I have to be honest. I approached this interview with some hesitation, perhaps even a little trepidation. After all, even though I feel I know him a bit through Cordelia, I’ve never experienced Jagger directly. As he sits before me, I can empathize with Cordelia. He is impossibly magnetic, his aura both powerful and dangerous, the only release, a hint of humor gleaming in his silver-gray eyes. I met with him in St. Moritz, just before the start of Faustine’s Integration year.
Are you excited about starting a new year at the Academy?
I am, though I’m not exactly sure what my role will be this year. I guess I’ll find out when I get there.
So, you’re not heading back as the Student Council President?
I wouldn’t think so. That position is usually only awarded for a year. Plus, my time at the academy is officially over.
Why are you going back, then?
Mainly to keep an eye on my brother, Ryker.
Myself. However, like any girl, she obviously needed a “token” as well. I got her a little secret something from Harry Winston.
Nice! The next question is about Cordelia as well. Al Kunz, the infamous celeb book blogger, aka The Snake, wants to know what really happened on the slopes. He wants details.
He couldn’t handle the details
LOL! There you have it, Al!
Moving on… Michelle Cable wants to know what you thought when you first saw Cordelia and what you thought of that electrifying kiss.
That she’s stunning is apparent to all who are lucky enough to behold her. I was struck by her beauty as soon as I saw her, when she first arrived at the academy. It was my policy to stay away from demons, though. Every kiss with her is electrifying, but I’m guessing you mean our very first kiss. I was shocked, but immediately realized what had happened.
Too bad that doesn’t happen to humans. Synching sounds unbelievably intimate…
It is, but the realization that one is bound forever to this one being frightening, too. That’s unnatural in the supernatural world.
I can see that. Faustine seems to bridge the gap between the human and the paranormal worlds. My daughter Lauren wants to know what you think of Faustine, and Vickie Boehnlein wants to know if you’re scared of
I love Faustine. She’s like a little sister to me. I feel very protective of her, even though I know that she can take care of herself. And yes, I’m scared of her. I’d be stupid not to be. She’s one of the most powerful demons I’ve ever come across.
Demons seem to like their food, meat in particular. Lynn O’Dell would like to know if you prefer filet mignon or T-bones?
I’m not a demon, but I do prefer Filet Mignon.
Octavia is the enrichment student at the Academy who represents Cordelia at the Student Council trial. Like all my characters, she was born in my imagination, this time inspired by my awesome friend and editor, Sue Bernstein, who is also a lawyer. During the editing process, something odd happened. Sue adopted Octavia into her own imagination, and Octavia seemed to become a manifestation of Sue’s personality. It was a weird, but wonderful thing, and a total hoot. For the first time, my story had a character who seemed to have taken over a life of her own outside my own imagination. So it was only natural to ask Sue my questions for Octavia. I met with her just before Faustine’s Integration year.
Where did you attend to law school?
From the time I was a kid growing up in the mid-western US, I always wanted to live in New York. So I applied to only one law school—a prestigious school in Manhattan that shall remain nameless—and got in! I spent three blissful years in Manhattan before being turned.
When were you turned into a vampire? How old were you?
That’s a day I’ll never forget—I was turned on graduation day. What began as the happiest day of my life, graduation from law school, ended with fangs in my neck and me undead forever. I was… am twenty-six years old.
I am guessing you were turned by someone eminent, hence you being sent here to the Academy. Are you able to share who?
While I am not at liberty to divulge the name, suffice it to say that he was one of my law professors, who told me he had very big plans for me. No kidding big plans! When not teaching evening classes in New York, he teaches an introduction to paranormal jurisprudence class at Bonfire Academy.
What were the circumstances in which you were turned?
The professor who turned me was my mentor. I trusted him and worked side-by-side with him for three years. At least he waited for me to graduate before he turned me but studying for the NY Bar Exam while trying to control my brand-new powers was a bit hairy!
What will you do once your time at the Academy is over?
My mentor/professor/attacker still has big plans for me.
What do you think of Jagger?
For a winter, that faery is definitely H-O-T!
How close to you feel to him after letting him drink your blood? Do you feel he belongs to you in any way?
As trite as this sounds, faeries belong to no one. That said, however, Jagger and I have a very close bond. Mmm.
Do you like Cordelia?
Like is such an odd word for a vampire to use. Cordelia was my client, and I respect her. You didn’t think you’d pin down a lawyer, did you?
What do you think is up between her and Jagger?
Oh, goodness! Something for sure. I can sense it in my blood.
Are you coming back to school next year, during Faustine’s Integration year?
Yes! But as staff.
Thanks so much, Octavia and Sue!
