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The Protagonist Speaks

Interviews with the protagonists of your favourite books

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Young Adult

Lawrence Choyce Bartholomew (of Tompkin’s School: For The Dearly Departed by Tabi Slick)

Dear readers, tonight with me is a young man who has been forced to go back to school – a century after he originally graduated. It’s not too bad, as he is a creature of the night, and is able to manipulate time.

He is here to tell us about his extraordinary powers, his time travels, and his continuing quest to be reunited with his younger brother.


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

I was born in Missouri in 1893 so you can imagine it was definitely in the country. My father owned a brewery and my mother raised my younger brother and I. Or tried to, anyway. I never could get control over my bloody temper and my younger brother was no better. That’s why we were sent off to Tompkin’s Academy when it opened in the autumn of 1910.

What have you been doing since 1910 and now?

Since my brother and I have been separated, my powers haven’t been progressing like I know they were meant to. So I’ve been using what power I do have to sense other beings like myself in the hopes that I find  the one powerful enough to reunite me with my little brother, Edwin Bartholomew. Continue reading “Lawrence Choyce Bartholomew (of Tompkin’s School: For The Dearly Departed by Tabi Slick)”

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Maggie (of The Chronicle of the Three Trilogy by Tabitha Caplinger)

Dear readers, tonight with me is a young woman helping her best friend to fight demons.

Growing up in a small town, she was not prepared for the world of demons and angels. She now assists her friend Zoe, a girl from a sacred bloodline, to fight the demons.

She is here to tell us about her adventures.


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

I have lived in Torch Creek my entire life. Not that 17 years is a long time but this place is pretty much all I know. I used to think it was the picture perfect American small town. It’s quaint and all but there is a darkness here. About four years ago, after my best friend died, I met that darkness face to face. I didn’t realize it at the time though. It took meeting my new best friend, Zoe, for me to understand that my deep sadness and pain and fear was more than just bad dreams and depression. Something was eating my soul. Let me tell you, being a demon’s dietary supplement is not fun. Things are better now. Well, better for me and on their way to being better for the town, and the whole world… Hopefully.

A demon’s dietary supplement? Really? How did you overcome that?

It started with a weird girl trying to talk to me in the school bathroom. Then we had pie. Zoe was the first person to take the time to care about me in a really long time. She helped me to see that I wasn’t crazy and that I had been letting this thing feed off of me by letting it keep me sad and afraid. She told me to stop giving it food, so I did. It sounds easier than it actually is by the way, but it worked. Faith works. It also helps to have a friend who’s part of a sacred bloodline and fights demons. Continue reading “Maggie (of The Chronicle of the Three Trilogy by Tabitha Caplinger)”

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)”

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)

the-trouble-with-antlers-aj-culey

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)”

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