Monday, 17 December 2012

Fiction is stranger than, erm, er ... fiction?

Copyright ©
K J Bennett & L K Jay
2012


In honour of Christmas, the New Year, good writing and total fantasy, this blog entry is given over to the characters from L K Jay’s popular contemporary fiction book, The Ghost Hunters Club.

The Ghost Hunters Club is the story of the loves and lives of Linda, Karen and Anna, three perfectly normal modern women who have as much difficulty finding a reliable man as they do finding a real ghost on their many trips to popular haunting sights. The sequel will be out soon, and the ladies want to talk about it.

Yep, three larger than life but wholly fictitious women are sitting here right now waiting to be interviewed. And that’s a problem: how can I interview three fictional characters? Oooo! I know: I’ll get Rathbone Kydd to do it. He’s not without experience - he interviewed an author once. And he’s fictional, so he won’t get flustered.

OK. Rathbone, meet Linda, Karen and Anna - the Ghost Hunters Club

RK: So, er, hi chick ... and chick, and, erm, chick. Great to be in the company of three such great-looking women. Make yourselves comfy, fluff the cushions, make coffee if you like ... mine’s black, no sugar, thanks. Right: anyone up for a massage? I ache like hell round the shoulders, I was wondering if one of you would be willing to volunteer ...

LINDA: Chick? Chick? Where do you think I came from, a chicken’s bottom?

RK: No. Huh, wouldn’t that make you an egg?

KAREN: I’ll give you black with no sugar, mister, and I’ll have milk and sugar in my coffee thanks.

ANNA: Well you can fluff my cushions, I like the moustache...

RK: OK, OK, don’t get tetchy! Only joking. So, three single ladies in good jobs and in need of lurve, eh? How about you each tell me a little about yourselves, y’know, jobs, interests, scandalous tales of your love lives, cup size, full contact details, et cetera. Let’s start with, hmm, Linda.

LINDA: Well young man, I’ve just been promoted and I’m now a deputy head in a posh private school in Edinburgh.  I’ll get to teach nice children instead of the plebs I had in my last job.  And did you behave yourself at school, Mr Kydd, hmm?  Anyway, I’m off men at the moment, so you can jolly well get your hand off of my knee, or I’ll have to put you in detention.

RK: Sorry, old habits and all. ‘Off men ...’ hmm, a challenge. Anyway, moving on (and checking the name badges) ... Karen. You look fit. A dancer? Stripper, maybe?

KAREN: Don’t push it pal, or I’ll set Linda on you.  I’m a martial arts instructor and I could snap you like a twig.  Except I won’t as you’ve just made me a coffee. 

RK: The least I could do. KJ said the budget wouldn’t stretch to whiskey, or drugs. Might have a bit of cheap sherry stashed away, for later, though.

KAREN: Anyway, we like ghost hunting, we’ve been on a few and I’m the first one to see a dead real ghost.  Excuse the pun.

RK: Not sure about excusing it ... ignoring it’s an option though, right? Heee, heee - don’t look at me like that, I’m just jesting. Right, that leaves Karen, no, Anna. Sorry, KJ’s writing on those badges is crap - much like his novels, so I hear. So, Kar–Anna (wow, sorry, sounds like some Russian chick) – what is it you do? As if I couldn’t guess.

ANNA: I’m a single parent but don’t let that put you off.  I have very well behaved children.  I work as a personal assistant to the director of a Northern Railway Company.  His name is Graham and he really likes trains – oh, and he likes to come ghost hunting with us as well.  Would you like to come ghost hunting with us, Randall? Linda has a very impressive torch.

RK: Wha – who the fuck is Randall? It’s Rathbone. Rath-emphasis-on-the-BONE. RATHBONE. It’s OK, I’m calming down, Kar-fuckit-Anna! AN-NA. Anna. Right, got it.

Linda rolls her eyes skyward.