I met with Rea at my hotel in St. Moritz. When I opened the door to my suite after the first knock, there was no one outside. This went on a few times until I decided to leave the door ajar. She walked in minutes later, a large freckle on her nose glowing bright orange. I was taken aback. I had expected an unseemly creature, having the standard image of a troll imprinted in my head. But of course, she came in her human form–an impishly charming girl, her blond hair in dreadlocks, her bright green eyes sparkling mischievously. Although I asked her to sit, she preferred to stand as we talked, skipping about the room looking through my closet and desk drawers. I ignored that until she slipped her hand into my Birkin and pocketed my wallet. She shrugged when I threw her a look, and hastily returned it. Thankfully, the remainder of the time, she just tried on some of my shoes and clomped about in them.
Rea, are you a full troll or hybrid?
My twin and I are hybrids. We are part troll and part fabulous faery. When it comes to mischief, we are definitely dominant troll.
Trolls are often changelings, swapped out for a human child. Did your parents place you with a human family?
Yes, they did, but it didn’t last long! Our human family loved us, but we were a handful! It seems our human family didn’t have all that much of a sense of humor.
Did the human family find out that you were trolls?
They suspected something was up, but wondered if the sudden change in the personality of their kids had something to do with those injections human babies seem to need.
What happened to the human twins you were swapped with? Are they still alive?
Very much alive and we are good friends now. They still live at our parents’ place. They assume they are trolls as well, but ones who aren’t able to do what normal trolls can.
Your twin, Noella, is very rarely sighted. Some even question her existence. Why is that?
I am glad you asked that. She does exist, believe me! Noella is the youngest and the most spoiled. We are identical twins except for a small freckle that Noella has on her nose. We excelled at witchcraft classes, and she learned a chant to make her freckle disappear when she was caught doing naughty things. Everybody always looked for that darn naughty freckle, and when it wasn’t there, it was believed that *REA* did it! I did try a chant to make a naughty freckle appear once when I was in trouble, but when the freckle glowed orange, I was busted!
You seem to be in trouble at the school all the time. Have you even been forced to have sessions with Dr. Amour?
Yes, I have, and it didn’t go well! I thought we’d gotten away with it, but she hauled me up to her office the other day. She is OLD and can’t understand young, fun-loving, and adorable trolls!
How do you feel about demons?
I love demons! We are impossible to catch, so even though they scare most paranormals, the trolls actually torment them! I could do without the oozing puss though. Bleh!
You’ve been particularly active in trying to annoy Pascal. Is that your way of getting his attention? Are you interested in him?
He is a cute demon, and that is all I am saying!
With that, Rea disappeared though the door wearing my YSL Tribs.
I’d like to thank Allirea Brumley for getting into character and responding to my questions as her paranormal alter ego, Rea.
I first spotted Dr. Amour on the Amazon forums when she was serializing one of her romance novels. I have been trying to get an interview ever since. However, she is loath to talk about her books, sometimes even pretending to be dead to avoid it. She has finally relented to an interview as long as I don’t mention the book. I met her for coffee in St Moritz. She arrived looking slightly stressed, but opened up after chugging down on five Espressos.
How long have you been at Bonfire Academy?
I’ve been at the Academy for going on three years now. It has been the most frustrating, challenging, and rewarding three years of my life.
Were you trained here at Bonfire Academy or somewhere else?
I was brought in to the Bonfire Academy at the age of ten and was schooled and trained here. This is the only place I know as home.
What are the most frustrating aspects of your job?
Administration. Professor Kunz can be especially difficult to work with. He doesn’t always play well with others.
Are you a full faery or a hybrid?
I am a hybrid. I am three-quarters faery, but my grandfather was a Wanderer. I attribute my constant search for truth within each of us to him.
Which kind of paranormal seek your advice most often?
I seem to attract the largest Troll audience. It may be because of their appearance or their general grumpiness; most of the other therapists tend to avoid them.
There has been a lot of talk about Rea and Noella this year. Have they been in to see you?
No, they haven’t, but they should. Thank you for reminding me. I must make a note to have them come in. Rea has gained the reputation as a troublemaker
. Noella seems more levelheaded, so hopefully I can reason with her.
Being a faery, do you find it difficult to council other types of paranormals?
Not usually. I believe being a hybrid has something to do with it. We all have our strengths and weaknesses in being who we are. The trick is to find a common ground and work through it from there.
Do demons ever seek your advice? How do you protect yourself from their temper?
Demons don’t come in very often to see me. They are already convinced that they know everything and find counseling to be a waste of time.
Do you think love has a place in the paranormal world or is it all about lust?
I think love has a place in every world.
Professor Kunz was a bit disparaging when he described you as the paranormal “Dr. Phil.” What do you have to say about that?
What do you expect from a warlock? For someone who cries himself to sleep every night, he lacks compassion.
Is there a natural animosity between warlocks and faeries?
I don’t believe so. There are bad seeds in every group, but I see real hope that one day, hopefully in my lifetime, we can all live in peace and harmony.
What are your plans for the future?
Hopefully, the Academy continues to see my work here as helpful. I couldn’t imagine being any other place.
