Carrie Crain says. “In 1999, I had a wild idea to write a chapter book series starring the new addition to my family: a beagle puppy named Buddy. I think that was when I tried writing seriously and loved it so much that in 2004-05, I enrolled in creative writing in fiction and screenwriting classes in Austin, Texas and at UCLA Extension. Screenwriting was the hardest thing for me mainly because I wrote in novel format with lengthy descriptions and lots of internal/external dialogue. My professors advised me that maybe I should try writing novels. LOL. So, I did.”
Twitter: @CarrieCrain and @LegendofDiablo
YouTube: www.carriecrainbooks.com (Legend of Diablo book trailer)
If you could travel in a Time Machine would you go back to the past or into the future?
The past. So many things I would do over again like go to college right after high school and study English/Journalism/Creative Writing and I would not have gotten married young.
If you could invite any 5 people to dinner who would you choose?
Christian Bale, J.D. Salinger, Raymond Chandler, Marie Osmond, Dolly Parton
If you were stranded on a desert island what 3 things would you want with you?
The Bible, Family Photo Album, and the complete DVD set of Chevy Chase movies. I adore his comedy.
What is one book everyone should read?
If you were a superhero what would your name be?
If you could have any superpower what would you choose?
The ability to wipe away depression.
What is your favorite snack food?
Oreos. Chocolate dipped or double-stuffed. I just love Oreos.
If you could meet one person who has died who would you choose?
Maybe Farah Fawcett, she died too young. Her smile was so contagious. She was so beautiful. Believe it or not, I had her iconic poster! LOL.
Where would you vacation if you could go anywhere free?
Romania to visit Dracula’s castle and soak up the history in that part of the world.
People who answer for someone else. I’ve had this happen to me on more than one occasion during dinners and parties. Let the person I asked, answer. Also, folks who don’t dunk their Oreos in milk. C’mon!
Carrie Crain is giving away either an e-book or autographed paperback of her debut novel to one lucky commenter. It’s easy… all you have to do is leave a comment, either about the interview or her chapter 3 excerpt below!
Here is Chapter 3 entitled Diablo. This was actually going to be my first chapter, but I had a literary agent advise me not to start with the villain in a children’s book. I understand why, but I still regret not having this be my novel’s beginning. Please keep in mind, I’m weird and my humor is way out there!!! Also, I wrote this story with young readers in mind.
Chapter 3 Diablo
Once upon a time, over the ninth land, beyond thrice kingdom, there existed a yucky planet called Planet Disco. The planet reeked of shag carpet and Turtle Wax. The place was about as exciting as repeating sixth grade. An ocean of quicksand spanning the length of a zillion football fields surrounded a teensy weensy island. The villainous heat on days ending in ‘y’, reached boiling point temperatures. The blistering sands were home to creepy creatures called Hovels. They were bald munchkins with piranha like teeth. With their big ole eyeballs and foaming mouths, they terrorized anyone and everything.
On the island, were three sections of thirty-foot tall cattails, the golden color of winter wheat, which rattled and waved in the brutal winds that swept daily – first from the ocean to the land by day and from the land to the water by night. These strong cattails withstood the hammering of 323 mph winds. A dilapidated bridge extended across the flat, harsh terrain. This bridge led to a medieval castle on the island called the Man Cave, for it was composed of solomictic limestone. The main entrance had ginormous heavy wooden doors, which opened to psychedelic painted walls. Inside, on the ninth floor there was a majestic discotheque complex. A small volcano resembling something from a kid’s science fair project bellowed ominously on the grounds near a guest cottage. The volcano had inhabitants who were living out eternity. The blowhards bellyached about the cruel stench, comparing the pungent, toxic odor to worn gym socks. They cursed the heat. It was, after all, really hot inside. They blamed one man for their misery, the head honcho who ruled Planet Disco and lived in the Man Cave.
The song Boogie Nights blared from the speakers on a custom motorcycle, draped in shocking red paint with flames licking up the front and back fenders with multi-colored lights flickering on the chrome 80 spoke wheels. The motorcycle was nearly beyond description with its 100 cubic inch RevTech motor attached to a six-speed transmission powering the super wide rear tire. Fire shot from its exhaust in two foot of blue and orange pyromania. The sound coming from its chromed straight pipes seemed blessed by the precise ear of a piano tuner as the bike meandered down the indoor asphalt track with the vanity plate, “JERK1.”
