Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Interview: Davis Aujourd'hui, Author of "The Misadventures of Sister Mary Olga Foritude"

Author: April Pohren

Davis Aujourd'hui is the author of The "Misadventures of Sister Mary Olga Fortitude" and "Babes in Bucksnort", both of which are humorous satires. Mr. Aujourd'hui possesses a rich life experience that has aided him, as well as enabled him, to create a colorful canvas for his stories and the people in them. He is a retired social worker as will as a recovering alcoholic. Davis Aujourd'hui also happens to be gay, which allows him to bring a deeper perspective to many of the endearing and humorous characters whose stories he tells within his novels. With his personal experiences, Mr. Aujourd'hui is able to share many of the same foibles as those of his cast of characters who are naughty, nasty, and nice.

Please tell us a bit about your book, The "Misadventures of Sister Mary Olga Foritude", and what you hope readers take away from reading it.

Sister Mary Olga is a bourbon-swilling, chain-smoking nun who's always getting into trouble with the Reverend Mother, a reformed prostitute. The convent's chef is a gay cowboy. Just watch out for the nasty town busybody named Priscilla Bunhead who is always digging in the dirt. There's plenty of that for her to find on Dinkledorf Drive in the fictional town of Bucksnort, Wisconsin. There's a lot of hanky panky going on there!

All of the book's other diverse and zany characters are delightfully flawed, The scenarios are outrageous. You'll discover the secret of a transgendered nun under the most unlikely circumstances. You may have never discovered a body in the process of cremation as you tried to bake a cake or bore offspring who made inappropriate digestive noises while playing Baby Jesus in the annual Christmas pageant. Yet you will be able to relate to the human foibles discussed by Sister Mary Olga.

Sister Mary Olga takes the attitude of "to each one's own." She pokes fun at the conservative religious and social attitudes of the day. Irreverent and bawdy, this religious satire does have an underlying spiritual message; that is to lighten up and not take life so seriously.

It's my hope that my readers will come away with food for thought while being thoroughly entertained the whole way through. Perhaps they will take a closer look at themselves and realize defects of which they wish to let go. At the same time, they may emulate qualities they wish to possess. I can guarantee my readers will laugh from page one until the end.

Who are your favorite characters in the story?

I love all of my characters, so this is a difficult question to answer. Sister Mary Olga is a hoot although she dispenses nuggets of wisdom in between the laughs. I relate most to Randy Cowboy, the convent's gay chef who is a self-described sex maniac.

I must confess that my favorite characters are the nasty ones. The shrewish prude, Priscilla Bunhead, is always digging in the dirt and really knows how to hold a grudge. She is an archetype of the negative qualities of the human condition. There is much to be learned from her and she will make you laugh.

Do you have a favorite line or excerpt from your book?

If you want an excerpt, here's a doozy:

Speaking of looking up, that brings me to the subject of Sister Samantha's secret. Lord, have mercy! Well now! I was extremely thirsty following my most recent week of penance on my knees in my humble little cell; so, I'd made a hasty visit to Randy Cowboy who was generous enough to give me a half gallon of Jack Daniel's.

I threw caution to the wind and I ducked into cubicle number four where I began to have a few nips. Oh, I must confess the truth. I tied one on! By the time I'd passed out, I'd managed to refresh myself with almost half of that big bottle. Oh my!

Sometime during the night, I must have slipped off the toilet and landed on the floor. I didn't wake up until the following morning; and, I must say, I had quite a headache! I also realized that I had partially slid under cubicle number three; and, I couldn't get up.

Well, wouldn't you know it, the restroom door burst open and I immediately thought that the gig was up. With my luck, I thought that it might be Mother Carmen and that I'd be sent back to my cell for another week of solitary confinement.

Fortunately, God spared me that ordeal and He had sent me an angel. It was Sister Samantha. Of course, I didn't find that out immediately. Let's just say that we both had a big surprise in store!

