Sabina: Hello Shane, thank you for coming by and letting me ask you a few questions about you and your fellow Hunters from the Executions Underground. Coffee?
Shane: Sure, coffee would be great. Thanks for having me, Sabina. I was really surprised when my author said you were interested in talking to me instead of the other hunters. I would normally be everyone’s last choice. *He laughs nervously*
Sabina: Here you go. Freshly brewed, I knew you were coming. *gives cup to Shane with a nervous smile* Shane, could you tell those who haven’t heard of the Execution Underground, what it is you guys do?
Shane: Normally, we don’t disclose what we do to the public, but I’ve been instructed to do so for this interview. Basically, the Execution Underground is a clandestine organization. We’re almost like a cross between the C.I.A and the Marines, but more secretive than both. The Execution Underground is made up of elite men who’ve been hand chosen by the organization and trained to become hunters of the supernatural, some are discovered and brought into the organization through incidents involving family members or loved ones being exposed to the supernatural, but others, like me, are legacies. My father was a hunter, so naturally, I became one, too. Each hunter has his own specialty and works mainly in that specific field, generally under the direction of a division leader. My personal specialty is the occult, as in witches, warlocks, magic and the like, and my division leader is Damon Brock. I’m with the Rochester division.
Sabina: Can you tell us why a new team was assembled in Rochester? Was there really a need for an entire team?
Shane: There was absolutely a need for an entire division. With the absence of a division in Rochester for so long, supernatural creatures started to flock there. They knew they could get away with preying on humans since there were no hunters in the area. When our division leader, Damon, first ventured into the city he found that the place was practically infested with supernatural scum. There are six hunters in our division, representing six different specialties. We have werewolves, vampires, demons, witches and warlocks (that’s my specialty), ghosts and poltergeists, as well as non-werewolf shifters in Rochester and heavens know what else. There’s rarely a dull moment.
Sabina: Can you tell us a little about the other Hunters?
Shane: Honestly, I can’t say I know Damon or Trent too well; they tend to keep to themselves. Damon’s our division leader and hunts vampires. Trent hunts non-werewolf shifters. I don’t work with them often other than at division meetings where we’re all *he makes quotations with his fingers* “attempting” to work a case together. All of us in one room rarely mean smooth sailing. Let’s be realistic: you’re sticking a bunch of alpha males in a small room and trying to get them to cooperate. There is bound to be conflict. Anyway, I work with Ash a lot on some of the cases he gets. Aside from being one of the hunters, I take care of the division’s technological needs and E.V.P and other technologies can be very useful in ghost hunting, so I help Ash a lot. He’s a nice, slow-speaking Southern guy. The majority of the time I spend working out in the field though is with David. He’s our resident demon hunter and exorcist. The demonic and the occult have a lot of crossover amongst our fields at times, so I’m a consultant on a lot of David’s cases. David is probably the nicest member of the team, plus he’s always good for a laugh. Jace, our werewolf hunter, is a little rough around the edges, but deep down he’s a good guy, too. He and David have kind of tried to take me under their wing since they’re friends and I’m the youngest member of the team, and probably the most inexperienced as well. I’m not sure why they’ve taken an interest in me, but they have.
Sabina: And what is your role among the Hunters? What’s your expert area?
Shane: The occult. That’s quite a broad term though and includes a lot of things, but basically, it just means anything related to magic and sometimes magic which crosses over into the demonic. Honestly, witch hunting isn’t a hugely important role anymore, not as much as it used to be, so I mostly act as a consultant and technician. I also teach in the Religious Studies department of the University of Rochester, which allows the teams members access to a lot of important University documents that they wouldn’t have access to otherwise.
Sabina: Why did you choose that area?
Shane: My father was an occult specialist, so I naturally kind of followed in that path. I never knew him. He died not long after I was born, so I guess that’s my way of feeling closer to his memory.
Sabina: Being a bookish girl, I know the importance of books- your fellow Hunters don’t seem to share that. How come? Is it because they’re more the… shot first, ask later, kinda guys?
