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The Protagonist Speaks

Interviews with the characters of your favourite books

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New Adult

Verena (of Verena’s Whistle, by K. Panikian)

Dear readers, tonight with us is a grad student from Alaska who found out her family has been keeping secrets about their origins and their purpose. She’s here to talk about magic, love, and saving the world from Chernobog’s demonic beasts.


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

Hey guys! My name’s Verena, but my friends call me Very. I grew up in Anchorage, Alaska with my parents and my Grandpa Basil. I always knew we had magic, but never why or how. But a few months ago, a meteor struck the ground in Russia and man, I found out some secrets!

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

Hmm, favorite toys? I guess, being from Alaska, I have to say my pond skates? Maybe I should say something sweet and cute, like my dolls, but honestly, I was a tomboy. I was a bossy kid and I’m still pretty take-charge. I liked to play sports and run around in the woods with the kids that lived nearby.

My cousins, Theo and Julian, would come up and visit in the summer and seriously, summertime in Alaska is like, heaven. We’d camp and hike and mess around with our magic.

There are some great magic wielders in my family, people that can launch lightning bolts or create incredible illusions, or people that can see into the future. But my magic never manifested more than a little—like, I could make sparks. Big deal. Everyone was really nice about it, of course, but it was a definitely sore spot for me.

I threw myself into my sword training instead—my family is really big on martial arts training, sword play, that sort of thing. I figured, if I couldn’t do magic, I’d learn other ways to defend myself. And, I have to tell you, I’m really, really good with my sword. Should I just have said my sword? I like my sword—it’s this 1796 light cavalry saber and seriously, it is SWEET.

What can you tell us about your latest adventure?

I’m not supposed to tell anyone, but you look like you can keep a secret.

So, the people in my family that can do magic? It turns out that we’re descended from those crazy Roman-Vikings guys, the Varangians. Ever heard of them? A thousand or so years ago, the Byzantine emperor sent a cohort of his Varangian Guards to Rus. And when they got there, they vanished, poof, gone from the history books.

What ACTUALLY happened is that a meteor struck their camp and it opened a portal to another world! Can you believe it? I couldn’t believe it, the first time Grandpa Basil told me the story. In the other world, they learned magic and they battled demons. They built a huge citadel and just tried to survive that really hostile place.

Now, about 100 years ago, my great aunts and uncles were out hunting demons in the countryside and they found another portal back to Earth! They went through and ended up in Russia, which, you know, was not a great place to be at that time. They hid and fled and ended up in Alaska. And they kept their origins a secret. Obviously.

But when that meteor struck in Russia in February, they knew someone would have to go and check it, to make sure none of the demons came through. So, I did! I went with Julian and Theo and we kicked some demon ass, let me tell you.

Continue reading “Verena (of Verena’s Whistle, by K. Panikian)”

The protagonist (of Merchant Magician, by John Champaign)

Dear readers, tonight with us is a man known by many — usually unflattering — nicknames. He’s here to tell us about trading mystical goods and services, about meeting mermaids in San Francisco, Midwestern leprechauns, Icelandic dwarves and the girl of his dreams, who happens to be a cultist.


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

I was born right here in the U.S.  I had friends who would tease me and call our house a mansion, but it wasn’t really.  No servants or anything like that.  We’d traveled for vacations, which was always fun, and helped prepare me for all the travelling I ended up doing.  My dad was always getting my sister and me ready to work for the family business.  Looking back, I’d say I really “grew up” during my adventures after my 23rd birthday, which is where the book I wrote begins.

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

I always loved Transformers.  I had a vintage “Soundwave”, he was the one that turned from a robot into a microcassette recorder and had the cassettes that also transformed!  When I was eight, some nymphs who my dad was doing business with gave me a magic sword, but my parents took it away from me when they caught me cutting a boulder in two in our backyard.  I was angry at the time, but they were totally right – that was no toy for an eight year old to be playing with.  It’s like in that old Christmas Story movie when everyone is telling him he’s going shoot out his eye.  “You’re going to chop off your own leg, kid” is what I’d say to an eight year old with a magic sword today.

What do you do now?

