I want to welcome LJ Deleon to the blog today. An author of a wonderful new romantic urban fantasy series, the Warriors for Light, she’s here to interview one of her most endearing characters in the first three books, Fritz. A gargolye with a mysterious and regal past, he brings insights to the major characters and circumstance of the the first book, Warrior’s Rise.
Warrior’s Rise blurb: For Fae-human half-breed Deva Morgan, life as she knows it changes on her thirtieth birthday. One moment she’s a barkeep, the next she is a warrior fated to save Earth from the Dark Lord and his demon horde. Shunned by both her races, she faces a danger-filled quest with few allies. Too bad her powers haven’t fully emerged or stabilized.
For Deva it is life or death, on-the-job training with her companion, Padraig O’Neal, a Fae warrior with a shadowed past. Can he quiet the storm raging inside her, help her harness the growing power within her, and provide a barrier between Deva and a fatal outcome? Will their love be enough to save Deva and stop the Dark Lord’s demons from entering Earth?
LJ: Mr. Fritz, you’ve known the current Holy Weapon of the Goddess, Deva Morgan, personally for some time now. Can you tell how that first meeting came about and what you think of Deva’s progress?
Fritz: Come on LJ, you’ve known me your entire life. Call me Fritz. Mister makes me feel so old.
LJ: Fritz, you are old, older than dirt.
Fritz: He rolls his eyes. Not nice, LJ. As for Deva, I met her twelve years ago on her eighteenth birthday. She was all legs. (He shakes his head and chuckles.) Sometimes, she looked more like a windmill than a black belt in Aikido. Reserved and self-conscious, she had insecurities about being a half-breed—Fae and human—around all supernaturals. Most humans and supes aren’t nice to people who are different.
While her protection team loved her and nurtured her as a younger sibling, the loss of her father when she was twelve left a large hole in her life. I like to think I stepped into that role. She saw the real me beneath the gargoyle, and I saw a tough, little warrior desperate for acceptance. Over the past year or so, she’s grown into a leader. One capable of making the heartbreaking choices her role requires. Her mate, Padraig, is the perfect balance for her, unconditional love yet willing to tell her the truth, force her to face what’s before her, before all of us.
LJ: You were also around for the rule of the first Holy Weapon, Grace. Why do you think her reign failed and how can Deva, a half-breed, succeed in her place? Come on, Fritz, just because you’re a gargoyle doesn’t mean you have to go all stony-faced on me.
Fritz: Grace talked the talk of the Light, but never walked the walk. She was born to the role. Yes, she grew up with the Fae, but she was hIfreann born, a child of angelic priviledge. Her beauty hid a selfish core and she was loyal to only one being—Grace. I and nine other Seraphim were her bodyguards. Behind the power and austere beauty, Grace was a racist. To that end, she created Otherworld, separating the supe from the human norms, or monkeys as she called them. That was the beginning of her downfall and ended with a grab for total power and overthrow the Goddess.
Fritz’s grim expression clears and a small smile plays at the corner of his lips. Now Deva, she’s special. Unlike Grace’s exterior beauty, Deva is quick to laugh, and shines from deep in inside her with the Light. She glows. Her aura is love, with a core of steel I knew the moment I met her she was the true child born to be the next Cáidh Arm..
LJ: Your role in Warrior’s Rise indicates you have a darker history in the battle of Dark against Light, that you’ve lived through the battles between Dark and Light before. How do you see this war as different and what are the key strategies the new Holy Weapon and her mate have to achieve to win the war?
Fritz: I fear this war is about more than the Dark Lord and his minions. Raziel, King of the Seraphim, seeks retribution for acts of betrayal Grace committed. Human norms and supes have evolved in the last ten millennia, perhaps not for the better. Back then, everyone recognized evil and understood magick. Much has been lost in this age of technology. Yet, I see hope. With Deva as the Cáidh Arm, the Light has a chance to beat back the Abyss and forage a new and brighter path. But as with everything in life, it won’t be without cost.
LJ: In your ‘objective observer’ role, do you find Deva and Padraig to be well suited to each other? What does she offer him that he’s never experienced? And what does Deva bring to Padraig’s life that makes her special—aside from great sex and being soul-mates, because honestly, just because fate decided two people should be together doesn’t mean they’ll actually are good for each other! LOL
Fritz: LOL! LJ, get your mind out of the bedroom or wherever it is. Deva accepts Padraig, draws him out of his self-contained shell and makes him, for lack of a better expression, human. Although at first, I thought they would kill one another. Fate may have decided they belonged together, but neither one would deviate from their mission. Padraig, like every supe or Fae, was raised to think the Cáidh Arm’s role required purity, virginity and that he couldn’t touch, much less love, the woman. The last thing Deva considered in her role was a man at her side. Her focus was riveted to saving Earth from the Dark Lord, with her team at her side. Those two went through their own hell figuring out the Goddess’ true purpose. Praise the Goddess it all worked out.
LJ: What do you feel is the most important key to winning the war?
Fritz: Prepare for the worst. There’s always the threat of Grace—no one born in hIfreann can harm her. But for now the army must prevent the Dark Lord from escaping from the Abyss.