We have a very special treat for you today. Have you ever seen a fire juggler? The way they can manipulate fire and the amazing way they display their talents can be mesmerizing. But I can promise you that all fire handlers you have seen in the past are nothing compared to ours. You see Ava here can start fires with her mind. She has complete control over what the fire does and she can put on quite a show if she wants. Now I do need to warn you that in her past Ava hasn’t always used her skills to entertain people. There was one time in her life where she did use it to hurt or more specifically kill others, but don’t worry she has promised that she will behave. But just to be on the safe side I wouldn’t make her mad.
In Ava’s story there was a time where her and some of her closest friends thought about running away and joining a circus but we convinced her that joining a carnival would be a lot more fun so she’s here to answer a couple of questions for us!
*Don’t forget to enter the grand giveaway for your chance to win 2 books featured during the Fall Carnival Event!!! Click HERE for your chance to win!*
DFT: Hi Ava thanks for joining us today. Would you mind telling us a little bit about yourself and your very special ability?
Ava: Mind telling you about my super-secret ability that makes people want to hunt me down and kill me? Or even better, sell me off to the highest bidder? Ah, thanks but no thanks. As far as everyone is concerned, I’m just like any other seventeen-year-old girl that lives in a small town and works in a used bookshop. I vehemently deny any wildly bizarre accusations that I can start fires with my mind or that I work for some sort of supernatural crime family. I mean, c’mon. A magical mafia? Like that’s believable.
DFT: As a firebug contracted by the Coterie you have had to do some things that you would rather not do, but if you refused the consequences were brutal for you and everyone you care about. If given the choice to live your life however you pleased what would you do? Where would you want to live?
Ava: You have a suspiciously large amount of information about me. What is your name? Who have you been talking to? I don’t know this “Coterie” that you speak of. As soon as I figure out some details, I plan on going to college—either online or somewhere close. To be honest, I traveled enough growing up and I prefer to stay close to my guardian, Cade, and my best friends Ezra and Lock.
DFT: Lock is an amazing guy that has the ability to talk and interact with trees. He is a member of the Coterie as well and has been one of your partners in crime since you joined. He takes care of you and Ezra and always makes sure you are safe. He also isn’t the type of person to sugarcoat things and he tells you how it is whether you want to hear it or not. As of right now I know that you consider Lock as just a friend, but I was wondering if you have ever fantasized about becoming more?
Ava: I’m totally not answering that question. Seriously, who have you been talking to? Is it Ezra? I bet its Ezra. He’s a meddler. Lock is my best friend. That’s it. Friend. Is it hot in here? Can we open a window? I need some air.
DFT: Ezra, the final member of your group, is just one of those guys you can’t help but love!!! With his model good looks and dashing personality it’s hard not to fall for him. He also has the ability to change into a fox which has come in handy a few times when you were on assignments for the Coterie. Out of all of Ezra’s qualities which one is your favorite?
Ava: Ezra is a pain in the…well, something that’s not really fit to print. Sure, he’s pretty and loyal and full of guile, but he’s also obnoxious and he can’t take anything seriously. And full of himself, for sure. But if you ever lock your keys out of your car, he can break into it in less than thirty seconds, and let me tell you, that is a handy skill to have. Also, if you ever lose your wallet, you can just ask him, because he probably has it. Unless you actually lost it, but then he will still probably know where it is. Ezra always knows where my wallet is. Always. He’s also a pretty good shot with a crossbow, which is a skillset I value in a friend.
DFT: Cade is everything you could ever want as a father figure. When he became your guardian after your mother died did you think he would treat you like his own child? Did you ever wonder if you were a unwelcome burden to him?
Ava: The thought never even crossed my mind. I’m sure I am a burden—any dependent can be classified as such. I’m a financial sinkhole, for one. Plus, taking on a teen girl who’s just suffered a trauma and has serious issues? That’s an undertaking, hoss. So yes, I am totally a burden in pretty much every way, but Cade would never, ever consider me one, nor would he treat me that way. I think anyone who’s spent any time with him knows that. Except maybe his parents. Those people are clueless.
DFT: Ryan is your very normal and very human boyfriend that had no idea you were a firebug. He is cute and charming but there were times when he definitely wasn’t the best boyfriend. What was it about him that you found so intriguing? Why did you try and date at all when you knew that any type of attachments could be used against you?
