Shelby Revealed (A Mind Games Interview & Giveaway)
I’ve always had a fondness for supporting casts and secondary characters in books, films, and tv shows. So, when I read Carolyn Crane’s Mind Games, I really connected with main character Justine’s fellow Disillusionist and Russian “ringlet girl” (as Justine calls her when she first meets her), Shelby.
For those not in the know, the Disillusionists are a paranormal, psychological crime-fighting hit-squad. Under the leadership of the charismatic (and mysterious) Packard, the team targets Midcity criminals, and unleashes the team-members’ neuroses on them.
Each Disillusionist has a unique specialty. Justine is a hypochodriac. In the following scene from Mind Games, Shelby explains what her specialty is to Justine:
I infuse target with grim clarity about impossibility of happiness.”
“That’s your disillusionist specialty?”
“She sucks the sparkle out of desire,” Helmut adds.
“I do not suck, I give. I give knowledge.”
With a character who has that much insight, I knew that Shelby was the person I needed to speak to to get to know Justine and her wacky crew of Disillusionists better.
Last week I paid her a visit at her apartment in Midcity. When I arrived, I was immediately taken with the amount of color, pattern, and texture that filled her apartment. Shelby herself wore the most impressive pair of black and red striped bell-bottoms, paired with a nerhu jacket with large orange poppies. When she sat on a red and white zig-zag patterned chair, my eyes began to water. I put on my sunglasses, and dove right into the interview . . .
Renee: I love how you dress, and your apartment is really groovy. Where do you get your sense of style? Do you have a name for it?
Shelby: Thank you, Renee. Justine would look at outfit I wear today and say, black zigzag does not go with floral print. She would say, I must wear what is pleasing to the eye. These clothes I chose this morning to keep me warm. And now I must find different shirt? Different pants? To be pleasing to eye? I ask you Renee, is false harmony pleasing to the eye?
Renee: So, I guess you would be a function over form girl. Utilitarianism at it’s finest!
I have to say that your apartment is quite a feast for the eye. One doesn’t quite know where to look first. Do you like at antique stores or are you more of an IKEA shopper?
Shelby: No, I am not IKEA or antique girl. I like yard sales. Actually, Renee, I bought pattern couch at yard sale yesterday. Is very sturdy. I will give to you.
Renee: Oh, um…thanks…I don’t quite know what to say…
It looks very…uh…crazy—I mean—cozy.
Shelby: Springs of couch dig into your back. But, this is good, Renee. Pain of this couch will keep you and your family aware that there is no possibility of happiness. You can watch TV as family, and couch will not let you forget truth about life.
Renee: Wow, you really are all about the unvarnished view. It’s like you’re the Disillusionist whose ability really is about being disillusioned. There are no scales on your eyes, are there?
What is your favorite thing about being a Disillusionist?
Shelby: Disillusionment strips away illusion and comfort. Is state of truth.
Renee: Speaking of truth, be honest with me. Weren’t you the tiniest bit jealous when Justine joined the group?
Shelby: Is okay. I have been very long time the only girl there. And, I do not have friends. So, when Justine joined I thought, I will make her be friend to me. And I did. She is very much butterflies and sunshine—how do you say—optimist. But, I tolerate this.
Renee: Any dish or insights about Justine and Packard?
Shelby: Hmm. I think you want me to tell secret.
Renee: Just among us girls. I know you see things that the other guys on the team don’t see.
Tell me. What is up with Packard? He’s such a man of mystery, and always seems to have a hidden agenda. He really plays the part of the mastermind quite well. But, honestly, for as smart a guy as he is, he really bollocksed it up with Justine, didn’t he?
Shelby: Packard was wrong to fool Justine. If I was Justine, I would like to see Packard grovel. I would like to see Packard crawl on bloody hands and knees through glass and beg my forgiveness. Perhaps with broken fingers. Yes. That would be best, I think.
Renee: I always love a good grovel, myself.
Shelby: Otto is too much fairytale man. He is too much knight in shining armor. I do not like it.
Renee: Ooh, that sounds like some potential future conflict in book 2, Double Cross. I can’t wait to see what will happen with them. And, with your entire crew, of course.
On that note, I want to thank you, Shelby for giving me a glimpse into the Disillusionist world. It was a lot of fun to visit!
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Come back tomorrow for my Mind Games review!