But! We're not here for that, are we? We're here to explore another Main Character who gave us some of their valuable time to give us an insight in their mind despite all their busy schedule given from their adventures!
|Such a strong gaze!|
Tonight's guest is Elle Deschampes, a lovely French potion-brewer for the Paris-based bar Folies Bergère. Oh, I might have to add that she comes from an alternate version of our Victorian (or as she would point out, Belle Epoque) era, where magic potions fuel tech, economy and the people of her world. She's a nice woman, caught into an odd job that puts her in contact with a mysterious and charming English man...
|Lovely smile, and lovely hat as well!|
She comes from Catherine Stein's novel "How to Seduce a Spy", a steampunk romance adventure book already available for preorder! You can pre-order it on:
Barnes & Nobles: https://bit.ly/2y7cCwg
Catherine is active on Twitter, where you can find her under her handle https://twitter.com/catsteinbooks , and you should totally follow her!.
She's on Facebook too! Go say hi! https://www.facebook.com/catsteinbooks/
And to top it all off, she has her own website as well! https://www.catsteinbooks.com/
But enough with the preambles, let's get right into the juicy stuff!
So! Here we are for another month of CharactersTell interviews! Last month has been a bit of a rough patch, but that doesn’t stop us from showcasing more and more characters!
And to do that, today we have another Main Character as our guest - would you please introduce yourself, your book and your author to us, please?
Hello. My name is Elle Deschamps. I am the heroine of the book “How to Seduce a Spy” by Catherine Stein. Glad to be here.
It’s a pleasure to have you here! Tell us a bit about you - where are you from? How was your life up to now?
I was born and raised in Paris, France. Up until the beginning of this book, I had lived there my entire life and had assumed I would continue living there indefinitely. I have been working as a barmaid, mixing magical potions at the Folies Bergère. It doesn’t pay well, but it pays better than some jobs. But recently, I’ve been asked to take on new work.
Ooooh! Magical potions, you say? So does magic exist in your world? It sounds like it might be pretty common if such potions are mixed in a bar…
Yes, magic exists in my world, though as far as I know, there is no magic outside of potions. We use potions for many things, from lighting lamps, to fueling vehicles, to all sorts of silly recreational uses. Few have real talent for mixing them well, so my abilities and those of the other barmaids are prized.
I see! Very interesting indeed...and what’s the sort of ‘timeframe’ you live in? Would you say it’s close to our modern world, or perhaps something a bit closer to the victorian era…?
Oh, we are certainly in what you call the Victorian Era. It is currently the year 1882, and Queen Victoria has been on the English throne for many decades now. In France you might call my time the Belle Époque, but there are British characters who will be with me on this journey, and they will, of course, prefer the term that uses the name of their queen.
Oh my, that’s such an interesting time! Are there any other sort of technologies that differ from our universe in that era? Here we have what is called ‘steampunk’...which tends to deal with that type of era but with certain elements to it that of course weren’t present. What about yours? Mysterious creatures? Odd tech?
No mysterious creatures that I know of, but we do use our potions very much like any technology. We have medicines and health potions (for those who can afford them) that can cure wounds and diseases that ought not be curable. And our potion-fuels allow us to drive steamcars instead of relying only on horse-drawn vehicles. We do have things I think you are familiar with, such as electricity, but we do not use it much. We can instead light our buildings with potion lamps. Sadly, I cannot afford steamcars and potion lamps. Those are the technologies of the wealthy. And with the magic serum that powers our potions strangely scarce of late, they might even begin to lose those things.
So there seems to be quite the difference in socioeconomic classes… Is there any unrest due to the sharp difference between the wealthy and the not-so? Or is there some form of either help or...distraction for the masses to avoid an uprising?
Well, the poor are always hungry for some of what others have. At the moment these inequalities are having a strange effect on my own life. I have been asked to help search for serum, and to do that I will need to pose as a wealthy woman and work alongside men of that social class. I am not accustomed to their ways, and I do not think they are particularly accustomed to mine.
I can imagine there might be quite the culture shock, if the two sides don’t interact much. Speaking of your current predicament… the title of the book seems to suggest a lot of skullduggery and shadowy adventures - is that the case? Are you finding yourself thrown headfirst in the world of spycraft?
My primary companion is a British man named Henry Ainsworth. He’s highly secretive and always seems to have a sort of nervous energy about him. He was in the army for many years, and they say that he has been sent along to be my bodyguard, but I am both suspicious and curious. We seem to be rushing headlong into adventure and danger, and I will have to watch and learn from him. The man who hired me, a Lord Westfield, seems to believe we can avoid such adventures, but that is only wishful thinking on his part.
And...let’s be honest, is the suspicion winning or the curiosity? How do you feel about the turn your life took? Would you prefer to go back mixing potions, or does this new venue of adventures excite you?
You have found me out. The curiosity is certainly winning out. I mean to not only do this job of finding serum and helping relieve the lack of potions, but to find out who Henry really is and why he is so… fascinating, I suppose. I am somewhat apprehensive about the potential danger of our situation, but I do not wish to be back at the bar. My dream is to use the money I earn from this job to open my open potion shop, but I do not know if it will be enough.
If it will be enough money, or if it will be enough for you to be satisfied after you see the end of this adventure?
Oh, if it will be enough money. I know it will be enough to satisfy me. It is all I’ve ever wanted, really. Except for a family of my own, I suppose. Sometimes that seems even less likely to happen.
But… we all know that sometimes, in this sort of environment, danger lurks around - are you equipped to face it?
I know how to make defensive potions, and I have been taking care of myself for some time now. I am not some wilting upper-class lady, and I will manage, danger or no. Besides, I’m quite sure that Henry has exceptional skills in that regard. Perhaps I can convince him to teach me something of his business.
Oh my, that would be quite intriguing if you manage to pry some of his teachings out of him! Anyway...I’m afraid we’re running out of time for tonight! Is there anything you’d like to tell our audience?
Only that my author assures me that in all romance novels, even adventurous fantasy ones like this, we are guaranteed a happy ending. So I hope that will make the readers happy. Though, really, I’m having a difficult time envisioning such a scenario for a lowly barmaid.
You never know… I’m sure your author has something special in mind for you! Anyway, thanks a lot for taking your time and speak with us tonight! I can’t wait to see you in “How to Seduce a Spy”!
Thank you. It was my pleasure.
And that's it for tonight!
As always, let me remind you that you can get YOUR characters interviewed on this blog by sending me a direct message on Twitter, or sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org to get yourself sorted in one of our slots!
And certain Patreon tiers get a reserved spot as well!
With that said, the only thing left is to wish you a lovely evening! See you next time~