Today I have a special treat for you. I had a chance to interview the two Mrs. McCoys of The Elusive Mr. McCoy by Brenda Baker.
Teresa: Kendra, could you tell us a bit about your business, how you got started?
Kendra: I always knew I would be my own boss some day. My parents thought I should stay in the family business and help with the restaurant, but my mother and I could never agree about how it should be run. For a long time after I left school, I worked as a receptionist at an art gallery because I was timid about starting a business of my own, afraid of failing and ending up with nothing but debts. It was Eric who gave me the push I needed. He invested some of his own money so I didn’t have to borrow too much from the bank. But what helped me most was his confidence in my ability. He was sure I would succeed, even before I was.
Teresa: You both are very different women. Is there something about one another that you’d like to see more of in yourself?
Lesley: Now that I have my own business, I wish I had Kendra’s ability to view problems dispassionately. I get too emotionally involved, and sometimes I get so caught up in how I feel about things, I don’t make very sensible choices.
Kendra: That’s so funny, because I envy the way Lesley solves emotional problems. If a problem doesn’t fit onto a spreadsheet, I never know how to deal with it. She has an instinct, a natural talent for choosing the happiest outcome.
Lesley: Kendra, remember that spreadsheet you made at your apartment, one column for Eric and one for Dave?
Kendra: Oh that stupid spreadsheet! We were so confused and that just made it worse.
Teresa: Do you think you would have connected had you met under different circumstances?
Lesley: I don’t think we would have met at all. We lived such different lives. I hardly ever went to Portland, and there was certainly nothing to bring Kendra to Brockville.
Kendra: But honestly, even if we had met, we’d never have connected without McCoy. And the circumstances we met under were so negative, becoming friends was the last thing either of us could have imagined. Even now, after everything we’ve been through together, I’m still surprised by our friendship.
Teresa: What’s next for each of you?
Kendra: I can tell you what’s next for Lesley.
Lesley: You can?
Kendra: I’ve seen this glow before. You’re pregnant again, aren’t you?
Lesley (laughing): Yes. We’re hoping for a girl this time, but it’s too early to tell. How about your plans?
Kendra: Actually, I’m thinking of changing careers. I’ve taken event planning as far as I can without expanding and hiring staff, and I don’t like the idea of being an employer any more than I liked being an employee. I’ve been helping Jason out with a few investigations. It’s interesting work and Jason has invited me to work with him. I haven’t decided yet, but it feels like the right move for me now.
Teresa: Congratulations Lesley! Kendra and Lesley would you be willing to share an experience that shaped you and helped you to become the strong woman that you are?
Kendra: You mean aside from being married to a bigamist? In my case, it was not so much an experience as it was a person. When I was growing up, Dad and I fought all the time, but I could never fight with Ma because she was always right, and she could always prove it. If I wanted something, I had to convince Ma to let me have it, and the only thing that worked on her was logic. She taught me to think things through, and now, when I make a decision, that’s what gives me confidence that I’ve made the right choice.
Lesley: The experience that gave me the most strength was getting pregnant. Until I had my baby, I was a bit of a baby myself. I never thought about my future, just went along with whatever my family wanted. But when I knew I was going to be responsible for someone else, that’s when I learned to take responsibility for myself.
Teresa: Do you have any advice to offer others on staying true to yourselves?
Lesley: I’m not sure it’s possible to give advice like that to someone else. People face all kinds of situations and have such different needs. And we change too. What was true for me before I met Dave isn’t true for me today.
Kendra: I feel the same way. But I can tell you what my mother would say. She’s a Buddhist, and they have sayings for everything. My mother would say: The only real failure in life is not to be true to the best one knows.
Teresa: Thank you ladies, it was so nice chatting with you. I wish you all the best!
About Brenda L. Baker
Born in Toronto, Brenda spent 35 years writing computer programs in Canada, the United States and the Netherlands, before becoming a novelist. Her passion is exploring new cultures, with knitting and reading tied for second place. She likes cats, but resists owning one herself, since everyone knows little old ladies can’t stop at just one.
Brenda’s recently released book, The Elusive Mr. McCoy, is a richly emotional journey of two women drawn together by an unexpected and unwanted bond. To read an excerpt, visit http://www.brendalbaker.com/
© 2012, Teresa. All rights reserved.