Search

The Protagonist Speaks

Interviews with the characters of your favourite books

Tag

Urban Fantasy

Lady Gwenhwyfar (of A Cup of Blood, by Troy A. Hill)

Dear readers, tonight we print an interview carried in an alchemist’s shop, in an alternate history where the Arthurian legends are real.


The woman strode into my shop, head and back erect. Dressed in light green woolen dress of an early medieval cut. The sleeves and neck were embroidered with the swirling points of Celtic patterns of olde. I waved her to a chair.

“Toss your cloak on the rail, milady,” I said, giving the cauldron a final stir and taste before I raised it another notch above the coals and left it to simmer.

The woman’s cloak was a dark forest green, embroidered with the Celtic Tree of Life symbol. The cloak seemed to shimmer and dance. That’s when I realized the fabric was of the finest wool I had seen, and the design was not embroidered but woven as part of the cloth.

My guest seated herself, still formal. Almost regal. Her blue-grey eyes sparkled in the dim light of the shop. Her silver-gold hair danced with reflected colors from our surroundings.

“May I offer you a potion, or spell after your travels? Your home in Penllyn is far is it?”

“Tea would be preferred,” she said. “But whatever you have about is appreciated. No, Penllyn isn’t far when one have magical means to travel.”

I busied myself getting the water poured and the leaves steeping. I passed her a cup a few moments later.

“Diolch,” she said. “Thank you in my native tongue.”

“Do you take anything with your tea?”

“This is perfectly fine, and appreciated,” Lady Gwen said. “I understand you’d like to learn more about me and my story. Please.” She waved a hand in invitation.

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

My early years were in my father’s kingdom, north of the Humber River, though on the west side of our island, in what you would know as Strathclyde, part of Britain. This would have been in the period of time you refer to as the Dark Ages.

What do you do now?

I am first disciple to The Lady, Goddess of Sovereignty of Britannia.

Goddess of Sovereignty?

She rewards the leaders of the land, giving them sovereignty over the people and land, as long as they fulfill the mission of protecting those lands and the people. The goddess is the land, and Britannia is her. The goddess’ concern is that her people thrive and prosper.

What can you tell us about your latest adventure?

The goddess sent me to find her second disciple. This woman would become the new champion of the land. When I found Maria dead, along with the corpse of two Witch Hunters, I couldn’t understand why the goddess needed her, that creature she was, to be the new champion of Britain–

The new champion of Britannia? You mean like King Arthur

My former husband was…

Continue reading “Lady Gwenhwyfar (of A Cup of Blood, by Troy A. Hill)”

Beatrice Taylor (of Guild of Tokens, by Jon Auerbach)

Dear readers. tonight with me is a master alchemist. She is mentoring another young woman, and is here to tell us about college quest games and telepathic apples.


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

It was terrible. Next question.

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

Cherished memories? The few moments when I wasn’t hiding in fear from my mother’s drunken boyfriend.

What do you do now?

If you ask my husband, he’ll tell you I run a successful tutoring business, but in reality, I’m a full-time alchemist/quester.

You do know what the Quest Board is, right?

Umm, no.

Ugh, fine.

The Quest Board is a message board buried in the bowels of the Internet where people post real-life Quests to complete in exchange for tokens. Get enough tokens, and you level up. The purpose? To dig up and grind out the last traces of magic left in the world for the upper crust. Most Questers spend their entire lives scrounging up enough tokens to earn a couple of bronze tokens, which they pass on to their children so that they can repeat the same thing.

But not me. I discovered the truth early on. So I forged my own path. I learnt the secrets of alchemy and magic, and made coin doing it.

My alchemic buffs range from low-level Adderrall substitutes that I sell to college students to the actual full-strength version that will make you so focused on your task that you’ll probably forget to eat for several days. Or one that will make you feel like you’ve just had the best nap of your life even if you’ve logged three all-nighters in a row.

I’m sorry, but what’s a buff?

It’s what I call my alchemic gummies. They give you a boost when you eat one, depending on what type. There’s strength, vitality, focus, and speed, plus some other ones that I can’t quite reveal just yet.

What can you tell us about your latest adventure?

I’m a seasoned solo Quester but the Council’s Raids require a partner. So far, I’ve had a bad string of luck with my trainees. They either don’t respect me or become obsessed with me or try to kill me. Sometimes all three. It was a stroke of luck that I stumbled upon my newest trainee, Jen Jacobs, after she succeeded in fetching a particular batch of apples that when eaten, allow you to read someone’s mind.

