Jocelynn Drake is taking over my blog today, so enjoy!
To celebrate the release of the new novella (THE ASYLUM INTERVIEWS: BRONX) and the new series (THE ASYLUM TALES), I popped over to Low Town to interview Gage and some of his friends who appear in his stories. Let’s just say it was an adventure. This somewhat long interview will be posted in five parts over the next week, introducing you to Gage’s world and friends.
After closing the door, I pause the recorder and wander through the small apartment, peeking in the bedroom and the bathroom as I wait for Trixie to join me. There’s very little in the apartment as Gage moved out several years earlier and just keeps it as a place to fall back on. As I walk back toward the living room, the front door swings open to reveal a lovely blond elf with bright green eyes – vastly different from the brunette human that she usually appeared as.
“You changed,” I say as soon as I see Trixie.
“On the way up. You’ve seen the real me, so I thought I’d drop the glamour while we talked,” Trixie replies as she shuts the door.
“Does it get tiring to have the glamour spell in place?”
She smiles at me as she shakes her head. “No. I don’t even notice it once it’s in place.” She precedes me over to the couch and sits down, propping one foot up on the table like Gage had. I sit down and restart the recorder.
Drake: Thanks for meeting with me, Trixie. I hate to take away from your busy schedule.
Trixie: It’s not a problem. I could use the break.
Drake: Does it bother you to use the glamour spell every day?
Trixie: I’ve been on the run from the Summer Court for centuries. I don’t even think about the spell most days. It’s like asking if it bothers you to brush your teeth or hair every day. After so many years, you don’t think about it. You just do it. I get up, get dressed, brush my teeth, put on the glamour, eat breakfast, and go about my day.
Drake: Has your appearance under the glamour spell always been the same?
Trixie: Goodness no. It usually changes as I change cities. When I started tattooing in Dublin, I was a redhead with freckles. When I was studying flower arranging in Kyoto, I looked Asian with black hair and brown eyes. Actually, when I moved from the West Coast to Low Town, that was the first time I didn’t change my appearance. I knew I would see my friend Jo here and she would question the change, so I was stuck with the brunette.
Drake: Do you think you’ll ever be able to go back to your own people?
Trixie: Yes, eventually. Things have to change at some point. It just might take a really long time. Because we have such a long lifespan, elves tend to be extremely patient. I’ll admit that I didn’t think the king would pursue me this long, but if he can be patient, then so can I. I will be able to go home someday.
Drake: By your tone, I take it that you want to go home. Would it be a permanent move back?
Trixie: I don’t know. If I could go home now, I would, but only for a visit. They might not accept my reason for running, but they are still family and I miss them. But so long as Gage and I are together, I have no desire to go back permanently. Of course, even given that he is a warlock and is likely to live extremely long, I will still outlive him. When he passes, it might finally give me a reason to go home, assuming that all has been settled with the Summer Court.
Drake: Does that bother you? The realization that you will outlive Gage.
Trixie: (chuckles) No. I will miss him, but death is a part of the natural order of things. It means that he has passed on to the next life ahead of me, but I’ll catch up to him eventually, along with all my other family members. As an elf, you can’t worry about things and people dying. You’re likely to outlive everyone you’ve met so you can’t worry about losing them. Just embrace them while you have them.
Drake: Did it come as a surprise to you when you and Gage started dating?
Trixie: (A wide grin lifts her lips and she laughs) When it happened, we were tossing surprises back and forth like a hot potato, so I guess I was a little shocked. It certainly didn’t start off with a ‘hey, you wanna to see a movie?’ like most couples. It was more of ‘the world’s falling apart and if it’s going to go, I want to be with this man’ kind of thing.
Drake: Long ago, Gage made the comment to me that elves didn’t ever intermarry with other species. He intimated that it was due to a prejudice that they held against the other races. Since you seem to be quite happy with Gage, I’m guessing you don’t have that prejudice against him, but what would your family think of him?
Trixie: They definitely wouldn’t be happy, but then compared to who is chasing after me, no one would make them happy – elf or otherwise. Being a warlock, Gage is definitely at the bottom of the list for them besides being human. The Ivory Towers nearly eliminated my entire people. No one is going to welcome a warlock into their midst. But even if he was just a normal human, no one would be happy. I don’t think about it because I’ve lived away from my people and among all the other races for so long. Yes, my people can be prejudiced in certain things, but I’ve shed many of those old views through time and experience.
Trixie: You’ve said that you don’t have all these other species where you come from. I think that you can be confused in the idea that since we all live together that we actually get along, but we don’t. There is still a lot of segregation, even though there are laws against it. Very few elves actually live in cities away from the larger group. Pixies and faeries all live in pods and clans together. Vampires have nests, though many keep their own private residences. Werewolves and other shifters have clans. In the poorer neighborhoods, you’ll see a mix of species because people can’t afford to be picky about who their neighbor is. Yet, as you get more money, you’ll run into neighborhoods where it’s mostly humans, or mostly shifters, or mostly dwarves. No one is saying that a human can’t move into a shifter neighborhood, but they just … don’t.
