by Victor Arteaga
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Remembrance Day is just an excuse for vampires and humans to throw themselves a parade. They like to pretend they did us werewolves a favor. But I guess it's not all bad. I do get cheap booze, live in an underground lunar city, which some would find cool, and I am employed. Sejanus Industries isn't a benevolent corporate ruler, but they're the devil I made a deal with. My life is quiet and mostly non-violent but one message from my cousin could cause me to lose everything I've sacrificed for my peaceful life.
Abandoned hope thickened the air as people streamed between polished stone pillars that fronted this house of false promises. Equity and justice for all were laughable concepts the powerful wielded to fit their will and whim. The sky drizzled and misted enough to be cold, damp and miserable. Its gray cloud cover blunted the vibrant colors of the sparse, yet immaculate landscaping, and the wet air smothered the flowers’ sweet fragrance. I trekked past the throngs of caged miscreants as a lone wolf would pass through a swarm of rodents. The weight of my misdeeds forced my shoulders low, lined my mouth, and left my gaze fierce and steady. Guilt over leaving the cousin who called me sister slowed my steps. Betrayal of my chosen family left the bitter taste of regret on my tongue. Lady Justice, the sullen patron saint of my temporary home, was painted and carved on every available surface. We were told the cloth around her eyes meant Justice was blind and fair. But I know now she didn’t mask her eyes to symbolize the blindness of her virtue. Justice wasn’t blind. She just couldn’t bear to see the truth.
AN INTERVIEW WITH VICTOR
-What inspired you to become a writer?
I’ve always wanted to be one, ever since I was a kid. I think it was The Golden Compass by Philip Pullman that really lit that fire in me, but it wasn’t until I went through rehab that I really considered it for real.
-If you could visit your book’s world for a day, what one thing would you do?
See if I could get into the lunar telescope room and hang out with the scientists there. I’d take some awesome photos of nebulas or learn more about how the solar system works, hang out with my character Nova and listen to her pepper in some Scottish vulgarities along with insights into the universe.
-It’s two in the morning. What does your protagonist reveal in confidence? (Don’t worry, we won’t tell.)
Well, if she’s awake at 2am she’s likely hammered so it’d go one of two ways. She’d either be in high spirits and we’d shoot the shit about working in a restaurant. Or she’d get really dark and talk about how she blames herself for her girlfriend’s death or how lonely she is.
-Which of your characters would you go out for drinks with?
Nate. He’s not much of a drinker and I’m sober so we’d just sit there, having a soda and laughing at Aless’ shenanigans while having some great conversation. He’s also ex Force Recon so I’d probably want to have him teach me some moves. He did train Aless after all.
-You’re in a tavern, and a dwarf challenges you to a duel. What do you do?
Hmmm. Well if we’re at a tavern and they’re drunk enough to challenge me to a duel, I’d have the upper hand being sober. I’d take it. I’m also a powerlifter so I feel like I could keep up in terms of strength with a dwarf so, yea. Let’s go!
-Is there a genre you could never write? Which and why?
I’m not a fan of the word “never” when it comes to things I could do. There are genres I don’t think I could write well but I wouldn’t say that I’d never do it. It’s not likely that I’d write a Victorian romance novel, but who knows, maybe one day I could. Actually…now that I think about it, I could have a good time writing a Victorian romance novel between a vampiric aristocrat and werewolf peasant. Hmmm…or maybe the other way! How difficult would it be a farmer with a vampiric son who isn’t able to do any work during the day and then have him fall in love with a werewolf who has to prowl the night? The wheels are churning…
Victor Arteaga is a writer of science fiction, fantasy, and paranormal stories. Though he’s always been an avid reader, his dream to be a writer was jump-started when he got sober in March of 2015. What began as an exercise to keep his sobriety billowed into a deep and unbridled passion to create. His experiences with addiction and being a first-generation American from immigrant parents inject a flavor of unique authenticity to his characters and worlds that he creates. His imagination is given free rein to conjure worlds and experiences on the page which enthralls and captivates readers.
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