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The Protagonist Speaks

Interviews with the protagonists of your favourite books

Month

September 2016

Sheshamun (of Behind Palace Walls by Erin Chase)

Erin Chase - Behind Palace Walls Book coverDear readers, tonight with us is a woman elevated to the highest order – the Pharaoh’s own court, and then rudely ejected by rivals within. She is here to tell us about life in Ancient Egypt.

 

 

What were your first few days in the palace’s harem like?

My first few days in the palace’s harem were very overwhelming! It is the complete opposite of a peasant’s life. I mean the food… goodness! Succulent duck and quail, honey drizzled on everything, fragrant wine, and the sweetmeats… oh the sweetmeats!

Sorry, what was the question again? Oh right, my introduction to the concubine lifestyle. Well on the plus side, I met my great friend Serera in the harem, as well as Manon, the Keeper of the Harem. I loved lounging by the water, playing Senet or Dogs and Jackals, and sharing my intimate secrets with Serera.

However, when it came to dealing with a couple of the other, more established concubines, life was tough! Senra and her partner in crime from the Far East, Tokahiru, sure knew how to make my life a living hell. Continue reading “Sheshamun (of Behind Palace Walls by Erin Chase)”

Captain Hollie Babbitt (of Red Horse by M. J. Logue)

Red Horse - M J Logue

Dear readers, tonight with us is Captain Hollie Babbitt, of the Parliamentarian Army. A scruffy ex-mercenary, his command includes a posh poet, a bad-tempered horse, and a troop made up of every rebel, dissenter and horse-thief the rest of the Army didn’t want.

 

 

Can you tell us a bit about where you grew up? What is the best memory of your childhood?

Has my wife put you up to this? That sounds like her kind o’ daft question.
I grew up in Lancashire, in Bolton, on the edge of the moors. There’s some folk as believe I was dragged up not brought up, which I was not. Never knew my mother, and the old – sorry, my father – hated me for better part o’ thirty-six years. Mam died having me, and he always said he’d have took her life over mine, if he’d been asked. That, and he never wanted a lad; he wanted a little girl, if he’d had to have a child instead of a wife.

I grew up a bit wild, bit not wicked. Neglected, you might say. I reckon the old mon thought if he beat me hard enough and often enough it’d do for bringing me up. The daft thing is, he thought he was doing the right thing. Thought if he let up on me I might go off and be a worse sinner than I was. Didn’t want me to bring shame on mam’s memory. Very godly feller, the old mon.

That’s not the sort of childhood you end up wi’ good memories of. Although there was a lass in Bolton that I was very fond of – no, not like that! Well, a bit like that – bless her, she used to look after me, slip me gingerbread, the odd hot pie, when he wasn’t around. I thought a lot of Gatty Norton. The old man taught me my letters, and my manners, but Gatty taught me kindness. Saw her again just before Marston Moor, but that – well. That’s a story for another time. She deserved better.

Oh aye – and she gave me a bit of a fondness for competent women, especially if they’re heavy-handed wi’ cake. But don’t mention that in front of the missus, eh? Continue reading “Captain Hollie Babbitt (of Red Horse by M. J. Logue)”

Thea (of Mistress of Rome by Kate Quinn)

Mistress of Rome - Kate QuinnDear readers, tonight with me is a woman who came to us as a Judaean slave girl, only to catch the eye of our divine emperor. she is here to tell us of her remarkable journey, and about the highest echelons of Roman society.

 

 

What were your first impressions of Rome, after being sold to slavery in Judea?

I survived the suicide massacre of Masada when I was about four years old; one of seven survivors. The rest of my family died, and then I was enslaved and brought west. I don’t remember much of Judaea, but even so, Rome has never felt like home to me. It’s hot, teeming, raucous, and quite frequently cruel.

Is Emperor Domitian as bad in person as the senate makes him out to be?

It depends which side of him you see, and he has as many sides as a set of dice. To his soldiers he is blunt, honest, brave–they worship him. To the Senate he is arrogant, overbearing, dismissive–they despise him. To his family is he capricious, fearful, fickle–they quiver before him. To me . . . well. I fascinate him because he doesn’t frighten me. He likes to test that, and it’s kept me alive so far. Continue reading “Thea (of Mistress of Rome by Kate Quinn)”

President Carlos Almanzor (of Revolution Day by T. E. Taylor)

Revolution Day

Dear readers, tonight we are honoured to host a busy man, who nonetheless found the time to be with us. Please welcome President Almanzor to the interview couch!

 

 

Tell us about your childhood. What events helped shaped you to be who you are today?

That time seems so distant now, almost unreal.  It was an ordinary childhood, I suppose.  I cannot claim I lived in hardship: my parents were middle class, comfortably off.  They were ambitious, and at first I was willing to follow the legal career they had mapped out for me.  But there were a lot of poorer people in our neighbourhood, and I realised I could use my skills to help them.  That was what set me on the long road that has brought me here, though I had no idea where it would lead at the time.

What first drew you to the revolution?

At first I was a campaigner rather than a revolutionary: I sought social change through protest and through the courts.  But every faltering step towards progress was met by reactionary counter-measures, every demonstration by violent repression.  I came to believe that peaceful means alone could not succeed.  So I talked to the communists, and we all recognised that what we agreed on was more important than what we disagreed on.  We became a broad church united in the goal of overthrowing the Velazco regime.  Thus the Partido Socialista was born. Continue reading “President Carlos Almanzor (of Revolution Day by T. E. Taylor)”

Dr. Skylar Santangelo (of Healing The Witch Of Adelaide Glen by J.C. Stockli)

JC Stockli - Healing The Witch Of Adelaide GlenDear readers, tonight with me is one of our leading legal prosecutors. As it turns out, his grudge against the paranormal and supernatural lies with some dark secrets in his past.

 

 

Tell us about where you grew up and studied. How did you get from slums to academia? What is your PhD about?

[chuckles] Mamma moved to the States when I was real young. I grew up in a housing project in the south end of the city. I never aspired to leave the hood. I liked it there. I was someone to be known there, but every smart-ass punk has it coming to him, I guess. I chose academia over incarceration. My boys from back on the day found their path on the straight and narrow and guided me along. I’d be dead without those guys, no doubt. In terms of my PhD, the only subjects that made sense were theology and demonology. I’m what you’d call a “subject matter expert.”

Tell us about those tats – what made you get them? Is there an overall design?

[turns head down with a furrowed brow] There’s a method to every man’s madness. Some of my ink is just the result of being a stupid punk. Others…? Yeah, they mean something… but we’re not getting into that here. Next question, man. Continue reading “Dr. Skylar Santangelo (of Healing The Witch Of Adelaide Glen by J.C. Stockli)”

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