Interview With Ana Velasquez From Tough Love, Tender Heart by Steven Verrier
Q: Ms. Velasquez, thank you for taking the time to talk to us. First, could you tell us how you felt when you learned what happened to Don Fisher, who at one time I understand you were engaged to marry?
Ana: That’s correct. I was. Of course I was devastated when I got the news. Don was a good man. I told him that many times, and I meant it. Although we had our horrible problems, I didn’t hold him responsible. He was a victim, and he deserved much better.
Q: But as I understand it, you’re the one who—
Ana: Can we talk about more pleasant things? I was a victim just as much as he was, although I didn’t handle the situation the way he did.
Q: All right. Can you tell us how and where you and Don Fisher met?
Ana: Of course. He was on Christmas vacation in Venezuela, in Caracas. I happened to be working there as a waitress, although I’m Colombian. I’m also an attorney, but there was something going on in my life in Colombia and I had to—
Q: Are you referring to problems you were having in a relationship there?
Ana: Well, yes. My fiancé, Luis, was involved in activities—
Q: Illegal activities.
Ana: Yes, they were. I’ve made no secret of that—but, again, let’s talk about more pleasant things.
Q: Back to Don Fisher, then. The two of you hit it off—
Ana: In a way, yes. I mean, he certainly had his peculiarities …
Q: From what I’ve heard, that’s putting it mildly.
Ana: Well, however … unusual he may have been, he was the biological father of my child.
Q: And the two of you planned to marry.
Ana: We did. It seemed to be the best thing for our child.
Q: So what happened?
Ana: You’ll have to ask United States Immigration. They seemed to have it in for us from the start.
Q: You’re saying …?
Ana: Whatever their intent was, they treated the two of us, especially me, as criminals. They’re the ones responsible for what happened to Don.
Q: Can you be more specific?
Ana: I’d rather not. It’s just too painful, even still. I’d just like to say once more that Don Fisher wasn’t the monster some people have made him out to be. He was a sensitive man, and a good one … well, as good as he could be. And I’m not a monster, either, as some have suggested. We were both victims of a heartless bureaucracy making life-and-death decisions on a whim. That’s all I want people to know.
Q: On a final note, then, could you say a few words to bring us up to date on the life of Ana Velasquez?
Ana: Actually, that’s not my last name any longer, but I won’t get into that. I just try to look ahead and to live as normal a life as possible. I live in Colombia now, and I have no intention of ever returning to the United States … not even for a minute after the way those immigration officials treated me. I just try to march on, although there are some experiences … some haunting memories … that make it very difficult.
TOUGH LOVE, TENDER HEART is available at amazon.com, barnesandnoble.com, and other sources. For more information about TOUGH LOVE, TENDER HEART or about Steven Verrier, visit stevenverrier.com, and drop the author a line telling him what you think about this book!