Randy Henderson is joining us today with his novel Bigfootloose and Finn Fancy Free. Here’s the publisher’s description:
In Bigfootloose and Finn Fancy Free, the sequel to Randy Henderson’s acclaimed debut novel, Finn Fancy Necromancy, Finn Gramaraye is settling back into the real world after his twenty-five-year-long imprisonment in the otherworld of the Fey. He’s fallen in love again with Dawn, the girl next door who waited for him. He’s proved his innocence of the original crime of Dark Necromancy, and he’s finding a place in the family business–operating a mortuary for the Arcane, managing the magical energies left behind when an Arcane being dies to prevent it from harming the mundane world.
But Finn wants more. Or different. Or something. He’s figured out how to use the Kinfinder device created by his half-mad father to find people’s True Love, and he’d like to convert that into an Arcane Dating Service. It’s a great idea. Everyone wants True Love! Unfortunately, trouble always seems to find Finn, and when he agrees to help his friend, the Bigfoot named Sal, they walk right into a Feyblood rebellion against the Arcane Ruling Council, a rebellion being fomented by unknown forces and fueled by the drug created by Finn’s own grandfather.
What’s Randy’s favorite bit?
My favorite bit about Bigfootloose? I think overall I loved the evolution of Finn’s relationship with his girlfriend, Dawn.
Without getting too spoilery, in the first draft of Bigfootloose, their relationship went in a particular direction that was a nice counterbalance to the other romantic subplots in the book: namely, Finn trying to find true love for the sasquatch, Sal; and the relationship of Finn’s brother Pete and his waer-squirrel girlfriend, Vee. But while it was a good arc dramatically and plot-wise, I wasn’t happy with it. And then I realized why.
Dawn was developing in my head and heart into a true second protagonist. I suddenly realized I had moved from writing Finn’s adventure, to wanting to take them both in the direction of those classic detective couples romantic comedies. Nick and Nora. Remington Steele. Hart to Hart. Moonlighting.
So they might be perfect for each other. As long as Finn doesn’t screw it up, that is. Which he just might. I honestly can’t keep him from saying and doing stupid things.
And assuming Dawn survives.
Anyway, here’s a couple of (slightly abridged) exchanges between Finn and Dawn.
“You okay?” Dawn asked behind me.
I turned, and put on my best smile. “Do bears bare? Do bees be?”
Dawn’s eyes narrowed. “Uh huh. Want to try that again?”
“Really, I’m fine—” I said.
“Sure. Get your stubborn man butt over here.” Before I could protest, Dawn pulled me into a hug.
I gave a resigned sigh, and returned the hug as much to humor her as anything. But as I stood there holding her, being held, tears leaked out.
“I understand, you know,” Dawn said. “Well, kind of. It wasn’t easy, watching Dad fade away.” Her own voice took on the edge of tears. “But at least your father is healthy. And you have Vee to help read his memories. And potions, and all kinds of real magic I don’t even know about yet. I’m sure you’ll find a way to help him.”
I kneaded my fingers into her shoulder in acknowledgment, then took a deep breath of her candy and coconut scent, exhaled slowly, and stepped back.
“About our date today—” I began.
“Oh no,” Dawn said. “Don’t go trying to sneak your way out of our plans now, it was hard enough agreeing on a time to begin with.”
“That’s because you have twenty-seven jobs.”
“I only have one job, sir,” Dawn said. “And I’m well on my way to being named café queen in charge of making all the granola, thank you very much. Who needs more than that?”
“Well, you have the animal shelter, and reading Tarot, I consider those jobs. And—”
“Yeah, yeah.” Dawn put her hands on her hips in a dramatic manner. “And don’t forget that I keep the streets safe at night as Awesome Girl, too.”
“Hey!” I said. “You’re not supposed to tell me that! You’re supposed to protect me by keeping me ignorant of your identity. Well, until I’m kidnapped to use against you that is.”
“Damn. You’re right. And you would look adorable in a short skirt and wet T-shirt, tied up and oh-so-helpless, waiting for rescue.” Dawn got a mischievous grin. “Hmmm. If you don’t have something better planned, I think I have an idea of what we could do later.” She waggled her eyebrows at me.
“I’m not sure I have a skirt that would work,” I replied.
“Are you sure? Don’t lie on my account, I’m totally fine if you do. I seem to remember you wearing eyeliner and dangling earrings in high school.”
“That was the eighties, and it was cool,” I said, crossing my arms.
“Uh huh,” Dawn replied. “Well, I have plenty of skirts for you.”
“And a superhero costume for yourself?”
“Are you kidding?” Dawn said, thrusting out her chest and lifting her chin. “I have three.”
I laughed. “Of course you do. Okay. The date is still on.”
And excerpt number two:
“Damn you and your stubbornness,” I said to Dawn, and pulled off my shirt, pressing it to her wound.
Dawn began to shiver, and said with chattering teeth, “If I w-weren’t stubborn, I w-wouldn’t still b-be with you,”
“Ha ha. How about you use it for something good and don’t die on me then,” I said, and helped her as we marched down the tunnel. “Because if you do, you know I’ll summon you up and chew you out.”
We hurried as well as Dawn could manage. The feybloods used the tunnels heavily, so best not to linger, especially with Dawn leaking blood. Her steps grew increasingly heavy and sluggish, her eyes drooping.
I shook her. “Hey. Talk to me.”
“What was that thing?” Dawn asked finally, her words slurred.
“A jor?gumo. Rare, and very dangerous.”
“Gee, really? I’ll be careful then.”
“You can start by not attacking her next time.”
“Hey, I saved your cute little butt. That means I own it now, both cute little buns, hon.” She sounded drunk now. After several steps, she asked, “Why the hell was a jor?gumo thingy attacking you?”
“I don’t know,” I said. “But I plan to find out.”
“Don’t sound so unhappy,” Dawn said. “Looks like you’re finally popular!”
“Oh, yeah, it’s awesome. I love the ‘who’s trying to kill Finn’ game.”
“Oh, that’s easy,” Dawn replied in a sleepy voice. “Clowns. Trust me, you dig deep enough, you’re going to find out it’s clowns.”
“I’ll keep that in mind.”
“You do tha—” Her voice faded out, and she slumped against me.
“Hey!” I said, panic rising in my chest. “Stay with me!” I summoned up my magic, and gave her a slight jolt of my own life energy.
Her head jerked back up, and she blinked. “Did you just ask me to live with you?” she asked, and we continued to stumble forward together.
“Sure. You can share my twin bed.”
“I’m the luckiest,” Dawn mumbled.
Randy Henderson is an author, milkshake connoisseur, Writers of the Future grand prize winner, relapsed sarcasm addict, and Clarion West graduate.