Post Mortem

It’s A Kind of Magic

December 8th, 2009

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.

Our guest today on Post Mortem is a clockwork man with a hidden past. In a starred review of MAGIC UNDER GLASS, Booklist says: “Dolamore successfully juggles several elements that might have stymied even a more experienced writer: intriguing plot elements, sophisticated characterizations, and a subtle boost of girl power.”

[GRINS] Girl power is awesome — both the subtle and in-your-face kind. Everyone, say hello to one of the stars of Jaclyn Dolamore’s MAGIC UNDER GLASS…Erris Tanharrow!

MUG

[APPLAUSE]

Hey, Erris. How’s it going?

ERRIS:
Oh, well enough, I suppose.

DEATH:
Heh. This is going to be fun. Tell us about MAGIC UNDER GLASS.

ERRIS:
This is a book about a tremendously handsome and charming fairy prince trapped inside a life-size clockwork piano player, and the lovely girl who wants to rescue him.

DEATH:
Of course it is.

ERRIS:
I think there might be some rich blonde cad named Hollin in there as well.

DEATH:
What’s the worst thing about your situation in the book?

ERRIS:
Well, I am trapped inside a life-size clockwork piano-playing automaton, for one thing.

DEATH:
Yeah, OK. I can see that.

ERRIS:
[SHRUGS] It’s not as dull as it sounds, because for the most part, I’m unwound and in this long sleep. But it is very jarring because you never know what will be going on the next time someone winds you. [PAUSES] I say “you” in the nonspecific sense, because it sounds much better than saying “me”.

DEATH:
Gotcha.

ERRIS:
Also, it’s damned hard to do anything useful, much less impressive, when you’re trapped inside a piano-playing automaton. You can play a lot of piano. That’s about the extent of it.

DEATH:
What’s the best thing about your situation?

ERRIS:
The best thing is… well… one day it was a lovely girl winding me. That would be Nimira. And she didn’t run away when I tried to communicate with her. In fact, it seems she was intrigued. Apparently even as an automaton, I make for a handsome specimen.

DEATH:
[SMILES] Apparently.

ERRIS:
Or perhaps women just appreciate tragedy. I seem to remember my sisters talking about novels with a lot of doomed princes and ridiculous supernatural circumstances, and it occurs to me that my lot has become quite similar…

DEATH:
What is often ridiculous in theory is tragic in practice. If you could be anyone, who would it be?

ERRIS:
I believe I would be Mr. Darcy. Everyone loves him, and he never has to put up with being a doomed prince or any ridiculous supernatural circumstances.

DEATH:
Doesn’t Mrs. Bennet become his mother-in-law?

ERRIS:
I would be willing to face that in order to have the least of my problems be pride, or prejudice, or things of that vague alliterative nature.

DEATH:
[CHUCKLES] What does a piano-playing clockwork man wear these days?

ERRIS:
Piano-playing automata don’t change clothes often. Luckily, this outfit meets with my approval: a coat of deep green velvet with tasteful embroidery, a brown waistcoat, knickers, silk stockings, and shoes with red heels that match my current cravat.

DEATH:
What wouldn’t you be caught dead in?

ERRIS:
A bathing costume.

DEATH:
What are you most afraid of?

ERRIS:
I am most afraid of my entire family being dead, and my entire world crashing down upon me, and my person being forced into serious circumstances that require me to rise to them or perish. Luckily, that sort of thing only happens to characters in stories! [PAUSES] Wait… oh dear.

DEATH:
How do you move past that fear?

ERRIS:
I’m not sure, as it also appears that automata are unable to smoke or drink. I’ll have to get back to you.

DEATH:
What’s one thing about you that no one else knows? [SMILES] You can trust us. Really.

ERRIS:
Well… when I was young, before the war, being the ninth child of ten, my brothers and sisters had some very spectacular parties that would last long into the night, and I began attending them somewhere in my fourteenth year, and…

DEATH:
And?

ERRIS:
Well. Things happened. I’m not sure what was more embarrassing: the time I woke up my old nurse while attempting to deflower a maiden in a secluded corner of the palace, or the time my brothers wouldn’t believe that I had kissed another boy only because I was in a state of entirely intoxicated confusion, and if you saw some of the other boys back then, you would understand how it might happen.

DEATH:
[LAUGHS] Of course I do.

ERRIS:
I promise, however, that those days are entirely over. Far too much has happened for such frivolous behavior to have any appeal anymore.

DEATH:
Not to mention, being a piano-playing automata, you can’t drink or do any deflowering. In MAGIC UNDER GLASS, were there any parts of the story where you were like, Jaclyn, what on earth are you making me do? Or were you and your Creator in sync the entire time?

ERRIS:
Well, my actions were my own. I would like to think I must take responsibility for that.

DEATH:
Sure.

ERRIS:
I do think that some of it may have been a little bit unnecessary. There does seem to be an awfully high death toll for everyone’s parents. I suppose there was some strain of influenza that only struck parents? Is that it?

DEATH:
Trade secret.

ERRIS:
But as far as what I did…I’m afraid I’m acting precisely myself. Which is to say I do very few useful things.

