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Monday, November 16, 2009

SNAZEL!!! Reader in the spotlight...

Snazel said...

Thinking of names; I'm a bank teller just out of my teens, my brown hair never does as it's told, and I have freckles. My, do I have freckles. Oh, and I'm the tallest person in the office, including the only guy, but I talk the least. My real name is Jasmine Stairs!
(Or is it? :D) At any rate, is that a good minor character?

Dear, sweet. Snazel. You didn't know what you were volunteering for when I asked for minor characters. I almost feel bad for what I've done to you. Almost...

I took Jasmine's suggestion for a character and warped it to fit the needs of my book. I knew I'd hit a point where I needed a lighter feel for a few pages to get the reader out of the melancholy mood of a previous chapter. I wanted a funny scene. And the idea of Sari Fallen on a date, a bad date, tickled my funny bone.

Going into the scene I knew that Sari was going to leave dinner early for various reasons. I also knew that the date was not going to be Sari's longterm romantic interest, so I built the Ultimate Bad Date around that premise.

Enter Snazel. Not as the date himself, but as the underling of the date who is sent to stall Sari while the date runs two hours late. I pictured an over-eager, gawky kid who was all knees and elbows trying to make polite conversation with a much older woman who is self-assured, taciturn, and who can be socially-awkward herself. The scene didn't come out quite as I'd envisioned in my mind. I was writing fast and left some of the better jokes out, I think. But this is NaNo. I'll edit later.

An appetizer made of imported crab, cheese, and bread was congealing in the chill of the dining room. The candle sputtered in annoyance as a waiter hurried past in absolute silence.

The freckle-faced half-elf blushed a bright red. "I'm so sorry, Mistress Fallen, I except Dagber will be here shortly. He did send me ahead to keep the reservation," the boy said, trying to defend his boss.

Sari put her glass down and folded her napkin. "It's okay. Last week I missed our date because of work. This is probably Dabger's way of getting back at me. I'm sure we'll all have a good laugh at this in the years to come."


They were zero for three on dates.

“Would you like to talk?” the freckle-faced minion asked.

Sari sighed. “Certainly. You start.”

“What do you want me to talk about?” he chirped.

“Why don’t you give me your name.”

“I’m a Snazel.”

Naturally. Ginger-brown hair sticking out every which way, freckles, elongated ears with a hint of point. “How many Snazels are there in the city?”

“Hundreds,” the boy said promptly.

If he’d been standing and she could have seen the height she would have guessed instantly. There were several Snazels on the police force. Every single Snazel she knew towered over her. The clan swore left, right, and blue that they were half-elves. The freckles were certainly human, the they tended to be on the thin side. Emaciated for the most part. She always felt a gut-wrenching urge to feed the Snazels. But sometimes she wondered if some giant hadn't snuck into the clan's gene pool at some time. It would account for the height.

"Do you like working for Dabger?" she asked.

"Very much," the Snazel said. "He's a very good employer. I get health benefits, days off, and a steady paycheck. And there are openings for promotion as I learn more."

She made a noncommital noise and started shredding a bread roll in despair. "Cost-market accountancy must be a very exciting line of work."

"Very much so," the Snazel agreed. "I enjoy reviewing loan applications."

A memory from the police academy about serial killers who enjoyed power over their victims flickered across her conscious.

"Am I boring you?" the Snazel asked.

Sari shook her head and returned her attention to her young companion. "No, of course not, I was just wondering when I was here last."

"Twenty-seven weeks ago with Master Kros," the Snazel answered promptly.

"I beg your parden?"

"You came to the opening festival of Your Place with Master Kros. You went on four dates with him and then broke off your relationship because he wasn't enough of a man for you."

Several inappropriate responses flitted across her mind. But stabbing rude little minions in a public venue would reflect badly on the Vondrin PD. "How did you know that?"

"Master Dagber asked me to be fully acquainted with your history before I sat down as his fill in tonight. Several other secretaries wanted the chance but Master Dagber wanted us to be fully versed on your doings so we could converse confidently with you."

"I didn't realize Dagber had acquired such a large file on me."

"It's standard practice," said the Snazel. "Master Dabger doesn't like to leave these sort of things to chance."

"Hmmm." Sari tried to feel flattered. "I wonder if, perhaps, Dagber should have invested some time in training you in the finer points of ettiquette."

"Did I say something wrong, Mistress Fallen?"

"As a general rule it is considered polite to avoid discussing past relationships when one is on a date."

"Oh. Thank you for the correction, Mistress Fallen. I will endeavor to put your advice to practice." He wrinkled his freckle-filled face.

And, because I feel I owe Jasmine an apology after cloning her in such a haphazard way, her real name will appear later in the book. Jasmine Stairs sounds like a beautiful corner of the city :o)

Coming soon: Landino14 makes an appearance as retired special ops/battlemage/whateverthefantasyequivalentofagreenberetis Ashton Cairnes

P.S. Want to appear in the book? Leave me a description and a name for your character in the comments box.


  1. I would love if you would include my cat in your story, so she will live on. I will be finding a way to work her into my own.

    Rayna, a tortoiseshell short hair cat, black with patches of orange and cream. Gold eyes. Very loving, soft and clean, likes shiny things and will not allow a pen to be on a desk, it must be on the floor. If the pen is in someone's hand, she will rub her head against it while they write.

  2. Mary- I will aim to put a cat in the story now :)

  3. What a lovely excerpt! I'd certainly read that story!

  4. Writtenwyrd- Thank you! I hope Snzael doesn't stop talking to me after she realizes what I've done to her. :o

  5. WAH.


    I'm FAMOUS. *preens* Hehehe. Tactless, chirpy and gawky. Have you been spying on me? :D

  6. *ducks the wrath of Snazel*

    I gave you your own mini-Empire though. That has to count for something... :D