Showing posts with label Character Interview. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Character Interview. Show all posts

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Author & Character Interview: Zed


Jason McIntyre banner    
Welcome to my stop on the blog tour for Zed by Jason McIntyre!

Zed, The Next Dovetail Novel
It’s the waning dog days of August, 1975 and Tom Mason’s in Dovetail Cove for the last few weeks of his summer job at the group home. His boss and the home’s owner is Karen Banatyne, one of the wealthiest folks in town. It seems like she’s got it in for Tom; she's the only one standing in his way as he scrimps for a new camera.
But Karen has her own problems. A regulatory agency might cut off her funding, plus her hubby hasn’t been seen in a few weeks, and she’s not saying why. Most ominous of all, it seems as though something’s hiding in the hot spring north of the main beach and one of Karen’s ‘houseguests’ is about to come face to face with evil. Tom is too.

Author Interview

What has inspired you to become a writer?
Inspiration to tell stories came early. I was the kid in the fourth and fifth grade sneakily reading Stephen King novels at 800 pages apiece behind my propped-up math text book. At eight, I was the editor of a short-lived school paper and we didn’t have enough content to fill the back page. I went home and hauled out my Mom’s old IBM typewriter to begin an epic serial about two young girls who are abducted by aliens in their backyard. I knew I had something when the other kids begged to know what would happen in part two. Alas, the teacher who managed the newspaper project got a transfer and part two of the saga never made it out. I guess, in a way, I’ve been writing towards the end of that tale ever since. 

How do you come up with your characters and how do you make them so interesting? 
I start in a very visual way. Without even closing my eyes, I can clearly see what’s happening and, as I noodle around on the ‘what’ of a story, I eventually start to form a visceral view of the ‘who’ in the tale. The people inside that vision have to become real to me, even before I start the first sentence. If they don’t then I don’t care about them. I have to care, or else I never haul them out of trouble. And, really, isn’t that what makes fiction great? Dumping someone you care about into a heap of worry and then methodically traipsing them out of said trouble in a believable and satisfying way. My biggest conundrum is when a dazzling or lovely person gets in a trap and they aren’t pulled out in time. It’s the biggest challenge for me — I can’t save everyone and, sometimes, a character I adore needs to die so that things keep chugging for the whole story. Forgive me, readers. I will kill again. 

What makes your stories and books different than other books you have read? Everyone has their own style, what is yours? 
I mix and match genres, influences and types of stories. One major thrust of my writing life is to never repeat the same kind of book twice. I want to push myself to unearth new and different pieces of myself as I tell stories. So while a book like ZED has companion books that have a flow between them, there are nearly a dozen different genres represented among them. One might be a coming-of-age paranormal while the next might be a murder mystery and then I may discover that the next works best as a straight-ahead horror. There’s noir and crime books and even a western. Now, do they all look exactly like their home genres suggest? Not at a glance. They use the tropes from each genre but usually in a new mix. They meld into something that, I guess, looks and reads like a Jason McIntyre novel. Hopefully, readers enjoy the journey through all the different places I like to play. Oh, and I hope they get scared and a little upset along the way. 

Do you plan on writing any other genres? 
Future genres include something that no one who’s read my work will believe. I want to write a romance novel and a deeply historical fiction that is true to an extremely ancient time period. As always, I want to have fun with what I write, and produce something unique that interests readers, but pushes me into new territory. 

Anything else you would like to discuss about you as a writer? 
ZED is part of a mosaic novel. The only other writer I know who’s written this kind of a work is George RR Martin. His mosaic comprised of books written by a dozen different writers all working within one world and telling stories about the same characters. DOVETAIL COVE works in a similar way. The characters flow in an out of the background of several books and the island setting is the same place, spanning a decade in the history of one place that has a succulent past and a lurid present. The difference between Martin’s mosaic and this one is that I’m writing all the pieces myself. Each DOVETAIL book stands on its own, with a distinct beginning, middle and end. But if you read more of them, the pieces of a much larger puzzle begin to fall into place. At present, ZED marks the fourth of ten books to be released. Others available now are BLED, SHED and DREAD. Look for new ones in 2015 and 2016. Getting to Know the Author as a Person What do you like to do when you are not writing? I travel as much as I can and spend time with my crazy kiddos. Readers and friends from social media will likely remember all the posts about the nutty things my kids say. I won’t even mention my wife here. She has her own cult following among my Facebook and Twitter feeds. I have built a lovely studio in my home and use it to write music, paint when I’m able and, yes, nap profusely when the spirit is not moving me otherwise. What relaxes you when you need to unwind? Creation of every sort is about the most relaxing thing I can imagine doing. I adore many forms of music and art and, when I’m in the middle of drafting a new book, it’s the greatest escape from life’s stresses. I peel back the page and transport to an entirely new place as I write. The process of uncovering a story is food for my soul. 

