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The Protagonist Speaks

Interviews with the protagonists of your favourite books

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Urban Fantasy

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)”

Characters Speaking Out

SM - Minis 1 - Copy

Dear readers, while we are taking a short break due to the holidays, I thought we’d include a recent full post done by our very first guest.

As part of Virtual FantasyCon (that awesome event where Felix and Murder In Absentia received an unprecedented five awards), we did a blog hunt. Readers jumped from blog to blog – and as an introduction to our corner of the blogosphere, Felix got a chance to speak for himself.

Of course, the bastard went ahead and started to curse me for making him work. Apparently he’s not big on doing self-promotions without immediate pay.

This post was originally published on Diane Riggins site. I’ll let you read Felix’s words for yourself.


Salve omnibus. My name is Spurius Vulpius Felix, sometimes known as Felix the Fox, but almost everybody calls me just Felix. It means Fortune’s Favourite in my language, though I’m afraid I am more like Furtuna’s favourite butt for practical jokes.

Actually, you may know my language as Latin. Years ago I visited your world, quite by accident. I came to a city named Rome, which was hauntingly similar to my own home in Egretia. Language, artists, philosophers all seemed familiar – yet there were some glaring differences. It was on a river, not on the seashore for one.

And everybody talked about gods and magic, but no one seemed to know how to properly practice it for another.

Anyway, I was approached by one of your world, one by the strange name of Assaph Mehr, and asked to collaborate on my memoirs. I would tell him my life’s stories, all the interesting mysteries I solved, and he promised to publish them to adoring fans in your world.

So far, the mentula hasn’t paid me a single denarius in royalties.

He says it’s a matter of time, that critical review has been exceptional, and that my memoirs are being sold all across your world. I would be paid, eventually, once he has finished repaying all the scribes and artists that have assisted him in the production of the scrolls. Or codices, as it appears your world prefers to bind sheets together, rather than stitch them in a scroll like civilised people.

So here I am, brought here to promote my own memoirs to increase my “fan base”, whatever that may be.

While I am here, I did check out what Assaph has been writing. Mostly true, just embellished a little. For example, there was this one case of a young woman who was haunted by the most dreadful dreams. It turns out that the cellars of her home were infested by lemurs. These are not, as Assaph says, cute and cuddly little creatures who “like to move it”, but rather than animus of unburied dead. They have the resemblance of what might have once been humans, but are now devoid of life and colour; grey shade of the dead.

As the story goes, I had to lure them away from the house and into the Mundus, the gates to the underworld. I distinctly remember that I told Assaph that I counted 44 of the evil spirits chasing me, but he insisted on making it fifty. He said that writing a story called Fifty Grey Shades would help him sell my memoirs, though I didn’t quite understand why.

So I will be here all week, always happy to answer questions and do everything to help Assaph increase our “fan base”. You can read the story about the Fifty Grey Shades on Assaph’s “website” (I won’t even pretend to understand what that is) here: https://egretia.com/short-stories/, together with a few more other short adventures. My first important case has been published as Murder In Absentia, and is available here: http://amzn.to/1XbfKN1. You can buy it for less than the price of a half-decent glass of wine (Assaph insists that that is the only way to go; you people do not seem to appreciate authors as a respectable profession). And lastly, Assaph has, apparently, been talking to other characters from fellow authors’ scrolls. You can find them on TheProtagonistSpeaks.com.


If you like to read more of Felix, you can read the (free) short stories he appears on at his home of egretia.com. You can also find him on the pages of Murder In Absentia, where his memoirs swept the amazing five awards at Virtual FanatsyCon.

We will resume our regular interviews next week, when we will be hosting a woman whose music moved heaven and earth. Please follow the site by email (bottom-right), via Twitter, or like our Facebook page to be notified when the next interview is posted.

Valya Svetlova (of Soul of the Unborn by Natalia Brothers)

soul-of-the-unborn-natalia-brothersDear readers, tonight with me is Valya Svetlova, a young Russian student with a side job of a folklore tour guide. But not any tour. Valya’s flier asks: “Vishenky’s Legends and Supernatural Phenomena: Are you brave enough to experience them?” – a premise we know our readers would love to explore!

