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When Tristan Met Curtis

Updated: Sep 20, 2021

Hello all. Some time has passed, I know. It's been strange times over in Mockland but I come bearing news.


I've mentioned in various places about the Tristan audiobook which will be narrated by Curtis Michael. It will be released in November, somewhere between the 19th and the 30th. I'm awaiting to see if I'll be given the go ahead for a presale. I've put in the request. Marie will be doing another cover for me in September.


Also, I've made the decision to publish The Heart of a Dragon Tamer. For those of you who have read it, not to worry, I will leave the Harry Potter version up on AO3. I'll have to do some major rewriting of course (don't want JK Rowling to sue me) but I have been musing on this a long while and I think I finally know how. I'll create a new world-ish. There are plenty of shows and books with "Wizard Schools" so I'll be okay there so long as I make it my own, and I've already begun picking new names. Charlie will remain Charlie though. He's my absolute favorite Top. He'll be Charlie Westley, *wink* and then I get a bit of a nod to The Princess Bride. Sorta. I already have someone working on the cover. I'm going to madly get it ready for before the end of the year.


With all that said I have two things for you here. Number One is: The day Tristan met Curtis. I thought this would be a fun way to introduce everyone to Curtis. I feel so lucky that he'll be the one narrating Tristan. Everyone's going to love him I just know it. Curtis very kindly took his free time to help me out with this little story. I hope you enjoy!


Number Two is: Part I of a Tristan II Outtake. I've got about 20K worth of scenes that didn't make it into the book because while they work well on their own, as part of the story, they slowed it down. I had to remove them BUT you now get to enjoy them here. In Part I, it's something we are "told" happens but we get to see the events happen in real time. It's a lot of fun and so much Tristan banter. If you haven't read Tristan, the outtake will not make sense. If you have read Tristan but not Tristan II, I think you would be find to read it and then when you do read Tristan II, you'll have deeper knowledge of what's going on. There will be more parts! At least one more but maybe two or three depending on how I break it up.



Ta for now! Love to everyone!



THE DAY TRISTAN MET CURTIS


Tristan storms into my office. “Mock. You’ve got to be fucking kidding me.”
Arms crossed, pout set, Tristan eyes me with contempt. “What on Earth are you wearing?” I ignore his question. He’s always on about something. I’ve learned to edit half of what he says. “Why are you dressed like, Loki?”
It’s not Loki’s Asgard attire. It’s the black slacks, white, long-sleeved button down with tie from the Loki series. I wonder if this is because I just watched it—how does the imagination work anyway?—or if Tristan’s a fan? His sword is still attached to his back of course. He rarely sleeps without it nearby let alone go to any place without it.

