AUDIENCE CHEERS AND CLAPS
Sexy Deep Voiced Announcer: And here is your host… the Princess herself, the Lady of Literature…the Tiger Princess!
AUDIENCE CHEERS AND CLAPS AS THE TIGER PRINCESS ENTERS AND MOVES TO THE DAIS, WAVING AND SMILING.
Tiger Princess: Thank you, Mr. A! Well, what can I say about today’s guest? He’s a mystery man who has a wicked sense of humour and a strangely compelling way of writing, as well as a long suffering girlfriend! Put your hands together and join me in greeting Robblogger!
AUDIENCE CHEERS AND CLAPS
|Robblogger - Man of Mystery...|
ROBBLOGGER, WEARING A BLACK AND WHITE STRIPED MASK, BLACK SUIT AND RED LINED CAPE APPEARS AT THE TOP OF THE STAIRS.
COLLECTING A PAIR OF BRUNETTES IN SPANGLY SHOWGIRL OUTFITS, ROBBLOGGER MAKES HIS ENTRANCE.
HE PAUSES ON THE STAGE TO SWEEP A DRAMATIC FLOURISH OF HIS CAPE TO THE AUDIENCE, BEFORE KISSING THE GIRLS ON THE CHEEK AND STEPPING UP TO JOIN THE TIGER PRINCESS ON THE DAIS.
Tiger Princess: Welcome to The World of The Tiger Princess, Robblogger. I see you come in disguise.
Robblogger: Thank you for having me. I’ll tell you why I’m wearing the mask later…
Tiger Princess: Fair enough. So, on with the show…
ROBBLOGGER BOWS AND THEY BOTH SIT DOWN.
Tiger Princess: What age did you start writing? Why?
Robblogger: My friends and I would play Dungeons and Dragons, and they would put their fantasy lives in my hands. I acted as Dungeon Master. A wonder I didn’t get involved in S & M play at a later age with a lofty title like that.
The Dungeon Master, for the uninitiated, creates the world for his friends, who would remain virgins many years after they should have, due to evidence I will soon present, and party due to their predilection for wanting to be dwarves and elves.
Well I would write these rich histories for even the smallest of characters. I’d spend the week between sessions trying to figure out the Halfling by the fire’s motivation for ordering mead rather than ale, and agonizing over whether or not he smoked a pipe. Where the tobacco came from? The economic and social relationship of tobacco producers in the Kingdom, and a thousand other details, all occupied my time.
I lived in Northern Ontario, there wasn’t a lot to do in my hometown, population 1 000.
The barmaid would often be an orphan, an antique broach around her neck bearing the seal of an ancient noble family, would be the clue my intrepid adventurers would need to set them off on a grand adventure.
Instead we spent a lot of time in discussions like this:
My best friend who would be a virgin until at least 20: “I want to sleep with the barmaid. My Priest’s charisma is 16. What do I have to roll to seduce her?”
My other friend who I think is still a virgin: “I’ll try to pick her pockets, I’m a 9th level thief, and I’ve got a 75 % chance of success. Then with the money I get from her I’ll offer it back to her to sleep with me.”
Me: You notice a worn talisman around her neck...
Virgin 20: I rolled a 14 is that modified by my comeliness? Did I sleep with her? What was it like?
Still a Virgin: I’ll steal the talisman. Then tell her if she doesn’t sleep with me she’s not getting it back. Or I’ll wait until she’s sleeping with the Priest, then I’ll take the talisman and offer it to another barmaid to sleep with me.
Then I turned 16 and realized that playing with girls was more fun than conjuring wenches for my friends to exploit. And I packed in the 20 sided dice, but kept writing.
Yikes just yikes that was a looooong answer I’ll try to keep them shorter!
Tiger Princess: Why did you choose to use your Internet Name for a Pen Name?
