Character Interview: James

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It’s time for another character interview, and since I’m currently writing the next James novella (FF4.5), I thought it would be a great time to hear from everyone’s favorite grim. If you’ve been around since the beginning, you might remember the James-inspired banner above. I used it on my website back before I had it professionally designed. (Hopefully, it looks decent on whatever device you’re reading this on.)  🙂

But on to the interview…

Once again, I asked fans to provide the questions and they responded with quite a list. So, without further ado, I give you James Huntsman, death incarnate and all around great guy.

The-Element-of-Death-800 Cover reveal and PromotionalBecca: Thanks for stopping by, James.

James: No problem. (looks concerned) I’m not so sure about the introduction, though.

Becca: Which part?

James: Someone who doesn’t know me might think I’m a little full of myself.

Becca: Well, I’m assuming that only those who know your story would read this interview—and they already know what a great guy you are. Beyond that, it was my line. It’s what I think of you.

James: (blushes) Thanks.

Becca: You don’t have a problem with the death incarnate part?

James: That part is true.

Becca: (laughs) Good thing you’re a great guy. Which is a nice lead in to our first question. How is it that you are a kind, thoughtful person while your brothers are, well, insane psychopaths? They raised you, right?

James: Yes, they raised me. I don’t remember my mother and my father died when I was very young—though I understand he was much like my brothers. Or they, like him.

Becca: Addie always insisted that you must have been adopted.

James: I can see why she thought that. I had spent my entire life wondering why I was so different from my brothers. Until I met Addie, I thought it was a failing on my part. But it was Ian who truly explained it.

Becca: Ian?

James: I don’t like to give him credit for anything, but he did offer the best explanation.

Becca: What’s that?

James: My brothers are still human. They have just enough hellhound blood to enhance their physical abilities, while maintaining their human egos and arrogance. Whereas, I am far less human and see my abilities as, maybe not natural, but expected. Of course, this could all be Ian’s way of telling me I’m just an animal.

Becca: I don’t think that’s his intent.

James: But you like Ian.

Becca: And you don’t. Which brings us to the next question. Now that we’ve learned more about Ian and his past, do you think even less of him?

James: I want to say yes. I find his past actions horrifying, but if I’m honest, I don’t think he was in his right mind by that point. It’s also clear that he very much regrets what he did. Ian reminds me a lot of Addie. Maybe it’s their alchemist mentality. They both let their confidence get the better of them.

Becca: How is it that you can understand him, but still not get along with him?

James: My problem with Ian stems from his deceitfulness. He has repeatedly shaded the truth—when he hasn’t outright lied. He should have told Elysia what she was. And he should have come clean about his brother and the rest of it.

Becca: Fair enough. Moving on to the next topic. You mentioned the alchemist mentality, and since you’re studying to be an alchemist, I guess that’s something you’d recognize. What first sparked your interest in alchemy?

James: When I learned that the grim was created via alchemy.

Becca: And that led you to Addie. What did you think of her when you first rescued her from the ruins of the Alchemica?

James: Well, it was a few days before she could say anything besides garbled alchemical formulas. (laughs) But once she did, I realized very quickly that she was like no one I had ever known.

Becca: What do you mean?

James: She’s so confident and driven, and she doesn’t back down from anyone. She didn’t take any crap from my brothers—which worried me. They weren’t used to having someone stand up to them, but it became clear—even though they denied it—that she was an amazingly talented alchemist.

Becca: Yes, she is. And while we’re discussing her talents, Gwynn asks, “If Addie could make you a potion to cure your ‘grimness’ would you take it?”

James: Being a normal, living human being has always been my greatest desire. That’s why I studied alchemy, why I went to the Alchemica, and why I originally brought Addie home with me.

Becca: You say that as if you no longer feel that way.

James: I’ve accepted the truth: that my ‘grimness’ can’t be cured. But I’m okay with that. I now have some wonderful people in my life who accept me for what I am.

Becca: Addie and Elysia?

James: And the Elements. For that matter, even Elysia’s grandmother and cousin have come to accept me. Oh, and as weird as it sounds, Doug, too.

Becca: Now there’s one guy I never expected you to hit it off with.

James: I’m not sure about the hitting it off part, but he’s a shockingly decent guy, especially considering his upbringing. Not that I can fault someone’s upbringing.

Becca: Speaking of that. Fans have expressed an interest in your childhood. When did your brothers realize you were a grim? Did you go to public school? Did you age like a nonmagical person?

James: My brothers knew what I was from the beginning, which is why I didn’t go to public school until I could keep it secret. I think I was about ten or so. And yes, I went through all the usual stages of human development.

Becca: And what do you think of the college life—what little you’ve seen of it?

James: I know this sounds goofy, but I didn’t care for “college life” as far as the social aspect goes. I do enjoy the classes. It was a source of endless amusement—and sometimes, frustration—for Era. She insisted that Addie had rubbed off on me. (laughs)

Becca: Heh, I can see where she might think that. And while we’re talking of Era, Malene wants to know if you ever had romantic feelings for her.

James: I know she had a crush on me when her mind was damaged. (abruptly smiles) Addie would have all sorts of fun with that line.

Becca: Yes, she would. I’m biting my tongue over here.

James: (makes a face) But to answer the question, no, I’ve never seen Era as anything but my friend.

Becca: Okay. (turns back to question list) Here’s a fun one. Kantami asks, “Since walking the veil basically renders you invisible to normal people, have you ever used the ability to scare or annoy anyone?

James: No, my brothers broke me of that at a young age.

