Liza, the main character of my current YA WIP, has taken over the blog today. She’s interviewing Sammy, the main character in Ciara Knight’s debut novella, LOVE’S LONG SHADOW.
Let’s give it up to Liza and Sammy!
Liza arrives late, no thanks to Nicolai and his soulful chocolate eyes, full lips, and that damn lock of hair that just wouldn’t stay out of his face. He got so close to kissing her this time that she almost grabbed him by the collar and smashed her lips against his. Then again, Josh rounded the corner just as they parted and if they had kissed, he would’ve seen. Knowing her luck, the two guys would’ve launched into another round of let’s-see-who-can-bruise-who-the-most.
With a deep, cleansing breath, Liza tosses her mahogany mop of hair over her shoulder, adjusts her leather bomber jacket, and enters the diner. Hovering near the doorway, she searches for Sammy, an online forum acquaintance, turned Facebook bud, turned oh-God-am-I-really-meeting-someone-I-met-online-for-real friend.
There she is, sitting in the far corner, wearing the silver wing necklace just like she’d said. Liza strides over, cringing at the squeaking of her glittered Converse sneakers.
“Sammy? I’m Liza.” She sticks out her hand and is pleasantly surprised at the strength of Sammy’s grip. She’s also startled by her warmth. Instantly, all the angst of the day melts away. She slides into the booth across from her new friend, rehearsing the questions she so desperately wanted to ask.
“Listen, I know this sounds weird, but I also know you’ll understand. AV—the guy I told you about—keeps bad-mouthing Nicolai and I just…I just don’t know who to believe. So…how can you tell if someone is who they say they are?” She resists the renewed urge to run her hands through her hair or slam her forehead on the formica table. Good thing, too, cause it’s totally sticky. Gross.
“Take a deep breath.” Sammy gives her warmest smile and clasps Liza’s hands. “I’m afraid there isn’t an easy way to define someone. Unfortunately, I have little memory of my past life in Heaven and I’m learning everything as I go here on Earth. But, I can tell you, a local demon named Forras and his goons have a few traits. Shadows might dance around instead of staying still, orange flickers in their eyes, and a strange pull deep inside to join them despite the warning sounding in your head.”
“That’s pretty scary. Nicolai hasn’t done that. Neither has AV. Geez, why can’t people just wear a sign, I’m good, I’m bad, or whatever.” Liza sighs. “I didn’t even think any of this existed before…spirits trapped on earth, angels, demons, witches. What does it all mean? Sammy, tell me the truth, do you believe in this stuff? For real?”
“Well, I’m a fallen angel, so, yeah, I believe.” Sammy shifts in her seat and withdraws her hands and pushes her short, dark hair behind her ear. “You see, some people might call me a demon, but I’m not. I made some sort of mistake in Heaven and now I’m being punished. Either that or I have a reason to be here, I don’t know. I hope I have some sort of purpose here. I’m still trying to figure out what my angel gift is and who Boon is. Yeah, I agree, I wish they wore a sign letting us know who or what they were. I haven’t seen these signs around Boon, yet, I’ve been told he’s a demon. I’m not sure those deep brown eyes could harvest any demonic energy.”
“You really are an angel? I kind of thought you were kidding.” Liza snorts. “Man, all this talk about Heaven and demons and stuff. Maybe AV is onto something. God, if he’s right, then I’m in trouble.” Liza chews her lip, heart hitching to an unsustainable rhythm. She flattens her palms on her knees to keep them from trembling. “If someone’s soul is trapped on earth, how does it get freed?”
Sammy swipes tears from her eyes. “Sorry, dreaded human emotions, they still sneak up on me. Alex, my earthbound brother, thinks we need to make up for our past wrongs by killing demons. I’m not sure I agree. Maybe, we just need to protect humans from evil. Oh, I don’t know. I just hope I figure out a purpose soon or I’ll be stuck in purgatory forever.”
“I would hate to see that happen to you. You’re too nice and good.” Liza leans back, hoping she doesn’t end up in purgatory. She wonders if that’s what’s happened to Nicolai. She shakes her head, still unconvinced if Sammy’s story is like hers. There’re too many different variables. Regardless, Sammy seems honest and she listens. And that’s precisely what Liza needs. “Look, I’m sure you’ll figure things out. Here’s my number. Call me, okay?”
What a compelling conversation, Liza and Sammy! Thanks so much for sharing with us, ladies!
If you’d like to read more about Sammy’s story, check out Ciara Knight’s LOVE’S LONG SHADOW, available through Turquoise Morning Press.
Check out Lydia’s answer to the Sisterhood of the Traveling Blog question about inspiration.