Continue reading “Beatrice Taylor (of Guild of Tokens, by Jon Auerbach)”

Mrs. Mirskaya (of the Paternus trilogy, by Dyrk Ashton)

Dear readers, tonight on the interview couch is an old slavic goddess from a world where gods and monsters, the heroes and villains of ancient lore, are real.

She is here to tell us about the rise of the gods and the coming war.


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

Why do you bother me with these silly questions, durak? I am busy and war is coming. No time for nonsense from crazy person. Now you are kidding. You are crying? All right, bezumets, I answer quickly.

My father is Father, all you need to know. My mother was Phoberomys pattersoni. Much like muskrat or beaver, but much bigger. Don’t give me that face, I peel it off your head. That is better. I was born in what is today called Orinoco River Valley, in country now named by the watoto—humans—Venezuela. I have been everywhere in world. Several worlds. I have lived in many places. After last Great War with Asura I lived in lands later called Russia. People knew my Truename, Mokosh, and worshipped me as goddess of weather, water, and protection. Yes I am goddess. Do I not look like goddess?

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

Toys?! I played with sticks and fish when I was young. I ate them. And I threw them at Father. Was fun.

I have enjoyed looking after brat child Fiona Megan Patterson and spending time with her uncle, Edgar. Do not tell them I said that, or I show you lightning from sky to your backside.

What do you do now?

I am answering idiot questions from beshenyy mal’chik! (Mutters again) I am sure u tebia ochen malenki hui

We are on invisible island, Kumari Kandam, to prepare for war. There are many Firstborn here, but not enough. We will probably lose. Mac Gallus plays terrible music. Fiona trains to be Valkyrie. Zeke has made himself stone clubfoot by accident and set his hand on fire. Stupid boy, but sweet. I am happy to have Leshy here now, someone to talk to from old country.

Continue reading “Mrs. Mirskaya (of the Paternus trilogy, by Dyrk Ashton)”

Molly Blue (of A Bagful of Dragon, by Sakina Murdock)

Dear readers, tonight on the interview couch is a psychic, battling the forces of darkness. She is crucial to the protagonist’s quest, as she channels messages from the latter’s granddad.


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

Grew up, eh? Bit of a long while since then y’know, why’d you want to know that?

Just a way for your fans to get to know you better, nothing suspicious.

Ooh, I’ve got fans? Why didn’t you say? Grew up on a council estate in Seacroft, Leeds, nothing too exciting. Just your usual school of hard truths and worse prospects. Passed a couple of CSEs, got married, had kids, that kind of thing. Never been out of work. Never. Always worked. Mum’s normal, dad passed away – still see him from time to time – pretty normal upbringing, really.

So what wasn’t ‘normal’? How’d you become a psychic guide fighting dark forces for fun?

Now look here, sunshine, get your facts straight. I don’t know who you’ve been talking to, but you can’t just go around saying things like that. For starters, I’m not a guide for anyone. If I made money out of it, you’d call me a medium, but that’s just a posh way of saying I see dead people. All the time. There’s a few here right now. Know him, do you? Flat cap, smell of cigarette smoke? Your uncle? Granddad?

So you’re not a guide?

I just get given a lot of messages for the living. I don’t generally pass ’em on. Folks don’t really want to know. They want to know their loved ones went to heaven, not that they’re hanging around waiting for the next incarnation. He’s saying he hopes you’re happy now. Acrimonious relationship, was it? Flat cap guy?

Continue reading “Molly Blue (of A Bagful of Dragon, by Sakina Murdock)”

Reeni Dutta (of Klone’s Stronghold, by Joyce Reynolds-Ward)

Dear readers, tonight with me is a teacher, but not a regular school teacher, She specialises in teaching cryptid children. She’s here to tell us about the supernatural world and the mysterious Stronghold in the remote Oregon mountains.


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

I grew up in Tualatin, Oregon. I didn’t do much outside of my home because my parents kept me very isolated. If I wasn’t studying, in church, or in school…I really didn’t have much to do outside of those things. I was a good girl and did what my parents and Pastor Ananda wanted, mainly because I had seen demons and dragons as well as woods elementals and was frightened of them for a while.

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

My parents were second-generation Indian immigrants who converted to Pentecostalism along with my uncle Jayanesh, as part of a splinter church under the direction of Pastor Ananda. Ananda had a ministry converting halfling humans who were part-supernatural to his brand of Christianity and “exorcising” their supernatural abilities to make themselves appear human. My parents were really strict and I didn’t get to date or do much until I went to college. Otherwise, I studied, went to church, and…well, that was it. In high school I was a teacher assistant in a self-contained special education classroom and that got me hooked on working with special needs children.

