Interview with Cathy Zmuda
BROADCAST: Apr. 1, 1968 | DURATION: 00:53:53
Interviewing Candy Armstrong-Jones" (Cathy Zmuda). Discussing the book "The Village of Vice."
Tap within the transcript to jump to that part of the audio.
Studs Terkel I thought we might rebroadcast a conversation with a young novelist. It was a broadcast that received an unprecedented response. First novel a smashing success. Candy Armstrong-Jones and her book, "The Village of Vice," published by Parthenon. Her thoughts or observations, reflections on having written a sudden and instant bestseller first time out. In a moment, the conversation with Miss Armstrong-Jones after we hear of the word from our sponsors. A novel comes along, a book that becomes a runaway bestseller despite what appear to be [unintelligible] and adverse criticisms by some of the reviewers, literary critics, though the public for one reason or another has latched onto such a case as that of the new novel, "Village of Vice." We've never had the author before, I think it's maybe your first book, Candy Armstrong-Jones, Parthenon the publishers. Miss Armstrong-Jones, this is your -- Is it hyphenated?
Cathy Zmuda Yes.
Studs Terkel Before I ask you about the title itself, "Village of Vice," what it means and of course what's happened to you since, and how you write the book, influences on your life. You say, you said it's it could be great literature and still be a filthy book.
Cathy Zmuda Yes.
Cathy Zmuda Yes, well you see people always say that filth, you know, it isn't an important book if it's a filthy book. Well, I just wonder who's to say that filth isn't important, you know, to people who like it it's a very important thing. And you know, you can sneak in some inspirational words and thoughts and ideas and grab people who read filthy books and you know, give them a little moral with the story.
Studs Terkel No, I'm just thinking about this matter of -- Do you think it's -- That's my point, Miss Armstrong-Jones, Candy. Did you think this is -- Did you deliberately set out to write what you described as a filthy book?
Studs Terkel Well, think of some of your colleagues today, they've been reviewed as well as you have, and they also had some rough times with reviewers, are also among the bestsellers, such as -- Well, you're a girl writer, is there one -- I understand that Parthenon, your publishers.
Cathy Zmuda Yes.
Cathy Zmuda Yes.
Cathy Zmuda Well, you see, like with a Broadway play, a critic can kill it, you know. But a book, a critic, you know, for instance, one reviewer said like, you know, and thank God today the reviewers are reviewing pornography. Years ago, you know, they just ignored it. But now they're reviewing it and he said like it was the worst piece of trash that he had ever seen. And he, you know, he went on to describe certain scenes and things. Well, you know, this is better than a payday. I'm in the New York Times Book Review section.
Cathy Zmuda Well, I was, from one standpoint, because he did miss the great parts of it. You know, he was so obsessed with the filth that he didn't look beyond, and there really, it is -- Well, it's just very inspirational. It's a really true American book.
Cathy Zmuda Right.
Cathy Zmuda met? Well, most of the people that I first met since the book just loved it, you know, and they're marvelous people. However, some of the friends, so-called friends that I had before I wrote the book, you know, were -- I was amazed at their reaction to it because, you know, I've seen them some of these people in action and I couldn't imagine for the life of me what they'd be so excited about. You know, there was nothing they read in the book that they didn't know existed before. So, I was very surprised about, and hurt, several times.
Studs Terkel Well, may I ask you this about these former friends of yours, or close to you, is the fact that, were you in the manner of Thomas Wolfe and "Look Homeward, Angel," do you recall, I don't know if you read that or not.
Studs Terkel He's a little before your time, yes. And he -- Asheville, the town he wrote, he's from Asheville, North Carolina, people recognized themselves and were furious. Was this so with your book?
Cathy Zmuda Yes!
Studs Terkel I notice in the publisher's blurbs that -- No, not blurbs, the publicity I received from -- okay, what was the name of, I forget the publicity woman of your company, that have notes here, where you live, you describe yourself as as a swinger. A swinger. Yeah.
Cathy Zmuda Oh, well, you know, going to Old Town a lot and doing all this very 'in' things to do. I was at Maxim's several times, you know. Poor Michael Butler's place closed down, I wanted to see that and never got a chance to.
