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The Protagonist Speaks

Interviews with the protagonists of your favourite books

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Horror

Lawrence Choyce Bartholomew (of Tompkin’s School: For The Dearly Departed by Tabi Slick)

Dear readers, tonight with me is a young man who has been forced to go back to school – a century after he originally graduated. It’s not too bad, as he is a creature of the night, and is able to manipulate time.

He is here to tell us about his extraordinary powers, his time travels, and his continuing quest to be reunited with his younger brother.


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

I was born in Missouri in 1893 so you can imagine it was definitely in the country. My father owned a brewery and my mother raised my younger brother and I. Or tried to, anyway. I never could get control over my bloody temper and my younger brother was no better. That’s why we were sent off to Tompkin’s Academy when it opened in the autumn of 1910.

What have you been doing since 1910 and now?

Since my brother and I have been separated, my powers haven’t been progressing like I know they were meant to. So I’ve been using what power I do have to sense other beings like myself in the hopes that I find  the one powerful enough to reunite me with my little brother, Edwin Bartholomew. Continue reading “Lawrence Choyce Bartholomew (of Tompkin’s School: For The Dearly Departed by Tabi Slick)”

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Tynan Selvantyr (of Into the Darkness, by A. M. Rycroft)

Dear readers, tonight with me is a man long departed, contacting us from the other side.

Once the realm’s greatest sell-sword and adventurer, he sealed his sword in a dark cave, and placed a curse upon it. He spent a century in the caves as a ghost, until someone found a way to accesses the deepest reaches of the caverns and trigger the curse.

He’s here to tell us about his adventures as a ghost, mentoring the young woman who retrieved his sword and triggered the curse.


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

I was born in the bustling port city of Acantha. It’s close to the Golden Peaks, south of Cathell itself. My father was a well-known merchant there and our family was quite influential across the region. I found it a stifling environment, however, with too many expectations I had no desire to meet. I made every attempt to leave as soon as I was old enough to set out on my own.

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

No, not really any favorite toys I can recall, other than my stuffed bear Rufall. My father did not believe in a lot of play time for his children. He pushed learning on us more. I had favorite books instead. Histories of the realm and the rise of the Tae’Ahjin Empire. And my magik primers, of course.

What do you do now?

Well, as a ghost, I don’t have many worldly demands on my time anymore. However, I was once Cathell’s greatest adventurer. The bards sang of my exploits across the realm. I genuinely miss being an adventurer — the thrill of exploration and hunting out treasures that farm-hands only dream about. There are few things as exciting as that. And of course, a good clash of swords and trading spells with rival adventurers and mercenaries! I have to admit, when the chance arose for one last adventure, I jumped at it. Perhaps I should have warned Aeryn, before I gave her my sword, but sometimes the path to a good adventure requires a little subterfuge at first. Continue reading “Tynan Selvantyr (of Into the Darkness, by A. M. Rycroft)”

Kaiya (of The Last Faoii, by Tahani Nelson)

Dear readers, tonight with me is the last disciple of a militaristic order, that for generations have protected the empire.

Her monastery was destroyed and all her sisters slain. She now travels the country on a mission to avenge her sisters and preserve what is left of her heritage.

She is here to tell us about a war-ravaged empire, of betrayal and freedom, and of family secrets she has uncovered.


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

I grew up in the Monastery of the Eternal Blade, which I think is the largest of the Illindrian Monasteries. It was an okay place to grow up. Every girl wants to be Faoii, right? The Preoii used to always tell me I should be grateful for the chance to be there. And for the most part I was grateful. I loved learning swordsmanship and war magic, it’s just… do you have any idea how long the Preoii can babble on for during Chapel? I always hated that part. Why should Faoii have to learn about Preoii spells? Or Cleorii? And when am I ever going to use calligraphy? That kind of stuff was just so boring.

