Good Morning Ladies and Gentlemen, welcome to Max and Collin’s rambunctiously raucous and chi-chi to the core parlour located high above it all on board our beautiful rainbow-sailed ship, The Harlequin Ladybird.
Our tentacles are all of a quiver this morning and our china cups are chattering because we are still taking part in the #DreamtimeDamselsAnthology blog tour and, as already know if you have been keeping up to speed, we are in the happy position of being able to furnish you with links to the kindle pre-order page right here
Not only that, but we are over the moon to have our good friend Paul Michael joining us for elevenses this morning!
Do please have a seat, Paul, (Max, get off the chaise and let him sit down … hm? … no he has not brought Miss Henderson with him, and even if he had, Miss Henderson is not a chair, just move aside.)
I’m so sorry about that, would you like tea? Earl Grey? Lapsang? Assam? Darjeeling? Oolong? (Max don’t be rude)
If you have Lady Grey that would be marvellous. I find Earl Grey a bit overstimulating at this time and indeed at this altitude.
Of course, I completely understand, it has taken me, as an octopus, quite a while to get used to the heights myself! There you go. Now then , do tell us more about your contribution to this Dreamtime Damsels anthology– the aether is alive with the gossip!
It’s a strange and terrible story about an innocent young lady who becomes a maid at the strange house of the mysterious Count Vlasko, recently arrived from afar and with an unusual condition that makes him afeared of daylight.
Oh did you hear that Max? Doesn’t it sound exciting. (Hm? Yes your quite right, he does sound a little like our old landlord) What inspired you to write it, Paul?
I wanted to create a short story where the character – a Miss Felicity Henderson – would be in the spotlight. The young maid in question is a recurring character in my Jennings and Jennings story cycle, which is my Magnum Opus.
Indeed! As one magnificent octopus to another, we are very well acquainted with your marvellous mystery series, and with the good lady Miss Henderson (Max will you stop making ridiculously opprobrious remarks) Let us just ignore him, what would you say most influences your writing in general?
I would say I am driven by the obsessive need to write ridiculous and comical stories in a Gothic style. I have seen several alienists on this topic and they are unable to help, although I did get some punctuation tips from one.
Oh, marvellous! Any authours who have particularly inspired you?
The gravitas of Saki, the feather light touch of Lovecraft, the humour of Poe… all of these have affected me deeply.
Ah yes, you certainly have some of my favourites in that list too… (Hm? Max the only comparison that can be made between your poetry and the writings of such masters of gothic horror is that they all fill One with dread! Now do please stop interrupting). Battenburg?
I haven’t been myself but I hear the statuary is quite something.
Probably very wise, last time I checked it was full of cat hair. But back to the lark of writing, you know, writing is something I’ve always fancied turning my talents to – having so many tentacles I imagine I could be quite productive as an authour. Tell me, what was your own road into fiction writing like?
It was many years ago, as the rain lashed the windows and I stared morosely into the middle distance that I first entertained the idea of writing fiction. Suddenly my mind was filled with feverish visions of a man and a woman determined to fight ancient evil and terrible creatures from beyond. I fell onto the task of writing at once, my hand scratching out words as fast as the thoughts were conjured. As daylight broke, I slumped exhausted onto my writing desk, a thousand page epic created and ready to publish. Alas! In my exhausted state I knocked over the inkwell, turning all the pages black and completely unreadable.
After that I bought a computer and started again at a rather more sedate pace.
My goodness! Well, if it makes you feel any better I too have had many catastrophes caused by uncontrollable outbursts of ink; I’m sure I shall never live down Lady Harrington’s charity ball! And where can we find your published work?
I have absolutely no idea. No wait (rummages in pockets)… it is available from this place in South America…
And do you have any plans for new projects in the near future?
I am currently writing and serially publishing a novel length story called the Paris Awakening. That is to say, it is a story that is approximately the length of a novel, rather than an usual length. It is part of the aforementioned story cycle, of which the first four novellettes are already collected and published. My collected writings are available at this academic journal of which I am the lead and indeed only writer.
Oh yes, marvellous, we are avid readers of that marvellous publication and… Wooooah! Dear me I do apologise, the airship must have slipped and I seem to have landed in your lap I hope I haven’t covered you in octopus slime?
