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The Protagonist Speaks

Interviews with the protagonists of your favourite books

Month

March 2017

Detective Lisa Paco (of Vital Spark by Leah Devlin)

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Dear readers, tonight with me is a young millennial homicide detective.

While it may seem that this small-town, hashtag-speaking, police offer is too young for it, she had the (mis-)fortune of dealing with some scary serial killers.

She is here to tell about what is now known as the Chesapeake Tugboat Murders.

 

 

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

The name’s Paco.  Sergeant Lisa Paco.  I’m a detective on the River Glen Police Department, the best PD in the best village in America.   Yeah, yeah, I know I look like a sixteen-year-old, but here, if you don’t believe me, check my police ID.  See, right there.  My DOB.  I’m almost thirty.  I was born and raised here in River Glen on the Chesapeake Bay … on the Maryland part of the bay, not the Virginia part.  So we don’t have those stinging sea nettles like the Virginians in the southern bay.  And if some joker tells you that Virginia blue crabs taste better than Maryland crabs, well, he’s just plain delusional.  Okay, back to River Glen.  We have a population 89.  We have a psychic, Cannabis farmers, burnouts from the 60s, moon-shiners, artists, crabbers, and fishermen … all the usual suspects.  Oh, we also have pyrates.  Yeah, yeah, you’re laughing like you don’t believe me.  But I promise, it’s true.  We have pyrates.  Really!  Real-life modern pyrates.  Yep, River Glen was founded by pyrates from the pyrate ship Raven.  Every summer we have the annual pyrate festival, Giles Blood-hand Day.  It commemorates Giles Hale’s slaughter of the deranged Whitby family who stole gold from the village treasury in 1694.  He’s a local hero for returning the treasure.  The festival’s wilder than a Jimmy Buffett- or Grateful Dead concert.  It’s crazier than Burning Man.

So here’s how we got pyrates.  In the late 1600s the Raven was hiding out in today’s Tampa Bay to avoid a hurricane.  After the storm, a Spanish treasure galleon appeared off the coast.  While the crippled galleon was mending her masts, the Raven attacked.  Guns blazing, the Raven’s crew killed the Spaniards, stole the treasure, and made a runner up the eastern seaboard, but not before abducting women prisoners working on a Virginia tobacco plantation.  The Raven slipped behind colonial defenses at the mouth of the Chesapeake and found a remote river to make repairs.  Her hull was rotten with shipworms; the planks crumbled to the touch.  The pyrates and their ladies were stranded on the upper Chesapeake.  So that’s the origins of the tiny village of River Glen.  But what … I ask you … happened to the Raven’s fathomless treasure? Continue reading “Detective Lisa Paco (of Vital Spark by Leah Devlin)”

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Exciting Stuff!

Big NewsNot an interview, just a bit of news.

No, JK Rowling hasn’t responded yet.

It’s… What? No, it’s not Jon Snow either.

OK, so the somewhat-less-than-all-that-exciting news is that we have revamped the Authors & Interviews page!

Not only have we given it a crisp new look, we also link to the main genres for each novel. So go now, take a look, see if there is anything you missed, or something that’s about to come that catches your fancy. Don’t forget to subscribe (the Follow button at the bottom) so that you don’t miss out on new interviews.

Go on, meet someone new. Fall in love with a fiction.

 

Aeley Dahe (of A Question of Counsel by Archer Kay Leah)

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Dear Readers, tonight with us is a political leader, feeling increasingly isolated and lonely after she was forced to arrest her own brother.

Things get more complicated from there, with dead bodies, political intrigue, and the appearance of Lira, a woman she finds strangely attractive.

She is here to tell us about life as the Tract Steward, her involvement with Lira, crimes and law enforcement, and potential romantic suitors.

 

 

Tell us a little about where you grew up in the Republic of Kattal. What was it like as the daughter of a politician?

Thanks for an easy question! I like you already.

Home has always been my family’s estate in Dahena Village, a well-known town here in the tract of Gailarin. (I’m told our tracts are the same as your states or provinces.) Dahena isn’t big, but it’s friendly, always bustling, armed with gossip, and mostly peaceful. My father wanted us to live outside of our wealth and take care of people, so as a kid I spent a lot of time in the village. Dallied too long in the shops, got kicked out of the taverns I snuck into late at night whenever curfew annoyed me… and was marched right back home.

Like the rest of Kattal, our red earth is solid and vibrant like the people, and we love our rules, reputation, and reminiscence… but that’s a whole new mouthful.

Did you have any favourite toys as a child?

My wooden swords and a stick horse one of our guards made for me. I’d gallop around wearing a ridiculous paint-mucked bed sheet and a battered pot, brandishing my sword and shouting “Oh ho! I’ll save the day!” as I searched every room for someone in trouble. After the third time, my father started sending me on quests. Sometimes they required several days worth of good deeds and challenges (I tried, honest, but sometimes I failed spectacularly) or they required serious thought and I’d fall asleep working them out. Father gave me medals of honour and bravery afterwards, little tokens he’d pin on my cloak with the biggest of smiles. Continue reading “Aeley Dahe (of A Question of Counsel by Archer Kay Leah)”

Malia Poole (of Shadow of the Hare by Donna Dechen Birdwell)

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Dear readers, tonight with me is someone we don’t normally see – an author. But don’t worry, she is also the protagonist in her own novel, set in a world where books have ceased to matter and barely exist.

