Friday, 6 February 2015

The Perils of Character Upgrades - Cecilia Busby

I was sorting through some old box files recently, and I came across the following correspondence from a few years ago. I thought it made a salutary tale - just in case any of you were approached by this outfit. Forewarned is forearmed, as they say...

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Character UPgrades, inc.
New Caledonia 
Dear C.J. Busby,

I am a fan of your Spell series books for children, but I find King Arthur altogether too wet as a character. I would be pleased to offer you a free upgrade to his acumen, fighting skills, strength and agility. Please email me his character profile and I will endeavour to have him returned to you within the week. Satisfaction guaranteed.

Yours, etc.



Character UPgrades, inc.
New Caledonia
Dera C.J. Busby,

Here is your new SuperUPgrade King Arthur character. We hope you will have many hours of fun with him. Please mention us to all your friends when they comment on the new improved version. Our rates are extremely reasonable and satisfaction is guaranteed.

Yours, etc.




Character UPgrades, inc.
New Caledonia
Dear C.J. Busby,

I am sorry you feel your SuperUPgrade King Arthur character is not performing to specifications. However, from your description, I would say he is fulfilling every expectation of the upgrade. He is now a much better swordsman and in effect unbeatable by any other knight in Camelot. I am sorry that as a result Sir Lancelot has gone off in a huff and refuses to be part of the story any more. However, I feel that is your issue to deal with and is entirely down to the flaws in Lancelot's original character specification. I can offer you a once-only 50% discounted upgrade to Lancelot. If you wish to take up my offer please email me the character profile and I will invoice you via PayPal. Satisfaction is guaranteed.

Yours, etc.




Character UPgrades, inc.
New Caledonia
Dear C.J. Busby,

Here is your new SuperUPgrade Lancelot character. We hope you will have many hours of fun with him. Please mention us to all your friends when they comment on the new improved version. Our rates are extremely reasonable and satisfaction is guaranteed.

Yours, etc.



Character UPgrades, inc.
New Caledonia
Dear C.J. Busby,

As clearly laid out in the terms and conditions to which you were deemed a consenting party by virtue of mailing us your character specifications, the actions of our upgraded characters are entirely the responsibility of their author and no liability can be accepted on behalf of UPgrades, inc. We delivered a fully compliant Lancelot character who was willing to be beaten in single combat by your SuperUPgrade King Arthur. It is in no way the responsibility of this company that the resulting plot lines have come unravelled. Character UPgrade, inc. did not include a 'bard theme' in the upgraded specification, so Lancelot's subsequent decision to become a wandering minstrel is obviously a result of character flaws that were part of the original specification. We are, however, willing to perform a tricky overwrite on your Guinivere and Arthur characters so as to smooth over the resulting strife you are experiencing in your story. This is a specialist job, however, and we cannot offer it to you for less than full price plus overtime calculated at 150% plus VAT. Please mail your character specifications by return for complete satisfaction guaranteed.

Yours, etc.



Character UPgrades, inc.
New Caledonia
Dear C.J. Busby,

Here is your new SuperUPgrade Guinivere and SuperUPgrade Mark II Arthur character. We hope you will agree they are now in complete harmony and we hope have many hours of fun with them. Please mention us to all your friends when they comment on the new improved version. Our rates are extremely reasonable and satisfaction is guaranteed.

Yours, etc.



Character UPgrades, inc.
New Caledonia


Dear C.J. Busby,

Unfortunately, it is impossible to return your characters to their original specification as the original data has been permanently over-written. Have a nice day.

Yours, etc.


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All illustrations copyright David Wyatt.


C.J. Busby writes fantasy adventures for children aged 7-12. Her Spell series (from which these illustrations are taken) follows the adventures of accident-prone would-be wizard apprentice Max Pendragon and his sister Olivia in their attempts to save King Arthur from the plotting of his evil sister Morgana le Fay.


"Great fun - made me chortle!" (Diana Wynne Jones)










The first book in her latest series, Deep Amber, was published in March 2014 by Templar.



"A rift-hoping romp with great wit, charm and pace" (Frances Hardinge)









www.cjbusby.co.uk

 @ceciliabusby

7 comments:

Anonymous said...

This is totally brilliant! I love it. Thanks for the distraction and amusement! Deborah x

Sue Purkiss said...

Brilliant!

Nick Green said...

Fantastic! I can appreciate it all the more having read some of the books with my kids... Sometimes the dynamics between characters are more important than what the character might be like in isolation. It's all in the blend.

replicas relogios said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Penny Dolan said...

Nice post! Well explained (?), Celia.

julia jones said...

love it - very funny. Glad we are not still telling tales in oral tradition or wandering from court to court re drafting on the way. (If you think I have lost the plot you are probably right. Put it down to current phase of doing Anglo Saxon workshops in primary school)

C.J.Busby said...

Glad you enjoyed it. I am still wrestling with the after-effects of my characters' unfortunate over-writes, but they are at last starting to behave themselves!