Robblogger: My girlfriend is only now finding out how strange I am. I’ve kept it pretty well concealed for years. I believe she secretly lives in terror of anyone finding out she has decided to spend her life with someone who thinks filling a condom with pennies is pretty funny. I remain anonymous to protect her anonymity.
That was much better, shorter, and relatively on topic.
Tiger Princess: Would you ever use your real name for your writing?
Robblogger: If I did I would likely find myself single, so no plans at the moment to reveal my secret identity. And my girlfriend can do this thing with her tongue... let’s move on...
Tiger Princess: That explains the mask!
Robblogger: Exactly. Robblogger allows me to vent, to say the most outrageous things. By nature I am actually fairly introverted.
Tiger Princess: How much writing do you do on a daily basis?
Robblogger: I’m not a disciplined writer. One day I might write 5 000 words, then nothing for a week, and then I’ll write a novel in a month.
Doing the blog has been good for me. It forces me to write every day, except when I do six or seven posts in an afternoon.
I’m incredibly lazy, punctuated by periods of extreme ambitiousness, or ambitiousocity.
Tiger Princess: If you could meet any writer (living or dead), who would it be and why?
Robblogger: I’ve met quite a few celebrities, and people I admire, and almost without exception they’ve disappointed me.
I had an encounter not entirely suitable for a family audience, with Cliff Claven, the lovable mailman from Cheers. I found out he enjoys having a high heel pressed against a body part you wouldn’t think a man would enjoy having a high heel pressed against.
So I’m not sure I’d want to meet any of my favorite writers.
But I love Leonard Cohen. “Beautiful Losers” is one of my favorite novels. I think he would be fun to hang out with. I bet he knows girls in Montreal that would do things I can’t even talk my girlfriend into on my birthday
Tiger Princess: Which tools do you prefer to write with – Paper / Ink or Computer / Keyboard and Why?
Robblogger: It depends on what I’m writing. If I’m writing Robblogger nonsense I like the computer. If I’m writing personal stuff, or serious stuff, I like a note pad and a felt tip pen. I love drawing a line through a sentence that isn’t working, or putting a bold X through an entire paragraph I don’t like.
Tiger Princess: Why write about travelling if you aren’t going to Travel?
Robblogger: I don’t want to give away too much! Anyone out there that wants the answer to that question will have to find ninety nine cents.
Tiger Princess: Did you enjoy the experience of watching Coronation Street?
Robblogger: I actually love foreign television. I’d watch Coronation Street again, I did enjoy it. Most of the time I spent giggling a bit and trying to figure out why it was so incredibly popular in the UK.
My conclusion is, it’s a soap opera about average people, well average to ugly people. And they have lives less interesting than mine?
Maybe that’s the point it’s relatable, and as a smoker my teeth aren’t as white as they could be. Watching these nightmares made me feel pretty good about myself.
Tiger Princess: Why didn’t you watch the TV shows of any of the other countries as well?
Robblogger: You are a demanding Mistress. I bet you would have made a great Dungeon Master.
Tiger Princess: I wasn’t too bad at it… Answer the question!
Robblogger: GRINS It was purely coincidental that I caught Coronation Street. My girlfriend and I have an ongoing battle over TV channels.
I’ll add all these Spanish channels to our favorites list. The next time I’m flipping around I find that she’s removed it all. Spanish variety shows look like so much fun. One minute children are balancing eggs on spoons, and the next there are nineteen year olds in bikinis wrestling. And everyone looks like they’re having so much fun!
Tiger Princess: Do you think that E-books / E-Readers will kill off Paper books?
Tiger Princess: I like that song too, just don’t give up your day job for singing, okay?
ROBBLOGGER LOOKS SHEEPISH
Tiger Princess: Is there going to be a sequel to “Don’t Go There”?
Robblogger: I can definitely say that maybe, possibly, one day, I am not adverse to the idea of thinking about a sequel.
Actually it’s entirely likely. I loved writing it!
