by James A. Hunter
Name’s Yancy Lazarus—bluesman, rambler, magical wet-works man for the Guild of the Staff. Well, former wet-works man, I suppose, since I’ve technically been outta the game for fifteen-years or so, though, you’d never guess it by all the douche-holes constantly trying to fit me for a toe-tag.
How old are you?
It’s rude to ask how old someone is, you know that, right? Not that I really care, understand, I’m just laying it out there. Anywho, I’m sixty-seven, old-enough to collect retirement benefits, but for a mage, that’s still pretty spry. Not a young-buck, not anymore, but not golden-oldies territory. We live a long time—three, four-hundred years sometimes—so late sixties put’s me firmly in my prime and into the realm of unruly mage teenager. And I sure-as-shit don’t look sixty-seven, I can pass for early-forties, if you don’t look too closely.
Where were you born? Where have you lived since then? Where do you currently call home?
Plentywood, Montana, little dirt-speck of a place, but mostly I grew up poor on the outskirts of Raleigh, North Carolina. My Pop was a gambler—like his pa before him—though he wasn’t a particularly successful one, a big part of the reason we were so poor. When my old man wasn’t betting the ponies or playing poker over at the VFW hall, he and Mom, along with the family, ran a little barbeque joint. Made some mean ol’ ribs. We’d called those bad-boys Last Meal Ribs, ’cause if you were about to hang or fry, those were the last thing you’d want to taste.
I’ve lived a lot of places since then. Did time over in Okinawa, Japan, back in ’68 that was, stationed at Camp Butler with the 3rd Battalion 3rd Marines. That was before Nam. Since then I’ve been all over the place, though my heart belongs to the Big Easy—nothing I love better than, blues, booze, artery-clogging BBQ, and smoky bars. And that? That’s the heart and soul of New Orleans. These days, though, I don’t have a permanent home per say, since I’m basically an itinerant hobo, living out of the back of my car, gambling for beer money.
What is your most treasured possession?
Puff, easy-peasy. Seriously, complete no-brainer.
My single most treasured possession is my car, which conveniently doubles as my place of residence: a midnight blue ’86 El Camino with a high-gloss, black camper shell attached to the back of the truck bed. Yeah, you heard that right—an El Camino with a camper shell. At first it might sound a little funky, but believe you me, it’s one sweet ride and it’s about a gajillion times cooler than having a stupid apartment.
I mean, the camper shell doesn’t have a shower or toilet, so it doesn’t make a proper home, but it does give me a nice little nook to keep my gear and catch a long blink once in a while.
And it’s a beast—a 355 Chevy small block, turbo 350 transmission, posi-track rear differential. Absolute beast. Fast, mobile, badass-squared and she can take me pretty much anywhere I please. I’d also bet dollars to donuts that my home can beat your home in a car race any day of the week.
What or who is the greatest love of your life?
Hoo-boy, now this question is a bit of a sore spot for me. Used to be, I had a lady in my life, Ailia. A real sweetheart. Back before I left the Guild, she and I had been working an op in the court of the High Tuatha De Danann: ye olde Irish gods of badassery. A fairly straight forward recovery mission—supposed to get back an MIA Guild ambassador—but things … let’s just say they went south. Real south. Like all the way to hell, south. Long story short, the Morrigan, war goddess and all around hardass, ended up possessing Ailia. Now she wears her body around like a bad Halloween costume.
Which words or phrases do you most overuse?
I’m sorta well known for my colorful vocabulary, so the phrases I must overuse are variations on ass, douche, dick, shit, turd. The basics really. For example, ass-hat, douche-nozzle, dick-cheese, shit-stick, turd-bag, and endless creative variations thereof. What can I say, I am what I am, alright?
What is your motto?
Mottos. Man do I love mottos. Matter of fact, choosing just one is a tricky bit of business. Let’s see—“improvise, adapt, and overcome,” is always a favorite of mine; it’s an oldie but a goodie, straight out of the Marine Corps playbook. I’m also a big fan of the motto, “pragmatism over heroism.” Heroism, isn’t really my bag, since idiot heroes die all the time doing idiotic, asinine hero things, and I like not being murdered horribly. And, as a rule of thumb, ruthless pragmatists have much better odds at survival, so for me it’s pragmatism over heroism all the way down.
Okay … the last one is only in my imagination.
Currently, I’m a stay at home Dad—taking care of my two kids—while also writing full time, making up absurd stories that I hope people will continue to buy. When I’m not working, writing, or spending time with family, I occasionally eat and sleep.
Connect with James: Website | Facebook | Twitter
Featured Book - Cold Hearted: A Yancy Lazarus Novel
He especially wants to be left alone by the Guild of the Staff—the mage ruling body—where he used to work as a Fix-It man. But when a little kid gets nabbed by an ancient Fae creature from the nether regions of Winter and the Guild refuses to set things right, he just can’t seem to heed good sense and leave things be.
Nothing’s ever easy though. Turns out, the kidnapping is just the tip of one big ol’ iceberg of pain and trouble. It seems some nefarious force is working behind the scenes to try and unhinge the tenuous balance between the supernatural nations and usher in a new world order. So now, if Yancy ever hopes to see the bottom of another beer bottle, he’s gonna have to partner up with an FBI agent—an agent who’s been hunting him for years—in order to bring down a nigh-immortal, douchebag mage from a different era. And to top it off, Yancy’s gonna have to pull it off without his magical powers … Boy, some days just aren’t worth getting out of bed for.
Available Here: Amazon