DEATH:
If you had your way, what would you change about MAGIC UNDER GLASS?

ERRIS:
I would change it to “The tale of Erris, a gentleman prince who never had to even consider becoming King because his brothers took care of that, while he lived a life of luxury that was dull to most people save himself, because it was so entirely pleasant.”

DEATH:
[LAUGHS] Other than renaming the book, if you could make your Creator, Jaclyn, do anything, what would it be?

ERRIS:
I would make her offer me a contended life from this day forward. Unfortunately, looking at the way the book ends with somewhat of an unfinished nature, I suspect she may take the path of financial reward over my happiness. Cruel mistress!

DEATH:
Think of it as an opportunity for future permanent contentedness. Tell me one thing in the real world that you wish you could change.

ERRIS:
The real world? You mean my world?

DEATH:
No.

ERRIS:
Your world?

DEATH:
No.

ERRIS:
What is Death’s world, anyway? Wait, I’d rather not know. [PAUSES] I certainly wish humans would stop tearing down so many trees. You have to tear some of them down, but be sensible about it, for goodness’ sake.

DEATH:
If MAGIC UNDER GLASS goes Hollywood, who should play you in the movie?

ERRIS:
My creator knows me best, and she kindly suggests J. J. Feild, who played Henry Tilney in a recent adaptation of Northanger Abbey.

DEATH:
What about Hollin Parry?

ERRIS:
As for the master of the house and my rival for Nimira’s affections, may I suggest that chap who played Emperor Palpatine in Star Wars? I insist, of course, that he use the exact same delivery. I’m sure the audience would make the right choice about who to root for.

DEATH:
If there was one thing you could have, what would it be?

ERRIS:
Well, when I was alive as a fairy prince, before I became enchanted in the body of an automaton and thirty years slipped by me before my fate was discovered, I was following a serial story in the magazine Davies’ Assortment of Wonders, called “Grave Misfortunes,” and I should very much like to know if Marianne and Lord Chalmsley ever got out of their predicament.

I can’t seem to find it in bound form, so if anyone happened to save this periodical, please forward to:

Erris Tanharrow
c/o Hollin Parry
Pelswater

DEATH:
I shudder to think what the postage would be. If there’s one piece of advice you could give to your fans, what would it be?

ERRIS:
Enjoy your life, because you never know when it will take a turn, but don’t enjoy it too much, or that will be the cause of your trouble in the first place. Above all, avoid sorcerers.

DEATH:
Wise words, all around. Finally, who’s your favorite Horseman of the Apocalypse?

ERRIS:
[GRINS BROADLY] Why, Death, of course! [GLANCES AT EXIT]

DEATH:
Heh. Flattery gets you everywhere.

Everyone, give another hearty round of applause for one of the stars of Jaclyn Delamore’s MAGIC UNDER GLASS…Erris Tanharrow!

[APPLAUSE]

JD

[No, this isn't Erris. But it is his Author, Jaclyn Dolamore.]

MAGIC UNDER GLASS hits the shelves on December 22, 2009. You can preorder the book 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 Erris or I will get back to you. Or possibly Jaclyn or Jackie; our Authors get nosey sometimes.

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



It’s A Dog’s Life

October 5th, 2009

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.

Don’t let that freak you out. I’m a decent fake radio host. At least, no one’s complained yet. (But maybe that’s because of the scythe.)

Our guest today on Post Mortem is someone I can relate to on many levels–especially because she understands the concept of patience. Me? I’m patient because, well, why wouldn’t I be? Everyone comes to me, in time. As for my guest, she’s patient due to circumstances. Three hundred years’ worth of circumstances.

Booklist calls The Dust of 100 Dogs “an undeniably original book.” And according to School Library Journal: “Pirates, reincarnation, dogs, teenage angst, a romance that spans the centuries, magic, treasure—all are wrapped up inside a fun Goth cover.”

[GRINS] I love the “fun Goth cover” comment. Everyone, say hello to the star of A.S. King’s THE DUST OF 100 DOGS…Saffron Adams!

100dogs

[APPLAUSE]

Hey, Saffron! Thanks for being my guest on Post Mortem.

SAFFRON:
Uh—hi, Death. Nice to meet you.

DEATH:
Likewise. For those who haven’t read DUST yet, what’s your book about?

SAFFRON:
THE DUST OF 100 DOGS is about a notorious 17th century pirate reincarnated as a girl genius–me–who is determined to reclaim her buried treasure.

DEATH:
Nice. But what does that have to do with the dust of a hundred dogs?

SAFFRON:
When Emer was murdered, her killer cursed her with the dust of 100 dogs, dooming her to 300 years as an assortment of dogs before she could be reborn as a human again.

DEATH:
Ouch. Was that the worst thing that happened to you in the book?

SAFFRON:
The worst thing for me is that I was born with a 300-year-old brain. There are perks to this as well as troubles. Mostly, modern people piss me off, and time moves too slowly.

DEATH:
[GRINS] Yeah, I can relate to that.

SAFFRON:
[NODS] But my situation is complicated because I have my own life and memories, and I also have the memories and some leftover feelings from my former incarnation, Emer Morrisey.

