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The Protagonist Speaks

Interviews with the characters of your favourite books

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Middle Grade

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)”

Harry Ferguson (of The Princess Who Forgot She Was Beautiful, by William David Ellis)

Dear readers, tonight with me is an old man, who somehow found himself taken out of his 13th century home to ride dragons across time. He’s here to tell us about princesses and living with a dragon in East Texas.


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

I grew up in Latvia, in the late 13th century. My father was a village elder and we herded pigs. It was a very prosperous vocation. Pigs are much cleaner than most people realize. I worked hard and learned to read at my mother’s knee. My Father taught me how to use a staff. We could not afford a sword. When a large will Pig got loose in the market I caught it and also met the Princess.

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

My family was very loving and was one of the first Christian families in our village. My favorite events were listening to the stories of my ancestors, and learning to read. I did have a treasured possession it was a family ring my father gave me when I turned 16.

What do you do now?

That’s a good question. I am a Dragon Rider. It is my job to police the time streams. I find events and people who are disturbing the time streams and I stop them. Sometimes it is easy. Most of the time it is not. Recently I stopped the Nazi’s from conjuring a fallen angel they intended to use as a means of energizing their elite soldiers. I died and found myself on the backside of that critter as it tried to force its way through the hole my death had caused in the wall that held it back. I literally grabbed it by the tail and hauled it back through the portal.

What can you tell us about your latest adventure?

Well, it started as a story…

…but a mysterious little girl changed everything.

Then a dragon  came to East Texas and they need a hero.

At the time I was an  old man and thought my glory days were over but I was wrong. My life had just started…again.

There was  princess Sarah back in my life again,  and a bossy know it all  sword and the  evil dragon I thought I had killed and a library full of  snaggled-tooth crayon eating munchkins.

Something had risen from my past and it was  coming for the people I loved.

Continue reading “Harry Ferguson (of The Princess Who Forgot She Was Beautiful, by William David Ellis)”

Benji Fisher (of Mermaids Are Real, by Bo Wu)

Dear readers, tonight with me is a young boy who grew up by the sea. Used to surfing with dolphins and some odd things encountered underwater, he’s come here to tell us about how his life changes following a recruitment speech from an octopus the night before his thirteenth birthday.


What was it like growing up in Beech Mill?

I liked the town much more than the growing up part. It’s hard when you stick out and all everyone else is trying to do is conform. I think no matter where you are in the world, that’s a problem for kids.

Having said that, Beech Mill was a great place to grow up. I was in or on the water whenever I wanted for as long as I wanted. My dad had a boat. What else can you ask for, right?

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

I wasn’t a toy kid. Not that there’s anything wrong with that. I just gravitated toward the outdoors. A part of me always knew I belonged outdoors and, more specifically, in the water. I just didn’t know how much I really did belong until Octavius showed up and told me about my real home in Sanjowqua.

But, I guess my surfboard could be considered a toy. I had plenty of fun on it. That’s for sure. It was on my surfboard that I had my first run-in with Eeke, Zeeke, and Mai, the dolphins that kept watch over me.

What do you do now?

I’m still thirteen, so no matter what, I get to still be a kid, but now I get to be a merman kid with an ocean full of creatures to play with and unexplored territory, at least for me, that I get to call my home.

I think for the meantime, I’m going to be helping prepare for the next full moon party in a few weeks which, by the way, is the first one Sanjowqua has celebrated in thirteen years. I’m pretty sure I’m going to have my hands full for the foreseeable future.

I’ll spend my free time working on honing my Mystiq powers. I see another visit to my dad’s lair again pretty soon, as well. Continue reading “Benji Fisher (of Mermaids Are Real, by Bo Wu)”

Cerys (of The Forgotten Princess of Mona by Guy Donovan)

guy-donovan

Dear readers, tonight with us is an eleven year-old girl who was born a princess, but was then forced to grow up in the wilds of 5th century Britannia, fighting not only the barbarous Picts, but also a malevolent spirit bent on taking away everything she had left. She is here to tell us about her adventures, including the most remarkable friend a child could ever want!

 

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

I was born in the Kingdom of Môna, which is made up of two islands. I really don’t remember it well, because I was born…well, Domie always said “simpleminded,” but most people said I was either “stupid,” a “moron,” or even worse.

Oh, I’m sorry. Who is “Domie?”

His real name is Domelch, but I always called him Domie…once I could call him anything, I mean.

You couldn’t talk?

Not very well. It was all part of being stupid, I guess. Domie raised me and took care of me after my father…went away. Everyone always says it that way to me, but they really mean he died.

What about your mother?

She died too—when I was born.

Sooo…you were a princess, but you’re not anymore?

My mother and father were the King and Queen of Môna, but with them gone, my stepmother, the new queen, just wanted me out of the way so my half-brother, Elian, could grow up to be the king. Continue reading “Cerys (of The Forgotten Princess of Mona by Guy Donovan)”

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