Interview with Kelly McGinnis
Kelly McGinnis is the awesome character from the novel, No Good Deed, and has dropped by TeamNerd Reviews to chat about what readers can expect and to get to know her a little better.
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Annabell: Tell us a bit about yourself.
Kelly: I'm really just a regular woman with two great kids and a fabulous husband. I know it probably sounds a little touchy-feely after everything that's happened, but it's just the way it is. Whatever else I do, I'm a wife and mother first.
Annabell: How did you feel about Bill writing a series centered around your life? How do you feel about being portrayed as a heroine?
Kelly: I'll be honest, the attention is flattering, but at the end of the day I don't think I've done anything any other woman in my position wouldn't do. I don't care what it is, but you do what you have to do to keep your family safe. Period.
Annabell: What’s it like being a demon hunter?
Kelly: Not what I expected, I can tell you that much. I mean, before taking that shortcut down the alleyway, I'd never given demons or magic or any of it a thought; that was all make-believe stuff from movies and books.
After the alley, though, everything changed -- obviously -- but I still had no idea what was going on. I mean, I got all starry-eyed by the base and the team and the cool toys, and I started thinking it was fun -- even that first toad-thing was a rush -- but Suni and Sophia were right all along. I was completely out of my depth; I just didn't know it.
See, I've always been able to pretty much handle myself, and once I got my head around demons being real and all, it seemed a no-brainer: Find a demon, shoot it dead, right?
See the problem? I'm not saying Denis is a liar, not outright, anyway, but Gernish is no better, and then there's Umber, but he's a demon, right? This is what I meant when I said it's not what I expected.
Annabell: Is it harder juggling a family or taking down a demon?
Kelly: Juggling family is way harder. Hands down. Demons are more dangerous, sure, but harder? Not even close.
You want to know what's really hard? Lying.
I'm no saint, no question, but I've never lied to my family before. Well, okay, I lied a lot (and I mean a LOT) growing up, but never to Shawn and never to my kids (Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny don't count -- though if demons exist, who knows, right?).
My point being, I can deal with demons and I can deal with guns and magic and sadistic, psychotic bastards who actually make these monsters from Hell look like saints. All that I can handle. I don't fully understand it, but I can handle it.
Lying to my family, though, is killing me.
Annabell: What was your favorite thing to learn when you were training to become a demon hunter?
Kelly: Okay, yeah, that last answer was a bit heavy (true, though). Anyway, my favorite thing about the training? Well, the magic was definitely something, but if I'm totally honest, it was really nice to use a shotgun again. I'd forgotten what it was like. It's been probably 20 years since I've touched one, but it all came back so quickly, like riding a bike. I think I surprised Suni, too, which wasn't a bad thing.
Annabell: How did you feel meeting an Incubus?
Kelly: Oh, I'm still totally mixed up about him. I mean, no offense to Shawn, but Umber's the most perfect-looking man I've ever seen -- except for the tail, of course, but even that's kind of attractive on him, somehow -- but that's because he was made that way. It's what he is. That doesn't make him any less amazing, but I have to keep reminding myself of it whenever I think of him (which is more often than I'd care to share). Everything he told me might be true, but like I said before, he's a demon. From Hell. How can you trust that?
And yet, I do. It's totally crazy.
Annabell: What do you think is your greatest strength and your greatest weakness?
My greatest strength is my love for my family. Their support and happiness are my rocks, my foundation, and I will do anything and everything to make sure they are safe and happy.
I was going to say they're my greatest weakness, too, but that's not really fair or true. My real greatest weakness is that I apparently really like danger. Like the way I said my favorite part of training was using a shotgun again? Or actually enjoying the fight with the giant toad-thing? That kind of stuff. I'd forgotten how exciting it was doing stupid things as a kid, but it's the same thing, basically.
God help me when the kids grow up.
Annabell: How did you and Shawn meet? What was your first date like?
Kelly: We actually met in high school, Freshman Year, but we didn't really get to be friends until Junior Year, when we were both on the Yearbook, but even then I was looking elsewhere. It wasn't until the summer after college that we started seeing each other. We didn't actually 'date', though. He started hanging out at the Tasty Freeze where I was working at the time and it all just kind of went from there. Maybe not the most romantic story, but it certainly worked for me.
Annabell: What’s one of your favorite parts about being a mother?
