Hello, everyone! Lady Marion Hood, here, with another meeting of the newly formed Stranger-Than-True Book Club – in which a representative few of author Danielle E. Shipley’s characters come together to discuss some book-related topic or another. Last time, that meant Danielle’s latest novel, “Deathsong of the Deep”. This time, who knows?!
Ha, well, fortunately, I happen to know. But first, let’s have a warm welcome for our membership, currently comprised of: Princess Laraspur from The Wilderhark Tales; Uri and Lucianíel from the “Inspired” novels; Nicky from “So Super Dead”; and yours truly, from The Outlaws of Avalon.
Nicky: So, what’s on the day’s agenda, Marion? Danielle doesn’t have a new book’s release date coming up, does she?
Marion: Nothing pinned down for sure on the calendar, just now, no. Although she did recently announce preliminary plans for her first picture book – based on the novella starring you, Laraspur, so three cheers for that!
Laraspur: Thank you! It’s going to be an absolutely adorable book, once finished. My father and I, in particular, can’t wait to enjoy it together. ^o^
Uri: But is that what we’re actually talking about today, or…?
M: Oh, not at all. Today we’re playing a game.
U: A… game.
N: Fun! I assume. What’s the game?
M: ‘Tis a game of ‘What If?’.
Luc: Always an excellent beginning.
M: Right? Specifically: What if each of us had been given the role of another club member in his, her, or himmer story?
Lar: Oh, my! That would be… inevitably different.
U: And potentially disastrous.
N: Or awesome!
M: Or all the above! Let’s find out. You first, Laraspur. Suppose yours was the role of Lucianíel. How would that play out?
Lar: Hmm! Well, that’s bound to depend upon a number of factors. How much of myself do I get to keep?
M: Just your name and personality. The rest is all Luc: Elemental of light, professional muse, and father – well, mother – to a diverse assortment of fictional folk. And I suppose you may somewhat look like yourself, as far as parameters allow.
N: So you glow!
Lar: Come Wilderhark 6, I’m known to do that anyway. But if I’m in Luc’s role, that means it’s out with my true love and in with his – the late author Jean St. John.
U: And just like that, you’re Danielle’s first canonical lesbian couple. Makes it arguably problematic that one wife gets killed off in chapter one.
Luc: Jean’s not actually my wife…
U: Let me pretend you’re not living in sin, please ‘n’ thanks.
Lar: I don’t think I could handle the grief of losing her as well as Luc did! Though I do hope I’d retain his presence of mind in saving our children from the collapse of their imaginary worlds. As for dealing with a new author… Honestly, I expect I would get along with Annabelle better than you did at first, Luc. You started out a bit standoffish, you know.
Luc: I was amiability itself! She just spent too much time goofing off to appreciate it.
Lar: So why not goof off with her, the sooner to establish yourself as her friend?
Luc: Friends don’t let friends misuse their time.
M: I think we’re starting to get the picture as to the difference Laraspur’s presence in Luc’s role would make. Let’s move on to the next round. Uri, suppose you traded out your role for Nicky’s. What then?
U: Ok. Well, we’re both sixteen, so no change there. S/he has no sex characteristics or gender, but that’s fine, since I haven’t been using mine anyway. Went ‘til now thinking I’m the only one on the moon without superpowers, but surprise, it turns out me and my cell phone can talk to ghosts. And I want to join a youth group looking for bad guys to fight on Earth because… why?
Luc: You tell us. What would your motivation be?
U: I dunno. I guess I am kind of made to battle evil. Just… a cell phone is not a weapon.
N: It’s not about the phone, it’s about the talking.
U: I’d rather kill things with fire.
N: Brenna would not like to hear you say that.
U: Brenna would get over it when I burned Thackeray Kyle to ash.
N: YOU CAN’T DO THAT!!!
M: You really can’t, Uri. It would wreck the plot.
Luc: Can a character-driven plot be wrecked by its headstrong players, or only rerouted?
U: Things would definitely get rerouted if I were Xtra-Medium. Oh, that’s another change, right there. I would not choose ‘Xtra-Medium’ as my superhero name. I’d be Hell’s Angel.
Lar: Uri, much of the purpose of Nicky’s role is demonstrating that a healthful dialogue can be just as powerful as physical force. I know you were created for war, but I also know you’re capable of talking constructively with friends in need. We’ve seen it in-story. So maybe lean a little harder into that side of you, all right?
U: *sigh* Fine. Nicky, I’m sorry I said I’d burn your crush, okay? You can stop looking ready to cry.
N: *sniffle* I just really don’t think your personality is what the dead in my novel need. You are way too much like… like if Brenna and Thackeray had a baby.
U: There are so many reasons that would never happen, but I think you are otherwise weirdly right.
M: And once again, this discussion looks set to run far longer than any single Ever On Word blog post ought.
Lar: Meaning we take a break here, and resume things next week?
M: Right you are, Lar! Thank you – and you, Uri – for taking your turns today. Next time, we’ll see what could happen if Luc, Nicky, and I were given different positions in Danielle’s published works. I hope to see you then, blog readers! Stay tuned! Leave comments! And farewell!