What do you do now?

Now I teach cryptid construct children in an isolated Eastern Oregon community. It’s a challenge, but it’s fun too, because these kids want to learn. It’s just finding what works to help them learn. I don’t know everything about what it means for them to be cryptid constructs—only that they’re part Sasquatch—but give enough time and I will.

What can you tell us about your latest adventure?

Well, since I now know for sure that my ex-husband Karl isn’t just stalking me, but is a blood elemental, I’m really, really invested in making sure that this position pays off. I mean, 40k for six months’ work, and Karl’s supposed to be leaving me alone! I think that’s great. Now if only my uncle and Pastor Ananda don’t find out where I am….

Continue reading “Reeni Dutta (of Klone’s Stronghold, by Joyce Reynolds-Ward)”

Mikhail (of The Scented Bones, by Angelina Kerner)

40382483Dear readers, tonight with me is a young man working as a detective by day and and as a guide for departed souls by night. Between mafioso godmothers and the cement shoes on non-human skeletons sleeping with the fishes, he’s here to tell us about his uncanny adventures.

Rather unorthodoxly, the interview is recorded from the point of view of the interviewee. Who says mind-reading isn’t fun?


Please introduce yourself –

I raise my hand for a pause and pull out a pack of cigarettes. After going through my motions, I light the cigarette and take my first smoke of the morning.

After exhaling, I say, “Can you repeat that?”

Please introduce yourself, and the book you are from.

“My name is Mikhail, last name private. My first appearance is in the Scented Bones by Angelina Kerner.”

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

“Can’t really. There’s no real place that I can call home. My parents moved a lot when I was a kid. It’s not in our nature to stay in one place. I remember living in the in-between, in the mountains, by the ocean, in a big city. Thanks to my parents travels, I can adapt to anything and I mean anything,” I say and wink.

What do you mean by not in your nature?

“Oh,” I said. “You don’t know.” I laugh before continuing to smoke. “I’m a psychopomp. My day job is being a detective and my underground life is helping paranormals reach an understanding at an end of an argument or accept death. I help spirits enter the otherworld and have similar powers to a witch’s. Lately, I’m stronger than my little sprite. She’s neglected her magickal part of life. I need to spank her for that. Her neglect makes my third job hell.” I laugh again.

Your third job?

I sit back and dab my cigarette on the plate on the table. “I’m only going to answer that because you’re not in the book and therefore can’t screw me or my charge. My third job is my first job. I’m someone called an Associate. I’m not part of an Italian mob, but I have a working relationship that benefits both parties.” Continue reading “Mikhail (of The Scented Bones, by Angelina Kerner)”

Nick Medea and guests (of Black City Dragon, by Richard Knaak)

Dear readers, we are ecstatic to present you tonight with a unique view to the characters of one of our most favoured series! Moreover, the detective from this historical-urban-fantasy has brought unique guests (some not quite in our world).

This interview is set in the middle of the just released Black City Dragon, but should not interfere with your enjoyment whether you read it (or the previous volumes), or are still about to. We trust you’ll enjoy this glimpse!


Claryce: Stop talking! Nick! Wake up!

Nick: Sorry. Guess that last Wyld took a lot more out of me than I thought. Fell asleep as soon as I sat down on your couch. You say something about me talking in my sleep?

Claryce: Not you. Him. He was talking through you.

Nick: More like talking to me. He’s done this before. It’s different than when we just communicate through my mind. He’s trying to influence me through my subconscious. What’re you up to?

The DragonEye? Eye was merely reminiscing about all our lovely time together, all the things we have shared. All the deaths we have caused. All the things we have burned…Saint George.

Nick: Yeah, it’s been a fun sixteen hundred years since I slew you, hasn’t it been? Sixteen hundred years since our blood mixed and the gate you were guarding — and didn’t bother to tell me you were guarding — made me its new sentinel.

The DragonUs…it made us sentinel. Eye thought death would free me. Instead, it trapped me inside you, a leviathan trapped in a flea who now goes around pretending to be a hunter of false ghosts for ignorant clients when he is actually hunting the Wyld, the foulest of Her Lady’s realm of Feirie…or that accursed Dacian Dragon.

Claryce: Nick! Your expression! What is it? What’s he saying to you?

Nick: I’ll clear it up with you afterward, Claryce. For now, you would do me a great favor if you could get me some coffee.

Claryce: That thick black sludge? I know you need to confront the dragon by yourself, Nick, and I know you’re afraid part of him might show through in the process. I’ll make your coffee — it’ll take enough time — but you didn’t need an excuse. Just ask me. I understand.

