Today, we’re doing something a little different. If you remember, we interviewed Tracy Kincaid’s character on September 8th and it was so fun that I thought we may as well make an occasional habit of it. I had the pleasure of meeting Palessa, the author of Devereaux Cox, on my author journey and I asked her if she’d let me borrow one of her main characters, Devereaux, from the book. We’ll get a chance to talk to Palessa in a bit, but now we have on the stage…Devereaux!
Marie Lavender: Hello, Devereaux. Please have a seat.
Character Devereaux Cox: Hello. Thanks for having me.
Marie: Of course. We’re going to start out with some simple questions, all right?
Marie: What is your occupation? Are you any good at it? Do you like it?
Devereaux: I play football for the Atlanta Mercury, in the Steinger Football League. It’s a semi-professional league with about 20 teams from all around the country. It’s like the pros, but we have a different way to play the game and I think our fans are more intense that the pro league. Am I any good at it? Do I like it? Well let me put it this way, they call me the Mercury Juggernaut. Plus I get to knock guys on their asses on a regular basis. Who wouldn’t love this job?
All right. So, what is your family like?
Devereaux: There’s a lot going on right now, that I’m sorting out or at least trying to wrap my head around. If you’d asked me that question six months ago, I would have had a much clearer response. Right now, all I have is ‘complicated.’
Marie: Okay. What did your childhood home look like?
Devereaux: It was pretty good. My parents were good. I can’t complain. I was their only concern for seven years until Bryson showed up. (Chuckles.) I always remind him how he ruined my childhood. Nah, I’m kidding. Bry is cool. He’s my little bro and my best friend.
So, do you have any hobbies? What do you enjoy doing?
Devereaux: Well, right now, my hobbies are on hold because I’m in school. Doing my masters in chemistry so I’m basically on lockdown. I was able to finish up my assignments before the season started so that’s off my chest, but if I’m not practicing or playing or hanging out with my folks for dinner, I’m studying. I know, I know, the exciting life of a football player.
Marie: All right. So, what is your greatest dream?
Devereaux: A family. I thought I would have one by now but, things don’t always turn out the way you plan, do they? I suppose one day…
Marie: I honestly believe everything happens when it’s supposed to.
Lets try something else, okay?
What kind of person do you wish you could be? What is stopping you?
Devereaux: I wish I could be one of those guys who just goes home to his wife and kids and just lives that contented life. A lot of people think that’s boring, but there’s something about being with the right person all the time that just makes things click and work. As far as what’s stopping me…something like that doesn’t just happen with anyone. So I guess you could say when I find the right one, it’ll work out.
Marie: Good point. So I’m going to throw another random question at you now.
Who was your first love?
Devereaux: She was this girl I met in college. Rebekka. She was just this hard working smart girl and I got to know her and…I’d never felt like that before. But I found out she did something and I tried to look past it, but it was just too much. Funny enough, we found each other again but, it’s like history repeating itself with her and my parents…again, it’s complicated.
Marie: All right.
So, what’s the most terrible thing that ever happened to you?
Devereaux: I’ll tell you all about it when it’s over.
Let’s move on to something a bit lighter, shall we?
What was your dream growing up? Did you achieve that dream? If so, in what ways was it not what you expected? If you never achieved the dream, why not?
Devereaux: My dream was to be a football player, a professional one. Back then the NFL was looming large but when I learned more about the SFL, I just felt like this was the place for me. It’s like a big family and the fans are an extension of that. I’m glad I’m here.
So, who is your role model?
Devereaux: My Dad. He’s one of those chill guys. The way he is with my mom, it’s like he just lets her do her thing and then does his. It’s not that they aren’t partners, it’s that they complement each other so well. My Dad is just calm and likes to see all sides first.
Marie: I can respect that.
Well…you’ll probably think I’m digging for dirt on the next question.
Is there someone you pretend to like but really dislike?
Devereaux: (Shrugs.) I don’t have time for that. I figure, if you like me, fine. You don’t, fine. I’m too busy to play pretend.
Marie: I agree.
Let’s try something else…
So, what is your deepest desire, Devereaux?
Devereaux: Just being happy, like I was…back then. I want that kind of happiness.
Marie: What is your greatest fear?
Devereaux: Losing my family. I just don’t want to miss a thing. Those moments you just can’t get back and they’re important.
Marie: That’s true.
