Tuesday, 1 October 2013

MONSTER BLOG TOUR!

Hi Buzz Worders, DC Green here. To celebrate the publication of my new novel, Monster School, I’ll be touring some wonderful author and writing blogs – starting from right now with a Buzz Words exclusive preview!

There will be tonnes of insights into the writing process with topics ranging from world building to creating monstrous characters. I’ll happily answer any posted questions (such as, ‘What’s it like sitting at the desk next to a giant spider called Bruce?’). And yes, there will be laughter – and giveaways!

Monster Blog Tour Dates

Tuesday, October 1. DC Green Yarns. Welcome to the Monster Blog Tour!

Buzz Words. Super sneaky peek!  http://www.buzzwordsmagazine.com/

Wednesday, October 2. Dianne Bates. Wacky author interview. http://diannedibates.blogspot.com.au/

Thursday, October 3. Dee White. World building. http://deescribewriting.wordpress.com/

Friday, October 4. Erin O’Hara. Zany question time. http://www.erinmoiraohara.com

Saturday, October 5. Tania McCartney. Monstrous author interview. http://www.kids-bookreview.com/

Sunday, October 6. Ian Irvine. Plotters versus Pantsers. http://bloggingwithianirvine.blogspot.com.au/

Monday, October 7. Pass It On. Groovy reviews.

Tuesday, October 8.  Michael Gerard Bauer. Writing the perfect first page. http://michaelgerardbauer.wordpress.com/

Wednesday, October 9. Robyn Opie Parnell. Writing a 21st Century Lord of the Rings. http://robynopie.blogspot.com.au/

Thursday, October 10. George Ivanoff. Writing monstrous characters. http://georgeivanoff.com.au/

Friday, October 11. Wrap party with prizes at my DC Green Author page! http://www.facebook.com/DCGreenAuthor


Other Monstrous Links

Ford Street Publishing (for Monster orders): http://www.fordstreetpublishing.com
Amazon.com (for a kindle Monsters): http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00FDKBTVQ
  