Cathy Zmuda Yeah.
Studs Terkel So it's the fun people, and they are the characters in this book, in a way. Village, too, I notice you live -- It's interesting, very moving, here, apparently, you live in Sandburg Village.
Cathy Zmuda Well, there's something that I might say as a prelude to that, if you don't mind. I don't know if you're aware of this, but all the buildings in Sandburg Village are named after writers, you know. Well, that in itself is such an inspiration. You couldn't believe it, you know, what an inspiring thing to live and have your typewriter sitting on a desk, you know, in this building that it's named after a great writer. Well, the thing that you're alluding to is after my book came out two months ago, a committee from our building came and they had a petition. They wanted to rename the building "The Candy Armstrong-Jones Building." Well, can you imagine, you know, "Wow!", so, oh, I was delighted and, of course, felt very humble about the whole thing, but I really don't think anything will come of it. You know, there might be a problem with the management because then any time a writer moves in, you know, they're going to want to rename the building and so on. So I think they don't want to start that, even, you know. But just the thought that they, you know, wanted to do that.
Studs Terkel There's something you say here that's rather fascinating, you say, quoting our guest, Candy Armstrong-Jones, author of "The Village of Vice," published by Parthenon, that's one of these, you know, one of these surprise runaway best-sellers, despite, you don't mind my saying this, critical attack, really, and you don't mind it too much, then.
Studs Terkel You say, but here's what you say. This is -- May I ask you about this?This is very revealing. "All day long," writes Candy Armstrong-Jones, this is the publicity Parthenon sent us, "All day long I'm paid to write lies for somebody else. Now in my book I write lies for myself."
Cathy Zmuda Yes.
Cathy Zmuda Yes, a counterpart of you-know-who, and, well, she had a book come out several years ago called "The Best of Everything," another smash best-seller, incidentally, you know. And I had read somewhere in reading about it, I loved the book, so any time I saw her picture, anything in the paper, I'd read, you know, what she had to say and she said that she had, I don't know if she had moved to New York or moved out of her parents' apartment or something, but anyway she was in her own apartment and she decided to write a book, you know, and she thought, well, you know, how best to do it. And she thought, "Well, look, if I can get one good page a day, you know, in a year I'm going to have 365 pages, that's a book," you know, and that's what she did. Well, I thought, "My God, this girl, you know, this is marvelous, what a great idea!" And quite honestly, this is my inspiration, you know, and I thought, look, you know, I can write a book and I can get all sweaty about it and everything and just worry about it night and day and, you know, but I can't do that, you can't work and write a book and swing all at the same time and do justice to them, you know, unless you have a plan. And I did. So I decided I was going to write a page a day the same as she did, and in a year I'd have a book. So how many people do you know, you know, that write a book a year?
Cathy Zmuda That's right. The thing is, to get yourself a pattern and never vary, no matter what happens. New Year's Day, you know, if you're hung over or anything, wait 'til you're wide awake and write that page, no matter what, no matter where I've been swinging the day before, no matter what I've done, I write that page a day.
Cathy Zmuda Right.
Cathy Zmuda Well, it's more than just saying a page a day. It's a matter of saying like, "When am I going to write that page?" Making up your mind trying to decide when the best time is. Once you decide, it's got to be then and never change. Now, in my case I do change; on weekends I do it at a different time than I do on weekdays. But every Monday through Friday, I work 'til five p.m.
Cathy Zmuda Right.
Cathy Zmuda Well, you said it, I didn't. So I'm home at five-thirty, and I've got a dinner date at seven or eight or, you know, a date for something or other every night of the week. So I get home and I get undressed, and I hop in the shower or hop in the bath. And it dawned on me when I was first trying to decide a pattern for this, "My God, I'm wasting whatever time it takes to wash up," you know, why my mind isn't doing anything while I'm busy soaping up. So, while I'm tubbing or showering I decide kind of plot out that day's page and I hop out of the shower, towel off, throw on the robe and before I do anything else I go straight to the typewriter, sit down and write that page, put it on the pile in this open box that I've got, put it in there, and that's it for the day.
