Devil's Intern by Jayme Phelps Genre: Urban Fantasy
Anna Westfall is in her own personal Hell on Earth. After making a deal with the Devil she was sentenced to a place where she is loathed by Witches and Warlocks for being a soulless. So, when she then ends up on house arrest for beating up magical law enforcement, she’s had enough.
Now, all she wants to do is go back to her old life, and when her boyfriend tells her that there’s a way out she goes in search of answers. However, without any guidance she ends up messing the whole thing up. To make matters worse the Devil himself shows up with a new deal for freedom.
It all seems like smooth sailing until her new roommate decides to trade her own soul. Now Anna has to decide whether to save her friend or save herself. With new power comes new opportunity.
“Are you planning on leaving the couch today or are you going to continue to punish me for saving your ass from a prison cell?” Rachel grumbled as she picked up the half-eaten bowl of Ramen from the coffee table.
I shrugged my shoulders and stuffed a handful of potato chips into my mouth, chewing loudly in an effort to drown her out.
“It’s been a week, Anna. Have you even checked in at Idir?” she asked, dropping the bowl into the sink with a loud thunk. My stomach knotted with guilt as I recalled the last conversation I had with Matt before storming out after work a week ago. He had been sympathetic about my punishment, but had also chastised me for knocking out the stupid Guard Officer. I knew he was right—I had been acting out recently, but I had only done it to help out Rachel, so him giving me the third degree about it only pissed me off even more. I spent the last week in the same pair of pajamas on the couch in front of the TV as punishment. Now I had no idea who I was punishing anymore: Rachel and Matt, or myself.
Narrowing my eyes at her, I got up, leaving the bag of chips behind on the couch before stomping down the hall to the bathroom that, of course, had a tub with no shower. Just one of the many things that annoyed me about my new living situation. I filled the tub with hot water and climbed in to scrub myself clean, before I changed my mind about going to work after all. I knew Matt was probably not expecting me but would be happy to have me there nonetheless, so I finished quickly and snuck out the door while Rachel was in her room.
The house arrest spell she had placed on me the morning I moved in would send pain shooting through my body if I strayed from my path for more than a few minutes. It would also alert the temporary sigil on her arm if I went anywhere that was not work, so I was not worried about saying goodbye.
“Anna!” Nate hollered enthusiastically from behind the bar, causing Matt to come dashing in from the office. He wrapped me in a bear hug, not letting go until I returned the gesture.
“I’m so glad you’re back,” he said kissing me lightly on the forehead.
“Me too,” I sighed, surprising myself to find that it was not a lie. I had only been gone a week, but I already missed the comfortable routine of being behind the bar, pouring drinks.
“So, how are things with your new living situation?” Matt asked curiously as the sudden hearty laugh from behind him had us both turning toward Nate, both of us staring him down while he finished pouring Gus his drink.
“What? It’s not my fault you’re an awful roommate,” he said, putting both hands up as if to say, do not blame me.
“Seriously?” I asked, cocking my brow as I put a hand on my hip, daring him to continue.
“Hey, she called me,” he laughed. I whipped the nearest bar towel forward, catching his thigh with the end of it.
“Ow!” he growled, his eyes turning yellow for a split second, before he turned away from me. It was easy to forget that he was more than Human because he rarely let it slip, though he had grown comfortable enough with me over the past year to be off his guard.
Nate was an unaligned Wolf, one of only three in the city who kept a very low profile, thanks to prejudice from the Witches and Warlocks. The only one that knew what he really was, was Matt, and he had told me in confidence. There really was no one for me to tell, seeing as how I had no friends or ties other than him.
“That’s for being nosy,” I said through gritted teeth before striking at him once again. He danced away from me, barely dodging the end of the towel before Matt snatched it from my hand.
“Tell me you’re not being difficult, Anna,” Matt sighed. “She stuck her neck out for you. You could be in a cell right now,” he reminded me. His words were like a punch to the gut, but I knew deep down that he was right.
“I’m already in a cell!” I yelled throwing my hands in the air in exasperation. The bar was suddenly eerily quiet except for the dull drone of the television in the corner where Gus parked himself to watch the news. Matt grabbed me by the elbow and gave Nate an apologetic look before steering me toward the stairs in the back.
Jayme Phelps is a wife and a mother of three boys who works as a full time Educational Sign Language Interpreter. In her spare time she enjoys baking (specifically cupcakes), painting, and of course writing books!