In my line of work it is an occupational hazard. I maintain a supply of these eight sided “octochiefs” for exactly these kind of situations.
What a marvellous invention, perhaps we should keep a little store of them here on board for these situations! Now, can I tempt you with another cup of Lady Grey?
Delicious though it was I fear another cup will lead to a dangerous imbalance in my delicate constitution, leading to an outbreak of bilious convunction or possibly a bout of floxy.
But I should like to take this opportunity to thank you for inviting me to your vessel. It has been a great pleasure with only occasional moments of terror.
Oh dear, Max I do believe your threats of imminent and horrific poetry have scared off yet another of our guests. You really must learn to behave yourself ‘In Company.’
Thankyou, friends for joining us this morning on board our beautiful rainbow sailed ship The Harlequin Ladybird, you will find all the blog posts so far on the Dreamtime Damsels blog tour listed below and until we see you again, please remain always
Hello! Mrs Albert Baker here, otherwise known as The Last Witch Of Pendle. Obviously there is no Pendle any more, since The Chronic Agronauts utterly destroyed it with treacle and sprats, but I’ve set myself up quite nicely here in Lancaster, running this little soup kitchen for the street urchins. There certainly are a lot of them and I’m always looking for helping hands to cook up and serve something delicious!
Helping me this morning is another contributor to the Dreamtime Damsels Anthology, Jaq D Hawkins. Thankyou so much for coming to help me in my soup kitchen today, My Dear! May I take your hat and miscellaneous weaponry?
Oh, don’t let the knives frighten you! I’ve got Mars in Pisces, you see. No temper at all. I’ve never injured an interviewer, promise!
Well thank goodness for that! How was your trip from your own dimension? I hope you did not run into any hostile sugar-zombies or sky pirates on your way?
As it happens, I’m an old hitchhiker and I’ve got history with airship pirates, so I hitched a lift on the Persephone. Best rum I ever tasted!
Marvellous! And have you brought along some soup to share with us?
How could I visit a soup kitchen without bringing something to share! This is something a little special from a now extinct restaurant I used to frequent in my youth.
Potage St. Germain (Pea Soup)
1 (1 pound) ham bone
4 1/2 cups water
1 (13 ounce) can chicken broth
2 cups split peas
2/3 cup finely chopped leeks or green onions
1/3 cup finely chopped carrots
1/3 cup finely chopped celery
1 teaspoon granulated sugar
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp thyme
1/2 tsp pepper
2 1/2 cups milk
1 cup whipping cream
1 cup chopped ham, cooked
1/2 cup chopped chicken (cooked) (optional)
Place ham bone in large pot. Add water, chicken stock and peas and bring to boil over medium heat.
Reduce heat and simmer, stirring occasionally for 30 minutes
Saute the onions, carrots and celery just until limp. Add them to the soup pot along with all of the seasoning and continue to simmer until peas are very soft and mixture is thick – about 45 minutes. Remove ham bone. Gradually stir in the milk and cream. Add ham and chicken. Simmer, stirring occasionally, about 10 to 15 minutes. Serve with a dollop of sour cream and a splash of dry sherry, to taste.
Mmm, it smells delicious! I’m sure the little urchins will enjoy it immensely.
You might want to give it an extra splash of sherry to keep them quiet. 😉
Marvellous tip! Now while that is simmering away nicely, why don’t you have a seat by the fire here and tell me a little about the types of fiction that you prefer to write?
In the realm of fiction, I’m basically a Traditional Fantasy writer, though I often lean towards darker themes. Goblins for example, or pirates. My new series will deal heavily with dragons. I’ve also been contributing to a lot of short story anthologies recently and some of those are even Horror.
And I hear you’ve recently made a contribution to the Dreamtime Damsels anthology I’ve heard so much about – would you like to tell us all a little about that?
I was invited to contribute and couldn’t resist, having dealt with the editor on the Dreamtime Dragons anthology and being favourably impressed with his attention to quality and detail. The idea of writing about strong women is a natural for me as I’m pretty resilient myself, but most of my stories so far have featured male protagonists. I decided this would be good practice to develop my female characters more.
Splendid and now I know the book hasn’t actually been released yet but Max and Collin were bragging this morning that they had managed to get their tentacles on a pre-order link for the kindle version?
