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The Protagonist Speaks

Interviews with the characters of your favourite books

Month

February 2020

Drake Michaelson (of Rage of the Phoenix, by Elizabeth N Harris)

Dear readers, tonight with me is a biker, telling us about his riding club and about the woman he loves.


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

My world was loud bikes, loud men and brassy women. My da loved the biker life and when he and a few others created Rage MC, they created a thing of beauty. We weren’t about trouble back then, we had the rules of, brothers, club and family. My da wanted to create a club where like minded people could ride free. Rage rode free when my da was president. Rapid City was growing fast and other clubs tried to muscle in, there were fights, can’t be lyin’ about that but we weren’t criminals then. Not when Da run it. My childhood was love and laughter, a kids should be ya know? I miss my da, always will, Axel comes close but he’s not my da. But hell if Axel ain’t the closest thing to a da I have left.

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

Motorbikes, always motorbikes. I grew up with a wrench in one hand and a jack in the other! Da and I loved building bikes together. We took somethin’ ugly and made it beautiful. Sunday’s in our back yard with scraps of metal and pieces of bikes around us, followed by a cook-out and a few brothers. I remember bein’ about five and it was Christmas, tree and house lit up. I came downstairs Christmas morning and da was doing his famous breakfast, bacon, eggs, sausage, fried bread, tomatoes and mushrooms. Da could cook! After breakfast da gave me this present. I still got it, Phoenix found it the other day and blast if my woman didn’t well up, but it was a toy tool set. My very own miniature set just like da’s.

What do you do now?

Now I’m President of Rage MC after strugglin’ to get it clean. We’re clean and free of the dirt in our past. We bled to get Rage clean and it’s gonna remain that way. I own and run the garage, own the land the garage and clubhouse are built on, own the parts store. I own the Rage MC shop where we sell a little bit of Rage, clothing etc. I and my brothers also own the bar we share with my cousins club Hellfire MC. I ain’t greedy. Once the garage, parts store and shop were up and running, I piled the profits into Rage. Every brother gets a share. We’re all equal. With our designer bike business we got money coming in. No need to get our hands dirty again.

What can you tell us about your latest adventure?

Where do I start with this one? Getting Phoenix to be my woman and then making her safe. I messed up. Screwed up bad ya know? Blast if that woman isn’t something, bullets flyin’, knives cuttin’ and she gives me grief and then kisses my face off. Now she’s knocked up, if that don’t keep her outta trouble nothing will! Watching Phoe come into her own, watchin’ her grow strong and share her love, that’s a miracle, an adventure in itself. My woman heals those she touches. So much love in her. She amazes me, and her ex never beat that outta her.

Continue reading “Drake Michaelson (of Rage of the Phoenix, by Elizabeth N Harris)”

Prince Ravel (of Sand Dancer, by Trudie Skies)

Dear readers, tonight with me is a prince of the Bright Solara, a graduate of the academy experienced with everything from swordsmanship to strategy. He’s here to tell us about his life — including dealing with raiders in the sandy deserts of his future kingdom.


Many thanks to our crown heir, Prince Ravel, for taking time out of his many appointments to speak with us today. How fares Bloodstone Keep, my Prince?

The honor is mine. The Keep is currently at rest whilst we await the arrival of new students for the Academy which always brings fresh tutors and a spate of Council meetings for our visiting Housemen. Of course, it doesn’t quite compare to the end-of-year celebrations. One can still walk the halls of the Keep without being hailed at every turn.

You’ve spent your entire life in the palace of Bloodstone Keep. How would you describe life as a prince under our great King Khaled’s reign?

Challenging, but I eagerly await the next challenge. The life of a prince isn’t all fine wine and art. From birth, my father has ensured that I am constantly learning and seeking to learn. I attended my first Council meeting at the age of five to understand the duties ahead of me. My father believes that one may only learn by doing, and that is something I push for; to get hands-on experience of aiding our kingdom. My father hasn’t always agreed with my methods! Safety comes first for a Solaran prince, but now that I have become a man, he’s willing to accept my role as a doer, not just a thinker. A king who can only philosophize and not act is no good for our people.

Quite so. You’re soon to graduate the Solaran Academy. What is life like in the Academy?

The Academy is the greatest of our educational institutions. I myself was named after its founder. I am honored to train under great men, and also beside the future Housemen and leaders of our kingdom. Our Masters don’t shy from pushing us hard and forging us into the best men we can be, and I’m not just speaking or our grueling physical routine! Yes, we learn the fighting arts and mounted combat, but a sharp mind is as valuable as a sharp blade. One day I will need to defend Sandair from her enemies, and so I take my military strategy and history lessons seriously. I’d encourage any man to pick up a book and learn how our great kingdom became so prosperous, and what we can all do to protect it.

That is most wise. What great Housemen have you been tutored under?

