has been Mr. Shane Carroll! We’ll be back after the break.
Screen fades to black as we see Shane walking away.