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The Protagonist Speaks

Interviews with the characters of your favourite books

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Magic

Jactatio Dolor (of Add a Cup of Chaos, by Stephanie Barr)

Dear readers, tonight with us is a demon – a denizen of another realm. Rather than the devilish connotation you might have been led to believe, they are peace-seeking beings. He’s here to tell us about magic, cats, dragons, space aliens, and love.


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

Well, I was born on Mundus which would be a lot like Earth except the technology ran on magic and it was full of demons like me. Like most demons with a human parent, my mom kinda just dropped me and left me to my own devices. That was the norm before the Prudens started changing things, but my mom was old school. Or so I guess. Never met her.

But, when I was a kid–barely forty years old–my great great grandmother Hecate found me and told me we were going after  Prudens and her family to another plane, leaving this one to the war with the humans. I didn’t argue since Paul is Prudens’ grandson and my best friend. I half grew up at his house.  Now Orbis, the new plane, was empty and pretty primitive so even the kids had to work hard, try new magic, stuff like that. It’s still kind rural-feeling next to someplace on the Earth but it’s nice to know your neighbors and there’s no smog or anything since we snagged all the renewable ideas the Earth had been working on–no sense not learning from humans even if they’re pugnacious and prone to nuke first and ask questions later–which they did to us. But not the new plane, Orbis, because humans don’t know how to get there.

What’s it like? Well, we use magic sensitive crystalline materials for most things so we can shape buildings and stuff with magic pretty readily and still have something we can imbue with magic. Most of us have a hobby or skill we can use for barter so no one really wants for much.  Most of us grow stuff to eat or have a few animals for milk or meat–or both. It’s a pretty calm relaxed place to live–almost boring if it wasn’t for Beth coming and giving me a chance to show off.  Good thing I’m the best teleporter in the whole demon world so she had no choice but to take me along on her adventures.

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

I don’t remember much about the first decade or so. I was mostly trying not to get eaten by dragonets and unicorns and stuff. I mean, obviously I was a tough demon even as a baby, but young dragons can eat several times their weight in one sitting. My only chance was to try and talk them out of it. Fortunately, if you sweet talk a few female dragons, they’ll help look out for you so some rogue doesn’t decide you’re a snack.

Then Port and Paul stumbled on me, and I never had to worry about how I’d get my next meal or sleeping without a roof over my head. I think Port is the one who told Hecate who came to look after me, but I had to learn how to cook in self-defense. That woman makes a mean potion but her omelettes are twice as deadly.

I don’t remember favorite toys. I don’t think demons have toys like human children. We’re more about making things to suit our interests. You know, tinkering. Now I remember tinkering with lots of stuff that I was proud of, but, once you’ve got it, you kinda move on to the next one. Besides, I didn’t often make something that Dux couldn’t improve on. He’s the best at making cool gadgets especially in conjunction with Paul’s golems.

Good thing I was so damn good at porting or I might have gotten a complex.

As for cherished memories, hanging out with Paul, Dux and Stult, another friend who’s moved away when his mom did. They were a great bunch of fellows, always ready for adventure.  And, since I was the biggest and the oldest, I usually found some for us.

What do you do now?

We still make the odd gizmo, but I scored a sheaf of coordinates in the asteroid belt. Dux fixed up an inflatable station-like thing and a couple space suits. I port ‘em out there and they gather a couple of kings’ ransomes in heavy metals,  and then I port ‘em back. Metals like that are always in demand.

Might give it up now I’m a married man. Hecate knows Dux could port out without me, but I’d be worried someone would lose track of time or something and then they’d be stuck. I better keep helping them.

What can you tell us about your latest adventure?

Now that was a doozy. The demon realm hadn’t been threatened since the human sniffed out Mundus.  And the aliens were canny. Didn’t come gunning for us directly–well, they couldn’t. Didn’t know where we were. So they went after the human world. After all, we’d saved them from the aliens once before, but they didn’t realize how adverse the demons would be to saving the humans. No full scale protection this time, bucko, not after what the humans pulled. For a bit, I thought even Roze and Beth couldn’t convince the demons to help at all–and there’s no way the humans could do it alone–when Beth pulled out the sacrifice of our own to save the humans the first time and damn near got the whole room crying.

Put her money where her mouth was, too, because, when I mentioned I thought I could port to the ship that had a beam that could kill everything on Earth in one blow, maybe sabotage it, she offered to go instead so the demons wouldn’t get on the alien radar.

That’s just hwo Beth rolls. No one goes into danger she won’t face. And she’ll face damn near anything. We went to the alien ship and she was Miss Intrepid. Even when we ran into a baby dragon–a very hungry one.

Continue reading “Jactatio Dolor (of Add a Cup of Chaos, by Stephanie Barr)”

Malcolm Xavier Downing (of Dark of the Moon, New Beginnings by Philipp Kessler)

Dear readers, tonight with me is the heir to a family of old money. A family fortune built on industries, business, and magicks.

He is here to tell us about the fortunes of love and money, of dark pasts and bright futures, and of the gods that rule our lives and power the true magick.


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

I was born and raised in Lincoln, NE. Lincoln’s a quiet place, always has been. Sure, we have excitement from time to time, but that is usually during tornado season. Being smack dab in the middle of the U.S., everything is kind of “middle ground”.

I’m the heir apparent to the Downing family fortune. Father and Uncle are arguing over what will become of me after I had the audacity to fall in love with a woman whose family doesn’t have money or power.

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

The kinds of toys I had as a kid were not what you would expect. I spent my days playing with alchemical sets – much different than chemistry sets – and learning the ABC’s of Enochian and Latin.

