Interview with Benson and Cora – more hints (including on a mysterious character)

Hello everyone,

I’ve missed you like I’m missing summer in mid-twenties temperature.  But you’ve been awesome, writing to me and raising more questions!  To my surprise, Aiden’s interview was quite popular so I decided we will do interviews with the full “cast,” including some you have not met.  I will use these interviews to answer more of your questions and bring up hints on characters, sequel, and even 30N.  Next up, Benson (Karl Urban) and Cora (Juliette Binoche).  Boy, you guys have questions about them.  A warning! They are furious with me.


Cora Davis


John Benson









AS: (enters undisclosed location and knocks  on undisclosed door.  Benson opens it.)

AS:  Hey –


AS: Umm… Benson, I –

JB: That’s Mr. Benson to you.

AS:  Mr.?  Since when are you a Mr.?

JB: Since you darkened this doorstep with your tar-black soul.

AS:  Tar-black?  I go for gray usually.  You know, try to keep a low profile.

JB:  (flares nostrils, fists hands to the side, steps out, and hovers half-an-inch from my face, hissing through his teeth.  Mental note: Dragonosis is contagious.)  DO YOU THINK I WILL SPARE YOU BECAUSE YOU ARE A WOMAN?  IN NAME ONLY.

AS: Hey, that’s harsh.  I’m on my period.  Which means I am a woman.  And if you kill me, you will all remain in your current state of hell unless someone writes a fan fiction on you.


AS: You’re damn right.  Now I have readers with a million questions.  Are you going to let me in or not?  (taps foot, which in reality is trembling.)

JB:  NO!

AS: Fine, I’m calling Aiden.  (pulls out ancient cell phone and dials super-secret number.  It rings…. and rings…. and rings….finally, Aiden picks up.)

AH: You better be calling to tell  me the sequel is finished and it has only five words:  “She lived happily ever after.”

AS:  No. I’m calling because your asshole security guard won’t agree to be interviewed by my readers.  And if they don’t get their answers, you get no sequel.  Period.  And I mean that literally.


AS:  Well, then you tell Benson to let me in.

AH: (growls something that may or may not mean “let me talk to talk to him”)

AS: (passes derelict phone to Dragon No. 2.)  Aiden wants to talk to you.

JB:  (takes the phone from my hand with look of disgust on his face.)  Sir?… Weapons?  No, just that fucked-up brain of hers… (presses lips together)… This woman needs to be committed, Sir.  Who the fuck knows what she will write next…She is wearing flannel pajamas and is mumbling about “lilies on a grave”…  I don’t know what that means… Respectfully Sir, this is Jane Doe to the Nth Degree.  At least with Jane Doe, we know she has an obsession with Marine uniforms soaked in blood.  With this one, we could end up hookers harvested for internal organs.  I don’t trust her.  I suggest immediate termination of target…(glares at me with flared nostrils)… Are you sure, Sir?… Not even in her drink?… Yes, Sir. (hangs up, hands me the phone).

AS:  What’s that part about the drink? You’re making me nervous.

JB:  (smiles like Hannibal Lecter).  Let me show you.  Would you like to make yourself at home and have a nice cup of hot chocolate?

AS: (shakes in fear).  I will come in but no to the chocolate.  I hear arsenic is really bad for you.

JB:  (lets me in, follows like a shadow to an undisclosed sitting area, and sits at the edge of a chair.)  Your questions.

AS:  I need Cora around.  You know… as a witness.

JB:  (laughs in mirth).  If you think Cora will save you, be my guest.   I’ll call her.

AS: (squares shoulders in a manner befitting her role as a creator).  No need.  I can summon her with my mind. Voila! (Cora appears next to Benson).

CD:  (starts running towards me) HOW DARE YOU SHOW UP HERE? (JB restrains her from her waist and pleads with her to sit down because Mr. Hale said so.  CD sits next to JB, breathing hard.)

AS: (straightens her pajamas) Right.  Calm down both of you.  I know what you think, it’s all in my head.  So just sit down and answer the readers’ questions.

JB and CD: (finally shut their mouths and glare at me with poisonous eyes, waiting.)

AS:  Benson, Aiden said in his interview that you are undoing dirty deeds.  What does that mean?

JB: It means I am trying to help him right four wrongs.

AS: Four?  By whom?

JB: By your sick, twisted brain.

