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: Christy Mann’s Derrick

In this interview, Christy Mann invited me into the world of her story ‘Death of a Secret’ to meet with her character, Derrick, who has fallen on some very hard times. I sat down with him and asked questions to learn how he got to this time in his life.

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It was a nice balmy seventy degrees outside while Derrick sat, almost stiff as a board. His wheelchair was sparkling in the bright sunshine. He was a little nervous, not knowing exactly to expect from this interview. He was going to turn it down, but something told him this was something he needed to do. A lot of lives had been lost and others, like his, turned upside down. If it could help someone think twice, then he had to do it.

Kelly approached the house and saw a man in a wheelchair on the porch. She smiled as she drew near. “Derrick Murphy?” When his eyes locked with hers, she nodded to him. “I’m Kelly. Thank you for meeting with me. Do you mind if I sit down?” She motioned to a nearby chair.

Derrick’s eyes widened. He hadn’t realized how beautiful his interviewer was going to be. Lucky for him, most parts of his anatomy were no longer functional. “I am. Thank you for coming. It’s very nice to meet you. This is my wife. Marla. She was keeping me company until you arrived.”

Marla stood up and welcomed Kelly. “Hi, I’m Marla. Please sit. Can I get you something to drink?”

Kelly sat down and smiled at Marla. “I’m quite fine, thank you.” Once Marla left, Kelly turned her attention to Derrick. “I’m going to ask the most obvious question first just to get it out of the way, but…how did you end up in the wheelchair?”

“Stupidity really. I needed money, and a lot of it. So I decided I would go pay the Senator a visit and shake him down. Bad, bad idea. I came out of it better than everyone else, though.” Derrick thought back to that morning. A tear stung at his eye as he thought about everything that happened. He could live with himself for all that he had done. He deserved it. He should never have thought that blackmailing the senator was a good idea.

What he couldn’t live with was being powerless to stop that horrible man from raping his daughter while he watched. All to keep her quiet. He would never forgive himself for that.He fought the tear and cleared his throat. “Sorry. so, yeah. He choked me nearly to death and when I fell, I broke my C5 and C6.”

“Interesting.” Kelly leaned forward, musing over how that was possible. But then she nodded. “But why did you so desperately need the money that you resorted to such measures?”

Derrick chuckled. “Why does anyone desperately need money? We are up to our ears in debt, I owed a not so nice guy a large sum and he was going to come collecting. My lovely wife was threatening divorce if we couldn’t get a handle on the finances, and I had just gotten fired from a really good job. Stupidity again.”

For a long moment, Kelly stared at him. “So did you simply manage your finances poorly or did you have a habit of gambling or so? While a lot of people need money, it sounds like the depths of your debt were more extreme than normal.”

Derrick felt the judgement in Kelly’s stare. He felt enough shame in himself that hers didn’t affect him much. It still stung a little. “Oh no. I mean, we aren’t perfect at managing money, but we bought this house because she loved it. I knew we couldn’t afford it, but I went along with it because she loved it so much. So the bills started piling up. I don’t gamble. I drank a little too much at a bar one night, after a fight with the missus, and made a bet I was certain I couldn’t lose. It would have fixed all of our financial problems. It was a hustle, and I lost. To the tune of $50,000.”

Nodding, Kelly sat back. “I’m sorry. I can see how things spiral out of control there and drive you to desperate measures.” She shook her head. Now that she had that answer, she decided to shift the topic and smiled at him kindly. “So, Derrick, I understand you have a son, DJ, I think his name is? Tell me a bit about him.”

Derrick’s eyes brightened at the mention of DJ’s name. His pride in him was beyond measure. “I do. His name is Derrick Michael Murphy Jr. He’s a great kid. My pride and joy. Helpful and kind. A successful driver for a good company. He visits his mother and I every weekend or calls ahead of time if he can’t make it. He’s smart as a whip and de…” The words trailed off and tears started to well in his eyes. “I’m sorry. He got caught up in all of this mess and…” He sucked in a breath, an attempt to abate the sobs that built up and settled like a lump in his throat. He cleared his throat. “Yeah, he was a great kid. Got his looks from his mother.”

Kelly’s eyes softened. She hoped he could tell she wasn’t here to judge him but would probably ask hard questions but only to understand him better. “What mess exactly are you talking about?” She had a vague idea from some info she’d received about him before the interview, but she wanted to hear it from him.

Derrick inhaled deeply. He knew this being interviewed was going to be tough. He’s braced himself for it. He was tough. He could do this. He exhaled slowly. “I’m not a real sensitive guy, so forgive me if I seem a bit blunt. This is tough and I need just get it out there. The mess that killed my son, and the Senator’s entire family.”

Derrick paused for a moment. “You need a bit more detail, don’t you?”

Kelly frowned. “Wait….DJ is dead? I’m sorry, I misunderstood because the way you were talking about him made him sound like he was still alive.” But then she shook her head. “But yes, if you can tell me more, I would like to know more. It’s not a small matter for your son and the Senator’s entire family to be killed.” She met his gaze. “I know this may be difficult to talk about, but this is your chance to talk. I’m not here to judge you, and I’m not going to tell anyone else anything you said, and after today, you will never see me again. So just talk. Say what you will.”

Derrick attempted a nod and smiled at her. “Ok. I’m not great at this pouring my heart out stuff. Just ask my wife. I’ll try though” He paused for a long moment. Contemplating where he should start. “You see, twenty or so years ago, I had an affair with the Senator’s wife, Olivia. She got pregnant and I called it off. My wife would have ended me. She went back to her husband but I think she became an alcoholic. They only had one child, my daughter, Sarah. He raised her well. I met her for the first time when we worked together at the Senator’s office. She came in and did paper work and stuff for him sometimes. She looked just like her mother, she was sweet and kind, friendly. She had no idea who I was though. So, I left it alone. I guess she found out the day that I showed up to blackmail Jacob.” He took a breath. He looked at Kelly sincerely. “Could you help me out with a sip from that cup sitting there next to you?”

Kelly looked for the cup he mentioned, found it, and then took it and brought it up to his lips. “Here you go.” Once he took a sip, she smiled and put the cup back down, sitting down once more. “I can see the mess of things then.” She nodded. “However, I don’t want to dwell on the mess or the not-so-wise choices you may have made in the past. Instead, what have been some bright moments in your life? Surely not everything has been bleak.”

Derrick cleared his throat. “Thank you for that.” he cleared his throat again. “No. It really wasn’t bleak at all. I worked at the bank for most of it. I made decent money, worked my way up to management, had a great schedule, Banker’s hours.” He winked and chuckled softly. He continued. “We took family vacations every year. I attended every school function DJ ever had, we played catch on the lawn together on the weekends. My wife and I have weekly date nights. The affair almost ruined us, but we pulled it together. It’s been a great life.”

Kelly smiled when she heard all this. “And how did you meet your wife?” She set her chin in her palm as she leaned forward to listen with interest.

