An Interview with Isabelle


Rock bands of all sizes and statures are faced with the spectacle of bad reviews. The men who make up mega-band ShapeShifter are no different. They’ve weathered more than their fair share of poor opinions. So when they heard the story of Nestor Maronski and his abduction, they wanted to show their support for the authors and people whose lives and careers Maronski poisoned. They asked me, the ever-intrepid Kermit Ladd, to help facilitate the process.

maronski headline

maronski headline

ShapeShifter guitarist Eric Wallace and bass player Trevor Wolff sat down with Isabelle Forbes, the long-time maid of the Maronski family.

Eric: So, Isabelle, I’d offer you my condolences on the loss of Nestor, but I don’t want to be premature. Are you sure he’s dead?

Isabelle: Er… Thank you. I don’t know for sure that he is dead. All I know for sure is that he is missing. Police are interviewing people to try to find out where he is and whether he is still alive. A lot of people wanted him dead; writers mainly. Indie writers.

Trevor: Some fucks are too mean to die. Maybe Nestor wasn’t really human. Maybe he’s some evil fucking demon who’s immortal and … what?

[Trevor cuts off as Eric gives him an odd look. Speaking for myself, Kermit Ladd, I must say I’ve never heard the usually practical Trevor speak of demons and other immortals, and I have spent a non-inconsiderable amount of time with this band and these men who make it up.]

Eric: You were called in to view a lineup of potential murder suspects. Some people think you let the killer walk. I’m the son of a minister. I get that sort of charity. But for the people who don’t quite get it

[Here Eric eyes Trevor, who feigns innocence, ignorance, or both], can you explain?

Isabelle: I was called in to view a line up, yes. I didn’t recognise any of the suspects. [At this point Isabelle seems unable to maintain eye contact with Eric. It’s almost as if she is hiding something]

Trevor: You sure about that, there, gorgeous Isabelle? You’re not hiding anything now, are you? Like how you didn’t want to put someone away for having the balls to do something that should’ve gotten done awhile ago?

Isabelle: It was dark in the hospital room, I couldn’t see anything clearly. I certainly wouldn’t have been able to identify anyone who was there.

[Isabelle reddens]

Trevor: Yeah, yeah, sure. Like we buy that. Know what we do buy? Maid’s outfits. Want to wear yours when you come over later?

[Isabelle appears shocked and does not reply]

Eric: Can you save it for later, Trev? Isabelle, what’s next? Who inherits the Maronski estate? What will you do for work?

Trevor: I could use a maid. In a maid’s outfit. I bet you’re a better maid than that girl Mitchell and Rusty use. She won’t even fucking talk to me. Me! Trevor Fucking Wolff. And I’m way easier to take care of. I don’t leave whirlpools of blonde hair in the shower when I’m done.

Isabella: Um… [she coughs] I’m not sure about inheritance. As I said, Nestor may still be alive. If he died, I know that he has made quite a detailed Will, and I’m not at liberty to disclose the content of the document, but let’s just say the beneficiary would be someone unrelated to Nestor.

Trevor: It’s you, isn’t it? You’re the one set to inherit it all.

Eric: Trev, what makes you say that?

Trevor: Why else would she hang around, waiting to see what happens to old Pissyface? Unless the cash is going to something like screech owls. That’s what I’d thought about doing, you know. Giving it all to the screech owls.

Eric: There might be hope for you yet, Trev. Charity. Isabelle, I don’t guess there’s any way…? I thought I heard Nestor did some good in the world.

Isabelle: I’m not sure where you read that, but I can safely say he did not.

Eric: Nestor was unconscionable to the writers whose books he reviewed. Was he that way to you, too?

Red Barn review

Red Barn review

Isabelle: I’m not sure how much I can tell you.

Trevor: Hey, we’re ShapeShifter. You can trust us. Besides, Mitchell’s not here. He can’t put anything into a song if he doesn’t hear it.

Isabelle: What I say won’t go any further? I’m just worried in case he’s still alive.

Trevor: Why? Think he’ll come after you? I told you, Isabelle, you’re going to come work for me. I’ll protect you — and your maid’s outfit. So c’mon. Spill it. You can trust us.

Isabelle: Well, he used to have very strict rules, about when his breakfast was delivered, how much milk went into his coffee, that sort of thing, and he got very angry if everything wasn’t just so. He threw some coffee on me once.

Trevor: That’s it? Coffee? You think that was bad? You fucking think I was born with this schnozz? And this is after some magic-hands plastic surgeon tried his best to make it right, too. I’m fucking lucky I can breathe and you’re going on about coffee?

Eric: Trev, c’mon. For Isabelle, it was traumatic. The best way to deal with this sort of trauma is to talk about it.

Trevor: For you, maybe. But c’mon, Isabelle. Let’s hear it, so I can make sure I’m the better boss. Shit, I’ve got the cooler name. That ought to count for something.

Isabelle: [ignoring Trevor’s remark] Nestor was a hard man to work for. Many of the house staff were fired or left of their own accord because of the way he treated us. He was very rude. Always putting people down. He didn’t pay me much.

Trevor: Think he was hoping you’d offer some other services for a bonus? I promise you won’t have to worry about that with me. Give it time, babe. You’ll be begging for some of the Wolff magic.

[Eric rolls his eyes. Your intrepid journalist, Kermit Ladd, keeps expecting Trevor to put his hand over the bulge in his pants, but Trevor’s hands continue to alternate play with a cigarette and a lighter.]