A World-wide Exclusive Buzz Words Preview

MONSTER SCHOOL
By DC Green

Part 2: Swamp Boy

Chapter 3: Frictions

‘Um . . . Is this Class 10A?’ I squeaked at the trio of sunglassed bodyguards.
The ogres ignored me.
I gawked at the entranceway. A chest-high door was embedded inside an oversized door which was in turn embedded inside a door that towered several times above my height. Beneath the shadow of the giant door knob, I gulped and pushed open the ‘normal’ option.
A blast of voices slapped me. So many monsters, talking and shouting at the same time! Bizarre smells muscled down my sinus passages. My eyes watered. I itched to turn and flee!
‘Ah, the new student.’ The stumpy Franken teacher waved his tentacles in my direction. ‘Don’t stand there like a dump of troll dung. Ha, ha. Come in, come in.’
The classroom was a flattened sphere built by giant ants: fifty times larger than any space I’d ever seen. The combination of overhead fluorescent bulbs and randomly floating jack-o’-lanterns cast thousands of creepy, shifting shadows.
I shuffled in, trailing slime and peering with growing dread around the semi-circular amphitheatre of monsters squatting behind various-sized desks. Olive-skinned goblins clustered on either side of the room, with rarer species clumped in the middle.
The Franken teacher flicked through his notes. ‘Well done finding this classroom. The layout of Lower Castle Mount can be most confusing. For your first decade! Ha, ha.’ Before I could answer, the teacher continued, ‘Let’s see – you obviously aren’t Greta the forest goblin. Ha, ha.’ He wrinkled his noses. ‘Judging by your fishy breath, which could well be smelt on Fire Mountain – ha, ha – I’d say you must be the swamp creature, Prg . . . yll Tl . . . xz . . . pkl . . . yp . . . nrg. Did I pronounce your name correctly?’
‘Close enough,’ I muttered through my reedy lips. ‘You can call me PT if that’s easier.’
‘Infinitely easier. And you can call me Doctor Combo. That’s my name. Ha, ha. Welcome to Biology! Take a seat.’
I nodded, jiggling my seaweed dreadlocks, and slouched towards the nearest empty desk. A goblin male student (they were all males!) kicked a seat into my scaly legs. I stumbled. Other students sniggered.
Up the back smirked the largest goblin, a flex-muscled orc. ‘Don’t even try sittin’ on this side o’ the classroom, Stink Lad,’ he sneered. ‘Not unless ya wanna end up Swamp Sushi.’ More sniggering. ‘These seats’re reserved for members o’ the Viethe clan. Grasp? And in case yer as thick as ya look, which is giant-bum thick, I’m Friendly Viethe – the mayor’s nephew. And I rule this school!’
From the far side of the classroom, an answering snort echoed. I glanced up as a goblin stood, his metallic teeth flashing. ‘Ya can’t even rule a straight line, Viethe!’
‘Says who?’ Friendly Viethe fired back.
‘Says me.’ The steel-fanged goblin’s eyeballs rotated my way. ‘C’mere, Swamp-ball.’
I gulped, peered around and obediently shuffled forward in what felt like a death march.
‘Name’s Gort Klusk,’ the second goblin continued. ‘I’m the Deputy Mayor’s son.’ With a leap I’d have reckoned was impossible, over several rows of chairs, Gort landed at my feet. The exposed parts of his body glistened with bionic enhancements. In a blur of movement, Gort pressed the razor sharp bone protruding from the back of his hand against my throat. His breath burnt with hatred and putrid parmesan cheese. ‘If ya ever come near the Klusk side o’ this class again, I’ll saw off yer head and mail it ta a kraken BBQ! Grasp it?’
‘It’s . . . grasped,’ I squeaked, too nervous about puncturing my windpipe to nod.
Gort elbowed me to the floor and stalked back to his seat. I glanced pleadingly at Doctor Combo, but the teacher’s back remained turned. He seemed more concerned with scrawling across his whiteboard than preventing my near-murder.
‘Yo, Swampy Grom!’ a shrill voice echoed from the middle of the classroom. ‘Plant your planty butt with us!’
I stared despairingly at the giant spider beckoning me, his triple-sectioned legs tucked awkwardly around, under and over his desk. Beside him sat a girl wrapped in bandages, a ragged corpse and a mohawked vampire!
My heart froze.
‘Aye, join the other minority freaks!’ Gort Klusk sneered. ‘Where ya belong!’
I gulped and forced my legs to work, wondering if I was about to break the death threat world record. Shuffle. Shuffle. Shuffle.