The driver parked the prized possession smack dab dead center on an illuminated tile floor like a self-absorbed bozo. The song continued to blast from the speakers mounted between the gas tank and close to the top of the front forks yolk. The bike’s subwoofer and amp system maximized the vibration capacity. The Man Cave shook. The driver cut the engine. The roaring of exhaust tones reverberated the windows as the exhaust tunes slowly dissolved.
Diablo, the man known as the meanest dude in the universe, got off the bike and marched up to the Chevy Pie Wagon with the custom paint job wearing tweed Tempur-Pedic slippers. Wrapped in a flaming red smoking jacket and black silk pajama pants, he opened the car door, reached in and yanked Tabby out and hopped in. He propped his knee against the door, leaving it partially opened. Leaning over, he adjusting the rearview mirror and marveled at his reflection. “Goodness gosh, I’m handsome.” He pushed a dangling hair plug back into place. He was practically fighting with the plug when it finally collapsed and hung. Diablo was bothered by this aesthetic distraction, and so he occupied his mind with other important matters like pushing his face’s saggy skin up. “I need another facelift,” he complained.
The Disco Cat Trio ran up, fawning over Diablo like teenage groupies to a rock star. The Disco Cats were three voluptuous babes who were half cat and half woman and hedonistically competed for Diablo’s attention. They came equipped with orange membrane bat wings that spanned two feet, green whiskers, and pink furry tails with a length span of three feet. They wore midriff football jerseys with their names painted on the back: Pink, Napoleon, and Siamese. Diablo turned his attention away from the mirror and reacted cautiously. With his hand, he shielded a key that hung from a brown leather thong around his neck. He referred to the key as his “bling.” Made of pyrite and carrying the nickname “fool’s gold,” it looked on the cheap – the facts didn’t lie. The key measured thirteen centimeters long, including the spooky serpent shape crafted into the handle.
“Don’t touch my bling,” he barked. He licked his finger and smoothed his unruly eyebrows. The Disco Cats stepped back and bowed their heads in submission. They knew better than to touch Diablo’s bling. It was the key that unlocked a secret, at least according to legend. He moved his tongue across his capped teeth. He looked to be around eighteen, but everyone on Planet Disco knew he was at least six thousand years old. Surprisingly single, he stood 5’10”, with chiseled hair and espresso bean colored eyes that were full bodied like the Blue Jamaican varietal.
His eyes followed Pink. She had sprung free from the pack in a gutsy move, trailing off down the linoleum hall and exited into the kitchen. Siamese lounged on a leopard chaise, rubbing ointment on her charred arm. Napoleon retrieved a pair of costume devil horns from a silver metal briefcase she carried, similar to the “Presidential Football” that authorized the launch of atomic weapons. Her wings flapped uncontrollably from low self-esteem. Diablo yawned and tapped his foot on the floor while Napoleon struggled to place the horns on top of his head. She jumped to reach his noggin but was unsuccessful on an account he just stood there and checked the time on his iPhone.
“I haven’t gwon since Fifth gwade,” she snorted. Napoleon was a Caribbean Lilliputian who swallowed her R’s and eliminated certain vowels when she spoke.
“Napoleon, you’d raise your IQ twenty points if you lost that accent,” Diablo growled, flicking a piece of lint off of his silk robe.
Napoleon had grown up in a small village in the Bahamas known for thieves and varmints. She died when a coconut fell from a tree, knocking her out permanently. She gritted her teeth, staring at him like she wanted to asphyxiate him with his bling. Some face fur flew into her mouth, causing her to gag. Diablo snatched the horns from Napoleon and dismissed her with a push to the rump.
Pink wobbled through the room in a burlap sack apron, carrying a serving tray. She teetered precariously in Croc wedges, her multiple gold necklaces jangling. Everything about her spoke edgy, including her hair, which was short and razor cut. The tresses were blonde, right out of a L’Oréal hair coloring bottle. Originally from Panama, she had once worked on a banana boat during the Korean War — that was until her fatal accident with a banana and a hungry monkey. Pink got her name because she lost both pinkies with the psycho banana boat monkey. Pink clutched the handles to a rectangular pewter tray filled with an array of ice cubes. Diablo’s eyes lit up at the sight of Pink’s ice cubes. It had been so long since he had tasted anything cold. He salivated.
