And now we’ve reached the last of our guest posts, and our one year blogoversary is over. There may still be time to enter to win an ereader. But, even better, we’ve brought to you a guest post from the most delightful Rachel Hartman!
When I reflect that I’ve known Rachel Hartman for years, I’m left in shock. And yet, I have. She is so unfailingly awesome, reasonable, intelligent and thoughtful that it’s easy to overlook how hilariously funny and monstrously talented she is.
Now, I know I’m being unusually nice. I have a reason. You see, these are probably going to be the words I speak over Rachel’s grave. Rachel must die. Anyone who gives me the nickname she has in her post can not be allowed to live. That is all. Rachel, your time has come.
Well, not yet. See, Seraphina happens to be an amazing fantasy series and I kind of need to know how it ends. So you have until that last book arrives in my greedy little paws, missy, before I hunt you down!
The Monster-Maker Comes Clean at Last.
People of the world, I have deceived you too long. Know now that it was I, Rachel Hartman, who unleashed the creatures you know as Kat and Steph upon the world. Believe me, I intended only the best.
How well I remember bringing them to life! It was a dark and drizzly night (this is Vancouver; we don’t do stormy). I pulled the high-voltage switch and blue lightning danced across their monstrous forms, prone upon the metal tables. They groaned like tectonic plates shifting, and the hairs on the back of my neck stood up.
“Igor!” I cried. “They’re alive! They’re ALIVE!”
My assistant scuttled into the lab. “Master, you were supposed to be working on your sequel!”
I rolled my eyes; he’s such a scold, that Igor. “Igor, no one will want the sequel if no one has heard wonderful things about the first book. Behold,” I cried as I whipped off the sheets hiding my creations. “I’ve made critics!”
Igor staggered back in fear as the colossal creatures sat up. “But what are they for?”
“Why, you ignoramus,” I said. “They do my bidding. These critics are under my control, and they shall praise my book to the heavens. Free publicity! It can’t fail.”
“But what are they made of master?” said Igor, peeping out from behind my lab coat.
I shrugged. “This and that. Scraps. I tried to buy them some proper souls at the fish market, but the halibut was on special so I bought that instead.”
Igor sighed. “You never could spell, master. I hope you didn’t scrimp on hearts.”
“What are they going to do with hearts?” I said irritably. “I skipped hearts altogether and filled their veins with vodka.”
Igor turned a paler shade of green. “Did you at least name them? Give them that much humanity?”
“Oh for crap’s sake, Igor,” I said. “I’m not a monster.” I turned to the one with fangs. “I call this one Katastrophe.”
“Menacing. So what about the one with horns?” said Igor.
“Her I have named…” I paused for dramatic effect. “Stephanie!”
“Stephanie,” Igor said flatly. “That’s super evil.”
I waved him off; Igor never understood me, but these critics would. “Let us test their critical powers. Igor, throw the book at them!”
Igor grabbed a copy of my novel off the shelf and handed it gently to Stephanie. She rumbled low in her throat, “Plot holes!” She nibbled one corner, and ripped the cover off.
“What are you doing?” I cried.
Stephanie handed the stripped book to her comrade, the fearsome Kat, who shrieked, “Clichés!” and began shredding pages with her terrible teeth.
“Stop!” I cried, but they only laughed hysterically. “That’s not what you’re supposed to do! You’re my critics! I command you to love my book!”
Igor was watching all this with a skeptical eye. “Are you sure you know how to make monsters?”
“Of course you dunderpate,,” I cried. “I made my monstrous Ego, did I not? My Ego has been smashing buildings and terrorizing small children for years.”
Kat and Stephanie, finished decimating my book, set about destroying my laboratory, shattering flasks and setting things on fire. Then it hit me: only my terrible Ego could possibly prove a match for them. “Igor, release my fearsome Ego. None can stand against it! ”
He was paralyzed with terror, however. I ran to the vault where I kept my enormous Ego and threw wide the doors. The monster screamed and beat its puffed-up chest with its ham-like fists. Kat and Stephanie paused in their orgy of destruction and stared at my Ego lumbering towards them, its arms raised menacingly. They hesitated but a moment, and then they charged.
I can hardly bear to describe the carnage. My hyperinflated Ego popped like a balloon beneath their razor-sharp claws and flew around the room like a crazed bumblebee, emitting a flatulent hiss. It looked like nothing could stand before these pitiless critics.
We were all doomed.
Kat and Stephanie ripped the door from its hinges and rushed into the drizzly night. I admit I let them go. I released them upon the unsuspecting world.
Igor shook his head woefully. “Master, if the world ends, everyone will blame us.”
“Oh, I don’t know,” I said feeling suddenly rather jolly. “They eviscerated my book, they demolished my Ego, but don’t imagine that’s the end of it. No Igor, this is only the beginning.” I clapped Igor on the back in a comradely fashion. He looked at me suspiciously.
“My sequel, man!” I cried. “Just wait. It will be my most dreadful creation yet.”
And so it shall be I, Rachel Hartman, maker of monsters, who saves you all in the end. Don’t thank me now. Just remember, when my sequel is finally finished: you owe it your life.
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