What are your favorite foods? 
I have always loved to travel and try new experiences and dishes wherever I go. Lately, I’ve been on a jag for Eggs Benedict and have been trying that in as many countries and cities as I can. Now, of course, lots of places don’t have that so I’ve broadened it to ordering eggs prepared in whatever style is most prevalent in the place I’m visiting. It’s really interesting to discover the different cooking methods — not to mention the different kinds of birds’ and lizards’ eggs that have been brought to my table! 

Have you ever had any paranormal experiences? 
I’ve had what I call ‘inconclusive’ paranormal experiences. Things have happened that, even after intense scrutiny, a rational person might not be able to form a judgment as to whether it was explicable by science or by para-science. Rest assured, all strangeness in my world (paranormal or just odd and intriguing) eventually finds its way into a story or two. Writing, I’ve discovered, has really become my own form of torture, er, I mean self-therapy. I write to understand the events of the world, of people and of my own life. Tell us anything you would like your readers to know about Jason McIntyre. I once shared a bottle of expensive red wine with a homeless man. The throat infection I developed the following week nearly put me in the hospital and my health insurance had lapsed so I couldn't get a scrip for antibiotics. I went through six tubes of topical Polysporin. Yep, I gargled the stuff five times a day until I could see straight again.

Character Interview

Record: 1974-03452 Subject: Zeke <Last Name Redacted> Date: August 31, 1974 Type: psychological assessment Method: audio cassette recording Interviewer’s notes: Zeke seems to be of below average intelligence. My understanding is that he’ll be given comprehensive intelligence and psychological tests upon admittance to a local group home care facility. - CF

Zeke, can you tell me how you feel about your family, now that you’re an adult? 
I got me no memory of my Mama. My Daddy, he and I didn’t get along so good. Now we have some good times. He lets me work with him. Least he used to. Now that Chief Birkhead come and get me and start doing his talks with me, I don’t know. I might never do the work with my Daddy again. That might be sad. What do you want from life? To keep my truck, wash it, and have it nice fer always. I only got a me few scratches and I buffed them out. I’d like to find a purty lady who maybe doesn’t care that my thinker bottle is cracked and don’t work so good no more. 

If you were granted three wishes, what would you ask for? Like a genie in a bottle? 
I saw that on a tv show once. I Dream a Genie. Let’s see. A shiny bufferin’ machine. For my truck you know. A new poker stick so’s I can reach way down deep into the sewers. For when I’m on duty and the trash pick up on Main street. And maybe, I dunno, maybe I’d like to take a train trip one day. I member going on the little loco-mota when I’s a boy. We got one on the island, you know. Lotsa people don’t know that but we do. It was fun. That big smoke stack going way up and making that big smoke in the air. It was fun and I’d like to get me on a train like that again. 

What three things would you take to a Desert Island? 
I dunno, I already live on an island. Dovetail Cove and a bit north of town is the only place I ever been. Hard question. Can I skip it? In your relationship with others, how are you different with family than you are with friends? Why? I ain’t never different with nobody. Same Zeke alla time. I hate when people give those fake smiles, you know? Or when they lie to you and you know they lyin but you can’t figure out what to say so that the lie is seen. Fakeness is hard. Same Zeke always. Scout’s honour. 

