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The Protagonist Speaks

Interviews with the characters of your favourite books

Aemilia (of In Numina, by Assaph Mehr)

Dear readers, with the forthcoming release of In Numina, the second novel by our fearless leaders, we are proud to present an interview with one of the novels’ most charming characters.

This young lady is here to tell us about life in Egretia, that wonderful fantasy city based on Ancient Rome and Alexandria, from a point of view other the Felix’s. The interview is set at a time between the books, and reveals things that might surprise you.

(Note that this interview first appeared on D. Lieber’s blog. Our many thanks for her prompting to write it.


Welcome to Ink & Magick. I’m your friendly neighborhood witch. What kind of spell can I get for you today?

You do incantations? Right here? What branch of magic? Can I watch you do it? Will you show me how you do it? Oh, you want something specific? Anything really, just so long as it’s not permanent and I can see you perform it. Maybe light a fire? It’s rather chilly this time of year.

Please introduce yourself, and the book you are from.

My name is Aemilia, and my first appearance is in Murder In Absentia.

Tell us a little about where you grew up. What was it like there?

I grew up in the Clivi Ulterior, in my family’s domus. If you’re not familiar with our city, the Clivi Ulterior are the highest reaches still within city limits on mount Vergu. It’s a neighborhood of rich men’s mansions. My father was Tiberius Aemilius Mamercus, a consul and a direct descendant of the T. Aemilius Mamercus.

My life, I know, was better than for the vast majority of people in our city. In matter of fact, I knew little about how most Egretian live their lives. I grew up with friends of the same social circle – sons and daughters of the Senate’s elite. My elder brother died young, but my family kept his tutor. I thus benefited for a scholarly education beyond that of most women.

Did you have any favourite toys as a child? Any cherished memories?

My brother had a couple of wooden toy soldiers, that one of the slaves made for him. One was an Egretian legionary, the other an Arbari barbarian. When Tiberius died from the ague, I kept those soldiers. I hid them under my pillow, and I imagined my brother’s spirit was still in them, that he – and they – were guarding me. I treasured them more than anything else I owned. I still have them.

What do you do now?

Trying to delay the inevitable… I’m nineteen. My mother is busy planning my wedding. I may have some little say in who I marry – or at least absolutely refuse to marry – but the outcome would be the same. Some young scion of a well-respected, old family. Probably a lawyer or a promising career military man, on his way to the senate. Me, I’d just like to experience life a little bit, before I become a show wife, sitting quietly behind the loom.

What can you tell us about your latest adventure?

Ha! A young woman of my social standing is not allowed to have “adventures”. Not formally, that is. That never stopped me. My cousin Caeso has died in some strange circumstances, and the family wanted to keep it quiet. They hired a man to find out the killers, which he did. I am thankful for him bringing peace to my uncle, even though I thought his methods dubious.

Now another uncle seems to have ran afoul of some bad property investments, his tenants claiming that his apartment blocks are haunted. We thought Felix could resolve this too, so we recommended him. But I’d love to know how he approaches this. Continue reading “Aemilia (of In Numina, by Assaph Mehr)”

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Kaleo and Nia (of Rising Wind, by Mary Evans)

Dear readers, tonight we listen in on a conversation between the protagonist and his friend. While trained to enforce the rules and maintain the peace in a society with little tolerance for magic-wielding elementals, an encounter with a young boy leads him to make hard choices — and bear the consequences.


“So, where are you from, really?”

Nia and I sat in the shade of a decaying building of unrecognizable historical function on a particularly hot midland afternoon, in a block of abandoned industrial warehouses haunted by the local youths.

Her cold silence was not unexpected and the distance between us, as we sat opposite each other on the stairs, might as well have spanned the continent.

“I’m from Tule myself,” I continued talking, filling in the stifling atmosphere. She kept her eyes forward and pretended that I didn’t exist. “It’s a small town up north by the sea. Not far enough to get much snow in winter, though it’s still cold and the rain never lets up.”

A small huff slipped her lips, telling me she knew exactly where the town was. And that she was listening. So I went on.