Our Academy is blessed with excellent tutors from the Great Houses. I have received personal tuition from the legendary Sword of Solus, and I believe he will be teaching others at the Academy this year, which will be a great boon to our new students. I’ve often wished for the Protector of the Path to teach, but he’s not ready for retirement yet. A pity.

Continue reading “Prince Ravel (of Sand Dancer, by Trudie Skies)”

Mara (of The Chronicles of Agartha, by Sherif Guirguis)

Dear readers, tonight with us is a teenaged girl, originally from 11th century Khorasan but now roaming a strange land where all the myths of our planet found a home. She and her friends must follow a prophecy that is guaranteed to change the face of the land — one way or another.


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

Who’s asking? I don’t take lightly to questions about my origins, you might be a purple mage for all that I know.

But if Ethan says that you are to be trusted, I will answer all your questions.

I am from Khorasan, the city that spreads culture and art to the whole world. My father is a master trader and a world traveler, everybody who is anybody in the twelfth century have heard of him, Amar El-Khorasani, but you should know that he is very famous.

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

I think that Ethan really has faith in you, you can’t give this information to anybody, I will be immediately banished from Agartha.

As a child, my father brought for each of us, his children, a toy of the finest porcelain when he traveled to China, mine was a very nice doll, she had a silk dress and held a small umbrella. I used to take her with me all over the place, but then my mother took her away to concentrate on the house duties, I am a very good cook because of her.

As for memories, I think it was the day my father brought the astrologer to the house, and he started to explain to me and my ten siblings the stars in the heavens and how to use them to guide our ways in the night; I think this the most cherished memory of my childhood, this is when I decided that I wanted to travel, like my father.

What do you do now?

What kind of question is that? I thought that Ethan must have told you. We are traveling the land of Agartha in search of the chronicler, he will give us our next destination, I hope.

What can you tell us about your latest adventure?

Let’s see, I have mysteriously ended up in this strange and magical land, Agartha, although I don’t have any memory of how I came to be here.

I met this very nice young man, Ethan, you know him. I also met Darren, he is not as nice, but he is good, in his own savage way.

There is also this crazy army leader, the green lady, who is chasing us for some time, but we are two steps ahead of her.

It has been a very thrilling experience thus far.

Continue reading “Mara (of The Chronicles of Agartha, by Sherif Guirguis)”

David Grey (of the Battle Avatars series, by Ed White)

Dear readers, tonight with us is a man on his deathbed. His only hope for a cure is to quit his job and enter a fantasy computer game full-time, where he must battle murderous invaders threatening to devastate the lands.


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

I grew up in Connecticut, with my older sister, mom, and dad. Winters are cold and summers are mild, full of games and adventures I played with my best bud Jonesy and our neighborhood friends. Our neighborhood wasn’t in Connecticut, it was anywhere we wanted it to be—alien worlds, vast jungles, lost civilizations, and home base. My house tended to be where everyone gathered and I was inside that we played our video games, thanks to a sweet setup built by my dad. From the ancient portal of my living room, we entered even more far away worlds, whether they were in a galaxy far, far away, or in a virtual world—which became all the rage as we left for college.

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

Action figures were on the way out when I was born, so Jonesy and I pretty much played video games, watched movies and anime every chance we got.

Our favorite game to play was the Rebel Lion: we started when we entered college and played the entire time. Sadly, life gets in the way and we don’t see each other much anymore.

My sister and I are very close. My dad—an IT guy—would find us hacks online to use in our video games. He didn’t play very much, but said his friends played tabletop games when they were young. My mom is a retired reporter, she would travel for stories, but I don’t remember her being away that often—maybe because I was playing games so much and with dad’s tech, she was always in contact with us.

Some of the best memories are playing Rebel Lion in VR—that just seems timeless, not the because of the virtual reality, and even if they say time flies when you’re having fun. My childhood seemed to have been forever, but that was eighteen years—we were only in college four years and it felt longer, much longer. Those were good times.

What do you do now?

Ugh.

What I did until a few days ago, was work as a salesman for United Foods. The company was bought by a larger corporation and I saw that as my opportunity to get the hell out of there, taking a job with the Conglomerate for Gaea’s Greater Good. They run the Lenscape Online Game and took me on a probational role as a game moderator, within the Lenscape, looking for hackers. I didn’t trust them at first, still not sure about them, but I’m sick and they’ve promised a cure by cultivating (channeling life force) to purify my body from within Lenscape.

What can you tell us about hunting hackers?

These “hackers”, they’re not hackers. Something else is going on. How does cultivating inside a game like a Kungfu master heal my body in the real world? I’m not sure how I’m supposed to find the hacker or hackers, but I’m enjoying the ride—battling random monsters and a whole mess of ice-age creatures. That’s right up my alley: exploring the ancient Earth during the twilight years of Atlantis. Megaliths and standing stones, ley energy and mythic creatures are a passion of mine—I’ve got tons of books on it, brought home by my mom from her trips.

Continue reading “David Grey (of the Battle Avatars series, by Ed White)”

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