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Welcome Author Arthur Daigle……and his goblin horde….well, that’s different.
I kind of feel like I am stuttering when I say Author Arthur.
AL -Arthur the Author, I am sure potential readers would love to learn a little more about you and your books. So first off what was the inspiration behind this story?
My books are inspired by the work of the filmmaker and puppeteer Jim Henson. I’m a big fan of his, and love his creativity and good natured humor. I’m also a fan of the British artist Brian Froud. He does fantasy art and worked with Henson on two movies.
AL- Ah, so maybe we should picture your characters as muppets. Tell us about your main character.
William Bradshaw is a college graduate so desperate for work that he made the mistake of accepting a management job offered by the law firm of Cickam, Wender and Downe. He learned the hard way that his job is to ‘manage’ the goblins on the world of Other Place as their King. He’s surrounded by thousands of short, stupid and mildly crazy goblins that set traps for fun.
Despite his situation, Will is quite normal. He wants desperately to go home, but at the same time he doesn’t want anything bad to happen to his goblins followers. They’ve been kicked around since the beginning of recorded history and have no choice but to live in wastelands, sewers and caves. He wants to spare them from the hard lives they live and the injustice they suffer.
AL- That sounds like a you need to be careful what job ad you answer. If you had to choose, and you do, which is your favorite minor character and why?
Will has a fanatically loyal goblin follower called Mr. Niff who is ever ready to rescue his King. He does this even when he’s hopelessly outmatched or when Will isn’t actually in danger. Mr. Niff is also a trophy taker and is personally responsible for most of the useless junk cluttering up the goblin treasury.
AL- Tell us, what is your favorite personality trait of your main character?
Will tries to be reasonable and gives everyone a fair chance, but he has his limits. Push him far enough and he gets sarcastic. Push farther and he digs in his feet and fights back. Will isn’t a bully, but he won’t back down when he knows he’s in the right. This is hard to do when most people on Other Place consider his goblin followers vermin. He has to constantly protect them.
AL- So then what is your favorite personality trait of your bad guy?
Will’s enemy is a human king called Kervol Ket. Kervol is as dense as a block of marble, but what I love most about him is his fashion sense. Kervol demanded the best and most fashionable clothes possible. It doesn’t matter how much they cost or whether they’re appropriate for the situation, he has got to be the best dressed person there. This may seem an odd trait, but I knew people growing up who had to follow the latest trends no matter how silly they were, and I modeled Kervol’s fashion obsession after them.
AL- Haha I can only imagine the things he must wear. Tell us something funny about one of your characters.
One of Will’s followers is a goblin alchemist called Vial. Most alchemists try to turn lead into gold, a task that is expensive, time consuming and doesn’t work. Vial can’t imagine why they waste their time like that. He makes bombs, the bigger the better. His trademark is exploding outhouses that go off when someone sits down. Vial has been known to sell his exploding outhouses to other races, including to a human woman who was left at the altar.
AL- Speaking of buying and selling; one of your characters is going on a shopping spree. Where do they go and what do they buy?
Goblins as a rule don’t shop. This is because they are dirt poor and mischievous, traits considered unpopular by merchants. That means if Mr. Niff went ‘shopping’ he’d spend the time bothering legitimate customers. This would include tying their shoes together, stealing their wallets (and burying the money) and other forms of chaos until management chased him off. If he was feeling particularly annoying he might break out a copy of How to Attract, Antagonize and Escape Angry Mobs for Fun and Profit, a book written by goblins for goblins. Goblins using this book have been known to cause riots and the occasional coup.
AL- Reminds me of that John Cleese skit. Ok, your character is at a bookstore. Which section are they in? What book is in their hand right now?
Will is King of the Goblins until he can find a loophole in the king contract written by Cickam, Wender and Downe. That means if he’s somehow found a bookstore he’s heading straight for books on logic and law in the hopes that they can help him escape. Barring that he’s an amateur gardener and business major, so he’s going to look for books on those topics. Paying for them may prove hard, however. King of the Goblins is an unpaid position and the net worth of his kingdom is measured in negative numbers.
AL- I’m inviting your main character to dinner. What should I make?