“We don’t get as many storms as the west-coast, but fogs develop in a flash in winter and hang around for days, sometimes weeks.” I didn’t know which I preferred less: the gloomy, damp Tule winters or the oppressively hot midland summers. “The summers are beautiful though. It’s warm and clear, and—”

Nia let out a loud, exaggerated groan. “Do you ever just stop talking?”

“I would, if you’d just answer the question.”

She eyed me as if I was lame, with that furrow in her brow and slightly disgusted look that never failed to make me feel inept.

I didn’t let it get to me.

“You could be from the north,” I continued. She had that hint of Elathrian with her coal black hair and the alien sharpness of her features. But there was something of the southern softness too, not to mention the warm tan. Where the steely grey eyes came from was anyone’s guess. “But you don’t strike me as having grown up in the northern crags.” Not just because the borders were closed and true Elathrians rare, but she had the southern farmer dialect down perfectly. Though hints of that high-class capital lingo slipped through whenever she wasn’t paying attention.

“I’d bet on Mithra.” She’d fit right in on the Capital streets with her mixed heritage.

She let out a small snort. Wrong guess then?

“And maybe I didn’t grow up in one place in particular,” she challenged. “Or I come from somewhere you wouldn’t usually think of.”

I didn’t take the bait. Following her line of reasoning always led in endless circles and never got to a straight answer.

“I’m free to come up with my own story then.”

She cocked a brow.

“You grew up on a farm, in the deep south.”

She snorted a laugh.

“Struggling farm probably, family agriculture isn’t as profitable as it used to be.”

She continued eyeing me with that semi-amused, semi-mocking twinkle in her eye.

“It probably got appropriated for the state farm project. You could have stayed, but knowing how much you love conforming, you probably ran. Ended up in the capital somehow, learned to steal—”

Continue reading “Kaleo and Nia (of Rising Wind, by Mary Evans)”

Joe and Carolyn (of Wallflower Pen Pals, by K. L. Estrada)

Dear readers, tonight we are hosting an interview of the famous American couple known as the Wallflower Pen Pals. This couple wrote letters to each other before they fell in love. We are bringing the book’s characters back to life during the time they were first writing to each other.

In tonight’s double interview, we are going to interview them separately, asking similar questions. Please note they cannot see or hear each other’s responses.


Tell us a little about where you grew up. What was it like there?

Joe: Well, I grew up in a small town in New Mexico. I loved it there as I enjoyed the many festivities where everyone knows everybody.

Carolyn: I was born and raised in Belen, New Mexico. Most of my relatives are from there. The people there were all so very friendly. We moved to California because my father landed a job there. If it weren’t for that, I would still be living in my hometown.

What are your happiest childhood memories?

Joe: I had a cat named Buddy that I raised myself. He would ride with me on my bike and go everywhere with me. I also enjoyed old classic cars since I was 16 years old. My brothers and I would cruise around town to show them off to the girls.

Carolyn: My cherished memory as a child was riding my horse, Baby. I really babied him, ha-ha! Anyway, I had to share him with my brother, but I cared for him as I was the oldest. I didn’t mind it because I loved riding him. He took care of me, and I took care of him!

What do you do now, Joe?

Joe: Well, I am currently stationed in the army in New Jersey. I drive a two-and-half-ton truck as I transport missiles and weaponry from one base to another. I also transport troops and perform other military duties, which I cannot disclose for obvious reasons.

Carolyn, we heard you are still in high school. Why are you still there at your age?

Carolyn: Yeah, I’m embarrassed that I am still in high school. But that’s because my father’s job has moved us from place to place and I was absent a lot from school because my mother was so ill all the time. I have many responsibilities as I am the oldest and my mother’s “right-hand” (so to speak). I wish I were working by now to help my father with the bills, but they insist I finish my education as that’s important to my heritage.

Joe, what did you first think when Carolyn wrote the first letter to you?