How do you fall in love? At first sight? Over a long period?
<inaudible> <muffled response> 

Zeke, can you answer? How do you fall in love? Does it take a long time or happen all at once? 
I bin in love a couple times you know. I like it when purty girls laugh. They sound so nice and when I make em laugh, that’s the best, you know. My Dad says I’m not supposed to talk about bein in love. Guys like Zeke, he says, guys like us, we don’t get to do that. 

What parts of loving come easy for you? Hard
Hard? Like you mean when dem girls do their laughing and my private parts get— <inaudible> No. Kay. Nevermind. I like the talking parts but I’m not so good at them. Making purty girls feel safe – I can do that real good. Really, Mister, if you’re gonna keep asking about lovey-dovey stuff, you gots ta talk to my Dad. He says I’m not supposed to talk about this. I got in trouble a couple times now. Chief said. and when I make em laugh, that’s the best, you know. My Dad says I’m not supposed to talk about bein in love. Guys like Zeke, he says, guys like us, we don’t get to do that. 

How do you decide if you can trust someone? Experience with others? With this person? First impressions? Intuition? Do you test the person somehow? Or are you just generally disposed to trust or not to trust? 
Trust? I don’t know. What do you mean, trust? Oh, I don’t know Zeke, I guess I mean, how do you know someone isn’t lying to you? I never really think about it. Don’t all Mommies and Daddies teach their little ones to tell the truth? Mine did. I always do. Everyone should. When you walk into a room, what do you notice first? Second? I was real good at re-doin floors. All kinds of floors. Tile and wood, polish and rug. I like to see how good a floor is and then I think about how I could do it better. 

When you walk into a room, what do you expect people to notice about you? 
Nobody should look at Zeke. My Daddy told me I ain’t supposed to look at nobody so maybe they shouldna look at me. 

Describe yourself to me. 
Me? I’m strong for my size. I can lift two of me, and I’m real good at looking after Main Street. Did you turn out the way you expected? The way your parents predicted? When I was a kid I got hurt real bad. My thinker took to leaking and I don’t imagine anyone knew I was gonna be like I am. But I can still get by. I do okay. 
 \
What really moves you, or touches you to the soul? 
Daddy says we ain’t got no souls. But if I had to say, I’d tell you. Purty girls. When they laugh. That’s what touches Zeke’s soul. 

What's the one thing you have always wanted to do but didn't/couldn't/wouldn't? What would happen if you did do it? 
My Dad says I’m not supposed to say. 

What do you consider are your strengths? 
My arms. My back is pretty strong too. 

What do you consider are your weaknesses? 
Can’t lift much with my pinky fingers. Or my baby toes. They’re the weakest, I bet. 

What is one physical attribute you are proud of? 
Physical what? I told you about my nice truck, right? 

What one physical attribute would you change? What do you consider are your weaknesses? 
Can’t lift much with my pinky fingers. Or my baby toes. They’re the weakest, I bet. 

What one physical attribute would you change? 
I put two new tires on the back when I saved up enough. I’d change out the front ones if I could afford to. 

What do you consider your special talent? 
I always do what I say I’m gonna. No one has to guess. Zeke always comes through. 

What do you wish your special talent was? 
Maybe if I could patch up my thinker. I can see the words. I know what I’m supposed to do and say, but it pours out before the words come to my mouth. Maybe like sand. Or water. If I could patch up m’ thinker, tha’d be good. 

What are you most proud of about your life? 
You keep asking me that same questions! I told you about my truck, din’t I? 

Is there anything you've always wanted to do but haven't done? What would happen if you did it? This question again. Where’s my Dad? Did he make you ask this one? Trine ta trick me, maybe. 

What's the worst thing you've ever done? 
Why? I have to go now, okay? I should get back to my job with the town. 

Describe your ideal mate. 
Please Mister. Can’t we just let Zeke go back to work now…? maybe. 

What's the worst thing you've ever done? 
Why? I have to go now, okay? I should get back to my job with the town. 

Describe your ideal mate. 
Please Mister. Can’t we just let Zeke go back to work now…? 

What are you most afraid of? 
 <inaudible> <muffled> Okay. I can’t talk to you anymore. Kay? 

Zeke, what's the most important thing in your life? What do you value most? 
<sobbing> Come on, Mister, please, you have to let me go back. I’m gonna get in trouble. I can’t do no more of your questions right now. 