Shane: Yes. Absolutely. That’s not to say that none of them are book smart or that they’re overly trigger happy—you have to have a high I.Q to even be accepted as a recruit—but their jobs require a lot more field work than mine does. I’ve never truly been assigned a case of my own out in the field. I mostly work with information, so I know its importance. They know information, especially from books, is valuable, because when they need something looked up they come to me for it, but I don’t think they realize how powerful it can be.
Sabina: With recent events in the Rochester Unit, do you think the group will be able to work together as a team again? I mean, with everything going on between Damon and Jace…
Shane: Yeah, absolutely. We’re already back to work. Damon and Jace have a lot of issues between them, but despite that we work things out. Not to sound sexist or anything, but women who work together as a group and fight all the time seem like they can rarely get over their differences. Men can fight and even go so far as to punch each other in the face and then five minutes later they’re over it, because they’ve gotten their aggression out. It’s just a different dynamic when it’s all men working together, which for the Execution Underground, it is. Out of tradition it’s still an all male organization. I don’t necessarily agree with that policy, but it’s not my decision to make. From what I can tell though, I think Jace realizes that if he’d been in Damon’s position, he probably would’ve done the same thing. It wasn’t the carving on the girl’s arms that implicated Jace—that was just going to cause Damon to bring him in for questioning, which was a completely reasonable request that Jace just didn’t want to waste time obliging—it was that detail compounded with the secret about his bloodline coming out. It made Jace looks like a traitor and a liar, even though he isn’t one. I think we all understand that. Damon didn’t do anything a normal division leader wouldn’t have done. In fact, he could’ve ratted out Jace and his secret to Headquarters, which would’ve been immediate grounds for executing Jace as a traitor, but he didn’t. To me, that shows that despite their differences, Damon has a lot of faith that deep down Jace is a good hunter.
Sabina: I’m sitting with a report about what happened that night, shortly after you were assembled as a team. (Readers: Shadow Hunter) Has Damon changed since that? For better or worse? I do realize you didn’t know him so well then, but still..
Shane: Honestly, I didn’t know Damon at all then and I don’t know much about how the division was formed other than that he was already in Rochester hunting something—a vampire I’m assuming, based on his specialty. I’m not sure which night you’re talking about. Was there an incident? You have me curious. I might have to pull up all past reports mentioning Damon now, just to see what he was up to.
Sabina: Well, it is classified information....What is happening in the Rochester Division right now? Can you lift the veil a little? Are you hunting someone special right now?
Shane: I’m not hunting anyone specific at the moment, but some bodies have just shown up in connection to what we believe is demon related activity. That’s David’s specialty.
*Shane’s phone vibrates. He reaches into the back pocket of his jeans and pulls the device out. He answers and turns away. Lowering his voice, he mumbles into the receiver as if to not be heard. A moment later, he jabs the off button on the phone with his thumb, ending the conversation.*
Shane: I have to go, Sabina. Urgent tech business that needs to be taken care of, but it was great talking to you though. We should do this again some time. I honestly don’t get to talk with nice, book-loving women, like you, often. *He blushes, before shoving his phone in his pocket, standing, and then heading out the door with a wave goodbye*
*fans myself* Oh my.... Such a sweetheart.... VERY good looking too!!! :-D Somehow, I wouldn't mind at all, having him rescuing me in the middle of the night! *winks*
About Kait Ballenger:
Kait Ballenger is a full-time paranormal romance author, wife, bellydancer, graduate student, and soon-to-be-professor. She is the multi-published, award-winning author of the Execution Underground paranormal romance series. With a B.A in English from Stetson University, Kait is currently earning an M.F.A in Writing. Kait believes anything is possible with hard work and dedication. One day, she hopes to be a bestseller and to see her novels on the big screen. Look for the next two books in her page-turning Execution Underground series: Twilight Hunter, book one (August 2013) and Immortal Hunter, book two (January 2014), and don’t forget to check out Shadow Hunter, a prequel novella to the series featured in the After Dark anthology along NYT Bestseller Gena Showalter—now available in trade paperback, ebook, and audiobook formats. For more information, please visit www.kaitballenger.com or follow her on Twitter @kait_ballenger.
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