PRA: I am incredibly excited to interview Dante Baptiste and Heather Wallace today. Heather and Dante are two fabulous characters from Adrian Phoenix's The Makers Song Series.
I know Dante’s not a big fan of interviews so I’ll try to be gentle. *looks over at Dante and grins* Well, unless you like it rough. *winks*
Dante: *laughs, the sound low and warm* Gentle? Ain’t familiar with that word. I only know rough, so go on, give me your best, chère.
PRA: *looks over at Heather* Haha, sorry!
Heather: *smiles and flaps a hand* No need to apologize. I’m getting used to it. Hardly anyone says a word to Dante that isn’t brimming with sexual innuendo. Even me. *grins* I mean look at him.
Heather: *plants a quick kiss on his lips* Talk and innuendo I can deal with. But touching or kissing or groping – now that’s another matter altogether.
Dante: *teasing smile* Aw, I love it when you go all alpha female on me, catin.
Heather: *arches an eyebrow* And if someone was touching or kissing or groping me in front of you, Baptiste?
Dante: Depends. Do you want to be touched or not in this little scenario?
Heather: Does it make a difference?
Dante: *snorts* Mais fucking oui, chérie . If you wanted it, then the toucher or kisser or groper ends up with a few broken bones and just a bit of internal bleeding. No big deal, yeah? But if you didn’t want it, then the motherfucker’s dead.
Heather: Dead? Seriously?
Dante: In a heartbeat.
Heather: *teasing smile* Aw, I love it when you go all alpha nightkind on me, cher. But so not necessary. I’ve got a gun and know how to use it. Plus I have all my hand-to-hand combat skills learned at the Academy and during my career with the FBI. Anybody caught groping will find himself planted face first into a wall, kissing the brick.
Dante: *laughs* C’est ma femme. Me, I get to watch, yeah?
Heather: *winks, a mischievous smile on her lips* We’ll see, Baptiste.
PRA: *blushes* Okay, let’s get started. Dante, I know music is a big part of who you are. What inspired you to start writing your own songs?
Dante: To be honest, p’tite—I don’t remember. The first song I wrote, the reason why, what inspired me, is all part of my childhood, part of the memories stolen from me; memories I still hope to reclaim one night.
But as far as writing songs now, it’s like breathing, y’know? Like drinking in blood. Natural. Don’t think about it much. Music pulses through my veins, pools in my heart. I let it flow out through my fingertips and across the strings of my guitar. And then I sing – whatever’s raging inside – I give it voice. *laughs* Sounds more dramatic than it is, chère.
Von: That’s a relief, because you were sounding pretty poetry-ass cheesy and lame, man. But I know that’s the creative side of you, little brother, so I’m here to keep it all real. *winks at Crystal* Hey, darlin’, what’s shaking? I thought I’d drop by and translate for the artist here, if that’s all right. TRANSLATION: Dante writes songs in his head pretty much all the time, then plays with himself. I mean, his guitar.
Dante: *rolls his eyes* Thanks for setting the record straight on that.
Von: *wicked grin* Anytime, man.
PRA: *laughs* Heather, what’s your favorite song of Dante’s?
Heather: There’s several I love, “Falling” and “Underneath Her Window”, but one of my very favorites is one he wrote especially for me. Remember? In the courtyard? After our argument?
Dante: *laughs* Oh, I remember, catin.
PRA: Can you sing a few lines for us Dante? *bats eyelashes at him*
Von: *bats eyelashes too* Yeah, oh pretty, pretty please?
Dante: Dude. Never do that thing with your eyelashes again. *shudders* Not pretty.
Von: Maybe if I wore eyeliner or kohl or whatever the hell you call it like you . . .
Dante: No. Not even then.
Dante: But on you (nods at Crystal) or Heather – all kinds of cute. Okay, here’s the song
*sings in a low and husky voice*: She ain’t afraid to tell me when I’m wrong and she ain’t afraid to catch me when I fall. And she’s been long overdue a song, ma belle femme, my queen of the mean right hook, my red-haired catin.
Dante: *switches to a clear and sexy falsetto which makes Von lift his eyebrows* And she calls me her pigheaded man, her maestro of stubborn, her very own puh-puh-puh pigheaded man . . .
PRA: *dreamy sigh* What’s the craziest moment you’ve had with a groupie, Dante?
Dante: *laughs* Think I’ll keep that one to myself, p’tit. I wanna keep breathing.
Heather: Hey, whatever you did before we met, doesn’t matter.
Dante: *snorts* Uh huh. Sure. Famous last words. Sorry, chère. Ain’t touching that one.
PRA: *grins* Now for a question all the ladies want to know the answer to: On a scale from 1-10, how good of a kisser is Dante, Heather?
Heather: I’d give him a 15.
Von: *shakes his head* A little high, doll. I’d rate him a 10.
Heather: *arches eyebrow* If you added in tongue?
