(Kelly was written by Kelly Blanchard. Ted was written by Ted Covey.)
Opting to sit on one of the couches of the coffee shop rather than the chair and table setup, Kelly sat near the back of the room, against the wall with her feet curled under her and her laptop on her lap. At this early hour in the morning it wasn’t very crowded here, so it was quiet, and Kelly appreciated that. Every now and then the door would chime as a guest came in for his or her routine coffee—most of them came from the courthouse across the street, and once they got their fix, they left. Only Kelly and an artist sketching something across the room remained.
Finally the door opened, and Kelly regarded this young man, recognizing him from his picture. However, she didn’t move but waited for him to go to the counter, order something to drink, and finally the guy behind the counter gestured her way. The visitor turned to her, and Kelly smiled as she unfolded her feet, set her computer aside, and stood as he approached her. “Ted Covey—or should I call you Theodore? And you look exhausted. I’d invite you to sit on the couch, but you might fall asleep.” She motioned to the couch behind her as she chuckled.
Grabbing his mocha, Ted stumbles towards the couch behind her, then throws his body against the cushion, “Let’s go with Ted. It’s shorter and easier to remember.” His eyes widen as a sipping sound echoes through the room.
Kelly raised her brows but then nodded and sank into a cushioned chair beside the couch. She smirked at him. “Let’s hope that drink wakes you up because you said you only got two hours of sleep?” She shook her head. “I hope you put that time to good use like…oh, I don’t know, plotting a story or something.”
Ted sits upwards then curls his feet under him—he grinned. “I feel a little better now.” He raises an eyebrow. “I suppose you can call it “plotting a story”, lately I’ve been planning a lot on where I’m trying to go with my life and how I’m going to get there. This includes me getting back into my writing after a very long hiatus. But after realizing a goal, and having many opportunities thrown in front of me, I jumped back in and now am building momentum—slowly.”
Kelly nodded. “You sound quite busy, so why don’t you start from the beginning.” She shifted in her chair to get comfortable and ready for the tale. “What is it that you do, and what are you hoping to accomplish?”
Ted took a long sip from his drink. “In 2012 I self-published my first variation of my novel, Initium. Then realized I wasn’t as satisfied with it as I should have been, yet I seen potential in the stories idea—so I rewrote it once—still wasn’t satisfied. After another year, I completely did away with the original story, but still kept the characters then implemented them into my newest variation of Initium, which took me about a year to write, and over 6 months to revise due to procrastination. Let’s skip to 2015 in the timeline; in the very beginning of the year I was going through a crisis with myself internally because all I was doing with my life was working overnight shifts at Walmart. No social life. Virtually no writing was done. And I wasn’t happy—at all. Then my friend offered me to go to Vietnam to travel with him. After thinking his offer through, I decided this would be the best step for me to take in life right now—and it was. I’m still young, craving for adventure, and desire more content for my writing in addition to meeting new people and experiencing different cultures. Skip 3 months later. After going to Vietnam once for 2 months (Jan-March) then 1 month (May-June) I returned to America full of ambition. I went through many different paths I wanted to take in order to get me back to Vietnam in order to secure my future, because I wish to move there—at the same time, I want to make sure I was doing something I have a passion for. Eventually, all of the paths led me back to where I was in the beginning: writing. Lately I’ve been focusing all of my efforts into my newly formed blog, revising my book I left to collect dust, and doing odd jobs on top of working at Walmart again so I can save money to move to Vietnam—hoping to do this by the end of the year.” Ted released a deep exhale.
Kelly just listened and nodded as he came to an end of his speech. She motioned to his drink and smiled. “You might want to take a drink. That was a lot you said. And hmm, so many questions! Where should I begin?” She lifted her hand to her chin in a thoughtful pose before settling on one of her more traditional questions. “Okay, so you mentioned in 2012 you self-published a book, which meant you were writing beforehand. What inspired you to begin writing in the first place?”
Ted cleared his throat as he consumed 3/4 of his cup within seconds. “Well…” He rested his back against the cushion while his muscles appeared relaxed. “When I was in language arts class during the 4th grade, I was ecstatic whenever our teacher, Mr. Traband, would assign creative writing prompts. From there, I developed characters I eventually wanted to implement into a comic book, because at the time I followed my step-brother around and thought he was the most amazing person ever because he was a comic book artist, and I wanted to follow his footsteps. After 4 years (I think) I got my first job sweeping golf courses at a miniature golf course. Since I didn’t interact with anyone, and I was alone most of the time. I would conjure these scenarios in my mind, which involved the prior characters I created. Eventually, I combined the scenarios, which then became the plot for Initium, which I spent the end of my junior year and beginning of my senior year in high school.”
