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The Protagonist Speaks

Interviews with the protagonists of your favourite books

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Young Adult

Remiel Vesarus (of First Words: Final Lesson by Shakyra Dunn)

Dear readers, tonight with me is the sole heir to the throne of the kingdom of Linmus. However, being the illegitimate son of a mage and a human makes life complicated.

He’s here to tell us about his quest to resume the throne and restore his kingdom to its former glory.


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

I was born in the kingdom of Linmus within the world of Adrylis, sole heir to the throne. Linmus itself is rather unique from the nature-inclined world, as we have more industrial landscapes. The castle? Extravagant on the outside, vibrant and full of life due to those that walk along the polished floors, but no different from a prison, at least for me. But that is particularly because of my lineage, and I’m not referring to the royal title.

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

In addition to being a prince, I am what you would call a Bloodlinch, so growing up wasn’t easy no matter how you swing it. A Bloodlinch is the illegitimate child of a prolific mage and an average human, my mother and father respectively. I didn’t really have any toys or games that I liked to play, and my favorite pastime was probably when I got to leave the castle. I was always running away from the servant that was sent to watch over me, and I would hide in the local pastry shop. I got punished a lot by my mother for it, but it was because of that reckless behavior that I later met my best friend Solus. Continue reading “Remiel Vesarus (of First Words: Final Lesson by Shakyra Dunn)”

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)”

Niklas, Eighth Son of Jesse (of Tyrants and Traitors by Joshua McHenry Miller)

Dear readers, tonight with me is a fifteen-year-old shepherd, who spent his whole life dreaming of revolt against the hygiene-adverse Philistines. Recently an all-but-impossible mission is thrust upon him, and he started to rethink the whole hero business. What chance does the daring schemer have when lions, the Mad King, and a literal giant stand in his way?

He is here to tell us of his race to uncover the hidden traitor, conspiracies and armies which converge on the nation — with his hometown directly in the crossfire.


What’s the most vivid memory you have as a child?

I’ve been wrongfully identified as the chief mischief maker in our family. While I’d never deny my penchant for a bit mayhem, one of my older brothers, Abin, is the real godfather of all things chaos. Growing up, he was always seeking the next prank to pull off, and he often used me as patient zero for his ideas. Once, he convinced me to try every spice in our mother’s cabinet. It went alright until I chomped into a blackened mustard seed. My eyes nearly bulged out of their sockets, and I spent the next two hours impersonating a waterfall, spewing fluids all over the house. He lovingly referred to it as ‘Abin’s Surprise.’

Tell us a little about where you grew up?

Ancient Israel is a tale of two worlds. On the one side, our countryside is awesome. We’ve got fertile hills, clear rivers, and some of the best wine this side of the mesopotamian peninsula. It’s a dream scenario, except for the tiny fact that every one of our neighboring countries want to wipe us off the map. Every decade or so, another regional war breaks out, and we spend the next five years cleaning up the mess. Plus, my people aren’t exactly known for a surplus in courage. We’re more of the ‘flee in terror’ crowd than the ‘stand up and fight for yourselves’ demographic, which only paints a larger target on our backs. Continue reading “Niklas, Eighth Son of Jesse (of Tyrants and Traitors by Joshua McHenry Miller)”

Melvin Moose (of The Trouble with Antlers by AJ Culey)

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Dear readers, tonight with me is a young shape-shifter, still attending high-school.

He’s here to tell us about life in Shifterville, and the social awkwardness that boys feel around girls – shapeshifting aside.

He’d also like to set the record straight regarding his antlers. It’s not his fault!


Tell us about the shifter town you live in. What’s it like there?

I live in Shifterville. I’m sure you’ve heard of us by now. Yes, we’re that town – the one that invited a human to move there. Well, two humans really. I think that probably tells you everything you need to know about my town. We’re run by a bunch of crazy shifters who actually thought we could keep two humans from discovering the truth about the town they live in. Personally, I think it’s probably a good idea for the shifter world to brace itself. Unless the humans are utterly stupid, I just don’t see how our secret’s going to remain one for much longer.

What do you do in Shifterville?

I go to school, study a lot and play sports like Fangs & Claws and Hoofball. It’s not so bad. Except when the girls are playing. Then it’s a nightmare. You know. Trying to run on two feet with six- foot antlers pulling me off balance. Gravity is not my friend.

Wait. What’s this about your antlers?

They’re a problem – a pain in the rump really. I can’t control them, okay? I don’t know why, but every time I see a girl, smell a girl, whatever, out pop my antlers. It’s not like I completely shift or anything. No, that would make too much sense. Instead, it’s just my antlers making an appearance. Which makes my life awfully complicated because now I have to avoid Amelia. She’s the new human at Shifter High. Up to now, my antlers haven’t been that big of an issue. Well, I guess they have been, but they weren’t a life and death issue. But now that there’s a human girl wandering around the school, they’re a real problem. What if she sees them? I’ll be the shifter responsible for outing us to the human world! Continue reading “Melvin Moose (of The Trouble with Antlers by AJ Culey)”

Ella Fantz (of The Path Keeper by NJ Simmonds)

the-path-keeper-nj-simmondsDear readers, tonight with me on the interview couch is a young woman, struggling to acclimatise in London after growing up in sunny south of Spain.

She is also about to discover a hidden meaning behind life’s little coincidences and apparent little miracles.

She is here to tell us of her life, and of the man she loves.

 

 

 

What was it like growing up in Spain and why did you move to London?

