Today, I would like to introduce you to a truly interesting character. Ziggy Swift is in the process of writing his own autobiography and today he’s going to share a little of it with us.
Make sure you stick around to the end. There’s a pretty decent contest at the end!
Jackie: Hello Ziggy!
Ziggy Swift: greetings captain Jackie.
Jackie: We’ve known each other for awhile, but for my readers, could you tell us a little bit about you?
Ziggy Swift: a little about me? I’m bald.
Jackie: could you give us a little more? What do you want people to know about you?
Ziggy Swift: oh, I like to hit things. big things, little things, live things, dead things. One time I hit a hippo and he got mad… lets see… oh, I have a friend name Tun who’s a grimlock. he doesn’t have eyes but he smells good. well, he sniffs good, he smells horrible. We killed worgs together once. OH, and I’m also a zeppelin pilot, or I was until I crashed it into a dragon.
Jackie: You crashed a zeppelin into a dragon…what happened?
Ziggy Swift: He didn’t like the cargo, so he popped us, then we landed in a swamp. Then trolls chased us and we got eated by a worm. That’s where I met my friend Grunn. he was makin armor in the worm.
Ziggy Swift: don’t worry tho, we turned the dragon to stone later on and he fell and broke.
Jackie: It sounds like you have a few interesting friends. Have you known them for long?
Jackie: Have you met any other interesting people during your travels?
Ziggy Swift: I met lots of people after I left my tribe. I met Semus, Kip and Tun in Q’al Tahn, then I met some elves who were sorta rude, then I met Kibbel the ogre. He smells worse than Tun and is dumber than llama dung… Lets see… I also met Grunn’s half brother Mongo- he’s a biiiig halforc who’s almost as dumb as Kibbel. Mongo makes booze in his tub. Mongo, Kibbel and I fought in the arena together- Good times.
Jackie: Have you met any wizards? What has been your experience with them?
Ziggy Swift: I’ve met a couple, but only trust a few. There was this one wizard, Leopoldo, who was a bad bad man. I accidentally stole his amulet and raised an undead army. They thought my brain looked tasty, so after the killed Leopoldo, they tried to eat me. That’s how I ended up in Willis- I ran. That’s where I met Burmat and Readby. Readby is just a sorcerer- he insists he’s not a wizard, but they both make things go boom, so I don’t get the difference. Burmat I knew for a long time before I found out we were related- if he would have took off the fake beard sooner I woulda known earlier- Neither of us can grow hair. He wears a fake beard because all great wizards have beards. OOH, then there’s Astinathis- Leopoldo worked for him. Astinathis was the guy who ripped open the world and killed my tribe’s ancestors. He’s a bad man, a very bad man…
Jackie: Did you know you were raising an undead army at the time?
Ziggy Swift: well, no.. what happened was Leopoldo was staying at the Inn where I was a stableboy. Every night he’d run off for several hours, then come back before dawn. Each night he’d take his saddle bags with him. Did I mention he was rude. One night he came back sorta dazed and forgot his bags, so I looked inside and BOOM IT’S A fireTRAP! After I stomped out the hayfires, I saw a sealed envelope had fallen out of the bag, so I held it up to a candle to see inside. Then the envelope caught on fire so I dropped it and stomped it out. That’s when I found the amulet. It was all covered with horse poo and ash, so I wiped it off. that’s when the skull eyes started to glow. I thought it was cool, so I kept doing it. I didn’t know it was gonna raise every body in the graveyard outside of town, and I didn’t know that they were gonna try to kill me for raising them. I felt bad because my boss clayton got killed by zombies. His wife blamed me, that’s why I never came back after running to Willis.
Jackie: So that’s how you got to Willis. I always wondered, but how did you end up with Clayton? I don’t think I’ve heard this story.
Ziggy Swift: Well, when I left my tribe, I went off to find other humans (they were all gnomish barbarians who raised me as their own). I was told to stay away from Willis because the king was evil, and Devitt was the safest human city to travel to. When I first got there, I got a job as a lumberjack working for a mean half-orc named Charles… it didn’t really work out (showed up hung over for my first day, mistook cement mix for soap in my bath, and killed his pet spider), so Clayton hired me as a stableboy since I had experience dealing with animals.
Jackie: What kind of experience have you had with animals?
Ziggy Swift: I raised sheep and pigs when I lived with the halflings in Q’al Tahn. Semus and his sheepdog Kip took care of the flock, and they taught me how to be a shepherd. They were the first non-gnomes I met.
Jackie: So when you’re not running from the undead, tending animals or killing dragons, what else do you like to do? Do you have any hobbies?
Ziggy Swift: Hobbies? like hitting things? I like to hit things. I got special clubs for hitting different things- My adopted father left me his Vorpal club- I chopped off a worg’s head with it. Oh, and I have a club named Damien who’s good at burning things, and a club named Frosty that freezes stuff. One time I hit a troll with Damien and he wasn’t real happy about it.
Jackie: Oh boy…Damien and Frosty. I’ve heard a lot about those two. Can you introduce them to the rest of my readers?
