Sydney: Welcome. To start, why don’t you tell us your name, age and a little bit
Isis: Hi, my name is Isis Flores Rivera and I’m fifteen years old. This is my first time
being interviewed, so please forgive me if I’m a little nervous. I’m also a member of The
Witches of Vegas, the number one magic show on the Las Vegas strip. Well, I haven’t
actually performed with them yet, but I get to practice on the stage when the theater is
empty. They promised me that my time is coming soon. I’ve been with them since I was
Um, okay, I’m going to tell you a secret and I need you to promise not to tell anyone
okay? The truth is, I really am a witch. The others are too. We use the show to practice
our witchcraft. It keeps us strong, and we need to be. According to Luther—he’s their
mentor, he’s also a five-hundred-year-old vampire—there’s a threat coming that we may
need to fight. I don’t know what that is, but he’s been getting witches ready for it long
before any of us were ever born. We’re just the latest group of witches he’s getting ready
in case the threat comes.
Sydney: How would you describe your childhood before The Witches of Vegas took you in?
Isis: (head drops) To be honest…it wasn’t all that great. I was born in the Bronx in New
York. My mom died when I was five…I don’t really remember her that well. I never
knew my dad. My grandma raised me until I was eight, but then she got sick and I was
put into foster care. I was in my last foster home for a while. I really wanted them to like
me, but I always had the feeling that they didn’t think much of me.
Things got really bad when I turned nine and I realized I could do things, like make fire
and move stuff with my mind. I didn’t know how I could do that, just that I could. My
foster family and all their neighbors found out. When they saw it, they all thought I was
possessed by the devil. They beat me, tried to drown me and kept me locked in a
basement for days without food. When I escaped and tried to run, they chased me down
and tried to set me on fire. That’s when Sebastian, the leader of the witches’ coven—this
was all before they became The Witches of Vegas—rescued me and took me into his
family. He sensed my connection and came to investigate. It was just in time, too.
Sydney: How do you get along with the other members of The Witches of Vegas?
Isis: I love them all so much. Selena Quinn and Sebastian Santell are like my mom and
dad. They’ve been teaching me and taking care of me since I’ve been with them. I
haven’t called them “mom and dad” yet. That’s because the last people I called by those
names tried to set me on fire. But I do feel close enough with Selena and Sebastian that I
think I can call them that. I know they see me as their daughter. I’m just waiting for the
right time to try it out. Does that make sense?
Selena’s younger sister, Sacha, is like the coolest aunt anyone could ever have. She’s a
lot of fun and maybe a little bit crazy. Luther, well, he can be a bit of a jerk sometimes.
He likes to tell me that I’m “too immature and unfocused to be a witch.” But he also says
it to the others and they’re all adults so I shouldn’t take it personally. I guess to someone
who is five hundred years old, everyone is immature, right?
Sydney: How did The Witches of Vegas become “The Witches of Vegas?”
Isis: Right after they rescued me, Sebastian found out about a hotel here in Las Vegas
that was looking for a new magic act for their theater. He came up with the idea of saying
they were a magic team and using their powers on stage. Witches can do a lot, including
levitating, teleporting and creating illusions. They put on a great show. The general
manager hired them immediately. We’ve lived in a suite in The Sapphire Resort ever
since. For the last six years, every show is sold out.
Sydney: I must say, you’ve certainly been through a lot at such a young age. What do you consider the most important event of your life so far?
Isis: That’s easy, it was when Sebastian rescued me. I was nine years old and sitting on
the street, surrounded by my foster family, their friends and neighbors. They had knives,
baseball bats and other weapons. My foster dad had a gun pointed at me and my mom had
rolled up newspaper she lit on fire. All I had was a broken arm and a swollen eye I
couldn’t see out of. They all kept saying I had the devil in me, and they had to burn it out
of me for my own good. They didn’t know that I was a witch. I didn’t know either. I
thought I was going to die that night.
That’s when a huge red dragon walked down the street and scared them all away. Now I
thought my death would come from getting stepped on by this huge dragon. But then it
turned into a puff of smoke and Sebastian was standing there. He explained to me about
witches, healed my arm and face with his mind, then invited me to join his coven…which
is also his family.
Sydney: How does someone become a witch? And is it easy being one?
Isis: Hmm, let me explain it the way Sebastian explained it to me. The world is
surrounded by energy. It’s in the air, it’s in the ground, it’s in the space around us all the
time. It makes up everything. Some people can tap into it, like psychics or mothers who
lift cars off their children. But some people find out that they can tap into it on purpose.
That’s what makes us witches. That was the first thing he told me that day and I never
Is being a witch easy? No. The more connected we are with the energy, the more we have
to learn to control it. The Witches of Vegas tell me I’m really connected, maybe more
than any other witch before. That’s why they’re always training me. I’m learning, but so
far, my control isn’t great. I’m working on it.
Sydney: Last question, have you ever been in a romantic relationship?
Isis: You mean with a boy? (blushes) No, not yet. I don’t really spend a lot of time with
anyone my age. I don’t leave the property a lot. I don’t even go to school. They teach me
during the day in our suite. But I hope to meet someone someday, someone who
understands me, someone who is bit different like me. I’m sure he’s out there somewhere
and I’ll meet him someday soon. Let’s hope he doesn’t mind that I can turn him into a
frog. Um, that was just a joke, witches can’t really turn people into frogs.
Sydney: Well, this was certainly an interesting story, Isis. And I see you are truly into your stage characters. I’m sure we all wish we could really be witches. Is there anything else you’d like to share?
Isis: I know it sounds kind of crazy, but it’s my life.
[Isis raises her right hand. The pen leaves the interviewer’s hand and floats across the
room towards Isis, who plucks it from the air.]
Isis: Oh, one more thing, I just want to ask again, to anyone who may read this interview,
please, don’t tell anyone that we’re real witches. It’s a secret. If my coven finds out I
blabbed, they’ll be really upset with me. Thank you.
Blurb for The Witches of Vegas
Where can Witches and their vampire mentor practice their powers without being discovered or persecuted? By using their magic,
The Witches of Vegas become the number one act on the Las Vegas Strip—a great achievement for them, but not so much for the local magicians—who can’t possibly keep pace.
Isis Rivera is the adopted fifteen-year old daughter of The Witches of Vegas. Zack Galloway is the teenage nephew and assistant to the last magician left in the city, The Amazing Herb Galloway. Although they should be rivals, when Valeria, a four-hundred-year-old witch with a long-seeded grudge against humanity arrives in Sin-City, both teens must bring their families together to stop the evil hag in her plans.
But can the power of the witches and the ingenuity of the magicians be enough to stop Valeria from taking over the city and possibly the world?
Mark Rosendorf is a high school guidance counselor in the New York City Department of Education’s Special Education district. He is also a former professional magician. Mark shares his knowledge of magic with his students as part of the school’s Performing Arts program. He uses stage magic to help teach teamwork and build confidence in his students.
Mark is also credited with published novels in various genres including The Rasner Effect series. He eventually decided on an early retirement from writing. When asked why, Mark’s usual answer was because he lost his favorite pen.
Then, one night, at two a.m., a new and unique story shot into his brain like a lightning bolt, screaming for him to write it. Suddenly, despite the decision to never write again, Mark found himself spending several nights taking notes on the characters and their stories. That is how The Witches of Vegas was born and is now on these pages.
This is Mark’s first young adult novel.