Joe: Well, it was amazing how she had the courage to send me a letter to someone she didn’t even know. Luckily a friend of hers knew about me and mentioned that I was lonesome for a pen pal. As it turns out, we have a lot in common, so we are still writing to each other. Even though she has a steady boyfriend, I think she is falling for me. I hope so because I am smitten with her.

What was the worst thing that has ever happened in your life?

Joe: Well, the worst thing was when my father never came home. I did not know what happened to my dad until I was older. Then, I learned that he was hit and killed by a train.

Carolyn: The worst thing that happened to me was when I got pneumonia as a child. I thought I was going to die. Somehow, I was cured, but I can’t remember too much, as kids usually block terrible things from the past. 

What is the best thing that ever happened in your life?

Joe: Oh, that’s an easy question to answer as the best thing was receiving a letter from a sweet girl I didn’t even know.

Carolyn: The best thing that has ever happened in my life is happening now! I think I am falling for my current pen pal. He seems to know me better than any man I have ever dated! Although we haven’t seen each other in person yet, I know so many details about him through the letters. I have never had anyone write to me for this long. I think he’s falling for me, too, based on some of the things he writes.

Tell us a little about your friends.

Joe: I have friends from all over the place because I am in the army. But most of my friends are from my hometown of New Mexico. Now I have a lovely friend from California whom I can’t wait to meet.

Carolyn: Well, I have three best friends from high school who are all females. Although, I have a new best male friend that I am writing to right now, and I can’t wait to meet him someday.

What’s your favorite kinds of food to eat?

Joe: I love eggs and sausage for breakfast. And for supper, I love hot chili beans and tortillas.

Carolyn: Well, I mostly love fruit. I know that sounds boring, but I’ve always been a fruit lover since I was really little.

What are your favorite hobbies?

Joe: My favorite hobbies are carpentry and photography. But I have a new hobby which is writing to a pen pal.

Carolyn: I love to sew, cook, read, and write.

Joe, what does the future hold for you?

Joe: As soon as I am discharged from the army, I plan to move to California and find work there.

Can you share a secret with us, which you’ve never told anyone else?

Joe: Well, I guess my secret is about to be exposed. But I have fallen in love with my pen pal, Carolyn. She made me promise from the letters not to mention the “L” word until we meet in person. So I secretly write “I love you” under the stamps before mailing my letters to Carolyn.

Carolyn: As far as my secrets go, they stay with me and my diary.


K. L. Estrada‘s writing career began back in 2010 after her first self-published work. Since then, she has explored different writing genres and created an epistolary book of her parents’ letters which just launched! Competing with the sea of bestsellers out there, Katherine hopes to push literary boundaries with a true story romance.

You can find Joe and Carolyn on the pages of Wallflower Pen Pals.

Join us next week to listen in on a conversation between a government agent and the magically-talented boy who changed his life. Please follow the site by email (bottom-right) to be notified when the next interview is posted.

Silas Dryden (of Rescuing Her Knight, by Rosie Chapel)

Dear readers, tonight we’re hosting the villain of the piece. A shady man, intent on revenge, is prepared to sabotage the happily ever after between a lady and her long-lost knight… permanently.


Tell us a little about where you grew up. What was it like there?

Silas shuffles in his chair: Not sure as anyone’d wanna know. Rookeries is pretty grim. Poverty, overcrowding, nuthin‘s yer own, death, disease, you name it. Was all I knew fer a long time, mind, and as nippers we didn’t much worry.

Did you have any favourite toys as a child? Any cherished memories?

Barks with laughter: Toys? Yer kiddin’ me. Toys is what the gentry has. That said, we knew ’ow ter have fun. Hide ‘n’ seek was a favourite. Rookeries is a great place fer that, so many alleys and hidden corners, abandoned buildings, better still, down the docks. Got ter know it like the back o’ me ’and, I could walk it blindfold. Just ’ad to watch out fer the Runners. Oh yeah, we used ter see who could get the farthest on the back of an ’ackney afore the driver kicked us off. Nickin’ coin pouches… now, that was the best. Them nobles is easy pickin’s. Aye, we ’ad a lot ‘o’ fun. Yer make do, see. 