Ziggy Swift: … they’re clubs. I hit things with them.
Jackie: Okay….what kind of things would you hit them with? I’m assuming in your travels that you’ve come across a few monsters. Have they been with you during those times or did they join you afterwards? What kind of monsters have you encountered?
Ziggy Swift: The worst monster I’ve ever met is Astinathis. He may be human, but he’s the biggest monster I’ve ever met. He destroyed two civilizations because they were inconvenient. He turned King Vern into a paranoid tyrant and terrorized the people of Willis- the entire region- for over 200 years. I’d rather see him dead than any troll or goblin.
Jackie: He has destroyed two civilizations? Did you witness any of these acts?
Ziggy Swift: no, but they’re documented. He’s responsible for the rift that tore open the world and devoured Korinara and all of his rivals. He is responsible for the fog of death that enveloped Burlendown and poisoned the land for generations.
Jackie: What’s this rift you’re talking about? Fog of death?
Ziggy Swift: a long time ago there was a floating city called korinara- that’s where the wizards gathered. Astinathis was exiled, grew powerful, the ripped open reality and overlayed it with the plane of chaos. The wizards in the city were unable to use there magic and were slaughtered by the beasts within. The edge of the rift is called the Dark Curtain. Burlendown was a gnomish city that was near Korinara. When the council refused to turn over refugee wizards, Astinathis cast a spell that killed ever living creature in the city.
Jackie: Considering the world you live in, I take it you have quite a few stories to tell. How much of it are we going to see in you autobiography The Autobiography of Ziggy Swift: The Rise?
Ziggy Swift: The Rise is only half the story. Things sorta go downhill for me after that- that’s where The Autobiography of Ziggy Swift: The Fall will come in. I sorta go to a dark place before things get better.
Jackie: You have been an amazing Ziggy! Thank you for taking the time to answer my question, but before we leave, can I ask you one more question?
Ziggy Swift: No…wait…yes.
Jackie: I have to ask because it’s just that bizarre, but what kind of underwear does everybody wear?
Ziggy Swift: underwhat? oooh, you mean like armor? I usually just wear chainmail- it’s got some magic hoodoo on it so it looks like clothing. I don’t know about the others, but I’m sure Mongo, Grunn, Kibbel and Tun haven’t washed them in the last year- they’re not partial to baths.
So what did you guys think? Ziggy is an interesting character and he’s one I’ve been dealing with for a while. Ziggy Swift is the main character from Jesse’s (the hubby) novel in progress. He started working on The Autobiography of Ziggy Swift: The Rise during NaNoWriMo 2008 and has been slowly polishing it up. He was generous enough to let me post an excerpt, which will be showing up shortly, but since today is April Fools Day, I figured he would be a good interviewee. Strangely enough, today Ziggy was a lot more coherent in this interview than I’ve seen him in months. On any normal day, he’s more apt to be talking gibberish. Here’s one such conversation he had with my artist (the man behind the LE eye):
Ziggy: I’m waiting like a stalking butler
Jordan: someone take that candlestick away from ziggy
Ziggy: this is the weirdest candle I’ve ever seen – I don’t see how you light it because there’s no wick. Your mom had a whole drawer full of them.
And because Ziggy didn’t think I talked about his Vorpal Club enough, here’s:
Ziggy: yay I just decapitated a worg with my vorpal club.
Ziggy: I ROCK.
Krox: or is it just vorpal in ziggy’s eyes?
Ziggy: The vorpal blade went snicker-snack! He left it dead, and with its head He went galumphing back.
Ziggy: it decapitates. no need for an edge, just gotta make sure it’s properly lubed with elbow grease.
Ziggy: perhaps you need a vorpal stapler?
Contest Time! No Fooling. For putting everyone through a Ziggy conversation, I’m offering up something from my contest stack. How does a signed copy of Kim Harrison’s Dead Witch Walking sound? This is coming straight from my recent journey to Grand Rapids when she came to town, so it’s brand spanking fresh. And who knows, there may be something added to it now that Ziggy is thinking about participating in the contest. Anyway, to get your name in the drawing, all you have to do is ask Ziggy a question. He’ll be bouncing in and out during the day and he’ll answer any question you throw at him. Just be warned, if you start asking about his characters, he’s going to get confused. Afterall, this is his autobiography and to him it’s not fictional.
As always, there’s more ways of getting your name in the hat (remember, these aren’t mandatory to enter, just extra entries):
- +1 for each place you post about today’s contest on your blog, social network, or anywhere you can. Digg it, stumble it, twit it, share it with the world. Wherever you share it, make sure you add a link to it along with your answer.
- +1 to any review you comment on, however, comments must be meaningful. Just give me the title of the review and I’ll be able to figure it out from there.
- +1 Join the Literary Escapism Facebook page and/or follow LE on Twitter
- +10 Purchase any print novel through LE’s Amazon store sometime during this contest and send a copy of the receipt VIA email for your purchase to: myjaxon AT gmail DOT com. Each purchase is worth ten entries, but it has to be through the LE Amazon Link.
I have not been contacting winners, so you will need to check back to see if you’ve won.