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The Protagonist Speaks

Interviews with the protagonists of your favourite books

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Women Fiction

Nikki Sotolongo (of Cherry Pickers by Bonnie Milani)

Dear readers, with me tonight is a young woman from the planet Sisyphus. As you may recall, Sisyphus is a particularly inhospitable world, and is home to a woman-only penal colony.

At seventeen years of age Nikki is obsessed about getting her gun to impress her mother, the director of the penal colony. For this she needs to be an adult, which – in her opinion – requires losing her virginity. The only way to do this is to lure and kidnap a man from a passing space ship, to ‘pick her cherry’, as it were.

She is here to tell us of her adventures, together with her adopted native brother.


Tell us about how you grew up.

If you ask Mah – that’s my mom – she’ll tell you I’m still not grown up.  And I’m seventeen already!  I mean, I earned my gun!  Hard way, too, not like some other girls I could name.

Okay, but do tell us a little about where you grew up. What was it like in the colony?

You mean SisPenOne?  It’s a penal colony.  Same as every other penal colony in the Commonwealth, I guess.  Well, except it’s all women.  And Mah says Sisyphus got its name ‘cause the whole planet really is out to get you.  But never bothered me… well, ‘cept for that time the toilet vacuum failed and a nosher got through and nipped out a chunk’a my butt.  Got a really great scar from it.  Wanna see?  (She turns, loosening her pants)

No, no, that’s all right, we’ll take your word for it. Did you have any favourite toys as a child? Any cherished memories?

Toys?  Oh, those fakey things you give little kids.  Dolls and stuff, yeah?  Saw some of those things in those social studies vids Mah made Sam and me study.  Never needed any myself.  Sam and me – Continue reading “Nikki Sotolongo (of Cherry Pickers by Bonnie Milani)”

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Thea (of Mistress of Rome by Kate Quinn)

Mistress of Rome - Kate QuinnDear readers, tonight with me is a woman who came to us as a Judaean slave girl, only to catch the eye of our divine emperor. she is here to tell us of her remarkable journey, and about the highest echelons of Roman society.

 

 

What were your first impressions of Rome, after being sold to slavery in Judea?

I survived the suicide massacre of Masada when I was about four years old; one of seven survivors. The rest of my family died, and then I was enslaved and brought west. I don’t remember much of Judaea, but even so, Rome has never felt like home to me. It’s hot, teeming, raucous, and quite frequently cruel.

Is Emperor Domitian as bad in person as the senate makes him out to be?

It depends which side of him you see, and he has as many sides as a set of dice. To his soldiers he is blunt, honest, brave–they worship him. To the Senate he is arrogant, overbearing, dismissive–they despise him. To his family is he capricious, fearful, fickle–they quiver before him. To me . . . well. I fascinate him because he doesn’t frighten me. He likes to test that, and it’s kept me alive so far. Continue reading “Thea (of Mistress of Rome by Kate Quinn)”

Jackie Moretti (of Love’s Illusions by Jolene Cazzola)

Jolene Cazzola - Love's IllusionsDear readers, relationships have always been complicated. Tonight on the guest couch with me is a young woman, trying to navigate the complexities of relationships in the age of sex, drugs and rock’n’roll.

 

 

 

Tell us about where you grew up. Did you have a favourite toy or memory?

I grew up in a middle class suburb of Boston, Weymouth, Massachusetts. Since I was born in 1951, it was pretty much like you saw on Ozzie & Harriet, in other words, dull, boring; the kind of place where all the neighbors would stop to make their purchase whenever one of the kids on the street set up a Lemonade Stand. My parents also had a hunting and fishing lodge in northern New England that was pretty cool. You can read more about it in The BackStory. It’s FREE at www.jolenecazzola.com.

I didn’t really have a favorite toy – I played with my animals, mostly cats, a German Shepard named Satchamo, a couple rabbits and some baby chickens I hatched for a school project. Eventually my parents talked me into letting a local farmer take the rabbits and chickens so they would have more room to roam around. He promised he wouldn’t eat them! And I grew worms to sell to the fishermen – do they count as pets? Continue reading “Jackie Moretti (of Love’s Illusions by Jolene Cazzola)”

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