Interview with Tall Chamber by Earl Staggs
Tall Chambers is the main character in my new Mystery/Thriller novel titled TALL CHAMBERS: JUSTIFIED ACTION. At the age of 38, Tall left the Army after twenty years, primarily in Special Services in the Middle East. In addition to leading covert operations, he taught small arms, hand to hand combat, and explosives.
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EARL – Thanks for sitting down with me for this interview, Tall. (smiles) First off, if you don’t mind me asking, how did you get that unusual first name?
TALL – (smiles) I don’t mind a bit. A lot of people ask me about that. My real name is Tallmadge, an old family name my mother picked out. As soon as I was old enough to talk, I asked people to shorten it to Tall. Everyone did (grins) . . .except Mom, of course.
EARL –So it’s not just because you actually are tall.
TALL – No. I’ve been six foot three since I turned fifteen, but I was thin as a stick. In fact, my nickname was “Splinter.” In the Army, I learned how to exercise and work out to build myself up. I still work out an hour a day when I can.
EARL – Do you miss the Army?
TALL – Yes, I do. I didn’t agree with everything they did, but I felt part of something important and thought in some small way, I could make a difference.
EARL – I understand after you left the Army, you joined a special agency that does something pretty important.
TALL – The agency I’ve been with for the last five years is not one of those everyone knows about like the CIA or FBI. This agency keeps a low profile and very few people even know it exists. I hope you understand I can’t say much about it.
EARL – So, if you told me, you’d have to kill me? (laughs)
TALL – (shrugs – doesn’t laugh)
EARL – (gulps) Okay, moving right along. Can you tell us what this agency does ?
TALL – We track subversive and terrorist groups both here and overseas. If we determine they’re a threat to innocent lives, we put them down.
EARL – Uh. . .when you say “put them down,” do you mean. . .?
TALL – Unfortunately, most of them choose to die for their cause rather than go to prison, so we accommodate them. If they want to meet Allah and collect their virgins, we put them in the express lane.
EARL – (gulps) I see. How do you feel about that?
TALL - I don’t enjoy it, but it’s necessary. We have a motto: kill one terrorist, save a hundred lives. After a while, you learn to think about the lives saved, not those taken.
EARL – How do you go about doing. . .uh. . .what you do?
TALL – The usual. Guns, explosives, whatever it takes.
EARL – The book is called TALL CHAMBERS: JUSTIFIED ACTION. Is it all about taking out terrorists?
TALL – No. (hesitates, looks away) Someone very dear to me is killed. After that, my only focus is finding who’s responsible and making things right. I use the resources of the agency, but it’s completely my own personal operation.
EARL – When you say “making things right,” do you mean. . . ?
TALL – (shrugs – doesn’t reply)
EARL – So are you able to find the person responsible and make them pay?
TALL – (looks away again) Not exactly. It gets complicated. A lot of people are involved, some in high places.
EARL – How high?
TALL – As high as you can go in this country. I can’t say any more than that. I hope you understand. (looks at watch, stands up) I’m sorry, but I have to go now. I have a job to do across the street. (smiles, extends hand)
EARL – (stands, shakes hands) Uh. . .okay. Across the street? When you say “a job to do,” do you mean. . . ?
TALL – (turns and leaves) You’ll probably hear a lot of noise. I wouldn’t go outside for a while.
EARL – (gulps)
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TALL CHAMBERS: JUSTIFIED ACTION will be available soon in ebook and print form. Watch for announcements on my website: http://earlwstaggs.wordpress.com
You’re invited to visit my site now where you can read Chapter One of my Mystery novel, MEMORY OF A MURDER.
You can also read a short story called “The Day I Almost Became a Great Writer.” Some say it’s the funniest story I’ve ever written.
There’s another story there called “White Hats and Happy Trails,” about the day I spent with my boyhood idol, Roy Rogers. There’s even a picture of me with Roy to prove it’s all true.
Thanks for stopping by here today. Please leave a comment and you may win a free book. At the end of the tour, I’ll draw two names from those who left comments. The first name drawn will receive a signed print copy of MEMORY OF A MURDER, a mystery novel with a long list of Five Star Reviews. The second name drawn will receive their choice of a signed print copy or an ebook of SHORT STORIES OF EARL STAGGS, a collection of 16 tales of mystery from hardboiled to humorous.
Mystery author Earl Staggs recently received his second Derringer Award for Best Short Story of the Year. His novel MEMORY OF A MURDER earned a long list of Five Star reviews. SHORT STORIES OF EARL STAGGS, a collection of 16 Mystery tales, is available in print and ebook. He served as Managing Editor of Futures Mystery Magazine and as President of the Short Mystery Fiction Society. He’s a contributing blog member of Murderous Musings and Make Mine Mystery and a frequent speaker at conferences, seminars, writers and readers groups. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: http://earlwstaggs.wordpress.com
Hi, Earl, I loved this interview! Thank you so much!