Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Characterfest interview #3 with Astra by Sam Cleever

Astra's Interview with the Angel City Bugler

Astra Q Phelps recently did an interview for the Angel City Bugler, during which she gives readers some wonderful insights into how she got her start as a kick-butt demon slayer and all around tough Tweener.

* * * * *
R: Hello Astra, thank you for joining us today, we love your books and were hoping we could get to know you a little bit.

A: Hey! How’s it going? You got anything here that needs to be blown up or vanquished?

R: Uh, well, no, not really. I have an ex-husband… But no, forget I said that. I just wanted to chat with you for a few minutes.

A: You don’t want me to save the world?

R: Um, no, not right at this moment.

A: Oh good. Okay.

R: So, Astra, you certainly lead an exciting life. Vanquishing demons, fighting off devilishly handsome Royal Devil Princes, and saving the world, how does one get into this line of work?

A: It doesn’t hurt to be born a Tweener, with a powerful Seraphim for a father and an equally powerful Royal Devil as a mother. It’s not an easy gig you know.

R: I can imagine. Can you tell us what exactly a Tweener is?

A: Are you kidding me? Do you live in a cave? (shakes head) Tweeners are half angel and half devil. We’re a warrior race that helps the Big Guy out in the epic battle between good and evil. (shrugs) I thought everybody knew that.

R: Impressive. So how long have you been doing this? Vanquishing demons I mean?

A: Well, I vanquished my first one when I was five I think. He tried to steal my little red bucket in the sandbox. I loved that bucket. I’d have done anything to keep it.

R: You, um, (clears throat) you killed a demon for stealing a bucket?

A: Well yes and no. He tried to eat my sister, Darma too, but it was the bucket that really set me off.

R: I um, I see. Well, so you figured out you were good at vanquishing demons when you were five and decided that might be a good way to make a living?

A: Frunk me, no! I mean, yeah, I was good at it. But saving the world is so… exhausting. I probably would have just gotten a job throwing rowdy schmoes out of extra-terra nightclubs if it hadn’t been for that stupid prophecy.

R: Prophecy?

A: Yeah, the one that has me working with the great Unifer…that’s Royal Devil Prince save the world.

R: Wow!

A: (Astra nods head) Yeah, wow! Except the world doesn’t stay saved. I can’t tell you how many meals and how much sleep I’ve missed over the last several months trying to keep this stupid world saved. It’s become a full time job.

R: (Reporter leers) Yes, but there are perks aren’t there? I mean, you get to lock lips with the gorgeous Dialle on a regular basis.

A: Oh yeah. I mean, he’s really yummy, and impossible to resist let me tell you…but there’s so much to do when saving the world, there just isn’t all that much time for extra-curricular activities if you know what I mean.

R: But I understand you manage, somehow.

A: (Astra grins) Yeah, we manage. Somehow.

R: So, what’s it like? Hanging out with the magical crowd? Are they nice?

A: (Astra snorts) Nice? Lady, what planet are you from? No really…I’m serious…what planet?

R: (Reporter shrugs) My ancestors came from Venus.

A: That explains a lot. None of these creatures are Nice. Even the angels have an agenda. They’re good, yes, but rarely nice. Demons are just plain skuzzy, with their pretty masks that fool humans every time, and you don’t want to get yourself in a room with a lot of them when the temperatures are very high…

R: Dangerous huh?

A: What? No, they smell like last week’s steak on the windowsill. And then there are the Royals…well, they’re beautiful and everything, but they’re just like sexy walking uber-agendas, you know. And their plans are never good for yours truly or the human race. (Astra sighs) My social circle just fizzes with conflict, intrigue, and dangerous agendas.

R: Well, you certainly have a difficult job.

A: Tell me about it.

R: But what’s this I hear about you going to the Big House to visit the Big Guy in ‘Tween a Devil and His Hard Place?

A: Cool place. All light and airy and stuff. He needed to fill me in on something. I’m still not sure what…speaking of agendas…something about getting my father back. My father was at the right hand of God before he fell you know.

R: Your father? Really?

A: Yup. Took over the celestial army when Michael retired. The Big Guy needs him to help keep the humans safe against a really big plot to take over control of the dark world and humankind. The demons are in an uproar and the rumor is that the Angel City witch coven is pulling the strings behind the uprising. And to make things even worse, somebody from the Big House is involved and helping the witches. A dark angel with some power apparently. Some think it’s my father.

R: But you don’t believe it I’m sure.

A: Not for a minute. But the sticker is I’ve got to prove it. No easy task while saving the world.

R: I heard the next book was even more exciting. Did you have to save the world again?

A: Of course. In the third book of the series, the ratio between magic and non-magic is being altered by the dropping of a veil of twisted magic. Humans can’t survive under the veil and as it descends they get increasingly crazy and start attacking everything in sight. I of course have to find the cause and put everything right again. Meanwhile, I’ve been marked by the Serpent as one of the conduits…

R: Serpent? Conduits?

A: (Astra smiles) I guess you’ll just have to read the book.

R: Sounds fascinating, I can’t wait.

A: It was. But that’s nothing compared to the next 2 books in the series. As I slide into my Settling…

R: What’s a Settling?

A: The months before a Tweener turns 25 are her Settling. It’s the time when a Tweener has to decide which side of her nature she’ll favor for the rest of her life. Once through our Settling, we all lean either to our dark or our light sides, it’s rare for a Tweener to straddle the line.

R: Fascinating, so what happens during your Settling?

A: (Astra grimaces) Every emotion you have is in overdrive. Anger, horniness, sadness, all ramped up. Especially the horny thing. Yeesh! I think I’ve just about worn Dialle out. (smiles) Strangely, he doesn’t seem to mind.

R: (Reporter laughs) I’ll bet! But seriously, that sounds like it could create quite a roller coaster ride for you.

A: Tell me about it. Unfortunately for me the Big Guy and the Celestial Army still need my help saving the world. They don’t really care that I’m struggling just to get through each day and come out on the right side of my Settling. And since Dialle made me his queen…

R: Wait! I didn’t know that was official?

A: Yep, happened in Book 4, but that has just complicated things because the wellbeing of the Royal Court is now tied to our health and happiness, which gets kind of squiggy when I give Dialle that magic hickey, (frowns) and especially goes to Hades in Books 5 and 6 when everything I have and love seems to be lost.

R: Do tell!

A: (Astra shakes finger) Uh, uh, uh. You have to read the books! (Smiles)

R: Dang it! Don’t worry, I fully intend to. You have me hopelessly intrigued. I want to thank you for visiting with me today, Astra. It’s been very…ah…illuminating.

A: Yeah, sure. Hey, you haven’t seen a really small dragon running around here have you?

R: (Reporter picks up her feet) A dragon? Why no, did you lose one?

A: (Astra shrugs) Maybe. Oh well, I’ll just follow the char marks…


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  1. Fun interview.


  2. Loved the interview. I'm with Astra, why can't the stupid world stay saved? :D It would sure make things easier for her.


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