Present an Interview with...
The cast of the venomous vampire series
ALMOST HUMAN by Melanie Nowak
Good Choice Readings’ Dee and Once Upon a Twilight’s Yara, were lucky enough to land an interview with the cast of this series, during the events that took place just after what is now considered “Novel #2 – Lost Reflections” (or in the new Novella series: Novella #6 Battles and Bliss). The interview has been kept safely private until this time, but we now have permission to show it to the public for the first time ever, and introduce people to the characters of this addictive new series.
Our cast has graciously agreed to meet at the DownTime Cafe and Bookstore in upstate New York, so let’s grab a cup of coffee, pull up a chair and meet them all!
Dee/Yara: Welcome everyone! Let’s kick off this interview by having everybody introduce themselves. (There are a few nervous glances, as no one seems eager to begin.)
Cain: (Cain is a ruggedly handsome man in his mid-twenties, with sandy colored hair that almost reaches his shoulders. His kind, blue eyes and patient expression give one the impression of maturity and understanding. He is casually dressed in a tee-shirt and jeans, and sits to my right, with Felicity next to him.) I suppose I’ll start. My name is Cain, and I think at this point it’s no longer a big secret that I am a vampire. That’s not an announcement I’d normally make, however, I’ve been assured that this interview will be kept private until appropriate.
Yara/Dee: That’s right. You can speak candidly. (I think he must have noticed that although his soft voice and British accent are very soothing, his admission makes me a bit nervous.)
Cain: Thank you. You can rest assured that I do not threaten anyone here. I control my thirst, and have dedicated my nights to helping others do the same.
Ben: (Cutting in sarcastically.) Noble of you. (Ben is a very good looking, fairly tall young man with dark wavy hair and honey-brown eyes. He sits between Felicity and Alyson with arms crossed, slouching back in his chair. He doesn’t seem to want to be here.)
Felicity: (Admonishing him, from where she sits between Ben and Cain.) Ben! It is noble. (She is a pretty young woman with long wavy auburn hair, green eyes and a pleasant demeanor. You can tell she has the presence of a peace keeper; someone who tries to be friendly to everyone, and smooth over transgressions. Even after the reprimand, Ben smiles at her with affection.) I’m Felicity. I’m a college freshman. I just moved into the dorms, and I work here. (Gesturing to indicate the bookstore behind us.) And it’s been quite an adjustment. (She gives a small laugh) I mean, we don’t have vampires back home... (furrowing her brow) that I know of. I still wouldn’t know about them, but I got attacked one night, and Cain rescued me. (She gives him a fond smile.)
Sindy: You’re so dramatic. (She mutters this, rolling her eyes. She is a strikingly beautiful young woman, perhaps still a teenager, but exudes an air of confident superiority. She has long, straight, dark hair, dark brown eyes that seem almost hypnotizing, and is dressed very provocatively. She has her legs crossed, her short skirt revealing them to almost embarrassing proportions, as she sits to my right with Alyson next to her.)
Ben: (Giving Sindy a fierce glare.) We were both attacked, and if I hadn’t fought them off like I did, we both would’ve been killed before Cain even got there. I still don’t see why we need to sit here with them, instead of doing this separately. Anyway, I’m Ben. I’m a college Junior, I work here at the DownTime too, and I’ve lived here my whole life. It’s not always like this, but there have been vampires passing through here since we were kids. Luckily, I have my good friend Alyson here, to keep me sane and help me keep them out of our way.
Alyson: Guess that’s my cue. (She is a very petite young woman with short spiky blonde hair that has been streaked with pink and purple. She wears little make-up, but is pretty and wears a feisty grin and a mischievous twinkle in her blue eyes.) I’m Alyson, or you can call me Allie. I’ve been friends with Ben forever, and yeah, it was me that had to burst his reality bubble and tell him about the first vampire I saw when I was eleven; not that he believed me.
Ben: I believe you now.
Allie: I don’t go to college. I work at Tommy’s, the bar across the street. I’ve seen quite a few vamps in my time. They’ve seen me too. (Pulling her shirt collar aside to expose a 2 inch jagged scar on the side of her throat that looks to be an interrupted vampire bite.) Yep, it’s what it looks like. Nice souvenir, huh? Thanks for that. (The last is said with a sarcastic edge and a piercing look at Sindy.) But a brown belt in jui jitsu, and the idiotic predictability of most vampires has allowed me to thoroughly kick their asses, every time.
