Saturday, November 25, 2017

The Gal's 2017 Halloween Frivolities Day 35: Lawson's Character Has Spoken


The Gal in the Blue Mask:
Hello, and welcome.  It's a pleasure to have you here today.  Now, some of my readers have yet to read your story.  What should they know about you?

The Rhodesian:
The short version is that I'm a bad dude living in a bad world.  I killed my first man at twelve years old, and I never stopped.  It's grim work, but it's exciting, pays well, and I get to see the world.

The Gal in the Blue Mask:
What do you believe in?

The Rhodesian:
Money.  Guns.  Myself.  I used to be something of an ideologue, but that was a long time ago.  My parents were killed when Rhodesia perished and Mugabe's thugs took over.  As a kid, I hooked up with a group of Rhodesian guerrillas and we fought against the new government of Zimbabwe through my teens.  It was a lost cause, though - just some cathartic bullshit.  A waste of time and bullets.
            I learned a lot, though.  How to fight and kill.  The arts of sabotage and stealth.  Most importantly, it taught me that "isms" and causes are nothing but vapors.  I live for myself now.

The Gal in the Blue Mask:
What haunts you?

The Rhodesian:
I mentioned that my parents were killed when I was young.  We had a farm, my parents, my sister, and myself.  Well, after apartheid ended and Rhodesia became Zimbabwe, the new government decided it would redistribute the land.  That basically meant that white farmers got the shaft.  A lot of us lost our homes and land.
            My dad wasn't having it, though.  When Mugabe's brute squad showed up to evict us, he fought back.  It was a futile gesture.  They killed my parents and took my sister.  And what did I do?  I ran, like a god damn coward.  That was the last time I ever ran away, though.  Never again.

The Gal in the Blue Mask:
Do you have any phobias?

The Rhodesian:
Fear ain't really in my vocabulary.  That being said, there are some knives I was hired to steal a few years back, supposed to be magic or cursed or some shit, and I believe it.  Just being around them filled me with anger.  My vision would go red, I'd black out, and people would end up dead.  That was scary to me.  It would be fair to say that I'm afraid of that happening again - losing control like that.

The Gal in the Blue Mask:
What's the worst thing that has ever happened to you?

The Rhodesian:
We already covered that, china.  Mugabe's thugs butchering my family while I ran like a bitch.  I think I'm done talking about that.

The Gal in the Blue Mask:
Are you lying to yourself about anything?

The Rhodesian:
Sometimes I blame Zimbabwe, or the guerrillas I hooked up with for robbing me of a normal life and turning me into a bad guy.  Truth is, I could have moved away, been a farmhand somewhere outside of Africa and lived a life of peace.  Sure, I had a nudge, but no one forced me into a life of violence.  I chose it.  I love it.

The Gal in the Blue Mask:
What was your childhood like?

The Rhodesian:
Are you my shrink or something?  My childhood was peaches and god damn cream until the aforementioned death of my family and the theft of our land.  We had a nice, wholesome, salt of the earth kind of lifestyle.  After that was taken away, I spent my teens training, killing, and stealing.  We lived in rebel camps in the bush, free from the softening influence of creature comforts.  When I was seventeen, I realized that Rhodesia was not coming back and I went off on my own as a soldier of fortune.

The Gal in the Blue Mask:
Were your actions the result of freedom of choice or of destiny?

The Rhodesian:
Destiny is bullshit.  Providence is nothing but a buzz word used by manipulative scumbags with an agenda.

The Gal in the Blue Mask:
If you could go back in time and change anything, would you?

The Rhodesian:
When I was a kid, I would have gone back and tried to save Rhodesia.  As a grown up, I'm not so, like, civic minded.  I'd probably just stop into the MTV award and pop a cap in Kanye's face when he disrespected Taylor Swift.  Hopefully that wouldn't weird her out.

The Gal in the Blue Mask:
What does your name mean to you?

