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The Protagonist Speaks

Interviews with the protagonists of your favourite books

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Adventure

Niklas, Eighth Son of Jesse (of Tyrants and Traitors by Joshua McHenry Miller)

Dear readers, tonight with me is a fifteen-year-old shepherd, who spent his whole life dreaming of revolt against the hygiene-adverse Philistines. Recently an all-but-impossible mission is thrust upon him, and he started to rethink the whole hero business. What chance does the daring schemer have when lions, the Mad King, and a literal giant stand in his way?

He is here to tell us of his race to uncover the hidden traitor, conspiracies and armies which converge on the nation — with his hometown directly in the crossfire.


What’s the most vivid memory you have as a child?

I’ve been wrongfully identified as the chief mischief maker in our family. While I’d never deny my penchant for a bit mayhem, one of my older brothers, Abin, is the real godfather of all things chaos. Growing up, he was always seeking the next prank to pull off, and he often used me as patient zero for his ideas. Once, he convinced me to try every spice in our mother’s cabinet. It went alright until I chomped into a blackened mustard seed. My eyes nearly bulged out of their sockets, and I spent the next two hours impersonating a waterfall, spewing fluids all over the house. He lovingly referred to it as ‘Abin’s Surprise.’

Tell us a little about where you grew up?

Ancient Israel is a tale of two worlds. On the one side, our countryside is awesome. We’ve got fertile hills, clear rivers, and some of the best wine this side of the mesopotamian peninsula. It’s a dream scenario, except for the tiny fact that every one of our neighboring countries want to wipe us off the map. Every decade or so, another regional war breaks out, and we spend the next five years cleaning up the mess. Plus, my people aren’t exactly known for a surplus in courage. We’re more of the ‘flee in terror’ crowd than the ‘stand up and fight for yourselves’ demographic, which only paints a larger target on our backs. Continue reading “Niklas, Eighth Son of Jesse (of Tyrants and Traitors by Joshua McHenry Miller)”

James Terrin (of Fall of Zona Nox by Nicholas Woode-Smith)

 

Dear readers, tonight with me is someone from the criminal element. A master thief in the gang-dominated Galis City, crime-ridden capital of the frontier world of Zona Nox, he soon found himself forced to join the Troopers, a galactic alliance of human soldiers.

James is thrust into defending Zona Nox from the alien invasion, but as the conflict continues James realises that this war is not as simple as it may seem.

He is here to tell us about his efforts to save his world.


Tell us a little about Galis City and Zona Nox. What was it like growing up there?

Most of the street kids were born in Dead Stone. You might have heard of it. It was the old starport city before the last big push by the Xank. A lot of us got out. Even more didn’t. Galis? Skite hole. We starved, at the best of times. Other times, we were making other people starve. We stared them in the eyes, held a gun to their heads. Sometimes, the hunger was stronger than the fear. So, what was it like growing up in Galis City? At first, hell. Then, it got better. The city found its place. We became its lords. We ruled the streets. What had once beaten us, now served us. So, we suffered, but it wasn’t for nothing.

How about your family? You must have had one.

Had a family in Dead Stone. A real one. Mom and dad. They didn’t make it. After that? Well, my godfather took me in. Billy Roman, and my best friend, Andrew Roman. They registered me as James Roman for convenience sake. Didn’t mean much. Overnight, the Trooper registries meant nothing. So did family. No, no. Don’t get me wrong. I loved them. It’s just… survival, desperation – it changes things. To protect family, I had to do things no child of any family should do. I loved Billy, but I will never forgive him for that. Continue reading “James Terrin (of Fall of Zona Nox by Nicholas Woode-Smith)”

Gentry Mandrake (of Liefdom by Jesse Teller)

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Dear readers, tonight with me is a creature out of fairy tales – but not those tales we reserve for children. A guardian of a peaceful city, tonight’s protagonist is a fairy like no other.

He is here to tell us about the dark troubles he faces in his society, his longing to belong, and about fighting to protect the human child bound to him.


Tell us a little about yourself and where you come from.

I am a protector, a guardian of the city I live in, and the boy that I was born to. Every time a Gentry fairy is born, a human child is born, a child protected by the Gentry. I protect my child zealously. He is my life, and he is in danger.

The city where I live is called Liefdom. There are many cities in the world of The Veil, but Liefdom is the capital city of all fairy life. We are surrounded by a forest, but all our structures are built into dryad trees. Every tree holding up every house is alive and vibrant, personal. My home is in a tree named Lyadora. She is a black chestnut tree and she strongly dislikes me. I don’t think she hates me; I don’t think she’s capable of hate. But she tells me all the time that I am a monster, that I don’t belong here. Maybe she’s right.

What’s your understanding of hate?

