(Kelly was written by Kelly Blanchard. Diana was written by Diana Quirk.)
The day was slow for Kelly at her Muse Shop. Not a lot of customers came by, so she got a lot of cleaning and organizing done, and she even baked some cookies. Now she sat at the front counter going through her Muse’s Ledger where many of her ideas spent their infancy before jumping onto pages of others books and taking on a life of their own.
The door chimed, and Kelly looked up, setting down the Ledger, and greeted her customer with a smile. “Diana Quirk? It’s great to meet you!” She rose to her feet and stepped around the counter to properly greet her. “Welcome to my Muse Shop!” Kelly gestured to their surroundings. “How are you doing today? I hope you are well.”
Dressed in all black, Diana made sure to close the door behind her, “I am well. How are you?”
“I’m great.” Kelly smiled. “Would you like some cookies?” She pushed the plate of cookies forward. “They’re freshly made.” While Diana made her decision, Kelly decided to push forward with the interview. “So, Diana, what kind of work do you do? Does it tie into your writing at all?”
Diana took a moment finding the bigger chocolate chip cookie, “I am a stay at home mom and pysanky artist. Pysanky is Ukrainian egg art very popular around Easter. I had a character who did it for a hobby but other than that it is my break from writing.”
“I’m going to have to look up Pysanky when we’re done it. Sounds interesting.” Kelly gave her a smile then took the plate of cookies. “Let’s go someplace more comfortable and eat these…and talk, of course.” She led Diana through the Shop, pass many artifacts from stories, and finally they came to a small table near the back of the room. Kelly sat down, set the cookies on the table between them, and gestured for Diana to sit as well. “Please, help yourself.” She took another cookie herself and broke off a piece. “So, Diana, when did you first begin writing?”
“It was around 8 years old. I wrote a book called, ‘Gulliver Met Mary’ a fanfiction of Gulliver’s Travels. My mother still has the book.” Diana smiled a little embarrassed, “I have not looked at it in years.”
“Fan fic is awesome! I’m sure the story is brilliant.” Kelly reassured her with a kind smile. “But what prompted you to write that book? Just a random idea one day or something like that?” She raised her brows.
Diana swallowed the bite of cookie, “I didn’t want the story to end. Also I tend to have an interest in characters who aren’t the main characters. So I wanted to know their story so I started to make them up.”
“And that’s how great stories come to be.” Kelly smiled then finished off her cookie and sat back. “So, what kind of stories do you write these days?”
“I usually write historical fiction but recently I have been trying fantasy.” Diana looked for a drink.
Kelly handed her a glass of milk. ”Both of those are great genres. Historical fiction requires a lot of research, so I really admire you writing that, and fantasy…well, I always love a great fantasy.” She grinned as she shifted to the edge of her seat excited to hear more. “So…which story of yours do you want to focus on? Otherwise we’d be here all day—not that I mind at all!”
Diana sipped on the milk, “I would love to be here all day. One of my character insisted I try to buy something from your shop for him. So I guess we will focus on fantasy.”
“Well, there’s a lot you can browse through here.” Kelly motioned to their surroundings. “And you’re welcome to look around if you want, but tell me about this fantasy story. What is it about?”
“Its a modern day Robin Hood with a touch of 1001 Arabian Nights in it. However Will Scarlet is the main character and he is a werewolf. There is a hospital for magic kids and unfortunately some people don’t want were-animal children in their community.” Diana looked around as they talk.
“Oh wow, that’s quite a combination.” Kelly lifted her brows impressed. “How did you even get this idea? I mean, Robin Hood and 1001 Arabian Nights…not something I’d think of being in the same era, and then Will Scarlet being a werewolf–that’s just an awesome take on it.” She gave Diana a big grin. She always loved it when writers took a familiar idea and applied a very unique twist to it.
“I always wanted to write a fairy tale but I am not good with coming up with my own words. Then I tried to write fairy tale characters here but most fairy tales the characters are nameless. ‘The Princess’ so I ended up with two stories I knew were public domain. Originally Will Scarlet was going to be a vampire but part of me thought it was over done.” Diana told and found a snake staff against the wall then smirked.