Well! There I was, with my head under cubicle number three, when I heard Sister Samantha singing Amazing Grace as she entered that very cubicle! Apparently, she was so moved by the Holy Spirit that she didn't even notice my head facing up toward her toilet.

I closed my eyes in reverent prayer just as she was lowering her panties. As she was preparing to sit upon her throne, her habit swished over my face which brought me to attention. I opened my eyes by reflex. Boy, did I get an eyeful and I do mean boy! Sister Samantha wasn't a woman! Lord, have mercy!

Well! It was a rather awkward situation to say the least! I had learned of Sister Samantha's incredible secret. I also needed her help. What could I do, but gently murmur, “Please help me, Sister. I've fallen and I can't get up.”

Let me tell you, Sister Samantha might not have been a woman, but she let out a high-pitched scream that sounded like a woman giving birth. She jumped off her pot and she whooshed her habit off my pleading face. If anyone else could have seen us at that very moment, I'm sure that both of our faces would have appeared beet red.

Well! If either of us had had a blackmailing bone in our bodies, we both would have had sufficient ammunition to use against the other. Suffice it to say, each of us took a higher path except Sister Samantha had the higher advantage at that moment.

Well, that little woman proved to be very strong. She grabbed me under my arms. Then she pulled me right under the partition of cubicle number three and out onto the restroom floor.

Even though I was feeling very shaky, in more ways than one, I managed to get myself up and onto my wobbly legs. Well, what could I say besides, “Thank you;” however, given the situation, it seemed that something else might be in order.

I felt rather like Little Red Riding Hood when she discovered that her grandmama was actually a wolf. The nice thing about my situation was that Sister Samantha wasn't about to eat me up. I decided right then and there that I wasn't going to give her up.

“Sister,” I said. “How did you ever pull it off?”

That's when she told me her story. You see, Sister Samantha just happened to have been born in the wrong body. She was really every bit as much of a woman as myself with one notable exception. God sure works in mysterious ways!

If your current release were to be turned into a movie, who would you love to see play what characters and why?

I would love to see Sally Struthers play Sister Mary Olga. I recently saw her perform in Legally Blonde and she has the gift of comedic wit to pull off the part beautifully. Lily Tomlin would make an excellent Priscilla Bunhead. She plays the shrew well and would be deliciously nasty in the role. The sensual Kim Catrall would make an excellent Reverend Mother who happens to be a reformed prostitute. As for the gay cowboy, I would love to play him myself since I, too, am gay and am a recovering sex addict.

What are your favorite aspects of writing?

I love the creative process. I sit at my computer and let inspiration be my guide. Then it is as if the words almost write themselves. I love to laugh at my characters and laugh out loud at the ridiculous antics of them as well as at their outrageous comments. I also enjoy channeling the spiritual wisdom within the book since I am an avid student and practitioner of spirituality

Your least favorite aspects of writing?

I hate it, on those rare instants, when I get writer's block. I also dislike the tedious marketing process that comes after the fun of writing a book.

Who are some of your favorite authors/books?

I have several favorite spiritual authors. Among them are Wayne Dyer, Deepak Chopra, Eckhardt Tolle, and Anthony DeMello. I love the comedic authors, Armistead Maupin and Carl Hiaasen, who I consider to be mentors.

What are you reading right now?

I'm busy reading my own books as I edit future volumes in the series for publication. I have written a total of eleven books thus far.

If you could have a dinner party and invite five authors — dead or alive — who would they be and what would you serve them?

Can I invite six authors? If so, I'd invite all of the authors I mentioned above. I'd serve them humble pie since I am indebted to each and every one of them.

What is a book that you wish you could say that you had written and why?

Actually, I just wrote that very book. It is a reincarnational romance about a couple that goes through three lifetimes together. I especially like it because it incorporates many of my own spiritual beliefs

What is the greatest piece of advice (for writing and/or just living) that you have heard?

Never give up! Dreams do come true.

Author Davis Aujourd'hui

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