As part of the promotion for the release of Coffee... Hot, several of the authors took turns interviewing each other. You can read the previous interview between Rebecca Croteau and me at on Rebecca's blog.
For my turn, I got to interview the fabulous Avery Vanderlyle about her story Drink to Seal The Bond
1. I love the idea of this place where werecivets, fairies, vampires, and all sorts of other creatures mix and drink the enchanted brew. What gave you the inspiration for the story?
A few years ago I'd tried my hand at an urban/contemporary fantasy novel. I wrote about a quarter of it and decided it would need another six drafts before it would be any good so I put it on the back burner. But I'd started setting up rules about the world: I knew there were Changelings who were Fay exiled from their homeland and I knew there were were-creatures of all types.
So I decided to build up the world through some short stories. "Drink to Seal the Bond" is actually the second story set in this universe. The first is "Mirrors, the Moon and the Boy" published in Storm Moon Press' Forgotten Menagerie anthology. But in that story, the were/shifter character is isolated. I wanted to explore one of these weres within her community.
In "Drink to Seal the Bond," the process of creating the brew, starting with the swallowing of the coffee fruits, is a communal rite of passage. And the celebration that is going on when Lou enters the building is also a communal celebration. Can't get more communal than an orgy.
So were-animals, coffee, sexy community celebration - that all came together. On the other hand you have Lou, who is isolated and looking desperately for partnership, friendship, community. Giving the brew magical abilities is the glue that brings these two together.
2. Have you ever had the opportunity to try Kopi Luwak?
No, I haven't. I was doing some research on it, and there's debate if it's really good coffee or if it's some kind of a fad. I don't know anything about coffee, so that was interesting to discover.
I was also saddened to learn that many places that produce it are essentially factory farms. The civets are in cages and they're fed so much coffee fruit that their diet and health suffer. I hope anyone who's a Kopi Luwak fan checks on the conditions in which it's produced.
3. Your bio says you enjoy playing D&D. So let's say that the last character you played was given the chance to drink the werecivet brew. Would they, and if so, what would they be seeking?
That's a great question. One character I'm playing is a monk, which for those not familiar with Dungeons and Dragons is a martial artist, with maybe a little bit of a philosophical bent but not necessarily a religious person. Her name is Ariana and she's from a noble family. She grew up very sheltered, but the estate steward knew martial arts and trained her. Then she was about to be married off to a man much older than her so she ran away. Not a unique origin story, but I have fun with her naiveté . But she's reckless enough to want to drink the brew, even knowing it might have unpredictable consequences.
She's definitely trying to find her place in the world, and if she could drink the brew that's what she'd want to know: how do I find my place in the world? Is there somewhere physically I should go? Someone I should meet? How will I know when I'm in the right place?
Questions we all have, really.
4. Last one, How do you like your coffee?
It's sacrilegious, given this anthology, but I don't drink coffee. I love chocolate-covered espresso beans, though. And my spouse makes a great candy with coffee beans, dark chocolate and coconut. So I like my coffee in candy, rather than in the cup.
To learn more about me and my writing, people can check out my blog at https://averyvanderlyle.wordpress.com/
Be sure to check out the next segment of the interview on Avery's blog in a few days when she interviews Greer!
And pick up Coffee Hot, from Circlet Press, Amazon, or wherever you like to buy your ebooks!