Today, we interview a character from Edmond Manning’s King John, a man named Alistair Robertson. Alistair attended the last six Burning Man events and this year, has a mission while attending Burning Man, 2002.
Alistair: Well, I wouldn’t really call it a mission, mate.
Interviewer: No? Did you not reveal to me a few moments ago this is your third year looking for the king maker?
Alistair (shifting uncomfortably): Yes, I mean, yes, I said that, right but, that’s not quite…I mean, I wouldn’t call it a mission. More like a hobby.
Interviewer: You’re looking for one guy at Burning Man and you don’t know his name. This is your third year looking for him. That sounds obsessive enough to be a mission.
Alistair: Well, I believe I know his last name.
Interviewer: Why is finding this guy so important to you?
Alistair: Well, I would argue it’s not, yeah? But I’m curious about him. I met someone a few years ago, a man who this guy kinged.
Alistair: Don’t bloody ask me to explain it, mate, I barely understand the word. But this bloke, Liam, well, he told me and a few others his story of being kinged by this garage mechanic. And as he told this insane story during the night, Liam began to change. He’s a tall man, a big square man, but he grew taller. He grew more…there was light coming from inside him. These crimson sparks kept crackling around him. Against the desert sky of Burning Man, he looked like a constellation all his own. I had never seen anything like it.
Interviewer: Sounds very trippy. Were you high?
Alistair: Why do people keep asking that? Yes, I was high, but marijuana does not cause hallucinations. I bloody well know what I saw, yeah?
Interviewer: By your regular use of bloody and mate, I think we can safely assume you’re British.
Alistair: English. British refers to anywhere in the British Isles. English means you grew up in England, which I did. It would be like me calling you Americans “North Americans,” when you prefer to be identified as citizens of the States.
Interviewer: Where in England did you grow up?
Alistair: Wembley, which is about thirty minutes northwest of London. Lots of apartment buildings and whatnot. Not terribly famous except for Wembley Stadium and the Wembley Arena.
Interviewer: Who plays at Wembley Stadium?
Alistair: The England national football team plays their home games there, but I don’t really follow football, yeah?
Interviewer: And you live in the United States now?
Alistair: Yeah. Me mum is always after me to move back home and I will, I’m sure. But I like it here. Of course, it’s always complicated, yeah? I did my schooling here in the states and so I can’t go home and instantly be a barrister. Which was a shortsighted mistake at the time. I have a ton of school loans.
Interviewer: Ha—for a minute there, you almost sounded like an American. You lost your accent for a moment.
Alistair: Did I? Bloody hell. Consequence of living too many years in the Midwest. I’m going to fookin’ sound like you people in another ten years.
Interviewer: And what exactly do you like about Burning Man? You said this is your sixth year in attendance, right?
Alistair: I love it. I do. Crazy-arse blokes and birds, all chuffed about their costumes, their cars, their ability to truly be themselves. It’s brilliant, really. I find it hard to be myself, yeah? And yet, all these people show up and walk around naked or in bird costumes, or whatnot. These people know their onions when it comes to metal-working and sculpture, how to—
Interviewer: Know their onions?
Alistair: Oh, it means knowledgeable, yeah? English expression.
Interviewer: Never heard it.
Alistair: Grandmother used to say it, yeah? Guess I picked it up. Burning Man to me is this bonkers places where up is down and down is up. You get to be anyone you want to be, whether that is a powerful desert survivalist or you want to be a fluffy kitten. Everyone is welcome, yeah? I need that in my life.
Interviewer: Is that why you want to find the king maker? To have him help you become someone different out in the desert?
Alistair (chuckling): No, mate. Nothing that dramatic. I mostly don’t even believe he can do anything. What’s this wonky business, “Once there was a tribe where every man was the one true king and every woman the one true queen?” Couldn’t exist. Arse over elbows, I say. Completely nutters.
Interviewer: Arse over elbows? Another English expression?
Alistair (laughing): Something like that, yeah.