Nick: It’s not that. I promise you. I’ll explain all afterward.

Claryce: I’ll keep away until  you call. And don’t worry. I’ve got the Smith & Wesson on me if anyone tries to sneak in. 

The DragonSo many promises to her unkept! Why, Eye thought you loved her. Why keep so many secrets? Are you afraid to tell her how you have failed to keep her previous incarnations alive each time? How they all perished violently and that you fear it is not bootleggers, gangsters such as the ones you call Capone and Moran, and the other vermin of this city Chicago that will be responsible for her dying, but rather Galerius, once Roman emperor and the man who had you beheaded in Nicomedia? Ha! A death so marking you that you always call yourself by some variation of that land’s title?

Nick: Yeah, that didn’t last long, that incident…and you should talk about names. You’ve come to calling yourself ‘Eye’ instead just using the pronoun because that’s the part of you I dare you most, your vision. The only part that might not be used to trick me into letting you out.

The Dragon Hmph. What is in a name, anyway? Why bring up names, Saint George? As for the losing of your head, I lasted long enough, Eye remember the pain as well as you do. Eye was there in you already, even if it took your death to meld us as one and begin our curse.

Nick:…

The DragonNo reply? Ah…are you dreaming again of your Greek  parents in Syria, or your life as a tribune and friend of the emperor Diocletian, who is just as guilty as Galerius for your execution or else why does his ghost haunt you? Are you dreaming of Claryce or her earlier self, the Princess Cleolinda…or any of the other incarnations?

Nick: Leave her out of this!

The DragonBut she is the focal point of all of this! Far more important than even you thinks she is? Such a loyal love, following you through death again and again. Ah! That makes you burn! Careful, oh fiery saint! You might open the way for me again! You recall what happened that one time, when this very city burned…

Nick: I had to let you out. Oberon wanted to make Feirie and our world one.

The DragonOur world? Eye fight only for myself and for the day when I can make everything burn, including her. If Galerius lives and has one of the cards of the Clothos Deck, it may not even be your world, anymore, but a variation he creates with the card.

Nick: That’s not going to happen.

The DragonNo? A simple use of the one you secreted in Holy Name Cathedral with the help of the renegade elf Kravayik did so much already just to landmarks in Chicago! You will need more than the questionable help of an elf converted to Christianity or the errant archangel Michael to help you if another card has been found. Best you give the first one to me. Eye will deal it well…

Nick: I don’t think so. I also think I’ve had enough of this conversation.

The DragonBut Eye could make this place so much more appealing. All you care about is her. Admit it. Eye promise Eye would not do much to her. She may face…a little change.

Nick: Not a chance…and there’s more to it.

The DragonOh? You have concern for Kravayik and that dwarf of a man Barnaby? Recall that it was his son Joseph who caused much of what we face and who could very well be the key to what Galerius is doing. Dunning will not be a safe enough place to keep that madman if Galerius wants him. You know that. Is it that lapdog of a shapeshifter, Fetch? He can be amusing at times, especially when he annoys you with the human slang, but you know he is a treacherous hound. He almost gave you up to Oberon! Perhaps, he will do so to Oberon’s more than cunning former mate, Her Lady, since she sits on the throne now…

Nick: I know Fetch’s shortcomings…but I know his loyalty, too.

The DragonBut will that loyalty change again? He has already hidden refugees from Feirie in the city and has some sort of pact with the so-called gangster “Ladykiller” Leighton…or should Eye call him Laertes like the elf he really is? Where are all these refugees? Maybe you should even ask the archangel Michael. He seems to have a hand in many things. Or maybe your very good if ignorant friend the police detective or his witch of a wife…

Nick: Leave Cortez and his Maria out of this. In fact, leave me out of this, too. I’ve let you taunt and try to manipulate me for the past few minutes in order to see what you’re up to. I think I know. You’ve seen how stressed my mind is since I found out Galerius was still alive. I wondered why he began entering my nightmare where you and I keep reliving our battle. Now I know. You’ve been trying to get me so damned distracted so that you could attempt to slip in and take over.

The Dragon:…

Nick: No snappy comeback? No mocking taunt?

Claryce: It suddenly got very silent in here. Is everything all right?

Nick: You can put the gun away. Everything’s all right.

The Dragon:…

Nick: For now…


Richard Knaak is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of The Legend of Huma, WoW: Wolfheart, and nearly fifty other novels and numerous short stories, including works in such series as Warcraft, Diablo, Dragonlance, Age of Conan, the Iron Kingdoms, and his own popular Dragonrealm. He has scripted comics and manga, such as the top-selling Sunwell trilogy, and has also written background material for games. His works have been published worldwide in many languages.

