Character Interview: A Perilous Journey of Danger & Mayhem—The Final Gambit
On the occasion of the publication of The Final Gambit, the third installment of the Perilous Journey of Danger & Mayhem trilogy, author Christopher Healy will be interviewed by one of the characters from that series, humble ashman turned heroic sidekick, Jasper Bloom.
Jasper: Okay, I will not take offense to being called a character, because I most certainly am one—as in, look at that Jasper Bloom, ain’t he charming, he is such a character. Nor do I have any problem with most of the other words in that sentence: Humble? Yes. Heroic? Yes. Ashman? Well, to be truthful, I got fired from my job at the ash dump after I missed several days of work on account of I was helping save a certain pair of children from a certain villain who tried to destroy New York in the first book of a certain series. But anyways, I must note my objection to the term, “sidekick.” Jasper Bloom is not sidekick material. Now, if you wanna call Balthazar Birdhouse a sidekick, well, you’d better think twice about that too, ‘cause the man wouldn’t take kindly to it. One time at the dump, I referred to him as my “handy helper” and the man swore revenge with a scheme that involved a water hose, three grapefruit, and an angry chihuahua. You shoulda seen the way—
Christopher Healy: Um, Jasper? Excuse me, but aren’t you supposed to be asking me questions?
Jasper: I’m getting to it! For someone whose job is making up words, you sure don’t want anybody else getting any in, do you?
Christopher Healy: That’s not what I—
Jasper: So, tell me: Why did you set your story in 1883?
Christopher Healy: It was the Golden Age of Invention. And this is a story that revolves greatly around inventors and their inventions. But 1883 was also a very difficult time in history for women to get recognized for their work, which is why so many of the characters—
Jasper: Thank you! I would have also accepted, “Because that’s when Jasper Bloom was around.” Next question! Tell me some new and exciting bits of business from this third book that we haven’t seen in the first two books. I apologize—that wasn’t really a question. It was more of a command. But I do expect you to follow through on it.
Christopher Healy: Well, there are cowboys. And a museum heist. And a swamp man.
Jasper: Ooh, like one of them monsters that are all green and weedy and shamble around like an angry salad?
Christopher Healy: I think you’re thinking of the trolls from my other books. No, this is just a man who lives in a swamp in Florida.
Jasper: Ooh, I lived in a Florida swamp once too. If by “Florida,” you mean “Central Park.” And by “swamp,” you mean “a big flowerpot.” And by “lived in” you mean “fell asleep in after I got tired of chasing Balthazar Birdhouse all over the city and shouting at him to give me my good spatula back.”
Christopher Healy: I didn’t mean any of that.
Jasper: Fair enough. So, tell me. Is there going to be another Perilous Journey book after The Final Gambit?
Christopher Healy: No. That’s why it’s called The Final Gambit.
Jasper: Hmmph! Tell that to Sherlock Holmes! Man appears in a story called “The Final Problem,” falls off a cliff, and then—abra-kazam!—he’s in like forty more stories after that.
Christopher Healy: Um, that’s true, but—Hey, wait a minute. The character of Sherlock Holmes wasn’t even created until 1887. How do you know about—
Jasper: That’s all the time we have for today, folks! In closing, I would just like to say that this book series, A Perilous Journey of Danger & Mayhem, has a whole lot more than just danger and mayhem. It’s got action and humor and mystery. It’s got flying vehicles, and talking robots, and heroic ashmen (though not in nearly enough scenes, if you ask my humble opinion). It’s got devious, villainous scoundrels that try to pull off some nasty stuff that even Balthazar Birdhouse would think twice before trying. It’s got exotic locations, like Antarctica and Ohio. It’s got historical folks like Thomas Edison and Chester A. Arthur and other people who act in way you might not be expecting them to act if you’ve only ever read about them in history books. And it’s got a couple of spunky kid heroes that even a man of my expertise and abilities is constantly impressed by. I suggest you read it.
Christopher Healy: Why, thank you, Jasper. That was very kind of you to say.
Jasper: You are most welcome. Now, if I could just grab you for a moment, I have a spinoff idea I would like to run by you.
Published December 1st, 2020 by Walden Pond Press
About the Book: The thrilling conclusion to Christopher Healy‘s funny, action-packed, acclaimed alt-history adventure!
It is 1884, and Molly and Cassandra Pepper, Emmett Lee, and Emmett’s long-lost father are sailing back to New York following their death-defying adventure in Antarctica. Having discovered a subterranean world at the South Pole while saving the world from certain doom once again, surely their accomplishments will finally earn them the recognition they deserve.
Unless, of course…well, you know by now.
And so do the Peppers and Lees. They’re used to having their deeds covered up by the government in order to protect powerful men, and frankly, they’re sick of it. And when their return to New York doesn’t go the way they’d planned, they decide that maybe it’s best to go into hiding and accept that, perhaps, the forces aligned against them are just too great.
As the 1884 presidential election approaches, however, our heroes discover a plot against leading candidate Thomas Edison that only they can stop. It’ll be up to them to decide whether to come out of hiding, make the perilous journey to Washington, DC, and do the right thing one last time. Even if it means risking everything they have left.
About the Author: Christopher Healy is the author of The Hero’s Guide to Saving Your Kingdom series and A Perilous Journey of Danger & Mayhem trilogy. Before becoming a writer, he worked as an actor, an ad copywriter, a toy store display designer, a fact-checker, a dishwasher, a journalist, a costume shop clothing stitcher, a children’s entertainment reviewer, and a haunted house zombie. He lives in New Jersey with his wife, two children, and a dog named Duncan. You can visit him online at www.christopherhealy.com.
Thank you, Christopher, for this hilarious piece–anyone who reads it can see the humor that you bring to your adventures!