How do you feel about your life right now? What, if anything, would you like to change? 
Pleeaaase! Let me go! <inaudible> *End of Recording   

About Jason:

JASON MCINTYRE is the #1 Kindle Suspense author of THE NIGHT WALK MEN, bestsellers BLED and SHED, plus the multi-layered literary suspense, THALO BLUE. His first novel, ON THE GATHERING STORM, earned a spot in the Top 20 Debut Authors for the Goodreads Choice Awards.McIntyre's debut novel, ON THE GATHERING STORM was VOTED as one of the TOP 20 DEBUT AUTHORS — Goodreads Choice Awards
Learn more and connect with the author at www.theFarthestReaches.com

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Monday, August 10, 2015

Villain Interview: The Conception

The Conception
by L.J. Amodeo
Publisher: Crushing Hearts and Black Butterfly Publishing
Publication Date: August 8th, 2015
Language: English

Genre: Young Adult Supernatural Romance
About the Book
Will Elizabeth elude her fate, or will she defy an ancient prophesy, causing a cataclysmic fall of all things mortal and supernatural?
Escaping the danger that seeks her, Elizabeth’s best friend, Freddie hides her at a safe haven known as The Flame; a location off the grid and under the protection of the Legion of Light. Entry to the Watchers forbidden. Left alone at The Flame, Elizabeth faces inner turmoil, battling new feelings for her childhood friend and guardian Freddie, while questioning her feelings for Michael. Yet, as the battle of the ages approaches, Elizabeth chooses to do the unthinkable. Awakening the Dark Realm’s fiercest warriors and betraying the Trinity, the destiny of all and the balance of the realms will be decided by the birth of one child. 
Danger. Romance. Mystery. All come together in this gripping sequel to Descendant.
*Join online release party*

Chapter 4:
            My routine at Eden had become a daily ritual. In the early morning hours, I’d go for a run, play the piano, or stroll the grounds of Eden. After a quick shower, I’d head toward a set of French doors that opened up to a stone terrace overlooking Lake Louise. Every morning Faith prepared a table of scrumptious breakfast foods and the morning paper alongside my journal. I never tired of writing about the sprawling gardens of rosebushes, mixed Canterbury bells, and Elderflowers infused with chamomile. I’d sit, gladly inhaling the scent of the freshly baked biscuits, warm croissants, and raspberry tea.
            The beautiful imagery was halted, as I reflected back to the morning of December 21st, the day after my arrival at Lake Louise, I recalled glancing at the morning paper that was neatly folded on a round English garden table next to a cup of tea. The paper was opened to a small article written in the New York State blotter. I squeezed my eyes shut, desperately wanting to read the article whose title caught my eye, but dithered momentarily instead. I blinked as I held up the paper, focusing on one particular story written in small black ink:
“Local Allegany Woman and Her Daughter Plunge to Their Deaths”
The morning of December 20th, a woman and her daughter plunged to their death off the icy cliffs of Chimney Bluffs, on Lake Ontario, New York. Just after 10 AM, a call from eye witnesses, Dr. Seth Bates and his young daughter, came in through the New York State Police, and other police and emergency centers throughout the region. Icy roads caused particularly treacherous conditions as road crews rushed to respond to dropping temperatures and the onset of freezing rain.
New York State Police investigated the one vehicle fatality, killing Grace Morgan, 47, of Caneadea, NY and her daughter Elizabeth, 17. Emergency workers were able to recover the vehicle from the frozen waters of Ontario Lake, along with the remains of Grace Morgan. The body of her daughter has not yet been recovered.
Dr. Bates claimed that Elizabeth Morgan was a patient of his at Letchworth Village Asylum. He also disclosed that Elizabeth had attempted several times to commit harm to herself and was suicidal. Dr. Bates commented, “It saddens me that Ms. Morgan’s daughter may have intentionally caused the tragic accident that resulted in their untimely deaths.” The accident remains under investigation.
***
            The news of our deaths and how I was responsible for it infuriated me still. The reminders escalated a fury from my chest to my fingers, causing me to tear apart the morning paper, wanting desperately to strike the psychiatrist whose lies riddled the paper on that fateful morning instead, with the biggest and deadliest blade I could have gotten my hands on.