Studs Terkel Well, Miss Armstrong-Jones, Candy, if I may call you that, this is, this is very fascinating to me. You mean, while you're showering, or tubbing, as you put it, the idea you think about that page, is that it?
Studs Terkel No, it's a verb, I suppose, for in the bathtub, you're tubbing, for showering, for shower but I'm just coming back to the -- You think of that page? I mean, do you have an idea for the book -- When you first -- How'd the idea of "Village of
Cathy Zmuda Well, for instance, I would never miss reading a single book that, say, Irving Wallace has written. My God, what a talent, you know, and he writes these huge epics, it must take him two years, you know.
Cathy Zmuda Well, he writes these broad, for instance, "The Prize," these broad panoramic things and he brings in the history, like the Nobel Prize, you know. And yet, there is life in it, and action and suspense and sex and everything, you know. Oh, really a genius, really a genius.
Cathy Zmuda Well, see that's what I mean. You know, you can't say that that a filthy book is not an important book. Someone said that to me once, that's why I have this phrase in my mind, because you know it can be, it can be very important depending on what you do with it. Like, there are people I'm sure who never knew how the Nobel Prize winners were chosen before they read his book.
Cathy Zmuda Oh, so many more. I am really a voracious reader, you know, my friends -- It doesn't interfere much with my swinging, but you know, I've got time to and from work on the bus and stuff and they're always saying, "Oh, my gosh, you've always got your nose in a book!" You know, like Charles Mergendahl, I wouldn't miss reading one of his books. Or Harold Robbins or Grace Metalious.
Cathy Zmuda Well, you see, I not only read these writers, I learn from them, you know, and I learned a marvelous, marvelous technique from his -- All of his books, really. You know, what he does is, he writes about people and he makes you believe that they are real people in the news, you know. But he covers himself brilliantly, you know, so there's no lawsuits or anything, like in his last book, "The Adventurers," which is oh, really marvelous, the scope of it, you know, it was like 20 years or something like that. And he has Aristotle Onassis and Porfirio Rubirosa, and Trujillo and the Kennedy family and everything, and Maria Callas, I say this because I know this is a fine arts station, and they cover it. He covers it so marvelously because he'll have somebody, for instance, that you know is Trujillo, you know, and someone will say, "My God, he's going to be as powerful as Trujillo was," you know, and then that way he's covered, you know, nobody can sue. Like you said, that was me, because each one of these characters he has a declaimer, a disclaimer --
Studs Terkel Disclaimer.
Studs Terkel Well, that's fasci-- Other writers of the past, like, here you, a woman writer, girl writer, you're 26, Miss Armstrong-Jones, I suppose Jane Austen, you read Jane Austen, I suppose, or Edith Wharton or Willa Cather.
Cathy Zmuda I don't know who he is. Oh, if you're talking about like older writers before my time, yes, you know, I love women writers. Besides Rona and Grace Metalious and Kathleen Winsor and Margaret Mitchell and all those.
Cathy Zmuda But there is one old-time woman writer that I loved. You know, I'm not much for poetry but really when I read Joyce Kilmer's "Trees," for the first time, I tell you shivers just ran, you know.
Cathy Zmuda way? Well, I did read her once. I love it becau-- You know, any time a woman can make it writing books, I'm all for it, you know. But, oh, I don't know, there was just a little something about her. I have read some of her, but I do believe in like, "Look, this is mine and leave it alone, you know, what's mine is mine," and I love her pulling yourself up from the bootstraps. I love her heroes, you know, and I know an interesting thing about that. You know, did you ever notice her heroes, they're always, have the initials "H. R.," like Hank Rearden and Howard Roark. You know, one of "The Fountainhead," and one of --
Cathy Zmuda Oh, I've read that, yes. Oh, I love -- Her heroines I think are just not quite feminine enough, you know. Now, I'm a career woman and I know you have to push sometimes. But they rather sometimes lose their femininity, I think, you know. But the men, oh, her heroes are magnificent. You know, they come out of a steel mine and ten years later they're making a new kind of steel nobody ever heard of before, and you know, they work with their hands and they build these quarries or dig them up or whatever. Oh, that I do like, yes.
