Interview with Joe Schmoe and Fred Smith: Authors of ‘Institutionalized’ ~ Blood and Treasure ~ Fiction / humour Conducted by Sassy Brit (TJN)
TJN: Could you please describe how you met each other?
FS: Well you know, I was kinda freelancing, sorta, in the construction business, and one of the guys I was supposed to beat up was Joe.
JS: Ha ha ha. Ain’t Fred a gas? No, what really happened is I was looking for a expert in surveillance for a big job and Fred and me, we had what you’d call a synergy from the start. So, we been a team ever since.
TJN: Fred, what is Joe like to work for?
FS: Uh, well, he’s like my big brother, except I don’t have a brother, but if I did, it would be Joe.
TJN: Joe, you are always calling Fred a moron, why did you hire him as your right hand man?
JS: It’s just one of them things, a term of endearment, you know? Fred’s a great guy, a great guy with a thick skin. Ain’t you big guy?
FS: Uhhh …
TJN: Have you had any experience of surveillance work before you went undercover at Institutionalized Industries?
FS: Oh yeah. When I was in the construction business I used to have to spy on people all the time so’s I could sneak up on ’em and catch ’em off guard like.
JS: Yeah, definitely. I’ve been doing it for 20 years now, off and on. Unfortunately me and Fred can’t really speak about previous assignments cause they’re all very hush hush in a manner of speaking. But Institutionalized was like our coup de grace in the surveillance world. Everyone knows who we is now and that brings its own pressures, being famous and all.
FS: Yeah, specially when you gotta lay low for a while, right boss?
TJN: Your book is very entertaining, but it does have serious connotations, which reminds me, do you ever hear of anything from Mr Ogé, after his little ‘accident’ with the syringe and a policeman?
FS: Well, he tried to escape a couple times and …
JS: That’s all gonna be in the sequel and we don’t wanna spoil it for the guys out there, right Fred?
JS: But it is serious. People is people and some people just don’t get that, specially in business. You gotta take care of your people. Like if I didn’t take care of Fred, do you think he’d have traveled all the way to Singapore and England with a broken leg? No. And why? Cause he’d hate my guts, that’s why. He’d tell me where to stick it and no mistake. I mean he’d …
TJN: What do you really think of Harry Mucs?
FS: Um, he’s a tough negotiator. Reminds me of a boss I once had in the loaning industry. Harry’s fatter but he has the same pig eyes and lack of hair.
JS: On a personal level, I wouldn’t hire him. You just can’t trust a guy like that.
TJN: Are either of you just a little bit saddened by the demise of Institutionalized Industries?
FS: Uhhh …
JS: Hey, it ain’t over yet. Wait ’till you read the sequel, Institutionalized Too. That’s when the real action kicks in, what with all the bombings, car chases and frame-ups. I mean you just won’t believe what you’re reading. But it all happened, just like we tell it, pretty much.
TJN: I can’t wait! Okay, next question; will both of you please name one person who has influenced your life, and explain why.
FS: My grandma, hands down. She was a sweet old woman, always telling me stories and baking me brownies. She taught me the importance of always cleaning your gun after you use it on account of all the backfirings and I told my cousin Eddie, but he didn’t listen and consequentialy didn’t last too long. And another thing, did you know that if you drill a hole in a stick of dynamite and put in a pinch of …
JS: Yeah okay, Fred. My inspiration was Ghandi. What he taught me is if you wanna change something, you gotta do it without guns. I mean, can you imagine … withOUT guns? Yet the guy pulled it off. I remember reading about him at one point in my life when I had a few years on my hands with nothing else to do and his story really inspired me. It’s why I went into surveillance. Now he took it farther than I could on account of extending his no killing policy to alla God’s dumb creatures, but I just can’t handle not having a good steak every now and then.
TJN: When writing, do you have a writing schedule or a special routine you like to keep to? If so, please explain.
FS: Uhhh …
JS: Yeah, well, them guys at Blood & Treasure is real sticklers for turning stuff in on time so we just hand over the transcripts and let them get on with the administrative stuff. We’re more of the what you’d call inspirators.
TJN: Do you have a photograph of your office or writing room(s) you could share with our readers?
JS: Well, we’s moving around a lot these days on account of some people not taking too kindly to Institutionalized. But you know, death threats happen. You just can’t let that kind of thing cramp your style, you know what I’m saying?
TJN: Who are your literary heroes and which novels would you say inspire you the most?
FS: Captain Cosmic and His Band of Five. He was great! Never understood why people liked Superman. I mean Captain Cosmic was the best, like he’d rescue people and he wouldn’t even charge them. He’d just take alla their stuff and sell it. He was good and smart.
JS: Mario Puzo and Mark Twain. Mario for life and Twain for reminding me that I don’t need to work in a mine to make a living. And the best novels from each of them is The Godfather from Mario of course, and Puddinghead Wilson from Twain. I don’t care what anyone says. Fingerprints will get you every time.
TJN: Please suggest three story ‘prompts’.
JS: You’re alone in your room. It’s ransacked. You know it was the Grafti Gang who did it cause they left their calling card: a double-barreled water pistol filled with the juice of twenty blood oranges. You hear a noise behind you, turn and …
FS: You’re Captain Cosmic and you’re faced with a big problem. Your ship only has enough fuel to lift off with six people, you and your band of five. You gotta figure out how to save a bunch of beautiful Island natives, all female, from the laser rays of evil General Cobalt’s Satellite of Death. But, you owe General Cobalt a favor, plus if the planet gets incinerated, he’ll split the mineral profits with you. Can your cosmic craft really run on Prima 5 Capa Alpha Shampoo as Lacy Larsenal, your navigator insists while cracking her whip? The General approaches …
JS: Colombia. 1643. It’s raining. A blow-dart whizzes past your nose and sticks into a jungle vine. You hear a noise behind you, turn and …
TJN: Wow! There’s fantastic prompts! Sure to get the juices flowing… So, what is your favourite inspirational quote or saying?
FS: Uhhh …
JS: “Whoever conquers a free town and does not demolish it commits a great error and may expect to be ruined himself.” Niccolò Machiavelli.
FS: Oh yeah. Captain Cosmic always said, “Thanks a lot folks. Been great doing business with you.”
TJN: Are you working on any other projects that I should warn my readers about?
FS: Well we’s dictating another book and stuff.
JS: Yeah, it’s gonna be great. Like I said, car chases, real action, even some kissy stuff.
TJN: Where can we buy your book ‘Institutionalized’?
FS: Uh, well, the bookstores are afraid to carry it on account of threats of being sued and demonstrations and molotov cocktails and …
JS: You can buy it on Amazon or direct from the publisher, Blood & Treasure, but it’s cheaper on Amazon. Check it out on www.institutionalized.biz or here Amazon.co.uk or here Amazon.com
TJN: And finally, after the Mr Ruke incident, I’ve wanted to ask you something that’s been bugging me for ages. We don’t have Yum Yum trees in this neck of the woods, would you mind explaining to our readers what the dangers are if we should bump into one?
FS: Uhhh … well, Joe could probably answer that one better than me.
JS: Apparently the milk of the Yum Yum tree, or, uh, sap … it’s not actually a tree, it’s more like a bush or a shrub, but they call it a tree; anyway, point is, it can poison your brain.
TJN: Thanks for the interview. It’s been great fun, and very enlightening! I’m sure everyone will feel much safer with you two around…
FS: Hey, no problem.
JS: Anytime. It’s been a real pleasure. Maybe we can do it again sometime, like after Institutionalized Too.
TJN: I’d love that, thank you! Well, good luck with your next book, and don’t leave it too long before you come back!