Dear readers, tonight with me is half-demon, Tazia of Savoy.
After a century and a half of servitude, she’s finally managed to shake off her shackles and wants to celebrate her freedom. But a psycho angel has interrupted her plans, and instead of a life of tequila on the beach, she’s been forced into an alliance to save the demon who was her jailer.
With a father in Hell, a dead lover, and a demon gangster on her tail, Tazia is here to tell us of her complicated life.
Erm, Tazia, tell us a little about where you grew up. What was it like there?
Seriously? It was a hot stinking cesspit of a place where the melted fat of the dead ran down the walls and mixed on the floor with the blood of my father’s victims. Surprise! It was actually hell–in Hell. I was brought up in the Cells of Permanent Incarceration until I was thirteen years old when my father sealed up my soul with magical tattoos to cut me off from my humanity. The Red River flowed less than half a mile from my door. Most of the times I was chained to the wall. Fun times! Just cos I’m a half-demon doesn’t mean I wouldn’t have liked a comfy chair or clean clothes occasionally. Things are better now. I have my own place in Turin. And Netflix. I like Netflix–Billy hacked it for me. Though, that Supernatural show makes me laugh my arse off. Salt? Really? Ha!
Not sure I should ask this… Did you have any favourite toys as a child? I’m so sorry, I’m just reading what’s here…
My first toy was my knife. I love my knife. Got it when I was eight. It’s a Bowie. Come closer, I’ll show it to you.
That’s fine. No really, I can see it from here. So, what do you do now?
If I told you, I’d have to kill you. No, seriously. I would. Why the f*** are you laughing?
I’m laughing with you, not at you…
Do you see me laughing?
No. Sorry. What can you tell us about your latest adventure?
I seem to have got myself caught up in a little situation. There’s a very very bad angel. My father doesn’t seem to be as entirely dead as I thought. My sort-of lover, Soren, wants me dead. And I have to go hunt down a Celtic mercenary demon who can free my soul and save the world. He’s a bit of a looker, actually. The whole deal is very complicated. Sucks being me. And you, frankly. Cos if I fail, you will NOT be partying.
How did you get into this… situation ?
Finally, a good question. Before my father was a bad-arse vampire, he was a murdering medieval Abbot (weird image, right? Brown cassock flying, blood dripping from his hands, entrails spewing from his many enemies.) He ruled Turin with a rod of iron. And me. He ruled me. Got me running around the world doing all this bad stuff for him. Made me into his foot soldier. Then he got the option to become Satan’s right-hand man. First he had to die, like really this time. Not to come back in demon form, but to stay in Hell. Doornail dead. Then I would finally be let off my leash–at least that’s what I thought at the time. I’m not so sure now. So I did what he told me, but I didn’t get the freedom I wanted. No tequila on the beach. No skipping into the sunset. Now I’m the puppet of a queen-b*tch psycho angel. And thus, the whole quest thing, find the mercenary demon, yadda, yadda. It is the veritable hero’s journey, but in this case the heroine (that’s me) has bad hair, a bad attitude, and taste for blood. Literally.
What’s the scariest thing you’re facing right now?
No internet? Sorta demon dystopian world, rising demons, industrial cities going to wrack and ruin. The governments tend to keep the networks to themselves these days. The rest: the dirt, the fighting, the pain, the monsters jumping out from street corners. I’m used to that.
What is the worst thing about it?
Birds. Everywhere. Bloody birds. And no one knows whose side they’re on, but they’re reporting in to someone, I’m sure of it…
Is there any good stuff?
You’re really not listening are you? Demons. Angels. Death. Blood. Pain. END OF THE WORLD!
Okay, okay. Well, what about your friends? Do you – erm – have any?
I have friends! Well, I have one friend. Billy Nadig. He’s the best of men. He had a bit of a rocky start in life, just like me, but now he’s a multi-millionaire living in this cool flat in London. He has a bit of a way with the ladies (and the men, actually) and would really like to get to know me better (if you know what I mean). But I respect him way too much for that. And also, DEMON! It’s not fair to lead him into that world. He’s human. Anyway, he helps me with any tech issues (he’s a technomancer–magically charms computers, satellites, anything with a computer chip, in fact). It’s very helpful. He also provides me with a bolt hole when I need to hide. Which is fairly often, in my line of business–
What exactly is your line of business again…
We’ve covered this. Do you really want to die?
