Meet Johann Bledsoe (Character Interview by Cecilia Dominic)
Meet Johann Bledsoe
Character Interview by Cecilia Dominic
December 22, 2015
Please tell us your name and a little about your background.
*Johann takes a seat and stretches his legs in front of him before languidly crossing his ankles and resting a hand on his violin case * My name is Johann Bledsoe. I’m the concertmaster for the Huntington Village Orchestra, although being stuck here in Paris during a Prussian siege is interfering with my ability to perform. I’m not complaining too much. I’ve had to go into hiding since I’m in gambling debt up to my balls – eyeballs, that is – to the Clockwork Guild. My background? I’m an utterly useless younger son of a Marquis.
What is your greatest fear?
I dread turning into my older brother, a pawn of the family estate. I prefer not to be tied down, or if I am, only to my music. Or to a bedpost by a lovely lady, but that’s a different story.
Whom do you trust the most?
Oh, this one is easy. That would be my best friend Professor Edward Bailey. He’s the second son of a Duke, but his true passion is science, so he understands my situation more than anyone else. To a point. The young woman he’s courting, Iris McTavish, is also brilliant, albeit opinionated. Still, I know I could count on her in a pinch.
Is there someone special in your life?
I have made it a point not to have anyone special in my life because she would tie me down too much. Currently I’m enjoying the company of a reluctant actress, Marie St. Jean. However, since I and my friends are dependent on her mother’s good will, I’m not pursuing even a cursory relationship with her because I’d inevitably end up screwing it up. My attraction to her is very annoying. We tend to end up in compromising situations regularly, and I can’t seem to get her out of my thoughts.
If you could travel back in time to change one thing in your past, what would it be?
I would not have fallen into the trap of becoming indebted to the Clockwork Guild had I known the repercussions it would have for me and those closest to me. Even if I did allow myself to fall in love – a quaint concept, but it does happen to even the unlikeliest of people like Edward – I wouldn’t be able to commit to anyone because I have this hanging over me. On the other hand, I never would have ended up here, so who knows?
Cecilia Dominic became a clinical psychologist because she’s fascinated by people and their stories, but she couldn’t stop writing fiction. By day, she helps people cure their insomnia without using medication. By night, she writes fiction that keeps her readers turning pages past bedtime. Yes, she recognizes the conflict of interest between her two careers, so she writes and blogs under a pen name. She lives in Atlanta, Georgia with one husband and two cats, which, she’s been told, is a good number of each. She has been published in short story and novel-length fiction and currently writes urban fantasy, new adult contemporary, and steampunk for Samhain Publishing.
Aether Psychics, Book 2
At the Théâtre Bohème, danger decides who takes the final curtain call.
Hailed as the most talented actress of her generation, Marie St. Jean has something more to her ability than mere talent. She loses a bit of her soul to each role. When the ghostly spirit of the theatre promises her an easy fix, she’s tempted by the chance to finally live a normal life.
Unfortunately, the man she’s drawn to is the last one to settle for normal. But with the Prussians surrounding Paris, there’s no escaping that temptation, either.
Violinist Johann Bledsoe thought he’d left his disgrace in England, but a murder outside the Théâtre Bohème makes him wonder if he’s been exposed. Another reason not to stick around once the siege ends, even if Marie fascinates him.
More murders, steam-powered ravens, and past and present secrets bring them closer to discovering just what lurks within the theatre, and who threatens from without. The only way to save themselves is to reveal their darkest shames—and use the Eros Element in a way that has already driven one man to the brink of madness.
Warning: Processed in a facility where wine is used as currency and dessert is a reward. If you dislike French cooking and attitudes, move along. Things are cooking in this book, and it ain’t Julia Child.
Johann turned the corner and saw two men manhandling Marie. Without thinking, he sauntered over and put himself in the middle of the dangerous situation. For a second, he was distracted. Marie should have been panicked, but her face showed haughty contempt, and she almost didn’t look like herself.
“I have the situation under control,” she said and jerked her chin for him to go.
“Are you quite certain? That thug has his hand around your arm.”
With movements that blurred beneath the streetlamps, Marie kicked the man in the knee, and, startled, he let go. She hit him with the flat of her palm in the nose, and he staggered back, clutching his face, blood streaming from under his hands. The other one made a grab for her, but Johann caught his arm and swung him around into a nearby tree. Johann took her hand, and they ran in the direction he’d come from, back toward the theatre. Once they reached a busier area where more people strolled, they stopped and assumed a more normal pace, but he noticed her hand on his arm trembled.
“Are you all right?” he asked. “You were, well, fantastic. You almost didn’t look like you.”
“Thanks, I think.” She looked at him with wide hazel eyes, back to the Marie he knew. After their kiss the day before, his mind would only call her Marie, not Mademoiselle St. Jean, as would be proper. But he didn’t want to do proper things to her, no matter what sort of warnings he got.
“Who were they?”
She looked around as if to make sure they hadn’t been followed. Johann was almost certain they hadn’t been—he recognized the crooks’ type, hired thugs who would only do easy jobs.
“I think Parnaby Cobb might be in town. They said their boss was an old friend and wanted to see me.”
“If his airship had landed in Paris, there would have been a stir. People are desperate for news of the outside.”
“People are sneaking in and out, and he is particularly resourceful when there’s something he wants but desires to stay out of public attention.”
She clung to his arm, which he didn’t mind.
“Why not just send you a card?” he asked. “Make a proper visit if he wanted to see you?” Not that he wanted Parnaby Cobb to whisk her away, as he apparently had done before.
“My mother hates him for what he did. If he stepped foot near the theatre, she would make sure he regretted it. No, he knew I could get away from his men. This is a message that he hasn’t forgotten me.”
Johann placed a hand over hers and squeezed. “You have friends now. We won’t let him harm you.”
“Thank you.” But she sounded doubtful.
They turned the corner on to the block with the theatre, where one of the trees sported a red glow near the top. Johann stopped short, tugging Marie back with him.