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Wednesday, June 29, 2016

An Interview with Reverend Aurelio Peña

The COUNTDOWN continues to Friday's release of my latest novel, The Un-Familiar: A Tale of Cats and Gods. Only 2 days--and 2 more character interviews--to go. That means 2 more chances to win a FREE BOOK, too! Don't forget: you have to enter the drawing every day. Names don't carry over from one day to the next, so head over to my website and send a message via the Contact page to be entered!

Congratulations to yesterday's winner, Keith W!

On to today's character interview.


Introducing Reverend Aurelio Peña


Our penultimate character interview is with the Reverend Aurelio Peña. Rev Peña, like Dr. Raines, is a newcomer to the cast. A celebrity televangelist, Peña preaches "prosperity gospel," the message that God wants us to be rich and selfish because He wants us to be happy and the way to happiness is to "get mine before someone else does." Given Peña's huge worldwide following, that message resonates with a lot of people. And, according to the corollary that those who are successful at amassing wealth must be pleasing to God because he's blessed them with riches, then Peña is certainly a favorite.


LMH: Welcome Reverend Peña. Oh, and I see you're not alone.

Peña: Vales la Peña (bows). You know my catch phrase, yes? It's a play on words. In Spanish, vale la pena means it's worthwhile. I switched that around, vales la Peña, you are worth the Peñ (wink). Get it?


LMH: Yes, I completely get it. You're worth the pain. So, tell there pain involved, following you?

(A petite serious looking woman in a dark business suit, her hair pulled back into a severe bun steps forward, one hand sliding under her blazer. Peña holds out a hand and stops her.)

Peña (to her): Esta bien, General. (Then to me): Tsk, tsk, tsk, such pessimism. An unattractive quality. Probably from low self-esteem. I can help. Follow me and you will learn the way to happiness. Trust me, vales la Peña.


LMH: That's nice. Can we get on with the interview? Oh, and can your staff wait outside?

Peña: Ah, my assistants. This is my head of security, who sitteth on my right-hand side, General Luisa Feliciano. (The woman nods). And these are the Women in White, as you said, my staff. (Pointing to each one in turn): My publicist, personal assistant, style consultant, hair stylist, personal physician, um, uh...(finger snapping)

Feliciano (whispering): Shoe shiner, sir.

Peña: Ah, right, my shoe shiner, and (waving absently) that one is in training. You may leave. Except the General. She stays with me at all times.


LMH: Fine. Now, tell us about how you came to be such a powerful preacher.

Peña: Ah, well, that is the god's will, isn't it?


LMH: Now, when you say gods, is that with a capital G, the God? And are you saying God's, singular, apostrophe s God's or plural, many gods? It's hard to tell just hearing it and I want to make sure I transcribe it correctly for the readers.

Peña: Shrewd. Most people don't catch that ambiguity when they hear the spoken word. That's why I prefer preaching orally to having things captured on paper. It leads to confusion. Questions. Verbally, my followers all hear what they want--need--to hear to believe.


LMH: Isn't that a bit...well, underhanded?

Peña: Underhanded? No, of course not. We do what we have to do to be successful. That's god's will.


LMH: Again, what god is that? God, capital G or are you referring to something--or someone--else?

Peña: Ah, very good. But, I can't tell you that. It would spoil the surprise. If your readers want to know, they'll have to get The Un-Familiar: A Tale of Cats and Gods to find out!

Thank you all for joining us. Now, either scroll down to read about the rest of the characters in The Un-Familiar, or head on over to, look around, and send a message to enter for today's drawing for a free book. Or, better yet--do both!

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