Sindy: (Giving Allie a withering look of annoyance, as the comment seemed directed at her, she then seems to notice that everyone is watching her.) What? Now I’m supposed to introduce myself? This is so lame. Fine. I’m Sindy, I’m a vampire and I’m proud of it. I grew up in this hole of a town too. Prospects here suck, but unlike some of the whiny humans around here, I decided to do something about it.
Ben: Nice lifestyle choice. We’re so proud.
Sindy: Shut up lover-boy, I came back for you didn’t I?
Ben: Don’t do me any favors.
Sindy: The point is, I left. I didn’t actually choose this lifestyle for myself, but I couldn’t have asked for better. I’m young and beautiful forever, I can do whatever I want and it was my ticket out of a crappy existence. Trust me, I’ve got bigger plans than hanging around here. I was just feeling a little nostalgic, and came back to take care of a few things. Some people here owed me.
Cain: (Looking a bit uncomfortable and giving Sindy a look of warning,) Thankfully, Sindy has now chosen to accept my tutelage in maintaining a non-violent existence from this point on.
Sindy: Yeah, relax teach. I know, leave ‘em breathin’.
Cain: At the very least.
Dee: (Sindy is giving me a strangely appraising gaze in response to my obvious unease at her answer. I shift uncomfortably and decide to change topics and ask the next question). If you could describe yourselves in one word, what would that be?
Felicity: (Putting her hand on his arm and speaking quietly) That’s not a good word for you.
Cain: It’s true.
Felicity: Nobody’s perfect. You should say something that really describes you. Like kind, or mentor. Or noble. (With a warning glance at Ben for his scoff over the word before) Noble was a good word.
Cain: (Giving her a tolerant smile) Would beneficent be acceptable?
Felicity: (Looking a little confused) What does that mean?
Cain: (With a small chuckle) It means trying to do the right thing.
Felicity: (Giving him an embarrassed little nod of acceptance) Okay. My turn. Um... can I use imperfect?
Cain: (Giving her a playful nudge) No.
Ben: Definitely not.
Felicity: (Giving Ben an odd glance) How about hopeful?
Ben: Hopeful for what?
Felicity: Lots of things! We’re in college. We are at like the cusp of adulthood, poised to begin the rest of our lives! So many things are going to change over the next few years. We’re all just trying to figure out what we want from life, right? I just hope it all turns out okay. Now what’s your word?
Ben: (He answers after eyeing her thoughtfully for a moment) Confident. The future is what you make it. (Turning to Allie) What’s yours?
Allie: I’ll use loyal.
Sindy: (Smirking from the seat next to her) What are you, a dog?
Allie: Watch it. I bite too.
Cain: (He speaks softly, but immediately catches Sindy’s attention) Sindy, what word will you use?
Sindy: (With a sly grin) Surprising.
Cain: In many ways. (He remarks dryly, shaking his head with a small laugh) Good word for you.
Sindy: Thanks, I thought so.
Yara: This question is for Felicity, How are you finding college as compared to high school, now that you know there’s vampires in town?
Felicity: Well, that’s kind of two questions. College is okay. It’s harder than high school, because the classes are so big and the teachers don’t always have time to check with each student. You kind of get it, or you don’t. It’s easy to get lost, and let’s face it, I’ve had a lot of distractions these days. I’m doing okay though. I like the freedom of college much better than high school. Also, there are so many students, that things like cliques and bullies aren’t seen as much, or at least they don’t seem to hold as much power as they did in high school. I was never one of the popular girls. I was just kind of happy to blend in and be left alone, not that I always had much luck with that. High school wasn’t a great experience for me.
Ben: (With quiet surprise) Really?
Felicity: (Giving him a silent glance and then refusing to elaborate) As far as vampires go, they don’t come out much during the day, so they don’t really affect school, except that I’m sometimes half asleep in class from being up half the night. It’s mostly coming home from work or going out at night that I worry about them. The bad vampires are scary enough, but have you ever seen a zombie? (She shudders with revoltion) Thank goodness we’ve got a good guy on our side. (Giving Cain’s arm an appreciative little squeeze)
Dee: This question is for Ben: Do you think you can ever accept Vampires?
