I write novels full-time, absolutely love it, and hope to be able to do this forever. My home is in New Orleans, is more than 100 years old, and is painted purple. In my free time I read, travel, hike, cook and listen to music. You can keep up with my latest releases, thoughts on writing and various pop-culture musings via Twitter, Tumblr, Pinterest, GoodReads or (of course) my own home page.
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Nadia, Mateo, and Verlaine saved Captive's Sound from the dark sorceress Elizabeth . . . or so they thought. But despite their best efforts, a crack opened and a new, greater evil seeped through. With Mateo as her Steadfast, Nadia's magic is magnified but her training is still incomplete. And a darker magic has begun to call Nadia. . . .
With her Steadfast, Mateo, and her best friend, Verlaine, Nadia must fight the black magic that tempts her and stop the One Beneath before he comes to claim what is his.
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Mindy: What's it like having a best friend who's a witch?
Verlaine: It's depressing and awesome at the same time. I mean, more awesome, because Nadia's great, and also it helps to have a friend who can predict the future, defeat evil, help you with your history homework, and all of that. But sometimes being her friend gets me down because being a witch kicks so much ass, and I can never become one!
Mindy: Can you tell us a little bit about what you know about your curse?
Verlaine: Right now that would be "not tons." I know I've been cursed since I was a little girl, and I know it affects everyone in the world except my dads, because they knew and loved me from the time I was born. And whatever the curse is, it makes me ... invisible.
Not literally. It just occurred to me that with magic, you might think I meant, like, Harry Potter's cloak invisible. Just the kind of invisible that means nobody notices you, or likes you, no matter what you do. I work hard in school, but teachers treat me like a slacker. I've tried hard to make friends, but people are either mean to me or don't even remember I'm alive. As for any guy falling in love with me: Forget it.
Nadia and Mateo have seen past the curse a little bit, because other strong magic sometimes interferes. But even they don't care about me as much as best friends should. They try. That's about as much as I can ask, I guess. Still, it's hard going through life knowing not only that almost nobody cares, but that they also couldn't care if they wanted to.
Mindy: Is it better or worse to know that all the horrible things in your life were caused by a curse?
Verlaine: At first I thought it was better. You know, at least I had an explanation. The more I think about it, though, the more I realize it's a lot worse. Before, I always figured I'd find friends and boyfriends at college, that I just didn't fit in here in podunk Captive's Sound. Now I know it's never going to get any better. The curse is always going to follow me. Forever. That's way, way worse.
Mindy: When did your hair turn grey? What was your hair color before it turned grey? What color do you wish your hair was? Do you try to dye it?
Verlaine: When I was hardly a year old. So almost as long as I've even had hair. Apparently it was dark originally, but turned silver around about the time my parents died. Which we think is when the curse got laid down. So my grey hair must have something to do with the curse, but I can't figure out what. I mean, did the forces of evil think, We will make her unloved forever, and also she will have to buy lots of Garnier Nutrisse!
Well, if that was the plan, too bad, forces of evil. I leave it naturally silver. Honestly I think it looks kind of cool.
Mindy: What do you think life will be like now that Elizabeth is gone?
Verlaine: Less scary, for sure. Did you know she put me in the hospital last month? She witched my laptop, which IMO is cheating.
Things will be better for my friends - Nadia won't have to spend all her time battling darkness, and maybe Mateo's visions of the future won't be as bad now that Elizabeth's not here anymore. For me, I don't know if anything changes. Whatever she did to me is still going strong; I'm forgettable as ever.
Mindy: Due to your curse and your lack of connection with most people, I've wondered what a typical day is like when you're home with your dads. Can you tell us what that's like?
Verlaine: Exhibit #327 for the case that I am the least cool person ever -- I really like spending time with my dads. They're the only people in the world who love me for me, and besides, they're actually pretty chill as parents go. Uncle Dave and I play a lot of video games; he's a HUGE gamer, the more swords and battles the better. Uncle Gary's the one who watches "Scandal" with me and freaks out every time something happens to Olivia and Fitz. (We both believe that, in the last episode, Mellie has to become president. Or dictator. Either way.) We don't argue that much, because my grades are good and I'm not staying out and partying. My entire life is, like, the opposite of staying out and partying. I spend more free time with my cat Smuckers than with anybody else. Oh, my God, that is even sadder now that I see it written down. But it's true, so, I'll leave it.
Oh, and FYI: To me, they're my dads. They're the only parents I remember, and the only ones I'd want. But Uncle Dave was my uncle, and Gary got the uncle title along with him, and I was in junior high before I announced that I wanted them to be my fathers from now on. They were really touched, and Uncle Gary even cried a little. When I tried to call them "Dad," though, it felt weird to stop calling them Uncle Dave and Uncle Gary, plus it got really confusing with double Dads in the house. So I stuck with calling them what I called them before.
Mindy: Do you think things will get better now that you have some answers? What answers are you still looking for? Do you think there will be a chance to break the curse?
Verlaine: I think things will get better now, but less because I have answers - since I don't have that many - and more because I think Nadia's finally on the case. And Nadia figures out everything, sooner or later. She defeated a sorceress, right? So a curse has to be, like, nothing compared to that.
The answers I'd like: Whether or not Elizabeth killed my parents. It seems almost certain that she did, but I want to know for sure. And I'd really like to find out how people would see me, if they could see me at all. Would I have tons of friends, tons of guys interested in me - or would I be just as lonely?
Maybe I don't want that answer.
Mindy: Your car was sucked into the ground, right? Are you going to get a new car? If so, what kind of car do you want?
Verlaine: Yes, my car was sucked into the ground, but, benefits of having a witch for a best friend -- Nadia lifted it right back out again. The Land Yacht has a few new dents in its bumpers, but it's already so dented up that a few more bangs and scratches don't make any difference.
Probably I won't get a new car until I get out of college, or the Land Yacht goes to that parking garage in the sky, whichever comes first. My dream car would be a Volkswagen Beetle or a Mini Cooper - something with vintage flair.
Mindy: What do you want to be when you grow up?
Verlaine: A journalist. I realize that's a lot more difficult job to get these days, because of the rise of citizen journalism and the decrease in the number of newspapers. But as long as anyone can do it, I have to try. Reporting comes more naturally to me than anything else ; I intern at the town paper, the Guardian , and pull double duty at the Rodman High news site, the Lightning Rod.
Mindy: If you could go anywhere in the world, where would you go?
Verlaine: Paris. So beautiful, and the food is supposed to be Amazing . Plus I could scour all the secondhand shops for vintage fashion! I bet you can find amazing stuff in Paris.
Mindy: Thank you so much, Verlaine, for stopping by Magical Urban Fantasy Reads! Maybe I can visit Captive's Sound and we can hang out!
Verlaine: ... I appreciate the thought and all, but between the sinkholes and the curses and everything, Captive's Sound is really not an ideal tourist destination. Maybe I should come see you instead!
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