Character Interview: Arthur David’s Blackmail

I had the opportunity to sit down with Arthur David’s fictional secret agent, Blackmail, from his sci-fi spy thriller novel ‘Agents of the Third Party’. I learned some things about her agency, The Third Party, as well as her own motives to work for them. 

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BlackMail sat on a stone bench that was out on her estate. It was still a little crisp outside in New York at this time of year, but not so bad that she felt the need to be inside. Water babbled through a fountain behind her, the sound helping to calm her. Trees surrounded the yard, each flanked by heaters keeping the bats that live there warm throughout the year.

She tapped her foot impatiently as she waited for an interview to start that she shouldn’t be having. The Party didn’t look nicely on anyone that gives out information on them, but she was going to do it anyways.

“Ma’am, a car has arrived at the front gate.” Alfred’s voice seemed to come from nowhere, just as it always did. “The occupant claims to have an appointment with you, shall I allow her in?”

BlackMail toyed with the idea of having Alfred send her away, she really shouldn’t be doing this. She felt like she should have some record though. She had been witness to too many agents who had died, the world never knowing what they had done for good or bad. She wasn’t looking for fame, just for someone out there to know that there were things happening, there were people making the world better.

“Alfred, let her in. I’ve kept her out there for too long already, and we really don’t have the time to waste. And make sure Jade doesn’t come around or that Kelly is here, this meeting is private.”

“Yes Ma’am. I’m opening the gate for Ms. Kelly right away. How shall I keep Jade away?”

“I really don’t care Alfred, lock her in her room if you have to, just keep this private.”

“Right away Ma’am. Excelsior!”

BlackMail got up to her feet trying to hide the smile Alfred’s last exclamation brought. He always reminded her of her great-grandfather, and he had always made her smile. She composed herself as the car with Kelly silently drives up to her fountain, lights along the driveway directing the automated system to a spot to park at.

Once Kelly parked and climbed out of the car, she looked around, taking in the sight of the estate. Then she saw a woman a little ways off, so Kelly dug her hands into her coat pockets and headed her way. “I’m assuming you are the one they call BlackMail? Thank you for meeting with me. Quite a place you have here.” She glimpsed around before looking back at BlackMail. “Is this something from your family or does the Party just pay their top agents that well?” She smiled as she asked this.

BlackMail smiled back at Kelly and glanced around her estate. “A little bit of both. My family was already very well off before I joined The Party. The Party certainly does take care of its agents, and there have been a few missions that have been pretty lucrative to me personally.”

“I’m sure.” Kelly nodded as she continued to approach. “So, was your family in politics or so? Or just….wisely invested?” She then sat on the bench across from BlackMail and observed her.

“No, my families money…” BlackMail laughed as she thought on where they got started “My family came into money thanks to my great-grandfather. Not a politician, though he did have a run in with politics. Nothing overly bad, more of the knee jerk reactions politicians have to things they don’t understand. He was a very creative man, and he turned that into a fair amount of wealth. He wasn’t always the best at managing it though. However the rest of the family was able to take what he had given them and turned it into much more.” BlackMail gestured around at the garden around them, “They had no idea, my family, what I would end up doing, what that wealth would ultimately help finance.”

“Interesting.” Kelly leaned forward, clasping her hands together. “So do you help finance The Party? Or just your own missions and side projects?”

BlackMail laughed softly for a second. “Oh no, The Party is well financed without me. As I said earlier, they take care of us pretty well. It’s an organization of global reach, interests spread out all over the world in just about anything you can imagine. The Party likes to have its fingers in everything, from the mundane such as entertainment, companies that specialize in computer science and security, Travel, banks and everything in between. I know none of that sounds particularly threatening, but The Party is involved in defense contracts, weapons, and scientific research for curing disease, to the worst of new weaponry. My wealth, really is just for me.”

Kelly smiled as she nodded. “At least you have it and can do whatever you will with it.” With that, she sat back and considered BlackMail for a moment. “I was informed you joined The Party at age 18, so what was life like before you became an agent? Do you have any siblings to speak of? And what of your parents”

BlackMails eyes unfocused for a moment as she thought back to the days before The Party.” Life was normal, I guess. I’m not really even sure what that means anymore. I grew up with my older sister, and my mother and father. My parents weren’t much for flashing our wealth around. You wouldn’t know it from my home now, but we grew up in a 3 bedroom house, with Toyotas in the driveway. They wanted us to know how it was to live like everyone else. Sort of. I mean, we had the latest things, traveled around the world. But nothing outwardly screamed ‘Filthy Rich’.” BlackMail paused a moment to catch her breath and gather her thoughts before continuing. “They, they’re all gone now. I’m the last one in my family. I don’t really see that changing any time soon. Very few agents live to be old or to have families.” A grim smile flickered across her face replaced with a bit of sadness, “My family tree will probably end with me. Thats why, ” BlackMail nodded towards her estate, “I built all this, have all the things I do. There won’t be anyone for me to pass it on to. I might as well enjoy it.”

Kelly frowned when she heard that. “And you’re happy with that. Happy to work so hard all your life and do all the deeds that you must do only for your name to perish with you when you die, for your wealth to go to someone you don’t know, and for you to be forgotten in history? Is it worth it?”

“Am I happy with it? I don’t know that I’m happy with it, I’ve come to terms with it I think. I know that everything I’m doing is for the greater good of humanity, for the betterment of the world. My life, my happiness is a small price to pay for the good that will come from it all.” She sighed and took a deep breath. “I asked you here, because we, Party agents, have done so much, changed the world in ways no one knows. The Party prefers is that way, but I wanted someone to know we exist, that we were here and we changed the world. I can live with that, I can die with that. My old partner, Aurora, taught me that. She died for those ideals, its the least I can do.”

“I understand that, yet you are not Aurora. Do you held firm to those ideals?” Kelly raised her brows as she observed BlackMail. “And please, be honest with me…and with yourself. I just want the truth because this may be the only time you will be able to truly be honest.”

“Those ideals have been my entire life. Even as a child, my parents would take us traveling. I saw the world, the incredible natural beauty and wonder of humanities genius.” BlackMail turned away staring off into the distance at the New York skyline, “But they didn’t shield us from the harsh realities of the world. Poverty, hunger, sickness were everywhere we looked. These things should not exist, not when we can fix them, not when we have the ability to ease or erase that suffering. My work with The Party will help to end all of that.” She turned back to Kelly “It’s a small price to pay. My life, one that may not have appeared to be one of privilege, yet very much was. To dedicate the rest of it, however long or short it may be, to that. It’s something I think that would have made them all proud. It’s something thats made it all worth it.”

“But do you think it’s truly possible…to accomplish what The Party wants to accomplish?” Kelly leaned in. “Yes, while it is good not to want hunger or poverty or sickness, and it would be nice if those didn’t exist, there are other evils that exist within each one of us that…if we have the ideal, someone will become discontent, and it’s a very slippery slope from that to full out war especially if the wrong people have the power.”

“Oh, I understand the evils that exist in us very well. We aren’t a charity, Party agents aren’t running around feeding the hungry or taking care of the sick. Assassination, sabotage, blackmailing, those are the tools we tend to employ. I told you earlier that The Party has its fingers in many pies, that isn’t done for money. Entertainment allows us to shape the attitudes of the public. Computer software and security. You put our systems on your computers and phones, and give The Party access to everything about you.” BlackMail gestured out towards the NewYork skyline, now filled with green growing along the sides and tops of the skyscrapers. “None of what you see out there happened by chance. America’s politicians didn’t suddenly see the light for fighting climate change and pollution. Some very dirty information suddenly appeared and would have made its way to the media. Some of that was because they were genuinely dirty, some was manufactured by Party Agents. All true, but things that wouldn’t have happened otherwise.  We work hard to curb the evils and excesses of those in power, and we do not always do so nicely. When the wrong people have the power, we try to work with them, reign them in, put them on the right path. Sometimes that doesn’t happen and then new people get the power.”

Kelly nodded as she came to understand. It reminded her of another agency she’d heard of from a TV show but couldn’t recall the name right now, but it made sense to her now. “I understand better now.” She sat back on the bench. “So, I understand Aurora brought you into The Party, but how did you come to meet her?”

“She and I had been very close for as long as I can remember. Growing up she had just been there, an ever present part of my life. Until she wasn’t anymore. I can’t imagine what my life would have been like without her, or what I would have become. Actually it would likely have ended up very similar to this. The Party seeks out its agents, not the other way around. It’s hard to apply for an agency you don’t know exists. Usually once The Party decides it wants someone, they end up working for them one way or the other. They most likely don’t even realize it. All those pies The Party has its fingers in. So even without Aurora, I would probably have ended up here anyways. Though I don’t think I’d be quite the agent I am now without her.”

“Are you saying that that the Party wanted you, so they sent Aurora to be a part of your life and gradually inform you about the Party and at the right moment bring you into it? Or what exactly? I mean, was she always an agent the entire time you knew her?”

“No, we grew up together. Both kids. I’m not really sure how or when she became a part of The Party. I don’t know when The Party became interested in me, if it was as a child or even earlier due to my families wealth, or later on in high school when I excelled to the top of my class. It may have been some combination of everything. I’m not in recruiting, though apparently I am now a trainer and a mentor.”

“Ah, I see.” This made sense to her now. “And your mentor was someone named Muse? What can you tell me about Muse? What was it like training under Muse?” It was odd asking these questions for Kelly because oftentimes she was considered the Muse, but Kelly dismissed this and looked to BlackMail for answers.

“Harsh. My first ‘mission’ Muse sent me on sent me into a random rundown shack of a house in the middle of nowhere. Supposedly, someone there had managed to develop a cure for HIV. It looked more like a meth lab then a facility for curing disease. But in I went to find the secret formula. God, actually talking about it makes it sound like a bad movie plot.” BlackMail pulled back her sleeve to show off a scar along the underside of her left arm. “I got this in that shack, when Muse caused it to collapse on top of me. It  was made of something that wouldn’t kill me when it fell on top of me, but it didn’t feel good either. When I managed to crawl out, she congratulated me on my death. That wasn’t the last time I ‘died’ under her tutelage. But it was designed to make me think and keep me cautious. To keep me from rushing in without thinking. It was necessary, it’s kept me alive. Earlier I told you most agents don’t live long enough to retire, Muse is one of the few who has.”

When Kelly heard this tale, she lifted her brows. “Well, she certainly sounds like a rough mentor. And you’ve said she’s survived long enough to retire? And the fact that you’ve survived longer than the average age of agents shows that Muse’s methods probably helped prolong your life. I’m assuming you’re teaching Jade similar things?”

“A friend, and fellow agent, Doomsday helped me set up her first mission. Sent her out onto a boat owned by a company with information on The Party. It was her job to find and destroy that information. She did fairly well, but ended up jumping out into the water in January, not a very good idea, and then I shot her.” BlackMail smiled at the reaction she received from that. “Not literally shot her, though Doomsday nearly did. Well not really though, he’s a marksman, he doesn’t miss. I made it very clear that she had died on her mission. She wasn’t happy with me. Doomsday wasn’t thrilled with my training exercise either, but he let me do what needed to be done.”

Kelly chuckled when she heard this, and she shook her head. “I’m guessing that, ‘you die on your first day of training’ isn’t on the contract you sign when you sign up.” She smiled although she suspected The Party didn’t have any actual contracts like that, but still, her point was made. “So what is like, being on THIS end of training?”

BlackMail made a sound of frustration. “Aggravating. Jade listens, thinks about what I tell her. She was pretty mad that first night I killed her. But she took it, learns, grows. But she’s still headstrong, questions me on everything, wants to know why we’re doing what we do. She can’t take an order and simply follow it.  I’m very proud of her. She’s going to be a great agent someday.”

Kelly smiled at the obvious admiration BlackMail had for Jade. “But has she taught you anything in return? You know how students tend to accidentally teach their masters something while being taught.”

“She’s certainly given me a new appreciation for what Muse went through with me. And to never underestimate her. She’s surprised me more then once particularly during some of our sparring sessions,”

Kelly chuckled when she heard this. “Sounds like she’s going to be an incredible agent for sure.” Then Kelly paused, considering the course of their conversation, and then she smiled because she knew her next question. “So, tell me, why is Zenith so annoying?”

BlackMail rolled her eyes at the mention of Zenith’s name. “Aside from him constantly inviting me over or trying to sleep with me. I’m surprised he hasn’t tried the inducer yet. Well no, that would have repercussions he would not enjoy. Zenith hands me my assignments, checks on me, assigned Jade to me. It gives him an inflated sense of worth I think. Unfortunately I can’t get a new contact, and I can’t kill him, ago I’m stuck dealing with him. Fortunately he’s only annoying.”

Kelly chuckled. “Well, at least you can take you anger out when you have to kill an assignment or something.” She shrugged. “Now, our time is almost up, but I’ve been curious. ‘BlackMail’ is your codename, but what is your real name? Or does it have no meaning to you anymore?” She locked eyes with the agent.