Cathy Zmuda No, I really wouldn't, because you know, there's, there's filth in it. I was very honest about that. You can't say that I denied that, and there's -- But to me there is such inspiration and there is really such a moral, you know, like, for God's sakes, get up and you can do it, there are worlds to conquer all over the place, so conquer them already, you know.
Studs Terkel In the way, I'm thinking -- You know, some of -- Your book is 365 pages. We know now and then there's a fashion for heavy books sometimes, like Ayn Rand's books are heavier than yours. I mean, there are twice as many pages, you know. Has the thought occurred to you that you might do, I don't know if you can, that's a pretty rough pace, a page a day, thought of, perhaps speeding up the tempo a bit? You think that's possible to do perhaps a 600-page book or something like that, a page and a half a
Cathy Zmuda day? Oh, no, you see, you know, then then what's this whole plan all about? Then either I'm going to start leaving work early, and that just isn't fair to the boss, you know or I'm going to start saying, "Well, I can't make that dinner date, and this one, and that one." And then, you know, then I'm going to be sitting alone, and all I'll have left is my typewriter. No, I don't need that, no.
Cathy Zmuda it. Well, you see that's the thing, that's the big thing. You know, if people read your book and they love it that's so great, meeting people and having them write to you and everything. But Lord knows, that the money is in Hollywood, you know, the big money to be made on books. And I think my publisher, he added, oh, what, like three days, you know, and he called me and said, "Look we've got an offer, you know, what shall we do?" And I said, like, "Don't do anything, you know, let let me hear what they have to say." And he talked to them and to several other studios and stuff like that, and yes, it's going to be made into a film not, though, however, until until the paperback comes out, because you know they don't want to --
Cathy Zmuda Well, you see, but that's, you know, after a mar-- I'm looking at the whole picture, the way you see them, say -- I know who would be great. What about the young guy that used to play Doctor Kildare?
Cathy Zmuda Yes.
Studs Terkel Well, this is in-- So there's a picture, a paperback coming out, your first novel -- Oh, how did this come about? What'd you do-- You wrote it, you sent in when you finished -- Did you send in -- How did you know to send it to what publisher, or did you send in the whole book or what?
Cathy Zmuda Well, no, I didn't send the whole book. After I had worked on it, oh, four months, I guess, that's 122 pages or something like that. I have a friend who's a television executive here in Chicago, you know, and we were in Old Town, you know, at one of the pubs and talking about, and he said, "Look, I have a friend at a publisher, a friend of a friend of a friend," and whatever. So he was able to, you know, get me introduced to certain people and they bought it on the basis of the first 122 pages.
Studs Terkel thing, he knew some people at the studios out there. Well, this is very similar to the story, I believe, of Jacqueline Susanne, when they [gather?] "Valley of the Dolls," her husband is a television executive.
Studs Terkel We'll continue with this theme of books outselling one another's, this is Candy Armstrong-Jones at the moment dismissing the thought of Jacqueline Susanne and the "Valley of the Dolls." We're interviewing Candy Armstrong-Jones, young novelist, "Valley of the Dolls," [sic] her book that's become an instant bestseller. It's a rebroadcast of it, and we'll return in a moment for more of our conversations and reflections after we hear the word from our sponsors. The paperback should be phenomenal, because hers is about three and a half million, or something. That's interesting so, this may be, perhaps, your book as a first novel, "Village of Vice," may be one of the wildest of all --
Cathy Zmuda You know, that's what the publisher said, too he said it's the most exciting thing in the world to be the discoverer of new talent, you know, a first novelist and everything, it was -- I felt quite humbled when he said it.
Studs Terkel say. Where we're at, tell it like it is, well, on that subject, "Village of Vice", tell it like it is, wh-- how come the title? "The Village," if I may ask you, this is the general area of Old Town. How did you arrive at this title, "Village of Vice"?
