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The Protagonist Speaks

Interviews with the characters of your favourite books

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Dark Fantasy

Kyris of Yond (of Gloomwalker, by Alex Lang)

Dear readers, tonight with us is a young man on a quest to kill holy man with the blessing of a sun god. He is here to tell us about his enemy, about the struggles of slaves and masters, of light and dark. And of his own dark abilities.


Tell me a little about where you grew up.

What? Where am I? How did I get here?

You have been here, Kyris, with me. It’s safe, and we are just having a friendly chat. You were telling me about your childhood, where you grew up. What was it like there?

Yond? I thought it a grand city until I laid eyes upon Vigil. I see now it barely qualifies as a city in comparison. Life was hard when we first arrived. I had to beg and steal on the streets in order to feed myself and my sister, Jahna. But through shrewd scheming and an orchestrated robbery attempt, I was able to engender myself with Tasi and her grandfather, Baaz, an old pit fighter turned instructor. He took us in. I… I’m not sure why I’m telling you this. No one other than Jahna knows I did this. I haven’t even told Tasi after all these years.

It is fine, Kyris. You can trust me. You were not born in Yond?

No. I was born in Gailen. It’s a small village far to the east, past Yond, near the outskirts of the Imperium.

What was life like in Gailen?

It was… pleasant there, until it wasn’t.

Do you have any cherished memories from your time in Gailen?

Certainly. I remember my mother baking sweet spiced flatbread, and the divine smell of it. I remember my father hammering away in his work shed, and little Emin with his wooden blocks. But what I remember most was spending endless hours exploring the forest with Jahna. 

What do you do now?

Do? What I must. What needs to be done.

And this includes stealing and killing?

Stealing, yes. But… Is this is about the job I did for Marlek? That was a fluke. Ask him about the jobs prior to Curunir. All performed flawlessly.

Continue reading “Kyris of Yond (of Gloomwalker, by Alex Lang)”
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Jade (of the Veritas Series, by MJ Vieira)

Dear readers, tonight with me is a woman with no memories, left in a coma to drift between two distinctly different realities.


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

~Tilts head to the side and narrows eyes~ Where I grew up? Well, in Veritas or Malum’s horrible world, I awake in a new world. I don’t have a childhood. Later in the book, I find out that there are past lives I have lived and I supposed the most recent childhood I had would belong to Addy. She had a good one; grew up in Ohio, I think? ~shrugging, I smirk a bit~ But, if I look to my true self, as a Fallen Angel, my ‘childhood’ was strict. The Creator isn’t one to allow too much fun in games from someone destined to bear the souls of the newly conceived to their Earthly bodies. I spent much of my time learning to control my powers, travelling with Onyx, the original angel of Death, I encountered many of man’s triumphs and downfalls. I particularly enjoyed watching the Egyptians build their monuments and the burning of the Tower of Alexandria.

What objects or memories from your past lives, or current ones, bring you peace/happiness?

These are odd questions…~snorts and shrugs lean shoulders~ For a long time, weapons were my only solace. A knife I took from one of the pharos’s tombs in the Delta Nile began my collection. I wasn’t supposed to have a weapon. The Creator saw me as a bearer of good tidings, why would I need a weapon? That was Onyx’s department, not mine. But, being curious, I took one. I began to find more and begged Onyx to train me. He gave in. We were lovers, he wanted me happy so…~raises hands in a ‘voila’ gesture~ So, over time, these knives became a sort of stress ball for me.

Now? Well, outside of Malum’s apocalyptic world, I love music. I have a collection of iPods and phones from those I feed from. The music I find there brings me some peace.

As for memories? ~tugs bottom lip in between my teeth~ I have a lot to go through. But off the top of my head? When Onyx was trying to teach me to fly after my awakening in Veritas, he took me to a cliff over looking a river, demanded I release my wings and then pushed me over the side. Onyx is a firm believer in tough love and learning from experience. So, I figure out how to ride the air drafts, land and take my boots off because they were cramping my style. Onyx decides to give me crap and in return, I throw a boot at him. He ducks and there goes my shoe ~whistles to simulate a falling object~ He thought that was hilarious… ~rolls eyes~ but, now? Yeah, it’s funny.