BlackMail returned the stare with the muse, “It doesn’t matter anymore. BlackMail is who I am now. The person I was before is gone. Very little of who she was remains. I’ve embraced this life, it’s really all I have anymore and all I’ll ever be.”

Kelly nodded. She had expected that answer. “Well then, BlackMail, this conversation probably hasn’t gone the way you expected it to, but I do appreciate the opportunity to speak with you.” Kelly rose to her feet. “And thank you for answering my questions. You sound like you have had a very interesting life. Be careful out there. Survive long enough, maybe you’ll be able to retire.” She smiled at her.

BlackMail smiled back as reaches out to shake her hand. “Nothing ever goes the way I expect. We’ll see what the future holds for us all.”

Kelly nodded. “And so we shall. Take care of yourself.” With that and a final smile, Kelly headed for her car.

<~>~<~>~<~>

Arthur David’s book ‘Agents of the Third Party’ is available on Amazon. Don’t forget to follow him on Facebook and Twitter for more updates!

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Agents-Third-Party-BlackMail-Beginning-ebook/dp/B01N7OR766 

SOCIAL MEDIA

Facebook: Http://www.facebook.com/arthurdavid80

Twitter: https://twitter.com/rubix510

Blog: https://arthurdavidblog.wordpress.com

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Author Interview: Arthur David

In this interview, I met with sci-fi spy thriller author, Arthur David, to discuss his new book ‘Agents of the Third Party’. This is our meeting. ‘Kelly’ was written by me, Kelly Blanchard, and ‘Arthur’ was written by Arthur David.

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Night had come, and Kelly came to the observatory where Arthur David asked her to meet him for the interview. She gazed around at the clear view of the night sky this place offered, and she smiled. It reminded her a lot of home, living in the country with millions of stars overhead every night without the pollution of too much light. She’d never been to an observatory although she always wanted to visit one, so this would be interesting.

Stepping into it, she found the massive chamber empty of people. “Hello?” She called out, and then she passed through, going out back where she found someone looking through a telescope. Kelly smiled. “Arthur David?” When he looked up at her and straightened, she reached out her hand. “I’m Kelly. It’s great to meet you. How’s the view out there?” She motioned to the stars?

He took her hand smiling then glanced up towards the stars. “Its wonderful, still one of my favorite sights. I never get tired of looking at the stars.” He motioned towards his telescope, “Would you like to take a look, its an incredible view.”

“Sure.” Kelly smiled as she stepped up to the telescope and took a look. “Wow…it is stunning.” After a moment of searching the stars, she finally stepped back and smiled once more at Arthur. “So, is this a hobby of yours?”

“Yes, I’ve always been fascinated by space and the stars, ever since I was a child.” He turned around to take in the night sky as well as the large telescopes around them. “As a seven year old, I knew what I wanted to be when I grew up. Most kids want to be firefighters or police or something. But I knew I was going to be an astronomer.” He smiled somewhat sadly, “That didn’t quite happen, but that love I knew, it never went away.”

“I’ve always loved the stars too, but…couldn’t pass astronomy class.” Kelly chuckled as she shook her head, thinking back to her college days. “However, it’s a wonderful hobby to have. Now, I know we’re here to talk about your writing and such, but every writer comes from a different walk of life. I’m always curious what those are. So, are you a full time writer, or do you have another job?”

“Writing is another hobby though another one I truly enjoy. It’s something to help pass the nights when its raining, or I’ve decided it’s just to cold to be outside. In real life during the day I work in retail, selling wireless phones and products.” Arthur waved his hand towards his telescope and kits with various eyepieces and cameras, “It’s not nearly as glamours or exciting as the worlds I build on the computer screen, or as bright as this makes the nights sky, but it does pay the bill and keeps the family fed. It’s been a better job then I ever would have imagined it could be.”

Kelly nodded as she looked up at the night sky. “At least it’s something.” She smiled at him. “So, when did you first become interested in writing?”

Arthur’s eyes lost focus for a moment as he thought back to when he really started doing some type of writing. “Back in high school I suppose. It wasn’t something I really had taken up as much as I do now, but I remember taking those prompts in English, and spinning stories of previous lives. I had entered into a contest to create a TV screen play at one point in high school as well.” Arthur laughed for a second at the memory of it, “It had been based pretty heavily on a book I had read, and probably wasn’t very good. But it was an old early attempt.”

Arthur took a moment to breathe and stretched his arms out behind him before continuing. “It wasn’t really until later though, while in college, that I really started to take up writing, A friend of mine had been writing something, and had ended up encouraging me to do so as well. It wasn’t really anything I had considered before then. But I took her up on it, and my first book was born.”

As he said all this, Kelly watched him and had to smile. Every author she spoke with had the same look on their face when they were thinking back to how they came to where they were as authors and what brought them to this point. “And from there you started writing more seriously then?”

“I started writing different things, I found a site, worth1000.com that held at the very least, weekly writing contests which I really enjoyed. They were pretty small stories, maybe eight hundred words and no real prize other then pride I suppose. But that site really helped by giving me other prompts that I might not have written on otherwise, and helped to develop me with help from the great community that it had. I found NaNoWriMo from there as I looked for other writing contests and communities.” He laughed for a second thinking of the various stories he had penned on that site, “Writing as been an off and on hobby for me for a long time. Something I do between the stars, reading, and everything else that comes up in life.” Arthur grinned as another memory crossed his mind, “Not to mention the most important things, trying to pass on and grow those same types of passions with my own children and of course taking care of my somehow very patient and understanding wife.”

Kelly smiled when she heard all this. “Certainly sounds like you have your hands full. However though, I heard you’re publishing a book soon? Or have published a book? That means you’ve come far with your writing. Telling about me about this book. What is it about?”

He laughed a little, “That’s a story in and of itself. When I wrote my first book, the one my friend got me to start, I realized that it was missing something, it wasn’t the whole story and needed something more. So I started a second book, that took place before the first. The Star Wars prequels were still coming out at the time, so I figured, hey if Lucas can do it, so can I. Only I’m releasing them in order.” Arthur took a moment to breathe and gather his thoughts before continuing. “This one, about to be released in a few days, the prequel of sorts, revolves around a woman BlackMail. She’s a secret agent in the year 2047 but for a shadowy organization called The Third Party that doesn’t belong to any particular government or organization but is bent on changing the world for its vision of the future. They do have some lofty visions, the end of war, hunger, poverty. However its a very ‘End justifies the means’ group as they don’t really worry about how or who may get hurt for their vision of the future.”

“Third Party…that’s interesting. Could be taken several different ways. I like it.” She grinned at Arthur. “So, you said it focuses on BlackMail? Is she discontent with the Third Party? Is she realizing things are not what they seem? Or why exactly is she the focus of the story?” Kelly furrowed her brows as she observed Arthur.

“The funny thing about that name, is it was meant to be a place holder. One of the most difficult things I do, agonize for long periods, is come up with names for things. So glad I let my wife name the kids, They would be ten before I managed to decide on one.” Arthur laughs then shakes his head slightly to get back on track, “I think it works out well though since they really are the third party to things happening. But in this story, BlackMail is considered one of, if not, the top agent for The Party. She gets tasked with training a young woman, Jade, who they believe is talented enough to be just as good of an agent, if not better, then BlackMail. BlackMail isn’t discontent with The Party, and she knows she doesn’t know the whole story, she doesn’t want to, thats not how it works. Even for a secret agent its best not to know everything. The story instead focuses on a mission BlackMail and Jade take on that does end up changing both of them. If that change is good or bad” Arthur grins a bit, “Well you’ll have to read it to find out.”

“Very intriguing story for sure.” Kelly nodded as she let her mind wrap around everything he had said. “It certainly sounds like it has a lot of potential!” Then she briefly checked her phone and frowned. “Our time is almost up. Can’t believe how much time flies! However…” She pocketed away her phone again and looked back at Arthur. “What is something, if anything, you’d like your readers to take from the story? Something they’d remember long after they’ve read it?”

Arthur furrowed his brow as he thought on Kelly’s question. “If anything I just hope people enjoy it. I’m not looking to make any kind of deep statement or anything with this book. I certainly have my own thoughts and ideas on most things in the world, many of my friends can attest to how I think on politics and such, probably much to their annoyance. ” He laughed, “But none of that is really on display in the book too much, well maybe a little in The Parties ideals, though I would never agree with their methodology.” He paused, taking a moment to breathe before continuing. “Like I said, I really just want it to be something people enjoy and find entertaining. I was always annoyed back in English class dissecting books looking for deeper meaning. Can’t a book just be fun? If someone enjoys reading it and has fun in BlackMail’s world, thats all I really want.”

“I’m sure people will enjoy it. And I hope you the best. Now though, unfortunately it’s time for me to head out. It was really wonderful to meet you.” Kelly shook Arthur’s hand then gestured to the telescope. “And have fun gazing at the stars.” She smiled at him. “You take care, okay?”

“It was great meeting you too, Kelly. Feel free to come back any time, and always look up at night. There’s a whole universe above us. Have a good night, Kelly, I look forward to hearing more from you.”

“And you as well!” With a wave and a smile, Kelly headed out.

<~>~<~>~<~>

Arthur David’s book ‘Agents of the Third Party’ is available on Amazon. Don’t forget to follow him on Facebook and Twitter for more updates!

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Agents-Third-Party-BlackMail-Beginning-ebook/dp/B01N7OR766 

SOCIAL MEDIA

Facebook: Http://www.facebook.com/arthurdavid80

Twitter: https://twitter.com/rubix510

Blog: https://arthurdavidblog.wordpress.com

Character Interview: Adam Priestley’s Lazarus Sinclair

Earlier this week, I had the honor of meeting with Adam Priestley to discuss his not yet released novel, ‘Lava Lounge Nights’, which is a blend of many genres—sci-fi, romantic mystery and thriller with a futuristic edge. However, in this interview, I was escorted into the story world of ‘Lava Lounge Nights’ and met, Lazarus Sinclair, one of Adam’s characters. ‘Kelly’ was written by me, Kelly Blanchard, and ‘Lazarus’ was written by Adam Priestley.

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Kelly was woken by the telephone constantly ringing. She rubbed her eyes and looked at the clock. It was 4AM. As she answered the phone, a gruff voice she didn’t recognise greeted her. “Ello darling a car has been arranged to take you to the Lava Lounge Night club, the boss Lazarus Sinclair would like a word. His wife went awol last night and the only person he’s prepared to talk to is you. I hope your not a bleedin’ reporter, I take it your not afraid of flying!”

Kelly barely had time to get dressed before there was a knock at the door. She opened the door to a blanket of white. It had been constantly snowing all night. A stranger in a sharp suit and a scar down his left cheek ushered her into the back of a stretched Rolls Royce. She held on tightly. Kelly heard the noise of the hover jets roar to life as the car took off into the night sky.

Kelly was quickly ushered into the club straight up past the punters. A cat like singer on the stage eyed Kelly suspiciously. Kelly’s eyes set on the mighty Sagosian Taunogh standing guard outside of Lazarus’ office. His stag like antlers almost scraping the ceiling. He bellowed down his nose as he saw her approach.

“It’s alright, Tauny.” She heard the gruff voice she recognised from her phone call. “This is Miss Blanchard. Mr Sinclair is expecting her.” Taunogh stood aside to allow Kelly access into the room.

Lazarus sat at his desk looking at a locket as saw the door open he quickly put it back in his pocket. He looked up and smiled as he saw Kelly enter. He steepled his hands in front of him. “Ah, Miss Blanchard. I am so pleased you could make it.”

Kelly greeted him with a nod. “Thank you for the invite. A little more notice would have been nice, but I work with what I get.” She smiled at him then glimpsed around the office. “It’s quite a place you have here. How long have you been running this business?” She raised her brows as she glanced back at Lazarus.

Lazarus smiled. He stared straight at her with his piercing blue eyes. “I’m sorry where are my manners.” He stood up to shake her hands. “My boys can be a little over zealous. i just needed to talk to you. You see I need someone I can confide in, there’s a lot going on at the moment and I need someone outside of the picture i can rely on.” He gestured to the chair in front of his desk. “Please sit down, would you care fior a drink?” He paused for a moment, the muscle in his jaw clenched. “Ah yes you wanted to know how long the Lava Lounge has been mine. Now let me think was it before Italy or after, yes, yes that was it. We, that is Angelica and myself took over the club in 2073 just before little Aaron was born.” He glanced at the holographic picture of his eldest son Aaron sitting on his grandmothers knee and smiled.

Kelly sat when he offered the chair, but she declined the offer for a drink. She nodded when she heard his answer, but the first part of his response had caught her attention. “What sort of things did you need to confide in someone?” She furrowed her brows.

Lazarus sat back down in his chair, pulled open the desk drawer and took out a tumbler of Rybekian brandy. As the dark red contents splashed into the glass, silver sparkles swirled in the light. “All this.” he sighed. “It’s been all over the holovids. My wife angelica disappeared last night.” He started to ramble, the words just falling out of his mouth. “My lovely, gorgeous wife. Some one  just took her, someone.” A hard lump started to form at the back of his throat and he struggled to continue.