I’d like to thank Anne-Marie Monlezun for getting into character and responding to my questions as her paranormal alter ego, Dr. Amour.
Professor Kunz, the head of the Integration program, agreed to let me interview him while he was in New York to attend a conference. I spotted him as soon as I walked into the lobby of the Times Square Hilton in Manhattan. It wasn’t hard; he’d sent me several of his books, all of them displaying his picture on the back cover. He looked even more impressive in real life—a distinguished, but slightly otherworldly, professor. After I introduced myself, we found a quiet corner in the Pinnacle Bar for our interview.
How long have you been at Bonfire Academy?
This is my tenth year on the staff here at the academy.
Where did you train?
It isn’t something many people here know, but I attended Bonfire Academy years ago. Many staff members were originally students. Most people are aware of the recent Academy graduates who come back as staff members or act as mentors during their enrichment year, but some of us old timers got our education here, too. Frau Schmelder and I were actually part of the same graduating class.
Are you a full warlock or a hybrid?
You realize it’s considered bad form here to ask these kinds of questions. I hope this is just between us. Everyone knows I’m a warlock, but I’ve kept it quiet that I’m a hybrid of warlock and Sigma-Wanderer
I do know, but I thought I’d ask anyway. I hope you will be okay with me sharing with your fans. Sigma-Wanderers are at Spencer’s beck and call. Are you called away often to carry out duties outside the Academy?
He doesn’t call on me to travel much anymore. There are several younger Sigmas he uses, but he’ll call me out for situations that he’s worried they can’t handle, and we talk often. I probably wander over for dinner at least once every week or two at the Darleys’ home.
Very few Wanderers attend the Academy. Why do you think it was felt necessary to place you here?
We have plenty of demons and witches on staff, and more trolls than we know what to do with. Although there have been very few Wanderers who have attended the academy previously, we’re expecting several Wanderers and Wanderer hybrids in the next several years. Spencer felt having someone who truly understood what it was to be a Wanderer on staff was a necessity. He discussed it with Frau Schmelder, I wanted to return to “my roots,” and everything worked out.
How do your powers compare to Dr. Bern’s powers?
Based on the powers we’re allowed to demonstrate at school, Dr. Bern is more powerful. I’m forbidden from using my Wanderer powers in such a way that they’ll be discovered by anyone here, and my warlock powers are slightly diluted by virtue of being a hybrid. Were that not the case, our powers would be close to equal, as we’re cousins. That’s something that very few at the academy know. In fact, both of us were born in Switzerland, in a little town called Diemtigen, around 150 kilometers west of here, near Berne, the capital of Switzerland. Her last name uses the German spelling of the city. Bern-with-an-e is the French spelling, also used by most English-speaking nations. I believe her paternal ancestors took their surname from the city name.
You approach Integration without taking emotions and natural instincts into consideration. In fact, you seemed slightly disparaging when suggesting that anyone in need of Dr. Phil-type support seek out Dr. Amour. Why is that?
Dr. Amour and I have a history that, to be completely honest, has made me prone to showing my frustration with her when maybe I shouldn’t. I’ve never been entirely sure of the reason, but she attended the Academy for several years; I think four “enrichment” years, and multiple years of Initiation and Integration. She joined the staff immediately after she finally graduated. I’ve heard rumors that her paranormal powers are hard to control. What the truth is, I’m not sure. It was during her final enrichment year that we became involved. In my defense, she was much older than the typical student. I probably shouldn’t go into any details other than to say that Dr Amour’s “emotions and natural instincts” can be great—I sure thought so for a while—but they can get out of control. She sometimes encourages students under her care to do just the opposite of what we’re trying to overcome in their training.
Rumor has it that you may harbor special “feelings” for her. Is that true?
Have you ever been attracted to someone you knew was bad for you? You try to resist, but the attraction is too much. I’ve done well recently, but I’m not sure how much longer I can last.
Integration was particularly challenging for two of your students—Faustine and Mason—this year. How do you think they will fare outside the Academy?
I think Faustine is headed for big things. She’s still learning because she’s so young, but some day, I expect her to be an important leader in the paranormal community. In many ways, she’s mature well beyond her age. Mason is another story. Although a leader among the paranormals, his father has always been a bit of a loose cannon. Mason is a “chip off the old block.” I’m concerned he’s going to require some intervention or reining in, in the future.
What are your plans for the future?
I hope to stay here at the Academy and settle down.
I’d like to thank Al Kunz for getting into character and responding to my questions as his paranormal alter ego, Professor Kunz.
- Black Hippie Chick is Visited by Irina Shapiro, author of Precious Bones (blackhippiechick.wordpress.com)
- Black Hippie Chick’s Interview with Janine Ashbless, Author of Named & Shamed (blackhippiechick.wordpress.com)
- Black Hippie Chick’s Views on Timeless Soujurn (blackhippiechick.wordpress.com)