Von: Oh. Well. Then it’d be a 15, yeah. *looks at Dante* But he never slips me any.
Dante: *flips him off with double birds*
Von: *returns the gesture*
PRA: Dante, how old were you when you got your tattoo and what made you get a bat over your heart?
Dante: Don’t know how old I was, p’tite. I did it sometime before Lucien found me on that wharf on the Mississippi, so I musta been . . . *he frowns* I just found out that I’m almost 24 years old and I’ve known Lucien for 5 years, so figure I was 17 or so when I got it. *shrugs* I’d started forming my own household – I’d met Von and Simone and Trey – and I needed to come up with a symbol to identify out house and to keep mortals under our protection safe from other nightkind.
Heather: Kind of like a cattle brand? Marking property?
Dante: Other nightkind saw it that way, yeah, catin. That’s how they used their household symbol. I chose the bat because it seemed like true nightkind. Plus I was making fun of the fanged assholes who made it necessary.
PRA: What made you open up your own club, and how did you come up with the name, Club Hell?
Dante: I wanted a place to showcase new musicians and local talent, a club that was focused on the music. Hell, it is New Orleans, yeah? *winks* And I named it Club Hell for the same reason I named the band Inferno . . .
PRA: Have you ever read the book, Dante’s Inferno?
Dante: Yup. And that’s the reason behind my answer above, chère. *grins*
PRA: Dante, how did it feel when you got your wings? Do you like flying? Practiced on your landings any? *grins*
Dante: It hurt like hell at first, p’tite. I honestly didn’t know what the fuck was happening. Caught me off-guard, for true.
Heather: *softly* Me too, Baptiste.
Von: Me three. But man, they look good on you—like they’ve always been a part of you. You were just a late bloomer, little brother. Now, once you learn a little grace . . . right now, you’re clumsy as sin with ‘em and funny as hell.
Dante: *snorts* That’s me, the evening’s entertainment. I wasn’t sure I liked them or wanted them. But, I’m adjusting and they’re starting to feel more natural. But I gotta admit, I love the rush of flying. Landings? *laughs* Not so much. But I’m learning.
Von: To my vast amusement. Thanks, man.
*another mutual exchange of extended middle fingers between Von and Dante*
PRA: *laughs & shakes head* What do you think about Dante’s wings, Heather?
Heather: They’re gorgeous and I’m getting used to them. I was caught off-guard at first, but, yeah, I’m liking them. A lot. *smiles at Dante*
PRA: I haven’t been to New Orleans yet but want to visit soon, what’s the first thing I should do when I get there?
Dante: Oh, hell, we gotta get to N’awlins, p’tite. The first thing you should do is head for the French Quarter, get yourself a big-ass hurricane at a to-go window and walk the Quarter and just drink it all in – the smells, the music, the madness of Bourbon Street, the stroll on down to the river.
Von: Then get yourself another big-ass drink and head over to Club Hell on St. Peter. *winks*
Heather: I think the first think you should do is go to the Café du Monde in the French Quarter—on Decatur Street—and have beignets and café au lait. It is to die for.
PRA: Do you have any idea what the evil author has in store for you guys next? *waves at Adrian* Hi, Adrian, you know I love you!
Adrian: *waves* Love you back!
Heather: I’m hoping we get a chance to catch our breath, relax a little, but . . .
Dante: We don’t know what’s in store. Yeah, a little quiet time would be appreciated for true.
Von: Damn straight.
PRA: Thanks for the great interview guys, and I wish you the best of luck!
Dante: Merci beaucoup, chère. It was a fun interview.
Heather: It was. Thanks so much for having us!
Adrian: Thanks for having us! Here’s a little more info about the books:
You can read a chapter from the book that started it all. Here’s a link to a sample chapter of A Rush of Wings.
With Book Four, Etched in Bone, Dante faces his destiny and searches for a way to accept it on his own terms. To make his life, his own, at long last, and with Heather at his side. The former FBI agent is more than his partner and lover, she is also his anchor, his beacon, guiding him back from the edge of madness when his shattered past rises up and swallows him. But in Heather’s human family awaits an unexpected enemy. One who could force Dante to choose his darkest destiny—as the Great Destroyer.
Etched in Bone was also a featured read for March on BN.com’s Paranormal and Urban Fantasy Book Club – which I’m very excited about.
Thanks so much for having me! It’s been a blast. You can also find me at:Website My blog Facebook Facebook Fan Page Twitter MySpace Goodreads
Dante's Club Hell Forum
Dante's Club Hell Yahoo Group
Pocket After Dark
Adrian is graciously offering a signed copy of anyone of her books, winner's choice, to one lucky reader!
To enter, just leave a question or comment for Adrian or one of the Maker's Song gang. Make sure to leave a way to contact you with your comment!
Giveaway will end at 11:59 pm on April 28th. One winner will be chosen at random using random.org and notified via email. Winner then has 48 hours to respond to winning notification before another winner is chosen. Open Internationally. Good luck!