This episode of Let’s Chat! is brought to you by Hertz Ice Cream.
Hertz Ice Cream. Ice cream so good it Hertz.
Kenzie: Good morning, Cyberspace, and welcome back to yet another illustrious episode of Let’s Chat! As usual, I have some very special guests with me this morning, who I am sure are super excited to be here today. Ladies and gentleman, boys and girls, please put your non-existent hands together once more for the glorious, the wondrous, the inconceivably magnificent cast of everlost!
*one man sobbing*
Kenzie: Thank you. Thank you. That will be quite enough, everyone. *turns towards the interview bench* Ah yes. Thank you all so very much for coming. As I’m sure you’re already quite aware, today marks a very significant milestone in each of our careers. Today — this beautiful, wonderfully bright Tuesday — marks the very day that March Hare Madness officially ends.
Peter: Actually, March Hare Madness ended like three days ago–
Kenzie: Shut up, Peter.
Kenzie: As I was saying. March Hare Madness is over. Kaput. Finis. It is finally over and done with, and it is with the utmost pride that I declare the previous month of insanity and possible brain deterioration a major success.
Thao: But you failed.
Kenzie: . . .
Kenzie: Wow. You guys are quite the optimists today, aren’t you?
Bella: I’m sorry, Kenzie, but you have to try and see it from our perspectives. After everything we’ve been through over the past 31 days. . .
Kenzie: Oh, come on! It wasn’t that bad.
Thao: I was stabbed.
Peter: Bella disappeared for an entire two weeks!
Adaline: The shadows ate my spleen. . .
Thao: . . .
Thao: Okay, taking into consideration everything except for Loony’s rather colorful embellishment, I think it’s safe to assume that last month was complete torture.
Thao: No buts. March Hare Madness was an epic fail. Admit it, squeaky.
Kenzie: But we got so much accomplished!
Peter: Yes. But did you meet your monthly goal?
Kenzie: Well. . .not exactly, but–
Thao: Case in point. You’re a failure.
Adaline: They really did eat my spleen. . .
Thao: Okay, Loony.
Kenzie: *sighs* Fine. So we failed.
Thao: Ahem. You failed.
Kenzie: We shouldn’t be ashamed because of that! For what is life but a chance to continuously fail? To try new things and constantly fall flat on your face multiple times?
Thao: That is a terrible way to look at life.
Kenzie: The important thing to focus on here is that we tried. We tried. We failed. And by trying, we are that much closer to achieving our ultimate goal.
Thao: Which is what, exactly?
Adaline: Becoming moth spiders.
Kenzie: Um. . .no. Our ultimate goal is to finish everlost. Obviously.
Peter: Which is comparatively even less possible than the former option.
Thao: Agreed. How long has this been going on again?
Peter: Nearing ten months now, I believe.
Thao: Wow. That’s just plain sad.
Bella: You guys. Stop it. You’re being rude.
Thao: *flops back into couch cushions* Gee. Sorry, Ding-Dong.
Kenzie: Okay, look. I know that March didn’t go. . .exactly as we had anticipated.
Thao: *cough* understatement *cough*
Kenzie: But a lot of truly wonderful and fun things happened last month!
Thao: Again. Stabbed.
Peter: I was nearly choked to death. . .?
Bella: I don’t think I’m allowed to say what happened to me yet, so. . .
Thao: And let’s not even mention what happened to poor Nate.
Peter: You just did.
Thao: ’twas a figure of speech, Glasses.
Kenzie: Okay. Fine. So there were a few minor inconveniences along the way. Whatevs. It’s the painful things that add to the spice of life, yes? It’s the things that hurt us that make us grow as humans. Or. . .organically grown characters.
Thao: What, so we’re vegetables now? Goody. Can Glasses be the onion?
Kenzie: And — getting back to the purpose of this interview — it is because of all these beautiful traumas that I have asked you all here today. I thought, since you all seem so very opinionated on the subject of March Hare Madness, that we could take a few moments to talk about all of the ups and downs that we’ve experienced over the past few weeks. Leaving out all the spoilers, of course.
Thao: That’s going to be one giant downhill slope.
Peter: You want us to talk about what happened last month while leaving out the spoilers? That’s kind of impossible, Kenzie.