What do you do now?

Hmm well, now? I am trying to help the Rebels and the free people left on the Earth rise above the threat of Aton and Malum’s evil residue he’s left across the planet.

What can you tell us about your latest adventure?

Well, in the last installment, I wake up mentally and find myself helping the Onyx and Andor to fix the crap Malum pulled. Only now we’ve found out there is a bigger picture, one we didn’t see coming. A bigger baddie, Aton, is about to be released by a siren named Loreley. Guess who gets to fight him? ~smirks~ Yep, me. Well, Onyx and Andor are supposed to help, but I wouldn’t count on it. At least I found out what his deal is. As the keeper of hell, well, the realm of the Dead, he tended to keep his soul detached. Well, silly Nik, another God, it gets confusing ~waves hand dismissively~ stole it and now Aton is angry, seeking revenge. This is one scary mother fucker, let me tell you. He looks like a skeleton and his sense of humor makes Onyx’s dry ass comments seem like slap stick comedy. His anger is worse. Former lover to the Creator, he’s one bitter ex and the only thing that will make it better is burning Eden and heaven.  No pressure.

What did you first think when you realized Malum wasn’t what he pretended to be?

It was a shock. Jager and Nik laid it all out for me but believing the one person who seemed to have my best interests was a hard pill to swallow. Still, once the shock wore off, I couldn’t ignore the signs any longer: Malum was evil and I was helping him hurt innocent people. I’d become a weapon. I had to find a way to get out and fix the mess I’d help to create.

What was the scariest thing in your adventures?

My fear isn’t from the monsters I face but the idea of failing. If I don’t succeed, the world ends…What is scarier than that?

What is the worst thing about your powers?

Well, feeding I suppose. I either have to drink blood, feed from lust or take a soul in order to keep going. Don’t get me wrong, in the right context it’s amazing but when I hurt an innocent? I hate that.

What is the best thing about it?

The feeling of power that comes from it. When I feed from Onyx especially, take his blood, feed from his lust, not only is there pleasure involved but I can feel my powers growing. It’s like electricity running along my skin. It’s better than any drug you can find and knowing I can take on anyone? That’s a rush on its own.

Tell us a little about your friends.

Friends? ~tilts head to the side~ I don’t have many. Onyx now, but he’s fickle as a woman. One moment he’s on my side, the next he’s pushing my buttons. I guess being the original Reaper makes you a bit of a crank ass. Let’s see…then there is Andor, the liaison between the Rebels and myself. He’s a hoot…~snorts and shakes head~ Well, he thinks he is anyways. I’m not sure I’d consider Nikolai a friend…more of an ally Gods tend to keep their loyalties under wraps. Then there is Jager, ~heavy sigh~, he was my last life, Addy’s, former husband. But he became the Rebel’s leader and warned me, well her…Addy, about Malum. I miss him. He died you see, after we fought Malum and overthrew him. So see? Not many friends…

Any romantic involvement?

HA! Yes, Onyx. But it isn’t the type of romance poets write about or songs are made from. At least not in the traditional sense. He has my back, I have his. But things like that don’t last and sadly, neither will this.

Whom (or what) do you really hate?

Oi…in case you missed it earlier…Malum is right up there. Fucking demon brings about the end of the world by infiltrating Addy’s dreams, killing her unborn baby, and then turning her/me into a weapon of mass destruction. Along the way he nearly kills me when I failed to kill Jager and he killed a lover I’d had in a fit of jealous rage. So, safe to say I really hate him.

But you know what else I hate? Socks. Irritating fuckers.

What’s your favourite drink, colour, and relaxing pastime?

Saying blood would be too cliché, yeah? ~smirks~ No, my favorite drink is ice coffee. I love the color a shade of blue you only find in ice and as far as relaxing pastimes go, I enjoy shooting on a range or playing laser tag.

What does the future hold for you?

The future isn’t a happy time for me. At least, not in the beginning. I have to save Eden from being burned, give Aton his soul back, and make a deal with the devil. It’ll cost me a friend and reset things. Life as I know it will shift to the point of no return and in order to save the one I love, I will have to accept he will never remember our time in Veritas.

