An Interview with Matthew from Probability Angels and Persistent Illusions
Please tell your story twitter style, 140 characters or less.
Um...okay wait. Let me think about that. (Matthew whispers to
himself, counting out words on his fingertips) Let’s try this:
“Died for love. Chose to stay on earth after death to do some good.
Was taught by Epp to control the universe. All hell broke loose,
What is the one thing you wish you knew before you
made your choice to stay on earth after death?
How hard the work
would be. Making that choice I had Epp, my mentor, describing the
role I could take on as a tester and he made it sound great. We take
the worst things the universe throws at you humans and get you to
turn them into triumphs. Beethoven’s deafness and all that. Epp
made it sound great but the burden is heavier than I ever expected.
What to you is the best part of being a tester and what is the
part you wouldn’t mind giving up?
There are *SO* many cool things I
can do. I mean we can control atoms or some shit like that, I don’t
quite get it, but I can do it. And everyone’s always telling me to
study study study and train train train and I’ll get better. But I
mean I can light one of my cigars just by puffing on it. How cool is
that? And I can zip off to the Bahamas in an instant. It’s pretty
As far as giving something up? That would be the hurt. See, all of us
testers died in this weirdly specific way. Not all at once, of
course, but all of our deaths revolved around protecting loved ones,
and part of the deal is that those loved ones...I don’t know. They
can hurt us. It’s been two thousand years since Epp died and he
still has to be careful when he thinks about his loved ones because
the pain of missing them can drag the most powerful tester into the
graveyard. What city would you love to spend some time in as a
I haven’t been to South America much yet. I think I’d
like to roam those streets as a ghost. That’d be fun. Romania, on
the other hand, I think I’m done with.
Zombies, Angels - who wins the final ultimate battle?
uncomfortably) I don’t know. I mean, most of those terms are kind
of describing us. See it’s a rule of thumb that if we do something
that’s just too difficult for a human mind to comprehend, like if
I’m having a conversation with you and then I, say, jump off to the
Bahamas, your brain won’t be able to make sense of my disappearance
so you’ll come up with some sort of explanation. I have no real
proof but I’m pretty sure that most of those things, Vampires,
Shifters, Angels, those are all explanations you humans have come up
to explain one of us doing something unexplainable. Except zombies.
Zombies are very real. Zombies are what my kind turns into if they
don’t put in their work. If we don’t push humans we rot away and
eventually...well there’s a turning point there where we stop being
a tester and turn into a cannibal. And, frankly, at the moment, us
testers are at war with these rotted things. So, yeah, I’m rooting
If you could witness any historical event past,
present or future what would it be and why?
I’ve got a two-thousand
year old mentor and a bunch of friends who are centuries old. You’d
be surprised how many historical events are old hat for our kind.
What I would have liked to see, though, was Epp’s life. I’d like
to see Epp before he was a tester. I know he was a slave in Rome, but
I think there’s more to it than that. And I’d like to meet his
choices, the loved ones he died for. I’d like to meet the people
that made a tester as powerful as Epp come into existance.
else you would like to share today?
Nope. Just keep in mind, the next
time life is kicking your ass, there might be one of us standing over
you, just testing you to see if you’ll pull through and become a
better person for it. I know it seems weird, and trust me it’s
confusing from my end too, but know that we’re rooting for you.
Oh and if you’re ever on the Upper West Side in New York be sure
and try one of the hot dogs at Gray’s Papaya.
I miss those.
To read more about Matthew check out Probability Angels and Persistent Illusions
problems seem to keep growing. Not only is he seeing things in garbage
cans but his mentor doesn't think he's working up to his full potential,
his best friend can't offer any solace but drunken confusion and his
wife is dying in Central Park. Of course, the fact that Matthew himself
died over two decades ago isn't helping things.
In Probability Angels,
we were introduced to the world of Matthew and Epp. Back then, Matthew
thought he had his hands full just learning how to be an undead tester
of humanity, but then Hector staged an uprising and everything Matthew
thought he could take for granted fell apart. Yet, over the past few
months, a strained peace has settled over his world and Matthew is
starting to feel like he can finally get back to training at his usual
New York haunts. However, things are more fragile than they appear.
Nobody can see the stress lines already clawing away at the new peace.
Nobody has guessed the toll that was taken on those at the forefront of
their war. And, when a new tester wakes up with the power to possibly
unravel the universe...well that's when things really start to get
interesting. Come see how a zombie can protect and serve, a
photographic memory can earn you a permanent place on Mount Everest, and
a teenage drug addict can hold everyone's fate in her nail-bitten
About the Author:
Joseph Devon was born in New Jersey and has been a pioneer in
the field of self-publishing since his first book, The Letter. He
is known for his world-building literary style, instantly
accessible characters and poetic dialogue as well as the "26
Stories in 52 Weeks" writing project from his website at