The Man of Friendly Conversations and Book Recommendations
Yay! My editor and I are finally working on the last story of volume two! That's the good news. The bad news? It's twice as long as the next longest story in the book - so there's quite a bit of work left to be done. Though we missed the holidays, I'm still super excited that we're this close to the end - I can't wait to share our hard work with you all! I'm really proud of this volume.
Speaking of books, the next character I'd like to introduce you to is all about them. His name is Vincent Courbis, an amiable Aramorite who owns a bookstore with his wife, Veronica. She becomes ill and he begins visiting the apothecary, but because Isabel also loves to read, the two have already formed a strong relationship - even before this story begins. In fact, he appears in an earlier vignette when Heidi and Isabel get together for a long-awaited book release.
Can you believe this is AI-generated?! I finally found a program that works! While I dearly miss my illustrator, I have to admit... I'm super impressed! Though it's also a little frightening, isn't it??
The Amiable Bookworm
When it comes to the customer, I’ll admit, not all of them are pleasant. Still, most were an absolute delight - and Vincent Courbis was one of the best. While many of our customers were kind or interesting or funny, Mr. Courbis was a rare gift of all three.
He was an excellent conversationalist, perhaps due to the nearby bookstore he owned. He had access to a mind-boggling number of books and a wealth of knowledge to match. I visited often, and thanks to him I was really branching out in the genres I was reading.
“By the way, I thought you might be coming in today.” I reached under the counter and pulled out a book to return that he had recently lent me. “The Secret Rosebush was so good! The characters felt so real, I couldn’t put it down.”
“I knew you’d like it.” His eyes twinkled. “Wasn’t the big reveal at the end worth all the buildup?”
“Absolutely! And Elsa’s big confession of love to Dominier?” I didn’t finish my thought, but the happy cloud of air that pushed past my lips spoke for me.
“Well, let’s trade. I have a real treat for you today.” He grinned mischievously, reaching into a satchel at his side and withdrawing a slender, leather-bound book. “It’s no romance novel, but I think you’ll be enchanted by the amorous prose nonetheless. One of my all-time favorites.”
“What’s it about?” I asked, gratefully accepting the piece of literature from him. The Moons at Midnight was embossed across the front in dull gold. It was well-cared for, but it was clear it had been read several times.
“It’s a story of good and evil.” He replied, his eyes fixated on the book. “In it, a monster is vanquished.”
“So there’s a happy ending?”
“I wonder.” His expression seemed thoughtful, but tinged with sadness.
Name: Vincent Courbis
Birthday: Mier 26, Constellation of the Fae
Bio: Along with his wife, Vincent owns a long-standing bookstore in Aramore. He'll read any collection of pages bound together by leather, his obsession with books gifting him knowledge on a plethora of topics. Thanks to his friendly demeanor, he's beloved in his community. And of course, you can always count on him for a great book recommendation.
Likes: Books, the smell of ink on parchment, the touch of leather. His bookstore is his life.
Love for the Customer
Not to be cliche, but my favorite part about working at the apothecary was the customers. I mean, getting to meet new people every day and form meaningful relationships? There wasn’t any doubt in my mind.
This is the opening line of Hinge, the story which dives not only into Isabel and Mr. Courbis' relationship, but the impact those relationships can have on our protagonist. Isabel gets to meet so many people through the apothecary, and as we know, many she forms really deep connections with. That's different from her teacher, who while deeply respected and looked to by her community, keeps her customers at a more "clinical" distance.
Isabel wears her heart on her sleeve, and this authenticity she has with everyone draws people in. People like Mr. Courbis see an ally in Isabel. Books are his world, and not only does she seem to understand that, she shares a similar love for literature - even if it's mostly teen romance novels ~
This story is exciting because though we see this kind of relationship play out time and again, this is the first time we get real reflection from Isabel on the matter. And I hope you, the reader, will also be able to walk away being able to understand our loveable protagonist on a deeper level.
That's the essence of Wis' Apothecary. It's these relationships that give the stories meaning as we watch Isabel grow and develop into the great witch we all hope she will one day be. And it's thanks to interesting characters like Mr. Courbis, the customers Isabel so dearly loves.
As a closing note, I promised my sister, and you the reader, that this next introduction would be about a certain character from Wisteria's past. While I hate to go back on my word, the story just isn't ready to preview yet - and neither is the artwork. But that's exactly the story we're working on now, and again, I can't express enough how much love I have for this particular flashback episode. So please look forward to a proper introduction soon!
Until next time, thanks for reading!