I’m very excited about my guest today. Verra. Joining me today is one of the characters from Peter Hansen’s upcoming book First Watch. Not just any character either, but a very special character. A very… uh… tentacley character. Is that a word? *shrugs* is now.
Anyhoo, before he gets here I wanted to tell you about the book of uber awesome that’s up for Goodreads M/M group’s November Book of the Month group read. It’s Cat Grants upcoming book Once A Marine. It’s soooooooo good. Verra Verra. VERRA. They are having a runoff vote to break the tie between OAM and another book. It’s soooo close too. I’ve put the beautimus cover and link to the voting over there on the side bar, I think it’s open until midnight on the 29th. Twould be awesome if you’d cast a vote for that jewel. That book seriously rocks. Hard.
*whispers* Let’s not tell my guest I mentioned that thou. I don’t know if he’d like me talking up another book. He’s kind of… *hears a noise*…here… crap, he’s here. *looks around to make sure the Place is ready*
*takes a deep breath and tries to look prepared*
*turns to greet him*
Amara: Hi, welcome... um...I’m sorry… what do I call you? Do you have a name?
Tentacle Monster: It would probably drive you mad to pronounce it. [a flickering smile] Call me the Captain. Titles suffice.
Amara: Oh good, ok, that works. I didn't really want to call you tentacle monster dude. That's not cool. So...yeah, uh, do come in. Have a seat. Can I get you anything to drink? Uh... do you drink?
the Captain: It's civil to drink wine with a guest, is it not?
Amara: *nods* It is…
tC: Wine, then, if you have it. Blood, if you have no wine.
Amara: Blood? Yeeaah… I don’t have that. Wine it is. *opens bottle, pours a glass* Sorry, you'll have to forgive me, I've never interviewed a ... um... what are you?
tC: You really don't mince words, do you?
Amara: No, I don’t.
tC: [composes himself] You couldn't pronounce the name of my kind any more than you could pronounce my name. Your kind likes to call mine "creatures" and "monsters"--call us bêtes noires, if you like. I could stand to be a nightmare.
Amara: bêt…bêtes… yeah, I can’t say that either. Dude, you're not going to slime on my couch are you?
tC: [examines his thick coat and gloves, then presses his lips together] For your sake, it would be best to treat me as a human at this stage in our acquaintance.
Amara: A human…? *looks him up and down* Riiiight. *clears throat* Sorry, that was rude of me. *mumbles* dude better not slime on anything. *shudder*
tC: [seats himself on the couch, hands folded on his lap]
Amara: Ok, so... I'm really not even sure where to start, I have so many questions it kinda spins my brain a little. I guess I should start with… can you tell me a little about yourself, or your... kind...?
tC: Let's begin with my kind, since we seem to fascinate you so. Would you prefer a history, or an anatomy?
Amara: A history will suffice, thank you.
tC: [bitterly] The Japanese used to draw my people from the sea in nets and then eat them raw; the Greeks cut my people open from mouth to mouth in their symposia, then had long conversations about whether such creatures could feel. On land, we took your children in the forests and ate them while they screamed for their mothers. We were the creatures in the wood, the monsters in the deep--I've seen the frontispiece maps in your old books, and amid the curling waves there are always monsters. That is my kind, so far as your people are concerned. You eat us, and we eat you; you study us, and we study you.
Amara: Alriiighty then. Are there a lot of you? Uh… like you…?
tC: Many. [a thin smile] More than you suspect.
Amara: *mumbles sarcastically* Terrific. *clears throat and tries to smile* How long have you roamed the earth doing what you ... do? *looks confused* err... swim? Swimmed the earth? ... Swam? err... How old are you?
tC: [he taps his fingers on the arm of the couch; whereas bony fingers would make a drumming sound, there is something disconcertingly liquid about the tap of those fingertips on the cushion]
tC: I'm young, as my people go, although as you can see, I'm quite well-developed. If it hadn't been for the Great War [he says it reverently, as one might say 'the miracle'] then I might not be sitting upon your couch today. So many young men, full of such fear and promise! I shared the recently-dead with my cousins, and we'd feast every day as though it was a holiday. We used to roam their trenches in the evenings and choose the best ones--sometimes we were too glutted to eat, and we'd offer to heal their rotting feet without a contract or a catch. It was a game to us; we were full of power, and it pleased us to be generous. At other times, we'd make contracts with the dying, and then we'd copy their faces to wear like masks. [touches his own cheek] I got this lovely little face from a boy on the banks of the Somme. Such a pretty fellow--and of course, I had my pick!
I…uh… Okay…How about this... how did you become captain of a submarine? *nods in satisfaction* yeah, that's a good one. *smiles and tries to not look freaked out*
tC: It was really my third mate's idea. He thought I had talent in making contracts, and he wanted to train me to command. When I came aboard, he abdicated his position and ate all of the crew but his bondsmen so that I could pick up a crew of my own. [wryly] I'm afraid I don't have his force of personality, though. I'm a more retiring person, by habit.
Amara: He “ate” them? Um… alright, so…what's up with your crew now? Are they there voluntarily? Or are they all there under your... special contract, like Edouard?
tC: [at the mention of Edouard, his expression softens into something fonder; he recovers himself, though, and answers the question] Most of the crew signed on voluntarily. Mortal contracts only, although of course I can't brook breaches of discipline. We've had a few men try to desert, but my third mate found them quickly enough. He has a few bondsmen still--the cook and a few of the engineers--but I don't have any men under "special contract" in the crew. None except Edouard.