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

I remember the wooden fantoii I got one summer. It was full-sized and weighted and everything! Most of the other girls were still in smaller blades then, but I was already the tallest in my class, and the Ascended Faoii decided I was finally worthy. It even had “my blade is my arm” engraved on the side! Can you believe it? Part of the Oath right there! For everyone to see! Mollie was so jealous!

What was the worst thing about living in the Monastery?

Early Morning Chapel. Seriously. If the Goddess is Eternal, why would it matter to Her whether I’m up at Dawn or two hours later? Continue reading “Kaiya (of The Last Faoii, by Tahani Nelson)”

Travis Malone and Spencer Abbot (of the Hell Bent series by Kayla Matt)

Dear readers, tonight with me are two people who started their day as anyone would.

Looking for a present to one’s wife, they came across a photography studio. What they uncovered there shocked them – and will no doubt shock and disturb you too.

Read on to learn more about the gruesome underbelly of city of Hell Bent.


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

Spencer: About Hell Bent… Well, there’re laboratories everywhere, for one thing. See, where Travis and I are from, science is the most likely career option for most people. My own parents pushed me to pursue medicine. It might not be the most respected job one could take, but it’s still a necessary one.

Travis: Yeah, our hometown might be all science-y and shit, but some of their laws are kinda crappy. Someone commits a crime or ends up homeless for some reason, they won’t get a lawyer or any sort of aid. Nope, they get shipped right to a lab the moment they’re found out. And when they reach those labs, that’s when the experiments begin.

Spencer: So…yes. Our hometown is that odd combination of progressive and practically barbaric at the same time.

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

Travis: I don’t really think dad let me or my sister have that many toys. Dude was…seriously, SERIOUSLY not fit to be a parent. He kicked us both out when I throat-punched the hell out of him. We got lucky, though, that the first person to encounter us post-evol…em…uh, Spence, what’s that word for when you get kicked out of your house?

Spencer: Eviction.

Travis: Right, right. Thanks. Anyway, post-eviction, we were taken in by one of the city’s best geneticists. Yeah, she sort of tweaked our DNA a bit, but she didn’t do anything without our okay. So, I’d say that meeting Dr. Taylor was one of the best memories I have.

Spencer: What, nothing about meeting me?

Travis: (shrugs) Dude, I’ve known you since before I could remember.

Spencer: Ah, right. Anyhow, my parents were both quite loving and supportive, even if they were rather insistent upon my studying medicine. A lot of the toys I had were related to that. I was a whiz at Operation by the time I hit the second grade. But I had this skeleton I kept stored in my closet. His name was Geoff.

Travis: Geoff was creepy.

Spencer: To each his own, I suppose. My best childhood memory, though, was when Travis and I reconnected. We were separated for a few years, so to see him again was a blessing. Continue reading “Travis Malone and Spencer Abbot (of the Hell Bent series by Kayla Matt)”

Superior Mother (of Women of the Grey: Starburst, by Carol James Marshall)

Dear readers, tonight with me is the chilling leader of an alien race.

She is the Superior Mother, leader of the secretive Women of the Grey. They live amongst us, unknown to humanity.

She is here with her assistant, to answer a few questions.


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

“It is understood among my kind that we do not question our leaders. Answers, my sweet, are earned. I hardly believe you have bothered to earn such information from me.”

With this Superior Mother sits back. There is a sense of cold in the air, almost like the first hint of autumn.

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

Superior Mother learns in, seeming displeased.

“If I had known you were to ask my questions of such insolence I would have prepared myself to be entertained. Our kind does not play. We plan, we build, we watch, and when humans are busy with these toys you speak of, we strike. I do not understand how humans have thrived for so long, with concepts like toys.”

Superior Mother sits back, slowly shaking her head with the occasional tap of a ring on her index finger to the table. Continue reading “Superior Mother (of Women of the Grey: Starburst, by Carol James Marshall)”

Vornen (of Oblivion’s Forge by Simon Williams)

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Dear readers, tonight with me is a member of a truly alien race. They have at last found the world of Aona, and in so doing have awaken ancient powers. Their world is now in turmoil, on the verge of total war.