Can you share a secret with us, which you’ve never told anyone else?

Well, the truth is, I killed Mufasa….ha! Just kidding. My real secret is while I may not remember it initially, I know and love Aton.


MJ Vieira is originally from Southern Maine. She recently moved to Southwestern Missouri with her husband, Alan, son, AJ, and their fur babies Poopah (Pitbull mix) and Fluffa (Himalayan cat). As a child, she traveled around the state with her parents, seeing the vast history the New England state had to offer as well as touring the nation while showing her American Quarter Horse. While traveling, she read many of the great authors of the time including JRR Tolkien, Stephen King, CS Lewis and Ann Rice. It is these writers combined with power of music, mainly hard rock and folk, MJ draws her inspiration. In between writing, MJ enjoys reading, collecting music and attending concerts.

You can find Jade on the pages of Lux.

Keep an eye out for our mid-week SPFBO5 special fantasy interviews! Join us next week to meet a young woman destined to become a dark monster. Please follow the site by email (bottom-right) to be notified when the next interview is posted.

Marissa LaRoche (of A Sea of Broken Glass, by Sonya M Black)

Dear readers, tonight with me is a woman who endured weeks of torture after being convicted of witchery. She is her to tell us about her escape, and about being hunted by the Darkness and the Lady for the magic that sings within her.


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

I grew up in Greendale which is a lovely little town surrounded by flax fields. My father had a lot of trouble keeping me in line. I was a bit of handful. It’s a good thing Bran and Aeron were around. My Shield and Cloak kept me out of the worst trouble even if it was Aeron who taught me to pick locks and pockets. Bran didn’t like it, but he agreed it was a necessary skill to learn considering what I am. It was Aeron who taught me how to fight hand to hand and Bran who taught me how to shoot a pistol.

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

I loved to climb the clock tower in the church and hide up there. I could watch the whole valley and pretend I was going on an adventure to the Western Wilds or navigating the Warring Sea. When I was thirteen, I waited up in the tower until after nightfall and snuck down into the church. I stole the money from the offering box as prank since Father Delaney was a bit of crab. Bran and my father were furious, but Aeron slipped me a berry tart for a job well done.

What do you do now?

I’m a Healer, but beyond that I’m the last Vessel. Very few people know about me being the Vessel. If they knew, life would get … complicated.  I don’t really want to be the Vessel. No one knows what will happen if the Lady or the Darkness fill me with their power. So the fewer people who know what I am, the better. I love being a Healer. Love helping people. It feels like forever since I’ve been able to be just a Healer.

What can you tell us about your latest adventure?

We’re on the run from demons, the Bastion, the Darkness, and pretty much anyone and everyone who wants to use me as the Vessel. But, the Lady tasked me with finding the Heart of Creation before the Darkness gets it. Michel thinks I’m nuts and Aeron is only going along with it because he feels responsible for me. Bran would freak if he knew I was headed into the Bonelands. But I don’t know where he’s at. Aeron mentioned that Bran intends to meet up with us. Not that Bran would get a say in what I’m doing. It has to be done. I won’t let the world be consumed by Darkness.

Continue reading “Marissa LaRoche (of A Sea of Broken Glass, by Sonya M Black)”

Igmar (of The Ashen Levels, by CF Welburn)

Dear readers, tonight we print an interview with a member of the supporting cast of a fantasy novel. The interview was conducted on his home fantasy world by native crones, and discusses the protagonist and the Good Company, swords and sorcery, and the ashen.


Igmar blinked.  “Where am I?”

“The island has no name. Though, some call it Coal.” He squinted as two figures swam into focus before him. The one who had spoken was a withered crone, all crows’ feet and brown teeth; the other, a girl of about eight winters, sat wide-eyed, clasping a doll.

“How did I get here” he asked, frowning.

“Storm.” the crone said, as though it were as natural an occurrence as another dawn. “Drink your tea.”

Igmar looked down at the steaming mug beside him. He raised it, sniffed and was about to take a sip when he paused.

