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The Protagonist Speaks

Interviews with the protagonists of your favourite books

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Sci-Fi

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)”

Duncan Greyson (of The Arena by Santana Young)

Dear readers, tonight with me is a space-age gladiator. An accidental fighter, he was thrown into the arena when his father sold him into slavery.

He was trained to kill by the worst humankind has to offer. He was promised freedom but only if he can claw his way out from ever-mounting debt.

When a secret his mother took to her grave came to light, he became determined to leave Neo Roma.


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

I spent the first eight years on a quiet farming colony called Janus Colony. Then the aliens called The Source attacked the colony. My mom died saving me and my little sister and I moved with my dad to another farming colony called Gaia Colony. People there liked to keep to themselves. I just tried to stay out from under my dad’s feet since he blamed me for mom’s death.

It didn’t work so well. He ended up selling me. Now I’m doing the rest of my growing up as a gladiatorial slave on Neo Roma where they like to remake whatever parts of Rome is convenient for them.

Do you have any cherished childhood memories?

My mom liked to tell me bedtime stories as a kid in her native Everen tongue. (I’m half human and half Everen, which is kinda like a genetically modified human.) She’d tell me about her homeworld she moved away from just before she met my dad. I liked to envision the horse farm she described or the heroes who helped bring the world out of medievalism and into the stars. Those are my favorite memories. Sometimes they’re all that keep me sane. Continue reading “Duncan Greyson (of The Arena by Santana Young)”

Maëlcolm (of Ilavani by Kaelan Rhywiol)

Dear readers, tonight with me on the guest couch is a member of the ruling family of Erieria, on the colony planet Ilavani.

He views his status as a prince as unfortunate. Trained in the arts of espionage and BDSM, all he wants to do is remain a companion.

He’s here to tell us about his struggles for self fulfilment.


Your name is Tourmaëline – did I pronounce it correctly?

It’s Mal, name looks funny when you spell it in English, but it’s still a derivative of Malcolm, my Companion name is Tourmaline, we take our Companion names after the house we trained in.

Mal, then.

That’ll work.

We know from your publicity packet that you’re a Prince? A Righ’sa, right? But what does that actually mean on your planet?

What do you think it means? It means loss of everything I ever wanted for myself. I have to give up my calling as a companion to serve the Righ’sea, the monarchy, by doing something I don’t want to do.

What does a companion do?

Anything we’re paid for that doesn’t violate our code of ethics. Sometimes we’re paid to go to dinner with people, sometimes to sing, or talk about art, sometimes to have sex with someone. That writer, Joss Whedon? He came close to what a Companion does on Ilavani in that show he wrote… Firefly.

Your role is more complicated than that, though, isn’t it?

Mine is, I’m the Guild head of the IGC-Interplanetary Guild of Companions. I chair the board that makes our laws. It’s going to be really hard to give all that up. Continue reading “Maëlcolm (of Ilavani by Kaelan Rhywiol)”

James Terrin (of Fall of Zona Nox by Nicholas Woode-Smith)

 

Dear readers, tonight with me is someone from the criminal element. A master thief in the gang-dominated Galis City, crime-ridden capital of the frontier world of Zona Nox, he soon found himself forced to join the Troopers, a galactic alliance of human soldiers.

James is thrust into defending Zona Nox from the alien invasion, but as the conflict continues James realises that this war is not as simple as it may seem.

He is here to tell us about his efforts to save his world.


Tell us a little about Galis City and Zona Nox. What was it like growing up there?

Most of the street kids were born in Dead Stone. You might have heard of it. It was the old starport city before the last big push by the Xank. A lot of us got out. Even more didn’t. Galis? Skite hole. We starved, at the best of times. Other times, we were making other people starve. We stared them in the eyes, held a gun to their heads. Sometimes, the hunger was stronger than the fear. So, what was it like growing up in Galis City? At first, hell. Then, it got better. The city found its place. We became its lords. We ruled the streets. What had once beaten us, now served us. So, we suffered, but it wasn’t for nothing.

How about your family? You must have had one.

Had a family in Dead Stone. A real one. Mom and dad. They didn’t make it. After that? Well, my godfather took me in. Billy Roman, and my best friend, Andrew Roman. They registered me as James Roman for convenience sake. Didn’t mean much. Overnight, the Trooper registries meant nothing. So did family. No, no. Don’t get me wrong. I loved them. It’s just… survival, desperation – it changes things. To protect family, I had to do things no child of any family should do. I loved Billy, but I will never forgive him for that. Continue reading “James Terrin (of Fall of Zona Nox by Nicholas Woode-Smith)”

Emily Branwell (of Plato’s Cave by Russell Proctor)

Dear readers, tonight with me on the interview couch is a young woman who woke up one morning to find reality disintegrating around her.