Oh thankyou very much, I will order my own copy post haste! As an adventuress myself, I certainly think it is wonderful to see a fantasy collection where women take the centre stage isn’t it?
It makes a nice change. The Wizard’s Quandary was meant to be a stand alone story, but now it’s inspired me to write a follow-up series, with dragons of course. I think some of them are going to have to be female as well.
Oh dragons are always splendid company… Ah now that’s the kettle boiling, what is your ‘poison’ Dear, and how do you take it?
Usually red wine, not that yuppie Shiraz stuff but a good Malbec. However, as you’ve boiled the kettle, a simple coffee will do. A spoonful of honey please, and a little heavy on the milk.
You are lucky I have just visited The Harlequin and have a plentiful supply of contraband milk! Now, why don’t you tell us all a little more about your own path into fiction writing?
Well that started in childhood. By the time I was in high school I was churning out short stories furiously. It was only natural that I would move on to novels eventually. My goblin world took me there.
Oh my! I have never encountered any goblins personally but they sound terribly exciting and is there anything that particularly inspires you when you write?
Anything. Everything. I hear a phrase and a conversation forms around it. I see a colour and start visualising a scene. Stories go through my head faster than I can write down the notes for them!
That sounds wonderful! Of course we love supporting independent writers, artists and small presses here in Ire; do you have any favourite indie authours who have inspired you or whose work you can recommend?
A large percentage of my reading for enjoyment these days is written by indie authors. The Big 5 have become cautious and keep putting out clones of whatever sold best last week, usually lightweight stuff that doesn’t appeal to me.
Some indie authors I’ve really enjoyed besides the ones contributing to the Dreamtime anthologies include Graeme Reynolds, Shanna Lauffey, Charlton Daines, Jeff Brackett, Lin Senchaid, Lita Burke, Austin Crawley, Frank Tayell and C.M. Gray. I’m sure there are many more on my book shelves but those come to mind.
Splendid, I will be sure to hunt those out – I am always on the look out for a good fireside read to keep me company while I knit or bake. And where can we find more of your own work?
My Amazon page is at
and my Smashwords page is
Then of course there is my website where you can read about anything upcoming at http://jaqdhawkins.com
Ah now that soup smells like it is about ready, would you be so kind as to help me serve it up to the orphans?
Certainly. Don’t forget a dollop of sour cream in each bowl! Dibs on licking the cauldron.
Thankyou all for joining us in the soup kitchen this morning. You will find all the blog posts so far on the Dreamtime Damsels blog tour listed below and until we see you again, Blessings On Your Brew My Dears!
Ahoy there sky-ship mates! You must forgive the general hubub, chaos and rampant swooning here on board our beautiful skyship this morning ; we have at last managed to beg, borrow, steal, sway and wrangle our wicked way into procuring a picture of the kindle cover for the new Dreamtime Fantasy Tales anthology which we have all been hearing so much about!
Not only that, but, having promised you last week that we would be docking soon in the treacherous waters of the Amazon and would return with directions to the fabled location of this much sought after tome, we can now proudly furnish you with this as well…
Neil Gaiman once said: “I like stories where women save themselves.”
Asked to work with this as guideline, sixteen authors from Canada, the UK, the USA, Ireland, and The Netherlands contributed sixteen stories about strong women, dangerous women, witty women, resourceful women, and most of all realistic women. The stories range from general fantasy to high fantasy to sci-fi to steampunk to horror.
No swooning, no male saviors, and only one token chain mail bikini (and that one is a riot!). Dreamtime Fantasy Tales authors are proud of our final result and sincerely hope you’ll enjoy each and every page.
All proceeds of this anthology have been pledged to an animal rescue shelter which we chose knowing that each and every penny raised will benefit the animals, and not a highly-paid CEO.
Content Editors: Hilary Anderson, Jaq D. Hawkins, Morgan Smith, Guy Donovan, Nils Visser
Cover Art: Guy Donovan
Marketing & PR: Leslie Conzatti, Mary R. Woldering, Penny Blake
Authors: A.M. Young, Guy Donovan, Nimue Brown, Penny Blake, Jaq D. Hawkins, Paul Michael, Leslie Conzatti, Mary R. Woldering, Thomas Woldering, Benjamin Towe, Nils Visser, Greg Alldredge, Johan Klein Haneveld, Marc vun Kannon, Morgan Smith, and Nav Logan.
