Deals with the Devil Character Interviews

Thank you for coming to chat with us today. Why do you think J.F. Posthumus chose you to represent her?

(laughs)  J.F. is a sweet lady, but she’s hoping I’ll be flattered enough to finally tell her the secret ingredients to her favorite appetizer and mixed drink.

Tell us a little about yourself?

I am the owner, head chef and bartender of the Fellhaven Tavern in the small southern city of Waynesboro, Virginia.  Actually, I’m half owner; my wife Jen is the other owner.  She runs the front of the place, when she’s not keeping the staff on their toes.  I’m a native of the area, have traveled all over the U.S. and a few places beyond.  What else do you want to know?

It sounds like J.F. is a regular at your establishment:  Or do you only remember the favorite orders of writers?

Nah, I remember all my regulars’ preferences and have even taught a few of them what their favorites are.  Although, J.F. looks like she could be sisters with my wife, which makes it easy to give her a priority (laughs).

There was an incident at your tavern not long ago where a patron was attacked in the parking lot.  Does that happen often?

Oh, so that’s why J.F. asked me to do this!  You want to talk about Fiona Wells, not Ms. Posthumus.  Fine, no one else wants to talk about the weird stuff, but I’m game.

So, you acknowledge the circumstances surrounding the attack were out of the ordinary?

(silence) I’m not the kind of person that ignores what he sees.  A car exploding isn’t out of the ordinary when a ball of flame hits the gas tank.  Not a missile or even one of the fireworks you see launched at the Fourth of July, mind you:  There was no smoke trail or a device to launch anything like that with.  The ball of flame just appeared in front of the guy’s hands and flew at Fi(ona).  Simple as that.  I don’t have any explanation that you’d feel fit to print.

We’re a progressive website.  Try me.

Alright; I will.  People are always arguing about what Heaven and Hell, God and the Devil are like.  Different names for them, different ideas on what they are and want.  Others believe in what’s still called the Supernatural:  Magic, spirits, ghosts, monsters, that kind of stuff.  Why isn’t the universe big enough to encompass all of that?  If you see something that someone might call magic, or sorcery, happening with their own eyes, why couldn’t it be just that?  Why can’t angels be among us, or devils, and why do they have to be the only ones?  Because someone doesn’t believe?  There are a lot of artists and inventors in history who had plenty of people not believe in their art, or ideas.  Yet we have their work and successes all around us.

So you are claiming that someone attacked Fi, as Fiona Wells prefers to be called, with magic?

It looked like a wizard out of a book or movie conjuring a magic fireball and throwing it at her.  Is that what happened?  I’m not the ultimate authority of truth; no human is.  I will happily listen to any explanation anyone wants to give me.  I’ve been offered plenty since it happened, but not a single one, aside from what I just suggested, fits with what I and others actually saw.  Most just would rather have an explanation that doesn’t scare the hell out of them.

The idea of a wizard running around and attacking people with magic doesn’t scare you?

Sure it does, same as a maniac with a weapon and a desire to hurt people scares any sane person.  But I’m not going to run away from answers or deny things that don’t suit me.  But hey, I’m just a bartender with an imagination.  You want some wild stories?  Hang out at Fellhaven about an hour before closing:  You get some amazing tales, then.  Had an ex-boyfriend of Fi’s tell me that her dad was the right-hand man of the Devil himself.  Said that made Fi at least half demon.  Now, is that something he found out and wouldn’t confess otherwise, or was it the nine shots of Jack Daniels melting his brain?

Were you interviewed by Raziel Elwyn, the detective that was also investigating the death of Ms. Wells boss?

He was the first officer on site when Fi was attacked, so yeah.  And Fi’s boss was murdered.  People don’t fold themselves backwards into shipping crates and just stop breathing for fun.  No, I’m not taking Fi’s word on that being what happened.  Half the cops in town were in my bar that night, freaked out over the condition of the body and trying to drink the memory down.

Aren’t you pretty chatty for a bartender?