“I remember it like it was yesterday.” He laughed. “I was nineteen, she was about to turn eighteen, and she was the most beautiful creature I had ever seen. She walked into the movie theater and the whole world stopped. I was going to see Star Wars. I was at the counter buying my popcorn when I glanced over my shoulder. She walked in. I stood there, the cashier trying to give me back my change, and I was just standing there gawking with my jaw on the floor. I wasn’t shy back then. I walked away without my change and strolled right up to her. I asked her what a beautiful creature like her was doing in a place like this. She rolled her eyes and walked off. I stood there, in that very spot, and waited for her movie to end. When she came out, I gave her the then empty popcorn bucket with ‘Your future husband, Derrick, and my phone number written in the bottom of it. She laughed and strolled out with her friends, but she took it home with her and called me later that night.”

Kelly laughed when she heard this. “Okay, I’ve got to ask, did you ever get to watch Star Wars then?”

“Absolutely. It was what she had gone to see that day. She was still excited about it when she called me that night. She loved it and told me that I had to see it. It was our first date the very next weekend.” He laughed.

Kelly grinned. “Well, I’m glad you were able to watch Star Wars finally…and that you, of course met your wife like that. Fantastic memory.” Then she leaned forward. “Now, you said you had an affair, and your wife almost left you and such…but she’s still here.” Kelly motioned to the house. “What has it been like for both of you to come back together and work through things?”

“I won’t lie. It was rough. She kicked me out for a while and refused to talk to me. It hurt her so deeply and I didn’t think she would ever forgive me. I didn’t think I deserved it. One day, I showed up with a popcorn bucket full of flowers, In the bottom of it I wrote “your pitifully sorry husband, Derrick.’ I didn’t even write my phone number in it. I left and didn’t look back. Two weeks later, she called me up at work. She told me I needed to come by the house that night. So I did. She told me she was pregnant. I moved back in that night.” He paused. “Since then, I was the ideal husband for a while. Always home when I was supposed to be, always there for her and Derrick. Things were nice and smooth for a long time. We had our little fights here and there, but we always worked them out. We had a routine date night that always went well, if you know what I mean. She’s my everything.”

“But then you hit financial problems, which eventually brought you to your present state.” Kelly motioned to him. “And as much as I would love to stick around longer to find out much more about you and your story, unfortunately our time is up. I have another interview to attend soon, but I do have one final question for you.” She met his gaze. “Considering everything you’ve been through, what do you see for the future?”

“Well, another affair isn’t going to be an issue.” He laughed. His predicament was dire, but he knew his wife was going to stick by him and that being their only major issue, it was all in the past now. “In all seriousness though, I think the future is going to be just fine. My wife and I are together, she’s taking good care of me. Financially, we are set for quite a while. Latham was fairly well off and the state ordered that his estate pay my medical and living expenses for the rest of my life. So we will be fine in that way. It’s bittersweet though.”

“I’m glad.” Kelly smiled. “I mean, I’m glad you will be fine. You’ve been through a lot.” With a sigh, Kelly rose to her feet. “Unfortunately though, Derrick, I must be going now. It was really great to talk with you, and I’m sorry I couldn’t stay long. I have so many questions to ask but only so much time. Thank you again for agreeing to meet with me and answer my questions. You’ve been much gracious.”

“Thank you for coming. It was less unpleasant than I thought it would be. Thank you for being sensitive and kind. I appreciate that. I’d stand up and shake your hand, but…” He exhaled, intending to be funny, and feeling like he failed. “It was a real pleasure to meet you. Enjoy your next interview and have a great rest of your day”

“You as well. Have a good day, Derrick.” With that, Kelly bowed her head to him as a farewell, and then went on her way.

<~>~<~>~<~>

Christy Mann’s novel has, unfortunately, been delayed in its release. However, she has published a few short stories, which you can find on at the following links. Be sure to follow her on social media to receive updates on the release of her book!

Short Story 1: myBook.to/ChristyFogoyle

Short Story 2: myBook.to/Fogoyle2

SOCIAL MEDIA

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

Twitter: https://twitter.com/cmannauthor

Tumblr: https://christymannauthor.tumblr.com/

Second Tumblr: https://cmannauthor.tumblr.com/

GoodReads: https://www.goodreads.com/CLMann

GoodReads Blog: https://www.goodreads.com/author_blog_posts/14430522-the-original-question

Author Interview: Christy Mann

During this interview, I met with Christy Mann, author of the psychological thriller ‘Death of a Secret’ and got to know more of the author behind the story and what prompted her to write the book. 

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Lounging under a shade on a white sandy beach with white wine in hand, Kelly smiled as the ocean wind brushed against her. This fictional setting was a nice escape from the January weather of real life. Her interviewee specifically requested this, including white wine, and Kelly was more than happy to oblige. A waiter even stood nearby to serve them.

“Your guest, madam,” he told her with a bow.

While Kelly had insisted he didn’t need to bow to her, she had given up earlier on and simply settled in for the experience. When she heard what he said, she looked down the pathway leading to her shade, and she smiled, rising to her feet when she saw who approached. She went to meet her halfway and reached out her hand. “Christy Mann, I presume.” They shook hands, and Kelly grinned. “So glad to finally meet you! Come on, the white wine is waiting for you!” She motioned for Christy to follow her to the shade.

Once they took their seats, looking out over the ocean, and once both had their wine in hand, Kelly smiled at Christy. “So, how are you doing today?”

“I’m fantastic, thank you. This is such a beautiful setting. I couldn’t have planned it better myself. How are you?”  She sipped from the glass and looked out at the waves lapping against the white, sandy shore.

“It’s been a busy day, so being here is actually quite lovely.” Kelly smiled then turned her full attention to Christy. “So, you’re a writer–obviously, otherwise we wouldn’t be having this conversation.” Kelly chuckled but went on, “When did you first become interested in writing?

Christy looked back at Kelly and acknowledged her question with a not. “I’m right there with you.” She smiled back at Kelly “I really don’t know. It’s just something that I’ve always done. Not in the form of novels and short stories anyway.” She took a sip of her wine. “That was 2009. I started writing this really awful dark fantasy romance thing.”

Kelly smiled then sipped on her wine. “So, was it 2009 when you began to get serious about writing? What prompted that though?”

Christy snickered. “You really want to know the answer?” She chugged the last big of wine in her glass and held it up for the waiter. “Ok. Boredom mostly. It was a really dark time in my life and I was in an acute treatment center for suicidal ideation. I had my laptop and a lot of time to kill. I decided I was going to use the time to write a book. I wrote 37,000 words in a span of three days.”

Kelly raised her brows. “37,000 words in THREE days?? That’s really impressive!” But then she thought about what Christy had said and gave a nod. “So it sounds like you emerged from that darkness as a writer, and that is amazing. Thank you for sharing that with me.” She smiled. “So, what has your journey been like between then and now? You’ve published a book recently, and that’s a huge accomplishment!”