Kenzie: Anything is possible if you simply try.
Thao: Does that rule apply for trying to get out of this?
Kenzie: So what do you all think? You up for a little Q&A with the cast of everlost?
Peter: Um. . .
Thao: If I answered that question truthfully, you’d most likely be offended.
Bella: Of course we’ll do it, Kenzie. It sounds like fun.
Adaline: I’ll do it if the bear does.
Thao: Well that’s rather unfortuna–
Kenzie: Wonderful! Glad to have you all on board! Let’s get started, shall we?
Thao: Hey! I never consented to thi–
Let’s Chat! – The End of March Hare Madness
Kenzie: All right! Let’s begin! Adaline, I think we’ll start with you, if that’s all right?
Adaline: *hums awkwardly in reply*
Kenzie: Oh-kay? I’m taking that as a yes. We’ll start with you, and work our way down the couch. Thao, you’ll be answering last.
Kenzie: Okay. First question – what is your favorite memory from last month?
Thao: Oh, yes. Let’s get all the fun and cheery stuff done with before we dive head-first into the death and destruction. That makes a ton of sense.
Adaline: Hm. . . Well, I got to spend some time with the bear. That was fun. . .
Thao: No, actually. It really wasn’t.
Kenzie: Your turn is coming, Thao. You don’t have to interject after every single line.
Thao: Oh, but don’t I?
Kenzie: *turns towards Adaline* So you got to spend time with the bear, yes?
Kenzie: And that was your favorite memory?
Adaline: Oh, yes. The shadows chased us through the Locket — they wanted to eat our spleens, you know. But the butterflies scared them away. It was quite sad. . .
Kenzie: . . .right.
Adaline: And then, when the bear left me, I met–
Thao: Hold up there, Loony. I did not abandon you. You’re the one that chased after those delusional little insects of yours. You left me.
Adaline: They wanted us to follow them.
Thao: They’re a delusion!
Kenzie: Okay, I think that’s quite enough from you for the first question, Adaline. Thank you very much for your input. Peter? Let’s go with you next. What was your favorite memory from last month?
Peter: Um. . . I can’t say as though I have one.
Kenzie: You don’t have a single favorite memory.
Peter: Well, the entire month was filled with all the dark and slightly depressing parts of the story, so unless you want me to say that nearly getting strangled to death was in the top twelve of my all-time favorite memories, I’m going to have to back out of this particular question. Sorry.
Kenzie: Nearly getting strangled to death is a perfectly valid option.
Peter: . . .
Peter: I’m. . .not sure how to respond to that.
Thao: Oh, I think you know precisely how to respond to that, Glasses.
Kenzie: How about you, Bella? Any favorite memories you’d like to share?
Bella: Oh, well, I. . .I wasn’t exactly. . .there.
Kenzie: Oh. Right.
Bella: But I really loved my birthday present. I know that wasn’t during March Hare Madness, but. . .still.
Kenzie: That definitely counts! I think that’s a lovely memory, Bella.
Thao: Oh yes. Ding-Dong has such a deep well of happy little memories to choose from, doesn’t she? How nice that she didn’t have to suffer through all the delightful horrors of March like the rest of us.
Kenzie: I’m guessing this means you don’t have any good memories to share with us today, then.
Thao: Oh, no. I have a ton of things to share. In fact, I’m simply at a loss as to how to pick just one.
Peter: Aaand, here we go.
Thao: Let’s see. There’s the stabbing, of course. My shoulder’s getting a nasty infection, by the way. Or there’s the part where I’m getting chased through the broken Locket by a horde of wild psychos. Or the one where I was nearly strangled to death. Or. . .oh wait! How about breaking my kneecap on a filthy toilet? That was jolly good fun, wasn’t it?
Kenzie: . . .
Kenzie: Let’s move on to the next question.
Kenzie: I’m sure you’re all aware by now that your story has a sequel, yes?
Peter: That was sort of implied by the rather abrupt ending of the book.
Kenzie: Yes, well. There’s a sequel. And while I’m not currently at the liberty to disclose the name of said sequel, I thought it would be interesting to sort of discuss some of the things you all hope will happen within it! You know. Since you’re the cast and all that.
Thao: Not for much longer, I can assure you.