Kelly tilted her head to a side as she observed his emotion of the situation. “And yet I understand you were with a mystery blonde last night. Is it an understanding between you and your wife that you have such…entertainment on the side? Or is this unique to last night?”

“Who told you that!” he snapped. “Nothing happened, we’re just friends. I loved….” He stuttered and corrected himself. “I love my wife dearly I would never do anything to hurt her, you have to believe me. I asked you here Kelly because I, I need someone to believe me.”

“Lazarus, let me explain to you how this works…” Kelly leaned forward and locked eyes with him. “Whether or not I believe you is irrelevant, but I do believe that you believe you are right, and I’m not here to judge you. I’m here to make you think, and some of the things you think about and realize might not be something you like, but it’ll be the truth. And the good thing about me is, after today you won’t see or hear from me again, and I won’t be spreading any rumors about you at all. I won’t speak a word of this conversation to anyone, so you can trust me, but I need you to trust me.” She made sure she had his attention before continuing. “You don’t love your wife anymore. I caught the use of past tense a moment ago. When did that change?”

Lazarus stood up and walked to the window, he gazed up at the stars through the glass doors of his office leading out into the hover car parking lot. He sighed heavily, as he glanced back over his shoulder at Kelly. “It’s no that I don’t love her anymore. I will always love her. She is the mother of my children.” He crossed back to his desk and took a big swallow of his drink. The brandy stung the back of his throat. “Okay.” he sighed “So I’ll admit I did have company last night but it’s not what you think and no I can’t name her, it would put her in danger if I did. But I did not kill my wife. You have to understand the stress I’m under at the moment. The club is crawling with filth, all of them certain I have done something.” He paused and glared at her. “Which I did not, no matter what anyone says. I wanted you hear because somebody has to know the truth. The press are going to have a field day with this one. Do you know how many years they have been waiting for me to slip up. Every little thing they are at me like a blood hound trying to get the big scoop and why because I’m a little bit more successful than some.” He sat back down, heavy in his chair. “Do you want to know the real reason i used past tense?” Not really giving her time to answer he fixed her in his sights with his penetrating blue eyes.”Well?”

“Why did you use the past tense?” Kelly raised her brows but listened.

Lazarus sighed, not for the first time that day. He ran his hans through his hair, desperate to have something to do with herself. “Because I think she was murdered, and I think I know who did it!”

Kelly wasn’t surprised by this because he specifically said that he hadn’t killed her, and until that moment Kelly only thought she had been missing. Nevertheless, she nodded and continued to listen. “First of all, why do you think she was murdered?”

“The only possible reason.” He breathed down through his nose. He thought everybody would know. It just made sense to him.  “To get at me. Why else would anybody just grab a mother of two. When the police have had enough of torturing the innocent they’ll realise the same thing.”

“And what has happened to the children? I understand they were with her when she was taken.” Kelly watched him. “Are they home now?”

“No.” Lazarus looked away. “As the police suspect that I am guilty of murdering their mother. They have been taken into overnight care. They said something about safe guarding. What do they need to guard them from. I’m their father.”

Kelly nodded when she heard this. “And you said you believe you know who is responsible? Who might that be?”

“Thank you, that’s the question I’ve been waiting for someone to ask all day. The person, in fact the only person the police should be talking to right now is.”

The doors to Lazarus’ office suddenly hissed open and Lazarus twin sister, Lydia, walked in. Kelly noticed how identical they actually were, despite the obvious gender difference. They both had the same jet black, hair, mesmerizing blue eyes and thin aquiline nose, That on Lydia reminded Kelly of Audrey Hepburn. “I heard we had company.” Lydia said as she entered the room. She glared at Kelly as she walked across to the desk. She picked up the bottle of Rybekina Brandy. “Bruv, are you drinking again. You know how lethal that stuff is.” She turned to look at Kelly, sizing her up, glaring deep into her eyes, trying to psyche her out. “So who do we have here?”

Kelly just met Lydia’s eyes unbothered, and she even offered her a smile. “Hello, Lydia. I’m Kelly, and your brother was just about to tell me who he thinks supposedly killed his wife.”

“Was he now? Let me guess–Hartman.” She snorted. “You’re going to have to forgive him he thinks everything that goes wrong in his life is Wolfric ‘bleedin’ Hartman.

“If you don’t mind, I would like to hear it from your brother.” Kelly shifted her attention to Lazarus. As long as Lydia didn’t keep interjecting into the conversation, she didn’t mind her presence, but if she started answering the questions and such, Kelly would have to ask her to leave, but she understood the siblings were close.

Lazarus glared at his sister. “What do you want, Lyds, I was hoping for a private conversation.”

Lydia shrugged. “I’m trying to look after you bruv, you know what your like letting everyone in on all the dirty little secrets in your life. Do we even know who this Kelly is, I don’t know her from Eve.”

“Kelly is a friend of mine. Now if you don’t mind I’d like to talk to her alone.”

Lydia glared at him. “No bleedin chance, you’ve got cops all over the place down there and your up here having a nice cosy little chat with her.” She glanced over her shoulder at Kelly, who just shrugged and smiled.

“And yes, Lyds, yes, I do think Hartman killed Angelica. If you don’t mind I’d like to talk to Kelly for a while alone. Now get out.” Lazarus stared at Lydia. “Or I’ll have to get security in here to chuck you out.”

“Fine. but you just watch what your saying and don’t keep drinking that stuff you know you can’t control your moth when your on that muck.” Lydia gave Kelly a dirty look as she left the room. As she got to the door. “Brothers.”

As Lydia left the room Lazarus turned his attention back to Kelly. “Sorry about that, now where were we?”

Kelly nodded. She understood siblings all too well. “Hartman. I understand he’s been a rival of yours for a long time. Why would he take the chance to kill your wife?”

Lazarus sighed heavily and then looked up at Kelly. “Because it’s him, because he can.” He shook his head and reached for the bottle of brandy picking it up. He looked at it before deciding to put it down. “Me and Wolfric go years back, hell, we once even worked together once. Well for his dad anyway. It all used to be hunky dory, we’d hit a few securicor vans, split the dosh and go on our merry ways. then she came on to the scene.” He smiled as fond memories came into his head. “You know whatever he says she was mine first.”

“Sounds reasonable, but…too easy.” Kelly shook her head. “Yes, I know you two have a feud, and I’m sure both of you would like to possibly put the other in the ground—or out of business—but still, I say it’s too easy. You’re the obvious target for your wife’s death, and people would expect you to blame him. As I said, too easy.” Kelly sat back in her chair. “I’m not saying he didn’t have a hand in it, but…I think it’s more complicated than that. Think harder. Think back to the last time you saw your wife, and the last interaction you had with her. Did she let on to anything? Did she seem uneasy about something or someone?” Kelly felt more like a detective than an interviewer, but that was all right. If it opened him up and got her answers as well as possibly brought a bit of peace to him, she was okay with that.

Lazarus sat still for a moment, quietly contemplating what Kelly had just said. “She was at her parents all last week and what with running this place we didn’t really have that much contact. To be honest I didn’t even know she was back in the country until the Police rang. It all came as such a surprise. The only thing I do remember is that before she left she was banging on about some diamonds, called the Kadam stones or something. To be honest I thought she was just dropping hints as to what she wanted for Christmas presents.” He ran his hand shakily through his hair, thinking again. “You do know her mother hates me right. Whether she had an argument with her parents i don’t know but I wouldn’t trust her father as far as I could throw him.”

“I doubt either of her parents would kill their own daughter to get to you. There are other ways to hurt you than killing her.” Kelly pointed out then rose to her feet. “You don’t mind if I meander about, do you? Helps me think.” And she began moving around the room, looking at different things. “These diamonds though…that sounds like a lead. Have you looked into that?” She turned back to Lazarus with raised brows.

“No, like I said I just thought she was trying to give me an idea about what she wanted for Christmas.” He turned to look at her. “Feel free to have a good nosey around, Christ everybody else whose come in here today had. Why should you be the exception?” He looked absentmindedly out of the window again. “I wouldn’t rule her father out though. He’s no saint. Have I told you he once asked me to shoot somebody for him.”

Kelly wasn’t walking around to be nosy. To be honest, her mind wasn’t on what she was seeing but whether many other possibilities. “You think he would have killed his own daughter?”

“Christ, there was rumours he killed his own mother.” He looked at her with a straight poker face. “The thing you need to know about Roberto Accorsi is that he plays from his own rule book and boy does that one hold a grudge. Like I said he once asked me to shoot somebody for him. A business rival I think. I told him straight to forget it. Despite what anybody says i’m not a gangster.”

Kelly turned to look straight at him. “Have you killed anyone before? I’m not asking because I think you’re guilty of this, but depending your answer, I want to make a specific point.”

Lazarus shrugged. “What can I say stuff happens, but I’ve never killed anybody who didn’t deserve it.”

“Now, with that in mind, would you be able to kill your own children just to hurt someone you don’t like?” Kelly locked eyes with Lazarus.

Lazarus looked stunned. “No of course not.” Lazarus laughed. “I see what your driving at but hell I’m not Accorsi.”

“I’m not saying he’s not innocent. I’m merely giving you a different angle to look at. You can’t just pin it on someone you think is guilty.  You need to have people out there digging and trying to find the truth because right now, everyone thinks you’re responsible, so they’re not going to look any further than that.” Kelly stepped up to Lazarus. “But at the same time, you can’t control this to paint the target on someone else’s back. If you want to catch her killer, I suggest your people find the crime scene and work from there. Of course, if the whereabouts of that is unknown, someone needs to go to her last known location and backtrack her every movement. Have you done that yet?”

“That’s the police’s job, but I promise you I’m not exactly going to sit back and let them pin this on me darling, but what can I do I’m just a man in a sharp suit.” He poured himself a large glass of brandy. “You sure you don’t want one?”

“You may be a man in a sharp suit, but you have people, don’t you? Because, like you said, you’re not the kind of man to just sit back. It might be the police’s job, but how much do you trust them–really?” She raised her brows as a small smile tugged at the corner of her lips. “I’m sure they’d just love to put you away, so who’s to say they’re investigating wholeheartedly? Who’s to say they want the truth? Who’s to say they care about it? But you do, don’t you? You want to know what happened to the mother of your children, and you would like to see the person responsible for it punished. So…use your resources.” Then Kelly shrugged as she came around a chair and sat down once more. “That’s my suggestion anyway, but I’m really not here for the investigation. I’m here to discuss you. You said you have children. Tell me about them. What are they like?”

Outside of the room Eddie the gruff voiced man was stood outside of Lazarus office, trying to listen in on the conversation. When the cat like singer sashayed across the room towards him. Her amber eyes sparkled. “Darling, I never had you down as a gossip.”

“I’m not.” Eddie flushed. “But what’s going on in there? First Angelica goes missing, which I’m still not sure she just didn’t run off with another man.”

The cat like Singer glared at him, “Angelica wouldn’t do that. Then the place is crawling with cops adamant that he’s guilty as sin. Then he secludes himself with some mystery girl. I don’t like it I don’t like it one little bit.”

Inside the office, Lazarus smiled. “Oh honey don’t worry I’m not just going to sit here, curl over and die. I just don’t want to get you implicated in all of that.” He shuffled nervously in his seat. “I purely asked you here so that I could give you my side of events. To answer your question about my family. i couldn’t wish for better. I notice you keep looking at your watch when you ready to leave you can, say the word and I’ll have my guys drop you back home or anywhere else you’d like.”

“I have a few more minutes, but yes, I will be having to leave soon.” She smiled and nodded. “But answer me this, Lazarus…is there anything in your life that you would have changed if you could? That you would have done differently?”

“Never let my wife out of my sight.” He sighed. “My poor boys having to grow up without their mother.” He looked down at his glass. “You know what i really don’t need this.” He picked up the glass, walked to the widow and threw it out into the cold night. “I really do appreciate you giving me these two hours.” He said glancing over his shoulder at Kelly. “Especially when everybody else think I’m as guilty as hell. I promise you one thing Kelly I’m innocent and my boys are not going to grow up without their father.” Kelly smiled as she left the room, as she opened the door she almost tripped over Eddie who was still trying to eavesdrop. “Ah Eddie.” Lazarus smiled. “Please be a good chap and make sure Miss Blanchard gets home safely, won’t you?”

“Sure boss.” Eddie grunted.

“Goodbye, Kelly, and thank you.”

Kelly watched as the doors hissed shut behind her, leaving Lazarus alone in the confines of his office.

<~>~<~>~<~>

Adam Priestley’s novel, ‘Lava Lounge Nights’, is not yet published, but there is a taster chapter of Adam’s forthcoming story available on Wattpad: www.wattpad.com/story/85092855-lava-lounge-nights.