From a horoscope that is astoundingly accurate, to sausages which keep appearing out of nowhere all around her, to how she can walk through walls.

She is here to tell us about humanity’s search for truth and the meaning of existence, through the eyes of someone who wishes the Universe would just stop bothering her.


We never meet any of your family. What are they like?

My parents are lovely people. My dad works as an accountant and Mum is a registered nurse. She’s a great person, despite boring people to death with her encyclopedic knowledge of the novels of the Brontë sisters. She really should go on one of those quiz shows. Dad collects Star Wars memorabilia, which is kind of cool. I’m an only child. That is, I did have a brother but he died of cancer. I was only four at the time so I don’t really remember much about him.

What do you do now?

What I did before. Study, bitch, drink coffee and indulge my chocolate addiction. But I don’t know…things are different. The sun is…have you ever seen the Sun? I mean, stared at it for ages, felt the warmth of it on your skin—really felt it, like fingers massaging you? My senses seem to have gone up a few notches since…well, since that time. Things just appear different. It’s hard to explain. Continue reading “Emily Branwell (of Plato’s Cave by Russell Proctor)”

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”

Aeley Dahe (of A Question of Counsel by Archer Kay Leah)

archer-kay-leah-a-question-of-counsel

Dear Readers, tonight with us is a political leader, feeling increasingly isolated and lonely after she was forced to arrest her own brother.

Things get more complicated from there, with dead bodies, political intrigue, and the appearance of Lira, a woman she finds strangely attractive.

She is here to tell us about life as the Tract Steward, her involvement with Lira, crimes and law enforcement, and potential romantic suitors.

 

 

Tell us a little about where you grew up in the Republic of Kattal. What was it like as the daughter of a politician?

Thanks for an easy question! I like you already.

Home has always been my family’s estate in Dahena Village, a well-known town here in the tract of Gailarin. (I’m told our tracts are the same as your states or provinces.) Dahena isn’t big, but it’s friendly, always bustling, armed with gossip, and mostly peaceful. My father wanted us to live outside of our wealth and take care of people, so as a kid I spent a lot of time in the village. Dallied too long in the shops, got kicked out of the taverns I snuck into late at night whenever curfew annoyed me… and was marched right back home.

Like the rest of Kattal, our red earth is solid and vibrant like the people, and we love our rules, reputation, and reminiscence… but that’s a whole new mouthful.

Did you have any favourite toys as a child?

My wooden swords and a stick horse one of our guards made for me. I’d gallop around wearing a ridiculous paint-mucked bed sheet and a battered pot, brandishing my sword and shouting “Oh ho! I’ll save the day!” as I searched every room for someone in trouble. After the third time, my father started sending me on quests. Sometimes they required several days worth of good deeds and challenges (I tried, honest, but sometimes I failed spectacularly) or they required serious thought and I’d fall asleep working them out. Father gave me medals of honour and bravery afterwards, little tokens he’d pin on my cloak with the biggest of smiles. Continue reading “Aeley Dahe (of A Question of Counsel by Archer Kay Leah)”

Zrahnz Uleryn (of Rites of Heirdron by Newland Moon)

aaron-michael-hall-rites-of-heirdronDear Readers, tonight with us is an intergalactic adventurer, here to tell us about his home-world and adventures.

 

 

 

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

Where I grew up? Well, I doubt that you could understand my world or what is left of it. The capital city is beautiful. There are rivulets, hillocks, large lakes, and gorgeous scented flowers that perfume the air. It appears to go on endlessly until you unveil the illusion. The Uleryn capital is all that remains of my world. My planet, Triaxeyn was nearly decimated during a biological attack shortly after my birth. All that remains is protected within a dome. That’s the truth of my world and of my life.

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

It’s not the toys or frivolous items that I think of fondly. It was the people who surrounded me that made my childhood memorable. My childhood was a happy one, despite our hardships. My mother, Alyahna, became queen when I was but three cycleids. Since that time, it’s her and Q-1 Raydren that I recall at my side. If not for them and my friend, Aldryn, Triaxeyn could’ve been a depressing place; even for a prince. Continue reading “Zrahnz Uleryn (of Rites of Heirdron by Newland Moon)”

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