Early Birds, a Wyrm, and Whatnot (Will Scarlet’s Kiss & Tell)

“From the stage that brought you Will & Allyn’s Interactive Theatre,” Allyn-a-Dale proclaims before the curtain, “here’s Ever On Word’s original talk show, Will Scarlet’s Kiss & Tell.”

Danielle whipped up a logo for me, because she is awesome first class.

The curtain rises, the studio audience applauds, and Will Scarlet himself walks smiling and waving onto the bright, cozy set.

“Hullo, everyone! Let’s jump right into it, shall we?” Leading by example, he hops into his armchair. “Allyn, who is our guest character today?”

As the guest enters from the other side of the stage, Allyn says, “Dawlish, creation of author A.J. Campbell, describes herself thus:

So hey, I’m Dawlish. I’m 15. I like pepperoni pizza and hate diet coke. I live somewhere in the roof-space of Durham cathedral with a load of birds. Actual birds. Jackdaws, mostly. I work for these people called Kate Avery and The Baron – they used to be married or something but they’re not speaking to each other at the moment. Don’t know why. But I owe them big time, and I’m working that off. Mostly by spying on the one for the other. And on this guy called Dick Lampton. He’s kind of an idiot.

“Welcome, Dawlish!” Will greets the girl now seated in the chair across from his own. “So glad you could join me. First things first – is that your real name? Or like, a surname/nickname thing? ‘Cause my author’s read through her share of baby naming books, and I don’t believe she’s ever come across the like.”

The girl shrugs, slouching further into her seat. “It’s just a name. It’s mine. I don’t know where it came from. Apparently it’s a place in Devon, but I don’t know, I’ve never been there.” She pauses to pick some of the black polish off her nails. “At least it’s original. Unlike yours. ‘Cause you’re not the same Will Scarlet that the Baron knows, are you? I’ve seen pictures. You look nothing alike.”

Will’s brows arch high. “He knows a me?? Maybe there are parallel universes at play! Lord knows it wouldn’t be the strangest circumstance I’ve been caught up in. Talking of one’s circumstances: What’s it like, having a garret full of Jackdaws as roommates? Come to that, what sort of bird is a Jackdaw, exactly?”

The look on Dawlish’s face is one of disbelief and contempt as she asks, “Where are you from, exactly? Do they not have Jackdaws there? They live, like, all over England, y’know.”

“Well, jolly for England. But it’s been a century or nine since I’ve been there, so I may have missed the species’ discovery. Humor my ignorance?”

She sighs audibly. “They’re birds, about so big… Corvids – that’s the same family as crows and ravens – black and grey. Dark black patch on their head like one of those tiny Jewish things. Very intelligent, very noisy, and they drop feathers everywhere. But I wouldn’t live anywhere without them.”

“What’s a bit of noise and feathers between friends, I always say. Or have never said. I may start saying it. Anyway, these employers of yours – Kate Somebody and The Baron who keeps Scarlet company. If most of your job involves spying on them, you’re bound to know as much as or more than anyone on the subjects. What juicy dish can you share about each of them that won’t get you fired or something? And just what is the nature of the debt you owe them, anyway?”

“I’ve stopped doing the spying thing now. It was getting really boring. Because he’s still blatantly in love with her, and she probably is too only she won’t admit it. It’s like that whole thing on Friends if Ross and Rachel were more sarcastic and English… and probably immortal… and master criminals.”

Will sniggers. “Aw, man, what I wouldn’t pay to watch that TV spinoff…”

Dawlish carries on over him, “They never tell me any of the good stuff anyway – apparently I’m too young or something.” Again, an overly dramatic sigh. “Aaaand I’m not allowed to talk about the debt. Apparently it’s an important plot point or something.”

Will nods, knowing how that goes.

“Also, it’s personal. Look, have you got anything to eat? I was promised dinner if I came and did this, but all I’ve had is some pathetic excuse for tea and biscuits in the green room…”

Off-camera, Allyn says, disgruntled, “What happened to the pizza I ordered in?”

Will turns in surprise. “That was for her?”

“I’d written ‘FOR DAWLISH’ right on the box!”

“Oh. Yeah, I saw that. Guess I was too hungry to make the connection. Sorry about that,” Will addresses his guest sheepishly. “What say Allyn and I take you out for something right after the show? Our treat. We’re nearly done, now. And a little birdie’s probably already told you what the final question is to be. Tell me, what is your author A.J.’s biggest, deepest, darkest, most mortifying and/or hilarious secret?” He flashes his legendary smile. “Or would you rather kiss me?”

“Dude… I’m fifteen. That would be really weird. And kind of creepy.”

Will coughs into his fist. “…And par for the course. But since I totally ate your pizza, I guess I won’t press the issue. Allyn, how about a word from our sponsor?”

“Today’s Kiss & Tell segment,” says Allyn, “was brought to you by A.J. Campbell’s ‘Sigil of the Wyrm (Into the Weirding, Book 1)’:

Sigil of the Wyrm, blurb

“As a bit of bonus material,” Allyn continues, “our author’s review of the book is as follows:

Sigil of the Wyrm, my review

You ever enjoy a book too darn much to do more than verbally point and flail? That’s me and “Sigil of the Wyrm”. Fortunately, I had the foresight to scribble down a few of my impressions in real time. So, in lieu of a coherent review, here’s the view over the shoulder of Reader Me:

“Mmm, yum, loving this so far.”

“So lush and English. *elated emoticon*”

“And all the characters are such characters. With smart mouths and secrets and histories. Weirdoes that make you wonder, every one.”

“Delicious, I say! (And if the Baron is legit who I think he is, then the gymnastics of my heart are all the more justified.)”

“So genuinely sad that I’m too tired to continue reading right now. *tragic emoticon*”

“Twists and surprises and cool stuff, and… this is the first of a series, right? Right? Good.”

“Thank you, Allyn – and Danielle,” Will says. “Thanks to you as well, Dawlish. And thank you, my beautiful audience. Remember, authors – if your characters would like to appear on the show, simply follow the guidelines provided here, and we’ll get them on the schedule. ‘Til next time, lovelies: Scarlet out!”


Sigil of the Wyrm, availability

Your copy of “Sigil of the Wyrm” awaits. And don’t forget to enter the tour-long giveaway!


Book Release Blog Tour (August 29 – September 5)

Saturday, Aug. 29

Alex Campbell

Perpetual Chaos of a Wandering Mind


Sunday, Aug. 30

Lurking Musings

Slithers of Thought


Monday, Aug. 31

The Deep, Dark Library

Cobblestone Scribe


Tuesday, Sep. 1

Lucy Ayrton, Performance Poet

T.N. Payne, Author


Wednesday, Sep. 2

Richard A. Usher, Media Creative

Alex McGilvery’s World


Thursday, Sep. 3

Scott E. Tarbet, Author

Are You Afraid of the Dark


Friday, Sep. 4

OMega W

Danielle E. Shipley (You are here!)


Saturday, Sep. 5

R. A. Ridley

Didi Lawson, Author

Musings, Amusings, and Bemusings

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s