Hi all, Today, I have something very exciting to share with you – a character interview with Leto, the gorgeous cat from the novel Bloodspell, written by Amalie Howard. In this interview, Leto tells us a little about himself, as well as sharing his thoughts on how Victoria (the main character in Bloodspell) is progressing as a witch, and how he feels about her relationship with Christian. Thank you to Amalie Howard for sharing Leto with Treasured Tales for Young Adults, and to Marissa for arranging the interview, and of course a big thank you to Leto. 😀
Hi Leto. Thank you for visiting Treasured Tales for Young Adults. Would you tell us a little about yourself and what it means to be a familiar?
Hello. Thank you for having me, it is my honor. Can you sense my words adequately in your head? Excellent—some humans are more receptive than others. Most humans have trace amounts of magic so I tap into that to connect with them, but it’s so diluted that they couldn’t say perform a spell. However, I expect that anything could happen if you really believed in it. But I digress. So I am called Leto. It’s a very old name which means “that which is hidden.” It does not necessarily refer to me being hidden, but as a familiar, there are many parts of myself that I cannot reveal to humans or to witches until I choose to do so. My ability to communicate telepathically, for example. It is my understanding that in current times, talking animals may cause quite a stir so I tend to keep that, as Victoria says, on the down low.
You first communicated with Victoria just after her seventeenth birthday. Was it hard for you to wait so long to communicate with her?
Of course. It was very difficult to wait until she was ready, until she had read the journal, until she needed for me to help her. It wasn’t exactly forbidden for me to communicate with her earlier, but because her father had chosen to keep the truth of her magical roots a secret, I was forced to wait to reveal the truth until she came of age at seventeen. Many times during her childhood, I had to bite my tongue at some of the magic she performed unknowingly. She’s quite headstrong, as you know.
Leto, as a familiar you do not have the power to perform magic yourself, but you know a great deal about spells and witchcraft. Where did you learn all you know?
I have lived many many years. I cannot tell you exactly how many, but I have seen the lives of hundreds of witches, if not thousands through the eyes of my ancestors, in my line. I have instructed my share of them all and loved them all in my own way. When I was born into this world, the knowledge of my forefathers was passed on to me so that our magical lore did not become lost from generation to generation. It is the way of my … kind.
You have been teaching Victoria about witchcraft and spells – how do you feel she is progressing as a witch?
Victoria has a long way to go. Did I mention that she is incurably headstrong? Step first, think later, that is our Victoria. But she is certainly a capable witch. In all honesty, she is possibly the strongest of all her ancestors but also the most naive. I have tried to teach her to separate emotion from will, but she’s quite clouded when it comes to what she feels versus what she knows she must do. Victoria is an empath, and as such is very vulnerable to her emotions. This impacts her magic in an unpredictable way, but it also makes her more powerful. So in terms of progression, she exceeds my expectations yet defeats them in the same breath.
Before being Victoria’s familiar, you belonged to her Grandmother, Emmeline. Would you tell us a little about Emmeline?
Emmeline was one of the most compassionate witches I’ve known. Headstrong too, but in a different way. She didn’t have the talent nor the gift that Victoria does, but she more than made up for that in attitude. She was one of my most diligent and caring students. And she loved Victoria very much. She fought fiercely with her son to train Victoria early on, but he refused. Born without magic himself, he wanted Victoria to be free of it or the threat of any hereditary curse like Le Sang Noir. But what is written in our fates can never be thwarted, and in her father’s desire to protect his daughter, he left her untrained and more vulnerable than she should have been, especially after the manifestation of Le Sang Noir. Of course, I knew that Victoria had magic as a child—just as Emmeline did—but Le Sang Noir only manifested when she came of age, long after Emmeline had passed. This entire transition would have been far smoother for Victoria if Emmeline were still alive, but at least she still has me.
For those who are unfamiliar with Victoria’s story, would you tell us about Le Sang Noir and how it relates to Victoria?
Le Sang Noir is the Warrick family curse. Our bloodlines are both cursed and blessed. Through the years, Warrick black blood has shown up sporadically down the bloodline. I say that it is both gift and curse because Le Sang Noir grants its host immense power—allowing its bearer to become unmatched in magical ability. But this power comes at a terrible cost … the witch’s soul. The blood magic has a will of its own, and will do anything to consume its host witch. Many, if not most, have failed against the call of the blood, and thousands have died as a result because it gorges itself on sacrifice. But a precious few have held dominion over it, and I believe—I hope—that Victoria will be strong enough to do the same, and to conquer Le Sang Noir.
How do you feel about Victoria’s relationship with Christian?
It will never last. That is all I have to say on that subject.
Do you worry about Victoria?
Of course, who wouldn’t? She thinks with her heart and is ready to leap off a cliff at a moment’s notice without care for her own wellbeing. I worry that she may give in to the seductive nature of her blood. Power is corrosive, burrowing deep inside and striking when one least expects it. I worry that she won’t be prepared to face her darkest self—that’s what the blood magic thrives on. I worry that she plays with rules she does not understand, especially by flaunting her relationship with this vampire that you asked me about earlier. Most of all, I worry for her safety. There are those who would do anything to control her and to take her power. Anything.
What is the one thing that you think Victoria must never forget?
She must never forget who she is, and where she came from. Our pasts do not necessarily define us, but they are oftentimes the key to understanding who we must become.
One final question Leto. It has been revealed that Victoria and Christian will be travelling to Paris – will you be travelling with them?
Yes, of course. Paris is the headquarters of the Vampire Council as well as the home of Aliya’s Coven, and there is absolutely no way that I will let Victoria make that trip without me by her side, especially given what she is. And the dark truth is … for every life it consumes, Le Sang Noir’s power will only grow greater. I am the only one whom Victoria can trust completely, and to keep her safe, I will die before I ever leave her side.
Thank you for the interview Leto, and for being part of Treasured Tales for Young Adults‘, one year blogoversary celebration.
I love Leto’s answers; isn’t he just gorgeous? Have you read Bloodspell? I read it last year and loved it.
More information about Leto, Bloodspell and author Amalie Howard:
Author bio (from Amalie’s website) –
Amalie Howard grew up on a small Caribbean island where she spent most of her childhood with her nose buried in a book or being a tomboy running around barefoot, shimmying up mango trees and dreaming of adventure.
She received a bachelor’s degree from Colby College in Maine in International Studies and French, and a certificate in French Literature from the Ecole Normale Supérieure in Paris, France. She has also lived in Los Angeles, Boston, and New York City.
She has worked as a research assistant, marketing rep, global sales executive, freelance writer, and blogger. A lover of other cultures and new experiences, especially of the culinary variety, she has traveled extensively across North America and Europe, and as far east as China, Indonesia, and Australia. She currently resides in New York with her husband, three children, and one very willful cat that she is convinced may have been a witch’s cat in a past life.