Character Interview with Niels Poulsen from Blue Note by Holly Graf and Krissy May

Holly: Hi, Niels. Blue Note is a book that introduces you — a human, as far as you know — to magic. How did you feel when you realized that magic was real and you didn’t have any?

Niels: That was shit. I’ve always strived to be the best one in the room at whatever I cared about, and I cared about magic so hard. Envy is not a strong enough word.

Holly: What about magic did you care about right away?

Niels: It was unique. I very lost interest when I realized that most realms have it and humans without magic are interesting to them.

Holly: Do you think losing interest in magic shaped your decisions at the end of the book?

Niels: This is getting into spoilers territory. Where’s River Song with her little notebook?

Holly: Right. If you could live anywhere in all the realms, except the places you visited in Blue Note, where would it be?

Niels: So Manhattan is out as an option?

Holly: Yes.

Niels: You don’t play nice. Hmm. I think I’d have to go to Alder. They would appreciate my music and my sense of fashion.

Holly: For the readers — Alder is a steampunk world with high tech, low magic, and an appreciation for Niels’ skinny jeans.

Niels: (laughs) Enough with the pants.

Holly: You asked for it. Do you have a favorite book or movie?

Niels: I can’t have both?

Holly: Go for it.

Niels: Favorite book is Songmaster, by an. Look can we not talk about the author? It’s a great book, about a kid whose entire life is shaped by music, from toddlerhood through his death. That’s the dream.

Holly: How was your childhood shaped by music?

Niels: My dad was really into music, and so was my stepdad. Losing them so young made me want to be sure I wouldn’t lose music too.

Holly: That must have been hard.

Niels: (laughs) That’s very cliche.

Holly: You don’t like talking about your past much? Isn’t that a fundamental aspect of being a character?

Niels: No I mean...that must have been hard. Nobody wants to lose a parent, so you’re guaranteed to be right. What about like… ‘Ooh and did you sing at the funerals?’

Holly: Most people don’t want to lose a parent. You’re paired with Hattie, someone who we know — by the end of Blue Note — feels the opposite about her father.

Niels: No, but she needs real parents. She doesn’t want to have a dad she has to feel the opposite about.

Holly: But what is real? How is it to know you’re fake, that all you are is what is created on page?

Niels: It’s basically being trapped with an incompetent host body that eats crappy food and misunderstands me a lot.

Holly: How often do you think you’re misunderstood? Do you think the story gets you right? Do you ever wish you were in a different kind of novel?

Niels: Mostly right. She softens sex, for the most part. The rest is accurate.

Holly: I think most that is done to make the book more widely readable — to audiences who don’t want those kinds of scenes.

Niels: Yeah, she fed me the same bullshit line.

Holly: But you like the story as a whole? Enough actions, romance, whatever you’re looking for?

Niels: Ja. I think the most consistent comment was that it was fast-paced which honestly...I can’t read slow-paced books.

Holly: Is that something readers can look for in the next books? Do you think introducing a new POV for Inked in Blue — formerly Green Zone — will slow the pace down?

Niels: I’m worried it will speed it up. But I’m trying. The problem is, this is a very real world, and think how much goes on in your life in a day. Now add in learning about magic and weird rules and smelly neighborhoods. It gets busy pretty fast.

Holly: What do you think about adding in another POV, sharing the page with someone new? Can you share with us who it is?

Niels: I don’t know, author boss, can I?

Holly: If you’d like.

Niels: I get to share this book with Jace, the guy I spend Blue Note looking for. It’s great, because he’s gay but somehow we end up in a catfight over a girl anyway.

Holly: I’m sure that will be interesting to see develop. It looks like Jace is figuring out his identity. He calls himself gay but we’ve seen him in one hetero relationship and it sounds like he’s headed into another. Do you have any insight there?

Niels: He’s actually in a great gaymance at the start of things, but someone has to save the world and as you may have noticed I tend selfish.

Holly: Maybe you can work on it? That seems like a long interview but we haven’t one thing that I want to ask about: you have a struggling relationship with your mom in Blue Note. Is this a plot you intend to carry on through the next books, or are you tucking your relationship into a box and not addressing it?

Niels: Oh my sweet zombie Christ just wait until you see who she’s dating.

Holly: Does that mean things get worse between you?

Niels: I mean, we’re in a book that tends pretty feel good, so I’m guessing we’re on a crash course toward universal harmony and shit, but we’re not there yet.

Holly: Thank you for your time Niels.

Niels: No problem. Thanks for asking me about my sexy car and the songs we sang at my dad’s funeral.

Holly: Hey! The songs were not in the prompts and the car never came up. Until now...What is it? And how are you planning on including it in Inked?

Niels: Tune in next time for a review of its sleek design, make model and year, and extended wheelbase for added comfort. It will be in Inked.