Tristan giving Loki vibes

“Who’s Loki?” That answers that. “Anyway, I don’t have time for this. Mock, I was told someone’s impersonating me and I came to put a stop to it.”
“No one’s impersonating you. They’re narrating you. He’s coming by today. Wanna meet him?”
“Oh, I’ll meet him all right.” He leans back.
“Tristan. Be nice.”
He smirks. “I’m plenty nice. He’s the one not nice.”
“Good, Lord. Wait in that chair. I have work to do—and frankly so do you. We have a third story to write.”
He stares out the window, ignoring me.
Curtis rushes in. “Sorry, I’m late. It’s a long way from where I live.”
I came all the way from the first Elven realm, and I was early,” Tristan mutters. I don’t point out that he wasn’t told to be here. That he arrived uninvited.
“What’s with him?” Curtis leans over the counter to say.
I roll my eyes. “Dunno. Just go with it. He’ll warm up to you as we go.” I look at the brat to my right. “Actually Tristan, Curtis has been busy. He’s narrated Denial by Ki Brightly and M. D. Gregory, a book I know you’d love. You are not so different from Max, and JP would make you shiver in good ways. There’s also Amos Ridge by BL. Maxwell and he’s slated to narrate The Crow Flies Free and Clubbed this fall. Did you know?”
“Impersonating more people I see. Where does it end?”
“Uh, Mock?” Curtis raises his brows.
“Oh right. Yeah, he thinks you’re an impersonator,” I tell Curtis, wincing.
“But I’m not—”
“—doesn’t matter. He’ll just keep saying it.”
Tristan glares at Curtis.
“Tristan, why don’t you ask Curtis some questions? Get to know him.” I’m sure once he knows Curtis, they’ll get on famously.
“Love to. Curtis,” he says. Too much pressure on “Curtis.” “How long have you been impersonating—”
“Narrating—he’s a narrator,” I correct him. I’ll try.
“Right fine. How long you been narrating for?” He says narrating like he says impersonating though.
“It’s been just over one year. I’ve had the opportunity to stretch my vocal and technical skills from my theatre background to performing in a new context.” Curtis smiles when Tristan’s left speechless. “Does that please His Majesty?”
Tristan scowls and ignores him. Long, uncomfortable moments pass with the three of us staring at each other. I try to come up with something. “Tristan, you and Curtis both like cool swords.” I don’t know if that’s true for Curtis but I give him a look, begging him to go along with it.
He nods.
“I doubt Curtis has ever picked up a sword in his life. Tell me, how many heads have you chopped off?”
That was a disaster.
“Tristan,” Curtis tries. “You’re right. I’ve not … lobbed anyone’s head off with a sword. It’s illegal where I come from—”
“—no real world experiences. Mock, are you hearing this? How can someone who’s never used a sword properly tell stories about me?”
“I mean, I’ve never used a sword and I wrote the books,” I remind him.
“That’s beside the point,” Tristan says. “I was telling you the story.”
“Tristan,” Curtis tries again. “Maybe it will help if you know how much I admire you. I love your sass, your class and the mythical, mystical-ness of your story. I’ve been reading, studying up. You can count on me to make this epic.”
Tristan’s body language gives the impression that maybe he’d like to eviscerate Curtis. Tristan turns to me, not giving Curtis the time of day. Jeez. Poor Curtis. “I should tell the story. I don’t care how many accolades he has, Mock, or how handsome a face he has. If anyone should be reading my story, it’s me.”
“All right, fine. Curtis, I’m sorry. The deal’s off. Tristan will be reading for himself.”
Tristan’s smug—I know that look—and he lets Curtis know it, suddenly paying interest in him. “Guess you have no more need to be here, Curtis. A shame. We’ll miss you. Carry on.” He waves a hand at him.
“All right, I guess you win, Tristan. That’s too bad I spent a long while warming up this morning.”
“Warming up?” Tristan says.
“Yeah. Before you record you’ve got to spend around five to fifteen minutes warming up the vocals. Not to mention keeping yourself hydrated and healthy, on top of matching the energy of all characters in the story.” Curtis appraises Tristan pointedly.
“Sounds like a lot of work. Don’t you just read? How hard can it be?”
“Well no. You’ve got to put inflection into words and bring the author’s intention to life.”
“Right. The ‘author’s’ intention,” Tristan says, making air quotes around ‘author’s’ while I wonder where he learned to do that and definitely don’t feel insulted by Tristan’s dig. He thinks I have nothing to do with his storytelling. “That sounds complicated. Mock, I’m not doing any of that, so you know. Just reading. I don’t have time for all that. I’m a very busy person.”
“Oh and Tristan. Word of advice,” Curtis says. “It’s going to take you hours. It’ll cut into time you could be spent doing otherthings.” Curtis waggles his brows.
I stand back enjoying Tristan’s face transform from smugness to horror.
“How many hours we talking?” Tristan shrills.
“Hours and hours. And let’s not forget the time I spend improving my craft by taking acting classes, plus the coaching I receive regularly.”
Tristan looks like he’s contemplating his own death.
“Problem, Tristan?” Curtis asks.
He swallows. “No. No problem.” But he’s a lot less arrogant than when he walked in here.
“All right then, Curtis. I’m sure you’re busy—” I begin.
“—you know Curtis,” Tristan cuts in smoothly. “I was thinking… what was that you said about my mythical-mysticalness? I like that. I think you could really work with that.”
“Oh I could, could I?”
“Yeah.” Tristan turns to me. “Mock? I think you should rehire Curtis.”
“You do? You’re not worried he’s here to impersonate you?”
“Didn’t you hear a word he’s said? He’s been doing this for forever. He warms up his voice, he attends regular coaching for the Gods’ sake—which I assume is as grueling as training practice—and classes. Anyone who can take classes by choice gets my vote. I think he knows what he’s doing.”
“All right, Curtis. You’re hired back. If you still want the job that is?”
“Hmmmm. I dunno. Tristan’s the only one who can do his voice. Tristan’s the only one who can tell his story. I can’t even wield a sword.”
Tristan gets on his knees. He tugs at the hem of Curtis’s shirt. “Curtis. I’m sorry for what I said. I was just being a fucking brat. Please you’ve got to. You’re the only one who can do this properly.”
And Tristan doesn’t want to miss out on hours and hours of the stuff he likes to get up to.
Curtis takes pity on him. It’s hard not to. Tristan is a brat, but he makes up for it with his charm … which has kinda left the building today but the essence of it is always floating around. “All right. All right, Tristan. I’ll narrate your story for you. Get up here.”
Tristan stands, pleased with himself. “There you go, Mock.”
“There I go what? What did you do other than cause a scene and throw a tantrum?”
Tristan waves a hand at all that. I should really call in someone—Corrik would teach him. No, Corrik would be amused. Tristan’s put some kind of spell on him. Bayaden might at least give him the eye, but he’d be useless in this situation too. Especially with the way Tristan’s pouting. Alrik! Alrik would … do nothing more than pull him away to scold him but then end up with a Tristan cat on his lap. Dammit. Tristan’s found a way through his defenses too. I give up. “I don’t know what you’re upset about, Mock. We’ve got Curtis helping us and he’s a standup guy. The least you could do is offer him something to drink.”
I roll my eyes. “We agree on that. He’s a standup guy.”
“Scratch the drink, Mock. We’ll have tea or something later.” Tristan pulls his sword; Curtis and I jump at the ring of steel announcing its arrival to the room. “Come with me, Curtis. I’ll show you about swords. They’re heavy but you look like the sort who could get used to swinging one around.”
Curtis looks back at me helplessly as Tristan puts his arm around him, dragging Curtis off. I shrug my apology. “Um, see you in November, Curtis?”
*NOTE* The Crow Flies Free is written by Michael Robert
Clubbed is written by Robert A. Karl
I own both books. Currently reading The Crow Flies Free.

