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Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Character Interview: Connie L Smith, author of Essenced

The Division Chronicles

Connie L Smith

Years ago, demons were forced out of the earth’s realm by a band of supernatural fighters, banished from the place and its people in the aftermath of a horrific war. It should’ve ended there – would’ve – if not for the final demon’s claw snagging on the open portal. What felt like victory became only a reprieve, the winning warriors understanding that the tear would spread, and the demons eventually would escape exile. It was only a matter of time, and a need for future defense – a question of genetics and essences, magic and power.

Now centuries later, a new army must bind together – one of teenagers with inhuman potentials and abilities…

AJ went to bed Sunday night an average teenage girl, clumsy to a fault and athletically lacking. So when she wakes up Monday morning with super-strength, she does what any rational person would do: She goes into denial. When a smoking hot guy in a suit shows up, rambling about the end of the war and demons spilling through some kind of rift, she refuses to listen, telling herself he’s insane. Except weird things just won’t quit happening, and the guy keeps popping up in her life, trying to explain the changes suddenly happening within her. Is she crazy, or is this guy… not so crazy after all?

Hey everyone!  Today I have author, Connie Smith to the blog.  Connie was awesome enough to share with us a little one on one on one time she had with characters Max and Ray-Ray.  It's quite a fun interview!!  Hope you enjoy :)

Connie: Hey, guys! I’m sitting here with a couple of characters from my debut novel, Essenced. The girl with the cereal in her hand is Ray-Ray.

*Ray-Ray keeps eating her cereal*

Connie: …Could you say hi to everyone?

Ray-Ray: Hi, guys! Don’t come near my cereal!

Connie: They’re nowhere near you, so I think you’re safe. Anyway. The guy sitting beside her with the perpetual scowl is Max.

Max: This is stupid.

Connie: Play nice. If you’re mean to these people, they might not try the book.

Max: Hey, if you wanted nice, you should’ve picked Joseph.

Connie: *sighs* Yes, well. I picked you. Deal with it.

*Max rolls his eyes*

Ray-Ray: *points her thumb at Max* He’s always like this.

Max: I think she knows what I’m like, Ray-Ray. She wrote me.
Ray-Ray: *blinks innocently, then tilts the cereal box toward him* Sugar Smack?

Max: No, I don’t want your cereal.

Ray-Ray: *pets box* He’s just crazy. Don’t take it personally…

Connie: Guys? If we could?

*Ray-Ray and Max sit back in their seats, neither looking happy*

Connie: Okay. You two are both members of the Werewolf-Essenced pack. What’s that like?

Max: *quirks an eyebrow* Really? That’s your question.

Ray-Ray: *hits him in the head with the cereal box* Why do you always have to be so mean, Broody?

Max: It’s my nature.

Ray-Ray: *shakes head* Well, it’s no picnic having everything suddenly change. I mean, one minute you’re just a person, and the next you’re not really a person at all. It’s been a big transition, but I think we’re doing well with it. *eats another handful of cereal*

Max: *shrugs* It’s kind of the eye of the storm, in a way. We’re never getting back to what we were – even after the magic leaves and we’re human again. Everything that’s going on… We’re not who we used to be, and we’re not who we’re gonna be either.

Ray-Ray: *blinks* That was deep…

Max: *rolls eyes* That was common sense.

Ray-Ray: It was deep common sense.

Connie: We’ll just agree to disagree and move on. We see AJ’s moments of discovery in regards to her new abilities in the novel, but neither of yours. What was the first sign you had that something was different?

Ray-Ray: I was getting ready for school. I got in the shower, and didn’t notice the faucet was so far left when I lifted it. When all the hot water hit me, I panicked and sort of… ripped the whole thing out of the wall.

Connie: *lifts eyebrows* The whole thing?

Ray-Ray: Yep. Biiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiig hole where a faucet used to be.

Connie: …What did your parents say?

Ray-Ray: *shrugs* I left with my gatherer that day, so I didn’t see them afterward. They probably think I’m on drugs. It should be interesting when I see them again.