Villain Interview: Sebastian Nikolav
∞Please state your name.
Nik: My name is Sabastian Nikolav

∞I see you have an accent. Are you Russian?
Nik: Da

∞What part of Russia are you originally from?
Nik: St. Petersburg

∞What was your childhood like growing up in Russia?
Nik: Poor. Dark. My father was mine worker and mother clean homes for rich.
I was not an easy child. My parents were too old and tired to control me. When I was boy, I like to kill the animal from the neighbor’s farm. The blood give me pleasure. The farmer want my father to pay for dead animals, but we were too poor. When I turn nine, my parents put me in orphanage. But no one want me. Too old.

∞So at what age did you leave the orphanage?
Nik: Maybe like fifteen-sixteen. I run away because I kill a monakhinya, how do you say in English, nun?

∞Did you serve time in prison for your crime?
Nik: Eventually, when I got caught. But before, I join a street gang. We do bad things. Drugs, steal, beat people––a lot. And if we have to, we kill. So I was in and out of Black Vorkin Juvenile Prison for most of my teen years. Before I got release, I get in fight with rival gang and they almost kill me. That’s when I meet Dr. Luca Gaven.

∞What made you move to Oregon?
Nik: Work. I work now exclusively for Dr. Gaven.

∞What kind of work do you do for the doctor?
Nik: Things.
  
∞We all do things, but what sorts of things do you do for Dr. Gaven? Are you a technician, assistant, sonographer, EMT?
Nik: Tracker

∞Can you explain what a tracker would do during a typical day at work?
Nik: I track people that the doctor wants me to track. In other words, I follow them, watch them, track them and if need be. . .must I spell it out?

∞Who are you tracking now?
Nik: The last remaining descendant. She is known as the key keeper and it is my job to find her and bring her to Luca.

∞Why are you looking for her? Is this a special key that the doctor wants?
Nik: Da. It is written that she is the chosen one for Dr. Gaven’s prophecy and legacy. So now I am looking for Elizabeth Morgan. I have good idea where she is hiding.

∞What happens once you find her?
Nik: What happens in bedroom, stays in bedroom!

About the Author 
LJ Amodeo was born and raised in New York. A wife and busy mother of three, she juggles many jobs as a devoted NYC middle school foreign language teacher, owner/founder of BizzyMom Productions, and author of the Descendant Series. LJ, always had a flare for writing and attended St. John’s University with hopes of someday becoming a journalist. However, her passion of working with adolescents, inspired her to become a public school teacher. She always knew that working with kids would be her greatest reward and joy.

LJ first started her writing career on a whim of imagination, subliminal messages in 2009. Her first novel DESCENDANT released in early Spring of 2015. Long hours and many sleepless nights, her thoughts are transcribed into this high paced, dark young adult/crossover paranormal romance. This epic novel is the second book in the Descendant Series. THE CONCEPTION is scheduled to release August 8, 2015.

Email: ljamodeoauthor@gmail.com

Friday, May 29, 2015

Character Interview: Descendant

Descendant
by L.J. Amodeo
Publisher: Crushing Hearts and Black Butterfly Publishing 
Publication Date: May 26th, 2015
Language: English 
Genre: Young Adult Supernatural Romance
Paperback: 325 pages 


Blurb

A forbidden love, a sacred bloodline, and a powerful gift, plagues the last remaining descendant with an unspeakable burden and an unforgivable fate. Seventeen-year-old Elizabeth Anne Morgan is no stranger to the paranormal world. Haunted by voices and visions for most of her young life, she begins to question her sanity as a teen, setting her apart as an outcast in school. In quatrains and sacred manuscripts, a Chosen One is prophesied, yet Elizabeth does not know she is the descendant of the holiest woman who ever walked the earth. The whispers and cries, meant for her mind only, are those of lost souls pleading to be liberated by the true holder of the key. In her senior year of high school, Elizabeth meets two new strangers, both who know her secret and who turn her world upside down. Meanwhile, her only friend Freddie, loyal, devoted and secretly in love with her, stands quietly in the shadows of her life as she begins to unfold the mystery of who she is destined to become.