Kelly: Only one? That's tough. I suppose I'd have to say smiles. Not the laughter or the goofy grins or any of that, though those are great too, but I'm talking about the little smiles, the ones that still sometimes happen when they first see me in the morning or that slide across their faces as they drift off at night. The ones that say 'we love you, Mom', without needing to say it.
I'm sure that'll stop happening in a year or two, but so far, that's what I love most about being a mother.
Annabell: What’s some advice you could give to young girls who feel inadequate just because they aren’t a size zero?
Kelly: Oh, I've got (quite) a few choice words about this for people in advertising, but most of them aren't exactly family-friendly.
For the girls, though? Be strong. I wish I had a 'magic bullet' answer, but I don't. I'd love to tell you that you are beautiful -- and I'd be right -- but I know you're not going to believe it right now; I know I didn't when I was younger. I can only hope you've got parents and friends and role models who never stop telling you how wonderful you are. Something else I really didn't have.
Annabell: Random Fun:
Favorite flavored coffee
Kelly: Not too picky, really, but it needs to be strong.
Most embarrassing moment from No Good Deed:
Kelly: Working out with Mario that first time. I knew I wasn't in shape, but proving it in front of that little Adonis wasn't doing anything for my self-esteem.
Would you ever go whitewater rafting?
Kelly: I'd love to, but the kids are still too young, but definitely when they're old enough.
If you could create the perfect day of relaxation, what would that day include? Would you go anywhere?
Kelly: Perfect relaxation? I'm not sure I even know what that would be like. Love to find out, though!
Favorite type of shoes
Kelly: For proper shoes, it would be Dansko's, definitely. They feel great and they're not ridiculously high or narrow or pointed or anything like that. They're not exactly cheap, though, so I've only got the one pair of adorable little black jobs and they usually only come out for special occasions.
For my absolute fave, though, there's my Converse All-Stars that I've had since high school, which are just the best, even though they're as ratty as can be, or -- as I prefer to call them every time Shawn tries to get me to chuck them -- well-loved.
Sneak Peek Into No Good Deed
"Last time," I say, riding the bravado and pointedly not thinking about what might come next. "Where’s my friend?"
"I don’t know." His voice is still warm, with a slight timbre to it. The kind of voice you could get lost in.
"Get him back here."
"Who are you?"
"Look!" I shake the gun. "I’m the lady with the big gun pointed at your face, remember? Get him back!"
"Will you shoot me again?" He spreads his arms wide. "Defenseless and chained as I am?"
I aim at his legs.
"Typical." He raises his arms beside him as his wings unfold, the torn one only half-extended, with the wounded end hanging almost to the floor.
I keep the gun on him, but this definitely doesn’t feel right. He’s defenseless, and I already shot him once like that. Another mind game? I bite my lip hard, bringing blood, but nothing else changes.
He stands crucified in front me, proud and angry, but strangely calm, as if I’m barely worth bothering with.
Now what? I look around, then point my elbow at Marianne and Rachel. "Fix my friends."
"To what end? You’ll kill me, either way."
"No, I won’t."
He sighs. "Don’t patronize me."
"No, really! I don’t want to kill you! I just . . . I just . . . ." I exhale loudly in frustration. I’ve shot him three times, already. "Look, just get my people back, okay?"
He looks at me for a moment, the anger replaced by a vague confusion. "Who are you?"
I look down the barrel of the shotgun at him, pinned to the floor, more handsome than is possible, with a hole in his wing that I made. He has wings.
I shake my head. "I’m nobody. I’m confused. I don’t know. I’m obviously the wrong person doing the wrong job." I shake my head again. "You’re probably messing with my mind just like you did the others, so nothing makes sense and I’m gonna end up sitting on the floor with a stupid grin on my face waiting to be turned into lunch. Dammit."
His wings slowly fold back and he lowers his arms.
I point the gun again. "Don’t!"
"My name is Umber." His husky voice is calm between us, and his eyes never leave mine. "I am an incubus, and I am made for enjoyment. My touch is ceaseless pleasure and my kiss is blind ecstasy. I can be whatever you desire. I am fantasy made flesh."
Umber. I can feel the blood pounding in my ears and my lungs are working overtime. His dark eyes compel me and I can actually feel something between us, almost physical, a deep, slow pull, at the center of my very being, warm and real and just a little demanding.
"But there is always a price." He turns his gaze to the women on the floor.
I blink hard as a pleasant fog sweeps from my mind again. I hitch the shotgun back up from where it’s sagged. "Like their souls?"
"In the end, yes." He spreads his hands. "It is what I am."