The Rhodesian:
Only one person calls me by my Christian name, Jack.  To everyone else, I'm just The Rhodesian.  It kind of symbolizes that I'm a relic with no real place in the modern world.  Also, Rhodesian mercenaries were always admired for being skilled warriors, and I'm no slouch in that regard.

The Gal in the Blue Mask:
What scars, birthmarks, tattoos, or other identifying marks do you have?  What stories lie behind them?

The Rhodesian:
Scars?  You have a couple hours?

The Gal in the Blue Mask:
What was unique about the setting of your books and how did it enhance or take way from your story?

The Rhodesian:
Honestly, I thought it was pretty mundane for most of my life.  Just a bad, bad world.  Strong people killing weaker people to become stronger.  Crooked cops.  Greedy CEOs.  The natural order of things, you know?
            Then one day I get this weird job, the one to steal the ancient knives I mentioned earlier.  All of a sudden, there are all these whackos coming out of the woodwork for the same score I'm trying to land.  A psycho nun, a professional sadist, serial killers in love.  It was like the world just went god damn bonkers overnight.
            And then, if that ain't enough, turns out these knives, the Fangs of Wallachia they're called, are literally friggin magical.  They like, drain the life force of their victims and strengthen or heal up whoever's poking holes with them.

The Gal in the Blue Mask:
How does your enemy see you?

The Rhodesian:
Briefly, from behind a muzzle flash.

The Gal in the Blue Mask:
How does the author see you?

The Rhodesian:
He says I'm a tragic figure, lost in the world.  A ronin.  A man out of time, with no place to call home.
            What's he know?  He's nothing but a pampered, American, armchair intellectual.  Guy's never seen a firefight in his life.

The Gal in the Blue Mask:
Why do you think the author chose to write about your story?  Do you think they did a good job?

The Rhodesian:
I never trust writers, but allegedly he likes telling stories where there ain't clear heroes and villains, and where there ain't always a good decision to be made.  He's got this sadistic streak when it comes to exploring moral ambiguity and watching people squirm when they end up in no-win situations.
            Also, as much as he likes to come across as some deep thinker, at the end of the day, Lawson likes writing bloody, pulp garbage.  I suppose if you're gonna write stories buried in shell casings and corpses, I'm about the best dude to follow around.

The Gal in the Blue Mask:
What do you think about the ending?

The Rhodesian:
I suppose it was okay, but an epilogue with me, a million dollars, and a night with T. Swift would have been more, like, artistically sound.  At least in my humble opinion.

The Gal in the Blue Mask:
Do you think the author portrayed you accurately?  Would you change anything about the story told? Did they miss anything?

The Rhodesian:
Sure, he did fine.  Nothing missing.  He could have been a bit kinder and lied about the grays in my hair, but hey...

The Gal in the Blue Mask:
Have you read any of your authors' other works?  Any good?

The Rhodesian:
I'm more of a non-fiction kind of guy.  Military history.  Rock star memoirs.  Shit like that.  
            I did check out his book The Devoured, though.  I don't normally go in for fantasy garbage, but it was set in the Old West, just after the U.S. Civil War.  I like history and westerns, so I checked it out.  Liked the main character a lot - an old, grizzled Civil War vet on a killing spree to save his kid.  Even with all the horror, fantasy, and magic garbage mixed in there, it was pretty solid story.  Plenty of violence and attitude.


About the author:
Curtis M. Lawson is a writer of unapologetically weird, dark fiction and comics.  His work includes the Amazon best selling novel, It's a Bad, Bad, Bad, Bad WorldThe Devoured, and Mastema.
            Curtis is a member of the Horror Writer's Association, and the organizer of Wyrd live horror reading series.  He lives in Salem, MA with his wife and their son.  When he is not writing, Curtis enjoys tabletop RPGs, underground music, playing guitar, and the ocean.


About the book:
When the Vatican's top assassin, a Rhodesian merc, a pair of serial killer lovers, a dirty cop, and a professional sadist complete in a mad race for a pair of priceless magical artifacts, betrayal, theft, and murder are just the opening moves in a game of death.

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