Eric: Was there anything redeeming about Nestor? Even as a kid?

Trevor: Jerks like that? No fucking way. They’re rotten from the get-go. Trust me. I know these things. Grew up with a few of ’em. Nestor was missing something essential, you know what I’m saying? Probably didn’t know what to do with a girl, not if he thought he could treat those writers the way he did. Hell, I bet he wasn’t even friends with his left hand. I bet his left hand wanted nothing to do with that fucked-up personality. I bet it wished it could get sliced off and run away and get transplanted onto someone better…

Eric: TREV! Cool it, man. Show Isabelle some respect.

Trevor: What does it look like I’m doing? Have I sniffed that apron she’s got on?

Isabelle: Nestor was, as you say, rotten—to the core. He was always having tantrums. I started work at the mansion when he was a teenager, and he was impossible to deal with. I was only a few years older than him and he used to treat me terribly. He often told me I was incompetent, made me feel so small. But his parents were such wonderful people. They treated me well, so I stayed.

Trevor: Yeah, that loyalty thing. Gets a guy every time.

Eric: You did what you thought best.

Isabelle: Yes, I did.

Trevor: Are you a music fan?

Isabelle: Yes, but Nestor would never allow music to be played. Even at his parties. His parties were just full of chatter. He once had a relationship with a musician and it turned sour. Since that time I have never heard him play music in the house. He doesn’t even own a TV.

Trevor: A musician? Do we know her?

Isabelle: Er… you might know him.

Trevor: Him.

Isabelle: I shouldn’t be telling you any of this.

Trevor: Go for broke. Spill it.

Isabelle: I’m not at liberty to say.

Trevor: Who asked Liberty? And who the fuck is Liberty anyway? Eric, you know any chicks named Liberty?

Eric: Nope, Trev. Sorry. Let’s keep focusing on Isabelle. We’re almost out of time. Could Nestor appreciate any of the arts? The ballet? The symphony? West Side Story? Surely someone who grew up with the money and privilege afforded him was exposed to this world.

Trevor: Yeah, like you were, Soul Boy.

Eric: I was!

[Before this can degenerate into an age-old argument between the two men, your intrepid reporter clears his throat. Silence falls.]

Isabelle: He sometimes went to the cinema or the theatre on his own, I believe. He has a vast collection of paintings and antiques.

Trevor: There you go. Sell those paintings and antiques. Since you’re quitting that place and coming to me instead, if Nestie-baby shows up, you can tell him you sold ’em so no one would have to worry that the new help stole ’em all. And you kept the cash ’cause he owed you hazard pay. With interest.

Isabelle: Are you serious about a job? After putting up with Nestor for so many years, I’m sure I could handle you. [She flutters her eyelashes at him] And, I am looking for work… ever since Nestor was murdered… Er… I mean, ever since he disappeared.

Eric: Well, hopefully this means a new start for you, Isabelle. You put up with an awful lot from Nestor, and no person deserves to be treated like that–

Trevor: I’ll say. I really do need a maid, you know. Even if you save the outfit for special occasions. I promise I’ll pay you better.

Isabelle: Well. I’ll definitely consider the offer. And I might take your advice and sell some of those antiques and paintings, but don’t mention that in the published interview [she laughs]; the old dog didn’t deserve to own them anyway. What was that you called it, ‘hazard pay’? I like that… yes, working with Nestor was definitely hazardous. I think I might like working for you. [The eyelashes flutter again]

Eric: I can vouch for him. He’ll pay you better. He might chase you around the kitchen table a few times —

Trevor: Hey! I don’t fucking chase girls and you know it. That’s your job. Girls come to me.

Isabelle: I’ll be sure to do that, Trevor. Thanks. And thank you, Eric, for the lovely talk.

At this point, the actual journalist in the room takes over. Hands are shaken, except by Trevor, who takes Isabelle’s hand and kisses her knuckles as gently as any gentleman ever could hope to. The maid flushes and leaves the room quickly. Eric leans close to Trevor and says something meant to stay entirely between the two of them, but the unflappable bassist merely laughs. And so it goes.

Need more of the Nestor Maronski story? Try here. Or here. Yes, this is quite the sensation!

Not sure who these Trevor and Eric dudes are? Then it must be your first time here. Check out the books they star in here — and feel free to use those buy links!



  1. Julia Smith

    January 16, 2011 4:19 pm

    ‘Could Nestor appreciate any of the arts? The ballet? The symphony? West Side Story?’

    LOL, Susan! Highly intriguing interview. Glad to stumble across this unfolding story.
    .-= Julia Smith´s last blog ..Weekend Writers Retreat – 38 =-.

  2. Darcia Helle

    January 21, 2011 9:25 am

    Poor Isabelle! She didn’t have a chance with Trevor in the room.

    Did you know that Nestor’s story has been written? The authors – Maria Savva and Jason McIntyre – are stopping by my blog later this month to talk about it. Maybe we’ll finally find out what happened to that rotten Nestor!
    .-= Darcia Helle´s last blog ..Ladies and Gentlemen… The Redeemers =-.

    • susan

      January 21, 2011 9:38 am

      Most women don’t stand a chance in the same room with Trevor. He wins ’em ALL over. Except for that pesky redheaded artist his best friends has to go and commit an act of monogamy with…

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