Drake: Where I come from you will run across neighborhoods that are predominantly one nationality or race, such as a cluster of Asian families, a cluster of Hispanic families. Do you have that?
Trixie: Not much. Humans tend to stick together regardless of where they are from. The segregation is largely a response to fear. Do you really think you’re going to worry about your Korean human neighbor living on the left when you’ve got a family of were-bears living on your right?
Drake: And when a warlock pops into your neighborhood?
Trixie: Then it’s Us against Them, regardless of what species you are. The Towers are horrible, with few exceptions, but they do have a very unifying effect on the world. Countries still have squabbles, but it all stops when the Towers decide to act, and we become a single entity.
Drake: With good reason.
Trixie: I will say that you seem to be accepting all of this strangeness very well despite having such a different world.
Drake: (smiling) I have my moments. Of course, before working with Gage, I spent several years working with some very intense vampires and werewolves, so that kind of helped me get adjusted to the otherness. Earlier, you mentioned that you starting tattooing in Dublin. How long have you been a tattoo artist?
Trixie: Off and on for about fifty years. I stayed in Dublin for about ten years before coming to the United States. I traveled around, took odd jobs, but I always found myself coming back to tattooing after every break. The majority of my odd jobs have been art in some form, but I like tattooing. The art is always interesting, but the potions give a little more to the work. There are an infinite number of ingredient combinations that you can use to get the desired effect. There’s always the chance to learn and discover more.
Drake: Does it bother you that you’re dating your boss? Does it cause problems?
Trixie: (Drops her other foot on the table and shakes her head, but she’s smiling) Of course it does. Gage and I are both stubborn. Sometimes I feel like I know more about potions because I’m so much older and had more experience. He feels like he knows more because he was a warlock. We occasionally butt heads, but we both just have to remember that neither is necessarily wrong. We’ve got a different approach to the same problem. That being said, it is a good thing that we generally only work together a few hours each night before he leaves for the day.
Drake: Do you feel comfortable asking each other for help or advice?
Trixie: Definitely. Gage has created an atmosphere where no one feels superior to anyone else. He’s the boss only in the way that he signs checks and holds the deed and parlor license in his name. Other than that, he’s just another artist in the shop. We all have strengths and weaknesses. We confer as much on tattooing techniques as we do on potions. Bronx is the best in the shop at shading, knowledge of tattoo symbols, and love potions. Gage is the best at script tattoos as well as large intricate canvas designs. He’s also amazing at luck and protection potions. I’m damn good at portrait tattoos and fine-line tattoos, as well as cosmetic-styled potions. We’re a good balance together.
I break off as soft music briefly rises from Trixie. She shifts on the sofa and pulls her cell phone out of her pocket. She frowns as she starts at the screen, reading a text message.
Trixie: My next appointment just arrived.
Drake: That’s fine. I was just saying that I don’t have any more questions for you. Thank you so much for your time.
Trixie and I rise from the couch at the same time and I shake her hand. “It’s no problem. It was great to talk to you. I’m sometimes afraid of what Gage is telling you.”
“The world as he sees it,” I say as I walk her over to the door.
“That’s what has me worried.”
“Could you tell Gage that I’ll be down in just a minute? I want to look over my notes quickly before I catch him one last time.”
To catch the first part of this five-part series and my meeting with Gage, go to Literary Escapism, while the second part can be found at All Things Urban Fantasy. The third part of this series was posted at Tynga’s Reviews. The final part of this five-part series will be on Larissa’s Bookish Life on Friday.
Love comes in many varied forms. There is the love of family, love of country, and love of chocolate. But for Jocelynn Drake, one truly treasured love is the love of a good story. This Midwestern native spends the majority of her time lost in the strong embrace of a good book, whether she writing it or reading it doesn’t really matter. When she’s not hammering away at her keyboard, frowning at her monitor, or curled up with a book, she can usually be found cuddling with her cats, Harley and Demona, walking her dog Max, or flinging curses at the TV while playing a video game. Outside of books, cats, and video games, she is completely enamored of Bruce Wayne, Ezio Auditore, travel, explosions, fast cars, tattoos, and Anthony Bourdain (but only when he’s feeling really cranky).
Author of the Dark Days series
Author of the Asylum Tales series
Description of THE ASYLUM INTERVIEWS: BRONX
The first of two prequel stories to Jocelynn Drake's Angel's Ink. It's not easy being a tattoo artist and a warlock, especially when you're in hiding. Or when a botched tattoo has amplified an incubus's existing sex appeal into one that could wreck the whole town. And your only help is a troll.
Angel's Ink, the first in Jocelynn Drake's newest series, The Asylum's Tales, releases October 16, 2012