I enjoyed reading 3 American Cranks – A Satire in Three Voices by R.L.Feliciello so much that I grabbed the opportunity of getting its author to answer a few questions about the book. How did Mr. Feliciello agree to an interview, you ask? Well, it’s a long story, but it’s my duty to update my loyal readers with all the facts. While reading 3 American Cranks, I got this vibe that the character of D.C.Washington is a bit racist. Of course, I may be wrong, but this is honestly how I felt at the time of reading the book. I mentioned the same in my review of the book. Unfortunately, I did not mark all those instances and being in the middle of many projects, I could not re-read the book to help explain the logic behind my comment. I feel awful that I cannot provide an explanation to the author at the moment. The least I could do was approach Mr.Feliciello and give him an opportunity to present his facts to the readers. Without further ado, here is the “Q&A with the incredible author, whom I would like to call the King of Satire, of 3 American Cranks.”
If I say that 3 American Cranks is no ordinary book then it’s neither a false statement nor an exaggeration. What was the source of this unique concept that transformed into this intriguing book?
Who wants to write an ordinary book? It wasn’t a concept that started my creative juices flowing but the voices of three colorful characters who invaded my mind and — too impatient to wait for me to invent a storyline to plug them into — demanded I put their voices down on paper just the way I heard them. The 3 American cranks of the book’s title are a trio of eccentric characters, who, in intermingled monologues, passionately bare their souls and spout outrageous opinions about life and love in America under the reign of the One Percent. There is a story there, of course, which the reader is invited to supply out of his or her imagination. But please do not make it an ordinary one.
Each and every word of D.C.Washington carried a profound wisdom with it. I remember while reading no matter how many distractions were around me, my complete attention was on him. I couldn’t help but wonder at many instances, what inspired you to use the name of D.C.Washington while imparting such deep thoughts?
An African-American street preacher/soapbox orator entertains the lunchtime crowd that gathers on the steps of the Jefferson Memorial to delight in the man’s uncommonly honest take on the USA today. Since his “ministry” is in Washington, D.C., and since many of his barbs are aimed at the political class in the nation’s capitol, D.C. Washington seemed a fitting name. Also, he often calls out, “My name is D.C. Washington, and I cannot tell a lie,” referring to the legendary truthfulness of George Washington, America’s first president. P.S. Readers discover what D.C. stands for in the opening pages of the book.
In my review, I had mentioned — and you respectfully disagreed — that I thought there were traces of racism in the voice of D.C.Washington. Would you like to share your perspective on the same?
It’s not fair to only talk about one of the 3 cranks in this discussion. I’m sure all the readers would love to know a little bit more about the other two cranks: Feminist Lady and Horny Guy. I would love to know your thoughts on both of these cranks.
3 American Cranks doesn’t use the term “Horny Guy” or “Feminist Lady” but I like those descriptions very much. Though those two characters never speak directly to each other, they fight a fifteen-round, no-holds-barred, knock-down battle of the sexes, never once going to a neutral corner or backing down from their opposing points of view. And yet we feel the need of each for the other. Meanwhile, D.C. Washington wittily points out hidden social and economic factors driving the sexes apart.
How long did this project (3 American Cranks) take to complete?
The book took about two years to write. I will not go into how long it took to re-write. In fact, see #6 below.
How soon are we going to be blessed with another creation of yours? Seriously, I can’t wait!
I am now adapting 3 American Cranks for the stage in order to further mine its comic possibilities and bring to the surface the underlying story of how three seemingly conflicting lives prove to be deeply interwoven. I am so focussed on storytelling this time that I’ve added new characters and a second storyline. I can tell you this much, that the play is a comedy that ends with a wedding, with many laughs along the way.