MAD ABOUT THE HATTER: MAD MAGIC
It has been a banner year for author Sheri Williams, busy as she had been publishing several of her work in the last few months alone. But she took time to share with us her newest hero, Hatter who appears in her book, “Mad Magic: The Untold Story of the Mad Hatter.”
This is not your mother’s Wonderland. What happens when you take a beloved children’s book character, give him a back story and a provocative demeanor, and update him to the 21st century? You get a thoroughly charismatic Mad Hatter that goes well beyond what Lewis Carroll ever imagined. When Addy meets a mysterious man, literally from her dreams, she thinks she is doing a good deed by taking care of him, but, in the end, who is saving whom? In the fight to save Wonderland, Addy not only discovers a world that exists beneath her own, but the secrets within her as well. Author Sheri Williams’ debut novel is sexy, fun, and adventurous. She artfully weaves a tale full of romance and action to set the stage for the beloved characters to come to life in a new and exciting way.
CHARACTER INTERVIEW: CONSTANTINE BAINBRIDGE
It was one of those perfect Saturday morning, where the weather was just the right level of coolness and warmth. I stood outside the hedge maze, refusing to go in alone. Knowing my complete lack of sense of direction, I would be a hundred years old before I found my way out. But Mr. Bainbridge wanted to meet here, and since I need a story, even with my doubts, I agreed.
I yelped. Where did he come from? I turned around, and leaning against the seven-foot hedge was Mr. Constantine Bainbridge. He insisted I call him Con or Hatter during our numerous e-mail exchanges (he was not an easy man to pin down) but I just can’t say his name, as if saying it would conjure—magic. I knew I was being ridiculous but I couldn’t help it.
“Yes, lovely. And so are the gardens,” I responded while I was still recovering from a mini-heart attack.
“One can get lost in these for days,” he said as he went inside the maze, disappearing from my sight. I stayed rooted to my spot, deciding whether to follow him or not. But the thought of losing my job if I don’t speak to Mr. Bainbridge propelled me. He kept walking, not checking whether I was going to follow him or not.
When he did not say anything for minutes, nor did he stop going deeper into the maze, I finally asked, “Um, should we start?”
“Sure, fire away.”
I dug through my purse for my iPhone, so I could record the interview. “Ok, um. What is your idea of perfect happiness?”
He finally stopped walking while I was breathless from trying to keep up with his long strides. “That kind of interview, eh?”
I shrugged my shoulders, wondering what he expected me to ask, and I was too flustered to offer a coherent response.
When I did not answer, he started walking again. He was silent for a long time, but a few times he looked up at the clear, cloudless sky. “The siting room, a fire, a cup of tea. Hathaway on my shoulder and Addy curled up next to me reading aloud.”
I stopped walking, entranced at the way his face changed when he spoke of his source of happiness, especially when he mentioned Addy. She was one lucky girl. I broke into a jog, trying to catch up to him. I don’t think Mr. Bainbridge knew how to stop moving. Even when he was standing still his hands grabbed the hedge, pulling a stick and swinging it against the bushes.
“What is your greatest fear?” I continued.
“The greyness coming back. The not knowing.” His hands clenched on his sides as if he was recalling something unpleasant. I waited for him to add more. He didn’t.
“What character flaw do you hate most in yourself?”
He laughed at my question, as if it was an inside joke. “The madness. It’s a love/hate thing. It brings me comfort as a continued part of me, but at the same time it mixes things up, and makes me forget.”
I wanted to press on but the look on his face made me stop, so I changed the direction of the conversation, “Tell me about Addy.”
He turned to me but I could tell he wasn’t really seeing me. His eyes were glazed, probably with visions of the beautiful Addy.
“Ah, Addy,” he sighed. It was the kind of sigh made of sweet memories, and definitely not something I expected from him. “She is simply perfect. She taught me a lot of things, you know. Like courage, and standing up for what I believe. She is—my savior. In all possible ways. Though her taste may be suspect. She says she loves my ginger hair.”
I looked at his hair. I’ve never seen quite that kind of color but I had to agree with Addy, it is lovely. While I was contemplating his hair, he suddenly stopped walking that I almost bumped into him.
We were outside the hedge. “How did you do that?” I asked amazed that while I thought we were going deeper into the maze, we were actually going out of it.
“Magic,” he said as he turned around the corner. I followed him but he was gone.
Sheri Williams is a wife, mom and a writer. Her love of writing was born at a young age, and the move to all romance, all the time, has a direct link to piles of old Harlequin books her mom tried unsuccessfully to hide. It took a while and a bit of luck, but now that she has got her hand in the publishing world, she’d planning on world domination. With multiple books coming out before the end of this year, and a handful planned out for next year, her evil scheme seems to be in motion already.
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