I’m not behind the bar right now! (laughs)  Spend all your working hours listening and nodding to other people, sometimes it makes a person want to run off endlessly when given a chance to actually speak.  And for someone who wanted to know about me in the beginning, you sure are asking a lot of questions about everything but me, my place, or what I do.

Fair enough.  What’s the most popular mixed drink at your tavern right now?

The same one it’s been since the first month we opened:  The Fellhaven Punch.  One part lemon-lime soda, one part Cosmopolitan, a splash of raspberry mixer, and two parts rum.  Best when shaken over ice.  We fill old slushee machines with ice and the ingredients and crank ’em up to have plenty on hand.  Still have to refill the machines at least once a night to keep up with demand.

Why should the readers be interested in your story?

I don’t really have a story that would interest people.  Now, what happened to Fi Wells?  That’s a story I’d like to read.

Interview with Seth Higgins, boss of Faith (Fi) Wells, for Deal with the Devil

Thank you for coming to chat with us today. Why do you think J.F. Posthumus chose you to represent her?   

As the new manager of IT operations of Shen-Valley Shipping, I am in a perfect position to comment on the events that occurred there.  As I understand it, Ms. Posthumus is writing a book about what happened to Faith Wells after she discovered my predecessor’s body.

You seem amazingly calm about your predecessor being found dead at the business you now work at.

Well, certainly it was a tragedy.  But death happens all the time.  You can either deal with it, or waste time and energy over-emoting with something you can do nothing about.  Kevin’s death afforded me the opportunity to take my position in the company.  I try to look at the positive side of life.

Tell us a little about yourself?

Aside from my position at Shen-Valley, what do you want to know?  I’m a Gemini, my favorite books are Who’s Afraid of Virginia Wolfe, Dune and Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe’s Faust.  I like long walks in the snow.  I drive a Bentley and admittedly wash and wax it obsessively.  Does that help?

Nice car.  Did you find it difficult to take over the position as IT manager?

Not at all.  Faith, Jaime, and the rest of the staff gave me no trouble.  It was a very smooth transition.

Aside from the dead body in a shipping crate.

A minor detail.  There have been worse first days on the job..  And thank you; it is a very nice car.  Would you like to take a ride in it?

My mother told me to never get into a stranger’s car.

But you certainly know who I am.  You know where I work.  Aren’t you here to get to know more about me?  What harm could there be in learning about my passions and enjoying yourself in a luxurious vehicle?

Careful, you charmer; your horns and forked tail are showing.

(Mr. Higgins, oddly enough, appears self-conscious at my statement and begins to pat at his hairline, only to break out into a smile a moment later)

Oh, that’s very funny!  You were calling me a devil because I was tempting you.  Ha ha.  What was your next question?

When Miss Wells was attacked, the circumstances were unusual.  The bartender at the establishment (where the attack occurred) hinted that the attacker used magic to try to kill Fi Wells.  That would certainly explain the exploding car, where no trace of explosives could be found by the police.

Oh, now, really:  That is absurd.  Magic?  Perhaps the bartender spends a lot of time trying out his own product.  I’m surprised you gave any weight to his statement.

You disagree with his assessment, then.

There’s nothing to disagree with.  Magic doesn’t exist.  Either the man was mentally ill, pulling your leg, or trying to sound important.

So you are certain there’s no magic in the world.

Fine, fine.  Maybe there’s magic in the world.  Maybe there are angels and devils walking the Earth, and we- I mean, they- have jobs to do like everyone else.  So what if there were?  Does it really make life more interesting?  What if human perception of all those things is completely wrong?  What if the demons are more helpful than the angels?  What if magic does the same things that humanity has accomplished through technology, and requires more training?  Do the whiny, “the world isn’t kissing my ass enough” losers of the world want to deal with that?  I doubt it.  People want life to be more interesting, but they also want to be more interesting, and they want it all to be easy. That’s what it really comes down to.  Be more interesting, and you don’t need to believe in childhood things like magic, miracles or angels.  You don’t count on them.  That is a better place to be.

Why should the readers be interested in your story?

