by Suzanne Johnson
Release Date: November 22nd, 2012
Drusilla Jaco took a break from chasing down pretes (preternaturals) who’ve crossed the borders from the Beyond into modern New Orleans to chat about life and love as a wizard, and what it’s like to be one of the very few female wizards to hold the job of sentinel.
What’s the hardest part of your job as sentinel?
Well, since Hurricane Katrina tore down the borders between New Orleans and the Beyond, all the rules have changed. Before, if a prete like a vampire or a member of the historical undead came across into the city, I could just pack their happy asses back to the Beyond. Now, they’re negotiating treaties with the wizards and as long as they can mainstream with humans and don’t kill anybody, I have to do things like compromise and negotiate. (Sighs.) I hate that.
Do you feel like a trail-blazer? You’re one of only a very few female wizards to ever hold the job of sentinel.
Not really. I mean, most days I’m just trying to stay alive—or out of the wizards’ Elders’ doghouse. They seem to feel I’m a little, shall we say, entrepreneurial in my methods. Which is patently ridiculous, of course.
What are you most afraid of?
Losing someone else that I care about. The years since Katrina have been rough, and it has been hard for me to trust anyone and learn to care about someone again. Oh, and elves. I’m afraid of elves. And zombies.
Have you ever met an elf or a zombie?
I met an elf recently and he scared the crap out of me. One minute he’s this nice, middle-aged, suburban-looking dude, and the next his mind is burrowing into mine like a ground squirrel hiding an acorn. I haven’t met a zombie. I don’t want to. Although my partner Alex gave me a grenade just in case one shows up at my house. He swears grenades are the best things to use against zombies. I bet an elf wouldn’t fare well with a grenade either.
You know that the elven staff you found after the hurricane, the one you call Charlie, is attracting the elves’ attention, don’t you?
Uh, you think? I know I should quit using Charlie but that staff gives my physical magic a big boost—it’s like being a nerdy ritual-magic wizard and a kickass physical-magic wizard at the same time. The best of both worlds. As long as the elves don’t bother me, I won’t bother them.
How kickass can you be if you can’t aim the staff? I mean, so far you’ve burned part of your coffee table, zapped your ceiling fan into oblivion, and…let’s see…oh yeah, you set fire to the Louisiana wetlands. You shoot like a girl.
I could try it on you. Bet I wouldn’t miss.
Okay, changing the subject. Jean Lafitte.
Is that a question?
What’s between you and the undead French pirate?
We’re friends. Well, not exactly….We’re colleagues in…well, no. I have no idea what we are.
You went on a dinner date with him.
Yes, and it turned out so well. (Rolls eyes.)
Will there be more dates?
(Sighs.) I’d like to say no, but somehow my common sense seems to fly out the window when the pirate walks in the door. I mean, you’ve seen the pirate, right? And heard that sexy accent?
Who’s your least favorite person?
I like everyone. Hey—what’s that look for? Oh, okay. I’m currently very unhappy with Adrian Hoffman, the speaker of the Elders. He’s an insufferable jerk and… don’t get me started. I’m also keeping an eye on my new neighbor Quince Randolph. He’s dating my best friend Eugenie, but there’s something totally off about that guy and I can’t figure it out.
Is he human?
Let’s just say he bears watching.
Watching him won’t be too unpleasant—he’s hot, isn’t he? Tall, blond, built like a swimmer?
He can be hot and still be a jerk who’s up to something.
A quick word-association game before we go. I’ll say a word and you say the first thing that comes to mind:
You realize you’re describing their eye color, right?
Fine. New Orleans: Home
Jazz: Louis Armstrong. I miss the undead Louis—might need to call him up soon.
Elves: Sneaky bastards
Loup-Garou: (long pause) Guilt.
Love: (longer pause) Gotta go. There’s a goblin wandering the Quarter and those guys just can’t mainstream. Later, gator!