Christy nodded and swirled the wine in her glass before taking a sip. “Yeah, it was rough and I haven’t come near that kind of progress since. I don’t recommend it.” She chuckled. “It’s been a bumpy ride, but writing has gotten me through it.”

“So you’ve published a book? Tell me about it.” Kelly set down her glass of wine. She glanced at Christy with a smile.

Christy smiled back at Kelly and curled her feet up under her. “Death of a Secret. Yep. It’s a dark tale about a young woman who’s life is going along fine one minute and the next, it’s completely turned on it’s head. She tries to pick up and go on with life as usual, but it breaks her on the inside and she goes on a rampage.”

This intrigued Kelly, and she furrowed her brows. “So what’s the genre? And is there more you can tell me (without spoilers!) about what made her life turn on its head?”

Christy chuckled again. “I call it a psychological thriller. It’s missing some of the major aspects of the genre, but it’s the closest fit.” She looked up at the sky and paused for a moment, thinking of an answer to the second question. “It all revolves around her seeing something she wasn’t supposed to and is tormented to keep quiet by Latham. In the end, none of it was necessary and it’s just tragic.”

“That sounds a bit horrific and terribly sad at the same time. Lots of deep emotions to explore there.” Kelly nodded as she reflected on what she learned of the story. “So what inspired the story? Or where did you get the idea for it?” She cast Christy another glance, quite curious.

“Yeah. As proud as I am of it, because it’s finished and it’s a good story, it’s ugly and dark and not how I think my life is or how I think, most of the time. The original plan was for it to be a female serial killer story. It took me two years to finish and it ended up being something so completely different.”

“Oh, and the idea for it? I needed something to do for NaNoWriMo. I wanted something that would keep me interested, so I wrote a bunch of stuff down, picked Female Serial Killer out of a hat, and wrote it.”

“And you did well! Stories have a way of changing from what you expected to something totally different, but I’m sure it’s an amazing story.” Kelly smiled at Christy. “So what are your plans moving forward with your writing career? Are you going to write a sequel? Or write something totally different? Or what?”

“Well, I really enjoy the suspense and thriller genres. I’ve plotted a horror short story series which 2 ebooks have been published of about fog, and I’m enjoying it. I have another novel, Terrible Friend, it’s currently a two parter, that will be out later this year that’s a, I don’t even know what it is right now. Paranormal fantasy I guess?  Demons and magic, and that kind of stuff. Then early next year, I hope to finish and publish that original novel that we talked about.”

“I’m sure you will.” Kelly gave Christy a bright smile. “However though, it is quite unfortunate that our time is up. I’ve had a fantastic time getting to know you and hearing about your story.” Kelly rose to her feet. When Christy mirrored her actions, Kelly shook Christy’s hand. “Thank you so much for meeting with me and answering my questions. I am quite curious which character you will have me meet!”

“I’m looking forward to it as well.  Thank you so much for your time and for asking great questions.” She shook Kelly’s hand and smiled. “That will be Derrick Murphy. I can’t wait for you two to meet.”

Kelly grinned. “I’m sure it will be interesting. You have a great day now! Take care!” With a wave goodbye, Kelly headed back up the path toward her car.

<~>~<~>~<~>

Christy Mann’s novel has, unfortunately, been delayed in its release. However, she has published a few short stories, which you can find on at the following links. Be sure to follow her on social media to receive updates on the release of her book!

Short Story 1: myBook.to/ChristyFogoyle

Short Story 2: myBook.to/Fogoyle2

SOCIAL MEDIA

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

Twitter: https://twitter.com/cmannauthor

Tumblr: https://christymannauthor.tumblr.com/

Second Tumblr: https://cmannauthor.tumblr.com/

GoodReads: https://www.goodreads.com/CLMann

GoodReads Blog: https://www.goodreads.com/author_blog_posts/14430522-the-original-question

<~>~<~>~<~>

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.

Character Interview: Adam Mitchell’s Jack

(Kelly was written by Kelly Blanchard. Jack was written by Adam Mitchell).

Jack was beat, but running on adrenaline from getting away with the money. Clean, he walked the three blocks back to his office, making sure he double backed down a few alleys just to be sure. After half an hour he was back in his dingy office and the welcoming sounds of Mrs.B’s type writer “Hello darling you miss me?” She looked jack like a principle would a bad student, then smiled when she saw the bundle of cash Jack through on her desk. “Your wages plus a little bonus, hun, for not walking.” Mrs. B just nodded not wanting to destroy her iron maiden routine. Jack turned and headed to his office shutting the door. He needed a sleep. But he didn’t get much before the door knocked, “Jack, client, sort yourself out she’s a ringer.” Jack woke quick using some stale beer from a bottle to wet down his hair. “Okay doll send her in…”

Kelly stepped into the dingy office and glimpsed around. It certainly looked like it had a lot of stories to tell, but Kelly was interested in the story of the man before her, and she fixed her eyes on him. “Jack Malone, I’m Kelly Blanchard. I’m not here as an actual client but rather to interview you. I was told I could find you here.” She smiled at him. “And I’m going to start with one really blunt, odd question: what is a mob boss doing hiring a P.I. to take out someone when you’d expect him to hire a hitman? That has puzzled me since I heard of the whole situation. Are you also a hitman?” She tilted her head to a side. Sure, she likely wasn’t starting off on the right foot, but it was the first question that came to mind.

“Jezz doll face, come on in whys don’t you. And you’re right. P.I don’t go in for that work but times are hard. How about you sit the pretty little gams down and start over.” Jack pulled out a bottle and poured two drinks. He stuck his feet on the desk and took the dame in.

Kelly took the offered seat, but when he offered her a drink, she shook her head. “No thank you. I don’t drink, but you are quite welcome to it.” She smiled at him, but then she furrowed her brows. “So why you? Why would a mob boss choose you to work for him? I’m not asking why you would work for him, but why would he hire you? Do you know him from the past? Worked with him before? Or what exactly?”

Jack looked at Kelly and took in her gams. She had legs right up to the kazoo. Downing both drinks, he looked to her “Kelly, I wasn’t always like this, this town respected me once. But the fight with the bottle cost me that and the wife and kid. I ended up taking a few duff cases and destroyed what ever dregs of self respect I had. Clients don’t come to a washout. Vic knew me from before all that. But knew I needed the lettuce” Jack loosened his tie and “you think I want to be a gorilla with a gun. That’s all going to change now though you’ll see hun”

Kelly tilted her head. “Change how?”

Jack looked over at the bag he’d brought back from Victor. “A new life costs green, and lots off it. This job has sorted things. This joint and me will get a face lift, and then who knows I may go looking for Peggy my kid.”

Kelly nodded when she heard this. “So take me back. Why did you begin drinking?” She sat back in her chair to listen.