She lives in Albuquerque New Mexico where the best time of year is the first week of October when the sky is filled with hundreds of hot air balloons, and the best food is smothered in Green chile.
What inspired you to write this book? I really wanted a piece of pie from a specific restaurant and jokingly told my husband “I would give anything for a piece of that pie.” That made me wonder if I would really give anything in that moment and what other people might consider important enough to give their soul for.
What can we expect from you in the future? A lot more books! I didn’t realize how many story ideas I had until I wrote the first one, and now they really don’t stop.
Do you have any “side stories” about the characters? Yes!!! I am working on a sort of “spinoff” series that follows some of the character form the same universe. I’m super excited about it because the two series together form an origin sort of story.
Can you tell us a little bit about the characters in Devil’s Intern? Well…Anna is a sort of bitter and spiteful character. She feels like she got the short end of the stick and wants to blame everyone except herself in the beginning. Stephan is her mentor and he wants Anna to do anything except what she’s doing. Silas, who is the Devil is only after one thing, souls. And Rachel is the friend that Anna didn’t want but ends up with anyway.
How did you come up with the concept and characters for the book? I’m fascinated with the idea of what people are willing to give in order to get what they want. The characters on the other had just developed as I needed them. It’s almost like my characters pop into the story fully formed and I just give them obstacles and see how they react.
Where did you come up with the names in the story? Truly I think that’s the worst part. Once I have a character they usually get a generic name and then once I know their personality I can give them something permanent.
What did you enjoy most about writing this book? Watching the characters come to life and make decisions that even I didn’t see coming. I feel like most of the time I’m just a conduit. I just write down the movie as it’s playing in my mind.
Tell us about your main characters- what makes them tick? Anna wants her life back, she wants to go back to the way things were and pretend that the world she’s in now is just a bad dream. Stephan wants as little to do with Anna as possible because he knows things that she does not and Rachel wants to take advantage of any situation that comes her way.
How did you come up with the title of your first novel? It’s just seemed logical for the direction of the novel.
Who designed your book covers? David Collins from DC cover creations.
If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book? I don’t think so. I feel like it ended up exactly how it was supposed to be.
Did you learn anything during the writing of your recent book? That writing a book is about a lot more than just putting words on a page. There’s an art to writing a novel that I think can only be learned from actually doing it.
If your book was made into a film, who would you like to play the lead? Emma Stone or Isla Fischer
Anything specific you want to tell your readers? Thank you! I hope you enjoy reading my book as much as I enjoyed writing it. It’s still crazy to me that people I don’t know personally are reading my story and enjoying it.
What is your favorite part of this book and why? Surprisingly the Devil, Silas, is my favorite part. He’s sensible and funnier than I expected him to be, especially for who he is. Even when he’s stern and serious he’s still fair and witty.
Are your characters based off real people or did they all come entirely from your imagination? They’re entirely from my imagination though I’m sure they have have characteristics from people I know in real life.
Do your characters seem to hijack the story or do you feel like you have the reigns of the story?
Convince us why you feel your book is a must read. My characters are definitely in control. I know where they will start and have a pretty good idea where they’ll end up, but they give the story life and direction. I just put the words on paper. I think that shows when you read the story, these characters are their own people, they’re as real as I am on this page. That’s what I love so much about them.
Have you written any other books that are not published? Yes, I have book two for this series written and it’s in the beta stage right now. I have also written book one of a series that runs parallel to this one that features some of the more minor characters from this series.
If your book had a candle, what scent would it be? Cinnamon, because it’s spicy like my characters, their adventures, and the alcohol they drink.
What did you edit out of this book? Nothing. I write pretty concisely so if anything there have been additions, but I didn’t have to edit anything out.
Is there a writer whose brain you would love to pick for advice? Who would that be and why? No, because I talk to other writers on a regular basis and I find that most are more than willing to talk about writing because it’s something we’re all passionate about, so we can talk forever about anything to do with it.
Fun Facts/Behind the Scenes/Did You Know?'-type tidbits about the author, the book or the writing process of the book. Devil’s Intern was requested by multiple publishers after just it’s first draft. Also, I like to write during Nanowrimo because my friends and I challenge each other to see how many words we can write each day. Book 2 of this series was written in 3 weeks because I’m competitive and I wanted to reach my goal before my friends did.
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