AN: Hello, Ship! Welcome to my little corner of the internets. I think it’s an okay spot, just make yourself comfortable anywhere. Oh, but don’t sit on the chaise lounge, it gets a little cranky when you sit on it. So, now that I’ve got you cornered here, I’d like to start with a quick trivia challenge, just to see where your head’s at. You game? Of course you are.
First question: What is the name of the boy the toys from Toy Story belong to?
DE: Phew, a Disney question! Well, a Disney-presentation-of-a-Pixar-film question, but regardless, the Toy Story boy’s name is Andy. …Um, how about the armchair? Is that okay with being treated like a piece of furniture? ‘Cause I could just stand or pace around like I’m on the phone, if not.
AN: No, no, make yourself comfortable. The armchair is good, just don’t say the word “orange”. The chair is allergic. Good answer. Next question: What is the name of the cartoon cat who loves lasagna and making fun of his dog pal Odie?
DE: Garfield!!! Pardon my exuberant squeals, but Garfield was a huge part of my childhood. Went through a reading phase where my favorite books were the collections of his strips, borrowed repeatedly from the library. I hope the armchair doesn’t mind me bouncing around like this; it’s that, or break into the theme song from “Garfield and Friends”.
AN: The armchair doesn’t mind one bit, it’s very patient that way. I have all my furniture very well tamed with the exception of the lounge and the magical mirror. Whatever you do, don’t ask the mirror a question. You’ll never get the thing to shut up, real hacker, that mirror.
You’re breezing through my trivia. I’ve got two questions left. First: Ringling Brothers Circus bills itself as “The (blank) show on Earth”, what word goes in the blank?
DE: Dude, where’d you score a magic mirror?? Wait, never mind that — do you know where I can get a magic lamp? Anyway, the circus. Not my forte in the way my beloved cartoons are, but I think I might know this one. Let’s see, what do they keep saying in those commercials I pay scant attention to?…”The Greatest Show on Earth”, is that right?
AN: Correct!!!! And circuses are awesome, I’ve been meaning to take my kids to one. Also, I picked up my magic lamp over at BobsMagicLampEmporium.com. It’s a good place, but you’ve got to be careful. The first one I ordered, the packaging ripped and the postman accidentally rubbed the lamp: neither the lamp nor the mailman were ever seen again…Second order went great though. Bob’s a real genie when it comes to getting a hold of that kind of thing.
Last question before moving on. It’s an easy’un. What is the secret super hero identity of Peter Parker?
DE: Hahaha, that would be he over whom you and I have both bonded and bickered: The one, the only, the amazing, ultimate, and spectacular Spider-Man! And I don’t know that I’d trust my magic lamp-related needs to a guy named Bob. I mean, come on — that’s either totally an alias, or he’s just somebody’s neighbor. Pretty much everyone’s got a neighbor named Bob, you know; that, and an Aunt Agatha.
AN: Okay, you’ve passed my trivia challenge. For the folks at home, let’s review your answers, they were: Andy Garfield greatest Spider-man. Ha! I knew you agreed with me about good ol’ Andy. your subconscious just said so.
DE: *explosion of startled/enraged laughter* You absolute punk! I can’t believe you– Folks at home, let the record state that I am 100% Team Maguire! That being said, well played, Mr. Nader. Well played indeed. Remind me to pick you when I get around to assembling a supervillain team-up to take over the world.
AN: Excellent, I hate getting picked last for things. Even supervillianry. Okay, so enough of my trivia trap. I want to move on to one final segment of this two part interview. Segment makes it sound so official, don’t it? Right, back on track. I want to play a quick round of word association, then I will use my psychic powers of deduction to weigh out your writing personality–no traps this time, I swear. So, I’m going to give you one word, and I want you to give me the first two or three words that come to mind. Sound fair? Here I go presuming again. Ready? *presumes yet again* Okay, first word: Muse.
DE: First word’s a name: “Luc”. And the words that most quickly follow after him are “inspiration” and “light” — which I guess could more or less apply to just about any muse, but to my mind, can’t nobody embody both like Lucianíel.
AN: Next word: grammar
DE: “USE IT…conditionally”. I’m all for artistic license, but it’s like Picasso: I’ll accept your occasional bizarre portraits with ears where the eyes should be, so long as you show me first that you do indeed know what a face looks like.
AN: That’s a pretty good way of putting that. I have a longstanding hatred of the thing. But, I digress. Next word: inspiration.
DE: “Creation”. “Art”. “Idea”. Ahhh, I love these words in combination!
AN: Right on. Next word: Fairytale.
DE: “YAY!” I’m afraid too many happy words rush into my brain at the thought of fairytales to immediately settle on anything besides a cheer. XD Maybe “true love” or “magic” or “happy ending”.
AN: That’s at least four words, cheater! I’ll allow it this time. I’m thinking two more words, um, first is: Robin Hood.
DE: *screeeeeeeams* Ahem. Sorry, hope I didn’t shatter your magic mirror with that one. After that display, the word “fangirl” comes to mind; or perhaps “obsession”.
AN: When I say Robin Hood do you picture Russell Crowe, the guy from men in tights, Kevin Costner, or a fox?
DE: Of those, the fox would probably be first, but I’ve got my own version of Robin living in my head who will always get first dibs. And, y’know, this general montage of greenery, arrows, and feathered caps. …although… Wow, I only just realized, I don’t think I’ve ever seen my Robin in a feathered cap. Weirdo.
AN: No feathered cap? Strange kid you are. Okay, last one: Best cartoons ever? You’ve got three. Go!