Author Interview: Adam Priestley

I had the honor of meeting with Adam Priestley to discuss his not yet released novel, ‘Lava Lounge Nights’, which is a blend of many genres—sci-fi, romantic mystery and thriller with a futuristic edge. In this interview, I sat down to get to know the author behind the story. ‘Kelly’ was written by me, Kelly Blanchard, and ‘Adam’ was written by Adam Priestley.

adam-priestleys-cover

Kelly ran through the rain to the coffee shop, and she let herself sigh in relief once she was out of the rain and in the warm confines of the shop. Maybe by the time her interview actually began it would have stopped raining, but for now she stepped inside and up to the counter, ordering hot chocolate to ward off the cold of the rain.

Once she got her drink, she went to a table near the front windows of the shop and sat down facing the door. Here she could watch people, and watching them run through the rain was always entertaining, but she was watching for a specific individual.

Adam opened the door of the taxi cab and stepped out onto the high street in front of the coffee shop. Typical it was raining, and he had left his umbrella at home on the side of the sofa where he had discarded it last time.

The rain was coming down so hard he would be drenched by the time he was inside. He could see the girl he was meeting, sitting waiting patiently for him. He started to walk towards her and then froze as his nerves got the better of him.

Telling himself off, he looked across at her and smiled. Plucking up the courage he opened the door and went inside. As soon as he opened the door he was met by the welcoming, tantalising smell of coffee and pastries. He resisted the urge to go get himself a drink and walked straight towards kelly. “Hi.” he smiled, nervously. “Hope you haven’t been waiting long?” 

Kelly shook her head as she rose to her feet to greet him. She reached out her hand to him. “Adam, it’s great to meet you. I haven’t been waiting here at all. If you’d like to get something to drink, go ahead and then you may join me here.” She motioned to the table and smiled at him.

“Thanks” he said accepting her hand, he smiled. “I see you’ve already got a drink so I’ll get you your next one. I’ll just be a sec.” Adam walked to the counter, thankfully there was only a small que. As he waited he glanced over his shoulder at Kelly and smiled again. He hadn’t done anything like this before. He ordered a traditional cappuccino, no chocolate sprinkles as he was watching his weight and walked back towards Kelly. He buzzed with excitement ready to begin the interview.

Once Adam returned and sat down, Kelly smiled at him. “So, tell me a bit about yourself. I know you’re a writer, but do you have a job other than that? I find writers come from all walks of life, and it’s quite interesting.”

“Yeah I do. It’s not that exciting, certainly not what I trained at university for but it pays the bills and I’ve met some good friends along the way. I’m what the company calls a key operative, others call the position a charge hand. At a meat factory, specialising in hams.

Kelly nodded when she heard this. “Well, writers do what they have to to make ends meet, don’t we? Definitely not what we likely went to university for, but as you say, it pays the bills.” She took a sip of her drink before continuing with a smile. “So, when did you first become interested in writing?”

Adam smiled as fond memories circulated in his head. “I think my interest started at a very early age I would always have my nose in a book as a youngster and used to love playing out my own scenes from the books. But my best memory was when I was seven and as part of a school production I had to read out one of my stories called Turkeys Revenge.” He let out a blissful chuckle at the memory. “It was about Turkeys who decided they weren’t going to be eaten for Christmas and attacked the farmer. The audience loved it and even to this day if I go back to the village I grew up in some of the old residents always talk to me about it. At secondary school there was a bot of a lull as I set my heart on becoming an actor. This is what I dreamed of being and went away to study at university.”

“You wanted to become an actor?” Kelly lifted her brows. “That’s pretty awesome! If you had the choice between writing and acting, which would you choose? I know, unfair question, but still…” She shrugged and smiled at him.

“N,o it isn’t as they were part and parcel of the same thing. I used to write a lot of my own material. I was in a production of Scrooge as Scrooge and I even played Snow White in an off beat comedy.” He smiled. “But this isn’t really answering your question. If you had asked me ten years ago I would have said an actor, but these days I much more prefer creating the characters and learning about them.” He shrugged. ” I think maybe when i am writing I am actually acting all of the characters.”

“And as a writer, you have the ability to be all the characters at once whereas with an actor you’re limited to one or two characters,” Kelly pointed out. “But what made the shift in you from acting to writing? Why did you change your mind?”

“To be truly honest. I really haven’t got a clue.” He laughed. “I think its time when I started working where I am ten years ago i was still involved with my local ma dram group trying to get them to put on one of my plays. then I started working at the factory where I have to get up at 4 every morning, and it was like if I can’t have the time to be an actor, I’m going to focus on my books and enrolled on an open learning course.”

Kelly nodded as she listened to this. “It sounds quite grilling, but you found your way back to writing.” She smiled at him as she leaned back in her chair, getting comfortable. “So, tell me about your writing. We can only discuss one story at this time, but you get to pick! I’d love to hear it.” She grinned at him because she loved hearing the new stories every writer had, and she knew they loved those stories with all their beings. That made her happy.

“Well,” he smiled, “That’s easy it would have to be Lava Lounge Nights. This has kind of grown out of the play I was trying to get my old am dram group to produce.” He loved talking about this story. It had been with him for a very long time and although it had evolved to him it was still the same thing. “It’s set in the future and about a night club caught in the middle of a turf war between two rival families. In the play version there was going to be this whole Romeo and Juliette style thing but as it’s evolved that kind of now feels so cliche.”

“This sounds very intriguing.” Kelly leaned forward, setting her elbow on the table and her chin in the palm of her hand. “So, who are the major players in this story?”

“Lazarus Sinclair, is the owner and he’s been with it every step of the way, although in the present version he has become a lot younger. He’s the eldest son in the main gangster family.” Adam took a swallow of his coffee, and Kelly smiled as it left a foam mustache.

Kelly motioned to his mouth, indicating to the foam, but she smiled nonetheless. “Okay, you have Lazarus, but who else?”

Adam flushed with embarrassment before wiping his face. “Then there is his wife Angelica, who is hiding some dark, mysterious secret and has been forced to make a late night runner from her parents house. She hates herself for dragging her kids on a red eye flight full off drunks and undesirables but she feels as though her hand has been forced. Through the whole journey she is feeling uneasy as though she is being watched. After she lands in the car park she is suddenly abducted by masked men.”

Kelly arched her brows when she heard this. “And I suppose you can’t tell me what happens to her, eh?” She gave him a look but then smiled as she sat back in her chair. “Guess I’ll just have to read the book! So, what inspired this story idea? You mentioned it was a play of your originally which has evolved since then, but what gave you the idea for the story?”

“I think I wanted to create a sci-fi that didn’t have the stigma of only being for sci-fi fans Lava Lounge Nights has a bit in it for everyone. From romance to aliens. I think the main inspiration comes from mixing together everything I like but also with scifi there are no barriers. One last character I really ought to tell you about is is Lydia, Lazarus Sinclairs twin sister. Like the Krays one is more damaged and prone to violent outbursts. In Lava Lounge this is Lydia. When we are first introduced to her she is in the middle of a bar fight.”

Adam looked at his watch he was enjoying this, there was so much more to tell but the real world outside wanted their characters back. “Sorry Kelly, I’m going to have to go, but I really have enjoyed this, maybe another time.”

“No problem! Thanks for meeting with me and showing me a bit of your world.” Kelly smiled as she rose to her feet. “I need to get going anyway, but I can’t wait to meet whichever character you’ll have me meet.”

<~>~<~>~<~>

Adam Priestley’s novel, ‘Lava Lounge Nights’, is not yet published, but there is a taster chapter of Adam’s forthcoming story available on Wattpad: www.wattpad.com/story/85092855-lava-lounge-nights.

Author Interview: N. R. Tupper

(Kelly was written by Kelly Blanchard. Nert was written by N. R. Tupper.)

One thing Kelly had to say about her interviews, sometimes they took her to the strangest of places, she mused as she wandered through the broken down hunk of metal spaceship that still floated through space. She had come in prepared with a spacesuit, but the readings indicated sufficient oxygen to breath, so she removed her suit helmet. Apparently whatever the reason was for this place to be abandoned, it wasn’t the oxygen. Still, a chill ran down her spine.

She walked passed the walls, which leaked with a damp but sticky liquid, but no, she wasn’t about to touch that. And overhead the lights flickered.

Then she heard footsteps behind her and spun around, setting her flashlight on the individual. And she tensed. “Nert Tupper? N. R. Tupper?” When Nert nodded, Kelly sighed in relief and drew near to her. “I’ve got to say, you’ve picked an…interesting place to meet.”

Dressed in jeans, a Doctor Who t-shirt and a thick brown sweater Nert didn’t fit in at all. She looked more suited to a farm than a spaceship. Kelly approached and Nert’s chubby features changed to a bright smile. The smile was like a switch that changed her face from neutral and almost sad to bright and welcoming. “Yup! It’s one of my favorite places, just be careful, okay? There are… things in the vent. They aren’t exactly friendly. We’ll be safer up at the bridge. It’s this way.” With a wave, Nert headed back down the hall to a set of doors not too far away. The doors opened with a ping as Nert approached, revealing a large elevator car.

Kelly followed after Nert. What had she gotten into? But she had to say, this was better than visiting Hell for an interview which she’d done. Still, it had creepy vibes to it. However, to keep her mind off that, Kelly proceeded with questions, “So, Nert…why this place of all places? I mean, why is it your favorite place? The quiet?”

“Oh no! Not at all!” Nert laughed as the elevator closed behind them. They must have been moving but it was impossible to tell as the numbers on the elevator panel changed, leading them up to the 47th level. “This is the HOPEBRINGER. She’s the center of pretty much everything that happens in my series. The main trilogy, and the prequels. Initially she was humanity’s hope but in a way she becomes humanity’s doom.”

Ping! The doors opened, revealing a large, open, almost sparse room that, judging by the Captain’s chair and huge viewscreen dominating the far wall, must have been the bridge.

“We’ll be safe here. Generally they don’t come up here.”

“That is so very comforting…” Kelly wasn’t convinced, but she trusted Nert, so she smiled and took a look around the bridge. She had to admit, it was amazing up here. Such sights never ceased to amaze her. She turned back to Nert. “Okay, so tell me a bit about yourself. Are you a full-time writer, or do you have a day-job?”

“I have a day-job, a night-job and I write full time in that I’m always thinking about it. It’s hard to turn that part off. Any quiet moments, when I’m scanning grocery items, or scanning documents, I’m plotting and imagining. It’s a real problem.” Nert moved to the Captain’s chair and plopped down with a happy sigh. She ran her hands lovingly over the arms of the chair. “I’ve always wanted to sit here. Please! Have a seat at one of the consoles, unless you want to explore?” There were six consoles, three on each side of the Captain’s Chair. “But, yeah, writing has always been my passion but I always lacked the courage to share my work. This will be the first time I’m offering my full manuscript to anyone but my closest, most dearest friends.”

Kelly gifted her with a warm smile as she meandered around the bridge. “Well, I’m quite honored you’d share anything with me. Thank you.” She bowed her head but then lifted it again to smile at Nert. “So, you’ve always been writing, but was there ever a moment that really urged you on to take writing seriously? Or did you always take it seriously?” She raised her brows as she traced her fingers along a console.

“Honestly? Probably an early mid-life crisis. The thing that always held me back was feeling like writing was a childish passion, a foolish dream… and then one day I woke up and I just thought: Nert, you’re turning 30 next year. It’s time you start living the life you WANT, as opposed to the life you got handed to you. And so I started writing this story and it has consumed my life ever since.”

Kelly had to grin. “Well, I’m glad you’ve had that realization and are writing seriously now.” Finally she turned to face Nert fully and leaned back against a console. “So, tell me about one of your stories. What’s it about?”

“One of them? Haha. Oh gawd. Well, the one that’s coming out in May follows Kai Brecken. Honeslty, Kai was an accident. I never planned her. I had the story and I had the back story and I had no idea who would tell the story because I knew the real main character couldn’t. Then when I sat down to right Kai just popped onto the page and there she was…Ultimately her story is one of forgiveness, family, love. But it’s surrounded by all this action and space dragons. I think people will appreciate that at it’s core this little action story is really a story about the love of family, both blood and chosen.”

“Is it a science fiction story or what genre?” Kelly asked as she gestured to their surroundings, which she assumed belonged to one of Nert’s stories.

“I honestly call it science fiction but I’ve been told by betas that it’s more space fantasy. I’ve spent my whole life reading science fiction but I’ve never been one of those people who worries about labels and specifics. I just like what I like. So, anyway, space fantasy. Let’s say, space fantasy.”

Kelly shrugged. “I’d call it science fiction too, for what it’s worth, but okay, space fantasy works too.” She smiled as she pushed away from the console to pace some more. It helped her think. “So, you said it’s a story about forgiveness, family, and love, but…but that’s all pretty general—though important.” Kelly looked back at Nert. “What’s the plot? The characters? Their conflicts? What is forgiveness necessary for the story?”