Unfortunately, Ms. Posthumus wrote about Faith Wells’ story.  I am in the story, of course, which elevates the narrative, but the book is really about Fi’s adventure.  Perhaps Ms. Posthumus will see fit to focus her next book on me, instead.

• Any final thoughts for our readers?

Do what your boss tells you to do, but never avoid taking advantage of something or someone who can get you ahead in your career or life.  Some people ask “would you sell your soul to do this or that” and my response is:  Why wouldn’t you?  What else were you planning to do with it?

• Today we’re interviewing Kevin Lowell, former manager of the IT department of ShenValley Shipping, and previous boss to Faith Wells, the main character of the upcoming Deals with the Devil:

Thank you so much for giving us some of your time today!  Why do you think J.F. Posthumus chose you to be the novel’s newest representative?

Oh, it’s my pleasure.  Anything that gets me out of Hell for a while is a welcome change.  Thank you for allowing me in!

• Wow, that’s a pretty harsh thing to say about your new work place.  Why are you so down on it?

Yeah… you don’t get it, do you?  I died, somebody’s rules “decreed” that I had to go to Hell for my sins, all that idiocy.  Hell isn’t quite what people think, but it still sucks.  I’d say be good and do good, but frankly, I’m more concerned with my appeal.  I don’t deserve to be in Hell.  Maybe you do, or anyone else, but not me.

• Excuse me?

Okay, you look like one of those “only cheats a little on taxes, doesn’t take advantage of anybody unless they’ve pissed you off” goody types, so maybe you won’t get the one-way express ticket.  Sure, I cheated on my taxes and when I got bored with the woman who insisted we do the matrimony thing I went out and found someone younger and sweeter.  Fine, fine, several someones if you have to be technical.  Man, those angels and demons sure are heavy on the technical aspect.

• Have you been drinking, Mr. Lowell?

I would love a drink!  Do you have anything on you?

• I suppose that answers that question.

C’mon, you gotta have something here!  You’re a reporter!  It’s a great American tradition!  Which drawer are you keeping the bourbon in?

• Mr. Lowell, please stop rifling through my desk drawers and invading my personal space.  I’m not afraid to call security.

*laughs* Oh, please- you think a rent-a-cop is going to intimidate a guy who got killed in his office after cooking the books to hide his embezzlement of his employers- by a friggin’ sorcerer, no less- and has spent every moment since filling out paperwork for Satan’s law firm while minor demons snap at his heels?  You’re funny!  You should do stand up!

• Wow, that was a total run-on sentence.  Does being “dead” allow you to ignore proper grammar and literation?

You probably think you’re being witty right now.  Think I’m just a whack job who’s been hitting the bottle, eh?  Go ahead.  Google me.  I’ll bet you whatever booze you’ve got hidden away here that you’ll find my obituary.

*This reporter, fed up with this interviewee’s behavior, does a google search*

• Oh.  Accroding to all three of the local papers from your area, you are dead.  Killed in a storage area at your place of employment.  Your body was found folded up and jammed into a twenty-four inch by thiry-six inch by twenty-four inch metal shipping box. Ouch.

Yeah, killed while heading to the parking lot to grab a smoke.  Wonder if that’s on my gravestone?  And the jerk who killed me folded my body up like some kind of grotesque origami?  Then I get sent to Hell.  Yeah, that’s fair!  Speaking of fair, you owe me whatever booze you’ve got stashed.  Give it up.

• I don’t have any.  Ummm…tell us a little about yourself?

Ah, well, I attended Juilliard.  I’m a graduate of Harvard Law School.  I’ve traveled extensively.  I’m a Gemini, love long walks on the beach, my hobbies were embezzling large amounts of cash from my clueless boss so I could afford to sugar daddy lots of pretty little liars in exchange for sexual favors, undercutting my employees’ hours so I could drive expensive cars on the company account, and I got killed by a friggin’ sorcerer! Then I got sent to Hell because those very common activities offend some higher-up’s sensibilities!  How about you, pretty lady?  What’s your sign?

• “Closed until further notice”.  Do you believe in ghosts?

What do you think you’ve been talking to, sugar?  Aw, great!  My time’s up!