What do you do now?

Silas puffs up his chest: I am a businessman. I have an office an’ everything. Yer could say I’m in the service industry. I got several… errr… enterprises on the go at the moment, successful they are, I’m raking in a good profit. I have an ’andful employees who know which side of their bread has jam on it. If yer get me drift.

What can you tell us about your latest adventure?

Silas steeples his fingers. Hmmm… now that’s a bit of a tickler. See, I had this partner, one ‘o’ the gentry, a viscount he was, but ’e tried to double cross me. Nobody doubles crosses Silas Dryden and gets away wiv it. Dunno what was goin’ on in ’is noggin (Silas shakes his head in bafflement). Anyhow, I had to deal wiv it. ‘E shan’t be bovverin’ anybody ever again, and that shoulda been an end to it. Regrettably, of late there’s been some unsettling incidents, yer know, them too close for comfort moments, and I reckoned someone had been tattling. I needed ter get ter the bottom of it.

Continue reading “Silas Dryden (of Rescuing Her Knight, by Rosie Chapel)”

Aldeaith Tearshan (of The Outworlder, by Natalie J. Holden)

Dear readers, tonight with us is a young soldier who left his bucolic world to get a taste of the bigger universe. He’s here to tell us about the people of a thousand worlds, of the technomagic that binds them together, and picking sides when the rebels are people he grew up with.


Tell us a little about where you grew up. What was it like there?

I was born in Nes Peridion, one of the newly colonized worlds in Meon Cluster. My parents came from Tarviss—well, they were brought by their lord, but quickly realized that away from Tarviss he had no way to keep them under control and got rid of him. So we lived as free people.

My parents were simple farmers and the first people to settle in Nes Peridion. It took them a lot of work to turn it into the fruitful farming colony it is today. The beginnings were especially hard, our crops and stock needed time to adjust to local soil and climate. I was born a few cycles after they settled and I think that by that time, the worst was already over. Some years were rough, though.

What did you do as a child?

There was always something to do at the farm, and we had to help since we were old enough to stand. Not the hard stuff, just keeping an eye on zeeath birds or working in the herb garden.

‘We’?

I have a sister and two older brothers. Well, had. My brothers died as children, taken by the diseases. I don’t really remember them too well.

My sister’s fine. She lives with our mom in Nes Peridion.

Between dead siblings and constant work, that sounds like a pretty rough childhood.

It’s the one I had. Do you think Dahlsian children have it better? They may get their education and their playtime, but they spend their lives locked in. They never feel the sun on their faces, or the breeze in their hair. They never play with living animals. They don’t even eat real food, only this tubed sludge. And when they go outside, they freak out, they go down with allergies, sunburn, and their immune systems are so compromised, a light cough can kill them.

I was never sick in my life. Drop me in a new world and I can survive, I don’t even need any fancy technomagic. I know how to find shelter, make water safe to drink, find food. I could build my own house if I had to. And I’m strong enough to carry a Dahlsi person through half the world—I already did that once, when my colleague broke her leg. She was as light as a feather.

So was it really that bad for me?

Do you have any cherished memories?

Hm. Maybe the times Aeva and I ran to the river to play. I liked making patterns with colorful stones. Aeva was always better at pretending. She also learned to crochet little dolls—I think in old Tarviss they were used for some rituals, but we just used them to play. Although mom would always undo them to save the yarn. Textiles were hard to come by in Nes Peridion.

Just the two of you?

Yeah. We were never good with other people—well, Aeva was a bit better, she even had friends. But most of the time we preferred each other’s company.

It got harder as I grew older and my brothers died. The amount of work to do remained the same, but there were fewer hands to do it. We were a small community, you know, so we had to do everything by ourselves. Not just grow food, but make houses, make furniture, make tools. Travel to the lake to fish or the nearby mountains for salt and lime. Also, there was no iron anywhere nearby so if a tool broke and no trader came, we had to replace it with a flint one. 

Flint?