You can find Nick Medea (aka St George), Claryce and the Dragon on the pages of the Black City series, starting with Black City Saint, continuing in Black City Demon, and the just released Black City Dragon.

Special announcement: for those of you in the San Diego area, Knaak will be signing books this Friday (June 14th) at Mysterious Galaxy! Knaak is a wonderful person as well as a great author and getting signed copies of this awesome series is a great addition to anyone’s bookshelves, so pop over and say Hi.
Full details here:
https://www.mystgalaxy.com/Knaak-06-2019

Join us again this Friday to meet a paranormal investigator, torn between fairy godmothers and mafioso godfathers. Please follow the site by email (bottom-right) to be notified when the next interview is posted.

Rachael Fasching (of Not a Mourning Person, by Catherine Stein)

Dear readers, tonight with me is a young woman from Book 2 of the Victorian historical-fantasy Potions and Passions series. We’re always happy when our patrons revisit us!

This volume is her first appearance. She is here to tell us about
Ancient curses, poetry, murder, intrigue, magic — and about love.


Welcome, Mrs. Fasching. We are so pleased you have accepted this interview with our newspaper. Please introduce yourself for our readers.

Call me Rachael, please. My married name has a host of unpleasant memories associated with it.

Oh, dear me. Yes. Can you tell us something about your background? Who was your husband and what happened to him?

Well. Anyone who reads the gossip rags knows something of the matter. Mr. Fasching was an American potions importer. He became involved with the wrong people and ended up dead. I can’t say I’m terribly sorry about it. He was rather a villain, as it turns out.

I must say, you wear your widowhood well. That is a marvelous dress.

Isn’t it, though? I’m sure many would tell me that the neckline is too low to be appropriate for a widow, and the red embroidery likewise improper, but I have never been one to conform to restrictive fashion ideals. I prefer to set the new trends. People may gape and whisper if they wish, but no one can say I lack for beauty or elegance.

Your bold personal style does garner attention. Is that your plan, now that you will soon put your mourning period behind you? Attend parties and show off?

Parties and showing off are always in the plan. But I have far more interesting goals for my life at present. As I have indicated, I do not wish to use Fasching’s name. I intend to remarry to remedy the situation. In fact, I fully intend to woo the most passionate, romantic man in all of England until I have earned his undying love.

How strange. Because your name has recently been linked to that of Professor Avery Cantrell, a man noted for being dull and peculiar.

Ah, dear readers, you know so little about him. I don’t expect you to believe me, but Cantrell is so much more than you see on the surface. He hides himself behind his research, but I am uncovering his secrets and I must tell you they are delightfully intriguing. I do not doubt we will have fantastic adventures together.

Speaking of adventures, what can you tell us about yours?

Well. Certain information is not mine to share, but I can tell you that I have recently learned of strange, ancient curses and deadly potions allergies. I’ve encountered murder by poison and discovered vital clues. I’ve scandalized society by driving steam cars fully as well as any man.

Continue reading “Rachael Fasching (of Not a Mourning Person, by Catherine Stein)”

Bridget Etheridge (of Mystic Evermore, by Cecelia Hopkins-Drewer)

Dear readers, tonight with me is a young woman who moved to a small rural town — where things are not quite as they seem.

She is here to tell us whether there is something more to kids than dressing as goths, or running away from home once a month.


Can you introduce yourself, please?

My name is Bridget Etheridge and I am eighteen years old.  The tales in “The Nevermore Parables Series”, which commences with Mystic Evermore, are punctuated with extracts from my diary. So you can say I’m sort of the narrator. The books don’t use the first person all the time – but the guiding thread is ME!

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

I’m an army kid. I grew up everywhere my father was transferred, which was mostly around the easterly coast of the United States of America.  It was quite unsettling and I didn’t have any long term friends until we moved to Mystic Evermore in Georgia. By that time I was desperate for us to settle down and with any luck, this will become a permanent placement for dad and we might settle down.

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

As an army kid, I got pretty good at letting go of material possessions.  I do have a collection of school uniforms from all the different schools I have attended. Role plays anyone?

What do you do now?

I’m a senior at Mystic Evermore High. What else would an eighteen year old be doing? Oh and I have some volunteer work happening.

Continue reading “Bridget Etheridge (of Mystic Evermore, by Cecelia Hopkins-Drewer)”

Blog at WordPress.com.

Up ↑