Busy setting up deals and trying to build my business.  My expectation was that running my own shop would give me tons of freedom, but it’s just been putting out one fire after another.  Just arranging the fair dealing guidelines with the demons has been almost impossible.  Things with the dwarves have been going smoothly, but it’s obviously very time consuming.  Financing the vampire hunters has probably been the easiest project, but smoothing over the strong personalities is a bit of a pain in the ass.  I haven’t been having nightmares about the mermaids since we started dealing with one another over Zoom, so that’s been a big improvement with them.

What can you tell us about your latest adventure?

I saved reality as we know it and no one gives me the slightest bit of credit for it.  I wasn’t expecting parades or anything, but my father was more proud about the deal with the dwarves.  Your blog has been the first press I’ve gotten!  No other interviews!!!  It’s as bad as people ignoring information about the supernatural, except even supernatural beings themselves act awkward and change the subject whenever I bring up saving reality.

My big advice to anyone on a quest to save reality is:  Do it.  If reality needs saving, you gotta do it.  But don’t expect any accolades at the end.

Continue reading “The protagonist (of Merchant Magician, by John Champaign)”

Zurik D’Vordi (of The Starsboro Chronicles, by Cameron J Quinn)

Dear readers, tonight with me is a young man that hunts the things that go bump in the night.

He’s here to tell us about his adventures with his brother and his police detective (unwilling) partner.


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

My brother Trent and I grew up with our Grandfather. He was always pretty cold and distant. So most of my youth was spent getting into trouble of one kind or another to get the poor bastard’s attention. We spent a few years in Massachusetts before setting in Starsboro, North Carolina. I mostly remember acting like an asshole and counting down the days till school was over. I remember this one spring day in Mass. We were goofing off, I think I was ten, so he musta been six. And Trent fell into the river. There was a moment when I realized what happened where everything stopped. I stared at him, his red coat was just below the surface of the water and I knew I had to jump in. The water was so damn cold. It took the breath right out of my chest. Somehow I got to him and we made it to the riverbank. Probably one of the only days in my life I wasn’t a complete screw up. My brother was different. He got the whole school thing. He’s in college now. Going to be a lawyer. He’s going to change the world. I might save it every now and then, but he’ll make it better.

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

I had a dog once. It was an old mutt. Looked kind of like a huge Rottweiler but scruffy. Called him Buddy. I was working on a construction site in high school and this dog came around everyday. He’d growl at the workers and freak them out. I started feeding him hotdogs cause I didn’t want him to eat me. Heh. When the job was done I went back to say my goodbyes and found out his owner was going to put him down. They were moving and the new apartment building wouldn’t allow a big dog like that. So I took him home. My grandfather shit a brick when he found out. That was the best dog though. If I got into an argument with anyone, I’d be focused on em, ready for whatever as things got heated, and he’d nose my hand. Just to let me know I had back up. I don’t know what he would have done if it’d ever actually come to blows but it was nice to know someone had my back.

What do you do now?

I kill things. Pretty much exclusively evil things or things that want to kill people. But yeah. The job title I guess is hunter. I just like to show up and save people. I also drink a lot and sing lead in a band. All those keep me pretty busy. Continue reading “Zurik D’Vordi (of The Starsboro Chronicles, by Cameron J Quinn)”

Chance Welfrey (of Dead by Morning by Kayla Krantz)

Dear readers, tonight with us is a young man, often considered the charming golden boy of his school. Yet is he just a pretty face, or does he cynically use his good looks to mask his involvements in the recent disappearance of several schoolgirls? And why does he suddenly haunt the dreams of one particular girl, a girl who seems decidedly uninterested in him?

Read on to find more from Chance.


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

You like trees? You would love where I grew up. I come from a small town in Illinois that’s nothing but trees. The population is so small it’s next to impossible to have friends outside of your family. It was okay though. A bit lonely but that all changed when I moved to Lima. I can say it made me stronger but I’m definitely built for a larger environment. A large fish in a small pond doesn’t thrive for long after all.

So you moved to Ohio by yourself? Didn’t you miss your family?

All things pass with time. I had my eye on the prize and honestly didn’t stop and think about the handful of people I was leaving behind. I’m better off where I’ve ended up.

So what are some things you’ve done using your gift?

Nothing I feel should be spoken out loud.

What can you tell us about your latest adventure?

