NR: I’d like to welcome two very special people. Lawson Gale and Jack Brighton, from my next release, Imago. Please take a seat.
*both men sit. Lawson looks around the room, taking in every detail. Jack just smiles. Lawson is wearing a blue button down chino shirt with a navy blue bowtie, navy trousers. His hair is perfect. Jack is wearing jeans, boots, and an old T-shirt. His scruffy hair is not perfect.*
Jack: Hi. Nice to be here.
NR: Okay, so let me introduce you properly. People are yet to meet you, and they’re excited. Lawson, I’ll start with you.
Lawson: *tries not to cringe and fails* If you must.
NR: I must. You’re a lepidopterist. Can you explain to our readers what that is?
Lawson: I study butterflies and moths. Though I specialise in butterflies.
NR: And this field of study takes you to Tasmania, where you met Jack.
Lawson: *looks at Jack and smiles* Yes, that’s correct.
NR: And Jack, you work with the Parks & Wildlife. But that’s not where you met, was it?
Jack: Nope. I met him on a plane from Melbourne to Launceston.
Lawson: *his brow furrows* That’s not entirely correct. We saw each other on the plane. You laughed at me, remember? Then you tried to trample me into the aisle. We technically met at the airport in Launceston.
Jack: *looks at Lawson with the patience of a saint* Well, yes. But I didn’t laugh at you. I made a lame mental joke about jerking off. *Lawson’s mouth falls open. Jack smiles* And I didn’t trample you into the aisle. I bumped into you, quite by accident.
Lawson: *unamused* Casu consulto.
Jack: *again with the patience of a saint thing* And that means…?
Lawson: It’s Latin for accidently on purpose.
Jack: *sighs* I didn’t bump into you intentionally, but I’m glad I did.
Lawson: *rolls eyes* Then you lied to me and told me the Museum in Launceston was on your way.
Jack: That wasn’t exactly a lie. And anyway, I don’t regret it. Because it gave me an excuse to spend time with you.
NR: *clears throat* So, um, what was your first impression of each other?
Lawson: I thought he was a serial killer.
Jack: It’s true. He did. My first impression of Lawson was that he was unlike any guy I’d ever seen before. Well, that and the bowtie. I was a goner.
Lawson: *smiles at Jack* He likes suspenders too.
Jack: *shifts in seat and clears throat* That’s true, also.
NR: *looks at Lawson* You thought he was a serial killer but you went with him anyway? I thought you were supposed to be a genius?
Lawson: *looks at Jack* I told you this would happen.
Jack: *laughs loudly* He came with me because he needed a lift.
Lawson: And he was cute. With a dimple when he smiled.
NR: *nods slowly* A cute serial killer. Got it.
Lawson: *peers at NR’s notepad* With a dimple when he smiled. You didn’t write that.
NR: *amends interview*
NR: *looks at Jack* Let me guess. You find him endearing.
Jack: *laughs* Completely.
Lawson: I’m sorry, was there a point to this interview?
NR: *clears throat* Yes, actually. Valentine’s Day is coming up and I was wondering what you two had planned…
Jack: *blinks. Twice.*
Lawson: *looks at Jack* Well?”
Jack: *looks at Lawson* Well, what?”
Lawson: What do you have planned?
Jack: *puts hand to his chest* Why do I have to be the one to plan something?
Lawson: *takes a moment to look duly offended* You haven’t organised anything?
Jack: Not yet, but you know I will. *looks to NR for help*
NR: *looks at Lawson, panic struck* This is true. Jack has organised some incredible dates in the past.
Lawson: True… *smiles at Jack* The dates he’s taken me on have been remarkable.
NR: Shall we tell our readers any more on what happens in Imago?
Jack: Yes, good idea.
Lawson: Well, that would be redundant if you want them to read the book.
NR: We won’t tell them everything. Just a little taste.
*both Lawson and Jack blush*
NR: Okay, so maybe ‘taste’ was the wrong word…
Jack: *clears throat* Well, Imago takes place in Scottsdale, Tasmania.
Lawson: Yes. And I stay in Jack’s hometown to search for a butterfly. That’s where the remarkable dates take place.
NR: And what does Imago mean? It’s an unusual word.
Lawson: How is it unusual? To whose standard?
Lawson: *scowls* That’s hardly―
Jack: I think she means it’s not a common word, to the uninitiated.
Lawson: *turns to Jack* Why didn’t she say that?
NR: *raises eyebrow at Jack* Is he still endearing?
Jack: *laughs* Totally.