 

Tell us about the world of Aona, what is it like?

Aona is vast – with four main lands, Aphenhast, Harn, Alhar and the separate lands of the South Ocean Islands. A lot of it remains unexplored. Aphenhast is ruled by one ruling family in the south, although their influence doesn’t extend much further than the Crescent mountains.

What can you tell us about the mysterious Gates?

I’m drawn to them and for a moment I see something that’s like a tear in the fabric of reality – a window to somewhere else, you might say. Some lead to other worlds, some lead only out into the Void between worlds. Regardless of that, all of them are dangerous and unpredictable. Legend has it that they were used millennia ago by the creatures known as marandaal, in an attempt to destroy all life on Aona. Continue reading “Vornen (of Oblivion’s Forge by Simon Williams)”

Ted Applegate (of Vengeance of the Werewolf by Mercedes Fox)

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Dear readers, tonight with us on the interview couch is a brave man who fought several werewolves – and has the scars to prove it.

Tell us about where you grew up. Did you have a favorite toy, a favorite memory?

Crystal and I moved to Wolfcreek right after I graduated the police academy. I don’t call anywhere home because we moved around a lot. My favorite memory was graduation. For Crystal and I it meant the beginning of a whole new life—a life we controlled. So we packed up and took off and ended up in Wolfcreek.

How does one become a werewolf? What are the popular culture myths that are just not true?

I didn’t even believe in these things until the murders in Wolfcreek started. We were only finding parts of people at times. If we did find a body it looked like an animal feasted on it. The bodies were torn open and much of the entrails were missing.

Since my attack I’ve learned quite a bit about werewolves. For one, they don’t need the full moon to turn. Only a newborn pup (or newly bitten, like myself) need the moon’s pull for the first change. Werewolves are not mindless monsters either. I control my wolfish side. The wolf is part of me now and I can call it out anytime I want. Continue reading “Ted Applegate (of Vengeance of the Werewolf by Mercedes Fox)”

Daina Harrow (of Skeletal by Katherine Hayton)

SkeletalDear readers, tonight on the guest couch we have Daina Harrow. Daina has been a victim of a terrible crime, and is here to impart a powerful message. 

 

 

What was your favourite toy as a child?

I used to own a fluffy blue duck which accompanied me everywhere. Even when my mother wrenched it from my hands to wash it, I’d stare at the washing machine and the clothesline to make sure it was safe. When my brother died my father boxed up my duck with his belongings by mistake. Dad retrieved it but the duck didn’t feel the same afterwards. For some reason, it wasn’t as fluffy or as comforting.

How do you feel about not ageing while seeing your old friends get on with life?

Considering the poor choices my old “friends” made with their lives, it hasn’t been upsetting. I still have my true friend with me here, and he’s not getting any older either. Besides, it’s not like I’ve been sitting still, watching them the whole time. I came back for the inquest because it’s all about me. If it were only them, I wouldn’t bother. I’m sure the reverse applies. Continue reading “Daina Harrow (of Skeletal by Katherine Hayton)”

Aeron of Brittany (of The Masks of Monsters by Narayan Liu)

The Mastks of MonstersDear Readers, tonight in the guest chair we have Aeron of Brittany, out of the pages of The Masks of Monsters. Aeron is a 400 year old French vampire, a rising star in his society.

 

 

 You don’t look like most vampires I’ve seen. Where did you come from?

A long time ago, I was not trapped in this form… I could will this all away and blend in with the mortals as most other vampires do. I was a simple Frenchman from Rennes, cursed and empowered with strength enough to dominate all monsters I came across. All those who threaten our world will come to know it.

Does my appearance frighten you, mortal? Is it this grim, grey flesh of mine or my wings like the Devil’s own that causes you to quiver in fear? But… say again… most vampires you’ve seen? Continue reading “Aeron of Brittany (of The Masks of Monsters by Narayan Liu)”

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