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Welcome to Books in the Hall, Pete, and congratulations on your release. Pretend your protagonist is at school and opens his/her locker – what will we see inside?
George is the kind of the person whose locker is a pile of unorganized nonsense that slides out every time he opens the locker, but hidden within the pile are pens, a gaming magazine (likely a year old), random dead batteries, and a math book he has never opened and forgot he owned.
What books were your favorite as a youth and why?
I always loved those Choose Your Adventure Books, because I liked seeing different outcomes and I loved the control I had over the stories. In particular, I really enjoyed The Badlands of Hark.
What superpower would you love to have? Why?
I would love all-encompassing power, because then I could have ALL THE POWER.
What book is on your nightstand currently?
I am reading the Game of Thrones series. I’m still on the first one, because I started once I saw the show.
Favorite TV show from your childhood?
I always liked the Hanna-Barberra stuff, like Herculoids. Birdman and Thundarr the Barbarian. I watched a lot of cartoons, clearly. When I got a little older, I loved Cheers.
Ideal summer vacation.
I wouldn’t mind going back to Scotland. I like Italy, but I went in the summer and it’s too hot in the summer. Maybe somewhere I haven’t been, like Toronto, because I want to visit the Hockey Hall of Fame.
What four literary characters would you most like to have over for dinner?
Sherlock Holmes, Hannibal Lecter, Jane Eyre, and Beatty from Fahrenheit 451
Create an ice cream flavor. What’s it called?
Peanut butter almond Snickers chocolate ice cream of death.
You’ve just won a million dollars and you’re not allowed to save any of it. What do you spend it on?
I blow it all on hats. Or travel the world.
Who was your teenaged crush? Why?
Tiffany. Remember her? I liked Debbie Gibson as well, but I thought Tiffany was a little hotter. Got to be the red hair.
Enjoy an excerpt:
It is a time of chaotic hormones.
Two nerdy gents home for winter break have discovered a female gamer at a midnight release.
During the break, the gamer trio manages to reveal the game’s secret boss, a hidden enemy with enough power to destroy anything in its path.
Pursued by other gamers who want to be the first to beat this boss, George and Katie race to level up, and, in so doing, restore decency and sexual activity to their personal galaxy…
“These graphics suck,” George says and I look back at the screen. We’re standing in the middle of the Estate, colorful orbs quivering ahead of us. We each have to choose our starting advantage. Waterfalls shimmer in the distance and the sunlight streams over multicolored stones in the courtyard.
“Amateurs,” Lanyon concurs. “I mean, they couldn’t have five waterfalls?”
“Your ironic wit is mind blowing, but choose your damn orbs,” I tell them. I consider. Magic, defense, offense, stealth, and charisma. I always go for magic as a black mage, but I wonder if a druid needs something else. Screw it. I need charisma in real life, too.
“Charisma?” Lanyon asks. “No one ever picks charisma.”
“We’re a party of a thief, druid, and a bard. We’re screwed regardless.”
“You two underestimate the mighty power of my lute,” George argues.
“Did you start with charisma?” Lanyon asks.
“Hell, no. I have charisma in spades. I started with stealth.”
“Great. A stealthy bard,” I sigh.
“She’s right,” Lanyon concedes. “We’re screwed.”
However, it actually isn’t bad at all at first. We power through the Estate and make it to the Yobanaria Dale with no resurrections and all at level ten. I’m impressed. George hasn’t actually fought anything, but he has some pretty awe-inspiring charm mastery already. I think I might have a serious crush. He seals the deal when he buffs my hailstorm spell without even being asked.
“Can you guys watch El Thiefelo? My mom wants me to eat supper,” Lanyon says.
“Yeah, we’ve got it,” I tell him. “The first boss is in the elven ruins anyway, so we should grind a bit. I think he’s a twelve.”
George and I explore the Dale, taking out bats and Joba spores. It’s fairly quiet, except for when we combo with his charms and my spells and he yells out, “Eat lute, bitch,” but it’s nice. We work well, almost inherently understanding each other. I’ve never been able to play this effectively with anyone. I try not to think about his eyes. Stupid boys, being cute and stuff.
By the time Lanyon comes back, we’re all at level 12, although Lanyon leveled up just by standing by a door while we played. Still, we are ready to take on Balsa the Proud. As a black mage, it took me about nine seconds. Trees don’t like fire. However, druids don’t have the same level of black magic and all elemental magic is weakened by the need to draw from the elements nearby. Sadly, trees seem to avoid storing fire runes in their villages. I expect this to be a little more challenging. It might even take fifteen seconds.
“First boss. Also known as the freebie bitch to sucker the young folks into a false sense of security,” Lanyon announces as he runs into the center of Balsa’s lair. The cinema plays and then, in a moment of pure absurdity, El Thiefelo is squished as Balsa steps on him.
“Can someone revive me?” Lanyon whines.
About the Author: Pete Clark likes writing, animals, potato chips, and cheese. Midnight Riders is his first published novel, although he can also proudly say he finally finished Helix Crashing, the fantasy novel he has been working on for over a decade. In addition, he has written Across the Barren Landscape, a collection of linked Western short stories. He also writes plays, both dramatic and comedic.
When he is not writing, Pete tends to ignore everyone around him and obsess over sports.
Pete’s Website: http://punchmyselfintheface.wordpress.com
Pete’s Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/PeteClarkAuthorPete’s Twitter: http://twitter.com/PeteClarkBooks
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