Becca: Your brothers can sense you in the veil?

James: Their Hunter senses tell them when they’re being watched.

Becca: Interesting. And while we’re discussing the veil and the land of the dead, Kelly would like to know if you’ve ever encountered anything nonhuman there?

James: I’ve never personally met anything other than ghosts and hellhounds, but that’s not to say other things don’t exist. Mediums talk of encountering creatures that aren’t human and never were. It makes me wonder if there are other planes of reality.

Becca: The idea gives me the creeps, but the concept doesn’t seem to bother you. Actually, you rarely get upset over things that terrify most people like the dark, the dead, and tight spaces—just to name a few. Along those lines, Andrea would like to know what is your greatest fear.

James: Ending up like Gavin, stranded in the land of the dead and unable to return to the mortal world, or move on to the afterlife. It shames me to admit it, but that’s why I’ve always protected my brothers. If they die without offspring, that’s where I’ll end up.

Becca: I don’t see that as shameful.

James: You’re not about to channel Addie and tell me not to berate myself for wanting to continue my existence, are you?

Becca: Maybe. (smiles) Addie’s really special to you, isn’t she?

James: She’s my best friend.

Becca: There was a time when you wanted her to be more than that.

James: (sighs) I knew that would come up. It was a mistake on my part, born of my inexperience with having someone genuinely care about me.

Becca: I know, but humor me. I’ve got to read you this question from Maria. “When did you really start to accept Rowan and Addie as a couple?  We know there were a lot of feelings there, and many of us were on #TeamJaddie, I assure you.  I’m glad you’ve got Elysia now, though.  Are you happy with #TeamElyJa or would you prefer #TeamJelly?”

James: I…

Becca: (laughs) I know, that was awesome. (snorts) #TeamJelly.

James: Uh…

Becca: So, when did you accept Rowan and Addie as a couple?

James: Oh, um, it was a gradual thing. Once I got over my own hurt feelings and really watched them, I began to see what they meant to each other and how well-suited they were. But it wasn’t until Addie took a bullet for Rowan, and Rowan went after George with his bare hands that I got on #TeamRad.

Becca: Oh man. (struggles not to laugh and fails) It’s contagious!

James: (grins)

Becca: (finally manages to stop giggling) Okay, let’s talk about Elysia. You don’t seem upset to have ended up soul bound to this incredibly powerful necromancer.

James: It’s not just her power that’s incredible. She’s an amazing person.

Becca: How about the baby the two of you saved, and her desire to adopt him? How do you feel about that?

James: At first, it surprised me that she wanted to take her promise to the baby’s mother that far, but once I got over my surprise, I admired her for it.

Becca: But what if the two of you end up together?

James: We can’t be together.

Becca: But—

James: I won’t be responsible for her death. That is one mistake I will not commit. (makes eye contact, his stare intense)

Becca: (looks away, suddenly uncomfortable) All right, I’m not going to debate that with you. In the context of mistakes, Maria has another question for you.

James: Does it involve any hashtags?

Becca: (smiles) No, this one’s a little deeper.

James: I might prefer the hashtags.

Becca: It’s not that bad. (clears throat) “Is there a mistake you’ve made that you don’t think had any greater lesson – almost killing Rowan made you closer, even got you to respect each other when you were both jealous as hell while simultaneously mad at Addie.  But is there something you wish you could go back and change?”

James: I guess my biggest screw up was taking Addie home with me. I mean, saving her, befriending her, and learning alchemy from her were some of the best things I’ve ever done, but letting my brothers meet her—huge mistake.

Becca: Because they now know about the Final Formula?

James: (looks away, a frown creasing his brow) I don’t know what I was thinking.

Becca: (waits, but when he offers nothing else, continues) With regard to Addie and the Final Formula, how do you feel about her taking it?

James: Addie is a good person. But as her recent actions show, even good people can make bad decisions. I can’t believe that retuning her memories would change her. (fidgets in his chair) But I would be lying to say that the possibility doesn’t worry me.

Becca: What if it returns memories that can help Rowan and Elysia with their magic troubles?

James: I think Addie already has a good idea where to look for that solution.

Becca: We can hope. (sets aside list) Well, that’s all that I have. Thanks for stopping by.

James: No problem. Addie was right; that wasn’t too bad.

Becca: Thanks. (rolls eyes) I don’t know why you guys think this is going to be so awful. You have some great fans. Go #TeamJames!

James: (laughs) I guess you’re right.

Becca: (glances at list) Besides, I didn’t ask if it bothered you to be naked so much, or if you’ve ever considered modeling.

James: Was that one question or two?

Becca: Maybe it was one inspired by the other. (winks)

James: The answer is no.

Becca: To which part?

James: (grins, a faint glow lighting his green eyes)

Becca: I think our good boy might have a naughty streak.

4 comments

  1. Lol 🙂
    Thanks for the chance to get to know James a little better. I do so hope he gets a shot at some of the happiness he deserves.
    Keep it coming! I can’t wait for the next installment!

    • Thanks! I won’t spoil anything, but I will say that I’m a happy ending kind of gal. 😉

  2. Marina

    Fab. I am all for happy endings myself! Thanks for this interview. The Rowan/James novella was one of my favourite instalments so far in the series. It was scary and I loved the bond it created between these characters.

    • Becca

      Thanks! Glad you enjoyed the interview and The Element of Death. Since it’s my shortest novella, it doesn’t get a lot of love. As for the brotherly relationship between Rowan and James…they get a little page time together in FF4.5. 🙂

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