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The Protagonist Speaks

Interviews with the characters of your favourite books

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Children

Genie, Whit, and Mei (of Descendants of Avalon, by J. Lynn Else)

Dear readers, tonight we are joined by three friends who claim their friend was kidnapped by an evil wizard. I mean, we were supposed to be joined by three friends who are, well, I guess they’re still out looking for their friend? Wait! Something is happening. Yes! A portal is opening. It appears to be made from water. This beautiful circle is expanding on the wall, opening up to–oh my! Lo and behold, we’ve now been joined by three young women. High school ages I would guess. Behind them are lovely trees and a city up in the—no wait! The portal closed. (heavy sigh) Well, welcome guests! May I get your names?

Girl 1: Hi, I’m Genie. Sorry we’re late.

Girl 2: I’m Mei.

Girl 3: And I’m Whit. Hello!


So, portals! That’s an interesting way to travel. Tell us about why you’re here.

Whit: First of all, thanks for having us. We’re all excited for this opportunity. 

Mei: Though we can’t stay long. Beth, that’s our other friend, she’s being held captive. So yeah, Morgana gave us, like, 10 minutes to spread the word.

Genie: Sorry about that. You’ve heard of Morgana, right? AKA Morgan le Fey? Basically, one of the bad guys from Arthurian legend. While I still have my suspicions, she is helping us rescue Beth, so there’s that. She’s pretty strict about things being her way or the highway, and I thought she was going to curse us just for asking for 10 minutes.

So where are you all from? Is it where you portaled from? Oh look, I think I just made a new word. Portaled.

Mei: That is strictly classified. I mean, I’d like to tell you, but.

Whit: We’re actually just visiting there. It’s so pretty in Av–. I mean, that av-idly magical place. 

Genie: Whit is the smooth one of the group, as you can obviously tell. Ouch! Watch the elbows, Whit. Anyway. We’re not supposed to let the outside world know this land still exists.

Mei: I tried to take a selfie, and Morgana zapped my phone. So not cool. It’d better work after we find Beth and go home.

Genie: We’re actually from this small town in Northern Minnesota. Its near Hinckley, if you’ve ever been to the Casino there. The cell phone reception is the worst, but we discovered we have a portal connecting us to a magical land.

Mei: Talk about well-disguised. No way would you guess it’s secret. It’s this old, crusty fountain that we made a wish into. The waters are all orangish and gross. Like you’d never guess it was a magic fountain.

Whit: (whispering) I think they get it.

Mei: (louder) Even if you had a thousand guesses–

Genie: Anyway! We made this wish and apparently an evil wizard now wants to capture us and our wishes. His minions got to Beth. So now we’re on a quest to rescue her. We could use your help, if you could spread the word.

Why does this wizard want your wishes?

Genie: He’s using coins thrown in wishing wells to reforge Excalibur. Basically, he’ll be able to cut himself free from the bonds of his prison and take over Earth since there’s all this dormant magic we’re not using anymore.

Mei: I guess he’s got Excalibur’s hilt, but no one’s seen the blade since King Arthur died or something. That right, Genie? She’s the King Arthur expert in our group.

Genie: You know, Morgana is pretty hush-hush on the details there. Total sus.

Whit: Maybe she’s just misunderstood.

Mei: Watch out, Genie, Viviane may call you arrogant again if you keep on judging Morgana.

Genie: Don’t remind me! So embarrassing.

Whit: Viviane is the Lady of the Lake, by the way.

Genie: Yes, well, Viviane and her friend the misunderstood dark sorceress said this wizard is using people’s hopes and dreams that they imbue into their wishes to reforge the blade.

Mei: So now we’re kicking robes and taking names.

Robes?

Mei: Wizards wear robes, don’t they?

Got it. So what’s the scariest thing in your adventures so far?

Whit: Val’s sword training.

Mei: Morgana’s beady eyes always watching us.

Whit: The bruises I have from Val’s sword training.

Mei: Morgana turning into a raven. She’s like Edgar Allen Poe’s dream girl. Can you imagine what a meeting of those two would be like?

Genie: Seriously, no. It was those Betwixt creatures that attacked us. Twice.

Mei: They’re not scary at first. Stout little dudes with giant puffs of hair.

Genie: They are when they morph into different creatures to try and trick you. And when they have swords they can use effectively. Cause, we can’t use our swords.

Mei: YET. Can’t use swords yet. But okay, you win.

Continue reading “Genie, Whit, and Mei (of Descendants of Avalon, by J. Lynn Else)”

Azaeli (Azi) Hammerfel (of Keepers of the Wellsprings Series by Missy Sheldrake)

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Dear readers, tonight with me is a young girl who trained in swordplay to become a Squire. When she finally earned the honor, her name was mysteriously left off of the list for the King’s Quest. She is here to tell us what happened next to her knight parents and the king’s court, and of the new magical friends she made on the way.

 

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

I grew up in Cerion City, in the guild hall of His Majesty’s Elite, where my parents are both knights. Cerion is a beautiful kingdom just in the center of the Known Lands which prides itself on its acceptance of people of all races and creeds. Our kingdom has known peace for many decades now under the rule of the Plethores. His Majesty King Tirnon Plethore is a fair and loving king, and one my family is proud to serve.

Cerion is a cliffside city, and the most remarkable thing about it is its port. Ships dock beside the sheer cliff face, and their wares are brought up to the market using an enormous lift. Sometimes the lift is operated by Mages, especially in the harsh winter months when ice can be a problem. Other times, the lifts are operated by cranks pushed by men. People sometimes use the lifts as well, but most tend to prefer climbing the stairs carved into the cliff wall.

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

My favorite toys…hmm. Of course, the wooden practice sword my parents gave me when I was very young. I played with that often. Rian and I—he’s my neighbor and my most cherished friend, his mum is our guild’s leader—we used to play at sword fighting in the guild practice pitch often. That’s until he decided to take up magic under Uncle’s sharp eye. Mages don’t use swords, so that play was eventually set aside in favor of books and study for him. I have so many fond memories of my childhood. The guild was always kind to me. They would play at swords with me often. And of course my memories of playing with Princess Sarabel in the palace gardens and later her little sister Margary will always be dear to my heart. Continue reading “Azaeli (Azi) Hammerfel (of Keepers of the Wellsprings Series by Missy Sheldrake)”

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