Announcer: Intrepid diehard interviewer Reba Haws returns yet again… once we found the small dragon she’d been turned into, gotten it back from the Dragon Lord once he was bored with it, then located Po-Adar to change her back, then committed her to a sanitarium to recover from the way in which Po-Adar actually did change her back. At any rate, she is back now, mainly to work off the debt she incurred from us having to get her sorted out, but this time we assured her and she double checked– seems as she doesn’t trust us much anymore– that the one she is to interview is nowhere in the Maldene story, from that or any associated world, or even from off-planet. In fact, he’s actually from Earth. That alone seems to reassure her.
At any rate, let’s join Reba Haws as she interviews… The Author.
Reba Haws: So, you’re really not from Maldene, or in the story, or anything like that?
The Author: Nope, born and raised right here on Earth.
RH: THAT’S a relief, because you have no idea how many times–
TA: Uh, Miss Haws? Doesn’t that red light mean we’re on the air or something?
RH: What? Oh, yes of course… Welcome people for the first normal interview I’ve had in a very long time. I’m here to talk to someone named Arthur–
TA: Actually, that’s ‘Author’. As in The Author.
RH: Author? Now why would someone ever want to name their kid Author.
TA: It’s not so much a name as it is a title. I am The Author.
RH: Oh, I get it! So, the head office sent me an actual writer? Finally, some class around here! Okay, what are you the Author of?
(Here The Author hesitates a bit before answering)
TA: Well, I’m almost afraid to say it but… I am the Author of Maldene.
RH (nearly choking on her glass of water): Wha- Huh?
TA: I quite literally wrote the book. Invented the characters and everything.
RH: But that’s impossible. Those are people who I talked to. Real, live, and overly much in the flesh.
TA: Nevertheless, they are my creations. I’ve created everything.
RH: Riiiight… You can just write down words and magically make those poster-boys for population control exist? How in the world can you do that?
(At this point The Author reaches down and picks up a laptop, setting it down on the table between them and starts firing it up.)
TA: Well, sometimes when a writer gets close enough to his characters and story they can seem quite real to him, to the point where they start writing themselves.
RH (cautiously): I’ve heard that said.
TA: Well, I just went one step further. Here, let me show you.
(The Author starts typing furiously on his laptop, fingers a blur. A few seconds of this then he looks up and smiles.)
RH: There, what?
TA: What color was your dress when you came in?
RH: Actually I had on a grey pantsuit that– Holy crap, I’m wearing a blue dress!
RH: How’d you do that? You ARE from Maldene, you’re one of their wizards or something.
TA: Actually I’m from Monrovia California. Here, let me try again. Now before I came in here today, I wrote down a description of this studio that I’m now going to tweak a little.
(Again his fingers start into it, flying faster than before, and if our video feed is correct then there’s a little bit of smoke coming out from the keyboard. As he types, visible changes can begin to be seen. The lights overhead spontaneously transform into large living tulips glowing brightly, one microphone changes into a banana, and our sound guy in the booth, Steve, is now an orangutan named Ook.)
RH: What in the–
TA: Whoops, can’t name him Ook.
RH: What are you talking about? Steve? Is that Steve? What’s he doing being a monkey?!
TA: It’s just that I named him Ook, but there’s already a series of books with an orangutan named Ook. I’ll have to try something else… (more typing)… There, now his name is Oak- though I think you can blame my auto-correct for that one.
RH: This is insanity!
TA: No, it’s my imagination and right now you’re a part of it.
RH: I hate to break it to you, but I ain’t a part of anyone’s imagination. I live just down the street at… at… Now why can’t I remember?
TA: Oh, that’s because I just backspaced over your memory. Hold on a minute…
(The Author types some more, while Reba gets a particularly confused look on her face until he’s finished.)
TA: There, all better. I even upgraded your house a bit while I was at it.
RH: But, I live in an apartment.
TA (smiling): Not any more. At any rate, I’m The Author and what I write comes into being. Or at least close enough to real as currently matters. Hey, would you like to see this recording studio have more of a woodsy theme?
RH: No, I don’t think our insurance would cover that.