Connie: *shakes head* Max?

Max: I overheard one of the neighbors playing Justin Beiber on the way to my car. Grated on my nerves. I got so tense and aggravated, I ripped my car door off its hinges.

Connie: …Did you drive it to school that way?

Max: Yep.

Connie: …No one asked?

Max: *sighs* To be honest, by the time I got to school, it really settled in how weird everything was. I shouldn’t have even been able to hear the music, let alone assault my car because of it. I ended up cutting class and just walked around. When I went back for my car, everyone else was gone.

Connie: Are you actually admitting that you were freaked out?

Max: *shrugs* It happens. I’d come to the facility before school was in session the next day, so I haven’t had to deal with any questions yet.

Ray-Ray: *nods* They probably think you’re on drugs, too. *eats more cereal*

Connie: Well, we’ll hope neither of you have to have drug testing. Okay. Next question. Your alpha, AJ, didn’t arrive until after you guys showed up at the facility. Was it hard having to fall in line behind her under those circumstances?

Ray-Ray: Not for me. We all had our own times of adjustment, and being a canine essence… It’s not really that surprising that our alpha was stubborn about it. Students had been showing up all week long, so it wasn’t a big deal that she was a late arrival.

Max: And, at the end of the day, there’s a pack mentality. She’s our alpha. Period.

Connie: Which is interesting coming from you, Max. You don’t exactly roll over every time you’re told to. No pun intended.

Max: *glares* I’ll let the ‘roll over’ comment slide. And no, I don’t. I don’t like the situation. I don’t like our odds. I don’t like being told what to do. It surfaces from time to time.

Ray-Ray: *snorts* From time to time?

Max: *shrugs, smirking* Give or take.

Connie: But you still consider yourself a pack member who knows his position?

Max: Absolutely. I’m a pain. I know that. And it’s the alpha’s job to knock me back into line.

Ray-Ray: Really, Max is just trying to keep her in work. You know. Like criminals are kind enough to give police job security.

*Max glares. Ray-Ray grins as she eats another handful of cereal*

Connie: And ‘Broody’ as a nickname? How do you feel about that?

Max: *shrugs* At least they don’t call me Chewy.

Ray-Ray: *snorts* Chewy. You’re not cool enough to be Chewy.

Max: Sci-Fi nerd…

Ray-Ray: Angry and Angsty…

Connie: *sighs* My first character interview was AJ and Julius. Now this… I gotta pick better pairs to interview.

Ray-Ray: It doesn’t get any better than Werewolf-Essenced. *eats more cereal*

Connie: Doesn’t mean I shouldn’t have chosen a different set. Wyatt and Carter would’ve worked better.

Ray-Ray: That’s because those two are crazy. *stuffs another handful of cereal in her mouth and talks over it* Complete weirdos.

Max: *smirks* So says the cereal freak.

Ray-Ray: Good food is good food. End of story. *looks at Connie* Not to be rude, but I’m kind of wanting to get to Wheel of Fortune, so is this interview about over?

*Max snorts. Ray-Ray glares at him*

Connie: Sure, sure. Just a few more questions. I know there’s a lot going on here at the facility on so many levels. The battles, the preparation. But there’s also a great deal happening on smaller levels, I would think. I mean, you guys room with people you didn’t know before you got here, train in a pack with people you didn’t know, and are becoming people that you barely know. What, to you, has been the hardest aspect of this?

Ray-Ray: Well, one of my roommates won’t quit stealing my clothes…

Connie: She’s Dragon-Essenced, Ray-Ray. She can’t helpbut steal things.

Ray-Ray: Regardless. *eats another handful of cereal* It’s a very trying situation.

Max: *shakes head* Yeah, you look devastated.

Ray-Ray: I hide my negative emotions better than others. Which is another hard aspect of this situation. *points her thumb at Max* Him.