Tiger Princess: And Finally – if you won the Booker Prize, how would you celebrate?
Robblogger: I have to be perfectly honest. I don’t even know what the Booker Prize is. If there’s cash involved, I’d likely order a pizza and buy myself something nice, because it’s likely I deserved it
Tiger Princess: Thank you for being on the show.
Robblogger: And thank you for interviewing me. If you ever hit it big and are in the market for a sidekick, I’m slightly effeminate enough to appeal to most women.
Tiger Princess: LOOKS THOUGHTFUL I’ll keep you in mind!
AUDIENCE LAUGHS THEN BREAKS INTO A STANDING OVATION.
Tiger Princess: And that's all we have time for right now. See y'all soon, in The World of the Tiger Princess!
“Don’t Go there!” has a refreshingly simple way of looking at the countries of the world. Instead of enumerating the many wonderful things of each country, Robblogger looks at why we shouldn’t go to each country.
I particularly liked the foreword, explaining his motivation for writing this e-book:
“What’s this dubious literary offering all about? Besides a pretty clever way to part you from ninety nine cents, my girlfriend has always wanted to travel. I care for the idea of travelling about as much as I care for the idea of soaking my head in a sink full of electric eels. Travel appeals to me not very much at all, slightly less than not very much at all, to be brutally honest.
So the birth of this e-book was my girlfriend suggesting countries we should visit. And me finding creative ways to convince her that visiting each proposed country wouldn't be fun.”
He is remarkably persuasive and honest about his opinion of each place. I have no idea if he managed to achieve his stated goal of convincing his girlfriend not to travel, but I definitely enjoyed the journey the book took me on!
Despite the tongue-in-cheekiness’ of his humour, Robblogger’s assessment of each country is informative and interesting. Of course, being an English native, I immediately turned to England to see what he thought of us:
“Windsor Castle and LEGOLAND in one day. Is that even safe or socially responsible? Dragging the kids around a thousand year old castle while they whine: Can we go to Legoland now? Is it time to go to LEGOLAND now? When are we going to LEGOLAND?”
This made me laugh out loud (I’m glad no one was in the room when I was reading this) because it’s almost exactly what I thought when my partner suggested we go to Windsor Castle during the summer for a family daytrip…
And his evaluation of our TV Shows was right on the money! He actually watched a whole episode of Coronation Street in the course of his research into England…
“One of their most popular television shows is Coronation Street. I was unfortunate enough to catch an episode of this questionable program. It’s a soap opera featuring the unattractive, and none of the stars have seen the inside of a dentist’s office, I am sure.
The residents of Coronation Street spend a lot of time in a bar, getting drunk enough to sleep with each other, and in the episode I saw the big crisis was a broken washing machine.
The acting in American soaps is pretty poor, but I don’t think the stars of Coronation Street could even get a part in an American fifth grade Thanksgiving Day Pageant. Even with the accent, and the historically accurate teeth, I don’t think they could pull off Pilgrims convincingly.”
…Now if that isn’t perseverance, I don’t know what is!
Of all the ten countries Robblogger summarised, I think I would like to visit Australia the most, but even that has it’s down sides… and no, I’m not going to tell you what he’s written about the country, because for the minimal price of 99 cents you can pick yourself up a copy to read it.
Do I recommend you read this?
Yes, I do.
In the first place it’s a great way of travelling without shifting from your chair, and in the second place, it’s actually pretty useful, if you are going to be travelling to any of the places Robblogger talks about. Most Guidebooks gush about the scenery and attractions; this one tells you the hard facts, but without scaring you.
“Don’t Go There” only has one flaw… it’s too short! I would have loved to hear what Robblogger thought of Italy or Kenya or Japan, so all I can hope is that there will be a sequel.
*looks pointedly in Robblogger's direction*
I hope you enjoy it as much as I did!
To Buy a Copy
Just slip into his blog… Inspired by Caffeine & Nicotine and hit the buy now button!