(Too late, The Author is typing like he’s never typed before. Sweat comes off his brow, the ‘F’ key flips out into the air, and smoke is definitely coming out of his computer. Before he’s finished, however, our studio has transformed into an open field where the sky is only about ten feet above the ground, our recording-ape is up on top of some rocks with a control panel made of chicklettes laid out on a wide plastic table, the mics and other audio equipment appear to be hanging by wires coming down from a cloud, and Miss Haws herself is dressed up like a wood nymph.)
RH: What in the… It’s all changed! And why am I dressed like this?
TA: Sorry about that. Just a few of my fantasies getting out of control, I guess.
RH (starting to squirm): And why am I getting these… urges.
TA: Oh, guess I embellished a bit when describing you as a nymph. I can change it back.
RH: No, no, hold off on that a bit… It actually feels kinda good. First good thing I’ve ever felt out of one of these interviews.
TA: As you wish. So, do you believe me now?
RH: That you’re an author who can rewrite reality? Yeah, I guess I’ll have to.
TA: Not just AN author, but THEE Author. You should see me go when I’m REALLY smoking. Fifteen thousand words in a single day, cranking out epics in just–
RH (Holding out her hand): Okay, wait up. I just have one question for you.
TA: Name it.
RH: Well, I’ve had the unfortunate displeasure to meet a certain crazy old wizard by the name of Po-Adar… twice now… And I have to know… What the HELL were you smoking when you wrote up that creep?!
TA: Actually, it gets even worse. You see in Book Two, he gets a sidekick and they’re sort of like the Joker and Harlequin… only not nearly was well adjusted.
RH (squirming): I see. Or maybe I shouldn’t. Listen, we’re gonna have to wrap this thing up because these nymph urges are starting to get to me, and right now you’re starting to look like the main course in my sex buffet– DID I JUST SAY THAT?! I swear, that is not like me at all!
TA: Yeah, sorry about that. Here, let me tweak a few things.
RH: You’d better do it and quick, you big beautiful hairy-chinned– Ow, sorry. Just hurry.
(The Author starts to type as quickly as he can, then suddenly stops and looks at his screen in a most curious fashion.)
RH: What? What’s wrong? Something’s wrong. Am I going to turn into a pig or something?
TA: No, nothing like that. I just… accidentally loaded up another file I wrote.
RH (looking REALLY suspicious): And do I want to know what file that happens to be?
TA: Well, it’s just… I accidentally loaded up the database file I keep all my character descriptions in.
RH (very suspicious tone): And what exactly does that mean?
(The answer starts appearing directly behind The Author, scattered about the open field that our studio has become. First Eldar, then Sabu, Sindar, Mauklo, Candol, Schanter, and many others from the world of Maldene.)
RH: Oh, this is really not good. I couldn’t handle any one of them, much less the whole bunch.
(As Reba is starting to turn a rather pale shade of her new normal green skin color, more characters are still appearing.)
RH: Wait a tid– A tid? What the heck is a– I’m starting to talk like a– Never mind that. Just how many characters do you have in that thing?
TA: Well, from all thirteen books, there’s about two hundred and fifty.
RH: TWO HUNDRED?! I am so dead.
TA: Then when you toss in the two-book prequel and some minor characters from my notes–
RH: Okay, that’s enough! There’s only one way I’m going to survive this mess. One side.
(Reba dashes over to The Author, shoves him aside, and starts typing on his laptop.)
TA: I’m not sure if it works if you type it.
RH: Just work your mojo on it when I’m done, because I am not staying around for this mess… There, now do it.
(The Author glances at what she’s typed then presses the ‘Return’ key. A second later Miss Haws disappears. Behind him the herd of characters are starting to look a bit restless.)
TA: Well, I guess it’s up to me to wrap things up. This has been yet another stirring edition of Interviews From Across The Stars, and Miss Haws sends her regards from Tahiti… Oh dear.
Eldar (leaning over The Author’s shoulder to see what on his screen has him so concerned): What? When you say something like that, then I’m really worried.
TA: Oh, it’s nothing really… It’s just that before sending her to Tahiti, I forgot to change her back from a nymph. I wonder what sorts of problems that will cause…?
Editor’s note: This station admits no connection with Miss Reba Haws nor does it condone any actions taken by her while changed into a wood nymph on the island of Tahiti. Though we do sympathize with the native population which she appears to be troubling and– while the men recovering in the local hospital do have rather wide smiles on their faces– we might recommend a tranquilizer dart for Miss Haws. Thank-you for your patronage.