Hi, I’m author and editor, Tess Mackall, and I’m thrilled to be here and even more thrilled that I have the honor of officially howling in the Halloween season here at Got Romance Reviews! Kate and Valerie have lots of things planned for authors and readers alike. So fasten your seatbelts. It’s going to be a very bumpy month!
To start the spooktackular good times here at Got Romance Reviews, I thought I’d post a little about what it’s like to be an editor. But not just any editor. No. I can’t be an ordinary editor, now can I? After all, it’s the season of Vampires, Witches, and Weres…Oh My! All things are possible, and a little change of “costume” seems to be the order of the day.
Have you ever thought of your editor as a blood-sucking vampire? A Wicked Witch? Or how about a Werewolf?
Interview With A…well, you know
Interviewer (Wow. She’s so pale. Definitely needs a little sun.): So tell us, what can an author expect to see when they open up one of your edits?
Vampira Tess (arches an eyebrow): Bloodlines.
Interviewer (stretching collar a bit and clearing her throat): You mean redlines?
Vampira Tess: No, I mean bloodlines.
Interviewer (shoves chair backward): Okay, moving on. I hear you push your authors so hard their fingers literally bleed onto the keyboards. How do you feel about that?
Vampira Tess (fangs unsheathe): Bleeding is good.
Interviewer (stands up, walks toward the door): Then it’s true some of your authors would like to see you dead.
Vampira Tess (hisses): And your point is?
Interviewer (opens door and steps into hallway): Any parting words for your authors?
Vampira Tess (swings black cape around): I vant to edit your book.
Wicked Witch Tess: Double, double, toil and trouble. Fire burn and cauldron bubble. (Many thanks to Mr. Shakespeare.)
Interviewer (thinking the scene before her is rather odd. Is that a wart on her nose?): Excuse me. What are you doing?
Wicked Witch Tess (smiling and stirring): Oh, just making a poor witch’s broth, hoping to find a little meat to add. I loves my meat. Been fattening up a couple of auth—uh, I mean sheep, but they ran off. Here, have a cookie.
Interviewer (takes cookie from seemingly benign WWTess): Mmm…gingerbread. So tell me. As an editor, do you ever try to change an author’s voice?
Wicked Witch Tess (stirring her brew and offering up another cookie): Into what?
Interviewer (bites into cookie, brushes crumbs from her blouse): Oh, I don’t know. Maybe insist on Chick Lit.
Wicked Witch Tess (ponders for a moment, brushes back her scraggly gray hair): Nawww, Chicklets get stuck in my teeth. Here, have another cookie. (WWTess hands Interviewer cookie then picks up a basting brush and runs it up and down Interviewer’s arm)
Interviewer (munches on cookie then stops, looking down at her arm): What are you doing?
Wicked Witch Tess (smiles): Oh, nothing. You know, you really should stay and be my dinner—uh—I mean be my dinner guest. Yes, that’s it.
Interviewer (snatches back arm): Is there anything you’d like to tell perspective authors?
Wicked Witch Tess: Oh yes. Send me a submission. I won’t bite…much. I’m a nice lady. And I have cookies.
Interviewer (spies Werewolf Tess baying at the moon): Hey, hey! Can you keep it down so we can talk?
Werewolf Tess (vigorously scratching her hind quarters): Sure. But hurry up will ya? I’ve gotta find my mate, and I think I just caught his scent.
Interviewer: Well, never let it be said I stood in the way of true love. So do you edit in fur or out of?
Werewolf Tess (still scratching): Depends.
Interviewer: On what? And what’s up with the scratching?
Werewolf Tess: Flea season. And to answer your question there are certain things I just like to do under the full light of the moon. You know…sexy stuff.
Interviewer (eyes wide): Really? Do tell.
Werewolf Tess (winks): Well, it’s not missionary position I can tell ya that!!! AAAAWHOOOOOOOOO!!
Interviewer (laughing): So do you mean you only edit sex scenes when the moon is full?