“Sorry, I left them out at room temperature, they’re melting something awfully fierce,” Pink apologized, staring at Diablo’s perfectly shaped hands with envy.
Diablo gaped down at the tray, which was now just a pool of disappointment. There was a moment of stunned silence. “You’re an imbecile,” he said coldly. He jumped up and down like a spastic ape trying to scare her. He knew a Panamanian monkey had ripped off her pinkies, and this was the one flashback that continued to haunt her. Pink dropped the tray, splattering water in Diablo’s face. He pointed at her and doubled over laughing as she stumbled off wailing a loud, lusty cry.
A door slammed down the hallway. The sound jolted Diablo from his hysteria. He watched in utter disbelief as Siamese sashayed over to a cigarette vending machine and slapped the front glass with her three foot tail. A box was dispensed. Tapping the box with her hand that resembled a big, waxy glob, Siamese loosened the cigarettes up inside and retrieved one. Holding the cigarette in her left hand, she reached down in a pocket and retrieved a Zippo lighter. Diablo’s eyebrows arched dramatically. She smiled flirtatiously as she flicked the lighter. Her furless, tight face made her lips smile all the time. “Bloody heck’s wrong with this?” Siamese asked in a fake British accent. Siamese wasn’t really British, she was Vietnamese, but had spent time living in London as a manicurist until her unfortunate demise with a hot wax body machine. She offered no answers as to why the lighter didn’t work.
Growing impatient, Diablo snatched the broken lighter and cigarette from Siamese, shoving her straight into a bean bag chair. Her pointed ears suddenly bent at the tips, indicating a sign of worry. Diablo brought the cigarette close, sniffing it. “This is candy. When in the universe can I smoke real tobacco?” Diablo pouted and flicked the lighter. Nothing. He flung it across the room. The lighter smacked Diablo’s First Lieutenant, Tabby, in the keister before finding its resting spot outside Diablo’s office door. Tabby’s high-heeled boots clicked on the illuminated disco floor as she exited the office, her wild, musky scent recognizable long before she ever arrived.
“Tabby, did you find my sword?” Diablo sneezed as Tabby handed him a classification file folder marked, changed mind. A lot of people from Planet Earth were doing that lately.
“Um—not exactly.” She lowered her eyes.
Diablo snatched the folder and glared at Tabby in her purple vinyl bodysuit and thigh-high boots. At a whopping 5-feet tall, her generous curves and pink hair made a lasting impression. She had traveled to Planet Earth on a secret mission for him recently. She was the only one from Planet Disco who could leave on a temporary twenty-four hour pass because she had a driver’s license, plus she was a rogue demon who had special, but limited powers. Diablo was never allowed to leave Planet Disco. Oh, sure there had been a few times the clown tried. Each time, the mean ole OSA, or Outer Space Authority, caught him and brought him back. Diablo kept scheming, finally devising a way to virtually become undetectable, escape Planet Disco, rule Planet Earth, and the entire universe. It unfortunately involved Tabby. She wasn’t the brightest or the best.
Diablo tossed the folder on the ground and stomped on it. “My reputation is at stake,” he shouted, leaving Tabby to wonder where her next meal was going to come from. Noticing a low front tire, Diablo walked over to his Chevy Pie Wagon to get a closer look, Tabby on his tail. The tire was fine, and he ran his hand across the electrifying orange and red flames splashed down the side, admiring his prized possession. “What happened?” He turned to Tabby.
The Disco Cats huddled close together near the rear of the vehicle, observing the scene with trepidation. Diablo’s eyes widened at the sight of mud on the fenders. Apparently, he had not recognized it earlier. He leaned over, wiping his index finger across it. He snapped his head at Tabby, holding up the evidence. “Tabby, you got mud on my fenders,” he whined. One of the few luxuries Diablo had, and Tabby took advantage. It was like she didn’t care about his property.
“Texas is a dirty place, Diablo. You know, there are a lot of cows and oil wells down there.” Tabby hated Diablo’s whining, especially about his precious car. “Diablo, I need to tell you about—”
Diablo pounded his fist on the trunk in a rush of anger. It popped open. There was a person stuffed inside, similar to those dead ones found in mobster flicks, only this one wasn’t wearing lead. “Who are you?” Diablo asked dumbfounded.