“Now that’s a story, doll.” Standing up Jack walked to a picture on his wall. The picture was of a girl of ten “Her name was Sally May. I was a homicide cop staking out a gin joint after a killer but got spotted by him and his goons and had to contend with a lot of lead. I shot back. I’d got them all but it wasn’t till the cops turned up I saw her. Sally had taken a bullet to the chest, bled out. A witness told a cop she was just playing hopscotch with a pal when she heard the bang, she ran right past my car and got plugged. Poor kid after that I picked up the bottle and haven’t put it down since. Life just didn’t matter anymore.” Jack discreetly wiped a tear from his face “A cop is meant to serve and protect not rob a family of a daughter.” Jack just walked back to his desk and poured another drink.

“So your answer to that was to resort to the bottle and rob your wife of her husband and your child of their father?” Kelly raised her brows. She leaned forward to engage with him. “You know it’s not your fault.” Then she paused, watching him take another drink. “Do you really think all that money is going to improve your life if you continue drinking?”

“Honestly doll, I don’t know” Jack looked back at the bag. “It may not improve it. But it will help me get my name back. And from there who knows.”

“You know what the issue is with drinking? The root of the problem is lack of self-control, and I know what I’m talking about because I watched my brother go down the same hole you are, and he died because of it.” She didn’t break eye contact with him. She had just stated the reason why she refused the drink earlier. “If you really want your life to turn around, you need to get control of yourself again, and to do that, you need to go back to the moment when you lost control, acknowledge what happened, recognize the facts, and realize it was not in your control, and you are not to blame. You lost control of yourself because of one moment where you had no control of life, but it doesn’t mean it has to stay that way.”

However, realizing he probably thought she was lecturing him, she drew back and smiled. “Of course, I’m not here to change your ways. I’m just here to ask questions…and to make you think. So what was life like back there—before that incident?”

Jack looked at the half empty bottle then put it back in the drawer “yYou make a lot of sense for a dame. Let’s as you say get back to the questions, say what dirtsheet you from anyway?’

“Let’s just say I’m not from around here.” Kelly nodded to him but returned to the question. “What was life like before all of this? How did you meet your wife—Peggy, did you say her name was?”

“Life was good, I had the American dream. I met Peggy back when I was still in homicide, she was one of the first female beat cops, she’d come over from vice.” Jack smiled at the thought of his wife Jessica “A call girl had been given the dahlia treatment and been gutted, I was called in and we hit it off from there, I made her my partner after that, and well all them stakeouts turned into more if you get my drift”

Kelly nodded. “What is she like? I mean, her personality. I get the feeling she has a fiery personality and can be stubborn.” She smiled when she said this.

“She was a fire cracker, a real mans woman if you follow. It wasn’t until we went steady and hag

“Had lil Peggy that she I saw her in her true colours. She became a lioness kept me an peg on the straight and narrow.”

“Ah, so Peggy’s your daughter.” Kelly was a little confused but went on, “So how old was your daughter when you began drinking?”

Jack beamed when he started to talk about Peg, “Peg was two years old when I started a relationship with the bottle. But that was ten years back, Jess and Peg live somewhere near Coast City last time I checked.”

“So how long did it take Jess to kick you out once you started drinking?” Kelly was trying to get a timeline figured out in her mind

“No offencse doll, but can we skip that one? It’s just it hurts to go back.” Jack stood and turned his back to Kelly. He took his gun and stuck it in the office safe “Let’s just say, doll, my Pegs twelve next week.”

“And you haven’t been a part of her life all this time. I know it hurts, but sometimes you need to face that hurt in order to make things right. Otherwise, it’s always going to hurt, and you’re going to keep shying away from it, and the longer you do that, the more guilty you feel, so you’ll want to stay away even more because you’ll convince yourself that you only ever hurt people. Do you see where I’m coming from?” Kelly raised her brows. She hadn’t meant for this to become a counseling session, but that wasn’t uncommon with her interviews, and she was curious as to how Jack would respond.

“Kelly, I’ve asked a fellow gumshoe to keep tabs on them and from time to time I get filled in. I always plan to see them and I always make it to the train platform. Then I remember Sally and the drink and turn back. I wired them money once and quietly pulled a few strings to help set Jess up in a new job. Its not much but for a second I felt like a farther and husband again.” There came a knock at the door, It was Mrs. Baxter with a pot of tea, Jack wouldn’t normally touch the stuff but now seemed the right time for tea. “Like I said now I got the president and his friends behind me, maybe I will go there this time”

“Wait—the president? Are we talking about THE president? Or some other kind of president?” Kelly furrowed her brows as she sat back in her seat. She was thoroughly confused now.

“Presidents as in cash, if you get me.”

“Ok,” Kelly laughed. “You threw me for a loop there. In my line of work, you never know the connections people have!” Then she got back on track. “All right, so now that you have all that cash, your plan is to maybe go back to Jess and Peggy and make things right?”

Jack poured himself a tea and offered Kelly one. “Not straight away, I want to sort me out first not rush down there still being hunted by the drinking if you can understand”  It was around 4pm and Jack turned on the radio, letting the music of duke Ellington fill the room.

Kelly leaned on one arm of her chair and lifted her brows as she gave Jack a hard look. “And do you really plan on beating the drinking habit? Be honest. Do you sincerely want to break that habit and try to get your life back on track? No matter how hard it is and how much it’s going to hurt?”

“Hun, I wouldn’t have taken the LOST ANGEL case if I didn’t. Yes I plan to beat the drink. Either that or become a monk.” Jack laughed “no now I have the means nothing is going to stop me”

“Except for yourself.” Kelly pointed out, and then she leaned forward. “Listen, breaking habits like these aren’t easy. I’ve seen it. You’ve been hurt, so you turned to the drink to drown that hurt, but really all that drink is doing is drowning you in your hurt. You won’t be able to do this alone. You need someone to hold you accountable and to knock sense into you when you start slipping because you will be tempted greatly to drink again…even at the slightly irritation you come across in life, and you can’t allow yourself that relief because you’ll slip right back into it. Do you have anyone you trust who can hold you accountable?”

Jack buzzed in the formidable receptionist Mrs Baxter. “Mrs Baxter, today your prayers have been answered get the bottle from my desk and the four from the file cabinets and get rid, if I go for the drink again I give you permission to slap me. It’s a new start darling.” Jack turned to Kelly and smiling like a school boy laughed. “No time like the present. And trust me I cant get round Mrs. B now, Hitler himself couldn’t make her buckle.”

Kelly chuckled. “I hope you the best. It’s not going to be easy—not by a long shot. There’ll be times when Mrs. B isn’t around, and you’ll think that a little drink won’t hurt, but if you do that, you’ll slip right back into it. And when you’re tempted like that, I want you to think of me crossing my arms and telling you, ‘I told you so!’ And you wouldn’t want to prove me right, would you? You’d rather prove me wrong, so prove me wrong, get sober, and stay sober.” With that, Kelly rose to her feet. “Our time’s about up, but I do appreciate you taking the time to answer my questions. You have a hard road ahead of you, Jack. I hope you the best.”