“And have you ever done NaNoWriMo?” Kelly raised her brows.
He lowered his head as a grin formed. “I have attempted it, twice.” He cleared his throat once more while he affixed his eyes on the drink before him. “2013, I had a vague idea of what I wanted to do, I believe I got to 14,000 words, but I had no idea of where to go with the story, or what was even going on. 2014 was a lot smoother, even though I only got to 9,000, but I interacted with the community a lot more, met some interesting people I still talk to, attended a write-in, and I had the details of my story and its characters fully developed—this is one of the factors I believed to have made me fall short of 50,000. I don’t mind it, though. As I do NaNoWriMo more, I learn from my mistakes, then implement what I’ve learned into next year. One of these years I’m sure I will make it to 50,000: maybe even win.”
“That’s very good. It’s a learning experience, and you’re doing well. You will succeed in no time!” Kelly grinned but then scooted closer to the edge of the seat as she leaned forward, resting her forearms on her knees. “So what genre do you tend to write, and what story are you hoping to really push and get published and such?” She raised her brows.
Ted finished his drink then set the cup on the floor. “Thank you!” He folded his fingers while he rested them against his stomach. “Due to my obsession of Star Wars movies, anything pertaining to medieval, and Liam Neeson movies—I like to write a mixture of the 3—cyberpunk-thriller, yet I implement some medieval concepts. Honestly, I’m really pushing and hoping to get Initium published. I feel like once I get this rendition into the market, it would be a story that I would have the passion and drive to put all of my energy into promotion, along with sharing its awesomeness with everyone. In a way, the characters in the story feel like a family to me: a dysfunctional family…”
“So tell me about Initium. What’s the genre? What is it about? Who are the characters, and what is the conflict they face?”
“It’s a cyberpunk/thriller, which is a part of the Aeternum universe, meaning I have a lot more stories that are similar planned somewhere in the future. It follows a young man named Derek, who was born with a blood curse known as Aldefieri —which is defined as noble in Italian— In addition to the supernatural abilities that are based off of their parents fears, those afflicted with Aldefieri are granted with other body alterations which I won’t dig into right now. Aside from the curse, after a tragic event in his life, Derek seeks retribution against the antagonizer of said event. During his travels, he meets Alyssandra—Alyssa for short— who teaches him how to use and harness his ability, in addition to many life lessons to surpass obstacles they run into when being thrown into mysterious situations—such as being teleported onto a planet in a different galaxy. The two fight through numerous life-threatening situations, while making important realizations in life. I’m sorry, Adalfieri’s definition is “noble oath”.
Kelly pulled back and regarded Ted. “You have all these answers down pat. Have you been rehearsing?” She teased him with a smile but then focused on the topic once more. “It sounds quite intriguing! Now, our time is almost up, which is very unfortunate because I’d love to know more about your story, but what is the one thing you’d want your readers to walk away from after reading your book?”
A look of dissatisfaction fills Ted’s face as the realization of the time being up slapped him. “It’s all on a memorized script.” He smiled. “Kidding—I like to memorize as much as I can because whenever you talk about writing a book to someone, they might ask similar questions. As for what I want my readers to walk away with: we only live life once, so make the best out of your life and don’t hesitate to do it, otherwise you’ll regret it. Thanks for interviewing me, by the way.”
Kelly gave him a reassuring smile. “It was my pleasure. I’m glad we were able to meet and talk, and I’m sorry our time is so short. I have no control over that. However, you sound like you know what you’re doing and that you have a plan, and that’s good. Keep it up. And when you release your book, let me know, so I can inform everyone else, okay?” Kelly lifted her brows as she rose to her feet–Ted doing the same. She struck out a hand to shake his once more and smiled at him. “Keep up the good work. It may be overwhelming at times, but don’t be discouraged. You will do well.”
“Only time will tell whether I know what I’m doing or not. You will most likely be the first to know when I release my book. I wish you the best of luck with your writing and interviewing career as well! Chao.”
Kelly watched him go but then looked at her watch. She had another interview to do in a few hours, but first someone had tried texting her during the interview and wanted to talk. She needed to see what that was about. Her time was never her own.
Pulling her phone out of her pocket, she headed out of the coffee shop down to her Muse Shop, so she could go to the portal there for the location for her next interview.
Ted Covey’s story is titled ‘Initium’ is part of the ‘Aeternum universe’ and the first of his ‘Heroic Trilogy’. He’s posting it as a web serial online now, and you can find on his blog.