It’s not so uncommon. All the metals in Tarviss have been mined ages ago; iron tools have to be brought from off-world and if they break, people have to use what they have on hand.

I became quite good at this. Maybe because I could sit for hours hitting rocks until they produced something I was happy with.

What do you do now?

I left Nes Peridion to work for Mespana. It’s a Dahlsian organization, but they accept outworlders. Our primary job is exploring new worlds within Meon Cluster and assessing their usefulness to the colonists. But we also had other duties. Escorting tax collectors or helping colonists with various problems.

Continue reading “Aldeaith Tearshan (of The Outworlder, by Natalie J. Holden)”

Ral Ranaya (of Draconium Carbide, by Alan Ray Argente)

Dear readers, tonight with us is a man who betrayed his homeland, by giving railguns to dragonkind.


Tell us a little about where you grew up. What was it like there?

They’re not my type and I was such a loner back then. But even then, they saw me as a freak or insane all because I walk alone, and everyone wanted to see and expect me get embarrassed in front of everyone. I had no friends beside me nor anyone who knew me. Besides, even if I did forge a friendship with my fellow humans, they would leave me and turn their backs when I needed them the most.

What can you tell us about your latest adventure?

It’s an ongoing resistance against the Ardynian Crown with me as being the gunrunner of Javyria. What did you expect? I know what it is like being different among them. Welcome to mob rule where the interest of the collective is more important than the individual.

What did you first think when you gave the dragonkind his railguns and betrayed Ardynia?

What did you expect? I was mistreated every day of my life by my fellow humans and lousy leadership at Ardynia. Believe me, it has always been decadent at the top and seedy at the bottom. I happen to be in the middle of the crossfire. I know what it is like being trampled down, but refused to give in countless times over. You really expect me to have a shred of sympathy to them after what they did to me? They mocked me throughout my entire life and my talents just because I never followed everyone and even the elders who knew. Now their jealousy, hatred and dishonesty runs rampant in the upper echelons and courts as they tried to hunt me down like the traitor to his own blood. Such acts of hypocrisy are what made me do this and betray my own.

I don’t care what will happen to my former homeland. Besides, when was the last time they cared about me?

Continue reading “Ral Ranaya (of Draconium Carbide, by Alan Ray Argente)”

Emily Kostova (of Emily’s Lair, by Cary Grossman)

Dear readers, tonight with us is the owner of a local bookstore. Her knowledge of the Whitechapel murders and of Jack the Ripper bring her to the attention of the police. She is here to tell us about how investigating a current murder brought up a woman accused of witchcraft in the seventeenth century.


Tell us a little about yourself.

I’m Emily, the proud owner of Emily’s Lair, a private, non-corporate bookshop in New Vernon, Connecticut, with a wonderful variety of books. There’s an entire wall dedicated to classic literature, for example, sections on art, exploration, science, history, ancient civilizations, even true crime. You can get the latest releases, of course, but most of the shop is made up of books that I find interesting and think other people will too. I’m especially proud of the special section in back that’s filled with books on the European witch hunts. It also features more than one biography on the woman responsible for singlehandedly ending the witch hunts, Liesbeth Jansson.

Liesbeth Jansson? Who was she?

She was a woman from Breda, a city in the Netherlands. She got married to a professor from Leiden, a city that became a beacon of the Enlightenment. He died when the Plague swept through Leiden, and because Liesbeth was smart and strong-willed and refused to conform to what citizens at the time considered to be a “proper Christian woman,” she became a target. At that time, women who were different, or, especially, who weren’t submissive to men, were often accused of witchcraft.

Was Liesbeth Jansson accused of witchcraft?

Oh yes. But she fought back. You see, none of the women accused of witchcraft—the accused were almost always women—were actually witches. Many were elderly spinsters, midwives, or rich widows like Liesbeth. If you had money, you were a prime target because a witch’s money was always seized by the state, and witch hunters loved money. But with Liesbeth they had stumbled on someone they never expected to encounter—a woman with real power. She escaped, hunted down each of her accusers, and killed them in a very public and brutal manner. Once people realized there was a chance that they might accuse a woman who could fight back, the witch hunts ended.

