Post Mortem

Killer Unicorns

DEATH:
Hey there, living people. Welcome to Post Mortem, the fake online talk-radio show where fictional characters talk to me about their books, their Authors, and basically anything they want. I’m your host, Death.

I have two words that sum up our next guest’s book: killer unicorns. I’m going to say that again, because let’s face it, those words go better together than milk and cookies. Killer unicorns. Locus says: “Tired of Buffy the Vampire Slayer? Try Astrid the unicorn hunter.” Scott Westerfeld, author of Leviathan, declares: “As swift and sure-footed as a killer unicorn, RAMPANT weaves a vibrant new mythology from venerable threads.” And Tamora Pierce calls RAMPANT “A thrilling read, with strong girls, unusual and scary unicorns, and hidden dangers everywhere.”

In case you missed it: killer unicorns. Everyone, say hello to the star of Diana Peterfreund’s RAMPANT…Astrid Llewelyn!

[APPLAUSE]

Rampant

Hey, Astrid.

ASTRID:
Hi, Death. If at all possible, could you get lost? It’s like you’ve been stalking me lately.

DEATH:
I never stalk. Don’t need to. Everyone comes to me, eventually. So, RAMPANT. Killer unicorns. How’s a girl like you get involved in something like that?

ASTRID:
After watching my boyfriend get gored in the leg by a thought-to-be-extinct killer unicorn, I’m sent to a nunnery in Rome to train as a unicorn hunter because I, as a virgin descendant of Alexander the Great, am part of a long line of people with the magical ability to protect the world from the killer unicorn menace. [PAUSES] Want my job?

DEATH:
Next time I’m a virgin descendant of Alexander the Great, you’re on. What’s the worst thing about your situation in RAMPANT?

ASTRID:
Gee, where do I start? How about being ripped out of school before I have a chance to win the science fair for the second time in a row and sent to live in a nunnery, where it is my job to kill man-eating monsters?

DEATH:

I can see that being quite a bummer.

ASTRID:
Then there’s my crazy, unicorn-obsessed roommate, or the bone-covered walls that give me a headache, the fact that my duty to kill unicorns goes hand in hand with a rule that says I can never date a boy again, ever!

DEATH:
Well, that last probably makes your parents happy.

ASTRID:
Oh, and imminent death lies on the other end of every arrow point. That sucks, too.

DEATH:
Hey, I get around. Anything redeeming about your situation?

ASTRID:
In Rome, they have gelato stands on every corner. Yum!

DEATH:
[SMILES] Good stuff.

ASTRID:
Also, I met a cute boy here, but don’t tell anyone that, since, ahem, not supposed to date.

DEATH:
Your secret is safe with me. Cross my heart.

ASTRID:
And I get to hang out with my cousin Phil, who is my best friend.

DEATH:
If you could be anyone, who would it be?

ASTRID:
Marie Curie, because she was a brilliant scientist and her research helped cure thousands of people. Even though it eventually killed her. Hmmm, maybe we have more in common than I’d thought.

DEATH:
What does a unicorn hunter wear these days?

ASTRID:
A lot of cargo pants, because the pockets are big enough for spare arrow points and my alicorn knife.

DEATH:
Anything you wouldn’t be, ha-ha, caught dead in?

ASTRID:
Probably wouldn’t wear heels, especially not with these cobblestone streets around the Cloisters. You could break your ankle, especially if you have to start running. Which we do, because the other downside to my ability is that, on top of having magical powers over killer unicorns, I also draw them to me like catnip.

DEATH:
Nice to keep things interesting. What are you most afraid of?

ASTRID:
I’m really terrified of ending up a crazy loser like my mother.

DEATH:
Ouch.

ASTRID:
I mean, she was right about there being unicorns, and them being venomous monsters, but she’s still completely insane. Trust me on this one. And I had a plan to escape it. I was going to go to school, be a doctor, immerse myself in science.

DEATH:
How do you move past that fear?

ASTRID:
I’m a high school dropout learning magical hunting techniques. So far, I’m not doing so great with the “moving past” thing.

DEATH:
Give it time. Or more books. What’s one thing about you that no one else knows? You can trust me. Really.

ASTRID:
My cousin Philippa is my hero. I love her more than anyone else in the world.

DEATH:
That’s sweet.

ASTRID:
Also, I’m kind of ace at braiding hair.

DEATH:
Definitely a lost art. In RAMPANT, were there any parts of the story where you were like, Diana, what on earth are you making me do? Or were you and your Author in sync the entire time?

ASTRID:
She tortured me a lot. But I don’t think she had much of a choice in the matter, either.

DEATH:
I don’t know about that. Free will and all. If you had your way, what would you change about RAMPANT?

ASTRID:
Well, I probably would have slept with my boyfriend in the first chapter, so I wouldn’t have been eligible for this whole unicorn hunting thing.

DEATH:
[DIES LAUGHING]

ASTRID:
Then again, if I’d done that, I never would have met Giovanni. [PAUSES] Tough call.

DEATH:
If you could make your Author, Diana Peterfreund, do anything, what would it be?

ASTRID:
I’m pretty sure I’m getting tortured even worse in the next book, so I guess I’d have to say STOP WRITING!

DEATH:
Yeah, that doesn’t work. Tell me one thing in the real world that you wish you could change.

ASTRID:
I wish we had a cure for cancer. I know that’s cheesy and simplistic, but I do. I’d give anything if we could rid the world of disease.

DEATH:
I know a certain White Rider of the Apocalypse who might have something to say about that. If RAMPANT goes Hollywood, who should play you in the movie?

ASTRID:
I don’t know if I could choose me. That’s really egocentric, don’t you think?

DEATH:
Maybe, but that doesn’t make it wrong. Okay then, what about your cousin? Who should play her?

ASTRID:
Phil would totally be Amanda Seyfried.

DEATH:
By the way, viewers, if you haven’t checked out the book trailer for RAMPANT, you really should.

ASTRID:
And I’d like to take this opportunity to issue a public service announcement: Stay out of the woods.

DEATH:
Well put. If there’s one piece of advice you could give to your fans, what would it be?

ASTRID:
I have fans? Really?

DEATH:
Really really.

ASTRID:
Did my mother start a fan club? I wouldn’t put it past her. And, again: stay out of the woods.

DEATH:
Heh. Again, well put. Finally, who’s your favorite Horseman of the Apocalypse?

ASTRID:
That’s a tough one. I mean, on one hand, they are supposed to be all famine and pestilence, right?

DEATH:
Two out of four, yes.

ASTRID:
I’m very anti-pestilence. On the other hand, horses in general don’t scare me, not after seeing unicorns. I’m going to go with Conquest, because he’s got a bow.

DEATH:
And because I’m a gentleman, I won’t tell you that my Author has Pestilence doing double time as Conquest—he gets the bow.

ASTRID:
I like bows.

DEATH:
Who doesn’t? You know, besides killer unicorns.

Everyone, give another hearty round of applause for the star of Diana Peterfreund’s RAMPANT…Astrid Llewelyn!

[APPLAUSE]

DP

[No, this isn't Astrid. But it is her Author, Diana Peterfreund.]

RAMPANT is available at Barnes & Noble, Borders, Mysterious Galaxy and other independent bookstores, Amazon, and other fine bookstores near you.

That’s it for this episode of Post Mortem. Feel free to comment. Let us know if you liked the interview, if there’s a question I should have asked…anything you’d like. Either Astrid or I will get back to you. Or possibly Diana or Jackie; our Authors get nosey sometimes.

Until next time, go thee out unto the world. Rock on.



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