L. A. Witt: Today I’m interviewing the star of my cyberpunk/vampire story, A Chip In His Shoulder (Riptide Publishing, November 14, 2011). Liam is a vampire as well as an assassin, and at the beginning of the story, he’s paid a large sum of money to murder Daniel, his own ex-lover. Liam, thanks for stopping by.
Liam: *narrows eyes*
LAW: *slightly alarmed* What?
Liam: You’re not very high on my list, just so you know.
Liam: *significant look*
LAW: I’m assuming that’s a bad thing. I mean, when I’m talking to an assassin, I’d usually prefer not to be very high on his list, but in this case…
Liam: You’re assuming right. Now can we get this over with?
LAW: *shifting uncomfortably* Right. Of course. So, um, I’m curious about the implant on your temple.
Liam: *absently touches the crescent-shaped black metal mod beside his eye and tucked up against his hairline* It’s an old one. Doesn’t really do much anymore, so I just keep it around for aesthetic reasons.
LAW: Was that sarcastic?
Liam: No. Visible mods are a status symbol in the Sky. Sign of wealth and power. *taps mod* This one just helps me blend in whenever I go to the Sky for a job. Just happens this one is more or less obsolete now that I have the new ocular mod and a couple of others.
LAW: And what purpose did it serve?
Liam: I’d tell you, but then I’d have to kill you.
LAW: *fidgets, clears throat* Moving right along. Going into A Chip In His Shoulder, what were your thoughts about the situation? About being sent in to kill your own ex-lover?
Liam: *deadpans* Positively giddy.
LAW: Was that…was that sarcasm?
Liam: No. This is how I show giddiness.
LAW: Oh. Okay. So, you were happy about being paid to kill Daniel?
Liam: I’d have done it for free, but his father didn’t need to know that.
LAW: Did you have any inkling about what was about to happen?
Liam: *exasperated sigh* Do I look stupid to you? If I had known I was about to be double-crossed, I never would have left the Gutter that night. And I would have taken out Daniel’s father at the first possible opportunity. Motherfucker…
LAW: Could you explain the Gutter to my readers?
Liam: The Sky is the absurdly wealthy part of the city where all the rich and powerful live in glass towers and pretend not to be aware of all the people suffering and dying in the Gutter. And the Gutter, that’s the shithole part of the city where people work their fingers to the bone in horrendous conditions and disgusting pollution in exchange for about half the wages a person needs to get by. And did I mention they’re making all the mods for the rich people living in the Sky? Rich, privileged fuckers don’t even bat an eye at the conditions people live in and work in down in the Gutter. Most of those people wouldn’t last five minutes in the Gutter. With any luck they’d be robbed blind and beaten within thirty seconds anyway.
LAW: *subtly crosses “I’m assuming the Gutter isn’t a place one would enjoy living” off list of possible questions and prompts* And how long have you been living there?
Liam: Five miserable fucking years.
LAW: I’m assuming, based on the conversations we had while I was writing A Chip In His Shoulder, you hold Daniel partly responsible for the fact that you’ve spent a half a decade in the Gutter, which also led to you becoming an assassin in the first place. Care to elaborate?
Liam: Partly responsible? That’s like saying his father was “partly responsible” for paying me $10 million to shoot the son of a bitch. Partly responsible, my ass.
LAW: Fair enough, I suppose. Is it true you’ll be back for a sequel? Possibly a novel-length story?
Liam: *inclining head* You’re the author. You tell me.
LAW: *gulp* Let me rephrase: A Chip In His Shoulder arguably lends itself to a potential sequel. Would you be willing to come back for such a sequel?
Liam: *silent for a long, long moment*
LAW: *getting kind of nervous*
Liam: *slow nod* I’d come back for a sequel. *pointed look* I’ll have a few demands before I agree to sign the contract, though.
LAW: Sure. Okay. Well, that’s all the time we have. Thank you, Liam, for stopping—*looks around* Where the hell did he go?
LAW: *sigh* Gotta love vampire assassins. Quick, stealthy, and no freaking manners.
Liam: I heard that.
LAW: Crap… Well, um, I guess this wraps up my interview with Liam the vampire assassin of A Chip In His Shoulder. And I’m going to get the hell out of here, because I do not want to mess with this guy…