Lawson: *ignores NR and sniffs* Imago is the final and fully developed adult stage of an insect, typically winged.
NR: That’s so apt!
Lawson: Of course you’d say that. You named the book.
NR: *shrugs* True. So tell me, have you guys met each other’s families yet?
Jack: Nope. That happens in the sequel, right?
Lawson: *leans in* He’s not nervous. How can he not be nervous?
Jack: I don’t know why I’m not. I figure if you’re happy with me, they’ll be happy with me. I don’t know why you’re so nervous. I told you my folks’ll love you.
Lawson: I tend to get off on the wrong foot with people. People think I’m strange.
Jack: No they don’t. People love you.
Lawson: *raises one eyebrow at Jack* Everyone I work with hates me.
Jack: Because they’re mostly idiots. We’ve established this. Well, the people you used to work with. You don’t work with them anymore.
Lawson: *tilts head thoughtfully* They had above average intelligence, so they weren’t actually idiots. But yes, they were…
NR: *snorts* And how’s the work going now, Lawson?
Lawson: Very well. *frowns for a moment, then turns back to Jack* I’d like to revisit our earlier conversation pertaining to Valentine’s Day.
Lawson: I think I’d like to do something we’ve not done before.
Jack: *smirk* And that is?
Lawson: *smiles ridiculously* Guess.
Jack: Rock climbing? Skiff sailing on Hobart Harbour? Horse riding?
Lawson: *pales more with each suggestion* I was going to say dancing.
Jack: *squints at Lawson* Dancing?
Lawson: Yes, as in moves-to-music. You’ve not taken me dancing.
Jack: *looks at NR, not amused* Dancing? I don’t know how I’ll ever thank you…
Lawson: It wasn’t NR’s idea. It was mine.
Jack: *takes Lawson’s hand* Lawson, I don’t dance. Well, actually, I can’t dance, more to the point.
Lawson: Everyone can dance. The degree of ability is a factor on how well one dances, but everyone can dance. *seems to ponder a moment* I should add a disclaimer that being able-bodied is also a factor.
Jack: *acts like this is normal conversation* Well, I am able-bodied…
Lawson: *blushes* Yes, you are.
Jack: But it’s my ability to dance that is sorely lacking.
Lawson: I don’t believe you.
Jack: Well, I’m sure there’s university footage of a Peter Garrett impersonation somewhere.
Lawson: *blinks* Oh.
Lawson: But I’m talking of slow-dancing.
Jack: *looks horrified* Waltzing?
Lawson: No, just slow dancing. *takes out phone and scrolls through screen*
Jack: What are you doing? Are you Googling Peter Garrett dance impersonations?
Lawson: *snorts* No. *stands up and put phone on seat*
Jack: Uh, Lawson.
Lawson: *holds out hand to Jack*
Jack: *is scared*
Lawson: *waits with hand out for Jack*
Jack: *sighs but takes Lawson’s hand and reluctantly stands*
Lawson: *presses play on phone*
<music starts to play>
Jack: What song is this?
Lawson: *pulls Jack close* Wicked Game, by James McMorrow. Now just put your arms around me, and move with me. Can you feel the beat?
Jack: *does what Lawson says* I can feel something.
NR: *watches the two men slow dance, and stands up slowly* I’ll just be going…
Jack: *nuzzles Lawson’s ear*
Lawson: *runs hand down over Jack’s arse*
NR: *is awkward* Right then. Thanks for your time…
Lawson: *hums something to Jack*
NR: *gets to the door* Maybe next time we can do an actual interview.
Lawson: *still slow-dancing, looks up to Jack*
Jack: *slowly pressed his lips to Lawson’s*
NR: *opens door and walks out* Bloody characters. Never do what they’re supposed to.
YouTube link to version of Wicked Game they dance to https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uUaRPpnsfb4
For your chance to win an ARC of Imago, comment with the name of the song that makes you want to get up and boogie!
Out February 21 2017
Local Parks and Wildlife officer, Jack Brighton, is an ordinary guy who loves his life in the sleepy town of Scottsdale. Along with his Border collie dog, Rosemary, his job, and good friends, he has enough to keep from being lonely.
But then he meets Lawson, and he knows he’s met someone special. There’s more to catching butterflies, Jack realises. Sometimes the most elusive creatures wear bowties, and sometimes they can’t be caught at all.
Lawson soon learns there are butterflies he can’t learn about it in books. They exist only in a touch, in a kiss, in a smile. He just has to let go first, so these butterflies can fly.
Imago is the story of finding love, bowties, and butterflies.