I loved growing up on the Costa del Sol. No, it’s not as nasty as people thing it is. I used to hang out at the beach with my mates, back when I actually had proper friends, and I could see the sea from my bedroom. When I was sixteen my mum married one of the richest hoteliers in the world and here we are, bloody London. Everyone makes out like the capital is this fucking amazing glitzy glamorous place, but it’s not. It’s cold and grey and lonely. I don’t care that my life looks amazing to other people, if they could be me for a few days they’d want to jump off the nearest tall building too.

Do you have any particular cherished memories of your childhood?

Cherished memories? You know ‘cherished’ is a crap word, right? No one uses that any more. Okay, well my best memories are probably of my mum and how she was before she married Richard Fantz (have you noticed how I have his surname now and how I’m a laughing stock? Seriously, who calls their kid Ella Fantz?). Anyway, back then my mum was all cut off jean shorts and sand in her hair, we’d have late nights on the beach watching shooting stars and eating chocolate while she told me stories about princesses and how love could change the world. Now she’s a manicured mannequin that won’t even look at sugar. She makes me sick. Continue reading “Ella Fantz (of The Path Keeper by NJ Simmonds)”

Hannah (of : Booting Up – Virtual Wars Series prequel by Brian Basham)

booting-up-virtual-wars-series-brian-bashamDear readers, you would have heard of the Virtual wars, that arrangement that was supposed to end wars as we know it. When diplomatic relations fail,  the armies of New Pangea fight it out in a virtual reality simulation. The winner gets the spoils, but no one is supposed to die.

Tonight with us is a young girl with a different story. A survivor of the virtual wars, she is here to tell us of her adevntures and narrow escape.

 

 

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

I was in and out of orphanages as a child. Half of them are in buildings nearing collapse. There’s no reason for that. There are plenty of abandoned buildings that aren’t falling apart although much of it is located in areas where plant life have taken over. The Enforcers tried to keep me caged at these dilapidated prisons for children, but no one can cage this ninja!

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

My PEL, I guess. Everyone has one, so it’s not anything special. I did learn a lot from hackers on the dark net, but they’ve all since been arrested. They taught me how to hack my PEL device to disable tracking. It’s hard to escape when all the Enforcers have to do is track your PEL. I had to learn that the hard way.

What do you do now?

I’m currently in school studying whatever I feel like would be the most useful of skills to be a spy. That’s what I really want to be. Continue reading “Hannah (of : Booting Up – Virtual Wars Series prequel by Brian Basham)”

Cerys (of The Forgotten Princess of Mona by Guy Donovan)

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Dear readers, tonight with us is an eleven year-old girl who was born a princess, but was then forced to grow up in the wilds of 5th century Britannia, fighting not only the barbarous Picts, but also a malevolent spirit bent on taking away everything she had left. She is here to tell us about her adventures, including the most remarkable friend a child could ever want!

 

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

I was born in the Kingdom of Môna, which is made up of two islands. I really don’t remember it well, because I was born…well, Domie always said “simpleminded,” but most people said I was either “stupid,” a “moron,” or even worse.

Oh, I’m sorry. Who is “Domie?”

His real name is Domelch, but I always called him Domie…once I could call him anything, I mean.

You couldn’t talk?

Not very well. It was all part of being stupid, I guess. Domie raised me and took care of me after my father…went away. Everyone always says it that way to me, but they really mean he died.

What about your mother?

She died too—when I was born.

Sooo…you were a princess, but you’re not anymore?

My mother and father were the King and Queen of Môna, but with them gone, my stepmother, the new queen, just wanted me out of the way so my half-brother, Elian, could grow up to be the king. Continue reading “Cerys (of The Forgotten Princess of Mona by Guy Donovan)”

Azaeli (Azi) Hammerfel (of Keepers of the Wellsprings Series by Missy Sheldrake)

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Dear readers, tonight with me is a young girl who trained in swordplay to become a Squire. When she finally earned the honor, her name was mysteriously left off of the list for the King’s Quest. She is here to tell us what happened next to her knight parents and the king’s court, and of the new magical friends she made on the way.

 

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

I grew up in Cerion City, in the guild hall of His Majesty’s Elite, where my parents are both knights. Cerion is a beautiful kingdom just in the center of the Known Lands which prides itself on its acceptance of people of all races and creeds. Our kingdom has known peace for many decades now under the rule of the Plethores. His Majesty King Tirnon Plethore is a fair and loving king, and one my family is proud to serve.

Cerion is a cliffside city, and the most remarkable thing about it is its port. Ships dock beside the sheer cliff face, and their wares are brought up to the market using an enormous lift. Sometimes the lift is operated by Mages, especially in the harsh winter months when ice can be a problem. Other times, the lifts are operated by cranks pushed by men. People sometimes use the lifts as well, but most tend to prefer climbing the stairs carved into the cliff wall.

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

My favorite toys…hmm. Of course, the wooden practice sword my parents gave me when I was very young. I played with that often. Rian and I—he’s my neighbor and my most cherished friend, his mum is our guild’s leader—we used to play at sword fighting in the guild practice pitch often. That’s until he decided to take up magic under Uncle’s sharp eye. Mages don’t use swords, so that play was eventually set aside in favor of books and study for him. I have so many fond memories of my childhood. The guild was always kind to me. They would play at swords with me often. And of course my memories of playing with Princess Sarabel in the palace gardens and later her little sister Margary will always be dear to my heart. Continue reading “Azaeli (Azi) Hammerfel (of Keepers of the Wellsprings Series by Missy Sheldrake)”

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)”

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