DE: I know, right? I’m just surprised Will Scarlet hasn’t forced him. In any event, best cartoons. “The Magic School Bus”, “Kim Possible”, and… hmm, only one to go, which to choose?… Well, I don’t keep up with it much these days, but “Phineas and Ferb” is actually pretty awesome.
AN: Magic School Bus is the only one of those I’ve ever seen.
DE: Good. If I could only ever have seen one of the three, it would have been that one. What I wouldn’t have given to be a student in Ms. Frizzle’s class!
AN: Okay, so looking over your answers and using my super psychotic powers of deduction I’m going to say you are inspired to create art with ears while searching for a magic fangirl wearing green tights on a magical educational transport vehicle along with a platypus. Am I right? Huh, huh? *Elbows Ship in the ribcage*
DE: *slow claps for Alex* Yeeee-up. Guessed it in one. That is where all my ear art comes from. …which is precisely why I’ve mostly given up ear art in favor of writing books. Life’s too short to wait around for educational transport vehicles with boasting magic and platypi.
AN: (some response to your last answer) Do you have any words of parting for our readers out there, Ship?
DE: Don’t do drugs, kids! Staying up ‘til all hours of the night wrestling with the people in your head will render you just as incapable of operating heavy machinery, while having the added benefits of being cheaper, worthier, and maybe only half as likely to land you in prison. Depends on whether the FBI taps your internet search history and/or communications to your writer friends. Hahahahaha, I pity the agent stuck going the transcripts of my babble in search of what might be easily construed as terrorist propaganda.
Release Date: March 17, 2014
Target Reader: Adult
For a muse like Lucianíel, one story’s end is another’s beginning.
In the wake of his author’s sudden death, Luc takes ownership of her surviving creations—four fantastical characters with tales yet to be told—saving them from unwritten lives crumbling around them and giving them a second chance at a literary future.
Luc finds that chance in the unsuspecting mind of Annabelle Iole Gray, a quirky teen with her head in the clouds, nose in a book, and imagination ripe for a brilliant muse’s inspiration.
Or so he hopes.
Neither Luc nor Annabelle, however, realize all they’ve undertaken. Even with a to-write list including accounts of a shape-shifting cat creature, gentle knight-in-training, vigilante skater girl, and a mystery boy smothering in unspoken fear, the most remarkable saga created between author and muse just may turn out to be one stranger than fiction.
ISBN / ASIN
One: Beginnings and Endings
There are people, Luc found, who are very good at having ideas—needing only to live and to be—not even to think, as active thought might only get in the way. Ideas will fall into their laps, as if from nowhere.
Of course, nothing truly comes from nowhere. Everything must have its start, including—and especially—ideas.
The source of an idea, however, is not always as easily found as the idea itself. Some people remain content never to explore where their ideas began, being merely glad of the results, whereas others become so enamored of beginnings, they have difficulty casting their gaze much further ahead than the starting point.
Jean St. John was the second sort of person—one full of ideas, brimming with beginnings. As she drove through the gray-covered morning toward her workplace, an ending was the farthest thing from her mind.
Manicured fingers rapped paradiddles on the steering wheel. Vermillion lips murmured nothing in particular, and pulled into a smile. “I dreamed a dream, this night gone by.”
“A dream of me?” Luc asked, glad of the conversation—anything to distract him from the gloom of the sky.
She chuckled. “What else? They’re always of you. You, but not you. His hair fell too short, and I remember something about violins, which has nothing to do with you. Or can you play?”
“No,” he said, dismissively. “My voice is music enough.”
She did not need to utter a word on the matter for him to know she’d always thought so. “And he didn’t glow golden, but almost silver,” she said instead. “Ethereal silver, like bright moonlight on water. Was he water? A water spirit? Mmm, no, far more to do with air. Even fire.”
“A mystery elemental,” he mused. “Sure to be quite the character, my dear. But what is the story?”
She shrugged. “I suppose there’s a romance. He strikes me as the romantic type. And I may have caught a glimpse of her, an inkling of dark passion … Who is she? Another elemental. Water to his fire, or earth to his air … or a human. Which would be worse?” she asked.
He laughed. “Nothing worse than a human.”
She shot him a wry look. “Luc …”
“Jean …” he said in kind. Gaze snapping past her, he barked without music, “Jean!”
The word’s echo grew into a thunderous crash as a midsized monster too much in a hurry to heed a red light hit her silver sedan. With nothing to restrain him, as he never wore seatbelts, Luc shot through the shattered windshield and out onto the pavement slick with the remains of scattered showers.
In no pain, but greatly shaken, he rose. The eyes of the driver at fault appeared glazed with confusion. Oh, has ignoring the traffic laws led to disaster? Inconceivable! Luc spared the fool no more attention, turning it all to one who mattered more.
He leaned over the misshapen hood of the stranger’s car to the crumpled door of hers, calling her name. She did not move, and gave no answer, all her ideas leaking away into a crimson pool.
Luc stepped away, his face a perfect, pallid blank, staring at the end of his world.
Danielle E. Shipley’s first novelettes told the everyday misadventures of wacky kids like herself. …Or so she thought. Unbeknownst to them all, half of her characters were actually closeted elves, dwarves, fairies, or some combination thereof. When it all came to light, Danielle did the sensible thing: Packed up and moved to Fantasy Land, where daily rent is the low, low price of her heart, soul, blood, sweat, tears, firstborn child, sanity, and words; lots of them. She’s also been known to spend short bursts of time in the real-life Chicago area with the parents who homeschooled her and the two little sisters who keep her humble. When she’s not living the highs and lows of writing young adult novels, she’s probably blogging about it.