Interviewer: What will you do if you find this king maker?
Alistair: I have a couple questions for him, yeah? How did he do to Liam what he did? Why does he do it? Does he only do it at Burning Man? Can he king just anyone or does it have to be someone special? How special? Does it always take the same amount of time? What if he thinks he can’t make it happen, does he just sod off?
Interviewer: Wow, you are full of questions.
Alistair: I like answers. I’m a lawyer, yeah? I need to know things.
Interviewer: Okay, but if you could only ask him one question—one question—what would it be?
Alistair (rubs chin): I guess I’d want to know the roots and origins of these tales, and how he got started—why he got started doing this thing he’s doing—and if it matters to him that he—
Interviewer: One question.
Alistair: Seriously, mate? One?
Interviewer: Yes. Only one.
Alistair (shifts uncomfortably): Well, then, I guess I’d ask this. Would you king me?
Edmond Manning is the author of the romance series, The Lost and Founds. The books in this series include King Perry, King Mai (a 2014 Lambda Literary finalist), The Butterfly King, and King John. King John takes place at Burning Man.
Winner’s Prize: An eBook copy of King John
(Leave a Comment here and then click the link below)
King John Rafflecopter Giveaway
Where to get your copy of King John:
King John on Amazon
About King John:
English attorney Alistair Robertson can’t quite believe an astonishing tale of kingship and transformation he hears at Burning Man, the annual counter-culture art festival in the Black Rock desert. Who are the Found Kings? Is “being kinged” as magical as it sounds?
Determined to find the mysterious garage mechanic named Vin who helps men “remember who they were always meant to be,” Alistair catches his quarry amid the extravagant sculptures, fire worshipers, mutant cars, and lavish costumes. After searching for three years, he’ll finally get to ask the question burning inside him: “Will you king me?”
Wandering together through the desert, Vin Vanbly and Alistair explore Burning Man’s gifting culture and exotic traditions, where they meet the best and worst of their fellow burners. Alistair’s overconfidence in Vin’s manipulative power collides with Vin’s obsessive need to save a sixteen-year-old runaway from a nightmarish fate, and the two men spiral in uncontrollable, explosive directions.
In this fourth adventure of The Lost and Founds, beneath the sweltering summer sun and the six billion midnight stars, one truth emerges, searing itself on their hearts: in the desert, everything burns.
King John Blog Tour:
Mon, Sept 7 My Fiction Nook
Mon, Sept 7 AJ Rose Books pre-release excerpt #1
Tues, Sept 8 Thorny, Not Prickly pre-release excerpt #2
Wed, Sept 9 Love Out Loud pre-release excerpt #3
Thurs, Sept 10 Facebook Release Party, 7p-9p Central, hosted by Bike Book Reviews
Fri, Sept 11 Reviews by Amos Lassen
Sat, Sept 12 Vanessa North.com
Tues, Sept 15 MM Good Book Reviews
Wed, Sept 16 The Novel Approach
Thurs, Sept 17 Purple Rose Tea House
Fri, Sept 18 Posy Roberts.com
Sat, Sept 19 Zipper Rippers
Tues, Sept 22 Joyfully Jay
Wed, Sept 23 Boys In Our Books
Thurs, Sept 24 It’s About the Book
Fri, Sept 25 Lou Harper.com
Sat, Sept 26 Love Bytes Reviews
Sun, Sept 27 Sinfully Addicted to Male Romance
Mon, Sept 28 Josephine Myles.com
Tues, Sept 29 Molly Lolly
Wed, Sept 30 Coffee and Porn in the Morning
Wed, Sept 30 Stumbling Over Chaos
Thurs, Oct 1 The Blogger Girls Reviews
Sat, Oct 3 Because Two Men Are Better Than One
Sun, Oct 4 The Hat Party!
Fri, Oct 2 Jessewave
Mon, Oct 5 Prism Book Alliance
Tues, Oct 6 Jaycee Edward.com
Wed, Oct 7 Hearts on Fire Book Reviews