Chapter 1: 

Another morning, another night with the same dream; my father applauding my performance of Beethoven’s Silence. He sat beside me on the bench of the baby grand, clapping exuberantly and cheering, “Bravissima!”  I could almost feel his lips brushing over my hair as I sat there staring out my window. I missed him. Not a day went by that I didn’t feel his absence, in my heart, and in our home. 

Feeling sluggish from a restless night’s sleep, I thought about my father, reliving the last time I saw him. Remembering him as the kind, loving father who had nurtured me as a child, got harder every day. My memories now, were of a man who shouted obscenities instead of praises. A man who had lost his mind. Terrifying me, until I felt broken. The man who walked out on us almost eight years ago, no longer resembled the one I called Dad. He became a stranger, yet he still haunted my dreams. The ghost who lingered in my mind and soul. A burden I wondered if I could handle much longer.


CHARACTER INTERVIEW WITH SAMANTHA GAVEN, BITCH EXTRAORDINAIRE, EXCLUSIVELY FROM THE NOVEL “DESCENDANT” BY LJ AMODEO

∞Tell us something about yourself:

SAMANTHA: I’m rich, insanely gorgeous, smart and love the finer things in life. I’ve traveled the world and everyone wants to be moi! But don’t let this pretty face fool you, get on my bad side and I’ll slit your throat!

∞What about your family? What can you tell us about them?

SAMANTHA:  My mom is the department chair at Porto University, and my brother Luca is doing his residency in Quebec in Neurology. Did I mention that I hate that douche bag? He’s always stealing my spotlight! 

∞If you could spend the day with someone you admire (living or dead or imaginary), who would you pick?

SAMANTHA:  My father Dante, of course. He died a long time ago.

∞I’m sorry to hear that. How did he die?

SAMANTHA:  He was murdered. He was desecrated without honor. All because someone wouldn’t give him what he rightfully deserved. He was betrayed! He meant everything to me, and I will avenge his death.

∞Do you think you've turned out the way your parents expected?

SAMANTHA:  Hello?? Look at me! Hell yeah! I am everything my daddy expected and more, but he’s no longer around to see how I turned out. The only problem now is that swine of my brother Luca. My mother holds a special place in her heart for her prodigal son. He’s always been her favorite, the one who’ll carry the family legacy. Blah! Blah! Blah! But, Luca is a spitting image of my dad in so many ways, but not quite as powerful yet.


∞What's the worst thing you've ever done to someone?

SAMANTHA: Umm, I’m not so sure I’d like to answer that! It may get ugly. 

∞Are you keeping a secret? What is it?

SAMANTHA: Yes I am, and if I told you, it wouldn’t be a secret now, would it?

∞What impression do you make on people when they first meet you? 

SAMANTHA: Well my new friend Elizabeth thinks I am a free-spirit. I haven’t got a care in the world. She’s right! When I enter a room, everyone turns and takes notice. They sense the magnitude of mystery I emanate. Everyone is obviously enchanted with me. Boys can’t take their eyes off of me, and the girls are no competition in this little hole of a town.

∞What would you like it to say on your tombstone?

SAMANTHA: That’s easy. It will read... “Samantha Gaven ~ Drop Dead Gorgeous!”



About the Author:

LJ Amodeo was born and raised in New York. A wife and busy mother of three, she juggles many jobs as a devoted NYC middle school foreign language teacher, owner/founder of BizzyMom Productions, and author of the Descendant Series. LJ, always had a flare for writing and attended St. John’s University with hopes of someday becoming a journalist. However, her passion of working with adolescents, inspired her to become a public school teacher. She always knew that working with kids would be her greatest reward and joy. 

LJ first started her writing career on a whim of imagination, subliminal messages in 2009. She is enthusiastic about her first novel DESCENDANT scheduled to come out in the spring of 2015. Long hours and many sleepless nights, her thoughts are transcribed into this high paced, dark young adult/crossover paranormal romance. This epic novel is the first book in a series. Book two, THE CONCEPTION will be released late summer, 2015.



