When last they met, Nicole Peeler‘s character, Jane True, and my character, Alexia Tarabotti, had a little difficulty communicating. Nicole thinks they’ll become fast friends once they learn to decipher each other’s language. I’m not so sure. But, as she says, “Until then, the shenanigans continue…”
Alexia: Well, my dear Miss True, how are you?
Jane: Hey lady! Yay! So happy to see you! After the “chafing” incident from last time, you looked a bit horrified, and I wasn’t sure if I’d hear from you again. . . Anyway, I’m great! And, um, I’ve brought you something.
*holds out a gift bag*
Alexia: What’s this? Tea? In little baggies? Remarkable, I have never seen the like. Ingenuous concept.
Jane: Yeah! I knew you were kind of disappointed when all I had was coffee and then you called me Italian. So I brought some tea with me . . . Most of it’s from the café at Read It And Weep. There’s some chamomile, and rooibos, and some mint . . . and my hippie nahual friend, Amy, gave me some “cannabis tea,” but I think it’s just pot. It’s in the stinky bag.
Alexia: Those are not tea, those are tisanes. There’s no tealeaf in them. I suspect they have some wonderful medical applications, however. Thank you my dear, very thoughtful. The way my life has been going recently, I shall surely need poultices and medicinal compounds in abundance. So, it has been some little time since our last conversation, how are you weathering your maiden voyage about the fated sea of interwebs?
Jane: Oh, I think I’m doing okay! It’s a lot of work, though, the blogging. Neither my author nor I had ever done any blogging before the book, so we’re both sort of learning as we go. Your site rocks, btw. I love how organized it is, around themes. Very nice!
Alexia: Oh, my dove, I hired People. You know what they say? Good staff is so hard to come by, but I got very lucky indeed. I got myself this fantastic girl, like for doing one’s hats, only she decorated the site instead of my latest bonnet. And then a man, very properly, did the actual construction. I like to think of him as my website’s custodial butler. Now, I hear from an acquaintance of mine that you have been caught fraternizing with vampires. Are you certain a young lady of your delicacy ought to do so unchaperoned?
Jane. Ha ha! Delicacy! Love that! Ummmm, I think young women of my “delicacy” should definitely fraternize with vampires. Ryu is awesome to fraternize with. Just please don’t mention the idea of “chaperoning” to him . . . I’m not having the threesome talk again!
Alexia: Vampires can be quite difficult. Lord Akeldama is always using strange words like that as well. Although I hear they are slightly different in the Americas. Are you finding this to be the case?
Jane: Oh, yeah, Nicole’s vamps are totally different than your vamps. But you shouldn’t really call her vamps vamps, either. . . everybody’s gotta be special in her world. *rolls her eyes* And yeah, they can be difficult. It’s hard being with someone who really has needs. Like when he says, “I have needs,” he means, “I have to nibble on women to survive,” not, “I’m making up a lame excuse about why I can’t corral my johnson.” There’s also the biting. It feels awesome, but can get messy. But I guess everything fun can be messy, wouldn’t you agree? You must have terrible problems with the shedding.
Alexia: Jane dear, remember, do, that I have People for that kind of thing. I could hardly be expected to clean up after Lord Maccon, now could I? You cannot possibly be implying that you must to, urm, tend to your little vampire friend? Can you? All on your lonesome, with no help? Shocking. Really, quite shocking. Speaking of which, I must admit I found the window dressing for your memoirs rather daring. Now that we have met in person, your eyes are simply not quite that big. Why did you allow your portrait artist to take such liberties?
Jane: Yeah, at the time I was like, “Nicole, dude, give me a sword!” and she’s all, “Jane, you’ll poke your eye out,” and I’m all, “Ohmigod this is like the freakin’ Christmas Story!” But I gotta admit that even though I felt super awkward standing there all naked for Sharon to paint me, it was the right thing to do. I’m not, like, a normal urban fantasy heroine, ya know? I mean, you at least have a parasol. My ancestors juggled shit on their noses. So I think the cover represents the tone of my book. Although I woulda rocked the hell out of a big ass broadsword . . .
Alexia: On their noses? You don’t say? What extraordinary behavior. Were they Irish? Your ancestors, I mean. I hear strange things about the Irish.
Jane: I don’t know if my mom was from the Irish side of the selkie family . . . unless the Irish are naturists? Cuz mommy dearest had a penchant for the nuditas . . . Not like you and all your underwear!
Alexia: Undergarments, please. And must we go back to that? You seem terribly terribly fascinated with my small clothes. Could we be a tad more civilized? Tell me about your Christmas, was it terribly exciting? I know you American types are rather racy in your approach to holiday cheer.
Jane: My family’s not really into the Christian aspects of Christmas. But I do believe in Santa. After everything I’ve seen, recently, I know he’s gotta be out there somewhere. Tracy and I always cook a big dinner, and this year we had quite a crowd with all the Rockabill supes attending. But it was super fun. And Ryu drove in. That was exciting. He brought mistletoe, but we found other places to hang it than from doorways.
How about you? Do you guys make one of those crazy British fruitcakes that you soak with booze for eons, then light it on fire?
Alexia: Oh, yes! I do love Christmas pudding. I find food so much more appetizing after it has been set on fire. Don’t you?
Jane: Totally. Nothing like a flaming skewer of meat to make my mouth water. *pauses* Sorry, that sounded wicked dirty. And one thing I don’t like is when people try to set me on fire, like they keep trying to do in my second book. In fact, going back to what you mentioned earlier, I know what we can talk about next time! We can talk about laundering/first aid tricks for the urban fantasy heroine!
Alexia: On, fire? You? How gauche. I have problems with werewolves in skirts, myself. All those knees. We must get together and commiserate.
[This is a repost of the original which appeared on the Orbit site, here.]