So, there you have it! But the fun is by no means over! We will still be terrorising more of the contributors on board our flying pirate ship for the next two weeks and Mrs Baker will be soothing their souls with the ‘song of the hearth’ (which is soup, by the way, if you are not a fan of Louis Pullig De Gouy)
Thankyou, friends, for joining us this morning on board our beautiful rainbow sailed sky ship The Harlequin Ladybird, you will find all the blog posts so far on the Dreamtime Damsels blog tour listed below and until we see you again, please remain always
Good Morning Ladies and Gentlemen, welcome to Max and Collin’s rambunctiously raucous and chi-chi to the core parlour located high above it all on board our beautiful rainbow-sailed sky ship, The Harlequin Ladybird.
Our tentacles are all of a quiver this morning and our china cups are chattering because we are still taking part in the Dreamtime Damsels blog tour and we are honoured to have another of its contributors, Benjamin Towe, joining us for elevenses this morning!
Do please have a seat, Benjamin (Max, get off the chaise and let him sit down … hm? … no the floor does not do wonders for peoples posture, just move aside.)
Would you like tea? Earl Grey? Lapsang? Assam? Darjeeling? Oolong? (Max don’t be rude)
I brought my own. It’s Enhancing Root tea. The Teacher of the Drelves harvested the tubers in Green Vale during the Dark Period on Parallan, the World of the Three Suns. The circle of Thirttene Friends oversees affairs in the vale, one of the rare green places on Parallan. It’s quite good. Drelves use the tubers in many recipes. The most promising of each generation accompanies the Teacher on the annual quest to harvest the root tubers.
My goodness, how exotic! Do let us all try some! Now then , won’t you please tell us more about your contribution to this Dreamtime Damsels anthology we keep hearing about – the aether is buzzing with the hype but we still haven’t managed to cajole any of our associates into slipping us an illicit copy – sigh – what is the point of rubbing tentacles with the likes of smugglers and pirates if we cannot persuade them to part with their contraband fiction?
Lyana Rikmon, warrior of Donothor. Lyana is a character from my first trilogy, the Donothor series. She is sheriff of the hamlet Knottington and a loyal subject of the Kingdom of Donothor. I’ve written 12 novels, but I’m new to the short story. Damsels has been a learning experience for me. Lyana’s story was written in collaboration with Nils Visser. I’m very excited about it!
Oh did you hear that Max? I love the sound of those place names and we’re all big fans of Nils Visser’s books too. What inspired you to write it?
In 1982, I was Dungeon Master and created campaigns for a group of friends, who challenged me to put the campaign to prose. The result was my first novel Deathquest to Parallan. It was written as part one of a trilogy in 1982. I published it in 2005, after my children scanned the old manuscript to a data disc and presented me my first laptop. I rewrote the story. In the first version I killed almost everyone off. I beat George RR Martin to the punch. The rewrite was kinder and gentler. I then completed the second novel, the Orb of Chalar, and then the conclusion of the trilogy, Death of Magick. Lyana Rikmon is introduced in Death of Magick. The Chalice of Mystery followed, then a prequel Dawn of Magick. Since then I’ve written “prequels.” My Elfdreams series includes Lost Spellweaver, First Wandmaker, Wandmaker’s Burden, Emerald Islands, and Mender’s Tomb. Thirttene Friends is a prequel to both the Donothor and Elfdreams series. My most recent, Unwonted Spellweavers bridges the series. I’m currently working on a sequel to Orb of Chalar.
Marvellous! We are all avid players of D&D (although Penny did manage to fracture her hand a few weeks ago at the gaming table which has been the cause of much amusement) and we will certainly hunt out your series to add to our library! Now, what would you say most influences your writing in general?
My years as Dungeons and Dragons player and Dungeon Master. I enjoy creating worlds and filling them up with characters. I love all things Magick.
