FROM THE DESK OF
DONA PENZA TATTLE, ESQ.
ASSOCIATE WRYE BALDERDASH
“I saw Daffodils!” announces Tattle as she plops into her office chair. “Now, I truly feel that spring is here.”
Wrye looks up from his tablet with his glasses trembling on the tip of his nose and a jelly-filled donut ready to be devoured. “Knock, knock!”
Well-acquainted with his jokester personality, she automatically responds, “Who’s there?”
“It is time to spring into our Love of Literature Leap interviews!”
“All-righty! Bring the donuts.”
Just outside Naomi Stone’s door, Tattle asks, “So what do we know about Naomi Stone.”
Wrye lifts a bushy brow, “You mean you don’t know? She is the author of many CBG books, including The Team Guardian Adventures." He pulls out his tablet, performs a few keystrokes and looks at her website and quotes, "In a near future world, probability bombs have imbued hundreds of people with special powers. Not all of these people are law-abiding citizens. Team Guardian uses their powers to police the miscreants."
"I knew that," Tattle says smugly.
"Then why did you ask?"
"Just to make certain you knew."
Groaning, he raps on Naomi's door, whispering before she answers, "I really like her work. We must remember to review some of her books."
Before Tattle can respond, the author's imaginary husband opens the door, unleashing the caterwauling of a cat. The semi-transparent apparition ushers the duo inside as they greet a very surprised Naomi.
W: “Donuts?” Wrye hands her the assortment.
N: “Ooo. Is that a Bismark? Yum.”
T: “We apologize for coming unannounced but at our mature age, we oft forget to do so. As Günter Grass wrote, ‘Memory likes to play hide-and-seek, to crawl away.’”
W: Frowns and whispers, “I thought you said you arranged this interview months ago.”
T: Flutters her hand as if chasing away the pesty question. “Um, can't remember. As Günter Grass wrote, “’Memory likes to play hide-and-seek, to crawl away.’ Now, dear Naomi, are your ready for your interview?”
N: "If you don't mind my being in jammies or the state of general chaos.”
T: Looks down at her own Minnie Mouse slippers. “Don’t mind at all.”
N: “I can put on some tea or coffee if you like? Donuts call for liquid refreshment.” Naomi steps into the tiny kitchenette and puts a kettle on.
When Naomi returns, all settle into sitting across from each other.
T: Smiling happily, Tattle scoops up a furry feline and rubs behind its ear. We see you are a cat person, if you could be a cat, which breed would you be and what would your daily routine be like? Would you still write? If so, what?
N: “I think I'd be one of the advanced-evolution cats from Jim Butcher's new Citadel Spires series - they have vestigial thumbs, and I'd probably still be able to manage a keyboard. I'm very determined that way.”
W: “Hmmm, interesting response. What a grand cat to become. I think that would be my choice as well. So, what is your biggest fear? Spiders? Snakes? Harpsichords? A day without chocolate?”
N: "My biggest fear is people who want to know my biggest fears so that the knowledge can be used against me... I mean, snakes. They’re sleek, I mean slimy skins just give me the shudders..."
T: Winks at the not-quite-there hubby, "Ah, Naomi, he is a cutie. You are one lucky lady. Is he normally this quiet? Oh and is he the inspiration behind any of your books?”
N: “The best quality of an imaginary husband is that he only talks to me when I'm paying attention. Of course, then we argue incessantly. My imagination has the perversity of disagreeing with me constantly - and yes, he's very inspirational. I've always had a thing for imaginary characters. My first crush was on Rocky the Flying Squirrel, when I was in grade school. I daydreamed of adventures with Batman and Robin and the crew of the Starship Enterprise, and became a vegetarian for a couple years because of my feelings for Kwai Chang Caine of the Kung Fu series. One of the most powerful qualities of fiction is the way imaginary characters and situations can move us to experience very real feelings.”
W: Nods in agreement and appreciation of her introspective response. He walks around, peeking at her fantasy book collection, noting her obsession with bookmarks, and finally asks, "Anywho, you have an interesting outlook on the world. Would you consider yourself an arm-chair adventurer or get-out-there and mow-m-down and watch my smoke sort of writer?"
