She added her plate to the dishes in the sink when the black box caught her eye. She walked to the far end of the kitchen counter and picked it up, turning it over in her hands.
“I thought I set you down on the table last night,” she said aloud to the box. Her memory was still fuzzy as to when she had fallen asleep and what had been real. She lifted the lid and ran her eyes over the flawless rabbit inside. The ears were still intact.
Curious whether the exotic chocolate tasted as amazing as the bits of her dream had made it seem, she lifted the entire thing to her mouth and bit off a small chunk from the tail. Her teeth sank into the candy, and smooth caramel funneled out through the tear in the chocolate. As the sugary syrup ran down her chin, Trista dropped the lid on the counter and raised her now-free hand to her face, wiping her chin with her fingers.
This is even better than I imagined! The savory caramel blended with the rich chocolate, and she closed her eyes as she indulged in the delicious flavors and silky texture.
A quick pinch to the inside of her cheek made her wince in pain. She wondered if she had bitten her cheek somehow, but with her mouth partly open she felt another pinch on her tongue.
Ouch! What the hell? Something didn’t feel right. Her tongue felt…tingly.
Something flowed over her hand, and Trista looked down expecting to see caramel spilling out of the rabbit. Dark brown dribbled across her wrist, but it wasn’t caramel. A cluster of small, hairy spiders scrambled down her arm, pouring out of the center of the chocolate. Many of them fell to the floor, scurrying across the linoleum, crawling across her bare feet.
1. What does Easter mean to you? Do you celebrate with your family?
To me, Easter means that spring has arrived. It’s a time to celebrate the bright, new greens of the plants returning to life, the pastels of the fresh flowers in bloom, and the promise of a silver lining throughout the year.
Every Easter, I like to make a cake, dye eggs with the kids, and let them do an egg hunt of some sort. Egg hunts don’t excite me the way they used to. I’m guessing it’s because here in the country we go on egg hunts all year round, collecting eggs from our chickens, ducks, guineas, and geese. The Easter hunts usually involve plastic, candy-filled eggs with all the cousins at a family gathering. And even though I know the point of the holiday doesn’t revolve around baskets of candy, I love using it as an excuse to give the kids a few gifts—coloring books, crayons, chalk, and bubbles are some of my favorite things to give at Easter.
…okay, I admit it. The celebrations and gift-giving are a cover. What Easter truly means to me can be summed up in four words: Reese’s Peanut Butter Eggs.
2. What does storytelling mean to you? Why do you write?
Storytelling is passion. It’s a passion for creatures and people—living, dead, or fictional. For places, events, and ideas. For emotions and addictions and fandoms. For words and thoughts and run-on sentences because the excitement is so great, one can’t be bothered to slow down. Someone asked me once, “What are you passionate about?” They told me what they loved most in a conversation was to really feel the emotion shining through the words, the connection that person had with the topic. I talked his ear off for two hours about my book, and I’ve come to realize…that’s storytelling. That’s what it’s all about. So for me, storytelling means being passionate and showing the world how much you care about your stories.
Why do I write… Great question. I write to remember. I write because these incredible people and creatures come to me in my dreams and I don’t want to forget them. I’ve written off and on for my entire life, but the night I dreamed of the Dragon King was the night it became serious. His story was too great, and I would have been selfish to keep it all to myself. I like to imagine that, somewhere out there, all of these amazing people truly exist, and my job as a writer is to record their lives. Knowledge is life for a character. Here’s how I think of it: if I’m the only one who knows all about these characters, they’re just my imagination and I’m just oddly obsessed. But if the world knows all about these characters, they become real and I’m…well, still obsessed, but understandably so.
3. Describe yourself eating your favorite chocolate in third person.
One. She had planned on savoring the bite, but in her excitement, she forgets. It barely passes her lips when she sinks her teeth into chocolate and peanut butter alike; within seconds, it’s gone. Two. She remembers this time, and allows it to sit on her tongue, a royal drop of decadence on a moist throne. Three. Her eyes close involuntarily as her mind attempts to comprehend the smooth peanut butter which had been so delicately shrouded in milk chocolate and wrapped in a colorful candy shell. Four, five, six. The love is too great, and discipline has vanished. Twenty-one, twenty-two. Her stomach growls, but not in hunger…in protest. Twenty-five. Her hand goes to her head, and she remembers this is not the first time she’s made herself sick. She’s had enough, and she aims the bag away from her hand to dissuade herself from taking more. She knows her limits and she must adhere to them.
Forty-two. Oops. It appears the allure of the M&M is too great for her.