Kenzie: So my question regarding the sequel is this — March Hare Madness — and everlost for that matter — ended with a bit of a cliffhanger. What are some plot points or conflicts that you hope to see resolved in the sequel?
Peter: Wait. The sequel of the book, or the sequel of March Hare Madness? Please tell me you’re not actually going to try this again.
Kenzie: Of course. Bella? Let’s start with you.
Bella: Oh! Um. . .I guess my. . .current situation. . .could use a bit of a resolution. It wouldn’t hurt anything to. . .escape.
Kenzie: Oh, quite the contrary. It could hurt a lot of things. Or should I say something. Someone in particular. Peter? How about you?
Peter: I want out. I want to fix all the lives I’ve ruined, and I want out. That’s all I have to say.
Thao: I’m with Petey on this one. Except for the whole. . .saving people thing. Blech. I just want off this mental island. Is that so much to ask?
Peter: Judging by the fact that you’re still here? Apparently.
Thao: I’d ride an inflatable rubber duck across the ocean if it means I could get out of this blasted building.
Kenzie: That’s rather drastic.
Thao: Nothing is too drastic at this point. Nothing.
Kenzie: . . . Right. Adaline? Anything you’d like to add to this conversation?
Adaline: Rose came back.
Kenzie: Ah yes, well, that was–
Adaline: I want her to leave.
Kenzie: Of course. But she’s kind of an integral part of the plot now, so–
Adaline: I want her to leave.
Kenzie: Right. I’ll get right on that.
Kenzie: Okay. Let’s boogie on over to a more on-topic question. March Hare Madness — as I’m sure we can all agree by now — was a bit of an experiment.
Thao: A bit?
Kenzie: So looking at the month through that particular lens, what kinds of lessons have you guys learned over the past 31 days?
Thao: Be careful which writer your agent assigns you to.
Peter: Never let go of the people closest to you. If you’re not careful — if you don’t treat them the way you should — you may never see them again.
Kenzie: Whoa. That’s a little dark, there, Pete.
Bella: I agree with Peter on that, but also. . .never let yourself be defined by what you fear. Darkness is only as thick as you make it out to be, and light can be found anywhere. Even in the darkness.
Thao: Gee, thanks, Albus.
Peter: Shut up, Crowe.
Kenzie: Adaline? How about you? Has March Hare Madness taught you anything in particular?
Adaline: They never go away. The shadows. . .the butterflies. . .Rose. She never leaves. She’s always there. She never goes away. . .
Thao: Oh, how lovely. That definitely sounds promising. Doesn’t that just give you all the warm fuzzies?
Bella: Stop it, Thao.
Kenzie: All right, everyone, that’s enough for that particular question. In fact, let’s move away from the questions entirely and focus on something a little more interesting.
Peter: *glares at Thao* What have you done?
Kenzie: This part of the interview is probably going to be a tad bit more spoilery than the previous section, but whatever. I think it’s high time to throw out some snippets!
Peter: What. . .have you. . .done.
Kenzie: I — the glorious Kenzie — have taken it upon myself to select a few choice snippets from the wondrous world of everlost — particularly snippets taken from the scenes we worked on during March Hare Madness, though some of them are from earlier in the novel — which we shall finally be sharing with the entirety of Cyberspace! Eep! Sounds like fun, right?
Kenzie: And to make it even more interesting, I’ve chosen samples from each of your point of views! That way all our lovely readers will have a chance to get a proper feel for each of your specific personalities!
Thao: Oh joy.
Kenzie: All right! Without any further ado, let’s begin! Peter, we’ll start with yours.
Peter: Oh, that’s really not–
Kenzie: Stan! Roll the clip!
“And the kid?”
Thao snorted and turned away. “Alive.”
Peter released a breath. Good. That was good. His shoulders relaxed slightly before tensing up again. “But then why…?”
“Why are we in a jail cell?” Thao asked, rounding on him once again. “What, I say jail cell, you think murder?”
Peter flinched at his choice of word, but chose to ignore it. “Why else would we be…” Peter’s voice trailed off as he glanced around him. Everything was blurry, but of what he could make out, they had been tossed into a tiny, cramped little cube of a room, just wide enough that five men could stand side-by-side in either direction. “Where are we, exactly?”