TRISTAN II OUTTAKE PART I: Tristan's New Clothes


Timeline: Just after Tristan is taken in the First Book, before Chapter 20. I'd place it just as Chapter 19 ended.
After I agree that Diekin is sufficiently healed, he’s taken away. I’m still sitting in a chair, naked, only now I’m in chains, my wrists and ankles shackled, my beautiful hair lifeless on the ground. I’d be lying if I said I didn’t want to cry over that. My hair is part of my identity or well, it was part of my identity. It’s not just hair on the ground, it’s a piece of Tristan hacked from me. “Give me some clothes, Andothair. And I want some for Diekin too.”
“I do not take orders from humans,” he says.
“Fine. Please may I have some clothing, Andothair?”
“No.”
“But I asked so nicely.”
“You are a slave now. It will be up to your master if you are to get clothing, or not.”
“Who said anything about slave? You said I was to be a manservant.” I’ll make a terrible manservant as it is and whoever is about to become the lucky recipient will find that out soon enough. But a slave? Oh boy.
“Potato. Potawtoe.” For some reason, he likes to mock me with Markaytian sayings.
“Whatever. May I at least have a bath? Look at me. I’m a disaster.”
“If my brother deigns it so, then yes.”
This is becoming an irritation. I scowl at him. Andothair smiles his cocky smile; there’s an impish gleam written there I don’t like but this time he's not looking at me, he's looking behind me.
A deep, rough voice cuts through our fun like a blade. He sounds as irritated as I am, but I can’t understand any of the Elvish he speaks. I know enough Elvish from what I’ve learned from Corrik and what I heard the Mortougian Elves speaking, that I can glean it’s a different dialect. When I look over to see the face attached to the angry tone, I forget how to breathe.
He’s older than Corrik by far.
Stop comparing him to Corrik. The two are nothing alike. Even the dominant presence in him, the one I’m beginning to develop the keenness to sense, is not like Corrik’s. This Elf carries himself like a heavy axe that will slice your head clean off. Corrik’s dominant nature is more like a graceful blade, swift and artistic.