Hello, Pickle, and thanks for joining us today. Can you tell us how you and Amy Metz first met?
Pickle: Now that’s a funny story. You see, she walked into the bookstore one day with her kid—I work at the bookstore, ya know—and that day I had on my T-shirt that says, “Do you know the Muffin Man?” Well, she looks at it and she looks at me, and she says, “Sure I know the Muffin Man. He lives on Drury Lane.” Now, I’d just had a similar conversation with Mizz Tess, so I’m lookin’ at her—Mizz Metz, I mean, not Mizz Tess—I’m lookin’ at her real funny like. So she starts singin’. Right there in the middle of the bookstore. Singin’. She starts singin’, “Oh do you know the muffin man, the muffin man, the muffin man…” You know that song? Well, she’s singin’ it. And her kid gets all embarrassed and makes her quit. So she’s walkin’ away, and I felt bad for her, so I imitate the Gingerbread Man on Shrek and say, “No, not the buttons,” and she turns around and together we say, “Not the gumdrop buttons.” And we’ve been friends ever since.
Did you ever think that your town would end up being in a book?
Pickle: No ma’am, I sure did not. But the more I think about it, the more I come to the conclusion that Goose Pimple Junction is a mighty fine place to live, so why shouldn’t other folks get the chance to live here too, even if it’s just for a short while, depending on how fast they read of course.
What’s your favorite part in the book: the action, the dialog or the romance?
Pickle: Oh, definitely the action. Some folks might like what Ms. Metz calls her goosepimpleisms, but I’m so used to ‘em, I don’t pay ‘em no nemmine.
Pickle: You ain’t from around here are ya? N-e-v-e-r m-i-n-d. Nemmine.
Oh! Never mind. Okay, sorry to interrupt, please continue.
Pickle: Anyhow, as I was sayin’, I guess I hear a new goosepimpleism every now and again, but what I like most is the action. I’m in a few action scenes, and let me tell you, they are fun. Well, except for when I got tackled. That kinda hurt.
What’s your favorite goosepimpleism?
Pickle: (he thinks for a minute, with his face all scrunched up) Hmmm…that’s a hard one. There are lots of gooduns. I guess I’d have to say the one that makes me laugh–
Pickle: G-o-o-d o-n-e-s. There are lots of ‘em. But I have to say I like it when somebody says, “His pants are so tight if he farted, he’d blow his boots off.” Mama doesn’t like me to say the word “fart.” She says it’s unseemly. But I think it’s funny. I can make a fart sound with my armpit. Want me to show ya?
No, I’ll pass, thanks. Next question: Are you always with your author–even in her sleep?
Pickle: (laughs) You wanna hear a funny story about sleep? Okay, here goes: Mizz Metz heard someone say that they were afraid to stop writin’ on account they thought their characters might murder them in their sleep. So Mr. Donnachaidh—he’s the publisher—he said he was afraid to stop editin’ on account the characters might murder him in his sleep. Well, Mizz Metz told him she had a talk with Tess and Jackson and Louetta, and they promised not to kill him. And you know what he said? This is the funny part. He said he wasn’t worried about them, it was Pickle he was afraid of. He said he never knows what’s going through my head. Idn’t that funny?
What sorts of things do you like to do when you’re not actively being read somewhere?
Pickle: I like to hang out with my girlfriend, Charlotte. She’s real nice and real pretty too. We go to shows, and football and basketball games at our high school, and we go to the diner a lot too. You know, the usual stuff. I also like to play practical jokes on my little brother, Peanut. He sure is fun to joke on. My favorite is hidin’ in his bedroom closet and jumpin’ out when he comes in the room. He gets so mad! Once I hid under the bed and waited until he turned the light out to go to sleep. Then I reached my hand up and grabbed his arm. He screamed like a girl. Fun times…
Would you like to change anything in your book?
Pickle: (Grinning) If I was writin’ it, I’d make all the chicks fall madly in love with me. And I’d make me the mayor of Goose Pimple Junction. And I’d make my mama order in pizza every night for dinner, and peach cobbler would always be ready and waitin’ at my house. And—
Okay, okay, sorry I asked. Moving on. Do you think you can talk Ms. Metz into writing a sequel?
Pickle: Ha! Way ahead of you. I already did, and she’s already done it. She’s written GPJ2, and she’s writin’ GPJ3 as we speak. Don’t ask me what they’re about. I’ve been sworn to secrecy. But a little green might get you a bit of informa—okay, okay, forget I said anything.
Did you get to have any input into the cover art?
Pickle: (Looking dejected) No ma’am. I suggested puttin’ my picture on the cover. You know, with maybe me runnin’ or doin’ somethin’ super cool. Or maybe jest lookin’ real good. You know, a nice head shot. But she and Karen Schmidt liked the diner idea. It’s okay, but I think my face on the front woulda been better.
Well, thank you, Pickle. It’s been an illuminating interview. What’s next for Pickle Culpepper?
Pickle: (looking confused) It’s goin’ on six o’clock. I’m goin’ home for supper. Duh.
No, no, I meant…oh never mind. Thanks again.
Pickle: You’re welcome. Don’t be a stranger. But call before you come. Mama likes to make a pie or cake for kumpny.
Pickle: (sighing heavily) C-o-m-p-a-n-y.
Company! Got it.