Cathy Zmuda Well, I like short, punchy titles, you know, and forget these long, involved titles. I never, never in the book is the village named, you know, it's just in the village where these people live. Chicago, naturally, is the locale, but we don't mention the name of the village because I'm not after, you know, lawsuits either. But the reason, you know, "Village of Vice," is because we learn, you know, these people in New York, any time you mention village, they think they know what you're talking about, you know, that it's, you know, that kooky village out there. Greenwich Village. Well, they think it's that. So, all right. So before they buy the book, you know, they're buying a book to read all about what's going on at Greenwich Village and everything, and they're like, you know, 10 pages in before they find out it's Chicago. So that helps the sales there, you know, I only wish Haight Ashbury were a village, you know, that wouldn't --
Cathy Zmuda Well, to tell you the truth, this was my very own idea and the publisher was like so excited when he heard this, he gave me a bonus, you know. You know, I work in a large building where those little secretaries and everything go down to the lunchroom downstairs, you know, the drugstore, the little cafeteria or whatever. And they have the paperback books and stuff. And I realized, you know, these kids, I'd see them sometimes in their office with the door closed reading these dirty books. But when I went down there and was standing at the counter at the drugstore, they'd always be buying, you know, just plain old books, you know, with real nice covers and all. And I thought, "Look! You know, I could increase the sale of these books if I would just make it look respectable to buy it." So all that he has is like spires, you know, in a village and, you know, a scene of a village and the title very prominently because you got to get that. But see, then if they're down there with three other girlfriends and they reach for the book, the girl, other girlfriend isn't saying, "Hey, lookit, so-and-so's buying another dirty book," you know. So it's very respectable. It's not going to help much in the hardback sales but I'm sure it's going to, you know, mean 20 percent more in paperback.
Cathy Zmuda Yeah, and no one would know they're reading a dirty book, you know. Do you ever see people on a bus, they're reading a book and they got it all turned inside out, you know, with the cover in? Well, everybody knows they're reading a dirty book, this way you don't have to do that, you look very respectable.
Studs Terkel What's refreshing about our guest, Miss Candy Armstrong-Jones, the author of this first novel that's a runaway best-seller, "Village of Vice," Parthenon publishers, is her -- It's refreshing, your frankness, you say outright you wrote a dirty book.
Studs Terkel I know there's a, there's a sequence you're about to read that has a combination of both, I believe, you know, the inspirational aspects when Margot and Mark, there's a key moment here. But before that I got to ask you what's happened to you since. I mean, obviously your life has altered somewhat, hasn't it, since?
Cathy Zmuda Oh, you know it has. This is so exciting. You know, I've often thought if I ever arrived, how would I know it, you know. So about three weeks ago, this was when the book was out, you know, just a little over a month. I get in the mail an invitation, and it's oh, it's this beautiful buff creamy-colored paper, beautiful paper, and engraved like so gorgeous, to a swimming party and, like, you guess where. You just guess. Try.
Cathy Zmuda You know it. You said it. Now, if anybody has to decide, you know, like when did I arrive, boy, that's it. When you've got an invitation to Hef's pad, you know that you arrived. So I went, he wasn't going to be there himself, incidentally, he has some something or other, a business trip or going up to Expo or something or other, but you know, it's still his -- And I walked in and they take you on a tour of this place. You know, it isn't just like go in and have a drink, they take you on a tour and it is unbelievable, you know, and then, you know, like sitting around and standing around are all these terribly bored-looking gorgeous men, you know, these gorgeous women. Of course, nobody went swimming, you know, that was kind of a joke but it's -- A pool was there if you want -- We all slid down the rail, that was lots of fun, you know, but oh, my God, can you think of anything more exciting than being bored at Hugh Hefner's house?
Cathy Zmuda Oh, that's what it was. Sure. And you know, this is the thing. You know, my friends at the village and friends that I work with, they think "There's Candy, the writer." But to look at somebody you like that you've admired for years, you know, like a certain newspaper columnist was there and he said, like, "There is Candy, the writer, our little writer," you know. Well, my God, how exciting that is.
Studs Terkel You've been mentioned in columns quite often, Candy Armstrong-Jones, the hyphen for the name, is -- By the way, is that your pseudonym or is that your real name? Or perhaps I'm probing too much.
Studs Terkel Well, Miss Armstrong-Jones, forgive my probing. Coming back to the matter of the book. One of the leading bookstores says it ordered 4000 copies of your book in the first two weeks, sold out and it's been out now what, about a month or so?