N: “That's the kettle! Coffee or Tea?”
T: Eyes wide, looks at Wrye. "What sort of question is that? Explain ye-self, m'abstract minded bud in literature." Then to Naomi, “he is coffee and I am tea, thank you.”
W: "Ummm, in other words, are your exploits through your stories or are any of those stories based on real life adventure?"
N: “Considering that my characters include super heroes and a magical djinni, I have to confess that the real-life inspiration is entirely in their emotional/psychological lives. That's what fiction is all about, right? The events may all be imaginary, but the feelings they inspire are real, and they
allow us to experience vicarious adventures that may be beyond us physically. How cool is it that we can relax at home while at the same time climbing Mount Doom with Sam and Frodo, or running through the jungle with Mowgli and Bagheera?”
T: Smiles, resembling that remark. "If you could have any supernatural or superhero power, what would it be and why?”
N: “I recently lost my younger brother David to multiple myeloma - bone cancer. He spent the last several years trying numerous therapies including stem-cell replacement and debilitating chemo. At this point I can't think of a better superpower than that of a healing touch. There's so much need. We need armies of healers. We need to look at our society, all the contributing toxins and pollutants that are factors threatening the health of our people. A super power in a story is a substitute for a solution to real life problems. We can dream about the super powers, but the real heroes are those with the technical and scientific skills to find remedies to the diseases and ways to cleanse us and the environment of the toxins.”
T: “I am so sorry for your loss. Death truly rearranges our outlook on life.”
W: “And that outlook gives depth to writing. I, too, am very sorry, my condolences to you and yours.
They share a moment of respectful silence.
W: "Of all the characters you have written, who would you like to be and why?"
N: “I'd love to spend some time in the shoes of Amelia Swenson, the heroine of 'Spirited,' with her djinni lover - and growing magical abilities of her own. Of course, that would carry with it the responsibility of using those powers to do as much good as possible in the world. I'm afraid I wouldn't have much time for my writing in that case...”
T: "Please tell us what books you wrote with CBG and a one-liner about them?"
N: “'Spirited' is my full-length novel, in which Amelia unwittingly frees both a djinni and a dangerous succubus demon and enlists the djinni's aid in saving the world from the demon.
In a near future world where many people have super powers, Team Guardian works to police the bad eggs among them. 'Team Guardian' collects the three novellas below:
~In 'Sweet Mercy' a reverse-empath, Rachel Connolly meets her hero, Fluke, a man with amazing luck and they work together to stop a Puppet Master.
~In 'Safe Haven' Rachel's brother David meets his match in Beth Talbot, a psychometrist as they work together to stop a super-powered hacker from taking over the world's banking systems.
~In 'Shining Hope' illusionist Sophia Alvarez works with the team and teleporter Tom Stanton to stop a vigilante going after sexual predators. A date-rape experience in her past leaves her with conflicted feelings about the mission.
W: "Wow! They all sound fabulous. They will definitely be on our TBR list. Naomi, we both agree it has been a pleasure to interview you." Heads toward the door and is about to leave when he glares at Tattle. "Put the cat down. It is not yours."
N: Thanks so much for stopping by!
T: (Whispers) “Should I salute? I mean, after all, she served seven years of active duty and earned three meritorious awards.”
W: “We will treat her like any other author with respect, courtesy, and quirky questions.”
T: “Our questions are not quirky… just seriously bent.” Suddenly looks horrified. “We forgot the donuts!”
Just then Colleen S. Meyers appears at her door, and Wrye offers her a pack of gum. “Er, hi, we’re Penza Dona Tattle and Associate Wrye Balderdash and we’re here for your CBG interview.” Does a tap dance “Ta Da!”
C: Colleen grabs the pack of gum. “Doublemint. My favorite.” She walks further into the room and sits across from Wyre and Tattle. “Thanks for having me.”
T: “A little birdie told us you have been a Harlequin fan from way back, but you are also a sci-fi aficionado. Hence, we observe possibly the reason of your mixture of the two genres in your writing. With that in mind, what space creature from any fantasy or sci-fi world would make your swoon?”