“Basement. Apparently my great grandfather built some kind of voodoo jail down by the morgue. Kind of disturbing, if you ask me.”
“Right. And why are we here, again?”
“Because my grandfather is a drama queen.”
Peter snorted, hastily covering it up with a cough as Thao’s head snapped towards him. “Good thing that doesn’t run in the family.”
Thao: . . .
Peter: . . .
Bella: . . .
Adaline: *clasps hands together in delight*
Thao: Okay. In my defense, I was having a bit of an off-day. That is a terrible representation of my naturally angelic personality.
Peter: Ha. Yeah, right. Can we see Thao’s clip next?
Adaline: Oh yes! Show us the bear!
Thao: Wait, no, I don’t think–
Kenzie: Very well, then! Stan, clip two, if you please!
There was no way he was going to fit in there. No way he was going in there. How many germs were crawling through those walls, anyway? It was sure to be dusty and dirty and moldy. It was disgusting. It was gross. It was completely unsanitary, and unfortunately, he hadn’t thought to bring along his gas mask today.
Nope. There was no way he was going in there. Absolutely not.
Peter’s feet soon disappeared, as well as the floating orb of light, and Thao was left standing alone. In the dark. Grimacing at the tiny swirling void of death and darkness before him and listening to the board that was slowly crunching and splitting into fragmented splinters.
Thao ground his teeth together so roughly that pain shot through his gums.
This was not going to be pretty.
Thao: Seriously?! That’s the best you could come up with?
Kenzie: Well, it’s not the best, but it doesn’t have any spoilers, so. . .
Thao: This is unacceptable.
Kenzie: Would you rather us choose a different clip, then?
Thao: Yes. Preferably one that showcases more of my many admirable qualities.
Kenzie: Okay, then! Clip three, Stan!
Thao: Wait. You already had another one loaded? That’s not–
Glasses stared at him, his expression slowly deadpanning from utter bewilderment and pain to one of annoyed understanding.
“You’re scared of needles.”
Thao straightened and dusted off the front of his shirt haughtily. “What? Me? Of course not.”
“Admit it, Crowe. You’re scared of needles.”
“I am not,” Thao said defensively.
Scared of needles? Ha. Of course he wasn’t scared of needles. That was rubbish. Only children were afraid of needles.
And he, obviously, was a man.
Thao: Okay, now that is just insulting.
Adaline: Oh! Oh! Do me!
Kenzie: All right, Adaline. Hold on just a moment. Clips four and five, Stan!
“There once was a boy,
Hair blue as the sea…”
Adaline’s voice was a whisper, bouncing lightly against the smooth metal walls until it curled back to her, a soft and lilting melody that set goosebumps raising up against her bare arms.
“Eyes gold like a lemon,
Plucked fresh from a tree.”
Her song drifted into a wilted sigh as she drummed her fingers against her knee, pressing the pads of her feet together. She stared at the solid metal door looming before her, willing it to open with her mind, yet the plate of steel remained firmly welded to the wall.
Adaline pursed her lips and shoved them off to one side. It was Tuesday, and Tuesday meant vanilla pudding.
She loved vanilla pudding.
So where was Miriam?
Adaline shuffled to the edge of the bed and touched her bare feet to the smooth metal floor, hesitating. The door towered before her, completely solid except for a small rectangle shaft that was opened occasionally so that curious eyes could peep in at her while she slept, or…well, that was practically all she could do. After all, the cold metal bed with its single lumpy mattress was the only thing in the small room. She didn’t have any toys or books, and after the incident with the barber…
Well, after that, it wasn’t likely she would ever get something with an edge ever again.
Adaline tucked her chin into the soft, wispy fabric of her shirt collar to see the clawed talon marks wrenching across her torso. “I believe so, yes.”
The bear tried to lean further into the wall, his lip curling rather unpleasantly in disgust, but he was already pinned between the sterilized tiles. “And why, might I ask, do you just so happen to be covered in blood?”
“There was…” Adaline rolled her eyes away from the bloody marks, struggling to recall the proper word. “…an accident,” she finished, and nodded gravely in confirmation. “There was an accident.” The metal handle tucked into her waistband chilled her skin. “With a scalpel.”
