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Thursday 9 April 2020

#NovConv presents a chaos of characters from Jessica Knauss's Unpredictable Worlds

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To be a little different from the usual 
'meet the author' 
let's meet 
character - 
or in today's case several characters...  from

Health warning: you may find yourself amused ... 

The Green Room at Novel Conversations (#NovConv) is especially crowded today ...

 Grandstand, Toys, Males, Child, Children

Emily (“Unpredictable Factors in Human Obedience”): (setting down the Earl Grey tea provided by the organizers) Why are there so many characters here? I thought this Novel Conversation with Helen Hollick was my chance at vindication. I’m sure readers get a mistaken impression of me in my story.

Miriam (“Threads Woven”): Everyone from all the stories in Unpredictable Worlds is here, more than 120 of us. We don’t want to overwhelm the interviewer, so why don’t I do it? I’m feeling creative now, painting new portraits all the time.

Mona Lisa, Painting, Art

George (“Threads Woven”): (kissing Miriam’s cheek) And she took a creative writing course at the community college.

Herbert (“A Disastrous Marriage”): My beautiful wife is the best writer I know. If anyone understands Jessica Knauss—our author—or the writing process, it’s her.

Raúl (“Alternativa” and “El Novillero”): But Unpredictable Worlds has just been released in Spanish translation as Mundos impredecibles. I’m sure Helen will ask about what that process was like, so she should interview me. I’m the only one who understands Spanish here.

Flamenco, Sevilla, Dan, Spanish, Seville

Fran (“What She Lacked”): That’s not true. Elena from your stories is looking at you out of the corner of her eye, right beside you. The kids from “True Superstition” are here, and Lucinda from “The Consequences of Neglect,” and I’m pretty sure my twin, Dulcy, picked up Spanish while she was missing.

Beauty, Eyeshadow, Eyeliner, Newspaper

Suzanne (“Not Extinct Yet”): I’ve come all the way from an alternate world in which animals talk. I daresay Helen would find that more interesting than any foreign language. And I can show how to save the rhinos in this world by explaining how we did it in mine.

White, Flowers, Plant, Nature, Macro

Allie (“Rhinoceros Dreams”): If it’s rhinos you want, I should do the interview. I turned into a white rhino and roamed South Africa for about six weeks!

Africa, Map, Relief, Land, Continent

Deacon Tucker (“Rhinoceros Dreams”): That was a metaphor.

Fantasy, Dream, Magic, Female, Child

Allie (“Rhinoceros Dreams”): It was literal! I turned into a rhino, and my human husband may not be my son’s father!

Robert (“Rhinoceros Dreams”): (balks)

Nature, Mammal, Animal, Wildlife, Grass

Unnamed narrator (“Stairs to the Beach”): (mumbling) These weirdos are about to self-destruct. I’ll have the interview all to myself soon enough.

Shellfish, Mussel, Sand, Wave, Beach

Dolores (“The Residents of the Inn”): (to Allie) Even if you did turn into a rhino, you’re just a lady now. But don’t mind me. I’m only still a spider!

Spider, Araneus, Web, Cobweb, Insect

Emily (“Unpredictable Factors in Human Obedience”): (stepping on Dolores) Helen is sure to ask about our author’s other books. I can talk about the urban fantasy Awash in Talent because although we’re not the same character, we’re both awesome young ladies named Emily.

Pedantic narrator (“Bones of a Story”): You’re unreliable narrators, both of you Emilies. Helen can’t believe anything you say. I should do the interview because I can tell Helen that Jessica Knauss also writes historical fiction set in medieval Spain and is now working on a science fiction romance of otherworldly imagination. And when Helen asks how readers can help authors, I’ll talk about leaving reviews, recommending books to friends, and doing interviews like this one it looks like we’d all kill each other to be a part of.

Unnamed narrator (“Stairs to the Beach”): (clapping her hands) Okay, everyone! The production assistant tells me the characters who want to do the interview should wait in the room behind that door. Those characters who don’t want to be interviewed can stay right here and will be returned to Unpredictable Worlds shortly. 

Clapping, Hands, Shadow, Poor, Light

Amy (“Justine”): Production assistant? I didn’t see any production assistant.
 Checklist, Clip Board, Blank, To Do

Unnamed narrator (“Stairs to the Beach”) pushes everyone through an unmarked door, where wolves (“Not the Taste Experience We Were Looking For”) growl. They tear the characters to pieces and nudge their remains into a bottomless pit. Unnamed narrator dusts off her blouse and clasps her hands in satisfaction.

Wolf, Predator, Animal, Fleichfresser

Real Production Assistant: Is there only one of you? I thought there were a lot of characters in Jessica Knauss’s Unpredictable Worlds. If it’s just going to be you, Helen is ready to have a Novel Conversation. Please come this way...

Rules, Stickies, Book, Clouds, Float, Dream World, Sky

[The assistant shows Unnamed Narrator into the studio and to a seat. Helen Looks up smiles,] 
Hello, I’m Helen, host of Novel Conversations here on #NovConv, please do make yourself comfortable. We're not recording yet, that red light to your left will go on when we're live. Would you like a drink or anything? I'll ask my assistant, to get you something, and please don't worry about rattling tea cups or chinking glass, it all adds to the atmosphere. Right, there's just a couple of things I have to do and then we'll start ...

Radio, Studio, Audio, Sound, Record

Later, Helen to her assistant:  "Well that was different! I thought Jessica was sending us several of her characters to interview? Oh well, never mind. Let's finish off that bottle of wine - that was quite an interview! Oh, and did Jessica send us her links to add?"

CONNECT WITH Jessica Knauss

Unpredictable Worlds

You can find links to four of the published stories from Unpredictable Worlds on this page.

Para dos fragmentos interesantísimos de Mundos impredecibles y enlaces a todos los puntos de venta (versión en tapa blanda para mediados de 2020), visita esta página.

On an Amazon near you


  1. Laughed my socks off! Never, ever seen an interview like that - congratulations to Helen and Jessica for combining to make this 'interview' so entertaining!

  2. I loved, loved, loved this! So clever and funny. And yes, I am off to look up Jessica's books now...

  3. I always said, one can never have too much wine. Especially when it produces such hilarious results. Still laughing. Hic...


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