Hello everyone. I’m Maggie Blackbird, an Ojibway from Northwestern Ontario. I write romance starring Canada’s Indigenous People. To celebrate the release of Knight Moves, book three in the When We Were Young series, I have hero number one in the interview chair. Billy Redsky loves to talk. Hopefully, I don’t run out of paper during this interview.
Maggie: Okay, I spent a lot of time with you and René writing your series, and I know you enjoy a good yap. Here is your root beer. Are you ready to start?
Billy: (takes root beer) Thanks. You betcha! (raises can)
- Maggie: Here’s the first question. The third book in the series, KNIGHT MOVES, takes place during the year 1998. We’re post-grunge. What music are you listening to now?
Billy: Y’know, I’m discovering new stuff. I was always listening to whatever René listened to, ’cause I’ll do anything to make him happy. Maybe I even sorta wanted to be him in some strange way, but my friend Carla loaned me a few of her CDs. She told me to give them a try. I’m digging the Goo Goo Dolls, Hootie and the Blowfish, Gin Blossoms. Stuff like that.
- Maggie: What’s your favourite scene in KNIGHT MOVES?
Billy: (big wicked grin) What else, man? The…basement…scene. Hah! I know you want me to keep sort of quiet and not give away spoilers in the book, so I won’t say any more on that.
- Maggie: Yes, that was an awesome scene, and a big TY for keeping mum on it. Moving along, what do you love most about René Oshawee, and what makes you want to shake him?
Billy: I love everything about René. His name. The way he smells. The way he walks. His voice. He’s a soft spoken kind of guy. His threads. He’s a wicked cool dresser. Yeah, I know I was s’posed to say one thing about him, but I love everything. Even how serious he tends to get. He’s just an A+ guy in my books.
As for what makes me want to shake him—he’s always gotta do the right thing! Argh. For once, bust a rule, dude! Go with your heart. Sheesh. It drives me crazy. But, y’know, I do give him major props to sticking to the white angel sitting on his right shoulder, instead of listening to that lil red devil on his left. Him being the way he is taught me lots.
Another thing, he isn’t big on talking. I wish he’d open his mouth more and tell me what’s ping-ponging around inside of his head. It’s like trying to pry open a mouth that’s been sewn shut. But he’s getting a bit better at this. He knows now that we’re together, he has to talk more.
- Maggie: Yes, I can see how that would drive you crazy. Let’s go to the next question. If KNIGHT MOVES was a candle, what scent would it be, and why?
Billy: (smacks lips together) That’s an easy one. It’d smell like René. He wears this awesome cologne and it smells crisp and clean. I love that scent. It’s my fave scent in the world.
- Maggie: If KNIGHT MOVES had a theme song, what would it be and why?
Billy: Easy one. Don’t Change for Me by the Gin Blossoms. That song is so me and René.
- Maggie: If KNIGHT MOVES was a season, what would it be and why?
Billy: Summer. Easily. A lot happens for us in the summer. That season hits home for me in this book, even though René and I both prefer winter.
- Maggie: What are some of your pet peeves?
Billy: (scowls and folds arms) People like my fam. Lazy jerks who don’t wanna do anything to improve themselves. People who wanna take the easy route instead of the hard one.
- Maggie: Yes, your brother and mother aren’t easy to life with, that’s for sure! Anyhoo, next question. What is something unique/quirky about you?
Billy: That’s a good question. I always gotta finish every sketch, even if I hate it. I don’t know why, but I can’t leave anything I draw half-done. I can take a break from it, but I always gotta go back and finish it.
- Maggie: Tell everyone where you grew up at.
Billy: On the rez. Thunder Mountain First Nation. It’s across the Kam River from Thunder Bay, Ontario.
- Maggie: Describe yourself in five words.
René: That’s a pretty cool question. René calls me intrepid and pushy, so I guess I’m those. I’m also artistic, I’ll admit I got a big mouth, and I’ll say what I think.
Maggie: Billy, thank you very much for keeping the interview a nice length. I was worried we’d be rambling on and on.