Amara: *mumbles* did he eat them too *shakes head* don’t ask… *clears throat*… Speaking of Edouard… what made you choose him?
tC: I liked his face. Isn't it always the way, with men? [leans back against the cushions, immeasurably fond] You enter into commerce with the most high-minded ideas, determined to make some sort of statement with every contract ... and then a boy with a pretty face tells you that he wants to live, and you see how he's been torn to bits, and what else can you do but help him?
Amara: Of course…*tries to nod in agreement*… what else can you do...
tC: I didn't realize until we'd known one another for several weeks that he was quite a delightful person in his own right. You'd never hear him say it, but he's something of a hero, as humans reckon it. He came to the war as a volunteer, and even after the explosion that took his arms, he stayed with the French. He even pulled a few of his comrades to safety after a shelling--and my cousins were disappointed, but what could we do? The humans take it so ill when we eat their wounded, and they prefer their backwards medics to our healing. I took care of my Edouard, though. Every cut and every cough, I healed for him, and I kept my cousins from smelling his blood and flocking to him. I think he appreciated it, too. Sometimes he'd lie very still at night, and I'd curl up around him like a blanket and touch every mark I'd cleared away. I've never been so intimate with a human before.
Amara: I’m…of course… *incredulous look*…I’m sure he appreciated it. *shakes head* How long has he been… with you…?
tC: Since 1916, although we lost each other after the war. I only came upon him by chance a year ago, in Algiers, and we reminisced about the favors we'd done each other all those years ago. I opened all of the wounds I'd healed for him, and I showed him the letters I'd written on his skin to mark him as mine, and he was so grateful for all I'd done! Of course he agreed at once to join my crew. It's been almost ten years, now, since that happy meeting. [a shark-toothed grin]
Amara: Greatful? Happy meeting…? I’m um… *blinks*…Right. So, will his contract run out, or uh… debt ever be paid? Or does he just serve you like… forever?
tC: [waves his hand negligently] You humans don't understand our contracts. We don't contract for service, we contract for flesh. If you're willing when we make our contract, we can borrow the shape of your flesh--never very much of it at once, because even the most willing humans tend to resist unconsciously. So long as we have the use of your flesh, the contract remains in effect; when we tire of a particular shape, we can discard it and end the contract.
As to the service, that's entirely a matter of his inclination. Of course I hope that he'll remain with me forever ... he would never be ungrateful enough to leave me, after all I've done for him.
Amara: After all you’ve done for him? Um…Oh-key dokey.
So tell me, do you have a partner? I mean... significant other... err...tentacle love match... hell, I don't even know how to phrase that...
tC: Other than Edouard? No, there's no one else. Love matches are very much a human idea; I don't think I could love anyone but a human. It's perverse, I know. [laughs] Like a human loving a cow or a chicken--but Edouard is different from other men. "Remember that he's bound for the pot," my third mate tells me, but try as I might, I can't actually imagine eating him. We've known each other too long and too intimately, and if I'm perverse for loving him, I must embrace my perversity.
Amara: *chokes* Yeeaah… ok… let’s move on. So what do you do when you aren't running submarines? What do you do in your spare time for fun?
tC: I love nothing better than reading. I've lately been enjoying the fairy stories that humans write; it's a bit like reading a history of my people through a distorting glass.
Amara: Reading? You like reading. *chuckles* Of course you do. So if you were cake, what kind of cake would you be...wait... do you even know what cake is? I, uh… I could get you some if not, I have some left I think…*shakes head*…nevermind.
Can you tell me...
tC: [an attentive look]
Aw hell, I don't know how to interview you. I think we’re done, let's just... call it good.
tC: If you insist.
Amara: *nods* I do. I don't mean to be rude or anything... err... I'd walk you out, but... yeah, you kinda freak me out. Sorry dude.
Yeah. The end.
*watches him leave*
Wow…that was just…
Let’s do giveaway. It’s less scary, creepy… less… whatever that was…
This week’s giveaway…
First Wave Winner’s Choice: Pick any one backlist book from Rachel Haimowitz, Aleksandr Voinov, L.A. Witt, Brita Addams, or Cat Grant (“Frontlist” books, i.e. Riptide releases and newest non-Riptide release, are excluded, as are the Courtland Chronicles).
The fine details...
- This week’s giveaway is for an eBook copy as listed above.
- To enter, leave a comment on this post.
- All commenters will also be entered in end of tour giveaway of AP 3 prize packages. Details here.
- All comments will also be entered in the year-end Riptide grand prize giveaway of an ereader; Kindle, Nook or iPad. Each post commented on counts as an entry.
- Backlist book giveaways do NOT include books released in the last 3 months.
- This week's giveaway doesNOT include Riptide releases.
- Winners will be selected at random using Random.org
- If the chosen winners do not respond to my email within 48 hours, another winner will be selected.
- By entering the contest, you are confirming you are at least 18 yrs old.
- eBook giveaways open worldwide.
- Swag giveaways USA only
That's all for me, for now. Hope everyone has a good day. *looks around* I'm going to ... make sure he didn't slime my couch...
Also this week...