It’s Day 14 of the Night Shade Books Holiday Countdown, and I’m so thrilled to have an interview with Gemma Fae Cross, the tough, amateur boxer heroine (and tooth fairy!!) of Jennifer Safrey’s upcoming Tooth and Nail (Feb. 14th, 2012). Be sure to follow Night Shade Books on twitter for all of the Holiday Countdown features and goodies, and pre-order your copy of Tooth and Nail while yer at it!
Transcript: Gemma Fae Cross, Interview #1, Morning Fae Archives, 2012.
Reese: Gemma, I am sooo excited to be interviewing you.
Gemma: Reese, I know for a fact that there are not too many things on Earth you are not sooo excited about. It’s overwhelming. But in a good way. Like finding a party of pink unicorns on your front lawn. Uh, that’s not going to happen, is it?
R: What in the world makes you think that would happen?
G: Well, finding out I’m the legendary half-fae warrior kind of came out of freaking nowhere.
R: I understand. But don’t worry, I promise that won’t happen. (pause) Because it’s December. And unicorns don’t do that kind of stuff until around April.
G: (long pause) You are kidding me, right? You’re kidding.
R: Hee hee. Okay, moving on…
G: This isn’t over.
R: (checking notes) You’re a boxer. Tell me what goes through your mind when you are in the ring, facing an opponent.
G: Not much goes through my mind, really. It’s acting and reacting. Offense and defense.
R: So you don’t really go in with a plan?
G: I find that when I compete, the best-laid plans fall apart pretty quickly and I need to be able to act on instinct. My training and experience sharpen my instincts, make them effective. So it’s not as if I go in there just swinging in circles and hoping I connect. But I don’t want to make a plan beforehand because inevitably, he’ll throw a series of hooks and jabs at me that I didn’t expect and if I had a plan, my mind would be busy scrambling to recover and it would distract me from the moment. So I drill and spar until I absorb the instinct, and actions and reactions become something I don’t have to use my head for.
R: This must come in very handy for you as a warrior. I mean, thinking on your feet and everything.
G: (pause) Well, maybe not so much because when I need to fight, I have a lot more responsibility and emotional investment in protecting the fae and the fae collection than I do in merely protecting my own nose. And by the way, I’ve been meaning to ask someone: What would all of fae-dom have done if Frederica found me and I didn’t happen to be a boxer? What if I was a shepherdess or a flight attendant or a beauty pageant queen or something?
R: (starts giggling, and can’t stop)
G: What? What?
R: (still laughing) You…as Miss District of Columbia. What’s your talent, punching audience members in the nose?
G: (smirking) Shut up. And just so you know, I could totally rock a pageant bikini.
R: All right, all right. (deep breath) All right. I don’t actually know the answer. The other warriors…the fae knew who the warriors were as soon as they were born, and they were raised in the tradition of battle. They learned to fight from the cradle, essentially. We discovered you as an adult and you already had your life, but I wonder also how we would have trained and prepared you. Hey, why don’t you ask Svein? He could–
G: Svein’s a jerk.
R: Maybe. But he would know the answer.
G: (muttering unintelligibly)
R: And I know full well you don’t think Svein is a jerk, anyway.
G: I’m sure there are more interesting things we could be discussing, though, right?
R: (raising eyebrow) Okay. Avery McCormack. He’s running for Congress…?
G: Nice segueway, Reese. Not obvious at all.
R: Whatever do you mean? This is an interview about you. I would of course ask about him. Besides, he’s ahead in the polls! I’m sooo excited!
G: (smiling) Me too. (phone beeps) Hang on…oh, crap. I gotta go. I’m on assignment. I thought I’d have one damn night off.
R: No rest for the weary warrior. Where is it?
R: Don’t forget dropbox 482 is out of order. You have to walk three blocks west to 487.
G: I don’t know what I would do without you.
R: What would ALL of us do without you?
G: I’m not sure. I…I never expected this.
R: With the warrior, there’s a lot of “this”. Which “this” do you mean?
G: I never expected to be expected to be the fae’s guardian of innocence. Innocence is the most fragile, fleeting thing.
R: You can do this. This is what you were born to do.
G: I know, but that thought actually makes it scarier. I’m just going to do my best every day. I’ll get in the ring when I have to and trust that I know how to win. When we bring the Olde Way back, I will want to have earned the right to become a part of it.
R: Listen…I have to ask before you go. I’m obligated to ask. What happened that night? Will you tell me and put it on record? It’s safe to do it, I promise. You know Archives are locked down. Humans will never, ever see the truth.
G: (long pause) I was called to fight, and I owe the fae my story. I know it’s important to our heritage, and to my own legacy. But I just can’t now. Not yet.
R: I understand. When you are ready to tell it…
G: I will tell everything.
R: Watch out for unicorns. They seem to really like Georgetown.
Gemma tells her story in TOOTH AND NAIL by Jennifer Safrey, and it will be available in February 2012 from Night Shade Books.
Read an exclusive excerpt from Tooth and Nail!
Pre-Order Tooth and Nail: Amazon | Barnes and Noble
About Tooth and Nail:
Gemma Fae Cross, a tough-girl amateur boxer whose fiance is running for congress, has just made a startling discovery about herself. She is half faerie-and not just any faerie, but a tooth faerie.
A hybrid of fae and human, Gemma is destined to defend the Olde Way and protect the fae-who are incapable of committing violence-from threats to their peaceful and idyllic way of life, which must be maintained by distilling innocence collected from children”s baby teeth.
But when a threat to the fae mission emerges, Gemma is called upon to protect her heritage, and become a legendary fae warrior… even if it means sacrificing everything she knows about being human.