Character Interview — Anne Baxter Campbell
Today I’m happy to welcome author Anne Baxter Campbell as she shares an interview with a character from her book, Blessed by Time. Read through to the end to see how you can enter to win the giveaway.
Me: I chose Tammy, a three-year-old, to interview. Given her age and preference to going to play with Orphah, I was happy she agreed to answer two or three questions before running off.
Me: Good morning, Tammy. How are you feeling today?
Tammy: Hi, author lady. I’m happy today. It’s my birfday, and Papa made me a dolly with real hair. I think he cut some off his beard to put on her ‘cause it’s curly. I’m going to call her Abby. She’s pretty, don’t you think? I didn’t have her in the before. In the before, I had another dolly, but I gave her to the little girl with the bad burns in the hospital. So it’s fun to have another one. Can I go now? Orphah said she’s having a party because it’s her dolly’s birfday too.
Me: Could you answer another question for me, Tammy? What’s the before?
Tammy: Oh, you know. The before on the other side of the windy web. Do you know about the windy web? It feels a little stringy and sticky, like that spider web on the side of our house in the before. But Jesus knows how to get through it. He must have hidden the windy web after we went through, though, because I can’t find it anymore. The before is where we had other clothes, not like these long dresses. I used to wear shorts and t-shirts, but they don’t have any here. My grandma’s in the before, too. I can’t go see her anymore. But Papa and Mama are here, so it’s okay. Are we done yet?
Me: Not quite. I guess you used to live in Wickenburg, Arizona, but where are you now?
Tammy: That’s a silly question. You couldn’t talk to me if you weren’t here too. Don’t you know? Here is called Tyre, didn’t you know that? Not like the tires on cars. I know ‘cause I asked. Mama looked at me funny when I asked her that. So did Papa.
Me: You sure talk a lot for such a little girl. You mentioned Jesus, right? So who is He?
Tammy: [exasperated sigh] Nobody here knows Him. I don’t know why. He brought me here, but nobody saw Him but me. He’s the bestest person I know. He’s even betterer than my Mama and Papa. He hugs really good and makes me feel all warm. Sometimes He’s in my dreams, and He tells me things. Now can I go?
Me: Oh, all right. I guess you’d lots rather go play with Orphah, huh?
Tammy: Yup. Bye, author lady.
Leave a comment below to enter for a chance to win Blessed by Time, either in ebook format or signed paperback―winner’s choice. Limited to the US, please.
Anne Baxter Campbell is a loving mom, grandma, and great-grandma who writes not for a living but to please God―hopefully, anyway. She cherishes family and friends and quiet time to write. Anne lives in Northern California with a small brown overly-friendly dog (Meggie Wigglesworth) and a big black cat (Cleo Campbell) who’s friendly to anyone who will feed her.
Buy link: http://amzn.to/2p8xWAn
First page of Blessed by Time:
Prologue―October AD 2007
Sarah Johnson stood alone at one side of three-year-old Tamara’s hospital bed, gently wiping her little one’s face with a cool, damp cloth. Her husband, Paul, and his mother, Halena, hovered on the other side. Tammy’s body shook with increasing violence and frequency, and the chills racking her small frame rattled the bed between seizures. Sweat soaked the child’s hospital gown and the sheets.
The hospice staff tried; they’d done all they could to make her more comfortable. The tumor crowding her brain wasn’t operable, and she couldn’t tolerate any more chemo or radiation. As the cancer spread, her body had begun to shut down. The morphine, dripping through the intravenous tube, kept the pain at bay, but nothing could halt the monster in her head. That morning, the doctors had warned the family they shouldn’t expect Tamara to live through another night.
Sarah’s mind kept rerunning events from the past weeks in the hospital. Tamara had asked for her favorite toys, and then, one by one, handed them to other children. She was doing what she loved to do—give. Now their sweet child lay dying, her skin so hot it felt like a July sidewalk in downtown Phoenix. Life just wasn’t fair. Sarah stroked the regrowing downy blonde fuzz on her baby’s head, terrified of that moment when Tamara would be gone forever.
Tammy opened her eyes a smidgen. She looked at her family through lackluster eyes, and her lips tilted up in a weak greeting before moving her gaze toward something or someone at the foot of her bed. Sarah glanced in that direction but saw nothing. A soft voice murmured something unintelligible nearby, and a faint floral scent drifted through the room, briefly masking the antiseptic smells. A visitor with fresh perfume walking past, maybe.
A look of delight widened Tammy’s eyes and smile, and she lifted one hand maybe a half inch before it dropped back. Her eyes closed, her last breath soft on the sheet under her chin, the smile still on her lips.
“Oh, no,” moaned Sarah. “Please, Tammy, stay. Don’t go.”
Paul and his mother cried out in unison, and they turned to each other’s shoulders to weep in ragged sobs. Tears blinded Sarah as she bent down to gather Tamara’s limp form into her arms and rock her one last time.