RK: So. Ghost hunting ... OH! Is that why you call yourselves the Ghost Hunters’ Club? I wasn’t taking it literally, I just thought it was ’cos you dated a bunch of stiffs. In your case AN-NA (phew) I guess I’m right. Train spotter for a boss? Is he the Daddy, too?

ANNA: I’m not pregnant, I’m just curvy.  You have so blown it Randall, Rathbone, whatever, and I don’t mean in a fun way.  Anyway, you’re old enough to be my dad.  Bloody men.

RK: No, I didn’t mean you looked pregnant. It’s just that you mentioned being a mother, and I assumed, y’know, train spotters have urges, probably, and there’s you with the curves and the petty face, and there’s him with the anorak and the note book, and it can’t be easy for you, with the kids an’ all, and there’s those long lonely nights with the screaming and all that. And did you call me old? I’m only old in linear time scales. On my own scale I’m twenty-five, so probably a few years younger than you.

LINDA: You can’t be cruel to a widow, especially a rich one.  Anyway, we’re not convinced that her waste-of-oxygen husband has entirely gone away....

KAREN: But you’re right Rathbone, we went ghost hunting because we were fed up of going out with rubbish men.  I mean, how hard is it to turn up on time, remember to go to the cash point and remember whether you’re married or not?  We thought we’d throw our lot in with the ghosts; more chance of getting a spook on camera than finding a decent man.

RK: “A decent man” ... hmm ... I’m sorta decent, so much so that people say I’m IN-decent.

LINDA: (prods Rathbone) So are you actually real? What was time travel like? Is that moustache real?

RK: Am I real? Are you real? What is real? There was that Frenchie guy, Des Kart, I think he was called, who said, “I think, therefore I am”. Don’t know what all that shit was about, but the Moody Blues stole it and used it at the start of their LP On the Threshold of a Dream. Still doesn’t explain if my moustache is real, though. Hmm, maybe the moustache is the only real thing here ...  Right, time travel … what it feels like … it’s a bit like jelly, but faster.

But enough about me (did I really say that?), tell me about your ghost hunting adventures: what do you actually do: go places, pretend to look for ghostly spirits, but hit the spirit of the gin bottle instead? And you, Anna, who looks after the kids, or do you take ’em with you?

LINDA: Oh, now we get to the sensible questions!  Well, we do like going on ghost hunts.  We’ve been all over the country – Leeds, Whitby, Leicester and Edinburgh, which is the home of the scary ghost hunt.  But like they saying goes, looking for ghosts is like looking for a decent man, you can keep searching and you’ll never find one and then one will pop up when you are least expecting it.

KAREN: That happened to me.  I was let down by a man and then when I went to attend a friend’s do, a ghost popped up when I least expected it.  I wish I’d had a camera with me but of course, you never do when you need one.

Paris, June 1992
Copyright © K J Bennett
ANNA: I don’t normally have the children with me when we go ghost hunting, they go to stay with their grandparents when I do, but I might in the future.  Besides, that is the time I have to myself and I wouldn’t want them to see me get drunk and behave badly.  We’ve had a bit of a break from the ghost hunting but we’re going on a few more adventures soon, I hear Cambridge, London and even Paris might be on the cards.  Oh la la!

RK: Ooooo-la-Anna! You sound sexxx-sssee when you’re speaking French? Are you fluent? It is the language of lurve, y’know?

ANNA: Oh I am very fluent...

LINDA: Pack it in Anna, you don’t know where he’s been.  Sorry Mr Kydd, but really...

KAREN: Ladies, please!  I’m sure the men in France are as useless as the ones we’ve experienced in the UK.  We are in the EU you know, I’m sure there’s been a ruling from Brussels about the percentage of bad dates a woman has to go on.

RK: And Karen: why would a guy let you down? Apart from being a hottie, who’d risk the injury? Anyway, I bet that ghost thing was scary. I mean’ I’ve been in a similar situation when I worked in that gay pub in Exeter. Before I knew the lay of the land, so to speak, I went on a ghost walk round the back of the Cathedral with some of the guys, late one Saturday night, and let me tell you, a few scary things popped up that night, and I ran a mile. Talk about giving me the willies!

