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Cat and Muse

Charlie Says

Heya, Avid Fans! It’s time once again for Cat and Muse, coming at you live from the sordid depths of Jackie Kessler’s website. I’m your host, the former demon Jezebel. With me, as always, is the very wicked, and very wretched, cliché-speaking and pop-culture referencing Muse of Tragedy. Boys and girls, say hello to the producer of Cat and Muse…Melpomene!


Hi, Mel!


Our next guest puts the “kick-ass” in “kick-ass heroine.” Publishers Weekly raves: “Intricate world-building and richly complex characters mix with a fast-paced plot to create a standout start to a new series.” Romantic Times, in a 4-star review, calls the book “dark and gritty with plenty of mystery and treachery thrown in. This is an excellent start to an electrifying new series!” And bestselling author Vicki Pettersson declares: “This is the urban fantasy novel I didn’t know I was looking for, and I can’t wait to spend more time with Charlie Madigan.”

They had me at “plenty of mystery and treachery.” Boys and girls, give a hotter than hot welcome to the star of Kelly Gay’s debut novel, THE BETTER PART OF DARKNESS…Charlie Madigan!



Heya, Charlie!

Hey, Jez. [NODS] Mel.

For those who don’t know what THE BETTER PART OF DARKNESS is about, give us a one-line description of the book.

Let’s see, how about … Cop goes after the off-worlders trying to make her city a ‘hell on earth’. [GRINS] A little homage to you there, Jez.

Hee! I’m flattered!

But, maybe ‘cop’ should be ‘smoking hot cop.’ My partner always says I need to project my sexier side.

Damn straight. Gotta love your inner sex goddess.

[LAUGHS] Yeah, she’s gotta be in here somewhere. Sometimes, though, that’s hard to remember when I’m dragging my ass out of bed every morning, getting my kid ready for school, and then hitting the streets of Underground — which usually entails writing up citations for Spellmongering, keeping an eye on Atlanta’s jinn tribe (our very own mafia) and usually getting my ass handed to me at least once a week. My sexier side has little room to show itself lately.



But there are some cool moments. Like my recent visit to The Bath House. [SHIVERS]

Oh yeah? ‘Splain, please.

Think decadent Roman baths populated by the beautiful beings of Elysia, and you get the picture.

Mmmm. Picturing it in HD!

It’s mind-blowing. I think you just might like that place, Jez.


Don’t mind the Muse. She never could see the bright side of things. Speaking of doom and gloom, there has to be something bad that happens in the book. It’s an urban fantasy, after all. What was the worst thing?

The moment a certain noble from Charbydon targeted my family. That’s a fear and a madness I never want to experience again. Oh, and walking around Atlanta with a blood debt over my head. Kill one of the jinn, and you incur a debt. If you can’t pay the price attributed to that tribe member, your debt becomes one of blood. Your blood, to be exact.


No doubt!

Yeah, and it’s not the greatest way to maintain peace with the jinn — those guys are aggressive enough without having a big ole target on your back. Then, there’s Will, my ex…

Sweetie, you OK?

[TAKING DEEP BREATHS] That man makes me crazy mad.

I think it’s a man thing. They somehow manage to make women crazy. So what’s the best thing that happens to you in the book?

[GRINS] Did I mention The Bath House?

Hee. Maybe I just want you to repeat it. [FANS SELF]

No, seriously, one of the best things about all this is that I’m closer to my kid than ever before. Of course, the rest of my world is in pieces and I have a lot of things to fix — and some of those are my fault, but still…

It’s the price you pay. Let’s talk clothing. What’s your standard outfit?

Jeans or light cargo pants, v-neck cotton T, boots, hair twisted up, and my weapons — three weapons for three different worlds. A girl must be prepared, after all.

Absolutely. What wouldn’t you be caught dead in?

Well, I already had to do the Girl’s Gone Wild version of the Greek gown at The Bath House, so I’d have to say leather pants and those corset contraptions. Not a fan of skin tight leather. I live in the south, people! It’s HOT down here.

Sweetie, you’re talking to a former demon. I know about hot. What’s one ridiculous thing about your situation?

Oh, man, that’s a good one. Sometimes I think the whole thing is ridiculous. I mean, my near death experience, the nightmares, getting set up by the CPP (Charbydon Political Party), the jinn breathing down my neck. . . It’s all insane.

Pick one.

[PAUSES] I’d have to say living with Rex has been one of the craziest experiences of my life.


He’s a Revenant, and they can be a little ‘off’ I’m learning. It’s that whole being without a body for a long time and then, once they find one, wanting to glutton themselves on everything. Food. TV. Sex. Emotion — god, they are so emotional and they love it…

Sounds like most humans I know…

True. Rex, it turns out, adores sarcasm, pizza, cooking, and acting. Yay me.

Aw, don’t be like that. Here’s something to cheer you up: Sex! Are you on top?

[SIGHS] If only. My love life is painfully nonexistent at the moment…

Er. Well then, what’s your romantic fantasy?

You’re punishing me. Really.

[SMILES INNOCENTLY] You can take the demon out of Hell…


Do you know how long it’s been since I’ve gotten any? It’s so bad I’ve started having Bath House fantasies. Seeing my partner in nothing but a sarong — six-foot-four dripping wet inches of male siren with a body made to lure, a body with all the grace, power, and magnetism of a lion.

Ooooh. [FANS SELF]

Yeah. See? See, how bad it’s gotten? I’m reduced to fantasies about my partner. A partner I don’t even like in that way.

Maybe it’s time to broaden your horizons. Which is better: sex or chocolate?

[GRINS] Take a wild guess. That reminds me, though; need more cookie dough ice cream… A lot of cookie dough ice cream.