Cathy Zmuda Well, you know, it is ungallant, and it would hurt me, but I told you before, I can't stamp out the truth, I want your listeners to hear the whole truth and let them make up their own mind.
Studs Terkel Really?
Cathy Zmuda Yeah.
Studs Terkel Adverse.
Studs Terkel right. Averse to reading it. The reviews and other reactions, and this is -- By the way, refreshing candor on the frankness on the part of the publisher. I must say this. The reviews have been fantastic. This is quoting you: "I could kiss every one of them." And you quote a noted critic and you say he, for example, reviewed it for the Tribune and called it "the most vile piece of prose" he ever read. Weren't you hurt?
Studs Terkel "Actually, it isn't too many years ago the papers wouldn't review pornography," quoting our guest, Candy Armstrong-Jones. "Well, now they do. And I was very careful to say what a lousy rotten book it is." Gee, perhaps I shouldn't read any further. You think I should?
Studs Terkel "Well, of course you know what that means," quoting my guest. "Why, the other day one of the talk show guys on," again an AM station in Chicago, says, "You know, the one some people call the little housewife?"
Cathy Zmuda Yes.
Cathy Zmuda Well, you know, I say about this man. He's a nice little old married man with tons of kids. But every time I hear him, I always think to myself, "My God, I'll bet he, you know, I bet he wishes his wife would take his job so he could stay home with the other little housewives."
Studs Terkel Well, he said he had been sent a copy by the publisher and he had thumbed through it and told his listeners "This is the sickest," quoting him, "Most despicable piece of filth I've ever seen," unquote. "You know what happened," says Candy Armstrong-Jones. "My editor at the publishers told me that every suburban bookstore in the area was swamped with phone orders and women who stopped asked for, quote, 'That dirty book,' naming 'The Village of Vice,' of course."
Cathy Zmuda Yes.
Studs Terkel "One man said she was," "One woman said," pardon me, "she was from an anti-dirty book organization, she wanted to read it to see if they should publicly denounce it and picket stores that carry it. Gad! I hope she does."
Cathy Zmuda Yes.
Cathy Zmuda Taxco.
Cathy Zmuda I know vaguely, you know, he wrote dirty books, too. I -- You know, I did an interesting things, thing, and my friends are always saying what a nut I am, and this, you know, really cinched it, but I had heard something about whips or something or other, you know, as referring to the Marquis de Sade. So I went out and I bought a whip and I've got it on brackets, you know, over the sofa in the living room. Well, if you don't think that that is a conversation piece, you know. I've often heard friends say like, "Oh, I want to get a little conversation piece." Well, I have found the conversation piece of all times. I had trouble like crazy getting one, you know, I called Fields, and I said, you know, asked for the information lady, because you can never walk in there and find anything. And I said, "Do you sell whips?" Well, first of all she gives me the candy department. And they got some kind of chocolate whips or something, you know, and I thought she was crazy, so I got her back and I said, "Look, lady," you know, "I want like a whip that you whip something with." And she hung up on me. Like, she didn't say yes, she she didn't, you know, she didn't -- She hung up on me. So I found this marvelous little shop out in Old Town that sells whips and I -- You know, and chains.
Cathy Zmuda Oh, this is -- You know, these darling curio shops that they have out there, well this one, oh it's got like, you know, everybody in the -- Has in their window a special display of his -- This is the most magnificent thing you've ever seen. I mean it's like an eye-stopper. You're walking on, this is the other end of Wells, you know, where there aren't too many shops, you know, and it's got like a man on a rack in the window, you know, and he's all stretched out and bruised and bleeding and everything, you know. And so I went in there, I said, look anybody that's got racks in the window, he has to sell whips, and they did, and they had ch-- Balls and chains, and incidentally he said they do a marvelous volume in whips, you know, not so well in balls and chains and things like that.
Cathy Zmuda Oh, yes, they walk in, they say, "Oh, my God, you know, there's a whip!" and, you know, jokes and things like that, and I always say, "Of course, well, in the Marquis de Sade building, what do you expect, you know?"
Cathy Zmuda Yes.
Cathy Zmuda the way? Very often. Did you see Lee Bouvier -- Yes, we did. In "Philadelphia Story"? You know what? That was another thrill. We went to see, you know, well, I only saw her on stage, I wasn't introduced to her, but during the intermission, there was a lady columnist seeing the play the same night as I, and she introduced me to Truman Capote.
