FROM THE DESK OF
DONA PENZA TATTLE, ESQ.
ASSOCIATE WRYE BALDERDASHGreetings,
"Library?" Tattle popped up out of her seat and twirled with excitement. "I adore the library! Can we go right this second. Is this a cuddling with a book event or a seek and find outing or..."
"Interview!" Wrye explained. "We're going on our Love of Literature Leap to interview Keith W. Willis author of the fantasy novel TRAITOR KNIGHT."
"Ooooh, castles and knights and dragons, oh my! Let's go!"
"After you." Wrye stepped aside, allowing Tattle to leap first.
Tattle appeared in the library, medieval gown puffing up around her, and dragon smoke haloing her head. Fluttering her hands at the smoke, she coughed and simultaneously tapped Keith W. Willis on the shoulder. “Hi, ready for your interview?”
Catching his stunned look, Wrye, wearing clanging armor, added, “We arranged this a while back? You know, for CBG?”
Noting the author kept blinking as if chasing away an hallucination, Tattle and Wrye looked at each others’ outfits. Wrye pointed at his helmet. “A bit much.”
Tattle looked down at her bodice. “You think?”
Another puff of smoke and their garments changed to everyday wear.
“Ta da!” announced Wrye.
“Wow, very cool. I especially like the smoke effects. Did you need a lot of training to learn
that? In Kilbourne, the wizards have to go to school for years to learn how to spell.”
“We bought the book SPELLS FOR DUMMIES." Wrye grinned.
"We thought we’d be interviewing you in the library at Kilbourne, but this will do.” Tattle smiled and took a seat. “I must say, TRAITOR KNIGHT sounds yummy. And from the reviews, we know it’s a hit, with amazing, complex characters and a sprinkling of humor. Can’t wait to read it, and I’m just going to blast out my first question.” Looked serious and grim. “Who is the Jabberwock and why should we beware? Do we need a special charm to protect ourselves?”
"Ah, we’re getting into the frumiously metaphysical stuff already? Very well—I am the
Jabberwock. You are the Jabberwock. We are all the Jabberwock. We have met the
Jabberwock, and He is Us (apologies to Walt Kelly).”
“As for why you should beware the Jabberwock—I would think the ‘teeth that bite, the
claws that catch’ thing would be a dead giveaway. Protective charms, eh? Hmm. Only two
things I know of. One is a white rabbit’s foot, minus the white rabbit. The other is a
judicious singing of carolls. Lewis Carolls.”
Wrye nodded with comprehension. “From the legendary works of Tolkien, would you rather be Aragorn II a.k.a. Strider, Legolas the Sindarin Elf of the Woodland Realm, or Frodo Baggins, hobbit of the Shire, and why?
"Aragorn, no question. The last time I tried to use a bow a la Legolas, I nearly skewered
two camp counselors, a tent mate and an outhouse. I think I’ll stick with my trusty sword.
The world, generally speaking, will be a much better place for it.”
“Good choice!” Tattle happily fiddlesd with her Arwen Evenstar earrings. “If you had Commander Morgan McRobbie over for dinner, what would you serve?”
"Ale.” Notes that Tattle and Wrye are both still gazing expectantly at him. Their stares become a bit strained. ”Oh, you meant food? Sorry. I’d likely serve a nice joint of beef, flame roasted. Assuming you can get your dragon to cooperate and roast the joint without snarfing it himself…. Potatoes and peas to round it out, and a fruit cobbler for dessert. And ale."
Wrye leaned forward. “Man to man, be honest, I know you have an old red canoe. I know waterways can be deceivingly calm even while they are tumbling wildly. Have you ever lost your paddles?”
"I’ve never been up the creek without a paddle.” Keith looks around to make sure they’re not being overheard. “I have, however, lost a lot of other things over the years. My keys. My car. My mind. Of all the things I’ve lost in life, I miss my mind the most.”
Tattle thought of the time she fell out of a rented canoe but decided not to share, and wondered what was wrong with losing one's mind. Hers had been missing for years. “From our snooping… errr researching, we discovered you and your wife have a wonderful, tight-knit relationship. Which of the female characters you created reminded you mostly of your wife?”
"Allow me to start off by saying that none of the characters in Traitor Knight, male,
female, or draconic, are based on real people. That being said, I think you could safely say
that Lady Marissa duBerry and my darling wife Patty share come common traits.
Intelligence, wit, and a definitely feisty nature.”
Wrye stood, walked about the table, and then abruptly sat again, straddling a chair. “Let’s talk dragons! What is the best way to avoid getting fried?”
"A trick question, eh? Dragons never fry. They’ll roast you, absolutely. Bake you, on
occasion. Actually, knight baked in armor, or ‘tinned’, as they like to call it, is considered a
dragon delicacy. But you can trust me when I say a dragon will never fry you. So you no
longer have to worry."
Wrye still looked worried!
“A cockatoo told us you also write cozy mysteries. And yes, I speak cockatoo. Which universe would you prefer to exist in, that of a mystery or that of fantasy?” Tattle queried.
Keith hastily draws his sword, looking around wildly. Spying no danger he sheepishly sheathes
the sword. “Oh. You said cockatoo, didn’t you? I thought for a moment you said Cockatrice. And
we all know how deadly those can be.”
“So, I guess I’d rather exist in a fantasy world—because then I can make it anything I like.
In a mystery universe, things have to follow a certain inexorable order which precludes
that freedom. But living in a fantastical universe, if I want unicorns, I can jolly well get in
unicorns. Dragons—you betcha. It’s pretty much a free-for-all. Although I try not to dream
of misogynistic megalomaniacs bent on world domination, in case I get one. Oh, wait, I just
turned on the TV, and… excuse me, I’ve got to go create another universe, quick!”
"That was such fun! Thank you for taking the time to chat with us. Next time, bring the dragon. Wrye is great fluid in dragonesse."
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