Monday, September 12, 2011

Guest Post - Joseph Devon

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, zombies.”

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 neat. 

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 tester? 

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.

Vampires, Shifters, Zombies, Angels - who wins the final ultimate battle? 

(Matthew shifts 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 for us.

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.

Anything 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
Matthew Huntington's 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 fingers.

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

Find Joseph on the web:

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