Ah, alas Magick is banned here in our world but we are fighting the revolution to try and win back our right to wield balls of fire in public. Any authours who have particularly inspired you? (Max put your poetry book away, no one wants to hear that drivel)
Certainly JRR Tolkien, CS Lewis, Piers Anthony, Damsels has given me the privilege of collaborating with one of my favourite authors, Nils Visser. I’ve become nigh a permanent resident of the Wyrde Woods. I’ve enjoyed Guy Donovan’s masterful Dragon Treasure series and WC Quick’s quirky elves.
Oh you’ve definately listed some of our favourites there as well (No he really doesn’t want to hear your poetry Max, stop interrupting) Battenburg?
I prefer “octameter” to iambic pentameter.
As do I! How nice to find someone who shares an appreciation for all things octical! But moving on from poetry (for sanity’s sake), you know, writing is something I’ve always fancied turning my talents to – having so many tentacles I imagine I could be quite productive as an authour. Tell me, what was your own road into fiction writing like?
As I mentioned, I wrote my first novel in 1982 and published it in 2005. Writing has been a great escape for me. I encourage young people to read and write… and persist.
Oh well you must meet some of Mrs Baker’s Lancastrian orphans then! Peril does his best to teach them to read and write and they are certainly persistent in many of their other occupations (although I recommend you hold onto your pocket watch if you do venture down there.) And do you have any plans for new projects in the near future?
I’m currently working on a story that will again bridge my brace of fantasy series. It expands on events in Orb of Chalar and will ultimately be a sequel to Death of Magick. It features a powerful red-haired elf named Ravenna, the daughter of a sorceress and assassin. Her father Tigarn Nocerre commissioned the Arch-Lich Achymm to create the cursed sword, the Death of Magick.
Marvellous! So, where and when can we get our tentacles on a copy?
I hope to have it finished by end of year.
And what about your other work, where can we find more of that?
My 12 fantasy novels are available at Amazon, Authorhouse, Barnes and Noble, and some at Kobo and Apple Books. I have signed copies available. My Facebook page is Benjamin Towe books. Benjamintowe.com has excedpts from my stories. I’m on Twitter @bftowe
Marvellous I…. Wooooah! Dear me I do apologise, the airship must have slipped and I seem to have landed in your lap I hope I haven’t covered you in octopus slime?
In Wandmaker’s Burden, the residents of Vydaelia battle a triskaidekapod. 13 tentacles and legs and a nasty disposition. Being hugged by eight arms isn’t so bad.
Well how very kind of you to say so, most people get a little skittish at octopoidal contact, it’s a terrible prejudice and makes for a very lonely life…. Hm, what’s that? Time you were going? Are you sure, why it feels as though you just got here!
My Dreamraiders have the power of Translocation, which enables them to traverse space and time. A bit of Whovian influence I suppose. Escape to an Elfdream…
Oh dear, Max I do believe your threats to commit poetical atrocities and your lack of appreciation for a man’s personal space have scared off yet another of our guests. We are doomed never to get our tentacles on a copy of this Dreamtime Damsels Anthology and it is all your fault. Besides which you have eaten all the french fancies again.
Thankyou, friends for joining us this morning on board our beautiful rainbow sailed sky ship The Harlequin Ladybird, you will find all the blog posts so far on the Dreamtime Damsels blog tour listed below and until we see you again, please remain always
I hope your summer isn’t coming to an end quite as dramatically as ours is here on the North West coast of Blighty! At least the blackberries are ripe so forraging between the thunderstorms and then cowering back to the cosy kitchen for crumbles and pies is the shape of our lives at the moment! (Which I suppose is not too shabby is it?!)
Apologies for missing last week – we’ve all had the lurgie and I spent the weekend playing nurse-maid and making chicken soup!
In other news, I was lucky enough to have my LGBTQIA+ Rromani-Punk short story included in the upcoming Dreamtime Damsels Anthology, so throughout August I’m taking part in their blog tour by hosting authour interviews here each week – if you’re interested in that you can swing by and have a peek, the next two will be up Monday and Tuesday 🙂
Also you may notice I’ve changed the flower pic to a rainbow sailed flying ship because this is The Harlequin Ladybird (more about that to come) and Max and his octopus Collin are now living on board with a band of sky pirates and hosting their elevenses / morning cuppa posts from there.