What can you tell us about your latest adventure?

I met Will, a homicide detective. I fell for him right away despite that he was questioning me. You see, I was a person of interest in a murder that Will was investigating because I had once dated the man who was killed. Will came in the shop to ask me some questions; that’s how we met.

Continue reading “Emily Kostova (of Emily’s Lair, by Cary Grossman)”

Captain Phileas Nemo (of The Lone Captain, by Lewis Crow)

Dear readers, tonight with us is a submarine‘s captain – the son of the most famous captain the Victorian-era has ever seen. He’s here to talk to us about exploring shipwrecks, aiding the oppressed, and supporting freedom fighters, abnd about the fragile international balance of power.


Tell us a little about where you grew up. What was it like there?

I was the son of a wealthy Polish count, and my life certainly had its advantages.  I received a rigorous and thorough education in Warsaw, both at schools and from Papa.  My family traveled across Europe and hosted many social functions at home.  But despite our wealth, Papa always showed concern for the less fortunate.  He never let me and my sister forget how blessed we were, and he was a champion of the downtrodden.

Did you have any favourite toys as a child? Any cherished memories?

Papa was an engineer, and he actually made some of my toys himself.  I loved spending time with him.  My favourite moments were when he and I created simple toy boats out of wood, paper, and paint.  In general, I just enjoyed being together as a family, whatever we did.  I thought our happy life would never end—until the rebellion started and the Russians destroyed us.

What do you do now?

I am captain of the NAUTILUS, the magnificent submarine Papa built and sailed in for many years.  My crew and I explore the oceans to further man’s scientific knowledge of them.  We also gather wealth from sunken treasure ships of old and use it to help finance independence movements around the world.  The oppressed find allies in us.  Some of my activities draw (unwanted) attention from the nations, particularly Britain and America.  We are no threat to them, so they should let us be.

What can you tell us about your latest adventure?

In the last couple of years, we have been significantly involved in a certain island nation’s fight for independence.  We made a bit of military history in the process, I might add.  After that, circumstances forced us to take on the task of confronting a dangerous man in an even more dangerous ship who was trying to bring a mighty nation to its knees.  If a powerful country can be so threatened, what hope would the poor and defenseless have against such an adversary?

Continue reading “Captain Phileas Nemo (of The Lone Captain, by Lewis Crow)”

Verena (of Verena’s Whistle, by K. Panikian)

Dear readers, tonight with us is a grad student from Alaska who found out her family has been keeping secrets about their origins and their purpose. She’s here to talk about magic, love, and saving the world from Chernobog’s demonic beasts.


Tell us a little about where you grew up. What was it like there?

Hey guys! My name’s Verena, but my friends call me Very. I grew up in Anchorage, Alaska with my parents and my Grandpa Basil. I always knew we had magic, but never why or how. But a few months ago, a meteor struck the ground in Russia and man, I found out some secrets!

Did you have any favourite toys as a child? Any cherished memories?

Hmm, favorite toys? I guess, being from Alaska, I have to say my pond skates? Maybe I should say something sweet and cute, like my dolls, but honestly, I was a tomboy. I was a bossy kid and I’m still pretty take-charge. I liked to play sports and run around in the woods with the kids that lived nearby.

My cousins, Theo and Julian, would come up and visit in the summer and seriously, summertime in Alaska is like, heaven. We’d camp and hike and mess around with our magic.

There are some great magic wielders in my family, people that can launch lightning bolts or create incredible illusions, or people that can see into the future. But my magic never manifested more than a little—like, I could make sparks. Big deal. Everyone was really nice about it, of course, but it was a definitely sore spot for me.

I threw myself into my sword training instead—my family is really big on martial arts training, sword play, that sort of thing. I figured, if I couldn’t do magic, I’d learn other ways to defend myself. And, I have to tell you, I’m really, really good with my sword. Should I just have said my sword? I like my sword—it’s this 1796 light cavalry saber and seriously, it is SWEET.