 *Mr. Lowell literally vanishes before this reporter’s eyes.  Said reporter is going to go change into some clean slacks and dig out the bottle of Wild Turkey discreetly kept in the desk’s bottom drawer.*

*Our interview today is with Gaston, a co-worker with Faith (FI Wells, who is the narrator for the upcoming Deals with the Devil.  This interviewer is rather frazzled from previous interviews with people from this book, and was pleasantly surprised to see a tall, barrel-chested brunette of a man with a deep rich voice.  Even if he was wearing a peasant shirt and what could be described as buccaneer boots along with his tight black pants.*

• Thank you for coming in today, Gaston… what was your last name?  J.F.  didn’t email that to me.

Oh, let’s not bother with such formalities, dear lady!  My last name is difficult to pronounce and no one ever spells it right.  I have that in common with the author!

• Alright, then; tell us about yourself and why J.F. chose you to represent her and her first novel, Deals with the Devil?

I work alongside Faith Wells, although she likes to claim I make her job more difficult.  The fact is, if it weren’t for me and others like me, she wouldn’t have a job!  But that’s human gratitude for you.  J.F. thought, after the last interview and you having to take a week off to recover, she’d send someone charming and dashing to make your day.  Naturally, she thought of me.

You certainly are more pleasant than my last interviewee.  There aren’t going to be any nasty surprises, are there?  Kevin claimed he was a corpse and vanished right in front of me.

That cad!  Putting such a charming lady in distress!  Ah, well, that’s Kevin for you.  A real cow of a man.  Glad he’s gone.  His replacement is much better.  He understands my place, and my kinsmen, and doesn’t give us a lot of grief.

• That sounds like an ideal boss… wait a minute.  Did you just say kinsmen?

Yes, my fellow gremlins.  We’re all related.  Which makes mating quite creepy, if you think about it.  Hence why we try to hook up with human ladies whenever possible.  Why did you take that bottle of whiskey out of your drawer?  Are we having a toast?

• Yes, I am toasting my long lost sanity.  Are you going to breath fire or something if I pour you a shot?

Heavens, no!  I’m not part dragon; not a bit of it in my bloodline.  (drinks) Mmm, that’s pretty good!  I need to tell Fi to buy this brand.  It would go well with popcorn!

• Does Fi keep whiskey in her work desk, too?

No, no, she has me over for movie nights at her residence.  We share popcorn, drinks, gossip.  Not nearly enough, though.  With all the demons, angels, werewolves and vampires she has to deal with, the lady really needs to relax more often.  Oh, are we having another toast?

• Yes, and pardon me while I use a bigger glass for myself.

Not at all.  It’s your beverage; thanks for sharing!

• Ohhh I need to buy more of this today.  Okay, handsome, what were you saying about demons, vampires and all that?  Are there supposed to be all of those creatures at the shipping company where you and Fi work?

Not as often as you’d think.  Mostly it’s the people in her social like.  Some of the customers are, though, and Fi’s new boss is a demon.  Didn’t you interview him already?

• Yes, I did, and I’m wondering why he didn’t show me his wings and horns, thus making my break from reality happen sooner.  More whiskey?

I don’t think there’s enough left in the bottle for us both… and Seth doesn’t go around revealing his true form to humans.  He has more class than that.

• A demon with class, of course.  Then a ghost who came for an interview to get away from Hell for a while.  You’re supposed to be a gremlin, eh?  How nice.  I would have thought you’d be shorter, with green scales and bat-like ears.

Oh, that horrible movie; they got everything wrong.  But that’s humanity for you.  Calling me and my kinsmen viruses, when all we’re doing is having a bit of fun inside the computers and printers. And no, I do not have green scales in my true form.  Observe!

*The handsome, if crazy, man before me morphs into a small creature that looks like a garden gnome with better fashion sense.  He kisses my hand, bows like a gentleman, and then pops into my computer’s monitor like… a gremlin.

NOTE TO EDITOR:  I quit.

 
 
 
 

Thank you for taking the time to read the interviews