As we grow we learn new things and my nightly expeditions are no different. I have dreams that I hope to accomplish in my life…literally. Some of them are pretty cookie cutter boring but others are fantastic and out of this world. Continue reading “Chance Welfrey (of Dead by Morning by Kayla Krantz)”

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)”

Jay of (Suffrage by Julian St Aubyn Green

julian-green-suffrage

Dear readers, tonight with me is woman with powers beyond any human, trying to prevent the destruction of our world by her father.

She is here to tell us about her efforts to redeem herself, save the world, and about certain ancient relics that lie hidden in our world – and of the travellers who come looking for them.


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

I appreciate what you are trying to do, really. But you need to think very carefully about what questions you ask me. I know you feel like you have a duty to the people of this planet to find out about me. It’s admirable. But I know the purpose of this interview. The President wants to use it for propaganda, but for you it’s a record, history in the making and the reason behind all the deaths.

I’m sorry for making you feel nervous, but understand, there are some things I won’t answer. My secrets are too important to share, some of your people have already tried to kill me for them. I might have agreed to this interview as a favor for the President, but that doesn’t mean you have carte blanche. I won’t answer every question.

That said, I was born in a place I only knew as the Facility, in a crèche of my half-brothers and sisters. It was somewhere in the White Realm, that’s all I know. My slave name was Juliet. You can call me Jay. No. I know what you are thinking, my name has nothing to do with William Shakespear. It comes from the military phonetic alphabet. You know, Alpha, Bravo, Charlie…Delta. I remained in the facility until I was rescued by the Rebellion. I’m telling you this because it’s not me you need to fear. It’s the Monarchs that think they can do what they want, because they have the power, and no consequences for their actions.

What can you tell us about-?

No. I don’t consider him my Father. I call him The Inseminator. It’s an appropriate name for a monster of his caliber. You have no idea what he is capable of. He and the other Royals. He is worse than any of your history’s despots. Who was Adolf Hitler? Yes, even worse than him. During the Monarch War, he slaughtered half the world until there was no one willing to stand against him. Just let that sink in. Half the world. Continue reading “Jay of (Suffrage by Julian St Aubyn Green”

Alexander Stone (of Stepping Stone by Dakota Willink)

 

dakota-willink-heart-of-stone dakota-willink-stepping-stoneDear readers, tonight with us on the interview couch is the CEO of a real-estate empire. He’s a man who knows how to get what he wants, understanding the value of finesse, and the importance of patience and diligence to achieve the desired result.

He is here to tell about how his world turned upside-down after meeting Krystina – the complete opposite of what he thought he wanted in a woman. His instincts failed him at every turn…

 

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

I grew up living in the Bronx. Specifically, it was a housing project with stereotypical cinderblock buildings, foul odors that never seemed to dissipate, and bars on the windows. The area was riddled with crime and drugs, where gun deaths and overdoses happened almost daily.

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

The people who lived around us had very little in terms of material possessions. That was the norm. My family did not own a car and we couldn’t afford cable. Our phone was without service more often than not because of overdue bills. The few toys that I had as a child were gifts from my grandparents.

It was a struggle just to make ends meet and my mother learned early on how to stretch a dollar so that we could have a decent meal. My father worked, but never in one place for very long. He always had an excuse for his shortcomings as an employee, and someone else was always to blame whenever he got fired from a job. Because of all of this, I began to value the importance of money at a very young age, and it’s the reason why I was determined long ago to be where I am today. Continue reading “Alexander Stone (of Stepping Stone by Dakota Willink)”

Lydia Bell (of One Fling to Rule Them All by Deanna Dee)

One Fling To Rule Them All - Deanna DeeDear reader, tonight on the interview couch with us in a young woman, an avid role-playing gamer who found love in the most unexpected and unusual of circumstances.

 

 

What was your childhood like? Any favourite toys or memories?

It was pretty awesome, actually. I had a decent spread of toys, but I mostly enjoyed taking my mom’s electronics apart and putting them back together. She wasn’t too thrilled when I’d do this, but it’s evolved into a computer science major. So there’s that, at least.

Does Craig share your love of Tolkien? Does Scott?

Craig has a general geeky respect for Tolkien. Scott, on the other hand, is as in love with it as I am. It makes for some awesome moments. Continue reading “Lydia Bell (of One Fling to Rule Them All by Deanna Dee)”

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