What can you tell us about your latest adventure?

I’m not supposed to tell anyone, but you look like you can keep a secret.

So, the people in my family that can do magic? It turns out that we’re descended from those crazy Roman-Vikings guys, the Varangians. Ever heard of them? A thousand or so years ago, the Byzantine emperor sent a cohort of his Varangian Guards to Rus. And when they got there, they vanished, poof, gone from the history books.

What ACTUALLY happened is that a meteor struck their camp and it opened a portal to another world! Can you believe it? I couldn’t believe it, the first time Grandpa Basil told me the story. In the other world, they learned magic and they battled demons. They built a huge citadel and just tried to survive that really hostile place.

Now, about 100 years ago, my great aunts and uncles were out hunting demons in the countryside and they found another portal back to Earth! They went through and ended up in Russia, which, you know, was not a great place to be at that time. They hid and fled and ended up in Alaska. And they kept their origins a secret. Obviously.

But when that meteor struck in Russia in February, they knew someone would have to go and check it, to make sure none of the demons came through. So, I did! I went with Julian and Theo and we kicked some demon ass, let me tell you.

Continue reading “Verena (of Verena’s Whistle, by K. Panikian)”

Victoria & Friedrich (of Under His Spell, by Luv Lubker)

Dear readers, tonight we are hosting a royal couple, the Princess Royal of UK and the future emperor Prince of Prussia. Known as Vicky and Fritz, they are here to tell us about life and love across 19th century European courts.


In tonight’s double interview we separately ask Fritz and Vicky, who are husband and wife, mostly the same questions — but they can’t see or hear each other’s responses.

Tell us a little about where you grew up. What was it like there?

Vicky: Dear Windsor is the home of my heart, and though Buckingham Palace is where I was born and lived a good deal of my earliest years, Windsor is where my happiest childhood memories live and is where we spent our honeymoon. My memories there of my childhood are among the happiest of my life – but happy in a different way than my life with Fritz – all my dear siblings and Mama and Papa were always there. Buckingham Palace is not a Home – it is a Palace, and is not very welcoming to little people.

Fritz: The Neues Palais was where I was born. It was a huge place, but I only knew a very small portion of it – the nursery – and my parents moved to Babelsberg before I remember very much. Babelsberg is a pretty place – but not… it was my home, but I didn’t love it.

What are your happiest memories of your childhood?

Vicky: My dear parents birthdays were always wonderful affairs in my eyes, with all of us children waiting outside the door with our drawings and things, and Mama in a pretty new dress when she came out, and Papa welcoming us all so lovingly. The Great Exhibition was one of the grandest events and is, of course, one of the dearest memories looking back, when Fritz was there and was always so kind. Papa’s loving advice during our lessons, which I treasured up and remember so well now…

Fritz: Happy memories? *sigh* My least unhappy memory of my early childhood was… perhaps Lotte’s birthday parties. I was always allowed to go to them and she was always kind to me, as was the Queen, Aunt Elise, who’s ward Lotte was. Later, our time in Mainz was not particularly unhappy, but… my childhood was not a happy one, I always wished myself out of the world. *Sighs and looks away.* I… I still have such thoughts, at times, when I am away from home – away from Vicky…

You are the Crown Prince and Crown Princess now. What does that mean for you? How does that change your life?

Vicky: Fritz’s being the Crown Prince means he has more duties, which he fulfills faithfully. We shall be the next King and Queen, some day, and perhaps, Emperor and Empress. We work steadily towards the dream of bringing into existence a peacefully united Germany. But it means we often have less time together, which of course is not particularly pleasing.

Fritz: Since I have become Crown Prince, I am required to be present at the Crown Councils. One might think this is an honor, and it is, but… to be a witness to some of the things which go on is unendurable. And Papa requires me never to speak at the Councils, so I am not a part of it, only a tacit witness they think they can control.

Continue reading “Victoria & Friedrich (of Under His Spell, by Luv Lubker)”

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