Hi, everyone! Welcome today’s guest, RLL, here to support READ TUESDAY by answering the twenty questions answered by other authors participating in the literary world’s answer to Black Friday and Cyber Monday.




In support of READ TUESDAY, I’m answering my questions on other people’s blogs. Writers chatting to each other on writing. Tedious or devious? Let’s have twenty questions, and find out. I’ve already answered these questions here: STEPHANIE STAMM. And I’ve given the same questions different answers here: MISHA BURNETT. Also here: CHARLES YALLOWITZ.

Time for some alternative answers…where possible.

1. Fire rages in your house. Everyone is safe, but you. You decide to smash through the window, shielding your face with a book. What is the book?

Face reality. If the fire breaks out in my office or library, I am toast. The firestorm, generated by the burning of so many books, would be seen from space.

2. Asleep in your rebuilt house, you dream of meeting a dead author. But not in a creepy stalkerish way, so you shoo Mr Poe out of the kitchen. Instead, you sit down and have cake with which dead author?

Whoops. That’s the second time I’ve tried answering this by naming a living author. Oh, this is going nowhere fast. Now I’ve almost named another two with a pulse. Right. Hans Andersen. Got there in the end.

3. Would you name six essential items for writers? If, you know, cornered and threatened with torture.

Donner, Blitzen…that wasn’t the question. Grumpy, Bashful…that won’t work either.

A certain sense of humour. Belief in the unbelievable. Disbelief in the real. Evasiveness under questioning. A room containing more than one dictionary. The ability to count to six.

4. Who’d win in a fight between Count Dracula and Frankenstein’s monster? If, you know, you were writing that scene.

The fight is abandoned. It turns out the battle was fought by Count Frankenstein and Dracula’s monster. All bets are off.

5. It’s the end of a long and tiring day. You are still writing a scene. Do you see it through to the end, even though matchsticks prop your eyelids open, or do you sleep on it and return, refreshed, to slay that literary dragon another day?

I can’t remember a day in the past week when I stopped typing before midnight. Noting sense of irony now.

6. You must introduce a plot-twist. Evil twin or luggage mix-up?

I have my evil twin introduce the plot-twist.

7. Let’s say you write a bunch of books featuring an amazing recurring villain. At the end of your latest story you have definitely absitively posolutely killed off the villain for all time and then some. Did you pepper your narrative with clues hinting at the chance of a villainous return in the next book?

Yes – though that was the last book in the series.

8. You are at sea in a lifeboat, with the barest chance of surviving the raging storm. There’s one opportunity to save a character, drifting by this scene. Do you save the idealistic hero or the tragic villain?

To much cheering, I save the whales.

9. It’s time to kill a much-loved character – that pesky plot intrudes. Do you just type it up, heartlessly, or are there any strange rituals to be performed before the deed is done?

I must hit the Y key six times, followed by the DELETE key – also six times. Then I paint a tethered goat in milk taken from its own udders. And…what do you mean I’m not taking this seriously! This is the ritual. I’m explaining a genuine strange ritual. What’s wrong with that? Oh. I left out the tree-felling.

10. Embarrassing typo time. I’m always typing thongs instead of things. One day, that’ll land me in trouble. Care to share any wildly embarrassing typing anecdotes? If, you know, the wrong word suddenly made something so much funnier. (My last crime against typing lay in omitting the u from Superman.)

Sharing wildly embarrassing typing anecdotes is far better than sharing embarrassing anecdotes.

11. I’ve fallen out of my chair laughing at all sorts of thongs I’ve typed. Have you?

This set me thinking off at a tangent. How many office chairs have I owned, down the years? No. It’s gone. I’ve got nothing.

12. You take a classic literary work and update it by throwing in rocket ships. Dare you name that story? Pride and Prejudice on Mars. That kind of thing.

Around the Galaxy in 80 Days.

13. Seen the movie. Read the book. And your preference was for?

My preference is to see movies and read books. Reading movies isn’t my thing. And just watching books – nothing much happens. Dust settles. The odd spider wanders by.

14. Occupational hazard of being a writer. Has a book ever fallen on your head? This may occasionally happen to non-writers, it must be said.

I don’t recall any non-writers falling on my head. A couple of writers – but I’m not naming names here.

15. Did you ever read a series of books out of sequence?

Generally I start with the first page and work my way through, left to right. That’s not the case with Japanese stories.

16. You encounter a story just as you are writing the same type of tale. Do you abandon your work, or keep going with the other one to ensure there won’t be endless similarities?

There’s room in the world for two serial-killing frumious pink rabid semi-mechanical clone army books.

17. Have you ever stumbled across a Much-Loved Children’s Classic™ that you’ve never heard of?

Serial Mom, by John Waters. That’s a movie, and a breakfast dish. It may be a type of wallpaper.

18. You build a secret passage into your story. Where?

Have I given this answer? Press the C in the © sign.

19. Facing the prospect of writing erotica, you decide on a racy pen-name. And that would be…

Victorian author Fanny Deuce.

20. On a train a fan praises your work, mistaking you for another author. What happens next?

“Tickets please.”

One of us dashes to the toilet. The other reaches for the emergency cord.

For Margo’s answers to my questions, visit REPORT FROM A FUGITIVE.

Here’s a blog post on READ TUESDAY.


Featured in the READ TUESDAY sale on December the 10th, 2013 – Neon Gods Brought Down by Swords and WITCHES. Both will be free on the day. WITCHES will feature on GREEN EMBERS in December.


neon gods brought down by swords cover 61


And just for fun, check out the Wanted poster RLL made for me!



  1. […] is that?) on the blogs of Stephanie Stamm, Misha Burnett, Charles Yallowitz, Lisa Capehart and Margo Bond Collins. You can read my answers to these questions on RLL's blog Report From a […]

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