“No worries, kid, call around sometime. Be great to catch up.” With that jack watched her get up and walk out. And he couldn’t help but think, DAM WHAT A DAME

<~>~<~>~<~>

Adam Mitchell’s novel, ‘The Lost Angel’, is available on Kindle. Be sure to follow him on social media too!

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01CRD23BQ/

Website: http://mitchellnoir.wix.com/acmitchell

Twitter: https://twitter.com/WriterMitchell

Author Interview: Adam Mitchell

(Kelly was written by Kelly Blanchard. Adam was written by Adam Mitchell.)

Pub or Saloon—that’s where her interviewee requested to meet her. Definitely not the place Kelly would go on her own because it wasn’t her atmosphere, she always accommodated her guest. The noise hit her when she walked in—music and a lot of people trying to talk over the music. If she stayed here too long, it’d give her a headache, but security escorted her through the crowd away from the noise to a quiet booth in the back. “I’ll bring your guest back this way when he arrives,” he told her as she sat down. “You sure you don’t want a drink?”

Kelly shook her head but smiled at him. “No thank you, Heist. You’ve been very helpful.” With that, she sat back, pulled out her notebook and a pen, and began taking notes.

Several moments passed, allowing Kelly to jolt down notes of her surroundings and different thoughts she had, but she sensed someone approaching, so she looked up to see Heist escorting a man. Kelly smiled and rose to her feet, reaching out her hand to shake Adam’s. “Adam Mitchell, a pleasure to meet you. Please sit.” She motioned to the booth. “Would you like something to drink? I could have something brought to you.”

“It’s okay, doll. I brought my own” He took a hip flask from his jacket, downing a good gulp “Right hun, fire away”

She nodded as she sat back down. “Well, Adam, tell me about yourself. What is it that you do?” She always started with this question because she was curious of the different walks in life where writers came from.

“Well doll, where should I start by day I’m an illustrator and church leader and by night I right like to kill people and have sordid affairs, well in my books anyway.” Adam lit a cigar and inhaled deep, waiting for Kelly to reply

Kelly smiled. Writers were always an interesting kind of people. “And when did you start writing?” She tilted her head to a side. “What inspired you to begin writing?”

Adam smiled, taking a moment for the music to hit his ears. “I wrote in bits and drabs through the years. But it was last years NaNo that made me take a year out and right full time.”

“So you did NaNo. What made you decide to do that?” Kelly raised her brows. It wasn’t like random people decided to tackle the task of writing 50,000 words in 30 days…at least, not that Kelly knew.

“Well that’s a long story, hun.” Taking out his wallet, Adam took a long hard look at a photo  and smiled. “It was my wife to be honest. She challenged me to try it, as I’ve always shy’d away from things like that due to my dyslexia. The deal as I remember was if I can complete it, she would accompany me to a film noir movie marathon as she hates them as a rule preferring movies with sparkly vampires.”

This made Kelly chuckle. “I’m glad she challenged you and that you actually undertook it. It’s not easy facing uncertainties, but you become stronger for it, and I’m sure you did well.” She smiled at him then scooted to the edge of her seat, folding her forearms on the table. “So, what do you write? What story of yours would you like us to focus on today? I’ve love to hear about anything.”

Adam took out a bundle from his jacket, and unwrapped it. “Here you are doll my book ‘The Lost Angel’. As you can see, Kelly, I mostly write crime. And mainly period crime novels from the 1940.”

Kelly looked at the book. “Nice. So crime in the 1940s. What’s the story about?” She lifted her gaze from the book up to look at his gaze. “Who are the characters? The conflicts they encounter?”

“There’s a guy named Eddy who robbed a night club, like this one you see. He gets away with the money and falls in love with his dead partners dame. Unknown to Eddy a P.I buy the name of Jack Malone is on the hunt for him. It ends in a surprising twist which I won’t go into now. But I’ve tried to give all the characters a story arc that is both facing demons of sorts And redemption. For example the P.I lost everything to a drink problem and this case is his chance to get himself back together”

Kelly smiled when she heard this. “Good that you’ve given each character their own arc and let them face their demons. That’s much more realistic.” Then she sat back in her chair and regarded Adam with a tilt of her head. “So what inspired this story? What gave you the idea?”

“The P.I was the seed to be honest as I saw a parallel between his arc and my battle with prescription pain killers his story kind of centered everything else. I hope that makes sense.”

“Of course.” Kelly nodded and offered him another smile. “I’m glad you’re able to write such a story. Has it at all helped you with your own personal battles? Sometimes seeing it from a different point of view helps a bit.”

“The ongoing arc that the P.I. will take over the next books I think will keep me going. I wanted to add a lot more on the addition but thought better of it, not wanting to preach to the readers.”

“Yeah, that’s usually wise.” Kelly bobbed her head, but her gaze caught sight of the clock on the wall, and she frowned, looking back at Adam. “Our time’s almost up, but we still have a little more time, so another question.” She smiled at him. “Is there anything you’d like your readers to walk away with after they read your story? Anything you hope they take from it?”

“I guess the idea that no matter how down on your luck you are, no matter what holds you back you can get over it, that Thing that holds you back can be overcome. I think that is the message of the book and what I’m trying to highlight with the revised second edition I’m currently working on, Kelly.”

“Well, Adam, I hope you the very best. You will do well especially with your mind set on it.” She smiled at him warmly. “Unfortunately I need to wrap this up because I have another appointment, but I do appreciate you agreeing to meet with me and answering my questions.” She rose to her feet. “I hope you have a wonderful day, Adam. And never stop writing.”

“Thanks, doll. Its been a good chat. Have a good night.”

Kelly smiled once more at him then left.

<~>~<~>~<~>

Adam Mitchell’s novel, ‘The Lost Angel’, is available on Kindle. Be sure to follow him on social media too!

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01CRD23BQ/

Website: http://mitchellnoir.wix.com/acmitchell

Twitter: https://twitter.com/WriterMitchell

Author Interview: Ted Covey

(Kelly was written by Kelly Blanchard. Ted was written by Ted Covey.)

Opting to sit on one of the couches of the coffee shop rather than the chair and table setup, Kelly sat near the back of the room, against the wall with her feet curled under her and her laptop on her lap. At this early hour in the morning it wasn’t very crowded here, so it was quiet, and Kelly appreciated that. Every now and then the door would chime as a guest came in for his or her routine coffee—most of them came from the courthouse across the street, and once they got their fix, they left. Only Kelly and an artist sketching something across the room remained.

Finally the door opened, and Kelly regarded this young man, recognizing him from his picture. However, she didn’t move but waited for him to go to the counter, order something to drink, and finally the guy behind the counter gestured her way. The visitor turned to her, and Kelly smiled as she unfolded her feet, set her computer aside, and stood as he approached her. “Ted Covey—or should I call you Theodore? And you look exhausted. I’d invite you to sit on the couch, but you might fall asleep.” She motioned to the couch behind her as she chuckled.