“Who are you?”

“Heggerty.” said the crone. “Welcome to our abode. This here is—”

“Belitha!” shot the girl, enthusiastically, her small feet kicking, making her chair wriggle and creak. The crone smiled fondly then turned her eyes upon him once more.

“Now you know our names, and since you’re our guest, tell us of yourself?”

“Guest?” he repeated absently, rubbing his head and staring down at the tea in his hand. He took a sip. Strangely bitter and sweet at once; quenching his thirst to leave him parched once more. He took another and sank back into his chair. After a weary sigh, his words seemed to drift unbidden from his mouth.

“My name is Igmar. I recall no storm… perhaps a boat…” he searched his weathered boots for an answer, before giving up. “Anyway, I’ll need to get back soon.”

“Back where?” Heggerty asked.

“Back to the wilds, of course. The north. The sea is no place for me. I’ve duties to uphold.”

“The wilds are vast—compared to our small island, at least. Might you be more specific?”

“I roam. I’ve no home. If I were to name my origin, I suppose I’d say Warinkel. You’ll not have heard of it.”

“We know of it.” she said, surprising him. But just then his gaze was drawn to the doll Belitha was caressing. An uneasiness grew within him.

“What’s that you’ve got there?”

“A doll.” she said, turning it until Igmar looked upon his own likeness. Bald head; large, hooked nose; long, dark beard, streaked with as much grey as black; a missing ear; small, black ashen eyes.

“What’s that for?”

“Just a souvenir.” Belitha said, sweetly. “For my collection. I hope you don’t mind.”

Igmar was about to say that he did mind. That he minded more than he could reasonably explain. But just then the crone broke in, as if reading his thoughts.

“You’re not the first ashen we’ve met. One of your kind caused us great distress, in fact.”

Igmar swallowed, something in her tone threatened.

Continue reading “Igmar (of The Ashen Levels, by CF Welburn)”

Lady Gwenhwyfar (of A Cup of Blood, by Troy A. Hill)

Dear readers, tonight we print an interview carried in an alchemist’s shop, in an alternate history where the Arthurian legends are real.


The woman strode into my shop, head and back erect. Dressed in light green woolen dress of an early medieval cut. The sleeves and neck were embroidered with the swirling points of Celtic patterns of olde. I waved her to a chair.

“Toss your cloak on the rail, milady,” I said, giving the cauldron a final stir and taste before I raised it another notch above the coals and left it to simmer.

The woman’s cloak was a dark forest green, embroidered with the Celtic Tree of Life symbol. The cloak seemed to shimmer and dance. That’s when I realized the fabric was of the finest wool I had seen, and the design was not embroidered but woven as part of the cloth.

My guest seated herself, still formal. Almost regal. Her blue-grey eyes sparkled in the dim light of the shop. Her silver-gold hair danced with reflected colors from our surroundings.

“May I offer you a potion, or spell after your travels? Your home in Penllyn is far is it?”

“Tea would be preferred,” she said. “But whatever you have about is appreciated. No, Penllyn isn’t far when one have magical means to travel.”

I busied myself getting the water poured and the leaves steeping. I passed her a cup a few moments later.

“Diolch,” she said. “Thank you in my native tongue.”

“Do you take anything with your tea?”

“This is perfectly fine, and appreciated,” Lady Gwen said. “I understand you’d like to learn more about me and my story. Please.” She waved a hand in invitation.

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

My early years were in my father’s kingdom, north of the Humber River, though on the west side of our island, in what you would know as Strathclyde, part of Britain. This would have been in the period of time you refer to as the Dark Ages.

What do you do now?

I am first disciple to The Lady, Goddess of Sovereignty of Britannia.

Goddess of Sovereignty?

She rewards the leaders of the land, giving them sovereignty over the people and land, as long as they fulfill the mission of protecting those lands and the people. The goddess is the land, and Britannia is her. The goddess’ concern is that her people thrive and prosper.

What can you tell us about your latest adventure?