CD:  (grips Benson’s arm and whispers).  Benson, please!  Be careful.  She can send us to Siberia and then we can’t help at all.

JB: (turns to her)  Careful?  Cora, for the love of God, when was the last time you saw Mr. Hale eat?  Or sleep?  I’ve had to sit up with him every night since Isa left.  You know what happens at night.  You’ve seen it!

CD:  I know.  I know. But she can make things worse. Just answer her questions so she can leave.

AS:  You know I can hear you.

JB:  Do we look like we give a fuck?

AS:  You should.  Now what do you mean by what happens at night?  I have readers who worry that Aiden will hurt himself.

JB and CD:  Over our dead bodies.

AS:  Is he sleeping?

JB: (sighs)  Barely.  And when he does, he can’t wake up.  His dreams are different.  Violent like the ones about the war but all the violence is inwards… I don’t know how to explain it.

AS:  Is Payne around?  I know Isa called him before she left.

JB:  He practically lives with us now.  Happy?

AS:  Not particularly.  And Giles, does he know?

CD:  Yes, Payne called him.

AS:  What about Aiden’s parents?  Do they know?

CD:  (looks down, twisting her fingers).  Not yet.  They… they only know that they needed to come home.

AS:  Who told them?

CD: (swallows, looking guilty)  I did.

AS:  Cora, why?

JB:  Don’t you dare talk to Cora that way!

CD:  Mrs. Hale called me.  She had been trying to reach Mr. Hale’s cell and the house phone for days.  She was besides herself with worry.  I didn’t tell her anything but she asked me point blank, ‘Do I need to come home for my son?’  And I only said ‘He misses you.’  Next thing I knew, they had boarded a plane. (starts tearing up, wiping her tears with a napkin.)

JB: (glares at me)  See what you did?

AS: Sorry Cora.  I know you don’t believe me but I have a plan.  Benson, does Aiden know his letters are gone?

JB:  What do you think, genius?

CD:  Benson please!

JB:  Fine.  Yes, he knows.

AS:  Was he angry?

JB:  Angry is an understatement.  But not because she has them.  He said they were always hers.  I don’t know what the letters say  but I think he was angry that I imposed their burden on her.  But thankfully for my job, he understood my intentions.

AS:  What were your intentions?

JB: (sighs again)  I am not allowed to talk about this.  I can only say that I knew the truth and I knew she would leave him.  I suppose I hoped that the letters would ease the pain for her.  And eventually for him.

AS: When did you write your note to Isa?

JB:  When Ms. Petras showed up to pick up Isa’s things.

AS:  You seemed shocked that Isa was leaving for England.

JB:  (puts his face in his hands and rubs his eyes hard).  Nothing could have prepared me for it.  Or Mr. Hale.  In all his plans, that was one thing he did not account for.  I suspect part of the reason I am not dead for letting her go is his shock.  That, and the other Marines of course.  But how were we supposed to know?  She is selfless, yes, but she had worked so hard for that green card.  It was all she wanted.  How could anyone have predicted she would sacrifice it in an instant for the Solis’s?

CD:  I’m not sure it was only for the Solis’s.  I think even if they were wealthy and Mr. Hale still reported Javier, she would have left.  I think America started to mean both Mr. Hale and Javier to her.  Either loss, let alone both, would have destroyed the dream.  I think that’s why she left in the end.  Like she said to Benson, if she was going to be homeless, there was only one place for her.  England.

JB and CD: (stop talking, their eyes glued to their feet.  Benson looks up.)  Any other questions?

AS:  Not for now.  I’m sure we’ll talk again soon.

JB:  Don’t bet on it. Now leave or so help me God, I will write that sequel myself and it will end with a wedding and sixteen children.

CD: And your painful death.

THANK YOU EVERYONE for all your comments, feedback, and for reading through my rambles.  Hope you are getting your questions answered.  As always, you rock!!!

21 thoughts on “Interview with Benson and Cora – more hints (including on a mysterious character)

    • asurnois says:

      Thank you, Hardpouncing!! So kind of you! (*grins like a lunatic and runs off to dentist after broken tooth*) 🙂

  1. Karen says:

    I love the little breadcrumbs of information you are giving us 🙂 I’m still trying to figure out the righting of four wrongs (unless Feign counts for 2) !!! And telling us of Jane Doe’s obsession with marines blood soaked clothes is just soooo unfair …… tell us that snippet and then leave us hanging …. come on have pity on us pleaseeeee. I have to say I love Benson – he really does care for Elisa and Aidan and I love that he gave Elisa the letters without checking with Aidan first just so she might understand him more. And I must say I’m looking forward to seeing what “Mom” has to say about all this!!