Ben: (Giving meaningful glances to both Allie and Felicity in turn) I shouldn’t have to. Vampire blood is a demon entity. It gets into a dead body, and reanimates it. It may have some of the memories and mannerisms of the person, but it’s still just a demon in disguise.
Cain: That’s not entirely true.
Ben: It’s not entirely false.
Yara: (Cutting off the men’s silent glares at one another) Allie and Ben, how long have you guys been best friends?
Allie: (Putting an arm around him and giving him a squeeze, obviously trying to lighten his mood) Since forever. I moved in next door to him when I was 6. I guess he was 3 at the time. I used to pretend he was my little brother, because my own little brother was nothing but a pain in the ass. Of course then he went and got about a foot taller than me.
Ben: (With a laugh) She’s my lil’ big sis.
Dee/Yara: Tell us one secret about each other that no one knows.
Allie: Ooo, that sounds fun! (Eyeing Ben threateningly as he tries to stare her down) Ben has a really huge... comic book collection.
Ben: (Rolling his eyes) Well, Allie has a really huge mouth, but that’s no secret.
Cain: She also hates Halloween (This earns him a few surprised looks, that he should remember anything personal about Allie)
Felicity: Cain was born in 1664, on Christmas.
Cain: And Felicity, is actually a very good dancer, although she’ll deny it.
Felicity: (Giving him a look of disbelief) I’m terrible.
Cain: (Smiling to the rest of us) See?
Ben: (Obviously disturbed by Cain and Felicity’s exchange and wanting to shift the attention) Sindy’s middle name is Abigail.
Cain: (Observing Sindy’s obvious annoyance) That’s a beautiful name.
Yara/Dee: After reading your story, what do you hope the readers walk away with?
Cain: I would hope that people realize that it is our behavior and decisions that determine who we are, not our circumstances. (With a look towards Ben) Don’t judge a book by its cover. None of us is perfect, but we must learn from our mistakes. We must try each new day to be the person that we would strive to be.
Ben: Yes don’t judge a book by its cover. Sometimes it’s just a clever dust jacket, disguising the book beneath.
Felicity: People should try to be open minded. And I hope that people realize that things they do and decisions they make, affect the people around them, not just them. You should always be respectful of how other people feel.
Ben: (Giving a look to Alyson and Felicity) Yes, you should.
Allie: I think tolerance is a good lesson.
Sindy: You guys are so full of yourselves. When have you ever been tolerant of anything?
Allie: I am the most tolerant person you will ever meet. I just don’t take kindly to someone trying to suck the life out of me, without my permission!
Ben: (Looking ill) Did you seriously just use the word permission?
Sindy: I think you should all stop fooling yourselves. You’re all so hung up on feeling guilty about stuff, that you can’t even admit to yourselves when something feels good. (In answer to a reprimanding look from Cain) I’m not saying that knowing right from wrong isn’t important, but there are degrees and shades of gray. Sometimes it’s okay to let go of all that superficial stuff and follow your instincts. If it feels really good, it can’t be all bad. I say the lesson is to take care of yourself, because no one else is going to. Enjoy the life you’ve got, because you never know what tomorrow night will bring.
Dee: Ben and Cain – this one’s for the ladies: Boxers or Briefs?
Cain: (He gives me his attention only after taking his eyes from Sindy and pondering her answer) I switched over to briefs a few decades back. (Chuckling) Do people really want to know that?
Ben: (Still looking over at Sindy with disdain) Boxers.
Yara/Dee: Final Question, What is everyone’s plan for Halloween?
Felicity: We were just talking about that the other night. Kind of a sore subject. There’s a dance at school.
Cain: (Apologetically, but firmly) I’m still not going. I don’t believe in celebrating Halloween. It’s a distorted celebration of heathen hedonism.
Ben: (With a sympathetic glance at Felicity) I’m going.
Felicity: With Ashley, I heard.
Allie: Well I’m not going, unless I can get out of work. Halloween is stupid though. Why don’t they just call it ‘National Slut Day’? Half the costumes look like lingerie anyway. It’s just an excuse for girls to drop their inhibitions without repercussion. I don’t need Halloween for that, I dress how I want – every day.
Sindy: Halloween dance, huh? Sounds like fun...
Dee/Yara: Well, I guess that’s all the time we have. Thanks so much for the interview, and allowing us to have this inside look at your lives... or after-lives, as the case may be. Happy Halloween!