Nert pushed her toe into the floor to make the chair spin.  “I mean, that’s so hard to answer. It’s a trilogy you know! I don’t want to give too much away!” She called as she spun faster and faster. Finally she forced the chair to a stop and with a laugh sunk low in her seat, “Dizzy. Um… I guess… so, Kai is the character telling the story and she’s a badass, but she did something that separated her from her family and ultimately hurt her family and she’s doing her best to reconnect with them. She initially worked with pirates but wants to do her own thing so she’s gathered this crew and they take a job transporting goods to Egeria — a newly terraformed Alliance owned planet. When they arrive at Egeria they find an Alliance secret that could change the course of humanity’s relationship with the Sarlek. At this point Kai has to choose between saving her crew, and saving humanity. Anyway. The real key character of the story is someone she meets along the way. I don’t want to name names, but this other character is a mother who, a long time ago, was separated from her children. The family part comes in that these two women are both desperately trying to find their family. All while not realizing they’re surrounded by a new family. I’m probably explaining this bad! I have no idea how to talk about it without spoiling things.”

Kelly had to laugh. “Totally understand the spoiler idea. Don’t want the readers to be spoiled too much, and explaining a trilogy is never easy. You’ve done well.” She reassured her with a smile as she lowered into a chair and leaned forward. “So tell me about Kai. What’s she like?”

“She’s… amazing,” Nert smiles as she speaks, her expression softening, “I wanted her to be a hero people could appreciate, but I also wanted her to be human. I find, too often, female heroes these days tend to be either too weak, or too over powered. Kai isn’t either of those. She’s human. She doubts herself, she second-guesses herself, she worries a LOT, she obsesses about the past and her mistakes but ultimately she’s strong because when she has to make a decision, she does it. She’s impulsive, but she’s not afraid. She’s intelligent, but her own self-doubts stop her from being cocky. She’s loyal, to a fault. She’s cranky, snarky, hilarious without knowing it. She’s just… human. And like humans, she’s a study in contradictions. I know some people don’t like her, because she is constantly second guessing but I think there are very few people in this world who don’t second guess themselves and ultimately I wanted a human character, not an unrealistic heroine.”

Kelly paused for a second, tilting her head as if listening and focusing on something else before looking back at Nert and shaking her head. “Sorry. Tornado warning at my place in real life. I know time moves differently here than in real life, but I just tried to get my cats. Anyway, thankfully the storm has passed, so…what were you saying? Oh yes, your character being human and realistic. So in that case, what has been your greatest struggle to make her realistic?”

“Making her realistic was easy. It was balancing her insecurities and her abilities that was hard. At one point I had her doubting herself WAY too much and it didn’t make sense that she had done the things she did and could do the things she can do. Figuring out the balance between insecurity and strength was hard. I think we all have hidden strength, sometimes without knowing it, and I wanted to pay homage to that with this character. I think we are, all of us, a little bit like Kai.” Nert tilts her head, “Tornado, eh? We don’t get those here. Sounds scary.”

Kelly shrugged. “Tornados are the norm for Texas at times, but it’s okay.” She smiled at Nert. “So, you kinda mentioned what inspired this idea, but what exactly triggered it?”

“It started with a little dragon boy named Kip. He started popping into my head ages ago but I kind of dismissed him because I wasn’t into fantasy. As the years went by he kept popping into my head and… in searching for his story, I found the story of his parents and the story of his parents led me to this. As to what triggered him? A little game called Breath of Fire. I was completely enamored with the shape shifting dragon concept and it just got this little human-dragon Kip in my head. He’s adorable, by the way. Real quiet, real gentle… and ironically, I still haven’t figured out what /his/ story is but he’s spawned all these other stories.”

Kelly furrowed her brows as she heard this, and she leaned forward, clasping her hands together. “But how did you get from there with a dragon to here with space fantasy?”

“It all comes back to here, the HOPEBRINGER.” Nert answered with a laugh, “Because I don’t write fantasy, I tried to think of ways to make a fantasy that wasn’t a fantasy and I thought what if I have science fiction characters meet a fantasy world? Then I can have my cake and eat it too. And so the HOPEBRINGER was born and she brought my science fiction characters to a fantasy world but that wasn’t the end of it, because I still wasn’t telling the right story. And eventually the HOPEBRINGER led me to Kai and her crew and the story she wanted to tell. I don’t know, it’s so hard to pinpoint any exact moment when anything came together because it was such a long, gradual process. It was my first time trying to write a full length novel and my first time trying to write fantasy so it was a very long learning process.”

“Well, it is possible to write a fantasy/science fiction story. That’s what I do with my novel.” Kelly offered Nert some hope then glimpsed around at the ship again. “What’s the backstory of the HOPEBRINGER?”

Nert grins at that question, her eyes twinkled with amusement. Overhead something banged loudly in the vent. Nert’s eyes raised upwards. She shrugged and focused her gaze back on Kelly. “It’s the Titanic of space. A giant terraforming beast that humanity sent to strange new worlds. It ends up on an alien planet far from human reach. Nobody knows how, it’s this huge mystery. But, some of its crew survived and forged a new life on the alien planet. Hundreds of years later Kai and her crew find the ship, only it’s no longer occupied by humans. Instead, it has some nasty new inhabitants that aren’t too interested in sharing.”

“Ah nice…” Kelly tried not to shiver at the thought, but she could only imagine what Nert created to occupy this ship. “I have so many questions I’d like to ask about the story and the backstory, but, I know, spoilers.” She sighed and sat back in her chair, frowning as she tried to think of another question. When she thought of it, her eyes lit, and she smiled as she looked back at Nert. “Okay, so what’s your favorite thing to write about the story?”

“Oh the characters! I love them! Maybe that’s a bit narcissistic but I love doubting Kai and sneaky Hawthorne and silly Tucker and badass Mallik. I just love them all so much. And it’s hard, because I have so much more I want to share about them and their lives but this first novel is a fast-paced action and it’s hard to slip in all the stuff I wish I could slip in! I can’t tell you how many scenes I deleted because they slowed the story down. It’s painful, really. And still I have people telling me I should take MORE out because backstory isn’t important but man! I love the backstory! I love these kids so much! And yes, they are my kids.”

“Hey, do what you feel is right. You know the story better than anyone else.” Kelly made sure she had Nert’s attention when she said this, but then she went on, “And what’s the most difficult thing you’ve found to write with this story?”

“It’s not in the first novel, but in the third novel there’s this thing that… it was really hard to write, really hard to do even. I tried to think of other ways to end the story but it had to end this way and… well, I’m jumping way ahead because that’s the third book. In the first novel, I think the hardest thing was finding the perfect balance of world building and pacing. I wanted this to be fast-paced and sometimes world building can slow things down. So I had to learn how to show just wanted needed to be shown just when it needed to be shown. Just enough so the reader wasn’t lost but not so much that the reader was bogged down.”

“That’s quite a delicate balance indeed.” Kelly nodded but then offered Nert a smile. “But I’m sure you’ve mastered it well.” Then she sighed because she knew what time it was. “Our time is almost up, so I’m going to have to be going soon, but before I leave, what’s something you would like your readers to walk away with after they read your story? Something they’ll remember?”

“Dragons in space are amazing?” Nert laughed, “No, I’m kidding. I think the thing I want them to walk away with is; love the people you love with all your heart and take care of them. Ultimately, that’s the only thing in life that matters. The people you make family are so, so important and the time you have with them is short, so make every second count… but also, dragons in space are amazing.” Nert stood from the chair and held out her hand, “Thanks for meeting with me. I really appreciate it.”

Kelly grinned, shaking Nert’s hand as she stood too. “Dragons in space are pretty awesome indeed. Thanks so much for taking the time to chat. This was fun. I’m looking forward to whichever character you’ll have me meet!”

“Oh, me too!” Nert laughed, “and, uh, don’t take anything personally, okay? My characters can be a bit… distrusting of strangers.”

Kelly smirked at this. “That’s totally fine! I’m used to that. It will be fun! However though, I’ve got to go. You take care, okay?”

“Have a great day! And, just… uh… be careful on your way out. See you!” Nert waved with a grin

Kelly smiled, taking note of the warning, but then headed out

<~>~<~>~<~>

N. R. Tupper’s novel, TYR, is now available. Be sure to follow her on social media as well for more updates!

Book: getbook.at/TYR

Twitter: www.twitter.com/nrtupper

Website: www.nrtupper.wix.com/nrtupper

Character Interview: Olivia H. Leitner’s Seona

(Kelly was written by Kelly Blanchard. Seona was written by Olivia H. Leitner.)

Seona tossed yet another book into the growing pile by her medical bed as she sighed in disgust. She hadn’t even gotten halfway through it. “Yes, we’re fightin’ an invasion of zombie cyborgs, but sure, we have time for the sixteen-year-old to decide which of the equally stupid boys she’s goin’ to spend her life with right now.”

A mix of a choke and splutter came from the man seated across the room in a chair that was far too comfortable to be in any normal hospital. “Zombie cyborgs?”

“I wish I was kiddin’. Where did you even find that? Don’t tell me these all were Kway’s?” When Vi’el had offered to get her some books, she’d assumed they’d be some highly regarded epics from some planet their employer had visited in the past – he definitely seemed like the type.

Vi’el shrugged. “They were in the station’s library. Not sure who brought them aboard. Kway keeps his books in his office, though, so I doubt they’re his.”

“Well, whoever it is has merskot taste in books…” She flopped her head back against pillows of the inclined bed. “I need Countdown Eclipse.”

Vi’el chuckled as he stood from his chair. “Haven’t you read that book like literally over a hundred times?”

“Oh, way more than that.”

Vi’el’s lips twitched into an amused smile.

Seona jabbed a finger at him. “Don’t give me that look, it’s been out for several hundred years. If I re-read my favorite book once a year, that’s not unreasonable, and I don’t even read it that often.”

“Fair enough.” He tapped the wrist of his left arm with the index and middle finger of his right, activating the holographic display of his implanted wrist computer. “Well, Kway’s got me on a mission soon near Andar. We’ll see if I can’t find a copy somewhere.”

She smiled widely. “Thanks, love.”

“You are quite welcome.” He closed the holographic display and leaned over to plant a kiss on her forehead before brushing some of her hair back. “Anything else I can get you before I go to keep away the boredom?”

“Actually, I’ve got a guest comin’ onboard the station, so I should be fine. Just move that chair closer to the bed on your way out, maybe?”

“Certainly.” Vi’el dragged the chair closer. “This guest anyone I know?”

“Nope. I’ve never met her before either.”

Vi’el backed towards the door with his right eyebrow highly raised. “All right then. Have fun?”

She grinned. “When do I not?”

His chuckle echoed down the hallway as he left, but then it was cut with an, “Oh, pardon me.”

Seona knew her husband’s tones quite well, so she could tell he wasn’t familiar with whoever he’d run into.

That must have been her guest, then. There were only about twelve to twenty people aboard at any given time, and they knew everyone else quite well.

Seona sat up straight – pressing a hand to her side to make sure she didn’t jostle her wound – and waited.

  

Kelly walked into the room, noticed Seona’s tense position and how she held her hand to what appeared to be a wound, and Kelly tilted her head to a side. “What happened?” Then she remembered her manners. “Oh sorry, I’m Kelly. I believe you’re expecting me.” She drew near to the bed and shook Seona’s hand. “But please, relax. Lay down. No need for formality with me, but what did happen to you?” As Kelly asked this, she lowered herself into the chair near the bed and waited for the answer.

Seona waved off the apology and shook Kelly’s hand in return. “It’s fine. Pleasure to meet you in person, Kelly.” She stayed seated up. “Gunshot. Mostly healed now. My friend’s eyesight isn’t quite as good as mine, and we were in a snowstorm in hostile territory.”

Kelly nodded when she heard this. “I’m hoping it wasn’t your friend who shot you—by accident, of course, but being shot in a snowstorm…that certainly says something about somebody’s aim.” She chuckled as she relaxed in the chair. “So, was that your husband, Vi’el, I passed in the hall?” She jutted her chin toward the door. “How did you two meet?”

Seona snorted. “Yeah, he couldn’t tell it was me and he is a very good shot. Glad he didn’t aim for my head. Not sure my helmet would have stopped and energy weapon’s bullet.” She clasped her hands in front of her. “And yep. That lovely gentleman is mine. We met back in 1736 on Andar. Ran into each other when I was actin’ as a bodyguard for a diplomat. He was just a traveler, but he ended up dodgin’ flying bottles with us when there was a disagreement in the tavern.”

“Very interesting.” Then Kelly brought her hands together and leaned forward, meeting Seona’s gaze. “I understand you were previously engaged before Vi’el though. What happened?”

Seona was silent for a moment. How? Just how had this woman gotten that information? Kway had mentioned that she was well informed, but she hadn’t expected this. “Glasson. He was killed in the line of duty. We were both in a war that took place before my people settled on Andar.” He was killed. Such a simplified version of those events.

Kelly tilted her head, observing Seona. She could see there was much more to the story than she was telling, but she decided not to focus on that actual event. “What was Glasson like?”