Max: Right there’s the worst part to me. Everyone expects you to joke and laugh and act like we’re the best of friends. We’re not. We’re soldiers. We’re here to kill some demons and save the world. What part of that means I should have to be bright and sociable?

Ray-Ray: See, Connie? He’s so angsty. I know the situation is bad, but wallowing in it doesn’t improve it.

Max: Neither does not wallowing in it. And it isn’t wallowing anyway. It’s being honest. I hate this. I want to get past this. Pardon me for not really caring about the middle details.

Ray-Ray: *sighs* We need to get you a swing set.

Max: …What?

Ray-Ray: Give you a hobby. Burn off some annoyance. Embrace your inner child.

Max: …Just eat your cereal, Ray-Ray.

Connie: And what do you think you’ll take away from this?

Ray-Ray: Friends, I think. I’ve gotten pretty close to some of the students here, and I’d hate to think we’ll lose contact once this is over. Besides that, I think just a feeling of capability, you know? This bad thing is happening, and if we can stop that, what better thing to have on your resume? I mean, I know we can’t actually put it on our resumes, but it’ll be there in the back of my mind.

Max: Just the realization of how quickly things can fall to pieces. That kind of thing keeps you on your toes. Always looking over your shoulder. But if we survive this war, we’ll be more prepared for some of the smaller twists we encounter.

Connie: Okay. One more thing. People who have never read Essencedwill probably see this interview. Why should they read the book?

Ray-Ray: *looks confused and points at Max* Because we’re in it.

Connie: …Anything else?

Ray-Ray: Sure. There’s a lot of stuff going on. There’s war, romance, humor… anxiety. Just about every person at the facility is quirky and weird…

Max: Just ask the Necromancer-Essenced that randomly makes up emo poetry.

Ray-Ray: Or the loudmouthed, balding Thunderbird-Essenced.

Max: Or the woman-crazy Incubus-Essenced.

Ray-Ray: *cringes* That guy’s a bit over the top.

Connie: He’s not a subtle guy.

Ray-Ray: *snorts* Understatement.

Connie: Okay. Along with everything these two just said, Essencedis scheduled to be FREE on October 9th. So, be sure to visit the buy link. Also, remember that I’m having a contest for my next cover. You can find the details here: Thanks for your time!


“Ladies,” Joseph intervened, “let’s not kill each other over a semi decent meal.”

            Carter snorted. “No worries there. I’m not even sure what this is supposed to be…”

            Wyatt glanced over at his tray, studying his friend’s dinner like a scientific experiment. “It’s food. Maybe.”

            Throwing a tater tot at him, Carter chuckled along with the rest of the pack.

            “Dude!” Wyatt flailed his hands in mock rage. “Don’t waste the tater tots. They’re the only good thing on the tray.”

            “That’s not true.” Shaking his head, Carter pointed a spoon at the main course of his meal. “This chicken-like substance is quite appealing.”

            “The whole thing’s disgusting.” Max stabbed his green beans with a fork, expression repulsed. “You’d think if we’re gonna save the world, they’d at least feed us right.”

            “Maybe it’s the best they can do.” AJ shrugged. “I mean, it was kind of short notice, in a way. And there are hundreds of us here.”   

            “And you’re telling me our angel buddies can’t manage to get us better food?”

            “Maybe they’re more interested in training us so we don’t die.”

            Max raised an annoyed eyebrow. “Yeah, if food poisoning doesn’t kill us first.”

            “Well, if it does kill us,” Ray-Ray declared, “I sincerely hope you’re the first to go.”

            The rest of the group snickered while Max glared.

            Rolling her eyes, Ray-Ray waved a dismissive hand. “Oh, you can’t be surprised. Nobody likes a grump. And you, sir, are a grump.”

“Well, pardon me, but maybe I had better things to do than to come here and play hero.”

            She grunted. “Trust me, buddy. You’re nobody’s hero. And you could’ve said no.”

            Max’s eyes narrowed further, his lips tight. “I might be a pain, but I’m not a coward.”

            “Huh. Well, maybe everyone does have a redeeming quality.”