No! Okay, let’s get personal. Any romantic involvement?
I have–had–a lover. I sorta killed him. Or, at least, I tried. He’s a bit pissed. Enough said. He has this amazing ability to not stay dead, or even injured for very long–
Almost magical you might say?
YOU might say…
He’s an ex-soldier. We bonded on the range. Cleaning our M-50s after target practice. Damn sand got everywhere. It was romantic. He sucked, of course. Said the sight was off. Right! I think he had hearts and f**kin’ flowers in his eyes.
You saying I’m easy?
No, it’s just you mentioned the Celtic demon guy…
He’s attractive. Name of Conn O’Cuinn. Sort of a Colin Farrell type, with eyes. Nice eyes. We’ll see. I’m a little busy saving the world, right now.
Whom (or what) do you really hate?
Hate requires more energy than I have to spare, to be honest. I don’t even hate my father. I’ve tried. But, meh! I’m more, just, numb when it comes to thinking about him. I have enemies of course. This angel, the High Advocate, the one who has got me caught up in this latest nightmare, doesn’t seem to be someone I should trust, but my choices are limited at the moment.
But aren’t angels supposed to be the good guys?
Ha! You really don’t know my world at all. Things here are never black and white. It’s not even a “shades of grey” situation. It’s black, blacker, and blackest. Angels are the warriors of God. Incredibly strong, better soldiers than any demon. They can freeze time, burn out hearts just by touching someone, and generally make life–all life–miserable. Only an angel can kill another angel, did you know that?
No, I didn’t. Okay, let’s lighten it up. What’s your favourite drink, colour, and relaxing pastime?
Tequila. Purple. Poker. I like all board games, too. And online gaming. It’s how I met Billy.
What does the future hold for you?
I take my life one day at a time. Who knows if I’ll still be alive tomorrow? I think I’ve got a few hard times coming up. A lot of fighting to get through. Just got that feeling, you know? A hunch. Billy’s having dreams. Weird stuff. Not sure where that’s going – but it’s going somewhere. Soren, too. He’s had a hard life, and I don’t think I’ve made it any better for him. I do feel a bit bad. If he catches up with me, we’re gonna have fireworks.
Hey, I’m bored. You get one more question. Shoot.
Oh, right. Well, can you share a secret with us, which you’ve never told anyone else?
There are a 1,000 secrets about me. I’ve lived for 150 years. A girl gets things done in that time. Some things she probably wishes she hadn’t. A certain dossier holds clues to a lot of my secrets, and the people that put it together don’t even know what they’ve got in there. If they did, the whole world would’ve changed by now. Seriously. There are ways you can get hold of it, and can follow the clues. And, maybe, the story will be told one day…
S M Henley was brought up in an English seaside town singing to Echo and the Bunnymen and worshiping Siouxsie Sioux. Initially she wrote fan-fiction in the worlds of others until her own characters screamed so loud her books were born. She now lives in rural Alberta, Canada, with more pets than people. Where everyone is friendly, winters are long, cheese is bright orange, and the occasional moose wanders through her yard.
Sue writes Urban Fantasy through Horror. The Urban Fantasy is darker than average. It’s gritty, character driven stuff, fast action plots notwithstanding. It dips a toe into dystopia, splashes blood freely, and features various creatures from the supernatural world as well as some pretty cool humans. Her Horror is darker. Paranormal elements intertwine with psychologically driven plots. Characters run from flawed to freaky. Settings are realistic. Atmospheres are claustrophobic. Blood is optional.
You can find Tazia on the pages of the (completed) Written by Birds trilogy.
Join us next week to meet a foul-mouthed cynical mercenary, out to kill the debauched emperor. Please follow the site by email (bottom-right) to be notified when the next interview is posted.