Reservations, because wherever Will goes his goblins are sure to follow. You do not want them in your house. The things they will do to your underwear drawer don’t bear mentioning, and heaven help you if you have pets. Cats don’t look nearly as sleek and graceful after they’ve been painted with clown makeup. Far better you pick a restaurant far from where you live and let their staff deal with the madness and property damage sure to accompany the meal.
AL- Perhaps it should be a destination dinner. Speaking of going far from home; your main character is planning a vacation. Where is he going?
Will’s first vacation destination would be Earth, but his king contract prevents him from leaving Other Place. Since that’s out of the question he’s going anywhere away from goblins. This is a harder than is sounds since goblin infest nearly every part of Other Place.
AL- Since goblins are likely to do anything, were you surprised by the behavior of any of your characters or the direction of your plot at any point while writing?
I plot out my books well before I begin writing them. I add bits that come to me while writing, but these account for about 5-10% of the books. I have heard of authors who say their characters speak to them, insisting they would or wouldn’t act in certain ways, but I’ve never experienced this myself.
AL- Please share a few favorite lines or one paragraph from your book.
“Cickam, Wender and Downe was founded in 1851 by three lawyers who wanted someone else to do their work for them,” Twain said. “They decided to only accept men of great intellect, unsurpassed integrity and a firm understanding of the law. They gave that up after five years when no one fit the bill. This led them to hire any fool who could manage to open a door without hurting himself, which produced a slightly higher number of successful applicants. But there are only so many jobs and too many idiots trying to get them! It’s been my experience that people will lie, cheat and steal to get a job here. So far no one has tried killing someone to get hired, but give it time.”
Al- Tell us, how long did it take you to write this book?
I need a year to write and edit a novel to my satisfaction. I can finish a chapter in a week when I know what I want to type. After that comes countless rounds of editing followed by a visit to my beta readers. Once they’re done it goes to print.
AL- Tell me about it. The amount of tedious work in writing knows no end. It is fun to daydream while doing it though. If your book was made into a movie, who would you like to play the lead characters?
If my books ever end up on the screen it would have to be as CGI. There are simply too many goblins and trolls as major characters for it to be any other way. But if I was making wishes, I’d love to have Bruce Campbell (of Burn Notice, Brisco County Junior and Evil Dead fame) voice act for Will.
AL- How about if is was acted by muppets? Somewhere on the lines of The Dark Crystal. That would be truly cool and I can just see how your story would fit that medium. Speaking of art mediums, tell us about your cover art and how it pertains to your story.
When most people think goblin they picture something disgusting and dangerous. I needed to show my goblins as being goofy instead. I also wanted a faithful representation of Will, who has a fairly complex outfit.
AL- Of all the books out there, why should readers choose this one? (What makes your book stand out from the rest?)
I can make you laugh whether you’re 12 or 82. My books are family friendly without swearing, gore or sex (and I’ve taken flak for omitting the third one). Expect rampant silliness and outright craziness. See the little guys who get trampled over in other fantasy books stand up and take their place as heroes.
AL- Would you say there is an underlying theme in your book? If so, tell us about it and why it’s important to you.
One of the sad truths in life is how many people face discrimination and bullying. People get looked down on for their skin color, nationality, political views, religious beliefs and countless other reasons. I made my goblins a sort of underclass who are belittled, robbed and forced off their land by larger and stronger races. They have lost so many battles for so many years that they accept losing as a given.
I had Will lead my goblins to victory. He proved to them that they aren’t less than other people and that they don’t deserve to suffer abuse. No one should have to live like that in a fictional world, and certainly not in the real one.
AL- It was….fun having you all on the blog today and I think we can recover from the goblin pranks….in a few weeks. It will give our programmer something to do……did one of them Ju$t Ea,T mY C0De….
If you want to know more about Author Arthur’s goblin horde check out the links below. (Al’s Musings holds no accountability for any goblin damage to your self or property upon clicking the links)
William Bradshaw, King of the Goblins:
William Bradshaw and a Faint Hope:
William Bradshaw and War Unending:
Oh…dear….that looks important.
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