Grabbing his mocha, Ted stumbles towards the couch behind her, then throws his body against the cushion, “Let’s go with Ted. It’s shorter and easier to remember.” His eyes widen as a sipping sound echoes through the room.

Kelly raised her brows but then nodded and sank into a cushioned chair beside the couch. She smirked at him. “Let’s hope that drink wakes you up because you said you only got two hours of sleep?” She shook her head. “I hope you put that time to good use like…oh, I don’t know, plotting a story or something.”

Ted sits upwards then curls his feet under him—he grinned. “I feel a little better now.” He raises an eyebrow. “I suppose you can call it “plotting a story”, lately I’ve been planning a lot on where I’m trying to go with my life and how I’m going to get there. This includes me getting back into my writing after a very long hiatus. But after realizing a goal, and having many opportunities thrown in front of me, I jumped back in and now am building momentum—slowly.”

Kelly nodded. “You sound quite busy, so why don’t you start from the beginning.” She shifted in her chair to get comfortable and ready for the tale. “What is it that you do, and what are you hoping to accomplish?”

Ted took a long sip from his drink. “In 2012 I self-published my first variation of my novel, Initium. Then realized I wasn’t as satisfied with it as I should have been, yet I seen potential in the stories idea—so I rewrote it once—still wasn’t satisfied. After another year, I completely did away with the original story, but still kept the characters then implemented them into my newest variation of Initium, which took me about a year to write, and over 6 months to revise due to procrastination. Let’s skip to 2015 in the timeline; in the very beginning of the year I was going through a crisis with myself internally because all I was doing with my life was working overnight shifts at Walmart. No social life. Virtually no writing was done. And I wasn’t happy—at all. Then my friend offered me to go to Vietnam to travel with him. After thinking his offer through, I decided this would be the best step for me to take in life right now—and it was. I’m still young, craving for adventure, and desire more content for my writing in addition to meeting new people and experiencing different cultures. Skip 3 months later. After going to Vietnam once for 2 months (Jan-March) then 1 month (May-June) I returned to America full of ambition. I went through many different paths I wanted to take in order to get me back to Vietnam in order to secure my future, because I wish to move there—at the same time, I want to make sure I was doing something I have a passion for. Eventually, all of the paths led me back to where I was in the beginning: writing. Lately I’ve been focusing all of my efforts into my newly formed blog, revising my book I left to collect dust, and doing odd jobs on top of working at Walmart again so I can save money to move to Vietnam—hoping to do this by the end of the year.” Ted released a deep exhale.

Kelly just listened and nodded as he came to an end of his speech. She motioned to his drink and smiled. “You might want to take a drink. That was a lot you said. And hmm, so many questions! Where should I begin?” She lifted her hand to her chin in a thoughtful pose before settling on one of her more traditional questions. “Okay, so you mentioned in 2012 you self-published a book, which meant you were writing beforehand. What inspired you to begin writing in the first place?”

Ted cleared his throat as he consumed 3/4 of his cup within seconds. “Well…” He rested his back against the cushion while his muscles appeared relaxed. “When I was in language arts class during the 4th grade, I was ecstatic whenever our teacher, Mr. Traband, would assign creative writing prompts. From there, I developed characters I eventually wanted to implement into a comic book, because at the time I followed my step-brother around and thought he was the most amazing person ever because he was a comic book artist, and I wanted to follow his footsteps. After 4 years (I think) I got my first job sweeping golf courses at a miniature golf course. Since I didn’t interact with anyone, and I was alone most of the time. I would conjure these scenarios in my mind, which involved the prior characters I created. Eventually, I combined the scenarios, which then became the plot for Initium, which I spent the end of my junior year and beginning of my senior year in high school.”

“And have you ever done NaNoWriMo?” Kelly raised her brows.

He lowered his head as a grin formed. “I have attempted it, twice.” He cleared his throat once more while he affixed his eyes on the drink before him. “2013, I had a vague idea of what I wanted to do, I believe I got to 14,000 words, but I had no idea of where to go with the story, or what was even going on. 2014 was a lot smoother, even though I only got to 9,000, but I interacted with the community a lot more, met some interesting people I still talk to, attended a write-in, and I had the details of my story and its characters fully developed—this is one of the factors I believed to have made me fall short of 50,000. I don’t mind it, though. As I do NaNoWriMo more, I learn from my mistakes, then implement what I’ve learned into next year. One of these years I’m sure I will make it to 50,000: maybe even win.”

“That’s very good. It’s a learning experience, and you’re doing well. You will succeed in no time!” Kelly grinned but then scooted closer to the edge of the seat as she leaned forward, resting her forearms on her knees. “So what genre do you tend to write, and what story are you hoping to really push and get published and such?” She raised her brows.

Ted finished his drink then set the cup on the floor. “Thank you!” He folded his fingers while he rested them against his stomach. “Due to my obsession of Star Wars movies, anything pertaining to medieval, and Liam Neeson movies—I like to write a mixture of the 3—cyberpunk-thriller, yet I implement some medieval concepts. Honestly, I’m really pushing and hoping to get Initium published. I feel like once I get this rendition into the market, it would be a story that I would have the passion and drive to put all of my energy into promotion, along with sharing its awesomeness with everyone. In a way, the characters in the story feel like a family to me: a dysfunctional family…”

“So tell me about Initium. What’s the genre? What is it about? Who are the characters, and what is the conflict they face?”

“It’s a cyberpunk/thriller, which is a part of the Aeternum universe, meaning I have a lot more stories that are similar planned somewhere in the future. It follows a young man named Derek, who was born with a blood curse known as Aldefieri —which is defined as noble in Italian— In addition to the supernatural abilities that are based off of their parents fears, those afflicted with Aldefieri are granted with other body alterations which I won’t dig into right now. Aside from the curse, after a tragic event in his life, Derek seeks retribution against the antagonizer of said event. During his travels, he meets Alyssandra—Alyssa for short— who teaches him how to use and harness his ability, in addition to many life lessons to surpass obstacles they run into when being thrown into mysterious situations—such as being teleported onto a planet in a different galaxy. The two fight through numerous life-threatening situations, while making important realizations in life. I’m sorry, Adalfieri’s definition is “noble oath”.

Kelly pulled back and regarded Ted. “You have all these answers down pat. Have you been rehearsing?” She teased him with a smile but then focused on the topic once more. “It sounds quite intriguing! Now, our time is almost up, which is very unfortunate because I’d love to know more about your story, but what is the one thing you’d want your readers to walk away from after reading your book?”

A look of dissatisfaction fills Ted’s face as the realization of the time being up slapped him. “It’s all on a memorized script.” He smiled. “Kidding—I like to memorize as much as I can because whenever you talk about writing a book to someone, they might ask similar questions. As for what I want my readers to walk away with: we only live life once, so make the best out of your life and don’t hesitate to do it, otherwise you’ll regret it. Thanks for interviewing me, by the way.”