I’m a warrior, so I am intimately engaged with the emotion hate. When I look at a thing that needs to die, I am enveloped with the emotion. My blood heated by it. There are a few things, a few acts, that inspire deep hatred in me. They are all tied to my fate as a protector. The city I live in is often called the City of Innocence. If someone endangers that innocence, my soul boils. There is an adversary out there. I can feel him, as I’m sure he can feel me. His life offends me, though I know not why. He has harmed my child. He has risen to destroy everything. He is poised to take it all away from me, and I know not his name. And I know not his face. But when I near him, I will be able to feel him throbbing in my bones. Continue reading “Gentry Mandrake (of Liefdom by Jesse Teller)”

Dydre Rowyn (of War Merchant by Patrick Parker)

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Dear readers, tonight with me on the interview couch is a woman trying to escape from the black-market arms trade.

Her risky plan went wrong, and she found her – and her son’s – life in danger from her former boss, his mercenaries, a double-crossing businessman, terrorists, the FBI, and a man from the Defense Department.

She is here to tell us about her suspenseful adventures in a world of corrupt politics, a ruthless greedy opportunist, terrorists, and a pawn with deadly skills.


Tell us a little about where you’re from and growing up.

I lived in Hanau, Germany until I was about thirteen when my parents were killed in a car wreck. I was put in a foster home, and about a year later, I ran away. I couldn’t make the adjustment, too young I guess.

I met Johanna Zsigmond in a Frankfurt park not long after I ran away, and she hired me as a live-in domestic and assistant to her. We got along great. Sometimes we’d talk for hours. She convinced me to go back to school and on to Cambridge. She treated me as if I was her daughter and I loved her dearly. I still miss her to this day.

Johanna was such a wonderful person. She was more than a mother to me, she became my best friend. She got me interested in theatre and martial arts, focusing on jujitsu in high school. In my spare time, Johanna taught me the romance languages.

After I moved in with Johanna, I kept quite busy with school and, of course, she kept me busy with language lessons. I liked Frankfurt better than Hanau. There was so much to do in Frankfurt and I loved the markets and festivals. Johanna stressed the arts and we were always going to plays, concerts, and museums.

Any cherished memories?

I miss Johanna. She didn’t have any children of her own and I filled that void. Johanna died of cancer during my junior year at Cambridge. I was devastated and took the rest of the year off. I returned to school the following year as that is what Johanna would have wanted.

I became pregnant during my senior year at Cambridge and was to be married just before graduation. Michael Barron, an army captain, was a very handsome man and a wonderful person. He would be any woman’s dream. Unfortunately, he was killed in Bosnia a week before the wedding.

David, my son, looks just like Michael. David is my world now. Continue reading “Dydre Rowyn (of War Merchant by Patrick Parker)”

Jay of (Suffrage by Julian St Aubyn Green

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Dear readers, tonight with me is woman with powers beyond any human, trying to prevent the destruction of our world by her father.

She is here to tell us about her efforts to redeem herself, save the world, and about certain ancient relics that lie hidden in our world – and of the travellers who come looking for them.


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

I appreciate what you are trying to do, really. But you need to think very carefully about what questions you ask me. I know you feel like you have a duty to the people of this planet to find out about me. It’s admirable. But I know the purpose of this interview. The President wants to use it for propaganda, but for you it’s a record, history in the making and the reason behind all the deaths.

I’m sorry for making you feel nervous, but understand, there are some things I won’t answer. My secrets are too important to share, some of your people have already tried to kill me for them. I might have agreed to this interview as a favor for the President, but that doesn’t mean you have carte blanche. I won’t answer every question.

That said, I was born in a place I only knew as the Facility, in a crèche of my half-brothers and sisters. It was somewhere in the White Realm, that’s all I know. My slave name was Juliet. You can call me Jay. No. I know what you are thinking, my name has nothing to do with William Shakespear. It comes from the military phonetic alphabet. You know, Alpha, Bravo, Charlie…Delta. I remained in the facility until I was rescued by the Rebellion. I’m telling you this because it’s not me you need to fear. It’s the Monarchs that think they can do what they want, because they have the power, and no consequences for their actions.

What can you tell us about-?

No. I don’t consider him my Father. I call him The Inseminator. It’s an appropriate name for a monster of his caliber. You have no idea what he is capable of. He and the other Royals. He is worse than any of your history’s despots. Who was Adolf Hitler? Yes, even worse than him. During the Monarch War, he slaughtered half the world until there was no one willing to stand against him. Just let that sink in. Half the world. Continue reading “Jay of (Suffrage by Julian St Aubyn Green”

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)”

Jessica Sweet (of Sweet Vengeance by Aliya DalRae)

sweet-vengeance-aliya-dalraeDear readers, tonight with us is an orphan, who had some disturbing visions.