She is here to tell us about all the wonderful culture and attractions that Russia has to offer tourists, including her guided tours based around legends of supernatural phenomena.

 

 

 

Nice to meet you, Valya. Is everything okay? You look a little…pale.

A long and stressful day after a sleepless night. My guests have no idea what it will take for me to keep them alive.

I thought you were a folklore tour guide. What makes your excursions so dangerous?

“Tour guide” is my cover story. In real life, I’m a postgraduate student. I had to invite a group of Americans to stay in my summer home. I promised them a folklore tour in a quaint village not far from Moscow. But Vishenky is a perilous place.

In what sense?

Supernatural occurrences. I knew my plan was dangerous. What I couldn’t foresee was how quickly everything would whirl out of control, or how much effort it would take to ensure my visitors’ safety.

Then why don’t you send your guests to Moscow?

This is my only chance to prove I’m not a soulless monster destined to perish in another dimension. Continue reading “Valya Svetlova (of Soul of the Unborn by Natalia Brothers)”

Nicola Crandall (of Too Wyrd by Sarah Buhrman)

too-wyrd-sarah-buhrmanDear readers, tonight with me is a simple woman, living a quiet life – a single mother, a herbalist, and a heathen witch. When she discovered her step-sister disappeared after joining a cult, she went after her – and was not quite prepared for what she found out.

She is here to tell us of her adventures, and all the things she found out becoming an accidental hero.

 

 

 

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

I grew up in English, a small town south of Indianapolis, near Jasper. It was a quiet place in the Hoosier National Forest, with few people and fewer things to do. We moved there because my father worked in manufacturing and was supervisor for a Toyota plant. Mom worked as an office manager (read: secretary) for various offices in the area. She bounced around from job to job. In retrospect, it may have been because she didn’t want people to know too much about her and the fact that she was more black than the Hispanic she passed for. It was a pretty racist area, so I never did get the full genealogy of her side of the family. She became even more withdrawn after the divorce, but we ended up stuck there. I got used to the racial crap and the evasion game that came with dark features, and I ended up moving back that way after more than a decade in Indianapolis.

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

I don’t remember having any favourite toys – a second-hand easy bake oven that popped out muffins still raw in the middle, a Glo-Worm doll with a dirty-green body from my carrying it (and leaving it) everywhere, a Game Boy with Tetris that I played until the screen broke, a modest collection of My Little Ponies and Pound Puppies, a View Master with only two cards (Mickey Mouse and the Jetsons)… Mostly, I explored the wooded area behind our house. I would run around for hours with a backpack full of dehydrated soup mix (I would chew on the crunchy veggies), a military surplus canteen of water, and a 4 foot stick sharpened to a rough point to use as a walking stick and a spear, if I ran into any bears. Fortunately, I didn’t see any wildlife more dangerous than a whitetail doe. Continue reading “Nicola Crandall (of Too Wyrd by Sarah Buhrman)”

Wenn Twyner (of Escape from Neverland by Nils Visser)

wyrde-woods-1-escape-from-neverlandDear readers, remember all the times your mother told you not to stray into the woods? Well, tonight with me is a young girl who didn’t quite listen, and went strolling into the Wyrde Woods. Only a few miles away from the dilapidated council estate where she lives, but worlds apart.

She is here to tell us about what she saw, and how her perceptions were challenged. 

 

 

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

I’ve been mangled in the care system for most of my life. Care homes, institutions, clinics and, erm, sometimes juvenile detention. It wasn’t….it wasn’t safe, that’s all I have to say about it. Some places were worse than others, but none offered any sense of security.

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

My cup of tea was reading. I’ve always been a voracious reader. So I suppose my favourite ‘toy’ was Susan Cooper’s The Dark is Rising series, especially Greenwitch. I literally devoured those books. Reading was an escape from whatever dump I’d been placed in. As for memories…..sometimes I have very vague memories of my mum and dad, a few images, but they’re like blurry photographs, the focus always just out of reach. Then again, I might just be projecting, my imagination playing tricks on me.

