Descent into Madness: or, an Interview in Underland

In honour of PLAYING HEARTS‘ publication this week, I’ve arranged a rather special interview! With me today are Hatter, Hare, and Dormy; sans tea-table but fully supplied with tea and crumpets.

 

PLAYING HEARTS BOOK COVER-picmonkeyW.R. [addresses all three]: Good afternoon! It’s lovely to have you with me today!

Hatter: It can’t be afternoon. We haven’t had our morning tea yet. You’ll have to rewind.

W.R.: Er…Good morning?

Hatter: Better. Better, butter. Butter! Who took the butter? I must get on with the crumpets or we’ll be late.

Hare: YOU WILL GET NOTHING FROM ME, MADAM, BUT NAME, EAR LENGTH, AND HAT SIZE.

Dormy: SNOOOOOOooooaaaaaaaaAAAARK!

W.R.: I’m sorry, what did you say?

Hatter: He didn’t say anything. He’s snoring.

W.R.: No, I mean the Hare. Name, ear length, and hat size…?

Hatter: He thinks you’re a minion of the queen.

W.R.: Why would I be a minion of the queen?

Hatter: Prestige, power, scones…

Hare: HARE, ELEVEN INCHES NINEPENCE, FOUR AND THREE QUARTERS.

W.R.: Um. Thanks.

Dormy: SNOOOOOOooooaaaaaaaaAAAARK!

W.R. [addresses Hatter]Your hat is a rather special one, I hear. Can you tell us about it?

Hatter: Yes.

W.R.:

Hatter:

W.R.: Um. Your hat? You were going to tell us about it?

Hatter: No I wasn’t.

W.R. [narrows eyes]: You just said you could tell us about it.

Hatter [sniffs]: Can and will are two different things. You should be more precise.

W.R. [considers a very precise method of informing the Hatter what a prat he is]: Perhaps the Hare would care to answer a question or two?

Hatter: Perhaps.

Dormy: SNOOOOOOooooaaaaaaaaAAAARK!

W.R.[addresses Hare]: I see you have a crutch.

Hare: I SEE YOU HAVE A BIG NOSE.

W.R.[tries to hide nose behind hand]: Well, yes, but- I mean, you’re missing a front paw, not a back leg. Why do you need a crutch? Isn’t it inconvenient?

Hare: WELL, WHY DO YOU NEED A NOSE AS BIG AS THAT? DOES IT HELP YOU SMELL BETTER?

W.R.: No. That’s why I take showers.

Hare [fixed stare]:…

W.R. [fixed glare]:…

Hare: HAVE A CUP OF TEA. IT’S NOT POISONED.

W.R. [takes teacup]: Thaaaanks. Back to your crutch. When did you get it?

Hare: NOT EVEN A SMIDGE OF BATTERY ACID.

W.R. [puts teacup down]: What do you know about battery acid? You come from a pre-electric paradigm.

Hare: WE HAD A LOOK AT YOUR CAR. IT WAS BROKEN.

W.R.: My car wasn’t broken!

Hare: WE FIXED IT FOR YOU. WE ACCEPT PAYMENT IN TEA AND CRUMPETS.

W.R.: But you don’t know anything about car electronics!

Hare: YES, AND IT WAS VERY DIFFICULT. THAT MEANS IT’S WORTH A LOT OF TEA AND CRUMPETS.

W.R.: What did you do to my car!?

Hatter: Well, it has wheels, after all. Worst comes to worst, you can always get behind it and push. Good exercise for you.

W.R. [groans]: Never mind. I’m sure it can’t be as bad as all that.

Dormy [blinks and sits up, yawning]

W.R. [looks relieved]: Oh, lovely! Dormy, you’re awake! I have so many questions I’d like to ask you!

Dormy: Meep!

W.R. [clears throat]So: you’re usually asleep in the teapot that Mabel uses to get into Underland. Can you tell me why you like to sleep in tea dregs? It seems like a rather uncomfortable place for a nap.

Dormy: Meep!

W.R.: Right. Um. But the teapot? Why is it such a favourite with you?

Dormy: Meep!

W.R. [addresses Hatter and Hare]Have I offended him? Or does he not care for questions?

Hatter: He’s a dormouse.

Hare: A DORMOUSE, MADAM.

W.R.: Yes, I know. What’s that got to do with it?

Hatter & Hare [stare at W.R.]:…

Hatter: Dormice don’t talk.

Hare: IS SHE MENTALLY DEFICIENT?

Hatter [sotto voce]: Back away slowly. Maybe she won’t notice.

W.R. [pinches bridge of nose and sighs]: You know what? I think we’re done.

Hare: RUN FOR IT, HATTER, SHE’S GETTING UP!

W.R. [indignant]: Oh, for Pete’s sake! Come back here, you two!

Dormy: Meep!

W.R.: You left Dormy behind, you mad little oiks! Now what am I supposed to do? I haven’t got a teapot big enough for him!

***

Well, that’s it. I’m off to find out what they’ve done to my car. If you want to see more of Hatter and Hare, preorder PLAYING HEARTS before Thursday the 10th to get it for the special price of 99c! (It’ll go up to $1.99 after that, so get it while it’s cheap).

Three cheers (and lots of Hogan’s Heroes)!

It’s finished!

The Short Thing I started as a challenge has grown to be a 41k word novella titled PLAYING HEARTS, and has finally finished its growth spurt! I had a huge day of writing on Saturday (6k) and a huge day today (5.5k) to finish it; and it feels SO GOOD!

Now I’m gonna put it aside for a week and not touch it until I start my week of intensive editing.PLAYING HEARTS BOOK COVER-picmonkey

That means…

Me watching Hogan’s Heroes
Me reading LOTR again (then more Hogan’s Heroes)
Me finishing Catching Fire (then more Hogan’s Heroes)
Me drinking SO MANY cuppa teas (while watching Hogan’s Heroes)

*Happy Sigh!*

A WHOLE WEEK to relax!

Now I just have to be firm about Not Writing.

Hey! If you want a free, advance copy of PLAYING HEARTS (on March 1st), join my mailing list! You’ll also get MASQUE for free!