Ava: Why try and date? Because I’m not dead. You stay dateless your whole life and see how you like it. And I’m not talking about not getting a date, but refusing to ever go out with people. Saying no to fun. Never holding hands and all that romantic garbage. Even if you know it’s a bad idea, you’ll still do it unless you’re eyeing the priesthood as a future profession. Like any other human, I’m weak when it comes to gooey heart stuff. Yeah, Ryan’s not perfect, but he can be sweet. He’s pretty and funny, and to be honest, it’s not like I have a lot of people breaking down my door for a date. (Ezra would like me to state that I have my lovely personality to thank for that. Ezra can stuff it.)
So Ryan might not be perfect, but he had his upsides. Besides, I live in a small town. Slim pickin’s, you know?
DFT: There’s probably no one in this world that you despise more than Venus. She is the leader of the Coterie and quite a piece of work. Between the things she has made you do and the punishments she has inflicted on you it is pretty obvious that she is a cruel person. Do you think there was ever a time when she felt remorse for her crimes or do you think she is a just a villain at heart?
Ava: If and I want to stress that if, I knew what this Coterie was, or if I acknowledged knowing that the head of such a hypothetical underground crime organization existed, I’m sure I couldn’t speculate on her inner feelings of guilt. I could say that, were I to imagine her childhood, I could easily postulate that she wasn’t born but hatched from under a dark and slimy rock. But since I don’t know what you’re talking about, I can hardly say that she’s a stone-cold psycho, now can I? Nor could I put forth that her sidekick, Owen, is a few monkeys short of a circus, either.
DFT: Having the ability to create fire with your mind can be very dangerous, but I also imagine that it is also a pretty cool talent to have. What is your favorite part about being a firebug?
Ava: My hot chocolate never goes cold. It’s the little things.
I mean, you know, if such a thing as a firebug were real. Which it totally isn’t.
DFT: If you had the chance to visit a carnival similar to the one we are at today and just enjoy yourself what food would be on the top of your list to try?
Ava: I love fair food. Well, I love food, but especially fair food. Cotton candy? Check. Elephant ears? Yes, please. Carmel apple? Absolutely. I like the classic ones. None of this deep fried soda or anything like that. Freaking weird. I tried a deep fried Oreo once. It was okay. Not my favorite. Also, I went to this one fair where you could get corn. Fair corn is like the unicorn of fair foods. Rare. Majestic. And better with toppings.
Not that I would eat a unicorn. Because that is illegal. Yup. Totally against the law.
Unless you know a guy.
Which I don’t.
DFT: For our last question today I was wondering if you could possibly give us any hints as to what we can expect to see in your stories to come?
Ava: Psh, I don’t know the future. You should go to a seer for that kind of thing. The goods ones aren’t cheap, either. If they charge you any less than a hundred bucks a session, you walk. Anything less than that, you get a crappy future.
As far as my future goals…well, if such a thing as a Coterie exists (and I’m still denying that) then I suspect I would be one of those people that are in for life. Which limits my options to, “Ava, go there, find this person, and make sure they don’t see tomorrow.” I suspect my future adventures would be a lot like that. But hey, I have an elephant ear. I have fair corn. And Lock just bought Ezra some cotton candy so he’ll leave my food alone.
Which means Ezra is going to be hopped up on sugar.
Which means that in about fifteen minutes, this fair is going to get really entertaining. Jeez, Lock—you don’t give a fox sugar. Didn’t we learn that from the great taffy debacle of 2012? This is why we can’t have nice things!
Lish McBride was raised by wolves in the Pacific Northwest. It rains a lot there, but she likes it anyway. She spent three years away while she got her MFA in fiction from the University of New Orleans, and she liked that too, although the hurricane did leave much of her stuff underwater. Her main goal in going to college was to become a writer so she could wear pajamas pretty much all the time. She currently resides in Seattle, spending most of her time at her day job at Third Place Books in Lake Forest Park. The rest of her time is divided between writing, reading, volunteering at 826 Seattle, and Twitter, where she either discusses her desire for a nap or her love for kittens. (Occasionally ponies.)
She plays a fierce game of potato hockey, and by “fierce” she of course means that she plays dirty, not that she plays well.
Want to read more from Lish McBride?
Available September 23, 2014 from Henry Holt and Co/Macmillan
About this Book:
Ava is a firebug—she can start fires with her mind. Which would all be well and good if she weren’t caught in a deadly contract with the Coterie, a magical mafia. She’s one of their main hitmen . . . and she doesn’t like it one bit. Not least because her boss, Venus, killed Ava’s mother. When Venus asks Ava to kill a family friend, Ava rebels. She knows very well that you can’t say no to the Coterie and expect to get away with it, though, so she and her friends hit the road, trying desperately to think of a way out of the mess they find themselves in. Preferably keeping the murder to a minimum, in Lish McBride’s Firebug.
Click HERE to read an excerpt