Saturday, July 28, 2012

Blackbrooke Blog Tour: Character Interview & Giveaway

Welcome to our stop on the blog tour for Emma Silver's Blackbrooke, hosted by Book Me! Today we'll be chatting with Denzil, Blackbrooke resident and owner of Tales from the Crits, your one-stop shopping center for all things Crits-related. You can read our reviews of the book here. There's also an awesome giveaway, so read on!

By Emma Silver
Crooked Cat Publishing
Goodreads | Amazon

Synopsis: I live in Blackbrooke and you would have had to be living under a rock to never have heard of it before now. This town is different to most others…Humans aren’t the only residents…”

The residents of Blackbrooke share their town with the Creatures, or Crits as they are known. Grotesque, roaming the streets at night looking for food, their presence means humans have to live by the Rules, keeping them indoors and forbidding them of basic desires.

The most important Rule?

Don’t be a ‘walk out’!

Straight-A student, Liberty Connor, hates the Crits and the endless Rules she and her tight knit group of friends have to live by.

Planning her new life on the Outside with her boyfriend, Gabriel, Liberty whiles away her days waiting to turn 18, so they can leave and be free. That is, until the world she thinks she knows begins to unravel…

Her friends start to walk out. So she’s told. However, something’s not right. Things don’t add up.

Liberty faces a race against time to discover what’s going on with the Creatures of Blackbrooke.

Is it them she has to fear, or something much closer to home?

Blackbrooke is a Young Adult horror novel that has you on the edge of your seat.

Our Interview with Denzil

Welcome to Rally The Readers, Denzil! Thank you for taking the time to answer a few questions for us today. To start with, could you tell us a little bit about yourself?

Not a lot to tell. I’m a teenager trapped in an old, decaying body. Seriously, I caught myself letting out a sound when I bent over to pick something up yesterday. It’s depressing. Erm, what else? I own Tales from the Crits which is Blackbrooke’s one and only souvenir shop for the tourists. It’s a royal pain in the arse but it’s been in the family for years so I don’t have a lot of choice in the matter. Bloody hell, I sound a bit grumpy, don’t I? I’m just a free spirit, an old soul that’s fallen between the cracks of Blackbrooke that no one remembers or notices. Suits me just fine.

If it’s not too personal of a question, can you tell us a little about your family? Have you ever wanted to walk out yourself?

Walking out is a mug’s game. Only the weak walk out and you’ll never, ever catch me doing it. I wouldn’t give those Crits the satisfaction, they already rob enough from us. I don’t have any family left. My parents walked out when I was in my teens and my grandmother died soon after so I was just left to it. I don’t know why my parents did it and I don’t really want to know.

We're really sorry about what happened to your family. Have you ever thought about just leaving Blackbrooke for the Outside?

Oh yeah definitely but . . . who’d look after the shop? I mean, don’t get me wrong, it drives me mad but I couldn’t just leave it. If I did get out of here though, I’d probably head to somewhere with a really laid back atmosphere. The Australian tourists are always a laugh so that would be a good place to start. I mean its a country that counts koala bears as one of their national animals and aren’t the little critters always high as a kite on eucalyptus? Gotta love that.

You seem to have quite a few connections on the Outside (very handy when you need, say, an axe or a machete in a hurry). Can you discuss your Outside contacts, or is that information confidential?

It’s confidential but you look like the type I can trust . . . . It works because I sometimes get advance orders from tourists before they get here, just in case they get all of the way here and I’ve ran out of precious ‘I heart Crits’ t-shirts or some other crap like that. If I can get online then I can strike up a bit of banter over email or I can call them. All of the emails are monitored for some reason so there’s a code I use in order to decipher whether they have some of the things I’m looking for. It’s easier over the phone. The bigger items get delivered at the border and border control just think its stock so don’t bat an eyelid. I’ve been making that trip everyday for the last twenty years so they’ve got no reason to suspect anything. It’s a well-oiled machine.

It certainly sounds like you have an effective system in place there. What do you think of Outsiders in general?

Ah, they’re alright. Some are really weird. Like Blackbrooke fanatics or something, but most are just curious and excited to be there. I do take advantage of them a bit. Promise them exclusive tours in exchange for various things but they love it. As long as I’m not hurting anyone and they leave with a smile on their face at the end of the day, then I don’t really care what I tell them. I once told one woman that I fought two Hunters and killed them with my bare hands. She was gorgeous and I couldn’t resist. If it wasn’t for Outsiders I wouldn’t have had any . . . ahem, action for the last twenty years so yeah, you could say I quite like them!