LINDA: Well, ghosts weren’t all that Anna saw in the underground tunnels in Edinburgh, but it was the best place for ghost hunting.  It’s a spooky city and full of atmosphere.

ANNA: Ahhh, the Edinburgh vaults, such nice memories.....

KAREN: Anna, I don’t know how you got away with it!  Although you’d be surprised how looking for ghosts and men can get mixed up.  They’re both elusive and at least the ghosts have an excuse for being unreliable, what with being dead and all.

RK: I don’t see they can use dead as an excuse. It’s not like they’ve got anywhere else to go, is it? So, tell me, did you find Dracula in Whitby? Yeah, I’m well read, I know the original story.

LINDA: No, but we did find a lot of tacky gifts, including some edible coffins.

KAREN: And I met a horrible ghost tour guide who didn’t believe in ghosts and tried to nick my wallet.  Good job the girls came to rescue me, I could have done him some damage.

RK: Now, ladies, tell me about these disasters you’ve had at speed dating. I mean, speed? Eh? I’m not surprised it went badly: anyone who tries to form a relationship based around drug abuse is destined to misery.

LINDA: Well I wished I’d taken some bloody drugs before I went, it was ghastly.  Turned out one of the men was a parent at my school, was terrified he would mention me to his irritating son, so I had to lie about my name.

KAREN: And one of the men said I should impress him so when I told him I could punch through wood, he wanted to know if I was a lezza.  I pointed out that he was both rude and offensive, both to me and the lesbian community, and offered to use his head as a piece of wood.  He declined.
 
ANNA: I got stuck with a very odd looking train spotter called Graham.  Total odd ball and kept staring at my boobs.  I get that a lot.  I suspect he still lives with this mother but I’ve got this feeling that that wasn’t the last time I would see him and of course, I ended up working for him.  Turns out he likes ghost hunting as well.

RK: What was that, Anna? I sorta lost track, staring at your boobs. Well, Christmas is almost here, and KJ tells me I’d better offer you some of this Port, Sherry and other stuff – mince pie, anyone? Good. Enjoy. KJ says he won’t charge you too much for them. Also, he’ss looking at his watch and making circular gestures. Don’t know what all that shit’s about. Anna, anything else I can, erm, do for you, mon amie?

ANNA: Oh well Mr Kydd, I do have some gardening that needs doing.  The lawn needs a mow, and the rose bushes need a trim.  I like a rugged outdoor man who’s good with his hands....

RK: Right … possibly I’m too smooth for you, but I’m REALLY good with my hands. Other parts of me perform even better, but that gardening stuff is a turn off.

But enough of this sleaze. I understand that your biographer, Miss L K Jay, she of the mysterious persona, is documenting your new adventures in a sequel. Are we in for any surprises in this one? A real ghost, perhaps, or a lover who scores ten out of ten on the scale of, say, me?

Linda: Well I still think men are crap, and I’ve sworn off of them.  Let’s face it; my internet dating record isn’t that good.  But I’m enjoying working at my new school with my best friend Chaz but we hear rumours that there may be a new project.  I don’t like the sound of that.

Karen: I was so pleased when I got together with the man I’d liked for so long, but as per usual, things don’t always go according to plan.  My martial arts business is going well, I hope there isn’t anything that will threaten that.

Anna:  My stupid husband, the only decent thing he managed to do was die, and now he just won’t stay dead!  Or dead enough…  And then there’s Graham’s new woman, now that came as a surprise.

RK: Ladies, it sounds like there's a lot of drama and trauma in store for you. It’s been really great talking with you all. You’re all great looking girls and you’re even more attractive when you talk. If you ever need a friend to talk with after one of the ghost hunts, or just a real man to … erm, you know? … then you know where to find me. Course, I may have teleported to a different space/time continuum by then, but you’ll know where I was.

