I want to introduce you to my fellow writer, Pat Bertram. She has authored several books and is a particularly generous person when it comes to helping authors. Today I’m interviewing one of her most recent characters, from her book, Madame ZeeZee’s Nightmare.
Welcome, Madame ZeeZee, and thank you for taking time to sit down with us. For those who aren’t familiar with you, you run a successful dance studio where there was a recent murder of one of your students. Since that time, inconsistent stories about you have surfaced. I’m certain you would like to set the record straight.
Inconsistent stories about me? I never heard any. Too busy with my studio, I guess.
We notice that you don’t advertise for new students. How do people find you?
At the beginning, it was word of mouth, but after the murder and all talk on Facebook and Twitter and the local newspaper, I got a lot of new people. Most left after a few classes. People today have no discipline. They think they can come to class and start dancing with the group without even learning the steps.
Madame, rumors are that the dance studio is owned by a reclusive retired movie star who values her privacy. Please give us a hint of who it is.
Retired movie star? No. Retired professional dancer? Yes. You want a hint of who owns the studio? It’s me. And I’m not reclusive. I just like being quiet when I go home after work.
While you’ve always denied being related to Shirley Maclaine, are you sticking to that story?
Of course I’m sticking to that story. It’s the truth. I’ve danced with Shirley, but I’ve danced with a lot of other people, too, like June Allyson and Dick Van Dyke.
You rarely dance with your classes. Do you practice alone or take classes elsewhere?
My dream is to go back to Hollywood and take classes when I retire from my studio, but it’s too long a commute from Peach Valley. I do dance with my classes, especially the more advanced ones. We perform at luaus in the summer and on various other occasions, so if you know anyone who’d like to hire us, let me know.
We understand you’ve been married several times, would you tell us the number or if it is indeed over twelve?
What? You must have me mixed up with another Madame ZeeZee. I’ve only been married twice.
Would you ever relocate for love?
No. I’m happily married. And even if I weren’t, I wouldn’t relocate for love. I’m too independent, I guess. Besides, my house is exactly the way I like it, and I intend to stay there until the end.
How many countries have you lived in as an adult?
As an adult? One. Maybe two depending on how you define “lived in.”
In the book, Pat seemed to blame herself for the deaths of your dancers. Do you blame her, too?
Pat thinks too much. She needs to learn to just let things go. If I blamed her, I’d have to blame myself and all the rest of us who talked about killing Grace, but it wasn’t any of our fault. Well, except for the murderer. She was totally at fault.
If you could choose one author, living or dead, to read about your story, who would it be?
Pat Bertram, of course, but she wouldn’t need to read about my story because she wrote it.
Is there anything you’d like to add?
Yes. Never stop dancing.
Thank you, Madame Zee Zee.
And thank you all for visiting with Madame ZeeZee and Una Tiers. Be sure to check out Interview with Fiona Gavelle, a Character in “Judge vs Nuts” by Una Tiers.
Pat Bertram is the author of the suspense novels Unfinished, Madame ZeeZee’s Nightmare, Light Bringer, More Deaths Than One, A Spark of Heavenly Fire, and Daughter Am I. Bertram is also the author of Grief: The Great Yearning, “an exquisite book, wrenching to read, and at the same time full of profound truths.” Connect with Pat on Google+. Like Pat on Facebook.