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The Protagonist Speaks

Interviews with the characters of your favourite books

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Martial Arts

Gilda Wright (of the Gilda Wright Mysteries series, by Diane Bator)

Dear readers, tonight with us is a woman who landed her dream job as the receptionist at a karate school. She’s here to tell us about handsome instructors, a local bookie, and more mysteries than she’d counted on.


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

I grew up in the same small town I live in now, Sandstone Cove, on the shores of Lake Erie. My dad was a police officer and my mom stayed at home with me until I was a teenager. It was a safe place for a kid even with the influx of tourists all summer. My friends and I used to ride bikes and spend a lot of time at the beach. I loved to spend time on the front porch listening to my dad and his buddies talk about cases they’d worked on as well as working in the garden with my mom.

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

My favourite toy as a child was my bike – until my dad died. He and I used to ride around town and around the shoreline as far as we dared to go. He’s where I got my curiosity for solving puzzles and my sense of justice from. Once my mom went to work for an interior design company, Dad and I spent more time together. Since he died a hero, the town renamed the park near where I now live in his honour. If I need a dose of his wisdom, I simply go for a run there to reconnect.

What do you do now?

What I know now is that my little world isn’t as black and white as I’d thought as a kid. My dad was shot while responding to an armed robbery at a bank and one of my most supportive friends now is in the mafia. It’s both scary and comforting that he sits out front of my house when I get myself into trouble.

What can you tell us about your latest adventure?

While Dead Without Remorse isn’t about my latest adventure, it does fill in a couple things that readers of the series missed due to an anthology story in between Dead Without Glory and Dead Without Pride. This is the adventure where an explosion leaves a gaping hole in the streetscape where the Nine Lives Consignment Shop and the former Yoshida Martial Arts School once stood.

When police find remains of a bomb—and a body—inside, I need to track a killer before the suspects scatter like debris. Especially after my boyfriend, Mick Williams, crawls out of the rubble! Let me tell you, I was terrified!

Continue reading “Gilda Wright (of the Gilda Wright Mysteries series, by Diane Bator)”

Silhouette (of The Alex Caine Series, by Alan Baxter)

Dear readers, tonight with me is a gifted martial artist, a non-human, shape-shifting Kin who fights the supernatural elements in our world.


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

Well, not to be evasive, but a lady should never discuss her age. And while I’m really no lady, I’ve been around for more than a few normal human lifespans, me not being human and all. Well, not all human, anyway. So where I grew up is hard to describe. It was rural in a way nowhere really is any more, on the west coast of Scotland. My childhood was one of pastoral bliss, really, with my mother. I never knew my father, but if I ever find him, I plan to kill him. My early years were spent crofting, living with the land, and I had no idea of the greater world out there. I heard talk of the English and how they weren’t our friends, but I was too young to really understand. Too young to care, I suppose. It wasn’t until I hit puberty that what I am became apparent and then my mother sought help. We ended up in London and that’s when Joseph found us, and explained what the Kin are. What I was. In truth, that’s the point at which I really grew up.

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

I never had much as a child, we were dirt poor. But I did have a carved wooden cat and I think that maybe I was so drawn to that toy because of my inner nature. I didn’t know it yet. But every Kin has a preferred shape. Mine turned out to be feline, a kind of panther is the best way to describe what I shift into, and I think somewhere deep inside I knew that. I’ve always had an affinity for cats. There was an old tabby at the croft and when I was only about 5 or 6 years old she had a litter right under the hay in one corner of a small barn. I didn’t tell anyone, just protected her, and watched those kittens grow. So very long ago, but I still miss that cranky old tabby like a lost limb. Not counting my mother, she was the first thing I ever loved. When Albert, a crofter across the valley, heard about my love of cats, he carved me that wooden one and I treasured it, made it smooth and shiny with handling.

Do you still have it?

I do, but I’ll never tell another soul where it is. Actually, that’s not true. Alex knows where it is, because he saw it when I moved down to the south coast with him. He asked about it and I told him what I’ve just told you, then I put it safely away. It’s the only thing from my pre-Kin life and it’s special.

What do you do now?

Well, since we signed up with Armour, every day is a new adventure! That’s not entirely true, of course. I mean, I know you’re really interested to hear about the great Alex Caine, right? He’s all stubborn and not especially talkative, which is why you’re talking to me. But I’m afraid that whether it’s about me or Alex, I can’t tell you much. I shouldn’t even admit that we work for Armour, but you already knew so it seems pointless to deny it. But let’s just say the threats that occasionally rise up, the weird and supernatural stuff that regular police and governments can’t handle, are infrequent but all too real. Alex and I are among many who deal with them, as best we can.

Continue reading “Silhouette (of The Alex Caine Series, by Alan Baxter)”

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