DEATH:
Okay, you got me on that one. I’ve never been reincarnated. Between Emer and Saffron, which of you had a harder time of things?

SAFFRON:
[LAUGHS] Well, for one thing, my family sucks. Having to live with them until I turned 18, knowing the things I knew, was hard. But nothing as hard as what Emer had to go through. That’s the thing about being me. No matter how bad I had it, I don’t think I could ever have it as bad as she did.

DEATH:
What’s the best thing about your situation?

SAFFRON:
Funnily enough, the 300-year-old brain. Especially its mental treasure maps.

DEATH:
[LAUGHS] Not bad. If you could be anyone–and I don’t mean limiting yourself to either Emer or you, or any of your dog lives–who would it be?

SAFFRON:
There are too many people going hungry, or going without the basics in our world, and there’s no reason for it. Now that I live in Jamaica, I try to do my part locally, but I wish I had more organizational power to motivate others to help. [PAUSES] Also, more money. So, I guess I wish I could be Bono, because he’s making a huge difference in these areas.

DEATH:
To say nothing about rocking as he does so. What’s your standard outfit?

SAFFRON:

[SHRUGS] I’m casual. Depending on what climate I’m in, I’m either a jeans, t-shirt and boots kind of girl, or a sundress, surf shorts and barefoot kind of girl.

DEATH:

What wouldn’t you be caught–ha ha–dead in?

SAFFRON:
High heels.

DEATH:
What are you most afraid of?

SAFFRON:
Confrontation. I hate fighting–verbal or physical–because I know what it causes internally.

DEATH:
Not often you hear a former pirate saying she hates fighting.

SAFFRON:
Emer turned from innocent girl to evil pirate from what was done to her. It was ugly, and she felt she had to do that because life was always handing her violent challenges. I had it far easier in the 20th century, and was naturally opposed to violence after seeing what it did to Emer, and so many others I witnessed during my lives as dogs. In my experience, I believe that violence breeds more violence.

DEATH:
I can see that. So how do you move past that fear?

SAFFRON:
By being an avid pacifist. I keep my life as peaceful as it can be.

DEATH:
[NODS] All about the balance. What’s one thing about you that no one else knows? You can trust me. Really.

SAFFRON:
[PAUSES] When we had to sell our house and had the yard sale, it was too sad to see my mom sell her two framed pictures of Jesus, so I hid them in the garage.

DEATH:
Aw.

SAFFRON:
I also stole an old Swiss Army knife, which I still have, and lied to my dad and said I’d sold it.

DEATH:
Heh. A pacifist thief. I like it. In THE DUST OF 100 DOGS, were there any parts of the story where you were like, hey, A.S. King, what on earth are you making me do? Or were you and your Author in sync the entire time?

SAFRON:
I didn’t like that I had to confront Fred at the end. But I guess I knew it was coming, so I let my Emer out when it was time, and it wasn’t so bad. Outside of that, I’m glad she got me to where I wanted to go. [SMILES] Though the book spans over 300 years, it focuses mostly on Emer, and the curse we shared…but my story really starts when the book ends.

DEATH:
If you had your way, what would you change about THE DUST OF 100 DOGS?

SAFFRON:
The thing I’d change the most is a major spoiler.

DEATH:
Ah. Can’t have that. Even I have basic rules to follow.

SAFFRON:
Let’s just say I wish I could one day reclaim all of what I was looking for, and not just parts of it. [PAUSES] Then again, I feel I traded a few “valuables” for true love, which is far more valuable.

DEATH:
Ah, l’amour. If you could make your Author, A.S. King, do anything, what would it be?

SAFFRON:
Exercise more regularly. She’d feel a lot better if she just got to it, but she tends to work too much, and spend too much time in her office.

DEATH:
I think that’s an Author thing. I could tell you stuff about Jackie, but she’d probably kill me. And killing Death, well, that would lead to bad things. If THE DUST OF 100 DOGS goes Hollywood, who should play you and Emer in the movie?

SAFFRON:
I’m a few years behind when it comes to American movie stars. Last I knew Hollywood, it was the 1990s. So, I don’t think I can answer this one accurately. But if it was 1990, I’d love to see Wynona Rider play Emer.

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

SAFFRON:
Be nice. Nice matters.

DEATH:
It does indeed. Finally, who’s your favorite Horseman of the Apocalypse?

SAFFRON:
I’d have to say War. You know–the sword and all that.

DEATH:
Heh. Yeah, I do. Excellent choice.

Everyone, give another hearty round of applause for the star of A.S. King’s DUST OF 100 DOGS…Saffron Adams!

[APPLAUSE]

ASK

[No, this isn't Saffron. Or Emer. But it is their Author, A.S. King.]

You can buy DUST OF 100 DOGS at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Borders, independent bookstores, 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 Saffron or I will get back to you. Or possibly Amy or Jackie–our Authors get nosey sometimes. (Authors. Can’t take them anywhere.)

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



Coming Soon!

September 17th, 2009

Post Mortem is coming soon! Stay tuned…