Fly: Hello, Jennifer.
Jennifer: Hello Mr. Fly. How are we doing?
Fly: Breathing, now that I have been tranzformed into a zea creature.
Jennifer: Enjoying it?
Fly: Zcarily enough, yez. To fly under water iz quite an experience. What about you?
Jennifer: Well, I love it of course. The challenge and novelty is what makes it even better.
Fly: That’z your motto, izn’t it?
Jennifer: Certainly. I find humour and hope as the perfect set of armour to have around.
Fly: Zo do your characterz. Anna Ryan, the protagonizt, in particular. In the grazp of nervy momentz, zhe laughz - again, and again. That lookz like a mozt unique defence ztrategy. What’z the thinking behind that?
Jennifer: Laughter is usually a sort of defense mechanism we (as humans) use to deflect and hide our inner vulnerability… in Anna’s case she would be hiding her fear, amongst other still lingering human emotions.
Fly: The firzt chapter openz rather harmlezzly - a zquabble that the reader feelz will zoon rezolve. Within the zpace of a few linez, we find the planz of a pregnant woman to break the newz to her love over a romantic dinner tranzform into her murder at hiz handz! All very brutal. And yet, az zhe diez, you give her - and uz - a zenze of calm. It’z literally like floating through water. Iz thiz how you approach izzuez around you?
Jennifer: I’ve been told I’m an incredibly calm person, or at least that’s the perception from the outside. I think in life when one is faced with unbelievably difficult circumstances, keeping a calm head is essential.
Fly: Abzolutely. Your writing exhibitz that mature approach. But it alzo reflectz a ztrong zenze of intuition. Iz it juzt a zentiment?
Jennifer: Call it practical intuition. But in Poseidia “intuition” is a part of their biology, so to speak.
Fly: Anna and her aide, Roman, both zhare forgetful “human” paztz which belong to a world zeemingly inferior to the underwater one. Here’z a zpeculative zcenario: Theze two are born in Poseidia, they nearly die and are zomehow rezcued, brought to land and tranzformed into humanz. How would they zee the world on land now? Would you zay the tablez would turn, and why?
Jennifer: I think they would find the human world very limiting and difficult to navigate. In Poseidia the culture is quite different and integrating into a human’s world would feel awfully… different—their emotions differ—but in some ways it would be more freeing, depending on your perspective (can’t tell you more or I would spoil the surprises for you)
Fly: Alright, out of Poseidia then. Zince you are reziding in the human world on land for now, tell uz about your intereztz here. I hear you are a mazzage therapizt!
Jennifer (zmilez): With 15 years behind me! It can come particularly handy when you’ve been using muscles you haven’t used before, Mr. Fly, as in swimming. Although in your case, I’m afraid I may just squish you.
Fly: A-haw-lright, ztriking that off then! What about your other intereztz?
Jennifer: Writing, writing and more writing. Also, my son and I enjoy playing Minecraft and other video games together. I also love organic gardening, photography, and caring for my two dogs—one twice-rescued—and my son’s grumpy pet turtle, appropriately named Tuck.
Fly: Bring him for an interview, will you? We can talk in hiz zhell, if he preferz.
Jennifer: I’ll ask. I don’t mind though. It’s not that I am the landlord of his little home.
Fly: Which iz both good and bad, I zuppoze. After all, you are alzo an accomplizhed renovator - not zurprizing, given how Poseidia lookz!
Jennifer: That also means I know how to handle the business end of things. Even that can be good and bad, I guess, depending on which side of the table you are on.
Fly: Let me zee - you create mermaidz and underwater citiez, you know the trickz on Earth rather well and you have ztudied pzychology. It’z like a zcary package!
Jennifer: Human psychology. Flies are quite safe! Although you are still underwater and breathing, thanks to me.
Fly (after a brief pauze): And that’z the cue to wrap up, folkz. Before we go, when do we get to zee the zecond book?
Jennifer: Yes, I’m working on revisions now and have a date with my editor in July. Hoping for a release date in September!
Fly: Looking forward to the dive! To all readerz on land, meanwhile, enjoy a sneak-peak into Poseidia, and float with it az we all did. Here’z me zigning off with @JLImhoff.
For more Author Interviewz & Book Reviewz, check out Earth.
Glancing down, my dress was torn and soaked in blood. Pain radiated from my abdomen and I placed my hands over it. The warm slide of blood trickled over my fingers.
Get out of the water.
I collapsed before I could make it all the way out of the surf. A short distance away, a small cave was tucked inside an overhanging cliff.
The sound of cars nearby filled me with hope. If I can get to the road, someone can help me. But I would have a lot to explain.
What other choice do I have?
I’ll take my chances—I don’t want to die out here, alone on the beach.
Weakness crippled me and I collapsed face first into the sand. Someone grabbed me, picked me up, and carried me into the darkness of the cave.
Alarmed by the rough treatment, I yelped in protest only to have my mouth covered with their hand, be pushed to the ground, and finally covered with their body.
“Shh, someone’s coming,” a male voice whispered. The voice… I recognized it as the big guy who had been with Lily.
Did he follow me?
Of course he did.
“Mmm…” I struggled to free my mouth. “Get off me,” I screamed, finally able to form a word, or three. Spent from my swim, and blood loss, my struggles were completely ineffective against the strength of his grasp.
He whispered in my ear, “Shhhhh—stop fighting me. You’re bleeding, I need to heal you.” The closeness of his breath sent shivers up and down my spine.
“What?” I whimpered. “Heal me how?”
“I can’t explain it now. Be quiet and listen. A car door slammed.”
“I don’t hear anything.” My protest was not entirely true. Once quiet, my ears also detected the sound of people talking, laughing, and car doors slamming.
“It’s dangerous,” he warned.
“Why is it dangerous? They can call an ambulance. I’m going to die if they don’t.” Fear underscored my plea.
He picked me up again, moved me further into the back of the cave, and placed me down, softly this time.
His fingers explored my abdomen where I’d been bitten. Despite the surprising gentleness of his touch, I whimpered in pain. “You’ll have to be quiet, or we’ll be discovered,” he ordered. “I can only partially heal you in this form. Remain silent, no matter how much it hurts. No one can see you as you are. It’s dangerous.”
“But…” I mumbled.
“Shhh… I have to concentrate.”
“Where’s Lily? I thought she was with you.”
“Shhh,” he reprimanded.
“You’re such an ass,” I spat. Blood oozed down my abdomen and onto the sand. The discomfort of lying still as sharp pebbles bit into my back was nothing compared to the intense pain throbbing on the right side of my body.
“It’s not a good idea for you to call me names right now, considering I have your life in my hands,” he retorted. The outline of his head became clearer as my eyes adjusted to the darkness. His eyes sparkled with fury in the moonlight...
Bookz featuring me:
An Enlightened Fly
The Fly That Followed Me
Kalki Evian - The Ring of Khaoriphea
Malay A. Upadhyay
Gilbert Literary Agency