So, she wasn’t going to press on the actual events. Smart woman. “He was… realistic. Had a very direct way of lookin’ at things. He didn’t see the point in sugar coatin’ things, but he he always hoped for the best. The war definitely dampened his spirits, but I could always tell he had much more fun side that he didn’t let get out much after he’d been fightin’ for so long.”

Kelly nodded when she heard this. “And what would be one thing that his presence in your life taught you? His hope?” She raised her brows. “Or something else?”

Seona considered the question for a moment. She’d spent so many years trying to forget that part of her life that it was strange thinking back to it like this. “His courage. And selflessness. When we first met, we were very young, but he was already fightin’. Scared to death, but still fightin’. As he got older, I could she him push past that. He’d have done anything to save a comrade.”

“And what of your own family? I mean, your parents. Any siblings?” Kelly shifted the topic. She was aware that Seona was part of the immortal races in this world, so after much time, family could become irrelevant over time, but still, Kelly was curious.

“Hmm…” Seona nodded. Yet another fun topic. “My mother was an engineer. She was killed in an accidental explosion. My father… I’m still not sure. We were separated a long time ago and I haven’t been able to find him. I do have an older brother – Varian – and I know he’s alive, but I haven’t seen him in a long time either. Kway is helpin’ me track him down currently.”

“Why is he so difficult to find? Why are you two so far apart in the first place?” Kelly raised her brows as she sat back in her chair. She knew she was asking hard questions, but then again, that was her job.

Seona laughed. She never realized just how complicated her history was until she had to put it into words. “That is… a very long story. I was separated from him at the same time as my father. It back durin’ the same war Glasson and I fought in. Space battle just went… very wrong very quickly. I thought Varian was dead, so I didn’t look for him, and he ended up with amnesia, so he didn’t even know I existed. I only recently found out he was alive, and… it’s a big universe. Trackin’ one person down can be difficult.”

“How did you find out he was alive though? And what of your father?  You don’t sound convinced that he died. Are you looking for him as well?”

These were not the questions she had been expecting. Seona shifted in her bed again, trying to find a more comfortable position. “An enemy of his, actually. Turns out my brother got into a bit of trouble while he was wanderin’ around memoryless. As for my father… I’m fairly certain he gone. I usually don’t entirely trust that someone I know is dead unless there’s a body, but I do trust Kway and he says he’s sure.”

“Who’s Kway?” At the look Seona gave her, Kelly chuckled. “Listen, I know a lot, but I don’t know everything. It’s part of the fun of these interviews.”

“Fair enough.” Kway may have been well-know among their group, but he certainly kept his secrets. “Kway is an information dealer who is extremely good at his job. He sought out everyone on this station and gave them personal invites to join his cause of restorin’ peace to the galaxy* – his words, not mine. I can’t say I truly know his motives, but he’s proven himself enough times. I am… a tad suspicious of his involvement in wanting to find my brother, though. He’s treatin’ it rather personally. ”

Kelly furrowed her brows when she heard this, and she brought her hands to tap against her chin thoughtfully. “What do you think his motives are regarding your brother?”

Seona shrugged. “Similarity to something that happened with his own family? That’s my best guess. Being an information dealer makes it so he’s pretty good at keepin’ his own past from anyone else.”

Kelly had to grin. “Sounds like someone I should talk to. Wonder what info I’d get out of him.” She then shook her head, still smiling, but focusing back on the topic at hand. “All right, so what were your parents like? What was life like before the war? Or has the war been ongoing that long?”

“Ohhh, you two would have a blast.” If anyone could get information out of Kway, it’d be this woman. Something about her just made Seona not mind telling her things. “Though I feel I should warn you – his level of charm should be illegal. Well, with others, anyway. He doesn’t tend to use it on me. Probably because he knows it won’t work. Or maybe because I’m married.”

Ah, back to this topic, were they? “Well, my mother died when I was very young, so I don’t remember much. My father was…” She bit her lip. “If I had to chose one word, I’d say fun. Don’t ask me how, but he somehow managed to be the sassy class clown and still get the respect as any other head of security on a ship. And I wasn’t a before the war for me. I was born durin’ it.”

Kelly nodded when she heard this about the war. She had expected it. “And what of your brother? What was he like?”

“Sweet.” Seona’s response was automatic. “He was the brother that was sweetly protective instead on annoyingly.” She shook her head, dropping her gaze. “He shouldn’t have been a soldier. Too kind of a heart to be in the middle of the bloodbath we got thrown into.”

Kelly was silent for a moment as she observed Seona. “I’m sure you have good memories of him though, and hopefully, when you find him again, he is just as sweet as you recall.” She smiled. However though, she shifted the topic once more. “So, tell me about your daughter.”

Seona forced a smile that she knew was not at all convincing because she didn’t even try to make it so. Where she got Varian back or not, she knew he would be the same. He’d done horrible things after his memory loss and the was no way he’d ever be the same.

Oh, now there was a much more welcome topic. “Adeline. She’s currently helping rebuild a part of a city on a nearby planet along with her fiancé.”

“What is she like? What’s her personality?” Kelly smiled when she saw how Seona seemed to relax at this new topic.

Seona rolled her shoulders, trying to relieve the stiffness there. “She’s is a complete mix between of me and Vi’el. She looks just like me – same hair and eyes – and she’s got the same optimistic, energetic spunk as her dad. And somehow she picked up Varian’s pilotin’ skills – no idea where that one came from considerin’ they’ve never met.”

Kelly chuckled. “Genetics. He’s related to you after all, so I’m not surprised.” She leaned forward, clasping her hands together, locking eyes with Seona. “What is your hope for Adeline? For her future?”

Seona arched an eyebrow. “Her future? Well, she’s a couple hundred years old herself and she’s got a good life, I guess I just hope it stays that way. Hope she doesn’t have to face a lot of the tough situations me and her father have.”

Kelly smiled. “You all may be immortal, but…that doesn’t change how life affects you. If anything it affects you harder–especially if you lose someone close to you because, for you, eternity has an entirely different concept.” She paused for a moment then asked, “Mind if I stand? Sometimes I like to walk around a bit. It helps me think.” When Seona nodded, Kelly smiled her thanks and rose to her feet, meandering around the small room. “And Aronsam—I understand you’re good friends with him. Who is he exactly?”

“Oh, you certainly don’t have to tell me that. I’ve lost enough people to know.” Thanks for the reminder…

That unpleasant thought was completely pushed aside with the next question, though. Seona burst out laughing. And kept laughing. “You have… no idea how many years Vi’el and I have been askin’ that exact question. He just… popped into our lives and didn’t leave. Kept showin’ up to help us out with certain problems we were havin’. He and Adeline have been best friends since she was a teen, but he didn’t tell her who he was either. Kway couldn’t even find a hint about his history.” She wiped a small tear of laughter from her eye. “Finally, though, we found out he’s–“

“Not a word!” Aronsam popped up in the doorway, jabbing a finger at her. “That secret does not leave our trusted circle, Mrs. Westheart!”

Seona rolled her eyes. “Oh, stop bein’ such a drama queen. And I’m in the middle of an interview – go get me a cup of coffee or somethin’.”

Aronsam’s hands settled on his hips as his eyebrows shot up. “Um, I’m sorry, I believe you’ve mistaken me for a slave of some kind?”

Seona gave him a deadpan glare. “You. Shot. Me. I’m stuck in this bed because of it. Go get me coffee.”

Kelly laughed. “You shot her? She’s right, you do owe a cup of coffee…or several.” She grinned but then turned back to Seona and sighed. “Unfortunately though, our time is up. Thank you so much for meeting with me though and answering my questions. I enjoyed learning about you.”

Aronsam’s sigh lasted for several seconds. “There are only so many times I can apologize… Fine. I’ll get you coffee. Lovely meeting you, person I don’t know the name of!” He waved over his shoulder as he left. He only took two steps before he had to dodge around someone else in the hallway. “Oh, hello Kway.”

Seona smiled. “Not a problem – I had an interesting time doing it.” She gesture to Kway, who was standing in the doorway, leaning on the polished cane of his as his solid black eyes observed them. “Since I can’t walk you out, Kway will fill in for me.”

“Thank you.” Kelly bowed her head to Seona then turned to greet Kway with a smile. Oh, this would be an interesting chat if she could talk with him.

<~>~<~>~<~>

Olivia H. Leitner’s novel, Accusations (Book 1 in the Siren’s Call series) is not yet released and has no set publication date yet. However, you can follow her on Facebook to get inside look into the universe she is creating as well as any publication information.

Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/OliviaHLeitner/

Author Interview: Olivia H. Leitner

(Kelly was written by Kelly Blanchard. Olivia was written by Olivia H. Leitner.)

Walking through the corridors of this 12th century palace, Kelly took in her surroundings. It had been a long time since she visited Jerusalem in year 1178 when King Baldwin IV was king, but this was the location her interviewee had requested because she had read Kelly’s own books and wanted to visit this place. Kelly wondered if she could stop by the king’s study to visit with him, but at this hour of the day, he was likely in the High Court seeing to matters of the court. Maybe another time.

A portal opened beside Kelly, and she looked and smiled at her friend, Olivia H. Leitner. She motioned for Olivia to pass through the portal. “It’s perfectly safe, I assure you.” Once Olivia came through and the portal vanished, Kelly smiled. “Been a while since we’ve chatted, so it’s good to see you again. Here is Jerusalem during King Baldwin IV’s reign.” She gestured to their surroundings. “I hope it’s what you expected.”

Olivia held up a finger. “Firstly.” She embraced Kelly in a hug and then stepped back with a grin. “Okay, now we can talk.” Her eyes scanned their surroundings. “I’m pretty sure I climbed this building in Assassin’s Creed, but it’s much prettier here.”

Kelly laughed. “Yeah, I missed you too. Been a while.” Then they began walking, taking in their surroundings. “Okay, so…it’s really odd interviewing someone I know so well. However, my readers don’t know you, so I need to ask questions so that they may get to know you. Firstly, and I always ask this question, what are you doing these days other than writing?”

Olivia nodded, tugging as the collar of her maroon jacket. Jacket. In Jerusalem. Why had she thought that was a good idea? “Wellll, right now I’m recovering from mono, such not all that much, but normally I like to make music videos, learn and teach Tae Kwon Do,  procrastinate with video games when I’m supposed to be writing…” She chuckled. “I unfortunately do not have a job right now, but I’m working on that. As soon as I don’t have mono.”

“Sorry to hear you’ve been sick although I can totally relate. I still have a cough from being sick myself.” Kelly nodded, glad she had finally recovered as well. She gestured for them to take a turn to the right, which lead into the courtyard garden. “So…tell me, does Tae Kwon Do help you write fight scenes?”

“Yeah, you got sick around the same time as me, I think.” Olivia shrugged her jacket off as the sunlight hit them and tied it around her waist instead. “And, oh about Tae Kwon Do, unbelievably. Gives me a lot of respect for people who don’t have a background with martial art who still write fight scenes well. I mean, they probably do research, but it must be hard. At the same time, though, sometimes I have to remind myself that the readers aren’t going to know as much as me, or that not every character I have that fights is going to have my style of martial arts. It’s a balance, I’d say.”

“Everything’s a balance.” Kelly nodded, leading them to a fountain that was shaded at this time of day. The shadow and water offered cool relief from the heat. “So, when did you first begin writing? What got you interested in writing?”

Olivia tilted her head, thinking back. “You know, when I thirteen was the first time I tried to really write, but I recently found picture I drew when I was little that have stories written on them. Not to mention the Storybook Weaver program I had on my System 9 computer. I went crazy with that thing. But really, the first real writing was when I was thirteen. I remember that I wanted to read a particular fanfic, but it didn’t exist. So I wrote instead. Now that fanfic is still going and I have over 200k on it. And that’s after re-writing the first ten chapters four times.”

“That’s amazing.” Kelly smiled at Olivia then sat down near the fountain and ran her fingers through the cool water. It felt nice. She pondered for a moment then focused on Olivia once more. “So you said you’re writing fan fiction, but do you have work of your own you’re hoping to publish one day? Or do you want to discuss your fan fiction? Either is fine with me.” She smiled as she withdrew her hand from the water. It had been a while since Kelly had read any fan fiction. She should change that if she ever had the time to read anything. Nevertheless, she focused on Olivia, intent on hearing what she had to say.

Olivia sat next to Kelly, mimicking her actions. “Oh, you have no idea. I haven’t been able to really talk to you in so long. I definitely have original work. Fan fiction is fun, but it was just a gateway that lead me writing my own stuff. For the last few years, I’ve been working on series named Siren’s Call. It’s a massive undertaking because it keeps growing. Right now I have at least fifteen books planned for it and almost half of them outlined. It’s going a bit faster now that I have most of it in my head.”

“Fifteen books planned!!!” Kelly stared at her wide-eyed. “I mean, last time you talked to me it was like…ten or twelve books you had planned, but fifteen? Wow. And you say you’ve outlined them all? Pretty amazing.” She gave Olivia a grin. “This sounds like quite an intense story, so tell me all about it…if you can summarize it.”