Kelly saw the smirk, looked at the staff, and then back at Diana. “Let me guess, you have Jafar in your story? Because that would be totally him.” She rose to her feet, retrieved it, and brought it over, offering it to Diana. “You can have it if you want. He just needs to agree to use it well.”
Kelly sat back down, watching Diana admire the staff. “So, you have Will Scarlet, and I’m assuming Jafar, and you mentioned Robin Hood–any other familiar characters?”
Diana smirked, “I’ll see about sending him your way. Yes, I have Jafar who is a Jinn. Genie is a word Sapiens, non-magic people, use. Jafar is crossed with Rumpelstiltskin in that he spin items into various jeweled thread to make wishes. Guy Gisbourne is a werebat and Will Scarlet’s friend. The Nightgale from the fair tale is in it. Little John however is a tomboy with the name Johnetta. Many of the Merry Men are scattered through out the story as various characters. Some of the streets the story takes place on are real streets in Moore, Oklahoma.”
“Awesome!” Kelly grinned when she heard about all these characters in one place. “So, that’s a lot to take in. I’m not sure how you keep it all straight.” She shook her head, but then locked eyes with Diana. “So, all these characters are together, and it’s in modern-day setting, you say? What conflicts do they face?”
Diana sat, “A single mom struggling to make ends meets hears about the new treatment for ‘the Curse’, the were-animal curse. She writes on an online magazine who these children are dangerous and how the community is in danger. This opens the door for a church who believes magic is bad and shouldn’t be used if you are born with it. They set up protests outside the hospital to shut it down.”
“I could see why that would cause problems.” Kelly nodded then leaned forward, setting her elbow on the table and her chin in the palm of her hand. She furrowed her brows. “But why won’t the…magical people just use their powers to resolve the situation? I mean, I imagine they’d be more powerful than regular human beings.”
Diana nodded, “Only Jinns or Genies have free magic. Others are restricted more to earth, air, water, or fire. There are spells that can be done such as the were-animal but they are very unstable and once released cannot be controlled which is why performing an illegal curse comes at the cost of your own magic being removed. There are rules of magic that even Jinns cannot cross.”
“Interesting.” Kelly pondered Diana’s words a bit longer then sat back in her chair. As she did so, she caught a glimpse of the clock on the wall and frowned. “Our time is almost up, but we still have a few more minutes. So, tell me, what would you like your readers to remember most about your story? What would you like them to take away from it?”
“I noticed recently that my stories are all about tolerance for others who are different. I think that is what the world could use more of.” Diana said.
“I see, and that is important.” Kelly nodded but then sighed. “Unfortunately our time is up.” She rose to her feet. “If you’d like though, you are welcome to meander the store—see what else you find.”
“I’d probably be in here well after closing. But maybe one day I can send some of the characters your way. I am sure they would clean you out. But I will take these cookies, thank you.” Diana grabbed a handful.
“Take the staff too,” Kelly encouraged with a smile. “And yes, I’d love to meet some of your characters! Thank you for coming though. It was a pleasure chatting with you and hearing about your stories.” Then she snapped her fingers as she suddenly remembered, “Oh! What’s the title for this story by the way? I forgot to ask earlier.”
“It is still in the works unfortunately but I will let you know as soon as I have one.” Diana took the staff. “Heavier than it looks.”
“Keep me posted!” Kelly smiled as she led Diana back to the front of the store. “And keep writing. You have a unique story on your hands. I can’t wait to hear more.”
“Thank you, it was great talking to you. I’m sure Jafar will say it but thank you.” Diana said carrying to the staff.
“Have fun!” Kelly smiled as she watched Diana leave with the staff. She was certain Jafar would have a great time with it, and she wondered if she would hear about that sometime, but for now, she had other work to do. That was a nice conversation though—always fun.
Diana’s story, currently untitled, is projected to be finished by the end of this year but does not have a release date set yet. Please follow her on social media for more updates!