So, in THE BETTER PART OF DARKNESS were there any parts of the story where you were like, Kelly, sweetie, what the Hell are you making me do? Or were you and your Creator in sync the entire time?

I’d like to strangle her. No lie. She puts me into impossible situations. And you know what? I can handle whatever she throws at me, but when she involves my family, I just want to draw my Nitro-gun and shove it up her—


[NODS] Doesn’t it, though? But, I guess it’s not all bad, so I have to give her that. She’s a bit stingy with the good stuff, but she did give me my kid. I fight harder for her. That kid is why I do what I do. She keeps me sane and focused and gives me a reason to keep going.

If you had your way, what would you change about THE BETTER PART OF DARKNESS?

Most everything. People got hurt in this book. I hate that. It’s my job to protect. If I get hurt, I can deal. That’s my job, but others… I failed with a lot of people and it pisses me off, ya know?

Um, no. Former demon, remember? Death and destruction is sort of my bailiwick. If you could make Kelly do anything, what would it be?

To take a hike. I need a goddamn vacation. [PAUSES] She could throw in a man, too. I mean since we’re talking anything. [LAUGHS]

Now we’re talking! Tell me one thing in the real world that you wish you could change.

Wendy’s burgers. It’s not right. Square patties are just NOT NATURAL!

Heh. If THE BETTER PART OF DARKNESS goes Hollywood, who should play you in the movie?

Haven’t a clue. But, my Uncle Walter says I remind him of that chick who plays the detective in Castle. You know that show?

My Dear Creator loves it. Stana Katic, right? She plays Detective Beckett.

Yes. Detective Beckett. I like her. My hair is really long, though.

You can always find uses for long hair. [WINKS] Finally, if you could be evil for one day, and you were granted spiffy evil powers, what would the powers be and how would you use them?

Oh, man, that’s a loaded question. All I can say to that one is read the book and you’ll get your answer…

Hah! Way to end the interview on a teaser!

Avid Fans, give another round of applause for the star of Kelly Gay’s debut novel, THE BETTER PART OF DARKNESS…Charlie Madigan!



[No, this isn’t Charlie Madigan. But it is her Dear Creator, Kelly Gay.]

You can purchase THE BETTER PART OF DARKNESS at Barnes and Noble, Borders, independent bookstores, Amazon, and other bookstores near you.

That’s it for this episode of Cat and Muse! Until next time…love your inner demon!

5 Responses to “Charlie Says”

  1. […] that I’m 39, I thought I should give you a new Cat and Muse interview — this one with debut author Kelly Gay’s fabulous urban fantasy heroine, Charlie Madigan. Come check it […]

    by Jackie Kessler - Insert Witty Title Here on December 9th, 2009 at 6:05 pm

  2. Jackie, I finished this book just this afternoon (at work..so sue me, it’s been slow because of the freakin’ weather 🙄 ) and this is one great read! Gritty…Charlie is not afraid to get down and dirty on the bad guys…absolutely loved it. Kudos to Kelly on a wonderful debut book. 😀

    by Debi Murray on December 9th, 2009 at 11:25 pm

  3. […] Charlie Madigan, from Kelly Gay’s The Better Part of Darkness, at Cat & Muse (Jackie Kessler) […]

    by Flirting with Chaotic Dead | Literary Escapism on December 10th, 2009 at 10:32 pm

  4. Hi Kelly:

    I finished reading “The Better Part of Darkness” just last week. Loved it! I actually came across it accidently when I was browsing at the local B&N. I’m a huge fan of UF and found not only your book but a couple of other authors I’d never tried before.

    Enjoyed your work and am looking forward to the next book. 😎

    by Liz Kreger on December 17th, 2009 at 6:36 pm

  5. merry xmas to you and yours, jackie 😀

    by laughingwolf on December 25th, 2009 at 2:56 pm

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  • About

    So, A Demon Walks Into A Radio Studio

    The thing is, Jezebel is an active sort of former demon. She hates staying still for too long. And she loves people. (Just no longer in the “to death” sort of way.) So when she met Melpomene at the Voodoo Café one evening, it was probably inevitable that Jezzie would decide to be an Internet talk-radio host in her spare time.

    Now Cat and Muse has a dedicated audience (so Jezebel claims, loudly), and Jezzie has interviewed darlings of the print world, including MaryJanice Davidson’s Betsy Taylor, Rachel Caine’s Joanne Baldwin, and T.A. Pratt’s Marla Manson.

    Jezzie loves playing radio host. Mel laments being the producer. And Jackie? She just works here.

    The Staff


    Jezebel is a former succubus. Quick with a joke, and to light up your smoke, there’s no place that she’d rather be than behind the microphone and interviewing other fictional characters. Okay, so maybe she’d rather be boinking the New York Giants. But that was a previous life (she swears), and she’s fully dedicated to being the best Internet talk-radio host she can be. (At least, until something else catches her eye.)


    Melpomene, the Muse of Tragedy, has nothing better to do than lament her fate—all but forgotten, the Muse has a tendency to sigh and fret and use her power to wreak havoc. At least, she used to do all that, before she got whammied but good and now is stuck speaking in clichés and pop-culture references, sans magic power. At least now that Mel is the producer of Cat and Muse, she gets airtime while she mopes.


    Jackie insists that she runs the joint. She’s just a slave monkey who does Jezebel’s bidding, but don’t tell her that.


    Contacting Cat and Muse

    We love hearing from our fans! Email Jackie at with the subject “CAT AND MUSE” and rave about how much you adore Jezebel and feel for Melpomene. And let her know which characters you’d like to see on Cat and Muse. Who knows? Maybe we can oblige.

    If you’re an author and you’d like to set up an interview for your characters, email Jackie at with the subject “INTERVIEW ME.” Jackie would be happy to explain the process.

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