The goddess sent me to find her second disciple. This woman would become the new champion of the land. When I found Maria dead, along with the corpse of two Witch Hunters, I couldn’t understand why the goddess needed her, that creature she was, to be the new champion of Britain–

The new champion of Britannia? You mean like King Arthur

My former husband was…

Continue reading “Lady Gwenhwyfar (of A Cup of Blood, by Troy A. Hill)”

Tova Nokes (of The City Screams, by Phil Williams)

Dear readers, tonight with us is a woman, deaf since childhood. She’s on her way to Tokyo to undergo revolutionary ear surgery, though she isn’t quite aware of what’s in store for her.


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

I’ve been living in Ripton, Ordshaw, since I was born; it’s not the most glamourous part of the city but there’s a lot of people, so it’s never boring. Sure, it’s too far to walk into the centre, and we don’t have major cultural spots like the New Thornton galleries, or big parks, but we’ve got shops and good tube connections and the Gabber Market once a month. There’s also an abandoned railway line they say is haunted; we used to dare each other to run down it. But mostly people go there to do drugs.

Anyway, now that places like Ten Gardens are getting too popular, and prices are going up, it’s all going to swing back to Ripton, and we’ll be the next up-and-coming place to be!

You would have to say that, don’t you work on the Ripton Council?

Well, I’m not a politician, promotion isn’t in my job description – I mostly make sure other people’s numbers add up. But I see the work that goes into the neighbourhood, so I do have a little pride in it.

Then, I also see the where work doesn’t get done. If I was responsible, you’d definitely hear about Ripton’s greatness! We’d change the name to Tova Town.

What’s stopping you?

Um. Besides being a world class mediocrity? Probably the fact that everyone treats me like a charity case, even if I’m better at my job than most people in the office.

They treat you that way because you can’t hear?

That and because I make really bad jokes.

But the hearing, at least, might change soon. What can you tell us about your upcoming adventure?

Now that is an interesting thing. I won a lottery run by Mogami Industries; I’m flying to Japan and they’re going to scramble my brain or something. Miracle Surgery, You Too Can Hear! I wasn’t going to enter, it sounds unreal and there’s negativity about it in Deaf Club, but I missed my bus on a wet Tuesday and filled in this form on my phone while I was waiting, and here we are!

Of course no one really believes the surgery will work.

Continue reading “Tova Nokes (of The City Screams, by Phil Williams)”

Lt. General Quain Marln (of The General’s Legacy, by Adrian G Hilder)

Dear readers tonight with us are two companions – a lieutenant general, second in command to the general, and an archmage. They are here to tell us about bloody battles, about a world of warriors and magic, and of a war without end.


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

Quain: I grew up in the port city of Halimouth on the southern coast of Valendo. When I got to the age where watching canal barges and ships coming in to dock became dull, Halimouth lost its appeal. Trouble with Halimouth is it’s full of sailors — men. That means too few women to go around and—

Disembodied man’s voice: Just eight heartbeats to start talking about your women conquests. These people are sophisticated intellectuals interested in higher learning. They want to know about Valendo’s snowcapped mountains, the sweeping green valleys, enchanting waterfalls, the history of the Ruberan pilgrim fathers establishing of the Church of the Sun here. They want to know about the civil war that almost happened and the subsequent invasion of the Nearhon army. They want to know about the legendary General of Valendo, Garon.

Quain: Eight heartbeats? You seriously counted eight heartbeats?

Man’s voice: What of it?

Quain: You think that’s normal, to count—

Man’s voice: Shall we get back to the interview?

Quain: Sorry. Anyway, you missed mentioning Valendo’s famous Vale horses. Indomitable beasts but I prefer Ruberan horses. Less hairy, sleek with a much better sense of rhythm.

Man’s voice: Why is a horse’s sense of rhythm relevant?

Quain: It’s way easier to teach them to dance and the way their mane swishes from side to side is enchanting.

Man’s voice: And the relevance?

Quain: It puts on quite a show at the head of a marching arming as I get them singing, and forgetting about the prospect of burning to a lump of greasy goo in mage fire. If they avoid that, it’s swords or whatever necromantic horror Magnar conjures up next. Which reminds me, the Nearhon scout network thinks you’re dead, or at least too sick to function. Aren’t you blowing your cover coming here invisible and gate crashing my interview?