C: “Oh well, swoon. I don’t know about swooning, but I know my favorite authors when I was growing up was David Eddings. His Belgariad series was exceptional. I loved the mixture of fantasy, romance, and humor that characterized his writing. I remember thinking, “I want to write like that. One day, maybe I will be able to do that.”
W: “Considering your military background and medical career, you appear to be a logical, focused individual, but do you have an eclectic side? If so, on a scale from one to ten, how eclectic? Ten being, you are living on the planet Ramura – Homeworld of the Ramurian species or one being you occasionally wear different colored socks.”
C: “Hmm, well in real life, I am probably a 2, very boring. I deal with people being ill on a daily basis and that can be rough. I want to help them and sometimes I am not able to do that. Thus why I love anything fantasy, be it sci-fi, paranormal, magical realism, or urban fantasy. And in my fantasies, the hero can always help someone, save the day, right the wrong. So in my head, I am totally a 9 or a 10, Supergirl.”
T: “So, tell us, confidentially, we won’t squeal to anyone but our errrr readership, are you secretly in love with the hero of MUST REMEMBER, Marin. And just what would be your perfect date experience with him or would you prefer a Bajoran?”
C: “Oh my god, Marin is like my ideal man. Not perfect, but devoted and loving. That is all you need. As for an ideal date night. Time alone would be good.” Colleen winks.
W: “How much of you is part of your character Elizabeth ‘Beta’ Camden?”
C: “I think I put a little bit of myself in every heroine. Life is our greatest teacher and inspiration.”
T: “Since you’re a doc, and well Doctor Who is a doc, do you find any similarities in your outlook on the universe?”
C: “Ha! I haven’t really watched too much Doctor Who. I am a Star Trek/Star Wars kinda gal, so I don’t know the answer to that? Do you think I have the same outlook?”
W: “Upon meeting you, I’d say the humor of Doctor McCoy and the togetherness of Doctor Crusher. Anywho, what universe would you prefer to live in, Star Trek, Star Wars, or Galaxy Quest and why?”
C: “Can I pick a fourth option? Firefly, for the humor, for the reality and world building. I have a crush on Joss Whedon.”
T: “Ooooh, I think I cast my vote for that universe, too. Who doesn’t have a crush on Joss Wheldon?”
T/W: All our joking aside, after pursuing your website, we have discovered you’ve been through tragedy, heroism and heart-tugging romance, you are an amazing woman and it has been our honor to interview you. Kudos, on your amazing strength and your upbeat attitude.
Off they go on another interviewing venture. This time with Celia Breslin, urban fantasy and paranormal romance author of such books as DESTINY and HAVEN to name a few.
Tattle gulps. “You sure there aren’t any vampires around here?”
Wrye does the eye lift to heaven look. “You know those things don’t exist. We live in a world devoid of that kind of magic and fantasy and spooky stuff.”
“All I can say is when we reviewed Celia’s books, she sure made me feel like all sorts of things can happen.”
“You’ll be fine. Now, let’s just materialize in her office.”
And they do, startling Celia.
C: Celia shrieks and jumps from her chair. “What the--? How did--? You sparkled like the Star Trek transporter beam…”
She picks up her water glass from her desk. Sniffs. Sips. Shrugs. “Okay…um…Hi?”
T: “It is very nice to meet you in the flesh.” Keeps watching Celia’s mouth, checking for fangs as she takes a seat, perching on the end of it as if ready to dash at any moment. “Now, to get things started. Tell us, do you believe in ghosts? In your world are they horrid or friendly or a mixture? Do you talk to them?”
W: “That’s rude! Of course, she talks to them if she sees them. Oh, sorry, Celia, for interrupting.”
C: She gestures at them. “Well, clearly I believe in ghosts, since I’m talking to you now. Actually, given how you arrived, alien makes more sense to explain you, right?” She rolls her chair back several inches away from them. “Yep, friendly ghosts and/or aliens works for me.”
W: “Great response. As for us, we are simply literary magic.”