Werewolf Tess: That’s exactly what I mean. Gotta get my kink on, ya know? Oh, you smell that?
Interviewer (sniffing the air): Smell what?
Werewolf Tess: Man smell. There’s a man around here somewhere. And I’m gonna find him. (Tess wags her tail)
Interviewer (quirks an eyebrow and backs away): Well, I’ll let you get to it. Happy hunting!
Werewolf Tess (runs off into the forest): Tell authors that kink is gooooooood…AAAWHOOOOOOOO!!
Whew!!! Changing into all those different forms is a bit hard. Have pity on a tired old editor, will you? So the next time your editor acts out of character, you’ll know how to deal with her. Back off and run! LOL
Ahhh, don’t worry. Just having a bit of fun. I don’t usually sprout fangs or grow warts or fur. But the idea of editing sex scenes only by the light of the full moon does have its appeal. Might have to try that one. To begin winding up my time here at Got Romance Reviews, I’m going to leave you with a fall flasher I wrote a couple of years ago to celebrate the month of October. It was a horror challenge. So watch out!
Dance With The Devil by Tess MacKall © 2008
I am the devil. She is earth bound and little does she know—Hell bound. I’m not in love, that’s impossible, but I’ll admit to obsession—lust. Those are sins, aren’t they? Ha! Of course they are!
I’ve been here forever, lolling in the fire and brimstone. My kingdom is glorious. Flames worship at my feet, and when she is my queen, those same wisps of fire shall bow down to her.
Not once have I ever contemplated a consort. Oh, I’ve fornicated—littered the earth with my offspring, as a matter of fact, but now I find myself in need of more. I’m branching out you see. The universe is a wide open space, and I have souls to corrupt. But my minions need discipline—someone to crack the whip. That’s where she figures into the grand scheme.
Under my tutelage, her days shall be filled with inflicting pain and directing my
followers on their raids to the mortal world. While I conquer new frontiers, she’ll remain behind, keeping the home fires burning.
Look at her. Isn’t she a tempting morsel? Her perfect green eyes shine with pitiful hope. She’s only allowed me a few kisses thus far, but tonight is All Hallows Eve, and at the stroke of midnight, all free will is suspended for a mere second. And that’s when she’ll become my queen and join me in the Netherworld.
I tap her on the shoulder. She turns and her eyes sparkle at the sight of me.
“Luke! I’ve been so worried.”
“No need. I’m here now. My love, you are absolutely breathtaking.”
She pirouettes, the chiffon layers of her angel costume billow outward. The wings, trimmed in gold, flutter slightly. We make a handsome couple—I in my redskin, complete with tail and horns for those mortals who prefer this version of me, and her all in white, pale blonde hair cascading down her back. Opposites do attract.
I offer my hand and she takes it. I guide her slowly to the dance floor. The strains of a waltz begin and I hold her close, planting little kisses along her throat. Damn, but I need to taste her.
The irony is quite amusing—me, Lord of Darkness attending a charity ball. Midnight can’t come quick enough. She laughs and waves to another couple. I watch the clock. It strikes. Only seconds remain of her living soul.
The eleventh chime ceases our dance. She stares at me with her love-struck eyes. My hand raises, my fingers sprout talons. Her scream reverberates. Onlookers join the delightful chorus. I’ve always wanted to bottle that sound. Someday I will.
Her voice cries out, “What are you?”
“Your lover for eternity,” I reply, my fetid breath bathing her face.
In the space of that one second, I reach down, lash through the layers of her flesh and scoop out her heart. My vortex of blackness envelopes us, and we descend into the fiery pit of the Kingdom of Hell.
And as a final good-bye and what I believe is a most appropriate send off—one no Halloween season would be complete without—here’s a video for you.
Happy Halloween everyone! And don’t forget to stop by Got Romance Reviews each day to check out the great paranormal reviews and all the fun stuff coming your way this month.