Interviews ~ November
Axis and Ayn Join Us for a Chat
Characters created by Lyra Shanti
Axis, the magical sphinx type creature in Shiva XIV interviewing the series protagonist, Ayn.
Axis: Hey, everybody! I’m here with Ayn, who is basically a God-
Ayn: No, I’m not, Axis. Please, don’t start the interview like that.
Axis: Sorry… but that’s what a lot of people think you are. Certainly the priests of Deius thought that of you.
Ayn: Well, they were wrong.
Axis: (sigh) Ok, anyway… Ayn, let’s start by me asking you something I’ve always wanted to know since the first day we met.
Ayn: What’s that?
Axis: Oh, should we talk about the weird way we met when you thought you were having hallucinations?
Ayn: No, Axis, just ask the question. Come on, concentrate.
Axis: Sorry! So, I wondered from the start why you wear your hair so long. Is it a Deiusian custom or something? Does everyone have such long hair, even the males?
Ayn: Well, not everyone has long hair, but it’s definitely a tradition in the Holy City, mainly in the temple and the palace. Why? Do you not like it?
Axis: No, I love it! I just wondered.
Ayn: Maybe you should grow yours really long too. (smirk)
Axis: I don’t think I’d pull that look off… not with my thick gold hair and all. I’d look silly. Your straight black hair looks wonderful though.
Ayn: (laughs) Thanks. Are we done talking about fashion now, Axis?
Axis: (bashfully) Yeah… um, anyway… So, what’s it like being The Bodanya?
Ayn: It’s… a lot of pressure.
Axis: What exactly is a Bodanya?
Ayn: I guess you could describe it as the term for “messiah,” coined by The Dei, who are the holy priests of the temple of Deius. I’ve been told since I was a small child that I would somehow balance the universe, which they feared was on the edge of doom because of rampant illness and environmental calamity.
Axis: Wow! I can’t imagine having that on your shoulders at such a young age. What did you do? How did you handle it?
Ayn: (shrugs) I didn’t really. (Slightly laughs) I guess I just tried my best to study, please my Lans (teacher priests) and do whatever I can to connect with The Un.
Axis: The Un is a shortened name for the universe, right?
Ayn: Yeah, well, it’s also a shortened name for the Un-Ahm galaxy, which is our planet’s galaxy.
Axis: Oh! Right! Anyway, next question! Do you dream about being something other than the Bodanya? Do you want to be something else?
Ayn: I’d love to be a musician and singer, but I can’t ignore my destiny.
Axis: You play the flute, right?
Ayn: Yes, I do. I love music so much. I feel most myself when listening or playing a lilting Deiusian folk tune.
Axis: Do you write your own music?
Ayn: Yes, quite often.
Axis: That’s wonderful! So, if you could stop having to be their messiah, you’d be a rock star?
Ayn: (smirks) Next question, Axis. Just so the readers know, no matter how much Axis grows, he always has the mind of a little boy. He isn’t being serious.
Axis: (giggles) Yes, I am! I’m always serious.
Ayn: (shakes head) Mmm, hmm.
Axis: So, what’s your favorite food?
Ayn: You know the answer already, but I’ll say it: MahMah stew is the best food in the universe.
Axis: You’re so predictable, Ayn. Don’t you like anything else?
Ayn: Hmm… I really like root vegetables with Deisuian spices. I also really love sweet bread.
Axis: You know, on Kri, they have these wild mushrooms with spiced cheese stuffing. I think you’d love those.
Ayn: How do you know about Krian food, Axis?
Axis: Oh, I just know these things. I’m a magical cat-bird, after all.
Ayn: (smirking) That's your answer for everything, isn't it?
Axis: Yeah, well, if you got it, flaunt it.
Ayn: Huh? (Suppressing laughter)What are you even talking about?
Axis: I'm not really sure, to be honest. Interviews are hard!
(Both break out laughing)
Ayn: Alright, cat-bird, let's go get something to eat. All that talk of stew and sweet bread made me hungry!
Axis: Yeah! And stuffed mushrooms! Let's go!
You can learn more about the world of Shiva XIV on Lyra Shanti's website.
Artwork of Ayn by Julia Takagi
Artwork of Axis by Jennifer Juniper Varon
by JC Steel
Favourite quote or tagline: “There’s some good in this world, and it’s worth fighting for.” (J.R.R. Tolkien, The Two Towers)
In the beginning...tell me what made you decide to start writing?
I don’t remember. I wrote my first book when I was 3 with crayons and printer paper. It’s just always been a part of who I am.
Are there any authors or artists who influence(d) you?
Oh, lots. I’d say the top five are Patricia Briggs, Jim Butcher, Charles Dickens, Stephen King, and Margaret Atwood.
Tell me about your book / series.
- Give me a one-line ‘hook’ line: A federal agent solves paranormal crimes on a supernatural reservation in Texas.
- Tell me more: Judah Black is an agent working for BSI—the Bureau of Supernatural Investigations, which polices supernaturals. While her every day job is solving crimes, each case seems to bring her closer and closer to uncovering a truth her employers don’t want her to discover. It’s X-Files meets Anita Blake.
How many unpublished and half-finished books do you have?
Dozens and dozens. At least three for every one I’ve finished.
What’s your opinion on the practice of ‘banning’ books?