You're really too much, Denzil! We can only imagine the stories you could tell us. Here's a topic for you: Blackbrooke isn’t your average, ordinary town. What is the weirdest thing you’ve ever seen?

It’s off the chart for weirdness. I don’t know, I did once see some Watchers ripping another Watcher to shreds in the middle of the street, outside the shop. That was disturbing. It was like they didn’t care it was one of their own. They pulled at it until it completely ripped in two. I shouldn’t be surprised, they’re disgusting, but it just left me feeling strange.

That must have been a horrible sight. We'd probably scream our heads off at the mere sight of a Crit, never mind witnessing them attacking each other like that. What is your least favorite Crit and why?

Hate the Watchers obviously but the Queens are the frightening ones. Only because no one really knows what they’re capable of or how they kill people. They’re apparently the worst of the lot.

Your employee, Liberty Connor, describes you as a hippie. Do you consider yourself one?

Does she now? What else has that little rat been saying? Yeah, I suppose I am. It’s not deliberate though, I just go with the flow. Ended up getting tattooed in an act of rebellion when I was in my late teens and early twenties. That’s another Outsider favour. I don’t think there’s anyone else in this town with a tattoo. I don’t do anything or dress in a certain way for anyone other than myself. It’s just the style I like. As for the dreadlocks, they started to happen naturally after years of not brushing or washing my hair. Sorry, that’s disgusting isn’t it? I don’t claim to be a catch though.

The origin of your dreadlocks is definitely, um, unique. Speaking of Liberty Bell, as you call her, what was your first impression of her the day that she walked into your shop?

Jumped up little shit. Sorry, am I allowed to swear? Well, she was. Should have seen the state of her, trying to be all grown up. I do believe she threatened to have me closed down. She was witty for a twelve year old though, gave as good as she got. I think she liked that I wasn’t automatically nice to her and disagreed with most of the things she said. So, like any other bad smell, I couldn’t get rid of her. Nah, she’s a good kid. Good friend actually and she works bloody hard. Don’t print that bit though, if she reads it she’ll get a big head.

Don't worry. We won't say a thing to Liberty. *Wink* How is business going at Tales from the Crits, by the way? Are there any funny customer stories you’d like to share?

Business is alright. The winter is never as good as the summer because there’s only one coach party allowed in a day because of the limited daylight. They have to get the hell out of here at least an hour before it goes dark for obvious reasons. Probably the funniest story was when I was about 23 and a group of American college kids came over. More money than sense, hence being able to afford a ticket in the first place. Anyway, they were a laugh and turns out they brought some goodies with them so I let them stay overnight even though its against the Rules. We ended up playing strip poker and were high off the strongest weed I’ve ever had in my life, but then one of the girls started to get seriously paranoid. She must have been hallucinating or something because she became convinced I was a Crit who was going to eat her. I ran after her, downstairs onto the shop floor. There she was in her knickers and bra and I had to prise her fingers off the front door before she could run out into the night. She was at a ninety-degree angle to the door as a few of us tried to pull her back. That was a close call, imagine if she’d got out? Nightmare. They managed to sneak onto another coach the day after to get out.

You do lead an interesting life, Denzil. Is there anything else that you’d like people to know about you?

Yes, I make the best cup of tea in all the land. Seriously, I dare you to challenge me. I’m the master of the brew. Lib isn’t so bad either but she learned from the best . . . .

We don't doubt that for a second. And now for the obligatory random questions:

Favorite band?

Red Hot Chili Peppers

Favorite item you sell in the shop?

It has to be the Crit snow globes that clearly say ‘Made in China’ on the bottom.

Coffee or tea?

Are you seriously asking me that?

Biggest regret in life?

Not fighting harder for something I really wanted. But that was a long time ago and I’m over it.

Best thing that’s ever happened to you?

Erm, I’m not sure I can say . . . okay, you know when you really like someone and they notice you for the first time and you get that look, or that first smile? That’s the best thing. Yeah, that’s probably been my favourite moment in life and I doubt I’ll get it again.

Thank you again for chatting with us today, Denzil! We really appreciate your time!

a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. Awesome Interview, Ladies! So jealous you got to sit down with Denzil! Must have been a blast! ;) Thanks for participating in the tour!!

    1. We loved interviewing him! His answers were priceless.

  2. Excellent interview, sounds... intriguing.... ;-)
    Thanks for the help with the link by the way!

    1. Denzil is an intriguing character, to say the least, lol.


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