Interview with Death from the Accidental Reaper Paranormal Urban Fantasy Series
I always love to interview my characters before I start a new story. After all, I’m going to be working with them for months and I want to be sure I like them, lol.
I had a vague outline of Grim & Bare, Accidental Reaper Urban Fantasy Series, Book 1, in my head when I wrote the fated words, “Chapter 1,” but at the time, it was my “fun” manuscript to work on in the mornings while I ate my breakfast and drank my coffee. The outline was very loose.
So you can imagine my surprise (and Chloe’s, the heroine of the series who accidentally becomes a Grim Reaper) when a sexy blond guy with too many muscles, a killer smile, and an Aussie accent appeared in her bedroom unexpectedly after she was attacked by a serial killer and had a near-death experience.
Yep, Death incarnate.
He has become a reader favorite already among my beta readers, and they’ve been asking for more of him. Never fear, he will be in all the books.
IF that is, I can keep him from taking over! He likes to be in charge and he always gets his way – he is Death, after all.
ME: When I started the Accidental Reaper series, I never expected you to show up as a character. I was researching myths and legends about reapers from a variety of cultures and time periods, since Chloe does the same in Grim & Bare It. The next thing I know, you popped into my head and demanded an audience. So here we are. Do you often budge in and take over?
Death <winking>: How can you write a series about a grim reaper without starring me in it?
ME: The floor is yours. Tell me a little bit about yourself.
Death: I’m a unique entity — there are as many stories about me and the afterlife as there are everything else combined. Humans are afraid, yet fascinated, with death and what comes afterwards. I don’t understand why they fear me—I mean, look at me. <He grins, all sunshine and rainbows.> Who would be scared of me?
Riiiight. ME: You work for Soul Management Group, the afterlife’s organization who, like the name suggests, manages souls. How did you get the job as their ultimate soul collector?
Death <shrugs>: I was created to make sure the universal balance of souls being incarnated and dying stays intact. SMG sets up the soul contracts for each person who incarnates on Earth, and when that contract is up, I make sure the soul is harvested.
ME: Tell me about noncompliant souls, like those Chloe has to reap.
Death: Like I mentioned, everyone has a soul contract for their incarnation. When that contract expires, they go poof. If the spirit clings to this world and refuses to go peacefully, then I have to send in a Grim. A lot of the supernaturals try to cheat death. Vampires are the worst.
ME: They say your life flashes in front of your eyes before you die. Is that true?
Death: I’m immortal, so I don’t have firsthand experience, but I’ve heard for some it is. Most folks just see a bright light and poof.
ME: Poof? Could you be more specific?
Death: Their soul gets on the express train to the afterlife. They review their life on Earth and they end up back here if they need a do-over. Reincarnation gives them a second chance. Or third, or fourth…until they get it right.
ME: How is Chloe doing with her new job as a reaper?
Death <blows out his cheeks and sits back in his chair): She’s too smart for her own good. And she whines a lot. She’s always trying to save everyone. Drives me nuts. How am I supposed to maintain universal balance with her running around delaying people’s deaths?
ME: She has a good heart.
Death: One that will get her in trouble. Especially with that master vampire.
ME: Soul Management Group thinks he’s a good mentor for her.
Death: Nothing about Killion is “good.” He’s going to make her trust him, and then he’s going to break her heart. You can’t trust the Undead.
ME: I think you and Killion are both lucky to have Chloe. She’s going to keep you on your toes and make you value human life more.
Death <rolling his eyes>: I thought this interview was supposed to be about me.
ME: Why the Australian accent?
Death <winks again>: Spices things up. My groupies love it.
ME: Groupies, hmm. So, not everyone fears you.
Death <smiling wickedly>: I do have fans, and they adore me.
ME: Speaking of fans, several of my beta readers who love your character in Grim & Bare It have sent in questions. Would you be willing to answer those as well?
Death <puffing up his chest>: Anything for my adoring fans!
ME: Great! This first one is from Billie Jo. Is it essential for you to have a wicked sense of humor when dealing with your job and employees?
Death: Absolutely. Death is a macabre business, and I like to lighten things up. Have fun, you know?
ME: Next is from Cara. Do you have a favorite grim or is everyone the same to you?
Death: I can’t be showing favoritism, of course, but I do have one or two who make my job easier. That would not be Chloe Frost, however.
ME: Patricia has two questions: Are you jealous of Killion? And, who decides how long each contract is to run, and why?
Death: Me, jealous of a bloodsucker? Ha! I’m Death, and vampire or not, he’ll meet his end one day. I will personally be there to enjoy his demise, too. Smudgy [Soul Management Group/SMG] determines the length of the contracts, based on the person’s karma and the reason they’re sent to earth to begin with. I just enforce them.
ME: Finally, from Amy. What does a typical day look like for you? Do you harass people like Chloe all day?
Death: I wouldn’t have to if she would just stick to her job and not try to save everyone! My typical day involves checking on all my grims all over the world and making sure that contracts are fulfilled. Seems like there are always a few getting screwed up – like people who aren’t scheduled to die getting whacked and leaving behind shades, or those whose contract IS up, but somehow manage to avoid dying. That’s where the grims come in.
ME: It’s been a pleasure, Death. Thank you for joining me today. I hope we don’t meet in person again any time soon.
Death <winking again>: You know you love me. I’ll let you in on a little secret… <leaning forward and lowering his voice> You’ve got a lot of stories featuring me left to write. Keep turning them out and your contract won’t be up for a long time, yet.
ME: Sounds like a deal.
Death: Be careful. You know what deals with me entail.
ME <shivering>: Blood contracts, yes I’m quite aware. Again, thank you for the interview, and now I better get back to writing…
If you’d like to know more about Death, read Grim & Bare It today!
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