And (sorry for the ridiculously long preamble… a-hem…) here’s my #RainbowSnippets post for this week – if you’re new to this, Rainbow Snippets is a chance to read and share 6 sentences of LGBTQIA+ fiction every Saturday. There’s a huge variety from Steampunk, like mine, to Romance, Fantasy, Paranormal, Comedy and everything in between. You can join the fun and read all the other fabulous snippets at the wonderfully friendly and supportive official facebook group here 🙂
So, here is the next snippet from Jack and Marjory – my novella-in-progress which gives two of my Bi-Gendered characters a chance to tell something of their own little side-adventure, which actually had a massive impact on the history of Ire in a ‘behind-the-scenes’ kind of way. It’s seven sentences, sorry, which I hope you’ll forgive, but two of them are very short!
If you missed last week’s snippet you can catch up here: #RainbowSnippets: Jack and Marjory
If you want to start from the beginning you can do so here: https://blakeandwight.com/2018/09/29/rainbowsnippets-jack-and-marjory/
To re-cap, Jack and Marjory are being taken back to Lancaster by the poet and revolutionary Michael Biscotti and have just been told that Max, the leader of the revolution, has been arrested and is going to be hung on Friday – a fact Michael seems to be quite cheerful about…
Michael smirked and nibbled the side of his index finger,« Christina isn’t happy about it, of course. »
« Right, o’course.» We was Green, but we weren’t stupid; we liked to read the Cameo Libris posts in The Burlington Arcade, we liked to stay on-top of the Gossip Mill, we knew all about his sister, Christina Biscotti – Poet, Pot-Sot, Pride Of The Revolution – and how, years ago, she and Max had been embroiled in some fiasco about a Sherbert Rocket.
We knew that, years afterwards, Max had moved in with Michael and he and the Biscottis had become the flag bearers for the revolutionary movement in Mor Ire.
We knew about the scandal at Bessy Byron’s Tiffin Den, in Litchfield, during which Max and Bess had been arrested for trading Lemonade. We also knew it was all a set up and that really they’d been trying to expose the Lemonade Brigade and rescue the orphans who were being press ganged into working for them. But the revolution had been exposed, Max had been banished to the underwater prison city, Hull, and Bess had been incarcerated in Lancaster Castle awaiting execution.
Things were starting to fall a little into place, but not nearly fast enough as the steam powered Trampervan ploughed, at top speed, across the Yorkshire Dales and down into the forest of Bowland; Christina Biscotti had once been… what… something to Max…so had Bess… so, perhaps, had Michael… Max had escaped from Hull, rescued Bess but got caught again himself and this time the infamous revolutionary wasn’t getting off lightly in Hull, he was getting his ‘Passport To The Park’, as they say… so what were the Biscottis going to do about it, rescue him ?
being an entertaining and informative piece of travel writing by a couple of rogues on the run as they attempt to avoid the machinations of wizards, monarchs and a ruthless band of beatnik poets, deflect a civil war and deliver a priceless, historical tea set before the owner finds himself at the gallows.
Wishing you all a most splendiferous week and don’t forget to check in at the #rainbowsnippets facebook group for more fabulous snippets of LGBTQIA+ fiction 🙂
book cover image by Renphoto
Good Morning Ladies and Gentlemen, welcome to Max and Collin’s rambunctiously raucous and chi-chi to the core parlour located high above it all on board our beautiful rainbow-sailed ship, The Harlequin Ladybird. Yes that’s right we have escaped our dank cellar and our evil landlord (if you want to know how you will have to read our #RainbowSnippets posts on Saturdays and all will be revealed). So we are now heading the revolution in Ire from the skies – which turns out to be much safer and more fun than heading it from the ground! But never fear, we still have time to stop for elevenses!
Our tentacles are all of a quiver this morning and our china cups are chattering because this morning we are taking part in the Dreamtime Damsels blog tour and we are honoured to have one of the contributors, Nav Logan, as our guest for elevenses!
Do please have a seat, Nav, (Max, get off the chaise and let him sit down … hm? … no he can’t sit on your lap, just move aside.)
Would you like tea? Earl Grey? Lapsang? Assam? Darjeeling? Oolong? (Max don’t be rude)
I don’t drink tea.