Cathy Zmuda No.
Cathy Zmuda Yes. Well, it's it's all just a matter of making a plan and sticking to it, learning everything you can from every other writer, you know. Like I told you, I'm a voracious reader, and John O'Hara, my God, I love all his books. The only one I didn't like was "Appointment in Samarra," I thought it just --
Cathy Zmuda "From the Terrace" was marvelous, yes. Some of his short stories are frankly a bore. I -- And even some of the books I get a little tired of old people, you know. By the time I'm halfway through the book, I feel like I'm 85, maybe, you know.
Studs Terkel The Pepsi generation. You've been very, very free and gracious with your time and above all, I admire your canniness, in fact, you call your book 'dirty.' Could you, with observing a certain amenity that concerns itself with radio, I realize your language is -- You use Anglo-Saxonisms a great deal, but the scene, you say, this scene is what you might call key, even though it has filth, it has the inspirational theme, too.
Cathy Zmuda Well, to lay the background for you, Margot has just been made copy chief on a very important account at this agency where she works, and Mark, who is an account executive at the same agency, is, you know, the man she's involved with, and she's -- He works on a big soap account, and Margot and Mark are lovers. And, let's see, as a matter of fact it was their mutual interest in television commercials that brought them together in the first place. So this is where Margot comes in to tell him the good news, you know, that she had been made copy chief and he's so delighted and, well, anyway, I've had to edit it a little because I, you know, for a radio audience, but I think it still retains the beauty, you know, of the scene but I didn't want to interrupt the poetic flow of words because, you know, being a copywriter for radio I understand, you know, that you have to hear this poetic flow so I inserted the word 'blank,' you know, every time I've taken a word or phrase out so that you will get the idea of the scene plus the rhythm of the poetry. All right? Ready. "'Oh, darling,' Mark said, holding her against him. 'I'm so happy for you and for me. Do you know what this means? Do you have any idea how delighted I am?' He said as he struck her shiny black hair. 'This means that you and I will be working together hours and hours everyday creating more campaigns and commercials for Cara Nome Soap. Oh, the ideas I've got, and you'll be right there with me carrying them out.' Slowly his hands slid down her back. 'Together we'll make advertising history. We'll tell the story of Cara Nome, the real story, the great and wonderful exciting glorious story that no one has ever told before.' His arms slid across her waist and came to rest at the very top of her decollete Ben Altman cashmere sweater. Margot leaned toward him and his mouth found hers. Her lips parted slowly and blank blank blank blank blank and then his hand moved quietly across blank blank blank blank. She blank blank blank blank and he smiled down at her warmly while he slowly blank blank blank blank blank. And together they sank into the deep cushions of his contemporary Scandinavian sofa. 'Oh, Margot.' His voice was husky and his breath warm against her cheek as he blank blank blank blank blank. They looked deeply into each other's eyes and she whispered blank blank blank and together they blank blank blank blank blank blank blank until finally the world was still again and they clung to one another in the quiet. Margot touched Mark's cheek with the side of her hand. 'Oh, Mark,' the words came in a hush, 'That was so wonderful and so are you and so are we. I can't wait for all the exciting important things we'll be doing together. You and I and Cara Nome Soap.' And then her face became very serious and her eyes shone. 'But you know, Mark,' she said, looking straight into his eyes with an almost wistful appeal, 'You know, Mark together we can do so much, but not just you and I alone. There's someone else we need.' Mark understood, and understanding he shook his head gravely. And Margot, seeing his understanding, almost cried out. 'Oh, Mark, you do understand. Let's go over to the chapel together right now and ask His help. Let's ask Him to help us work together and build glorious campaigns together. Oh, Mark, with His help there'll be no stopping us.' And, kissing her on the tip of her nose, Mark replied, "You bet, Margot. Come on, let's put on our clothes right now and go right over there.'"
Studs Terkel Well, yours is obviously a runaway, mine is somewhat different but I'm delighted that you were a guest on this program. Hope when your new book, your second book, as yet unnamed, is published --