Monday, January 19, 2015

Interview With "The Devil": The Devil At Play

The Devil at Play
Marcus Damanda

The Devil in Miss Drake's Class, 3



“Everyone loves the devil until they know him. Until they see him for what he really is.” 

Nobody ever did, even as the bodies started to pile up. 

But now, too late for it to matter, Audrey understands at last. The devil of Fairview has been courting her for days, and watching her for much longer than that. The murderer is her boyfriend—and he’s been killing on her behalf. 

His name is Jack Maddox, but everyone calls him Mad Jack. He’s planning a party, where everyone is invited, especially Audrey’s tormentors—especially the Facebook Fifteen. 

Audrey will have her revenge, whether she wants it or not. 

Because, in Miss Drake’s class, the devil will have his due.


14+ due to violence and adult situations

Buy Links:    Evernight Teen    Amazon

Excerpt:

As he cleaned the knife, she fought her way back to the surface. Eventually, she managed words. “I still don’t know which parts of this were real. Or if I’m completely crazy.”

“You’re not crazy, Audrey,” he reassured her. “You never were. No more than I was. And you’re not crazy now. Just the opposite, in fact.”

When she let the silence stretch again, making it meaningful, he continued.

“Your problem is the same as mine. You see things how they really are, and it makes you sad. Makes you angry. What happened here wasn’t a hallucination. What happened here was justice—for you.”

Polishing the blade, he glanced at her sidelong, expectantly.

He’s holding a knife, she said to herself. And spoke her mind anyway. “I’m nothing like you.”

He smiled. “You’re nicer than me, that’s for sure. No contest.”

“You’re… like the devil, Jack.” Please don’t kill me. You can read my thoughts, I know it now. You’ll know if I lie. I’m being honest with you. I want the truth.

“The devil?” Jack said, chuckling. “Not sure if I believe in ‘the devil.’ Never been to the other side, either way. But I know from pictures he has red skin, pointy tail, horns, carries a pitchfork… usually has pretty big eyebrows.”

Audrey put her hand over his wrists, stopped his polishing. “No, Jack,” she said. “The devil is far too smart to look like that. Everyone loves the devil, until they know him. Until they see him for what he really is.”

They regarded each other.

“Does this mean we can’t be friends?” he joked. “Bet you never thought you’d have first period English with the devil.”

“No,” she said. “I never did.”

“By your description,” Jack said, his smile fading. “The devil was in Miss Drake’s class. But it wasn’t me.”

“Jack,” Audrey said, giving up. “I want to go home. Can I go home, please?”

“Soon,” he said, tossing the knife in the sink, turning around, and leaning up against it. “You have to do something for me first. Don’t worry. I don’t think you’ll have a problem with it. I hope not, anyway.”

Audrey narrowed her eyes. She wasn’t afraid. After tonight, she didn’t know if she had any fear left in her. “What?” she asked.

“In order for you to understand the ‘what,’” he said. “You first have to understand who Ireally am. Completely—or at least as much as I understand, myself. Time is short, so pay attention.”

Audrey listened.

Interview With "The Devil" by Marcus Damanda

JACK’S SECOND INTERVIEW (now revealed as “Alastair Hutchinson”)

Character Interview with Alastair Hutchinson, Master of the 1,000 Ghosts—also known as “The Observer” from Devils in the Dark, A Devil in Daylight, and The Devil at Play. We’ve recently discovered that Alastair has been masquerading as teenager “Jack Maddox” at Battlefield Secondary School, though his reasons for doing so remain unclear. What we do know is that at least three Battlefield students, possibly four, have died—or been murdered—in the past three days, beginning with Gabriel Daniels on the day “Jack” and Audrey Bales began attending the school.

We are conducting this interview online. Alastair’s present location is unknown.

© You do realize we’ll be forwarding a transcript of this interview to the Fairview Police, Alastair. Full disclosure. You should be in custody, being questioned.

Alastair: No doubt. Listen, don’t worry about it. I’ll be in touch with them myself, soon enough. Time is short, though. Have at it.

© Why the secret identity? Why become “Jack Maddox”?