She is here to tell us about how things changed through the 21st century, and how after fifty years of self-imposed exile, she returns to a world far more terrifying than the one she fled. In Dallas, Nigeria, and India she doggedly pursues the truth her heart demands.

 

 

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

I was born in 2015 and grew up in a world that no longer exists. We were living in Dallas, Texas, which was still part of the United States then, and I was named after one of the daughters of the President. I always believed—and I suppose this is true of most children—that my family and everything we did was normal and natural. We were neither poor nor privileged, or at least we didn’t think we were. Mine was the last generation to grow to adulthood in the world before the youth miracle drug Chulel and before they started sending children to boarding colonies to be raised by professionals.

Wait. If you were born in 2015, how old are you now?

Yes, well, you would want to ask, wouldn’t you? I’m 111. Most people my age still look about 22, but for various reasons, I was never as devoted to Chulel as most people. I took it for maybe 30 years, but then I quit. So, yes, I look old. But not as old as 111 used to look, right? Continue reading “Malia Poole (of Shadow of the Hare by Donna Dechen Birdwell)”

Asa Ragnvaldardottir (of The Saga of Asa Oathkeeper by Colin Brodd)

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Dear readers, tonight with me is a young viking woman, the rightful heir to her father’s kindgom.

Her rival Haraldur seeks to slay her to secure his right to the throne. She is here to tell us about her life as an outlaw, and of the Viking-Fantasy world of Midhgardhur.

 

 

 

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

 When I was very little, I lived in the Kingdom of Vestfold with my father, a jarl under King Halfdanur the Black. I lived in a long hall overlooking the Great Bay where the longships sailed. My memories of childhood in Vestfold are mostly happy ones, but hazy. When I was just five years old, King Halfdanur died, and my father was elected to be the new king. The day of the konungstekja, the coronation, was the day my world ended – Halfdanur’s son Haraldur attacked without warning, killed my father, and took the crown for himself. I was smuggled to safety across the narrow sea by my father’s loyal retainers, and raised in exile at Ketilsstadhir on the island of Jutey. I guess I really grew up there. I was bitter, and wanted revenge upon King Haraldur for killing my father.

Did you have any cherished memories from childhood?

My favorite memory from childhood is probably my combat training with Hjalti, my father’s most trusted retainer, the one watching over me the day of Haraldur’s attack. The one who took me to safety. Hjalti taught me the ways of the sword; he taught me to be a shieldmaiden. I loved training with him. He trained me out of loyalty to my father, and love for me – he wanted me to be able to protect myself. He did not go easy on me. He raised me to be a good fighter. I loved the exercise, loved to feel my body grow strong as I grew up. And it made me feel like someday I would do something about the wrongs done to me and my people. Continue reading “Asa Ragnvaldardottir (of The Saga of Asa Oathkeeper by Colin Brodd)”

Sir Blandford Candy (of The Last Roundhead series by Jemahl Evans)

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Dear readers, tonight with us is an irascible old drunk with a hatred of poets and a love of hats, straight out of the 17th century English Civil War.

He is here to tell us of his adventures, from battlefield to bedroom, unmasking Cavalier plots, earning the enmity of the King’s agents and uncovering an attempt to steal thousand.

 

 

 

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

I was born on the Ides of March 1624 – prophetic, no? My father was a rich cloth merchant who had an estate in Hilperton, near the town of Trowbridge in Wiltshire. Papa gave me the name Blandford after the town where he had just bought a new tannery. ’Twas not the best of starts perhaps, but then my father was ever a drunken old sot. He was likely too soused to think of a proper name.

My mother died when I was but a child from smallpox, and my eldest sister Elizabeth did her best to raise me, and my siblings. I had four: two brothers and two sisters, all dead now, of course. I was the fourth of five, with my little sister Anne the youngest – and most witless; truly she had less intellect than your average sheep. I am the last of the Hilperton Candys, excepting my idiot great nephew. He has just married; he is charmingly naïve.

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

I used to love to play with a whip and top that Mr Figgis carved for me, but my brother James took it, broke the whip over his knee, and threw the bobbin into the River Avon. I had my vengeance: I hid some dead gudgeon under his floorboards until the stink drove him out of his chambers. My eldest brother Henry was a hairy giant – more monkey than man – and another bully, but ’twas ever James that was most cruel. I remember little of my mother – soft white hands and a smile, nought else of worth. ’Tis a tragedy for a son not to remember his mother’s love. Do you see? I am not averse to playing for sympathy if it be to my benefit. Continue reading “Sir Blandford Candy (of The Last Roundhead series by Jemahl Evans)”

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