DICE: Here we are.
SIN: Indeed. Here we are. And how lovely you look.
DICE: Thanks. You too. You ready?
SIN: I’m not quite sure. It seems odd to invite others into our personal conversation. Can you explain the purpose of this interview?
DICE: We’re trying to promo SWEAR, the sequel to SWOON. And come on, Sin. Everything that’s gone on between us has been laid bare in black and white.
SIN [encircling her, whispering]: Surely not everything…
DICE: [indulging, then swatting him]: Cut it out. Now, since I narrate SWOON, everyone knows what I thought when I first set eyes on you. What went through your mind when you first saw me?
SIN: You were my first sight, the moment my spirit successfully transported, there beneath the ash tree. I looked up and I saw…sanctuary. The care and concern in your eyes. The warmth of your smile. I saw your heart, Dice, and it was love at first sight.
DICE: Yeah, well, you didn’t always treat me right, did you?
SIN: It is true. Love was not my reason for returning to SWOON. Revenge was. That’s not an excuse—it is simply the fact. But as I was to learn, revenge is a fool’s errand. What did you learn from SWOON?
DICE: I learned that anything is possible. I learned that people can change. I learned…well, I began to understand about love—that it’s not always sunshine and flowers. Love is the challenges you meet for love.
SIN: Well said. And did you not also learn to embrace your power?
DICE: To an extent, yeah. But then, in the end…all I wanted was to deny it, be regular, ordinary. So I guess the most burning question when it comes to SWOON is: Sin, WTF? We have this amazing night, we fall asleep in a tangle of limbs by the fire, but next thing I know you’re gone. What happened? Where’d you go? Why did you leave me?
SIN: I had to serve my penance, dear lady. After all we went through, it was my honor to receive your love, and finally be ready to return it, with all my heart and—yes—soul. But spiritually, cosmically, I still had to pay for the havoc I wreaked. And so I found myself in exile. A cloudy nowhere. A cruel limbo. Yet the whole time, this omnipresent awareness of you. Didn’t you feel me, too?
DICE: I did. My blue bruise—still as tender as the night you put it there. And those surreal nighttime encounters, stronger than dreams, more painful than reality. That’s why it was so hard to move forward. Did you want me to get on with my life?
SIN: I did—and I didn’t. I hated to think of you pining, you with so much energy, so much will, so much life. Even if it meant an eternity of watching you, I would endure it as long as you were happy. But I was unable to let you go—that was part of the torment. The only salve was the chance that I might return somehow. And when you sang with Bruise Blue, the possibility of our reunion grew stronger. Was it the same for you?
DICE: I don’t know. I was confused, torn. I never stopped loving you, but I wanted to have a life. So then there was the band, and Tosh…
SIN: Yes. Tosh.
DICE: You’re not still…you’re over that now, right?
SIN: My lady, I love you. I even understand why you…strayed. But the image of one’s beloved in the arms of another is indelible.
DICE: I guess. I mean, the time I saw you dancing with Antonia Forsythe, the way she swooned in your arms. Even though I was 99.9999 to infinity percent sure you weren’t into her, it was hard to watch.
SIN: Antonia. Poor Antonia. Most unfortunate.
DICE: Yeah, well. But talk about an adversary. The crap she pulled—on Crane…on little Charlotte…
SIN [ruefully]: Must we speak of her? Can we not be more lighthearted in this exchange? For instance, what is your favorite color, my lady?
DICE: My— Okay, green. Yours?
SIN: Blue. Indigo blue. The color of your eyes.
DICE: Oh, Sin. That’s sweet. But readers knowing that won’t cause a SWEAR stampede at bookstores. So tell me this: Any regrets from SWEAR?
SIN: Ha! Indeed! I regret I wasn’t there to witness the skinny-dipping! And you?
DICE [eyes clouding over]: I wish I could’ve done something for Early Hampford. She was so cool. What a waste!
SIN: Indeed. In a way, Miss Hampford reminds me of your other dear departed friend…
DICE: Oh, Sin! I know! I still miss Ruby so much…
SIN: My dear, my dear, come here. [Comforts her in his arms] As the survivor of a restive grave, I can assure you: Ruby is in a better place now.
DICE [sniffling once]: I know. You’re right. [Sniffling again] I’m okay. So let me ask you this: What’s your greatest lesson from SWEAR?
SIN: The greatest lesson? For there are many…but if pressed I’d say that Newton’s law of motion—that every action has an equal and opposite reaction—hit home rather hard. Behavior from my past had consequences I would never have imagined. So I learned one must be very careful in all matters of the heart. The law of motion can also be one of emotion—devastatingly so.
DICE: True that, Sin. For me, the biggest lesson is, it makes no sense to swear to love. It’s futile. Love is more powerful than any promise. Love is a gift beyond your control. When it comes to love, all you can do is believe.
SIN: And I do, Dice. I do. And because I believe in love, our love, I wonder about our story’s final chapter—SWOON, the trilogy.
DICE: Sin, that’s out of our hands. Our continuing saga wouldn’t even have come to print in SWEAR if readers hadn’t made SWOON such a success. If people embrace SWEAR as enthusiastically as they did SWOON, the publisher will no doubt want to put it out as a book.
SIN [to you]: So our fate is in your hand, dear reader. And I have faith that you will prevail. So much so, in fact, I’ve already begun the final segment. It shall be called SWAY. And this time, the narrator is none other than yours truly, Sinclair Youngblood Powers!
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Many thanks to Nina (and Sin and Dice, of course!) for the interview, and I hope you enjoy the books!