T: “In other words a combo of ghost, alien, and unexplainable. We, however, can be whatever…”
W: Cuts Tattle off, knowing she can digress with the best of them. “Please tell us which of your characters’ has you totally mesmerized and why?”
C: She relaxes against the back of her chair with a sigh of relief. “So… you’re ghost and/or alien journalists? Cool! Well, all my characters hold a piece of my heart, but since I’m currently writing about vampires, I’ll share my favorite. His name is Jonas, and he appears in my Tranquilli Bloodline Series. He’s the heroine Carina’s mentor. An ancient vampire originally from England, Jonas embodies extreme violence in a pretty package. He’s a man of few words, dark and moody, fiercely loyal and violently protective of those few people he loves (such as Carina). I adore him so much that I gave him his own short story in the series: VAMPIRE CODE.
T: Please tell us if you belong to the tribe of geek, nerd, weird or are you a sensible, logical person like… well…moi, for instance?”
C: Laughs. “Well, I’d like to subscribe to your brand of “sensible and logical”. You can travel through space and time -- and without even a Tardis! She grins. “Aaaaand, I think my answer just put me squarely in the geek/nerd tribe.” Points at a dashing navy coat hanging in her open closet. “The Tardis coat probably gave me away, too. The swirly lining with the exploding Tardis was inspired by the episode, 'Vincent (Van Gogh) and the Doctor.' Season 5, episode 10.” She shrugs. “Yeah…geek.”
T: “A gal after me own heart. I never miss a show, and honestly believe Doctor Who is real, and the shows are the way he is preparing us for his actual arrival.”
W: Interrupts before she goes into fandom. “For an infinitely more important question, if you were a shapeshifter, what creature would you be and why?”
C: She nods. “I get this question a lot. A mermaid might be cool. I like the idea of being able to breathe underwater. I’m also a cat person, so maybe a black panther shifter. Wolves are amazing, too, though. I have some sexy Scottish Wolf shifters in Destiny (Book 2, Tranquilli Bloodline). They’re a fun pack.”
T: Soooo, you like lairs? Horror? Scaring the bejesus outta people? Is there a dark, dank place deep within you? Tell us…. (Poises on the edge of her seat, and bites a nail)
C: “Well, clearly you two love to scare the bejesus out of people, given your sudden sparkly appearance in my office. I like some horror fiction, especially Stephen King…”
W: Wyre holds a hand to his heart as he interrupts. “You are indeed a woman of discernment. I own every version, of every book Stephen King ever wrote. I am a down-home fan for the King of Horror. Forgive my outburst and do go on.”
C: “And in movies, the best horror movie of all time is, hands down, The Cabin In The Woods by Joss Whedon. That man is a genius. Everything he writes is amazing. There’s Firefly, Buffy, Angel, Avengers, Dr. Horrible’s Sing-along…oh…” She blushes. “I’m letting my geek flag fly again, aren’t I?”
T: “Geeks are some of my favorite people. They think outside the circle.”
W: “If you could interview a vampire, what would be your first question?”
C: Celia’s smile disappears. She leans forward. “I’d ask: Do you play for Team Evil or Team Good?” Points her finger at them. “Actually, make sure you ask them that before you agree to meet in person. And don’t beam yourselves into their space unannounced. Even a vampire on Team Good might get rather cranky about that!”
T: “Thank you so much for allowing us to grill… um…. interview you. You have been a delight, and also thank you for the great advice and for not biting us.” (Tattle could swear she saw a glint of fangs.)
Hope you all enjoyed our triplet interviews. Until next month, keep reading.
Dona Penza Rutabaga Tattle, Esq. and Associate Wrye Balderdash
of Blather City, Wannachat
Created and written by: Angelica Hart and Zi
Books by: Angelica Hart and Zi
KILLER DOLLS ~ SNAKE DANCE ~
CHASING YESTERDAY ~ CHRISTMAS EVE...VIL
Books by: Vixen Bright and Zachary Zane
BOOK NOOKIE-A LIBRARIAN'S BUIDE TO THE DO-ME DECIMAL SYSTEM