What? I… I’m sorry I please forgive me I just slipped off my chair… I’m so sorry, I must have had sea water in my ears, I thought you said you don’t drink tea? No, I’m sure I must have misheard you, here have a nice soothing cup of Earl Grey with a dash of Absinthe.There you go. Now then , do tell us more about your contribution to this Dreamtime Damsels anthology we keep hearing about – the aether is alive with the gossip!
Gossip is the Devil’s telephone they say, but having spent my fair share of time kneeling in front of the loo, groaning “Oh God!” I guess it’s only fair to confirm that the compilation is near completion and almost ready for print, and yes, I did my small part in the whole thing by supporting the rights of women to wear chainmail bikinis, should they so wish, or not, as the case may be. We live in a diverse universe, and I say live and let live, or to paraphrase Rodney King, “Can’t we all just get along?”
Oh we octopuses always think everyone should get along and … (Hm? Oh don’t be ridiculous Max I do NOT own a chainmail bikini and I’m CERTAIN my tentacles would get pinched in the links.) Although I have to say, Nav, it does does sound exciting. What inspired you to write it?
Nils Visser gave me a challenge to write this particular story. I had contributed another one too, but only this one made it through the rigorous editing process… And then only after I bribed and coerced some of the judges… but we won’t go into that.
Ah yes, bribery, coercion, cake laced with epic doses of the Green Fairy… we are certainly on the same page. We believe that is the only reason Penny’s story was included too. More cake? I see you haven’t touched your tea… (Max be quiet, everyone loves tea)
Now then, what would you say most influences your writing in general?
Heavy doses of M&Ms and a heady cocktail of Chinese food and Red Bulls, although I’m currently in rehab and detoxing … I’m sixteen days clean now!
Ah yes, Max went cold turkey once from caffeine and sugar. It wasn’t pretty. You have our deepest sympathies. Cherry Bakewell? No? Oh yes, sorry, you’re detoxing… um… and are there any authors who have particularly inspired you? (No he doesn’t want to hear your poetry Max, stop interrupting)
Thomas Jefferson. Man, that dude could write. That whole Independence thing… wow… mind blowing!
Oh yes we are all about independence – we are heading the revolution from the skies in fact (it being far safer than leading a revolution from the ground, we have discovered) but back to writing, you know, writing is something I’ve always fancied turning my talents to – having so many tentacles I imagine I could be quite productive as an author. Tell me, what was your own road into fiction writing like?
Some would say poetry was my road to fiction… Others would refer to my previous illicit horticultural endeavours and the particular strain of plant I developed… That was some pretty mind-expanding stuff, right there. I put some in the tea to give it a kick. Hope you don’t mind.
I see, oh dear, is that why the room has turned purple and your head has exploded in a burst of golden stars? You must leave some behind with us when you go. And do you have any plans for new projects in the near future?
World domination, but I’ll start with becoming the King of Ramsbottom.
World domination… er…. you’re not a wizard are you? So, where can we get our tentacles on a copy of this delightful Dreamtime Damsels collection? I mean, I know it’s not OFFICIALLY on sale yet but we thought, you know, as we’ve been so kind and plied you with cake and suspicious hot beverages….
The Black Market… The Deep web… I’m not authorised to reveal that. It’s beyond your security clearance to even think about it, let alone utter such a request out loud.
Damn. Our hearts are broken! Oh well, it was worth a try I suppose. And what about your own work, where can we find more of that?
There are ears everywhere… Mum’s a word… <wink>
Oh! Oh I see… um…. Wooooah! Dear me I do apologise, the airship must have slipped… or perhaps that was the effect of this blasted tea… I am so very sorry I seem to have landed in your lap I hope I haven’t covered you in octopus slime?
I’m good thanks.
Are you sure you’re alright? Hm, what’s that? Time you were going? Are you sure I can’t tempt you with another cup of tea? Yo haven’t even touched your first!
I can’t feel my toes! Is that normal?
Would you like some help crawling to the door?
Oh dear, Max I do believe your awful poetry and ill-concealed amorous advances have scared off yet another of our guests. You really must learn to behave yourself ‘In Company.’ What do you mean it was my fault for pushing tea on him? Everybody loves tea!
Thankyou, long-suffering friends, for joining us this morning on board our beautiful new rainbow sailed ship The Harlequin Ladybird, you will find all the blog posts so far on the Dreamtime Damsels blog tour listed below and until we see you again, please remain always