OR — “Jane Yellowrock Interviews Justis ‘Jay’ Fearsson” by David B. Coe/Faith Hunter

Layout 1BEAST: Jane not here now. Beast will start. When evil stupid predators hurt your littermates and mate, why do you wait to kill them?

FEARSSON: Um . . . Well, because killing should be a last resort, right? I used to be a cop, and we were taught to look for alternatives before opening fire. If my life, or someone else’s — anyone else’s — is in imminent danger, I’ll do what I have to. But short of that, I’d rather not take a life.

BEAST: [Chuffs] Beast can teach Jay to ambush hunt. Does Jay have good nose?

FEARSSON: My nose? My nose is . . . I suppose it’s fine. How am I supposed to . . . ? What is this?

BEAST: Does Jay have magic like Jane? Does Jay have a Beast inside? Jay would make good skinwalker.

FEARSSON: Yeah, I have magic. I’m a weremyste, a runecrafter. My magic’s pretty powerful. But every month on the full moon, I . . . well, I lose my mind temporarily. Eventually, those moon phasings will drive me permanently insane, just as they have my dad. But that’s the price of the power I wield.

As to the rest . . . I don’t have a “beast,” whatever that means. I mean, I suppose you could say that I have this madman lurking inside of me, waiting for the full moon to come around again. But I’m not a skinwalker. Sounds cool, though.

JANE: That’s enough, Beast. Sorry about my other soul. She’s a little . . . um . . . she has no filters. I guess you know people like that.

FEARSSON: That’s . . . No problem. It was a little strange, though. Do you know that your eyes went all glowing amber? And you were doing this odd thing with your mouth. Are you a were? It seems like you’re a were.

JANE: I’m not.

FEARSSON: [Waits . . .] So then, if you’re not a were, what are you? Your Beast said something about a skinwalker?

JANE: [Scowls fiercely.] Not a were.

FEARSSON: Okaaaay. This is an interesting interview so far. You have other questions for me, or are you going to make your eyes go all freaky again?  Don’t get me wrong: It’s a good look for you. Just . . . you know, different.

JANE: I have questions. So, you’re in love with this chick. And you live separately. Have you thought about getting a place together? And if so, how do you plan to do the whole magic thing?

FEARSSON: Really? That’s your question?

JANE: [Smiles, shrugs] I don’t have much in the way of filters either. But I have this guy named George, I call him Bruiser, by the way, and things are getting pretty heavy. So I’ve been thinking, and wondering, how other characters–other people–handle it. You know. Romance. And I’m pretty sure there is a question in there somewhere.

FEARSSON: [Smiles, too] Billie and I are working things through right now. She knows about the magic and the phasings. She knows the long-term forecast for my sanity is more than a little iffy. But she seems to like me anyway, and I’m head-over-heels for her. So you make it work, you know? At some point we’ll probably live together, but for now I think it’s in both our interests to have separate places. The phasings aren’t pretty, and sometimes it’s just better for all concerned if I have my own rock to crawl under. Hell, eventually I’d like to marry her. That’s still some time off, though. We’re still figuring stuff out . . . And I’m rambling now, aren’t I?

JANE: Just a little. What about kits– I mean kids. Do you want to have kids? With her, I mean.

FEARSSON: That’s a different matter. Runeclave blood runs in families, and it only takes one parent to pass it on. Chances are our kids would be weremystes, and I’m not sure I want to burden my sons or daughters with the phasings. On the other hand, it would be fun to teach my kid how to throw a baseball AND a spell.

JANE: Yeah, parents and magic. ‘S complicated, right? My father was killed by a human. Your dad is nutso. Your mom is . . . well, I’ve read the book so I know, but the whole spoiler thing . . . Anyway. My mom has to have died like 150 years ago or so. So the question is, what is it about magical characters and parents dead, dying, or with issues? Is there a way to have a normal childhood and still have kickassery?

FEARSSON: That’s a good question. Not in my experience, but I don’t know if that’s just me — us — or if it pertains to everyone. I guess Harry Potter had a rough time of it, too. Does he count?

JANE: I suppose.

FEARSSON: Maybe it’s that magic has to carry a price. Sure, power’s great, and I’ve made a choice to keep mine. There are drugs I could take — blockers, they’re called. They would keep the moon at bay. I wouldn’t have the phasings anymore, and I wouldn’t be destined to spend my last years in a delusional haze. But the price of taking them is my ability to craft spells, and I’m not willing to make that trade. I don’t know, maybe that means I’m crazy already, but I like being a weremyste, even with all the crap that comes with it. And that’s my point. Whatever you are, you wouldn’t give it up, even if it made your life “normal,” would you?

JANE: Not a chance.

FEARSSON: Exactly. So normal, whatever that means, is for other people. We cast our spells, we kick a little ass, we take care of the people we love. And we pay a price. Doesn’t seem so bad to me.

JANE: Maybe you’re right. But what is it about writers that they force us to take chances and risk our lives all the time when they get to sit in a leather chair and type? I mean seriously. They suck. I’ve talked to Faith and she showed me this picture of this dude she calls Muse. Oh. My. Gosh. I wanted to stab out my eyes with a fork. Have you seen him? Does your writer — this Coe guy — does he have one like him? Are all writers insane?

FEARSSON: I don’t know if they’re insane. I mean, they sit at a desk, making this stuff up, putting us through a cosmic wringer every page, and they’re the ones getting paid. Seems pretty smart to me. But I agree that they suck, and I don’t care who hears me saying it. As for the muse thing, my guy hasn’t shown me any pictures — sounds like I should be glad. But he talks all the time about “listening to his characters,” and “allowing them” — by which he means us — “to guide the narrative.” And I’ve got to tell you that it’s all BS. I mean, if I was really running the show, Billie and I would be living in the Bahamas, sipping drinks with tiny umbrellas in them, and eating fresh seafood every night. Putting on no weight at all, I might add. On the other hand, if it wasn’t for the writers, I wouldn’t even have Billie, and you might not have your Bruiser, so maybe we shouldn’t complain.

JANE: Hmmm. Maybe not. Something to think about. Anyway, thanks for stopping by, Jay.

FEARSSON: My pleasure. This was fun. Not your typical interview. And say goodbye to Beast for me.

[Hears purring . . .]


David B. Coe/D.B. Jackson is the award-winning author of eighteen fantasy novels. Under the name D.B. Jackson, he writes the Thieftaker Chronicles, a historical urban fantasy from Tor Books that includes Thieftaker, Thieves’ Quarry, A Plunder of Souls, and, the newest volume, Dead Man’s Reach, at Amazon and at B&N was released on July 21. With Faith Hunter, he is the author of “Water Witch,” a novelette that crosses over between the Thieftaker universe and the world of Faith’s Jane Yellowrock books. Under his own name, he writes The Case Files of Justis Fearsson, a contemporary urban fantasy from Baen Books. The first volume, Spell Blind, debuted in January 2015. The newest book in the series, His Father’s Eyes, (at Amazon) and at B&N, comes out today, August 4. He lives on the Cumberland Plateau with his wife and two daughters. They’re all smarter and prettier than he is, but they keep him around because he makes a mean vegetarian fajita. When he’s not writing he likes to hike, play guitar, and stalk the perfect image with his camera.