Interview With Nate From ‘Kissing Games of the World’ by Sandi Kahn Shelton
Kissing Games of the World is a love story between two very unlikely people: Jamie McClintock is an artist and the single mother of 5-year-old Arley, and she shares a farmhouse with an older man who is raising his grandson. Nate Goddard is an international jet-setting salesman who now finds he must come back home to Chester, Connecticut, after his estranged father’s death and take over the raising of his little boy, Christopher, whom he had left with his father when Nate’s wife died in an auto accident four days after giving birth.
Jamie’s landlord is Nate’s father—and now, grieving from the loss of her friend and trying to help the little boys cope, she has to deal with this arrogant guy who intends to kick her out of the house, put everything up for sale, and take his son with him on the road.
And Sandi Kahn Shelton is the hapless author to whom these characters entrusted with the telling of their story. She has decided to interview Nate, who was nothing but trouble during the writing of this book.
Sandi: No offense, Nate, but when I got the contract for this book from Shaye Areheart Press, the assignment was to write a “book of women’s fiction.” That means—and I think you knew this—that it’s a story ABOUT women. This was supposed to be Jamie’s story, and then YOU decided to tell it from your point of view…
Nate: Jamie wasn’t telling it right.
Sandi: That may be true, but she was telling it in her own way, and I was listening to her. We were getting to the plot. Nobody invited you to start telling your part.
Nate: Listen, she was misrepresenting lots of things about me, so I had to take over. And she was going on and on about how great my father was, when he was an S.O.B. who had left my mother and me when I was younger, and NOW I’m supposed to sit around and listen to how great he is for taking my little boy? She was DUPED by my father, who was nothing but a womanizing creep, and she was too dumb to see that.
Sandi: She said your father had changed. And he admitted to her that he’d been a bad father to you. He was sorry for all his mistakes.
Nate: I think she was sleeping with him.
Sandi: Trust me. She wasn’t.
Nate: Trust YOU?! Are you freaking kidding me? You only know what we tell you, lady. Don’t forget that. You can be manipulated.
Sandi: Look, Nate. Both your father and Jamie have very carefully explained to me that they weren’t having an affair. They were good friends, and your father made it quite clear to me that he had changed his ways. And you aren’t going to find any real peace in your life until you forgive him for the past. There’s no good reason to hold onto all this stuff, you know. He did many good things for your son. You should be grateful for that.
Nate: Yeah, well, you should have been around when he was raising ME. Then you wouldn’t have been taken in by him. It’s a good thing I took over part of this book so I could really give you the real story, the stuff that Jamie would never have believed. I wanted to tell you the WHOLE story, even the parts about Jamie and me…but NOOOO. You wouldn’t go for that, would you? You still let her tell half the story.
Sandi: I explained to you about the contract! Anyway, you did fine in getting your point across in every other chapter. I couldn’t take the whole book away from Jamie, you know. She WAS the one who approached me first about the story. How could I tell her I let you hijack the whole thing?
Nate: (laughing snarkily) I did make it more interesting, though, didn’t I? You gotta admit, my situation—with the boss and my pointy-haired fiancée, even trying to figure out how to take Christopher across country to sales conferences with me and get him to sit still and behave…and the time when he dropped my BlackBerry in the airplane toilet…Jamie wouldn’t have told you all that stuff, would she?
Sandi: It’s true. You were nothing if not interesting.
Nate: That’s how love goes sometimes. She was looking for somebody calm and boring, somebody who would sit there while she glued glitter onto pine cones while they both grow old. She never figured on somebody like me to come in and make her knees weak.
Sandi: I must admit, I was a little surprised at your presence as well.
Nate: Yeah, well, sometimes things need a good shake-up. Keeps life from turning into just a string of Tuesday afternoons.
Sandi: But let’s not forget that you had to go through a lot of changes, too.
Nate: Oh, please. Let’s not go into that here, and spoil the whole plot. Can’t you hold ANYTHING back?