I recently had the privilege of interviewing Courtney Cole, author of the YA Bloodstone Saga: Every Last Kiss & Fated, and the novel Princess. Here’s a little glimpse into the writing life of Courtney Cole:
I approached the end of the hall and I found myself facing a door. Light seeped from under it and I edged closer cautiously. Silently, I opened it just a little and peered inside. The first thing I noticed were a thousand candles floating throughout the room from ceiling to floor. Their soft glow surrounded three cloaked figures and Ahmose.
But Ahmose is who held my attention.
The ancient priest was suspended in mid-air, his face contorted in agony. I couldn’t see what they were doing to him—their hands were not physically on him, but he was obviously in excruciating pain. He writhed and turned in mid-air, but stubbornly refused to even whimper. I could clearly see though, the effort that it cost him. Sweat poured in rivulets from his forehead and his jaw was clenched tightly closed. A tiny muscle in his cheek ticked as he stared down at his attackers.
“You dared to defy us?” A hissing voice asked and I closed my eyes. There was so much malice in the voice that the mere sound of it scared me. I felt my thighs tremble as I hovered quietly outside the door. I couldn’t stand not knowing, though, so I opened my eyes again.
Ahmose remained silent, hanging limply in the air like a long, black dishtowel.
“Answer me!” the voice hissed and Ahmose straightened his body out with a harsh groan. Clearly, they were torturing him somehow. Mental agony? It was though he was stretched on an invisible rack. I could tell each time they inflicted pain on him only by the way he held his body.
“I did what was right,” he muttered limply, as his body slumped once again. A thin stream of blood flowed out of his ear and dripped onto his dark robes and I flinched.
“How dare you think you can decide what is right!” another hooded figure asked venomously.
There were three of them. Like the Fates. But their voices were not familiar. The Keres? They were small and hunched, but apparently lethal. I frantically tried to decide what to do, but ultimately, I knew that there was nothing. I wasn’t physically here.
I peered into the room once again and this time, found Ahmose staring directly at me, his black eyes drilling into mine. I clasped a hand over my mouth and his gaze never faltered. It was as though he was piercing my soul with it. I knew, in that moment, that he had summoned me here. He wanted me to witness this. For that reason only, I forced my eyes to remain open.
His feet were shaking, probably from pain, as he dangled like a rag doll in the air. Blood was seeping from the corners of his eyes now, as well as his ear and I desperately wanted to turn away, but his gaze held me immobilized.
“You will not win,” he finally uttered to them with great effort. “She won’t allow it.”
The three figures huddled around him and then stepped backward.
“But we will,” the figure replied. “She can’t stop us.”