    Thank you Ani for giving us another brilliant interview – and please take pity on us mere mortals and give us another chapter soon 🙂 🙂

  2. Blondegirl3 says:

    Excellent! I was wondering what happened to Jane Doe…. And now we know that Aidan is aware that she has the letters and is in England! Wow., what the Marines must of had to do to hold him back from throwing himself, or Beson into the river when he found put! See Aidan… All best laid plans….. Well you know the saying! Way to go Ani! Thrilled to get this while at Disneyworld in Fl on vacation with my three kids and hubby at EPCOT going thru ITALY getting my Baci chocolates! Ha!

  3. Nan Virden says:

    Excellent interview! Benson and Cora are sure holding a grudge. These little tidbits are filling the void, waiting for the next story, or more of Aiden’s nights, or another letter or…

    Awesome Ani. Who’s next? Payne? Giles? Ooo, Javier’s family. The sisters and mother. You can write her’s in Spanish and they can translate. 😀 That interview would be a hoot!

  4. Lizzy Lyon says:

    Heartbreaking cliffie! I am eager for the sequel as are so many.

    I just looked at my ankle and realized I got Union Jack patterned athletic tape at physical therapy today. However, mine is helping me. Not burning a hole through my sole like Isa

  5. Sharon Starr says:

    Have to say, you totally rock those flannel pajamas. You are totally an intimidating package! Or at least you would be if you didn’t still have Baci on your chin.
    Love these interviews, glad your characters are as antsy as are your rabid fans. You know you have us all totally at your mercy.

  6. donatella says:

    Happy Thanksgiving everybody!
    My dear ” Mrs. Ani The Writer “,
    I abhor dwelling on the ” what-ifs ” and ” could-beens ” in my real life, imagine with Elisa’s and Aiden’s, not to mention all the others’: you gave them birth and nothing I can do to change the situation at this very moment. Even if, like Mr. Benson, I got my own happy ending…two sparkling souls, hugging each other, healed and stronger than ever.
    Speaking of “heal”…is it possible for Hale to be its anagram or vice versa?
    And then, why did you need an “ancient” cell phone? Was it just a coincidence? In the previous interview, Aiden could “reach” you, leaving the cabin alive only because “Jazz and the others were holding his arms for dear life”: is he still near the same “building” at the moment you made your phone call to him with the above-mentioned ancient cell phone?
    Then I guess Aiden can never be left alone, neither during the day, least of all at night.
    I wish you a wonderful time with your “babies” and please, keep on writing your wonderful pages and share with us your gift!
    Con affetto. Donatella

      • asurnois says:

        Donatella, Happy Thanksgiving! Is it ok if I answer in Italian? (Mi dispiace per il mio italiano – già sono passati tanti anni che non lo parlo regolarmente). Sono così grata per la tua amicizia e supporto di mia storia. E che bel commento hai fatto! Lo adoro. E proprio intelligente. Tu chiedi domande penetranti, in particolare quella sul edificio dove Aiden è adesso situato. 🙂 In questo momento, Aiden è con i suoi Marines. Benson si trova in un luogo separato ma Aiden certamente sa cosa Benson sta facendo. 🙂 Ah e siano nella stessa città. Il telefono era un momento di umorismo con il focus on Jane Doe (volevo che i lettori leggere quella parte and non sapevo un altro modo per dirlo senza Aiden presente). Ti da questo un po’ d’auito? Baci e abbracci, Ani (scusa gli errori) 🙂 xoxox

  7. donatella says:

    Cara Ani, grazie per la risposta in italiano, che sai ancora scrivere egregiamente! Dal canto mio, mi sembrava scortese rivolgermi a te, pur con parole di profonda stima ed apprezzamento, in questa che è la tua “casa” virtuale e con ospiti che, forse, non avrebbero compreso ciò che avevo scritto. Le tue “creature” sono così coinvolgenti e descritte in modo talmente approfondito, oltre che con un linguaggio estremamente colto, da avermi letteralmente stregato ed essere entrate a far parte della mia vita reale, come dei cari amici da amare e di cui avere cura, pur rispettandone la libertà individuale. Per alleviare quel senso di perdita e di distacco, alla fine del primo romanzo (sì, a romance, not a novel!!!!), ho dovuto immaginarli sereni e ricongiunti e risolti, altrimenti l’attesa del seguito sarebbe stata snervante! Grazie ancora per le risposte, ma ogni risposta porta ad altre domande ed è proprio questo il dono meraviglioso di cui sei dotata: una grande umanità, la capacità di tradurre in parole scritte i sentimenti e le sensazioni, una grande conoscitrice dell’animo umano, degna degli autori della Comédie Française, come Honoré de Balzac, o di Pirandello o ancora della migliore letteratura romantica inglese…J.Austin sarebbe fiera ed onorata di potersi confidare con te e gli autori russi, che tu ami tanto, rivivono nelle tue pagine! Come dimenticare che lo stesso Tolstoj sentì la necessità di dare vita al personaggio di Ana Karenina, perché perseguitato dall’immagine, mentre riposava steso nel suo divano, di un “nudo gomito femminile di un elegante braccio aristocratico» “! Il tuo romanzo, inoltre, è arricchito dal simbolismo e lo rende intrigante; le scene sessuali esplicite non sono mai volgari o fine a loro stesse, ma considerate all’interno di un profondo e viscerale e vero Amore, un Amore che trascende le miserie umane, pur lottando per superarle.
    Vedi, Ani? Meglio che io ritorni al mio semplice inglese!
    GRAZIE…urlato, e chiedo scusa per la netiquette violata, per avermi accompagnata nel viaggio di chi ha combattuto per il proprio Paese e ne è ritornato distrutto psicologicamente: pur avendo letto molti articoli e romanzi sull’argomento, non mi avevano mai colpita a livello emotivo, o io non avevo permesso che ciò accadesse…Aiden mi ha travolta; Javier con il problema dell’immigrazione clandestina ha aperto una finestra su un universo a me sconosciuto ed Elisa…Elisa è oltre ogni possibile parola, scritta o pronunciata. Passato e presente che si fonde per illuminare un vero futuro!
    E’ stato un onore leggerti e continuerò a farlo. Dita incrociate e tanti pensieri carichi di energia positiva per te ed il tuo futuro come scrittrice degna di questo nome!
    Con affetto ed abbracci virtuali (((( <3 )))) Donatella

    • donatella says:

      …..passato e presente che si…fondono…non “fonde”! Errore mio nella foga del momento! Scusami! Buona giornata per te, visto che da me sono le 3:50 del pomeriggio. xoxo D.

  8. Maxime Noyes says:

    Ani! Not only are you a phenomenally gifted writer…. You are also a fantastic tease! In the best way possible… I can’t wait to see what you come up with next!

    With exceptional anticipation….
    I’m very loyal fan

  9. wendy1fitgily says:

    Ani, this is such a scrumptious morsel! Both characters are so fitting, love the visuals of them almost as much as the image of you in your pjs. Lol. I’m wondering, though, if the flannel matches your black-tar soul? Lol.
    You have turned me into a very greedy, needy person and I want more! ; )

    Can’t wait for what’s next. Thank you!!

  10. Sunshirae says:

    Ani, as if I were a deer caught by headlights! I am stunned, no movement no recollection of what to do next. I don’t want to make my own assumptions… too much to think about. Flick the lights… give me some visual please. Can’t wait to read what his parent’s have to say and what will Aiden’s reaction be when he knows that his parent’s trip has been cut short. PS…I love the take on Cora and Benson. Thank you for your incredible flow with words. This story is not only addicting but “out of this world”. Thanks for giving me more.

  11. H. says:

    I’ve been meaning to review for this interview, but I always ended up remembering at the most inconvenient times. First off, thank you for the interviews. Not only do they make the world more bearable, with reunions of our lovely characters, but also a bittersweet sense of relief. The statement, “…Over our dead bodies” let air finally come to my lungs. I’m grateful for Cora and Benson, but the part about his new and horrific nightmares made the newly found air in my lungs leave. I have lots of more questions Ani, and I’m desperate for a sequel; I worry if you don’t give us one with a HEA, I might have to accept Cora and Benson’s offer (of course, I won’t let them kill you off 🙂

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