“Yeaaaah, like I said, it keeps growing.” Olivia scratched the back of her neck. “Siren’s Call had started out as single book with completely different characters that it had now. And I have around half of them outline on the computer. Rest are still in my head. As for summarizing? Best I stay broad on that. Now, I do assume people are going to be a little wary of a serious that long, you know? Wondering how I’ll keep things fresh? Well, that comes down to the characters, I’d say. See, I have three primary races – at the start of the series, there’s more later – and two of them are immortal, and the other is not. Now, the books themselves span hundreds of years. Obviously, then, the mortal characters won’t be around for whole series. The cast is always changing, but some of the immortals stick around. Others go do something else for a while, and then they come back. Or some die. That can happen too.”

“But what’s the core conflict of the stories? The general theme?” Kelly furrowed her brows as she glanced at Olivia.

Olivia blinked. “Right. I totally just went past your last question. Oops. Sorry.” It was hard not to get excited an ramble on. “Hmm, I think I’ll just stick with the first book for now, since I can’t really summarize them all. The first book is a sci-fi/fantasy story set in the 1700s – since the world has loosely tied timeline to our world – and it focuses around a mortal prince who is the middle child of his royal family. His name is Alastair. Now, he finds out that his youngest brother is planning kill his way to the throne, but he ends up getting blamed for it and has to flee the kingdom with his personal bodyguard’s help.”

“Interesting.” Kelly nodded. “And you say there’s more with immortals and mortals, and it’s fifteen books long, and the mortals don’t survive throughout the entire series…sounds very complex. How did you ever get the idea for this series?” She cast Olivia a smile.

“It is very complex. If I hadn’t outlined half series, I might have forgotten it. And not all the immortal survive either.” Olive used her most evil grin. “And, well, I got the idea for the Siren race first, and I came up with the generic premise with a Siren being a body guard to the prince who had to flee the kingdom. You remember Lowel from our co-authored story?”

Kelly nodded. “Yes…” That was a long story, but she smiled at Olivia. “How does he fit in?”

“Well… he doesn’t anymore. He was supposed to be the prince. But… I don’t know, Alastair kind of butted in. And then I thought about this race I had in another story that I was never going to actually write. They were called Centress. And somehow, I ended up bringing them over into this story to. Since then it just kept escalating.”

Kelly chuckled. “Sounds chaotic but fun. I love how stories take on a life of their own.” She rose to her feet with a sigh. “Well, Olivia, unfortunately our time is up, which is quite a shame. We could just keep talking all day long, but I have other errands to run before my next interview.” She motioned for Olivia to follow her. “Keep me posted on the status of your series. You know I always want to know.” She smiled at her. “For now though, we need to go…unless you want to meet King Baldwin before you leave….” She winked.

“Agh, yeah, I noticed we were closing in on the hour. Flew by, didn’t it? Probably because I kept yanking. Well, it was a lot of fun!” Olivia hopped up from the fountain and followed Kelly. “And will do! Also, if anybody is interesting in my series I do have a page now that I am ridiculously excited about. Wait…” Olivia stopped. “Meet Baldwin? Aww, man, yes please!”

Kelly laughed. “C’mon, I’ll take you to see him.” And she led the way through the palace to find the king.

<~>~<~>~<~>

Olivia H. Leitner’s novel, Accusations (Book 1 in the Siren’s Call series) is not yet released and has no set publication date yet. However, you can follow her on Facebook to get inside look into the universe she is creating as well as any publication information.

Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/OliviaHLeitner/

Character Interview: Kayla Matt’s Travis

(Kelly was written by Kelly Blanchard. Travis was written by Kayla Matt.)

It was a slightly overcast day in Hell Bent. Travis walked past one of the labs, a slight twinge of nervousness running along his spine. By this point, it was kind of a reflex. He’d been picked up by so many scientists in his time, he had half a mind to start charging them all for their services. He’d been heading home from work, having untucked his t-shirt from the standard-issue khakis the second he exited the comic shop.

Travis released his 6 or so foot-long red hair (give or take; he knew that it was longer than he was tall, at least) from its ponytail. Tufts of that same hair covered the tops of his monkey-like feet. Yes, complete with opposable toes. His long prehensile tail swayed lightly behind him, as he walked past one of the tallest buildings in the city. It was one of the schools, designed to look like a giant Tesla coil. He wasn’t sure whose idea that was, but the fact that he didn’t go through his school career with a horrible case of vertigo shocked him.

Right now, his mind was on one thing: food.

Kelly saw Travis up ahead. He was kinda hard to miss. This should be an interesting conversation because she wasn’t even sure if he was expecting her, so she lengthened her strides to catch up with him. “Travis?” When he snapped his gaze to her, she gave him a warm smile. “Hi, I’m Kelly. Mind if I have a moment of your time?” Or two hours, she thought, but decided not to actually say that just yet.

“Sure,” he replied, rubbing the back of his neck a bit. “Can we stop somewhere to grab something to eat, though? It’s been a few hours, is all.” He honestly hadn’t been expecting her, but at least she didn’t seem like she was out to hurt him. Not that he knew her well enough to make that assumption, but he chose to take the non-paranoid route here.

“Certainly!” She grinned at him. “You know of a good place?” And they started walking. “So, Travis, I’ve heard a lot about you and all you’ve gone through, and I can’t even begin to imagine half of it, but you’re really loyal to Spencer. How long have you known him? How did the two of you meet?”

“There’s this one burger place a few blocks from here.” As he walked with her, he thought that one over. “Well, we were friends way back in elementary school. All the way up until I was 10. It’s not that we broke up or anything. It’s just that when I was 10, dad went from asshat to supreme asshat and forced my sister and me into homeschooling for 3 years…” His green eyes narrowed at the thought of his father, and whether or not he realized it, his hands were beginning to form fists. “So glad we got out of there…”

“Well, homeschooling isn’t all that bad, but according to your reaction of the mere thought, I’m assuming your father had alternative motives or so…” Kelly trailed off as she observed him, but then she resumed the conversation, “Okay, so you lost touch with Spencer when you were ten, but you’re obviously still good friends, given everything you two have been through together, so how did you both reunite?”

“Well, after Dad kicked my sister and me out, we were adopted by one of the scientists around here. She helped us get up to where we should’ve been in school, and I think it was in high school that we finally saw each other again. We’d kept in touch during college. He went on to get his PHD, I flunked out in the second year. But anyway, when he got married to my sister, they asked if I wanted to live with them. So…yep, we’ve been living together for a few years now.”

Kelly smiled. “I’m happy for you. Sounds like your sister married a great man, and I’m glad you are great friends with him.” They stepped into the restaurant, found a table, and after Travis ordered his food, Kelly placed a small order. She wasn’t really hungry but didn’t want to appear rude. Then Kelly was able to focus on the conversation. “So, I have understand that Serena Taylor is your adopted mother and she…made you into half-monkey. How did that happen?”

Travis chuckled a bit. “There was some genetic engineering involved. She asked first though. Said she hated the idea of doing that without permission.”

“Well, that’s nice of her to ask, but why you?” Kelly leaned forward, setting her elbow on the table and her chin in her palm as she furrowed her brows. “Was there something in your genetics that made you a good candidate for the experiment or something?”

“I think it’s because she wanted to prove a point to someone or something, and I happened to be there,” he said with a shrug. “She asked Gemmy the same thing. Also added some extra stuff to it. My sister has this enhanced speed thing that she doesn’t use all that much, and I heal from stuff quickly.” He looked up as their orders were brought over. He’d gotten the largest bacon cheeseburger they had available.

Kelly nodded as she accepted the appetizer she had ordered. “So, how has your life changed since the experiment? You like it better this way or do you ever wish things were the way they used to be?”

“Well, the powers come in handy,” he said, before taking a couple of bites. “The one downside is that a few of the other scientists around here became curious about the healing thing. And instead of just, y’know, asking Mom for some notes and shit, they took matters into their own hands. And by that, I mean I’ve been shoved into more vans than I’d like to admit, driven to various labs…if mom told them to back off, though, they would. But I still think I’m better off now than I was before all of that.”

Kelly grimaced when she heard this and then shook her head. “Sounds like you could apply for frequent-kidnapping miles or something.” She chuckled. “So, you mentioned your dad, but whatever happened to your mom?”

“Yeah, probably. It’s not really as traumatic after the first ten times. Usually, anyway…” He ate a little more. “Mom was apparently lucky when she had me. Not so much with my sister. A good part of our time with dad was hearing him blame Gemmy for mom dying.”

“Ugh, I’m sorry to hear that. Blame—especially for something out of your control—is very hard to live with. How is your sister doing these days? I mean, she’s married to Spencer now, and I understand they have a kid?” Kelly raised their brows.

“Yeah, they do,” he said with a smile. “And she’s doing well. She’s the one that runs the yoga studio around here. Some say her monkey-traits give her kind of an unfair advantage, but from what I hear, her classes do well.”

Kelly laughed. “I can imagine there would be an advantage to that, so she has monkey-traits too? With the experiment, was it only including monkeys and no other animals?” She tilted her head to a side then took a bit out of her food.

“Well, for us it was only monkeys. I think mom took some inspiration, at least, from cheetahs and lizards. She’s part-cat, herself. So’s her sister,” he replied, eating a little more.

“Oh, being part cheetah would be awesome, if you ask me.” Kelly grinned, but then she went back to what she had originally planned to talk about. “Anyway, back to your mother, what do you remember of her?”

“I know that both Gemmy and I look a lot like her…right down to the nose,” he said, flicking his own somewhat large nose. And then he flinched and wondered why he felt the need to do that last part. “But I was really young when she died. Like a year old, at most.”

Kelly had wondered about that, and now she knew, so she nodded—intent on not staying on that topic. “I’m sure she would be proud of you—having gone through everything you have and still coming out on top. I hear it was difficult though, especially this last time when Jesse kidnapped you.” She observed his reaction when she mentioned Jesse’s name. “But Spencer was there for you and managed to help you through it, didn’t he?”

Travis cringed when she mentioned Jesse. “I wonder if someone got around to beating her to death in prison yet…” he said, his voice having taken on a low growl for a moment. He took a few calming breaths. “Yeah…yeah, he did. Both him and Ivy, actually.”

Now that he brought up Ivy, Kelly decided to latch on to that, and she smiled at him. “Tell me about Ivy. I understand she’s your girlfriend.”

He blushed slightly. “Yeah…” he said with a grin. “She’s not around all that much, but when she is… We tend to have a lot of fun together.”

Kelly smiled because she could see that Ivy made Travis happy. “So, how did you two meet? Grow up together like you did with Spencer? Or something else?”

“She’s actually one of my aunt’s friends. And she’s a few years older than me,” Travis said. “Okay, probably somewhere around ten. We met when my aunt was brought to mom’s lab for a new arm. I can’t go into what they do for a living, but it’s pretty dangerous work. Didn’t really start getting to know each other until a few years after that. See, when the whole clusterfuck with Jesse started going down, she came back, along with her sister and my aunt. Since then, we’d started getting to know each other better.”

“Guess in a roundabout way, Jesse was kinda instrumental in bringing Ivy back into your life—but maybe not really. I don’t know. Don’t think you’d want to thank Jesse for anything.” Now that they were talking about Jesse and those past experiences, Kelly reflected on something and decided to share it with Travis. “So, I heard that Spencer was kidnapped twice before you were kidnapped the last time by Jesse. When you were going after Spencer to save him, especially the second time, did it ever cross your mind about Spencer, ‘Stop getting kidnapped already!!’?”

“Not really,” he replied, his tail curling around part of his chair. “It happened to me way more than him, and I might be a lot of things, but I’m not a hypocrite. At least not to that level.”

“Between the two of you, I think you have the whole kidnapping experience down. Hope there’s no further repeat of the matter.” Kelly shook her head and pushed aside her food as she finished it. “So, what are you doing with your life these days? What are your goals?”

“I’m still working at the comic shop,” he said. “I think one of the biggest goals I have, at this point, would be not dying. Well, again, anyway. It’s nice being able to come back, but the experience of it suuuuucks…”

Kelly chuckled. “I bet. Do you remember anything about when you died and before you came back?” She tilted her head to a side.

“Yeah. When it happens, it hurts like hell. There’s pain, and then everything just sort of shuts down for a bit. I keep getting knocked into some kind of afterlife deal. It’s basically just really light color everywhere…not sure how else to describe it. But anyway, I’m always greeted by my mom. Like, my birth mom…  Haven’t had a chance to get to know her better that way, though, because before I know it, I start coming back. That same pain that comes up when I die? Yeah, I get to feel that again. I think it’s happened about…” He began muttering under his breath and counting on his fingers. “I think about 7 or 8 times?”

“You’ve died and resurrected 7 to 8 times?” Kelly arched her brows. “How? I mean, because of Jesse? The Russian scientists? Or what exactly?”

He growled at the mention of the scientists. “Okay, I’m calm…But yeah, most of it was Jesse. One of them just sort of happened, but it did have something to do with her. She didn’t drown me directly, but I was only in that lake because of her.”

