Meet Elysabeth Vance

Portrait of Elysabeth Vance
Portrait of Elysabeth by artist Kyle McGill

Welcome to my final character interview for now. This time you’re meeting Elysabeth Vance (EV), only child of Estel and George, and protagonist of The Most Special Chosen. She’s also best friend and roommate to Shawn Dooley, who you met earlier.

Elysabeth invited me to the townhouse she and Shawn share. It’s a comfortable, cozy place with a wonderful lived-in feel.

I hope you enjoy getting to know Elysabeth.

RdlF: Elysabeth, I’m so happy to finally get to talk to you.

EV: Yeah, I can’t believe how hard it was to set this up. It’s like our schedules are completely opposite.

RdlF: Well, we’re finally here now. I’m sure you know my first question. Readers will want to know how to pronounce your name.

EV: [giggles] Understandable. It’s Eh-lease-ah-beth. My mom is a fan of Pride and Prejudice, but she wanted to make my name more Latina, so she changed the spelling.

Rdlf: That’s really interesting. Do you like having a unique name?

EV: [shrugs] Sometimes. But it gets annoying that people can’t pronounce it. Then again, they can’t really pronounce my nickname, either.

RdlF: Yes, I imagine there are a lot of different pronunciations of Lys.

EV: Well, it’s supposed to be like lease. Or, at least, that’s what my friends started calling my as a kid. But I’ve gotten Liz (as in Elizabeth), Lee (like fleur de lys), liss, and lice (I guess because of the y in the middle). I only correct people when they say lice. I don’t mind Liz or Lee. My mom goes with the lease pronunciation when she doesn’t call me Mija. Shawn uses liss. He’s pretty much the only one, though.

RdlF: What other nicknames have you been called over the years?

EV: My dad’s called me Essy since I was little. I don’t know how that one came about. An idiot ex called me Lizzy. [makes a disgusted face] I hate Lizzy. I don’t really like Beth or Bess either. Those two are so sweet and gentle.

RdlF: And you aren’t?

EV: I don’t think so. And I wouldn’t want to be seen that way.

RdlF: Fair enough. Moving on a bit, how’s school going?

EV: Busy, but OK. The last couple of terms switch from teaching to preparing. We aren’t really learning new skills. We’re applying what we know to increasingly more advanced projects and we’re being prepared for our careers. We’re getting our portfolios ready, covering typical work practices, that kind of thing.

RdlF: No offense, but that doesn’t sound particularly exciting.

EV: Well, I’ll just say that it’s something we need to learn.

RdlF: That’s true. So, with as busy as you are, do you find time to relax?

EV: Oh, yeah, definitely. Otherwise I’d go crazy. Shawn and I try to have fairly regular game nights. I read a lot, too.

RdlF: Do you have a favorite genre? Of books, I mean, not games.

EV: Not really. It comes down to whether or not I like the book. Biography, romance, YA, fantasy, horror, I’ll read it all.

RdlF: I won’t put you through the misery of trying to pick a favorite book or series. But if I say “tell me some of your favorites”, what comes to mind?

EV: Oh, wow. Um, Harry Potter, definitely. I really enjoy the Immortals After Dark series. Jane Austen’s books are entertaining. [looks pensive] Why is it that when asked questions like this, my mind goes blank?

RdlF: [laughs] I have a similar problem. I notice you said Harry Potter first. Are you a Potterhead?

EV: [looking excited] Oh yeah! I’m a complete Potterhead. [points at self] Proud Gryffindor, right here!

RdlF: [Feigning arrogance] Everyone knows Slytherin is best.

EV: [eyes narrowed] Dumbledore was a Gryffindor.

RdlF: Merlin was a Slytherin. [laughs] Truce. Moving on…outside of your majors, what’s your favorite field of study?

EV: Marine biology has always fascinated me. We’re always finding new species.

RdlF: It’s amazing how little of the oceans we’ve actually explored.

EV: Exactly! And the oceans always change. So many marine animals migrate astronomical distances!

RdlF: So why did you major in Interior Design and Architecture?

EV: [Looking embarrassed] *mumbles*

RdlF: What was that?

EV: *mumbles*

RdlF: Oh. Well, We don’t need to dwell on that. Let’s move away from intellectual pursuits. What’s your favorite color?

EV: [grins] Blood red.

RdlF: Hmmm… day, or night?

EV: Night. Always. Especially when there’s a full moon.

RdlF: What do you like most about yourself?

EV: My intelligence. Being smart is a big advantage in life.

RdlF: [grins] Shawn had a nearly identical answer.

EV: Not surprising, really. Shawn’s a literal genius. He never rubs it in or anything, but when he puts his mind to work, he makes me look like a dunce. He should be proud of his brain. But he’s also a kind soul.

RdlF: The two of you certainly have a very special relationship.

EV: Yeah, we do. He’s my absolute best friend, and has been for nearly 8 years. We’ve even discussed getting a pet.

RdlF: What stopped you?

EV: We couldn’t agree on the animal. Shawn wanted something soft and cuddly. I wanted something scaley.

RdlF: [grins] Like a snake?

EV: [looking away] I plead the 5th.

RdlF: Ok. I don’t want to take up too much of your time, but I’ve got a couple more questions for you.

EV: Ok.

RdlF: What’s your favorite smell?

EV: Chocolate. But good chocolate. You know that moment when you open a box of expensive chocolates and get hit in the face by a fabulous bouquet of chocolate and the smells of the fillings? [sighs]. That smell.

RdlF: Yeah, that is a fabulous smell. Good choice. And last question, if you could have any superpower, what would you choose?

EV: I always have a tough time deciding between invisibility and teleportation. You could do so much if you could become invisible. But think of the time you could save if you could teleport!

RdlF: I won’t make you choose. [grins]

EV: Thanks!

RdlF: Thank you. I really appreciate you taking the time to talk to me.

EV: No problem. This was nice.

Well, that went a little longer than I intended, but I hope you enjoyed getting to know Elysabeth a little.  If you want to know why she didn’t major in Marine Biology, sign up for my newsletter, I’ll be including the answer in the next issue. And if you want to know even more about Elysabeth, make sure to pick up The Most Special Chosen when it’s released on March 3rd.

Also, check out the Facebook release party for The Most Special Chosen on March 4th. There will be many giveaways, and there’s even a chance to win a signed copy of the book via RSVP.

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