+++
  

The Ghost Hunters Return 

by
L K Jay 
will be available as an e-book in spring 2013:

SYNOPSIS

Last time, the Ghost Hunters Club couldn’t find a ghost, or a decent date, for love nor money.  Now there’re too many!

Linda’s at her new school, Karen’s got her new man and Anna’s got her new money – what more do the women want?

They had a break but now they’re ready to pick up where they left off.  There are more ghosts, more personal disasters and a lot more adventures looking for both but one thing is for sure, they’ll be having lots of fun!





L K Jay’s links


Rathbone Kydd - sex’n’drugs’n’quantum stuff  

by 
K J Bennett

is available now on these links - 
UK - US - FR - DE - ES - IT - JP




Wednesday, 12 December 2012

All I want for Christmas ...


Just for a change I thought I’d go all consumer and make some recommendations for your Christmas viewing.

Even with the plethora of digital TV channels, finding stuff to watch over the festering period can be difficult. So why not buy yourself some DVD/Blu-Ray entertainment? I list here my selection of the best programmes I’ve seen this year and which you can order for TV consumption before Christmas.

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The Almighty Johnsons 
Imagine: you have reached the age of 21 and your brothers take you out to the woods, strip you naked and tell you that you are a reincarnated god.

This is one of the funniest and most bizarre series I’ve seen in many years, and a it’s major TV achievement for New Zealand. It is currently in its second season on the SyFy channel. It gets better every week.

Synopsis
In the 1800s, the Norse gods placed themselves in exile for reasons not yet divulged. It was obvious that they would, in their human form, emigrate to New Zealand: where else would they go. Since then, each of the gods is reborn. In the modern day, Odin is in the unlikely form of the rather innocent and well-meaning Axl Johnson. His brothers are gods, his parents were gods, and a fair number of the people he bumps into on his quest to find his true love, the Frigg, turn out to be gods.


The Almighty Johnsons - Season 1

The Almighty Johnsons - Season 2


Play 

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Grimm
This is a great series that is being shown in the UK on digital channel, Watch. It’s thrilling and funny, and brought to you by David Greenwalt – he who worked closely with Joss Whedon on Buffy and (mainly) Angel.

Synopsis
Grimm’s Fairy Tales were not stories: they were warnings. 
Supernatural beings live amongst us, but only they and descendents of the Grimms can see them for what they are unless they transform in anger. It is the role of the Grimm to hunt down and eliminate these creatures, but Nick Burkhardt is a little unorthodox...

Grimm Season 1


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Continuum 
A thrilling time travel drama, aired on the SyFy channel. Not the most original plot line, but remarkably well done.

Synopsis
Change history – protect the future. 
In 2077 the corporations run everything (bit like now, then?). A terrorist organisation, Liber8, is fighting back. A force of ‘protectors’ – cyber-enhanced police – are fighting the terrorists. The leader of Liber8 and some of his top operatives are facing execution. At the point when they should die, they and one protector – Kiera Cameron (played by the lovely – Rachel Nichols) - are thrown back in time to 2012. Can Keira stop the terrorists from changing history – and should she even try?



Continuum Season 1
Play 

Continuum Season 2

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Haven 
Based on a Stephen King story, The Colorado Kid, this quirky and novel series is now in its second season. It was a bit of a slow starter in season 1, but as soon the over arching story line kicks in, the viewer is left begging for more. I want more, and season 4 is currently in production.

Synopsis
The New England town of Haven is exactly that to people who suffer from afflictions known as the Troubles. Some can kill with a single stare, others just need to think it to make it happen. Audrey Parker is on secondment from the FBI and assisting the local police department, but there is more to Audrey than meat the eye. Why does she appear, almost unchanged, in photographs taken nearly thirty years before, and why is she immune to the Troubles?

Haven – Season 1 – 3 

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So if you like me enough to buy me a Christmas pressie, any of the above will do!