Alastair: Tell me you’ve never wanted a chance to do high school over again, if only for a few days. Anyway, I wanted to get to know Audrey Bales better. She needed a friend.

© Sources tell us she was doing remarkably well after being released from the hospital—making friends, blending in. What did she need you for?

Alastair: Conflict resolution.

© Is that a reference to the “Facebook Fifteen” who bullied her at her old school? Because, as of tonight, each one of them that transferred to Battlefield after their suspensions were served is either dead or missing, Alastair. Did you know?

Alastair: I certainly hope they’re dead. That was the idea, after all. I do try to be thorough.

© Are you admitting you killed them? As I said, Heather Roberts is still missing.

Alastair: That bitch is fish food. I expect they’ll find her, soon enough.

[As the interview continues, Bobby’s at work trying to wire the police and see if they can slip in and see this conversation right away. I can’t believe I’m getting a murder confession. Poor kids …]

© Does Audrey know what you’ve been doing?

Alastair: Audrey Bales is the best person I know. She’d never have anything to do with any of that. She doesn’t even want some petty little teenage version of payback. She just wants to be left alone. She’ll hate me pretty quick when she finds out—so sad. I really do care for her. So na├»ve. So easily damaged.

© Why are you doing this, then?

Alastair: You know, that’s ironic. Those were Audrey’s precise words when she entered the chat with the so-called “Facebook Fifteen.” I know what’s best for Audrey, even if she doesn’t. I know what’s best for everyone.

© You said time was short. What are you doing, Alastair?

Alastair: I’m arranging a party. My sendoff, you might say—and Audrey’s final liberation. All of the best people will be there.

© Really? Where is it?

Alastair: Nice try.

[Bobby has the police on the phone, but they’re complaining about some kind of encryption on Alastair’s end. They can’t cut through. Or even trace it back to its source.]

© Alastair—if you’re planning more violence, I have to ask you to please stop. This has gone far enough.

Alastair: Any of the Fifteen could have ended this three days ago. I made sure they knew how. I’m only waiting for one of them to “step up,” as the saying goes. This is their fault. And Maggie Lassiter’s. I am only a vessel.

[The police are asking us to keep him online as long as possible.]

© How old are you?

Alastair: That depends on if you count the time before I joined the host. I’ve been there for one hundred and three years. So, all told—one hundred eighteen. My, time does get away.

© Who’s coming to this “party” of yours?

Alastair: By now, I expect the police are putting every member of the Fifteen they can find into protective custody. You’d really be better off asking them. Each one they do not find, they’ll be at the party. Also, Maggie will be there. And Audrey, of course.

© You plan on killing her, don’t you?

Alastair: Audrey? Absolutely not. She deserves a life, if that’s what she truly wants.

© And Maggie?

Alastair: My plans regarding Miss Lassiter run far deeper than killing her. No, I do not intend to harm her, myself. As for the others …

© Alastair, they’re KIDS! Children!

Alastair: Yes. Yes, they are. And yes, I’ll most likely kill them. Please, stick to questions. Your statements of the obvious annoy me.

[Still no luck with the trace.]

© Was Miss Drake involved in any way? We’ve learned she taught a “Jack Maddox” five years ago, and that he died. Suicide.

Alastair: Intrepid, aren’t you? No, as to the current situation, Miss Drake is more fairly counted among those you erroneously label as “victims.”

© What’s that supposed to mean?

Alastair: The body count is not “four,” my friend. It’s actually six. I’ve been quite busy, you see.

© I’m not sure I even know what to say to you, Alastair …

Alastair: That’s fine. Listen, there’s actually a car pulling up. In this weather, it could only be assumed these are my guests.

© Alastair, wait.

Alastair: I’ve waited long enough. I’m afraid we’re done here. Please tell the police I’ll be in touch in an hour or three.

[End of Interview]

About the Author:
Marcus Damanda lives in Woodbridge, Virginia with his cat, Shazam. At various times throughout his life, he played bass guitar for the garage heavy metal band Mother’s Day, wrote for The Dale City Messenger, and published editorials in The Potomac News and The Freelance Star. Currently, while not plotting his next foray into fictitious suburban mayhem, he spoils his nieces and nephews and teaches middle school English.




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