‘Come on, come on,’ Doctor Combo called. ‘I’d like to do some actual teaching today. Ha, ha. I– oh, not again.’ He sighed as a pretty, grass-green girl entered the classroom via the smallest door, mercifully removing the spotlight from my seaweed-covered backside. ‘Come in, come in. You must be . . .’ Combo flicked through his notes. ‘Greta Farbranch?’
‘Indeed,’ the diminutive goblin answered icily.
‘Ooh, a bush goblin,’ mocked a Viethe.
‘Worse, she’s a floozy!” roared Gort Klusk. ‘No self-respectin’ Klusk floozy would ever vamoose the kitchen ta grasp an edyacation!’
Friendly Viethe countered, ‘Neither’d any Viethe chicky worthy o’ the name!’
‘Sexist thugs,’ the bandaged girl droned.
I entered the shadow zone of a seat so massive it surely had to be a joke, and slid into a seat five along from the giant spider.
Uncoiling a leg, he jabbed a hairy pincer into my ribs. ‘Yo, Swampy. I’m your friendly neighbourhood eight-legged killing machine! But you can call me Bruce.’
‘PT,’ I croaked, shaking the spider’s pincer. It reeked of acid and something like rat poison. I dug my notepad and inkwell from my backpack. ‘Whoa!’ My hands flew to my face.
A jack-o’-lantern loomed up beside my desk, its demonic pumpkin face leering light upon my blank page.
 ‘Awww, cute,’ cooed Bruce. ‘The dead floating veggie must sense a kindred spirit with your vegetative ass.’
Was the giant spider serious or joking? His face was a terrifying wall of eyeballs. Were they glinting with amusement or homicidal hunger? He was kinda smiling, but his saliva-dribbling fangs conveyed a scarier message. ‘I guess,’ I squeaked at last, wrenching my eyes away.
Meanwhile, the forest goblin had settled into a seat at the middle of the front section. Empty desks encircled her. A cyborg Klusk lobbed a book at her head. She swayed clear and shot back a glare that could have snap-frozen mercury.
‘Should we perhaps invite the new lass?’ The vampire’s hollow voice prickled my skin.
‘No way, two-legs,’ scoffed Bruce. ‘You dig our gang rules. Zilch humes and zilch gobs!’
Words ground from the dead teen’s lipless mouth. ‘Zorg iz hating gobbinz.’ His breath reeked of decay and blackened blood.
Doctor Combo coughed. ‘I’m sorry to interrupt the day’s entertainment, but this is technically a classroom and we do have work to do. Ha, ha. Today, we’ll be continuing our comparative monster studies.’ Ignoring the groans, Combo slapped his whiteboard. ‘In the dark human era, strength was measured in horsepower or HP. Today, HP refers to a different type of obsolete creature: the human. Ha, ha.’
A few students sniggered.
Doctor Combo continued, ‘Given that one HP equals the feeble wrestling strength of a grown human male, which monster has the highest HP in Monstro City?’
Gort Klusk’s fist fired up. ‘Ogres! My dad’s got a weapons-enhanced ogre bodyguard so brawny he can kick ta the gutter any monster in Monstro City.’
‘Good, Gort,’ said the teacher. ‘Yes, the average ogre has an HP of six. With enhancements, this figure can reach up to thirty! Though is that the strongest rating?’
One of Bruce’s legs jabbed up, trailing web. ‘My old lady’s gnarly strong. Every dude in our neighbourhood’s wussed by her. And our mummy gal pal here,’ he indicated the bandaged girl with another leg, ‘owns a killer handshake.’
Goblins grumbled. Was the mummy blushing through her bandages?
‘Hold your webs. There’s more!’ Bruce fired a sticky rope substance to the edge of the massive seat above our heads. He swung up and stood tall on the seat with six of his legs raised triumphantly. ‘Ain’t zilch dudes out-webbing the most mega monster in class: our top-notch buddy, who’s away again, but will totally be back – Tessa the bad-ass troll! Yo!’
Saliva shrivelled in my mouth. The giant seat belonged to a troll!
‘Very good, Bruce. Please climb down now.’ Doctor Combo nodded. ‘Yes, the mightiest recorded troll has an HP of 150. With enhancements, that figure may reach as high as six hundred.’
A metallic goblin fist fired up. ‘Trolls’re big, aye, but they own no guts. Whatta ’bout Cerberus, the brawny hell-dog on Holly Hill? I grasp he’s got a raw HP o’ two hundred!’
A huge goblin on the opposite side yelled, ‘My dad argues the heaviest monster’s Godzilla. He weighed 450 tonnes, least before he lost a leg.’
The teacher’s mouths smiled. ‘Yes, Cerberus has an impressive HP, not to mention three heads. And Godzilla remains the heaviest known land monster. Though are they the strongest?’
‘Blessed Nile, no,’ said the mummy. ‘The strongest monster must surely be the dragon.’