At 26, the term may not truly apply, but having been abandoned by her birth parents at an early age, the death of her adoptive parents is like déjà vu all over again. Now she finds herself alone, facing a future that should be unsure; however, the visions she’s been plagued with since childhood are about to descend upon her, pulling her into a supernatural world where her deepest fantasies and most harrowing nightmares will soon come true.

She is here to tell us of the supernatural things she has seen.

 

What was it like growing up in Fallen Cross, Ohio?

First of all, Hey everybody!

So, Fallen Cross is your typical farming community, a tight knit town where everybody knows everybody’s business. How I was ever able to keep my visions a secret is beyond me, and we won’t even talk about the BIG secret lurking around our little burg. Fallen Cross is just outside of Dayton, which is where I was actually born. But circumstances being what they were, what with my real dad taking off and my mom going batpoop crazy, I ended up being adopted by the Sweets and my life was great. Well, until both of them up and died, that is. Dad was killed in a freak crop dusting accident, and Mom followed within the year. I think she died of a broken heart, but you know how that goes. In spite of everything, Fallen Cross is a town that looks out for its own, and I feel really lucky to be a part of it.

Wow, that’s quite a lot of loss for one so young. But surely you had some nice memories from your childhood. A favorite moment or a toy you enjoyed?

I was about six when the Sweets brought me home, so it took some time to adjust after being in the system awhile, never sure if they were going to give me back. But it didn’t take long to get over that.

Some of my favorite memories are of my parents working in the garden and orchard. My dad had a super green thumb and was famous for his produce. People would come from four counties over just to get a bushel of his red delicious apples, or a basket of heirloom tomatoes. Mom helped out when he needed it, but she was happier when they were in her shop, Almost New Again, refinishing antiques and furniture. Whatever they did, though, they did it together, and they did it with love. Nothing was a chore to the two of them, the hardest jobs just another fun challenge that they faced together. I admired them a lot and hope that I will have a forever love like they did.

As far as a favorite toy? Maybe the riding lawnmower? That probably sounds crazy, but we have a lot of acreage here, including the landing strip Dad used for his crop dusting plane, so there was a lot of grass to mow. Being out there on my own, driving around in all that grass? It was peaceful, and I don’t remember ever having a vision while I was mowing. Continue reading “Jessica Sweet (of Sweet Vengeance by Aliya DalRae)”

Winston (of Winston – a Horses’s Tale, by Rita Lee Chapman)

Rita Lee Chapman - Winston - A Horse's TaleDear readers, tonight with me is someone who can’t sit on the interview couch, as his body is built to run in open meadows. Winston is a thoroughbred horse, and he’s here to tell us about the life of an animal many of admire but few understand.

 

 

 

 

Hello Winston, please tell us a little about yourself.

Hi Assaph.  Thank you for inviting me to be on The Protagonist Speaks.

For those of you who don’t know me, I’m Winston from Winston – A Horse’s Tale, written by Rita Lee Chapman. This book is for horse lovers from teenagers upwards who enjoy reading about horses.  It tells of my life and adventures in Australia from my birth, as well as stories of other horses I met along the way.  I try to put over the horse’s point of view on our needs and the reasons why we sometimes act as we do.

What was it like to be a young foal?

My earliest memories are of galloping across green meadows with the wind in my mane and tail as they streamed out behind me, kicking up my heels in pure excitement at being alive and at peace with the world.  At the back of my mind was the sure knowledge that Mum was there watching me, waiting for me to come trotting back to her, exhausted and hungry after playing with the other foals or trying out my still wobbly legs on some new and fanciful manoeuvre. Continue reading “Winston (of Winston – a Horses’s Tale, by Rita Lee Chapman)”

Sapphyre (of Sapphyre by Jason Komito)

Jason Komito - SapphyreDear readers, tonight with me is a young woman, who recently found out that she has latent magical abilities. Accompanied by a mysterious gentlemen and following an ancient prophecy, Sapphyre goes out to face the world.

 

What can you tell us of the streets you grew up on?

Thorenn has not changed much in the past 17 winters, I don’t believe. Oh, yes, please pardon me. I forget that most of the people who are reading this have never been to Arstevia. The capital lays on the east coast of the continent and is the largest city in the land. It is also the largest port on the eastern seaboard and it is a few weeks ride south of the Myth Mountains on the finest of steeds.

Even though I spent my first few winters living on the streets of the city and begging and stealing to get my fill, I do have some good memories of my childhood. I never knew my parents and the first time I ever felt any feeling of family was when I met Kat and joined the Pugs.

I’m sorry I get a little choked up when talking about Katrivus. He is my dearest friend and we are still trying to figure out a way to rescue him.

But I digress. We were speaking of my youth. Continue reading “Sapphyre (of Sapphyre by Jason Komito)”

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