Blue Note
The Fractured Prism
Book One
Holly Graf and Krissy May

Genre: NA Urban Fantasy

Publisher: 252 Publishing

Date of Publication: 6/21/19

ISBN: 978-1-950753-00-0
ASIN: 195075300X
Number of pages: 250
Word Count: 67,444

Cover Artist: Krissy May

Tagline: Everything has a price

Book Description:

Niels Poulsen, self-styled God of Rock and lead singer in a popular punk band, has everything he could want: family, friends, fortune, and fame. When his best friend and fellow band member, Jace, goes missing, Niels will do anything to get him home safe.

Niels discovers that their money and connections won’t help them on their journey. They will rely on an model airplane, a family secret, and a tangled magic that weaves the band into the fabric of other realms so tightly they may never make it home again. Their quest takes them across new worlds, through foreign dangers, and straight into the path of an ancient prophecy that wants Niels for itself.

If Niels and his friends survive long enough to find Jace and negotiate their way home to Manhattan, will it be worth the price? The magic says one of them will have to die…

Amazon     BN


       As they walked away from the sketchy people, Niels leaned down close to Hattie’s face. “The liquor stall? Or do you think it’s a setup? Christ.” He leaned away. “I’m as paranoid as Rhyss now.”
       “No you’re not.” She side-hugged him as they walked. “I’ve got a bad feeling too.”
       “They pointed that way,” he gestured, “so let’s go this way.”
       “Good idea.”
       They passed several stalls. One had all kinds of colorful eggs on display. Another had a row of kids dancing in front with a sign that read: Ontriss Academy of Noc Thui. Another stall had fried dough smothered in cinnamon.
       Niels’ stomach rumbled again.
       They should’ve begged Kenzie for some money before she left, but Niels had the feeling she didn’t have much in the way of funds. Land pirates were still pirates, after all.
       Something just ahead of them started screeching.
       Places to go: not in that direction. Whatever was up there probably ate people. Niels steered them casually toward a stall with jewelry, but Hattie was having none of being steered around.
       “What is that?” She moved towards the keening, cutting off a pissy guy with a cart full of vegetables. Some of the food toppled off the cart.
       Niels almost reached for one, but two thoughts stopped him: One, he had no idea whether they were even edible; two, Kenzie said they executed thieves, and this didn’t feel like a good day for that. Dying wasn’t on his agenda.
       He let Hattie pull him across the road on her quest for death-by-screech, until they were in sight of the screeching thing.
“Is that a dragon?” Niels asked.
Holy shit.
Not just a dragon, but...a dragon. It was about the size of a teacup, or a gerbil maybe because teacups didn’t have tails, and this dragon did. It was covered with spines and opalescent scales in every pastel color of the rainbow.
Even though it wasn’t as big as the other dragons they’d seen in Sylem, it made the most god awful noise to make up for its size. Niels was tempted to screech back at it, see how it liked that. Or bring his guitar and climb into the higher notes, with an amp.
When the dragon saw Niels, it screeched even louder, rattling the side of its cage so violently Niels thought it might knock itself off the table.
“It wants you,” Hattie said.
No it didn’t. Clearly it wanted out so it could attack him. While that technically counted as wanting him it wasn’t the good thing Hattie’s tone made it out to be.
He stopped freaking out. What had he just said to himself? He needed to trust that Hattie was often more right than he was about shit.
He finished crossing the road with her and didn’t stop her when she asked, “Can we look at that dragon?”
The stall owner, a beefy guy who would have been a butcher - or a Mafioso, which amounted to the same thing - in any decent, clichéd movie, frowned at them. “You spoiled my dragon.”
He lifted the latch on the cage door and the little rainbow-tiled monster shot out of the cage, directly at Niels.
Niels backed away. He couldn’t die yet. He still had songs to write, Hattie to date, his mom to annoy…
The dragon landed on his shoulder, chirped once, and let out a huff of steam that condensed into beads of water on Niels' neck.
Okay, so not dying today. Not yet, anyway.
Niels allowed himself to breathe.
The dragon was kind of cute if he ignored its claws digging into his shoulder through his shirt.
“That’s three hundred Angmol.”
Oh yeah, Niels could just pull that out of his ass.
“We don’t have three hundred those things,” Hattie said.
“Or one,” Niels muttered so only she could hear. She laughed.

About the Authors:

Holly began her career as an accountant. While her sense of humor tends appropriately dry, her love for writing far exceeds the constraints of an office job. She attended four colleges across three states in pursuit of her BS in Accounting, while taking extra courses in philosophy, law, and writing. Between words, she spends her time immersing herself in the magic of life.

Krissy lives in a chaos factory, which is run by a merciless team of miniature humans and their pets. She enjoys music, foreign languages, noise-cancelling headphones, and the smell of fresh-mowed grass. She has a useless degree in Physics and part of another useless degree in Nursing, neither of which helped in the creation of this book.

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