Well, we’re out of time. Thank you for visiting us today, Devereaux. It was so interesting getting to know you! (Waves goodbye to her guest.)
Now, let’s shift over and get the author’s perspective. We have author Palessa on the stage today. Hi, Palessa!
Author Palessa: Hello. Thank you for having me here.
Marie: My pleasure! We just got to talk to the hero of your story, Devereaux Cox. Quite an interesting character. Can you tell us a little about him?
Palessa: Dev is this big guy with a big heart that packs a punch on the field. Off the field, he’s got his priorities, which is to build on his natural athleticism. Smart guy, really smart and disciplined enough to look ahead to life after football and take care of his business now.
Marie: I can certainly admire that!
So, what are your character’s greatest strengths?
Palessa: Dev’s smart and fairly well-balanced. He’s not one to fly off the handle.
Marie: Now let’s take the opposition on that. What, do you feel, are his greatest weaknesses?
Palessa: For Dev, it’s this blind trust he has that comes with being such a big-hearted guy. It also makes him take a bit more time to absorb certain things, which is the opposite of what he’s like on the field, where reaction/response time is critical.
Marie: All right. What are some of his favorite foods?
Palessa: He’s a clean eater for the most part. His body is a well-oiled machine and he’s highly regimented about what he eats and needs to eat to achieve a certain result. That doesn’t mean he’s boring. He’s just got his focus on taking care of his body.
Marie: Okay. What’s a positive quality that your character is unaware that he or she has?
Palessa: He’s a lot like his father, Jeffrey even though he may not realize it. Calm but determined to understand when he feels it’s necessary.
Marie: Will readers like or dislike this character, and why?
Palessa: I think they’ll like him, but they’ll remember what he did or didn’t do. He’s human, not perfect and he’s made mistakes that he’s trying to put right. For some, it may be hard to forget and maybe even forgive completely.
Marie: All right.
Well, now that we have a real taste of Devereaux Cox, we have a few questions for you as well as the author.
What first gave you the idea for your book?
Palessa: The world of American football is fascinating. I’ve always wondered what some of these guys were like off the field because they are these intense, hulking figures that ram against each other for a paycheck and accolades. Of course, we know what some of these guys do, as is evidenced by Michael Vick and Aaron Hernandez and OJ Simpson, but I think that with the sheer number of players in the NFL, it’s like an iceberg. I wanted to create a league where I could go behind the game and see some of these guys and the league itself. It won’t all be love and roses, but I’m prepared to see what I can of the SFL world.
So, what is your writing style like? Are you a pantster or a plotter?
Palessa: My writing style is evolving. Not sure what it’s become yet, but I do some kind of an outline so I can form the idea more clearly. Then I write. Sometimes it’s from start to finish in sequence but lately, some later scenes have come on strong so I’ve had to write those out first and go back. It’s a process.
Marie: Isn’t it strange how that works out? Only the muse can tell us where to go.
Now, I’m throwing this one in for our aspiring writers. Did you come across any specific challenges in writing Devereaux Cox or publishing it? What would you do differently the next time?
Palessa: This book was blissfully smooth. It took me longer to write this than Tobey Fine because it’s a more emotional story and I wanted to really work on that. As far as getting it published, while I’m with Beau Coup, I’m not taking it for granted that they’ll like everything. I just take it one story at a time. What I am doing is I’m working on drafting out a few books in the series at a time. I wrote Tobey Fine and Devereaux Cox together. I did have half-a-draft of book 3 (which is not a full draft), but I’m going to take the time and really work on book 4 and maybe see if there’s a book 5 before I tackle this series again, no pun intended. So just really writing out the first few books of the series is now my game plan. It may take me some time, but I’m more concerned with getting the stories right so it will take as long as it takes.
Marie: That’s a great plan!
Well, it was a such a pleasure having you here on the I Love Romance Blog! And how apropos is that, considering what a great story Devereaux Cox appears to be. I certainly want to learn more!
Readers, you will just have to pick up a copy of this awesome book by Palessa, a very talented author! 🙂
Here is the blurb for Devereaux Cox (Sacked & Tackled, Book 2):
As the six-feet-five juggernaut of the Atlanta Mercury, Christopher Devereaux Cox knows how to make his impact felt on the field. Off the field, he’s the devoted son of a prominent family with ties to presidential history, as well as one of Atlanta’s most eligible bachelors. He is a credit to his family, his team, and his name. Nothing could be more perfect.