In the rare family moments, I remember my mother – may she rest in peace. She was always looking out for me and making sure I had a good and fun childhood. She gave me a teddy bear for my fifth birthday. I remember that. Uncle said I was too old for such things. I still have that bear, hidden away.

What do you do now?

Uncle and Father are training me to take over Downing Industries. My family is one of the richest in America, certainly the richest in Nebraska. Even more so than Warren Buffet, though he’d argue that. Learning the ropes of the company is one thing. Learning how to control the powers behind what we do is something entirely different. The magicks… Well, let’s just say that I am glad Uncle insisted on such heavy study into the arts while I was growing up. Continue reading “Malcolm Xavier Downing (of Dark of the Moon, New Beginnings by Philipp Kessler)”

Sultiana Abella (of Starting Chains, Book II of Woven by Nicole Luttrell)

Dear readers, tonight with me is the young heir to the throne, a woman with mystical abilities.

In a society where men are destined to be warriors and women are destined to stay home, life is not easy as the first female heir.

She is here to tell us about life in the palace, the expectations of war, and the public and private reactions to her magical talents.


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

I grew up in the palace of Calistar with my sisters. My mother passed on when my youngest sister, Cala was born. It wasn’t a terribly difficult childhood. I was the oldest princess in a palace that seemed designed only to cater to our wants.

Until I came of age and my power manifested, of course. At first, I didn’t realize that it was magic. I’d picked up a knife to cut a pear for my sister Aini. Before I could, though, Chrissie cried that one of the palace cats was going to fall into the bathing pool. I turned to save it, and found myself running faster than I’d ever seen anyone run. I managed to catch the cat before it even fell.

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

I remember Master Shilom catching me train. I’d snuck into the Citadel, and was practicing a battle dance that I’d seen some of the young warriors do. I might never have known he was there if he hadn’t laughed at my poor performance. Why he agreed to train me I’ll never know. If we’d been caught he would have been executed.

What do you do now?

I am heir to my father’s throne, and only now am I realizing how much work that’s going to entail. Most heirs begin learning Law, Economics and History as soon as they can be trusted to read a book and not rip the pages. So I have much catching up to do. I study, and I sit with my father when he deals with our people. Continue reading “Sultiana Abella (of Starting Chains, Book II of Woven by Nicole Luttrell)”

Quinlan Reis (of The Rhenwars Saga by ML Spencer)

ml-spencer-darkstorm

Dear readers, tonight with me is a man facing imminent cataclysm. A conspiracy of darkmages have resorted to harnessing the powers of Hell to save their legacy, and Quin and his brother Braden are determined to stop them.

A mage himself, but with with a turbulent past and terrible and tragic secrets, he’s part of a band trying to prevent the forces of chaos from boring the Well of Tears into the netherworld, right under their city.


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

I grew up in Caladorn. What you probably know of as the Black Lands. Of course, back in my day, they weren’t so very black. All that came about later…but that’s a story for another day. I was raised among the horseclans of the Khasahar until it was discovered that my brother and I could sense the magic field. There, on the spot, we were claimed as property of the Lyceum. After that, Braden and I were taken to Bryn Calazar to be trained to our respective orders. The names given to us by our father were stripped from us, our language replaced, our hair shorn…it was an appalling transition, one that I was only too delighted to make at the time. I was rather naïve back then, you see. I was still under the delusion that I might actually make something worthwhile of myself some day. How optimistic I must have been! Or stupid, which basically amounts to the same thing.

What do you do now?

Now? I drink. I’ve been known to frequent a brothel from time to time. It’s a lifestyle that seems particularly suited to my apathetic disposition.

Continue reading “Quinlan Reis (of The Rhenwars Saga by ML Spencer)”

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)”

Izzy Gin (of Seeking Sorrow by Zen DiPietro)

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Hello dear readers. Tonight with me is the cheeky adventurer Izzy Gin, hailing from the world of Terath where magic and technology co-exist.

 

Tell us about Terath. How do technology and mana co-exist and affect society?

Our society has developed around the use of mana. It powers our cities and serves as our currency is based on it. Manahi, of course, enjoy some prestige because there’s such a small percentage of the population who can use mana. Fortunately, most of them are good people. In fact, some of my best friends are manahi.

Recent events notwithstanding, we’re largely a peaceful population. We’re fortunate to have fantastic technology. I’ve never been able to decide whether technology augments mana or the other way around. But overall, we Terathians have a pretty sweet deal. Continue reading “Izzy Gin (of Seeking Sorrow by Zen DiPietro)”

Joe and Amber (of Summer’s Dark Waters by Simon WIlliams)

Summer's Dark Waters - Simon WilliamsDear readers, tonight with me are two extraordinary young persons. Joe and Amber have just returned to us from a series of adventures – very extraordinary adventures. One can say, out of this world adventures.

 

 

How was your life at school, before your adventures started?

Amber: It was just ordinary really, but I always felt I was trying to be someone who I actually wasn’t – like just a normal kid… sometimes I just wanted to go away and be on my own and just think about things.

Joe: Mostly I kept myself to myself. I suppose thinking back I must have known deep down that I was different, but I could never have imagined how.

What was it like, the first time you met the aliens?

Amber: Oh, the Lost? We didn’t really know what they were at first, or at least we wouldn’t have if Stephen hadn’t told us. The weird thing is, some of them ARE aliens, but some of them are human. Continue reading “Joe and Amber (of Summer’s Dark Waters by Simon WIlliams)”

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