Kelly gave him a reassuring smile. “It was my pleasure. I’m glad we were able to meet and talk, and I’m sorry our time is so short. I have no control over that. However, you sound like you know what you’re doing and that you have a plan, and that’s good. Keep it up. And when you release your book, let me know, so I can inform everyone else, okay?” Kelly lifted her brows as she rose to her feet–Ted doing the same. She struck out a hand to shake his once more and smiled at him. “Keep up the good work. It may be overwhelming at times, but don’t be discouraged. You will do well.”

“Only time will tell whether I know what I’m doing or not. You will most likely be the first to know when I release my book. I wish you the best of luck with your writing and interviewing career as well! Chao.”

Kelly watched him go but then looked at her watch. She had another interview to do in a few hours, but first someone had tried texting her during the interview and wanted to talk. She needed to see what that was about. Her time was never her own.

Pulling her phone out of her pocket, she headed out of the coffee shop down to her Muse Shop, so she could go to the portal there for the location for her next interview.

<~>~<~>~<~>

Ted Covey’s story is titled ‘Initium’ is part of the ‘Aeternum universe’ and the first of his ‘Heroic Trilogy’. He’s posting it as a web serial online now, and you can find on his blog.

Blog: http://tedcovey.com/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/tedcovey92

Author Interview: OJ Shafer

(Kelly is written by Kelly Blanchard. Orlandrea is written by OJ Shefer.)

Kelly sat on a low branch of a tree in the palace garden of Cuskelom, and she leaned back against the trunk of the tree and closed her eyes. Even though this entire place was her imagination, in this way she was able to be everywhere at once. She saw Theran in a brawl in Athorim with Vixen standing back twisting her knives—waiting for the right time to intervene. In the king’s chambers here in Cuskelom, Heldon counseled his brother, the king, over a game of chess. Erita walked through her underground chambers beneath the Cuskelom palace, lighting candles and prepping for her evening ritual into the realm of magic.

No matter where Kelly looked, she couldn’t locate Lorrek, but he had the ability to cloak himself from her. Yes, she could sense him, but simply couldn’t see him.

Suddenly, magic shifted in front of her, and Kelly opened her eyes as she saw a portal open in the clearing. A smile touched her face. Even though she couldn’t see Lorrek, she knew he was just as aware of her and everything she was doing as she was aware of him. That was why he opened the portal here since he knew someone from her own world would be seeking passage here.

Pushing herself off the branch, Kelly landed lightly on her feet and stood in front of the portal as it rippled and Orlandrea passed through. She greeted her with a warm smile. “Hello! Welcome. I trust you’re well today?”

Wide eyed and slightly unsure of what just happened, Orlandrea smiled at Kelly and quickly glanced at her surroundings. “Whoa. I mean hi. Thank you. I’m great. Lorrek did that didn’t he?” She waved her arms around trying to indicate the portal that she had just passed through.

Kelly beamed. “Yep! He’s around. Don’t be surprised if he makes an appearance.” She winked but then motioned to their surroundings. “Care for a walk through the gardens? Mind you though, these aren’t your ordinary palace gardens back in our world. If you’d like, I can show you something really beautiful! We can talk while we walk.”

Orlandrea wanted to be polite and look at Kelly when she answered, but “uh huh” was all that came out of her mouth as she continued to look around. Her curiosity was going to get the best of her.

Kelly chuckled and motioned for her to follow. “Come on! There’s so much more to see.” She wondered if she would have to grab Orlandrea’s arm and drag her along, but then her visitor moved to follow her, and Kelly reminded herself to walk slower–didn’t want what happened in the last interview to happen again.

“So…” she glanced over her shoulder at Orlandrea as they walked down the beaten paths of this enchanted woods. “Tell me about yourself. What is it that you do? How does it tie into you being a writer?”

Orlandrea grinned realizing that she needed to keep up with Kelly’s pace. “Oh. I’m a homeschool mom.” She said quickly “But I’m in between jobs right now. Divorce kinda does that to you.” She laughed. “But I’ve been writing since 5th grade. My teacher made the mistake of giving me a pass to write whatever I wanted in my journal. I made up a story about a storm, and she got caught in it. She wasn’t too happy about that, but that story was when I realized that I could tell a good story. I couldn’t stop after that.”

“That is awesome! I wish teachers these days would let kids do that in classes.” Kelly shook her head, thinking of the twins she tutored who just finished fifth-grade–one of whom always begged if she could write a story rather than do homework.

Shaking her head, Kelly thought on what else Orlandrea had said, and she smiled, “Being a homeschool mom is a full time job! I was homeschooled, and I’ve helped other homeschooling moms, so yeah–it’s awesome that you’re doing that, but sorry to hear about the divorce.” She shook her head again but then went on to the next question in her mind. “So are you just finally writing toward publication?” She snuck her a glance. “Is that your hopes with your writing?

Orlandrea’s paced slowed just a bit. “I’ve self published a…” her voice trailed off as she looked up into the trees. “Was that?” She stopped for a beat, and then caught up with Kelly. “I’m so sorry I’m being so rude. It’s just so pretty here. And I could have sworn I saw Lorrek appear and then disappear near that tree. But anyway. I’ve self published a novel and two short stories so far. I guess I don’t have the patience of most writers. I don’t want to shop my stories around. And the introvert in me hates rejection.Oh and by the way, its so cool that you were homeschooled too.” Orlandrea smiled. “I wish I was. But at least I get to give it a go with my daughter.”

“Hey, my books are only self-published, and I don’t have any of my books in stores or anything, so—totally relate!” Kelly offered her a warm smile but then glanced around. Lorrek was around—trying to get her attention, but Kelly was ignoring him because she had a guest here, but she promised Orlandrea, “Trust me, you’ll meet Lorrek. Just wait.” With a smirk and a plan in mind, Kelly led the way up the hill in the woods—a path being well beaten by all her previous treks through here.

Finally they came to the top of the hill, and Kelly motioned below. “The Garden of Ruins.” Castle ruins spread out through the forest opposite of the hill—walls half broken and covered with vines and moss. Pillars and archways stood where halls used to be. It didn’t take much to fill in the imagination of what this place used to look like.

Kelly smiled at herself then glanced at Orlandrea for her reaction.

“How awesome is that!” Orlandrea said. “I like meeting other authors who self publish like me.” Kelly brought her to the top of the hill and Orlandrea figured the gardens must be magical, because she never gets to the top of any hill without needing her asthma inhaler. But when Kelly motioned below, Orlandrea’s voice got stuck in her throat. She felt her mouth open, but all she heard was a soft gasp. Nothing in Orlandrea’s wildest dreams could have prepared her for the beauty that was in front of her. To say the moss was just green would not be sufficient enough of a description.  “I don’t think that I’m a good enough writer to describe this type of beauty.” Orlandrea finally said.