Within the SFL, a problem threatens to spread through the organization. Cast as an unwitting scapegoat is Rebekka Stallman, a physiotherapist for the league and the only woman Devereaux ever loved. Seeing each other again after all those years ago when her life took a devastating turn was unexpected, and Rebekka wasn’t about to miss the chance to unleash her fury on her former boyfriend, who turned his back on her when she needed him.
But things aren’t what they seemed then or now.
Secrets and lies will be exposed as Rebekka forces Devereaux to question everything and everyone he ever trusted, including himself. As the dust settles and some facts about the league’s doping scandal come to light, Devereaux must decide whether the life he yearns for with the woman he still loves is worth the price of holding onto his family.
Palessa is also offering us a great excerpt from the book!
“I didn’t do it,” she screamed. “I would never do anything like that.”
The man’s voice just as loud but harsher replied, “You were the only one who handled both of them. And one of the other physios told me specifically that you gave him the stuff with a wink and a nod.”
“What the hell is that supposed to mean? A wink and a nod.”
“I don’t know but until this investigation is done. You’re suspended without pay.”
“You can’t do that. I’m entitled to plead my case.”
The man’s voice was low, mostly inaudible to outsiders, but it was enough to draw out a mighty curse from the woman.
Devereaux slowly walked past the door. Suddenly it opened and a woman bumped into him and seemed to bounce back. Devereaux actually felt the impact of her which caused him to wobble slightly, which was a feat unto itself.
“Sorry,” he apologized, partly for the eavesdropping. “I didn’t—Rebekka?”
When she heard her name, she tilted her head slightly to look at him and he saw the color drain from her face.
“It really was you,” he muttered and he saw her face move from shock to annoyance.
“And this day just keeps getting better, doesn’t it?” She chuckled mirthlessly as she put her hands on her hips and looked at the ground.
“You’re seriously going to ask me how I’m doing right now, Chris?” Her voice crescendoed as she spoke, attracting stares from some of his team mates who were exiting the locker room. “I’ve just been suspended, probably fired or worse, for something I didn’t do or even have a clue how to do or whatever. Some asshat claims I gave him some stuff with a wink and nod. Then I bump into you. So this day is just not…it’s going to shit really. Yeah. Total crap.”
She harshly pulled the rubber band that was holding her hair up and shook it out. It was longer than he remembered. Then she stepped past him and briskly walk away.
Stopping midstride, Rebekka turned on her heel and declared, “Give your mother my best.” The sarcasm in her voice was biting. “Oh,” she exclaimed, putting her finger to her temple as if she were trying to remember something. “Wait a minute. She probably wouldn’t want to hear my name after she sandbagged me back at Kenton, would she? So, never mind, Chris. Been fun.”
Devereaux visibly flinched at the bitterness he heard in her voice. He watched the woman he once loved stalk away and shook his head. For the first time in his life, he felt as if he had been run over by a tank.
And he didn’t like the feeling one damn bit.
Riveting! I definitely want to read more! 😀
Universal Amazon link: http://bookgoodies.com/a/B015C5UR3M
Palessa started reading her first romance novel at the age of 11. Then she got introduced to V.C. Andrews, Barbara Taylor Bradford, Anne Rice and many more notable contemporary authors, as well as some of the classics, A Tale of Two Cities, Their Eyes Were Watching God, The Great Gatsby and others. It was during her teenage years that she dabbled in writing. First, it was in her diaries, then she started creating characters, stories about romance, the supernatural and much more. Being an I.B. student as well as entering college, left little time for writing and so she put it and the ideas aside to pursue a career. It would take almost 20 years, a radical move from the city she grew up in, Miami, FL back to her Caribbean birthplace, and a chance Facebook meeting with Sable Hunter to start the juices flowing again. After some fits and starts, the Baxter Family Saga was born. Unchained Hearts is Palessa’s first published fiction book with Beau Coup Publishing.
She considers herself just a storyteller that sees no reason to shy away from the juicier romantic elements. She currently lives in the mountains of Jamaica with her crazy, cracker-munching-mutt Ivy and a farm, primarily managed by agribusiness partner, also known as Dad.
And, if you want to know how to connect with the amazing Palessa, here are some of her author links:
Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/Palessa/e/B00IMLM4VW/
Once again, I want to thank both of our guests, Devereaux, the male main character of Devereaux Cox, and Palessa, the brilliant author of the novel, for stopping by! It was so much fun to have you here! 🙂