“With a scalpel,” the bear repeated. His voice sounded slightly strained, invisible fingers pressed around his vocal chords.
Adaline: *wriggles in delight* Do you remember that, Mr. Bear? That was such a lovely day. . .
Thao: If by lovely you mean the day my faith in humanity died, then yes. It was very lovely, indeed.
Bella: I’m guessing that’s how you two met, then?
Peter: Aw. How adorable.
Thao: Shut it, Glasses.
Kenzie: Okay, everyone, settle down. We have one last snippet to share before we dive into our final question of the day, and this snippet happens to be from Bella’s point of view. You ready, Bella?
Bella: Not exactly. . .?
Kenzie: Hit it, Stan!
“Yeah, well, I lied. I’m sorry, Peter.”
Bella’s voice echoed across the pipes and shafts, ringing in her ears.
“Actually, I’m not sorry. I did what had to be done. You should have known I would do it. I’m strong, Peter. I’m not just some weak little g—AAAH!”
A raw scream tore through her and crashed down the shaft as she leapt back, heels scraping against the wall. A tiny shadow bopped in front of her, swinging back and forth on a thin thread.
Bella let out a shaky breath, flattening her palms to her sides. “…girl,” she finished.
Her shriek continued to echo down the shaft ahead of her.
“Right.” Bella took a hesitant step forward, edging carefully around the spider before breaking away from the wall again and continuing her trek through the walls. “It’s fine. It was just a spider. Everything is perfectly fine.”
Her scream rounded a bend in the walls ahead and died.
Peter: Oh. There seems to have been a mistake. That was another snippet from Thao’s point of view.
Thao: I am this close to strangling you, Glasses. This close.
Kenzie: Boys, please.
Bella: Everything was so different back then. So much has changed. . .
Kenzie: It is very nostalgic, isn’t it?
Adaline: . . .like severed arms. . .
Kenzie: . . .
Kenzie: Right. We should probably start wrapping this interview up now.
Bella: That’s a good idea.
Kenzie: But before we go, I have one final question.
Kenzie: Back in October, before NaNoWriMo began, I asked you all to describe NaNoWriMo in one word. And now that we have tried — and consequently failed — March Hare Madness, I would like to ask you to do the same thing once again.
Kenzie: Adaline, Bella, Peter, and Thao. What is the one word you would use to describe March Hare Madness?
Adaline: Dark. . .
Peter: Painful. Excruciatingly painful.
Kenzie: All right, then! Looks like that’s all the time we’ve got for today, folks! Thank you all so much for being here today, for sticking with us through all of the hectic crazy roller-coaster hills of March, and for constantly giving us all the love, support, encouragement, and cookies we needed to keep us pressing forward. We may have failed March Hare Madness, but our journey is far from over. everlost WILL be finished. In fact, that is precisely what Camp NaNoWriMo is for!
Adaline, Peter, Bella, & Thao: Wait, what?
talk to me, peasants!
whoa. that was probably the longest interview I’ve ever written. if you’re still awake at this point, you, sir, get cookies.
BUT ALAS! That’s all I’ve got for today, folks! What did you think? This is literally the first time I’ve ever shared snippets of everlost, so. . .I’m kind of low-key freaking out over here? But this is a special occasion, no? I mean, it’s not every day that you emerge from a month of intense insanity slightly victorious. And therefore, snippets were totally called for.
(also, for all you creepy stalkers out there, all these snippets are mine and mine own and my precious and copyright Kenzie Keene and all that jazz, so don’t even try stealing, yeah? [not like you’d ever steal something as weird as those, but whatever. gotta be careful of the trolls.])
But anyway! Enough about me and my intense fear of putting tiny snippets of my book out into Cyberspace. . . Let’s talk about you, shall we? What did you think of the interview? (OF THE SNIPPETS????) Are you glad that March Hare Madness is officially over? (I sure am.) Have you seen me floating around Cyberspace trying fruitlessly to catch up on missed blog posts? Do you think I’ll FINALLY finish everlost during Camp NaNoWriMo? How is YOUR Camp NaNo going?? Let us talk about ALL OF THE THINGS down in the comments below! And as always, until next time. . .
*flings cookies in the air and disappears*