This caused Kelly to laugh. “C’mon, you haven’t seen the best part yet!” She then led the way down the hill slowly and carefully. As they walked, Kelly asked yet another question, “While I’d love to hear what your published books are about, what are you working on right now?” Finally, they reached the bottom of the hill, and Kelly let Orlandrea gaze wide-eyed about before gesturing for her to follow her through the ruins

Making sure to take in every single moment while following Kelly through the ruins, Orlandrea tried to keep up and tried to remember to speak when spoken to. “Right now I’m working on a few different stories. I have a fifteen book series of short stories that is loosely based on where I grew up in New Jersey. It was such a little boring town. I’m trying to put a Criminal Minds spin on it. I’m also working on a Sci-Fi fantasy type story which is still in my head. And I’m working on a few romantic stories. I tend to work better with multiple stories floating around. I just have to make sure to keep them organized. Wouldn’t want the alien showing up in my crime stories.” Orlandrea laughed. She made a mental note to find out if she could come back to the ruins with her AlphaSmart. It would be an awesome spot for inspiration.

“That’s a lot of work!” Kelly looked at Orlandrea impressed then shook her head. “I have no idea how you keep it organized.” She then approached a darkened doorway that in the side of a hill and glanced at Orlandrea. “Hope you’re not afraid of the dark, but it’ll only be briefly. Trust me, you will LOVE what’s on the other side. Besides, I’ll do this.” She snapped her fingers and conjured a fire orb above her palm then shrugged at Orlandrea. “Perks of being the author in my own world. C’mon.”

She slowly led the way through the damp, darkened passage and even reached her other hand back to grab Orlandrea’s just to make sure she didn’t get lost. Holding up the glowing orb, Kelly let the light pass over the walls, revealing runes carved deep within.

However, the end of the passage came too quickly, and Kelly closed her fist, extinguishing the fiery orb. She stepped out of the way and let Orlandrea see what stood before them—an entire abandoned throne room with high arching ceiling but broken glass windows.

Finding it easy to trust Kelly, Orlandrea silently wished she could conjure a fire orb as they came to the end of the passage. As Kelly stepped out of the way, Orlandrea’s eyes widened almost to the size of the fiery orb. She gasped again, but this time it was louder. “Isn’t this where Lorrek taught the forbidden magic to Mordora and Moren?” Orlandrea grew excited. “Is he here?”

“This is still Cuskelom. The place you’re talking about is in Nirrorm. As for if Lorrek is here…may~be!” Kelly gave her a wide smile. “Oh, come on! I need to ask you more questions, and if I allow you two to talk, I’d never get to finish our conversation!” Kelly laughed but then moved through the throne room, loving the majestic but haunting feeling of it.

Finally, she turned back to Orlandrea with a smile. “I promise you may speak with Lorrek but you answer only a few more questions of mine, deal?” She raised her brows.

When Orlandrea nodded eagerly, Kelly voiced her first inquiry. “So you said you have a lot of stories you’re working on, but is there a specific one that you’re focusing on? If so, what exactly is it about?”

Orlandrea walked around the throne room in amazement. And her childlike grin widened as she plopped down in the middle of the room, and folded her legs. “Well, my main focus is the series. The town where I was born, raised, and where I currently live is called Willingboro. It’s in South Jersey. The town has little divisions called parks, and there are fifteen of them. Each park has its own book with its own serial killer or killers, or something strange. Most of the characters in each book are real people who live or have lived there. Well, except for the antagonist(s). They are usually people that I have made up.”

Kelly nodded as she meandered around the throne room, looking up at the partly broken ceiling while Orlandrea spoke. When she finished, Kelly cast her a glimpse. “Is there a new character with each new book of the series, or do the follow the same main characters? If so, tell me about them.”

“The main characters are constant throughout the series. There is crime writer names Jasmine Lester. Everyone calls her Jae. There is also detectives Mike Bailey, and Troy Williams. And Mike’s wife and Jae’s best friend, Connie. Jasmine or Jae is really me, Mike and Connie are friend’s I went to school with, and Troy is my fiancé. But not in the books.” Orlandrea giggled. “Jae starts the series by finding a decapitated body while going on her morning jog. She ends up being an ‘unofficial’ investigator with the Willingboro Police Department. It’s really all a fluke that she ends up doing this in every book. But she lends an eye to each investigation that the detectives wouldn’t be able to see. As a crime writer, their boss thinks that she can do the job like Richard Castle. Needless to say, in the first book, Jae nearly dies by getting her throat cut, until Troy saves the day.”

“Hey, you don’t want to give away too many spoilers!” Kelly smiled at Orlandrea but then considered what she had said. “Quite a cast you have there. So she’s like a female Richard Castle? That’s neat. I love Castle!” Kelly then looked around and frowned. “As much as I want to keep asking you questions, unfortunately our time is up, and I have another interview to prep for. However, I did promise you can meet Lorrek, so…” She turned and called out to the empty room. “You may come out now!”

In an instant, wind whipped am around the room, sweeping up dust as tearing at cobwebs, but just as quickly it died, and Lorrek stood before them.

Kelly smiled and glanced at Orlandrea. “Lorrek, this is Orlandrea—my most recent guest, and I get the feeling she’s a huge fan of yours!” She winked at Orlandrea. “And I don’t think I need to tell you who this is.” She motioned to Lorrek who drew near to them and bowed.

“Greetings, Lady Orlandrea. It is an honor to make your acquaintance.”

Orlandrea didn’t want to giggle like a school girl, but she did. “It’s you.” She said. He was everything that she thought he would be.

“So…Orlandrea, how would you like to have a chat with Lorrek?” Kelly grinned as she glimpsed between the two. “I do have to go, but he can easily open a portal that’ll take you home. You can stay and chat with him if you’d like. You wouldn’t mind, would you, Lorrek?” She raised her brows at him, but he shook his head.

“Not at all. She is welcome to stay if she so desires.” And he offered Orlandrea a small but warm smile.

“I would love to stay and chat with Lorrek.” Orlandrea smiled. “Thank you so much Kelly for inviting me here. This place is amazing. I’d love to come back with my AlphaSmart and just write if that’s ok.”

“Unfortunately you can’t bring anything from the real world into this world…unless it’s taken through my mirror portal at my Muse Shop.” Kelly gave Orlandrea an apologetic shrug, but then she gestured to Lorrek with a smile. “Have a great chat!” With that, she magicked away knowing that her character would keep Orlandrea safe and bring her back to the real world at a good time, but for now, Kelly had another interview to do.

<~>~<~>~<~>

Note: Orlandrea’s book is titled ‘Good Night Garfield’ and is due to be released before the end of the year. For more information follow her on social media:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/OJ-Shafer-181065968080/timeline/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/JadaRae

Website: http://ojwrites.com/