“I’m sorry.” But she noticed that he was surprisingly calm when talking about Jesse, but he got bothered at the mention of the scientists. “Okay, I’m going to maybe step on your toes, but…the Russians. They’re the ones, I’m assuming, who kidnapped you against your will to experiment on you? What happened?”

“They did it once. And they’re still out there, I think. Got to me on the way to high school graduation. And Spencer was with me. They ended up bringing him along, too. Didn’t want to leave any witnesses, I guess… After a while, we both managed to get away. They caught up to me, but Spence found someone that could help. Met this one couple that was willing to help us out.”

“Gotta say, sounds like Spencer’s a great friend for staying with you throughout all this. You two have certainly been through a lot together.” Kelly shook her head as she regarded this. “What does he think of all the ordeals you two have been through?”

“The nightmares aren’t as common now as they used to be. The therapy’s been working for him, I think,” he said, batting at the ring he had in the tip of his tail.

“But you’ve been banned from therapy…” Kelly trailed off to see where he’d take it.

“Well yeah. That’s just me, though. I, uh…I kinda had a slight breakdown during one session. Like, to the point that handcuffs were brought out and my mom was called in. But seriously, whose bright idea was it to put that one magazine in the waiting room, anyway? Something about Visions Studios and the discovery of dead bodies there. Pretty sure it wouldn’t just be me that gets triggered by that, y’know?”

“Yeah, that sounds like a tigger just waiting to happen. Wonder if it was planted there actually.” Kelly mused over this. “So I totally understand your breakdown, but how have you been since all of this? I know it took you a while to…really see the light after your last encounter with Jesse, but how are you? I’m assuming Spencer and Ivy have been there every step of the way to help you.”

“They have, yeah,” he replied. “Wait, do you really think it was planted there?” he asked, now beginning to worry a bit.

Kelly shrugged. “I don’t know. That was the first thing that came to my mind. I mean, why else would there be a magazine with that article in that room? Surely your therapist knew better than to even allow that. So…I don’t know.” Then she paused, sensing Travis’ growing concern. “Travis.” She waited until he locked eyes with her. “I could be wrong. Don’t freak out, okay? However…on the off chance that I’m not wrong, is there any way you can pull strings and see where Jesse is or anyone who worked for her? If you get eyes on them, that should abate any concerns you may have and prove my theory wrong.”

“I know about two guys that worked for her. One turned his back on her, though, and I saw her kill him herself. And the other one I kinda stabbed in the throat in self-defense,” he said, still trying to figure out if it was just his own crappy luck that led to it being there.

“And this person you stabbed in the throat…is he dead? Are you certain about that? Because my boyfriend works in the ER, and I know some people have survived that and worse…” And Kelly felt horrible for possibly bringing to Travis’ mind all these possibilities of things that might not be a reality, but she’d hate for him to be kidnapped again.

“Oh, trust me. I know he died,” he said. “Wasn’t breathing by the time we got out.”

“Good.” Kelly smiled. “Now though, my time here is up, so I need to head out. Thanks though for chatting with me and putting up with my questions. I hope you the best, Travis. And may you never be kidnapped again or encounter Jesse again.” She rose to her feet and gathered her purse. “Have a good day.” With one final smile, she went up to the counter to pay for their food then left the restaurant.

<~>~<~>~<~>

Kayla Matt has several books available online. Follow her on social media for more updates and check out her other books:

Visions: (Hell Bent series Book 1)
CreateSpace e-store:
https://www.createspace.com/4716031
Amazon (paperback or Kindle):
http://amzn.com/1500260630
Lulu (Full color hardcover):
http://www.lulu.com/content/hardcover-book/visions/14875668

Retribution: (Hell Bent series Book 2)
CreateSpace e-store:
https://www.createspace.com/5295775
Amazon (paperback):
http://amzn.com/1508546266
Amazon (Kindle):
http://amzn.com/B01387TIEU
Lulu (Full color hardcover):
http://www.lulu.com/con…/hardcover-book/retribution/16363814

Destruction (Hell Bent series Book 3)
CreateSpace e-store:
https://www.createspace.com/5817252
Amazon (paperback):
http://amzn.com/1518730809
Amazon (Kindle):
http://amzn.com/B0186GZ220
Lulu (Full color hardcover):
http://www.lulu.com/con…/hardcover-book/destruction/17607619

Deception: (Hell Bent series Book 4)

CreateSpace e-store: https://www.createspace.com/6489753

Amazon (paperback): https://amzn.com/1537010913

Amazon (Kindle): https://amzn.com/B01LTASC36

Lulu (black and white hardcover): http://www.lulu.com/shop/kayla-matt/deception/hardcover/product-22856275.html

Arc 1
Amazon (Kindle):
http://amzn.com/B018701YLS

Social Media:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/HellBentBookSeries

Blog: https://kaylamatt.wordpress.com

https://www.facebook.com/TravisHalfMonkey (Character’s FB page)

Author Interview: Kayla Matt

(Kelly was written by Kelly Blanchard. Kayla was written by Kayla Matt.)

Kelly drew near to this shop on the street. She could honestly say that she’d never been in a comic shop. Not that she didn’t like comics, but she’d grown up in the middle of nowhere, and there never was a comic shop around. Now was her chance, and she briefly wondered if she’d get stuck looking at all the different comic books after the interview because, after all, they were stories, and she always loved a good story.

Stepping in, she began to meander around. Seriously, she shouldn’t be left alone here in a shop like this for too long. Too many story ideas!

Kayla was looking at the shelves. To be honest, she didn’t have a lot of chances to come to one of these shops in recent years. She had been living in the middle of nowhere for quite a while, herself. But she’d gotten the opportunity to head into a much more populated area for a bit, and this area had a couple of comic shops, who was she to pass up the opportunity?

Of course, in her perusal of the shelves, she didn’t seem to be paying much attention to her surroundings.

Kelly saw someone who looked like the person she was supposed to meet, so she approached her. “Kayla Matt?” When the woman looked at her a bit surprised, Kelly smiled, reaching out her hand. “Hi, I’m Kelly—the person here to interview you. How are you doing today?”

Kayla thought for a second, before shaking Kelly’s hand. “I’m good,” she replied. “Almost came close to forgetting about this, though. Memory’s not the best.”

Kelly chuckled. “Hey, I don’t blame you. I could just browse around here all day long, totally lost in the imagination too. So…shall we meander, or is there a place we can sit, so we can talk or what? Otherwise, we both might get too distracted with everything on the shelves.” She grinned, gesturing to the comic books and graphic novels and such.

“I’m good with either option, really,” Kayla replied. “I think there’s a smaller room around here. Usually used for D&D sessions.”

“Let’s see.” They poked around a bit until they came to a small room with tables and chairs, and Kelly grinned. “Ahha! Perfect!” And she took a seat. “So, Kayla, tell me about yourself. Obviously you’re a writer or else I wouldn’t be interviewing you, but do you have a job other than that? What is it that you do?”

Kayla sat down. “Well…I’ve been trying to find something to add to my income. But that hasn’t worked out. I’m also an artist.”

Kelly brightened when she heard this. “You’re an artist too? Do you draw? Paint? Or what exactly?” But then she explained, “You have to understand, I cannot do art for the life of me, so I admire those who can—especially those who do that and write!”

“I usually work in Illustrator. The sketches are done by hand before being scanned into the computer, and then they’re inked and colored and whatnot digitally. Most of what I draw now is connected to my books,” Kayla replied.

“Very cool! Okay, so let’s talk about you being a writer.” Kelly shifted in her chair to get comfortable. “When did you first begin writing?”

Kayla thought about that one for a moment, tapping a finger on the table. “I guess it started back in middle school or something. A number of years ago, at any rate.”

“But what got you serious about becoming a writer?” Kelly raised her brows.

“I think I started taking it a bit more seriously when I started doing NaNoWriMo. I’ve been at that for…it’ll be six years this November.”

Kelly smiled when she heard this. “NaNoWriMo is quite influential like that!” Then she decided to shift the topic a little. “All right, so I’m sure you have many stories you’d like to talk about, but which one would you like us to focus on?”

Kayla leaned back in the chair for a second, fingers tapping the table again. “Well…I’m thinking the best one to focus on would be the series I’ve been working on for the past four years.”

“Ok. I’d love to hear about it. What’s it about?” Kelly smiled as she raised her brows and sat back to listen to the tale.

Kayla grinned a bit; this project was a major part of her life. “The series’ title is ‘Hell Bent’, and it takes place in a city in Pennsylvania known as Hell Bent. It’s sort of a combination of sci-fi, urban fantasy, horror, and graphic novels. Actually, that last part is partially why I’m here: research. As for plot line,” she continued, tucking a bit of hair behind an ear. “These books follow this one family. Most members are genetically-altered in some way, a couple of them are cyborgs, there are a couple of magic users, a psychic…even a normal person or two.”

“Wow, sounds like quite a complex group of people.” Kelly leaned forward, setting her elbow on the table and her chin in her palm as she absorbed the idea of this story. “So you said it’s following this family…with what? Their day-to-day life? Or are they trying to accomplish something?”

Kayla pushed up her glasses. “Well, in book 1, two of them are trying to go about their day-to-day lives. But then they make the mistake of accepting advice from a woman that turns out to be a serial killer. The first three books involve their dealings with her, as they put her out of business and she elects to make their lives a living hell.”

“Well, that complicates things for sure. How many books are in the series?” Kelly tilted her head as she furrowed her brows.

“So far,” Kayla replied, yet again tapping the table, “I have three of them finished. Number four is in the works, and there would be a grand total of twelve in the full series when it’s done. Each arc consists of 3 books, and is from the main POV of one of the family members. At this point, the main work I’d have to do for book 4 would be the comic pages.”

Kelly sat back, awed. “Wow, you really have it all planned out. That’s brilliant!” She grinned at Kayla. “So what inspired the idea for this series?”

Kayla grinned back, figuring out how the thing had come about. “Book 1 was originally based on a dream I’d had. There was some kind of really shady and unnerving film studio and I was one of my characters, sneaking in there to locate someone close to me. And that was what led to Visions. After that, ideas for more stories began coming to mind.”

“Don’t you just love it when that happens?” Kelly chuckled, shaking her head as she thought back to the numerous times when she experienced similar things. Then she looked back at Kayla. “So what is your favorite thing about this story? What really makes it stand out about all the other kinds of stories that are similar to it in any way?”

“Hell yeah, I do,” she replied, leaning back again. “I think my three favorite aspects are the fact that one of the main characters is a monkey-human hybrid that regenerates, the antagonists that are way too fun to write, and the comic sections that I use to show fight scenes. Sometimes, the comic sections aren’t even used for fights so much as other major plot elements or some instances of magic usage.”

“That is very creative! I like it!” Kelly smiled brightly. “I hope you the best with all your work. Sounds complex but fun.” But then she sighed. “Unfortunately though, our time is up now, which is too bad because I could just sit here and chat with you all day.” She gave Kayla an apologetic look as she rose to her feet but then smiled, “But it was so good to meet you and great to hear about your stories. Thanks for meeting with me.”

Kayla stood up, nodding slightly. “Yeah, it can get sort of complicated to work on,” she said, giving a nervous chuckle as she thought of the workload ahead. “Thanks, and thank you for interviewing me. Hope the next one goes well!”

“Me too. I can’t wait to see which character you will have me meet!” Kelly led the way out of the room. “Well, you take care. I will be in touch with you. Keep writing!” With one final smile, Kelly headed out of the store to head to her next appointment.

<~>~<~>~<~>

Kayla Matt has several books available online. The one we discussed though is not yet published, but should be release sometime this September! Follow her on social media for more updates and check out her other books:

Visions: (Hell Bent series Book 1)
CreateSpace e-store:
https://www.createspace.com/4716031
Amazon (paperback or Kindle):
http://amzn.com/1500260630
Lulu (Full color hardcover):
http://www.lulu.com/content/hardcover-book/visions/14875668

Retribution: (Hell Bent series Book 2)
CreateSpace e-store:
https://www.createspace.com/5295775
Amazon (paperback):
http://amzn.com/1508546266
Amazon (Kindle):
http://amzn.com/B01387TIEU
Lulu (Full color hardcover):
http://www.lulu.com/con…/hardcover-book/retribution/16363814

Destruction (Hell Bent series Book 3)
CreateSpace e-store:
https://www.createspace.com/5817252
Amazon (paperback):
http://amzn.com/1518730809
Amazon (Kindle):
http://amzn.com/B0186GZ220
Lulu (Full color hardcover):
http://www.lulu.com/con…/hardcover-book/destruction/17607619

Deception: (Hell Bent series Book 4) — not yet released.

Arc 1 (There are paperback and hardcover versions for this…but the Kindle one is  the easiest to afford)
Amazon (Kindle):
http://amzn.com/B018701YLS

Social Media:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/HellBentBookSeries

Blog: https://kaylamatt.wordpress.com 

https://www.facebook.com/TravisHalfMonkey  (Character’s FB page)