A hush settled across the room.
My skin tingled.
The teacher clapped. ‘Very good, Scarab. Even though Kalthazari weighs only 320 tonnes – ha, ha – she has formidable shielding and a range of powers that defy definition. Experts estimate the dragon’s HP at a staggering fifty thousand!’
Friendly Viethe rose, smirking, until the room fell silent. ‘Yer all wrong. The brawniest monster in all o’ Monstro City is – the plains goblin!’
Bruce, now seated far too close to me, slapped his sixteen kneecaps. ‘Spin off! Gobs own HPs of only 0.7! My zombie bud’s BO is more kick-buttly than that!’
Zorg sniffed his scabrous armpits.
Friendly Viethe snarled, ‘Idiot spider. If ya didn’t sit with yer nose beside corpse-breath all day, ya’d grasp my new orc body’s got a much brawnier HP. Though even if yer 0.7 average was fact, grasp this: there are 1.6 million goblins in Monstro City – almost half o’ all monsters. And we’re the fastest growin’ species. Multiply 1.6 million by 0.7 and ya get . . . a lot brawnier number than any stinky-breathed dragon!’
The teacher clapped and bowed. ‘Excellent, Friendly. That makes a total HP of 1.12 million!’
Friendly high-fived his neighbours and climbed onto his desk. Mimicking Bruce, he raised his fists into the air. ‘Goblins rule – again!’
On both sides of the class, goblins clambered onto their desks to stand with fists held high.
‘GOBLINS RULE!’
A Klusk stomped his desk. A Viethe stomped back. Before I could blink, twin goblin armies marched upon their desks. Tromp! Tromp! Tromp! The classroom reverberated with metal-heeled boots.
Bruce jabbed pincers into what I guessed were his earholes.
A cyborg goblin shouted, ‘Klusks are the brawniest stompers!’
A Viethe shouted back, ‘Ya Klusks couldn’t stomp a dead elf!’
A Klusk lobbed a stapler. Viethes hurled two inkwells. Seven books flew in retaliation. Fifteen desks spun. I slunk low in my seat. Above my noggin, scores of stationery missiles arced back and forth across the classroom. Goblins crashed from their desks, foreheads and cheeks split wide, cackling with delight.
 ‘Ahem. Ahem!’ Doctor Combo clapped and struggled to restore some sort of order. Finally, after the injured were carried to the sick bay for stitching, and the blood and ink mopped up, the sweating teacher asked, ‘Any final, non-physical contributions to the HP debate?’ Spotting my slightly raised hand, he sighed. ‘Yes, er, PT?’
‘What about humans?’ I asked in a quivery voice. ‘Surely they have power too. Um, political power? Haven’t human kings and queens ruled Monstro City for over five hundred years?’
Friendly Viethe bared his pointy teeth. ‘Eyeball the ignorant hume-lover! Everyone grasps the real brawn in Monstro City lies with the mayor’s office. There’re only twenty thousand humes left, graspin’ just a shrinkin’ fraction o’ Castle Mount. The days when those round-eared freaks mattered are centuries done!’ The goblin leader scowled my way. ‘Why ya stickin’ up for humes, anyways?’
I reddened. ‘I’m just trying to . . . get the picture.’
Friendly Viethe, as poorly named as his more-famous uncle, snarled. ‘All ya gotta grasp is this: ya breathe now in the Age o’ Goblins!’
Ignoring the congratulatory goblin murmurs, the vampire stood, slicking his mohawk. ‘Perhaps. Yet as this class amply demonstrates, goblins are a house divided. They have also featured in more wars than any other monster species. And whom do goblins invariably fight? Other goblins. One never observes a dragon biting her own tail.’
‘Yo.’ Bruce nodded. ‘Gobs are the new humes.’
A hush descended.
Friendly’s reply was pure scorn. ‘Ya Dead Gang freaks just crossed the line o’ no return. With that insult, yer all the enemies o’ the brawniest mafia clan: the Viethes!’
Gort Klusk bellowed, ‘That goes doubly for us Klusks. Ya Deads better feast together and pee together and bunk together every sec o’ every day. When we catch one o’ ya alone, ya’ll grasp what goblin brawn means, my oath!’
‘Busting out bad boy band imitations?’ Bruce guffawed, until the vampire elbowed him so hard the air rushed from his thorax.
Several dozen goblins muttered murderously.
‘Friend Bruce,’ said Scarab. ‘You may have done more this day to unify the goblins than a dozen murdered ambassadors.’
‘And I ain’t even carked.’ The spider grinned. ‘Wait. What you just said was a fine thing, yo?’

Wow, I thought. And this is just Period One!

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