What can you tell us about your latest adventure?

I ended up at the OJCH in Odesby. At first things were alright, in a forlorn hope kind of way, but then…..things took a turn for the worse there. I went for a walk to vent off steam. A long walk which took me to the large woods north of town; the Wyrde Woods. Except they seem like more than just a woods. It’s difficult to explain but just about everything that happens there seems like an adventure to me. Continue reading “Wenn Twyner (of Escape from Neverland by Nils Visser)”

Dr. Skylar Santangelo (of Healing The Witch Of Adelaide Glen by J.C. Stockli)

JC Stockli - Healing The Witch Of Adelaide GlenDear readers, tonight with me is one of our leading legal prosecutors. As it turns out, his grudge against the paranormal and supernatural lies with some dark secrets in his past.

 

 

Tell us about where you grew up and studied. How did you get from slums to academia? What is your PhD about?

[chuckles] Mamma moved to the States when I was real young. I grew up in a housing project in the south end of the city. I never aspired to leave the hood. I liked it there. I was someone to be known there, but every smart-ass punk has it coming to him, I guess. I chose academia over incarceration. My boys from back on the day found their path on the straight and narrow and guided me along. I’d be dead without those guys, no doubt. In terms of my PhD, the only subjects that made sense were theology and demonology. I’m what you’d call a “subject matter expert.”

Tell us about those tats – what made you get them? Is there an overall design?

[turns head down with a furrowed brow] There’s a method to every man’s madness. Some of my ink is just the result of being a stupid punk. Others…? Yeah, they mean something… but we’re not getting into that here. Next question, man. Continue reading “Dr. Skylar Santangelo (of Healing The Witch Of Adelaide Glen by J.C. Stockli)”

Megan O’Reilly (of Foul is Fair by Jeffrey Cook and Katherine Perkins)

Foul is Fair Dear readers, tonight with me is young girl, suffering from ADHD. Like many young girls her age, she always dreamt she was a Fairy Princess.

One day, she found out that was true. Things got complicated from there.

 

 

When you grew up, did you have any clues about your family being different?

I thought it was the /regular/ kind of different. I didn’t have any contact with my dad, and not much information about him. It was just me and my mom — and my ADHD, and Mom’s depression and other issues.

What was it like growing up with ADHD?

When I was little, it flew under the radar, because I wasn’t the type that got in trouble in school. I just had an overactive imagination, and you can get away with that when you’re little–and gosh, who knows how much of that now was imagination and how much was seeing actual Faerie things until I hushed because Mom didn’t want to hear about it. Homework still mostly got done, while hanging with Lani, and any time I wasn’t with Lani, I was drawing. And, well, a lot of time with Lani, I was drawing. Even in class, I was drawing, but you can get away with that when you’re little, too. When you’re older, not so much. Continue reading “Megan O’Reilly (of Foul is Fair by Jeffrey Cook and Katherine Perkins)”

Jonas Black (of Black Fall by DJ Bodden)

Black Fall - D. J. boddenDear readers, tonight on the interview couch is a young man who had recently discovered some dark secrets in his family history. He is here to tell us about his personal journey in learning to deal with who he really is.

 

When did you first realise that you and your family are different from other people?

I guess I always knew we were different. My parents had – well, I thought they had – porphyria cutanea tarda. That’s PCT for short. It’s a disease that makes people super sensitive to sunlight, so we had to have heavy black curtains on all the windows and they only left the house at night. I grew up with nannies; I spent years explaining that to people… turns out it was all BS. I felt pretty stupid when I found out. Could we talk about something else? Continue reading “Jonas Black (of Black Fall by DJ Bodden)”

Felix the Fox – guest appearance on PureJonel

Web Cover-miniDear readers, some disturbing news tonight.

Felix seems to have done a runner, and gave a guest interview on PureJonel: http://purejonel.blogspot.ca/2016/01/FtF.html

The mentula has also answered a few more questions than he did for us… I need to have a chat with him!

So while I sort out the voices in my head, feel free to head to Jonel’s blog and read his interview 🙂

 

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