Man’s voice: I might be a lost soul come back from beyond the funeral pyre to torment you for the rest of your life.

Quain: Are you sure I’m the one that would be tormented by that situation?

I’m sorry, I have to interrupt and ask who your unexpected companion is?

Quain: He’s called Jade.

Man’s voice: My name is Zeivite Quarntaker. I am Archmage of Valendo. I would appreciate it if you kept that silly Jade sobriquet to yourself. It’s a girl’s name that thankfully hardly anyone knows.

Quain: What about the five thousand two hundred and twenty-five members of the Valendo army at the last Battle of Beldon valley in 1852? That’s including the ladies of questionable repute, if you take my meaning. Can’t forget to include them.

Zeivite: The one’s that aren’t dead have probably forgotten about it now.

Quain: And anyone reading this interview?

Zeivite: Shut up.

Quain: You will go around wearing a dress—

Zeivite: It’s a robe and—

Quain: It’s very important to your station as Archmage. It has pockets and everything. Because you need somewhere to keep your tea making supplies.

Continue reading “Lt. General Quain Marln (of The General’s Legacy, by Adrian G Hilder)”

Paulette Monot (of Royal Blood, by Bruce Woods)

Dear readers, tonight with us is a woman from the time of the Matabele Wars in what is now Zimbabwe.

She is an adventurer, a friend to famous people, and a vampire.


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

Questions regarding background are devilishly difficult for such as I, in that one is always cognizant of two separate and very different “births.” I spent my last mortal years in the metropolis of Manhattan, and was, I think, much like any other young woman there at the time. I was intelligent, a tad ruthless, attractive (if I may say so), and soon to be something else entirely! In the years since I’ve traveled extensively, exploring not only Matabeleland but the hidden wonders of Empress Cixi’s China.

What do you do now?

I have been, I am, and I hope to continue to be for some time to come. Having at one time been persona non grata among my Kind as a result of my unconventional “making” (I was created accidentally and against my will, thus contravening all regulations regarding the creation of a new member of the Kin), I am now considered to be, if not a leader per se, at the very least a spokeswoman for my Kind in America. I currently operate out of my fiefdom in Washington D.C., and look after the wealth that my travels has afforded me while attempting to enhance the invisibility of my Kin and defend their status against those who would usurp it.

What can you tell us about your latest adventure?

The tale currently available concerns the First Matabele War in what is now Zimbabwe. At the behest of a cabal of Britishers, including Lady Ellen Terry (“Ageless” stage actress and undead Mistress of the City), Cecil Rhodes, and Sherlock Holmes, I traveled to Africa to see what influence I might have on the troubles then subsuming that region.

Continue reading “Paulette Monot (of Royal Blood, by Bruce Woods)”

Bridget Etheridge (of Mystic Evermore, by Cecelia Hopkins-Drewer)

Dear readers, tonight with me is a young woman who moved to a small rural town — where things are not quite as they seem.

She is here to tell us whether there is something more to kids than dressing as goths, or running away from home once a month.


Can you introduce yourself, please?

My name is Bridget Etheridge and I am eighteen years old.  The tales in “The Nevermore Parables Series”, which commences with Mystic Evermore, are punctuated with extracts from my diary. So you can say I’m sort of the narrator. The books don’t use the first person all the time – but the guiding thread is ME!

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

I’m an army kid. I grew up everywhere my father was transferred, which was mostly around the easterly coast of the United States of America.  It was quite unsettling and I didn’t have any long term friends until we moved to Mystic Evermore in Georgia. By that time I was desperate for us to settle down and with any luck, this will become a permanent placement for dad and we might settle down.

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

As an army kid, I got pretty good at letting go of material possessions.  I do have a collection of school uniforms from all the different schools I have attended. Role plays anyone?

What do you do now?

I’m a senior at Mystic Evermore High. What else would an eighteen year old be doing? Oh and I have some volunteer work happening.

Continue reading “Bridget Etheridge (of Mystic Evermore, by Cecelia Hopkins-Drewer)”

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