I don’t think books should be banned. Books that challenge our perceptions and make us a little uncomfortable are the most important of all. That said, I’d consider it an honor to have something I wrote on a banned book list. It means I’m doing something write. Well-behaved women rarely change history, after all.
Dan Bradfield from The Heir by Lynne Stringer
from Working Title Blogspot
This interview is with Dan Bradfield from Lynne Stringer’s novel The Heir (Verindon #1). Dan is a student at the prestigious Enterprise Academy in Connecticut and is from a wealthy family. At least, that’s what everybody at the school thinks, including Sarah Fenhardt, who’s secretly in love with him. Although sometimes she thinks there’s more to him than that …
Q1: What is the very best thing about being who you are and living where you live?
The best thing about who I am is the fact that I’ve been trained well and am confident in my abilities and myself. I know how to do my job, and yes, I do mean my job. I may be in high school at the moment, but it isn’t really me, if I can put it that way.
The best thing about where I live is that I know it’s definitely the safest house around, which is necessary, since we could encounter difficulties from … some people.
Q2: Do you have any really good friends or really bad enemies?
I don’t know if I’d consider the members of my squad my friends. I guess most people would think that but it’s different for people of our kind. As for Sarah, I can’t possibly consider her a friend, considering the differences between us. They are insurmountable.
When it comes to enemies, there are many of them. Most I have encountered are dead now but I imagine there will be more to take their place. It’s a by-product of this line of work.
Q3: If you could be anyone else in your world, who would you be and why?
High Commander Denzik. Continue reading ...
Also on Working Title Blogspot:
Interview of Diane Newby from My Undead Mother-in-law
“Hi. This is Sam Melvin lead investigative reporter of the Midley Beacon. Andy Zach, author of the zombie documentaries Zombie Turkeys and My Undead Mother-in-law asked me to interview Diane Newby, the zombie heroine whose adventures Andy details in My Undead Mother-in-law."
"Diane, welcome to our blog.”
“Thanks so much Sam! Although we’ve known each other for years, I’m still excited as a school girl to be interviewed online!”
“Yes, we met years ago. Why don’t to tell everyone about how we met?”
“It was soon after I turned zombie, along with my husband George, my son Donnie, er, Donald, and his girlfriend Maggie. I had my non-zombie son-in-law Ron Yardley and daughter Karen over for Valentine’s Day dinner. Donnie and I got into a little dustup and Ron blogged about it, which caught your interest in our family.”
“Um, yes. For our audience’s information, the ‘little dustup’ involved lots of blood and dismemberment and cracked plaster. That certainly got my attention. Not much was known about human zombies at that point, and I and the readers of the Midley Beacon we dying to know more.”
“That was the first time we met, Sam. You interviewed me and my family about our life as zombies.”
“Yup, why don’t you tell our blog readers what it’s like to be zombie? "
“Why, we’re just like normal human beings! We hold down jobs and go to church like any normal Americans. We just happen to have glowing red eyes. And we’re twice as strong as we used to be. And we move twice as fast. And we can regenerate lost limbs and heads.”
“Other than that, you’re perfectly normal?”
“So, you don’t think you’ve changed at all since you’ve become a zombie, your personality, I mean?”
“Oh, I notice I’m a little more emotional, I guess.”
“I seem to lose my temper more easily. But most of the time, I feel happier than I ever had before!”
Interviews ~ October Tynan Selvantyr (of Into the Darkness by A.M. Rycroft)
Knights and squires of the roundtable, lend me your ears!
October being the month where the dead roam the world, we present you herewith an interview with a man long departed, contacting us not quite from the other side.
Once the realm's greatest sell-sword and adventurer, he sealed his sword in a dark cave, and placed a curse upon it. He spent a century in the caves as a ghost, until someone found a way to accesses the deepest reaches of the caverns and trigger the curse.
He's here to tell us about his adventures as a ghost, mentoring the young woman who retrieved his sword and triggered the curse.
Tell us a little about where you grew up. What was it like there?
I was born in the bustling port city of Acantha. It's close to the Golden Peaks, south of Cathell itself. My father was a well-known merchant there and our family was quite influential across the region. I found it a stifling environment, however, with too many expectations I had no desire to meet. I made every attempt to leave as soon as I was old enough to set out on my own.
Did you have any favourite toys as a child? Any cherished memories?
No, not really any favorite toys I can recall, other than my stuffed bear Rufall. My father did not believe in a lot of play time for his children. He pushed learning on us more. I had favorite books instead. Histories of the realm and the rise of the Tae’Ahjin Empire. And my magik primers, of course.
What do you do now?
Well, as a ghost, I don't have many worldly demands on my time anymore. However, I was once Cathell’s greatest adventurer. The bards sang of my exploits across the realm. I genuinely miss being an adventurer -- the thrill of exploration and hunting out treasures that farm-hands only dream about. There are few things as exciting as that. And of course, a good clash of swords and trading spells with rival adventurers and mercenaries! I have to admit, when the chance arose for one last adventure, I jumped at it. Perhaps I should have warned Aeryn, before I gave her my sword, but sometimes the path to a good adventure requires a little subterfuge at first.
What can you tell us about your latest adventure?
Ah. You mean the business with The Harbinger. Aside from the gods themselves, only I knew of that creature’s imprisonment in the caverns. It was my sword Aric, given to me by the god Vortenthas himself, that kept The Harbinger bound. But when The Harbinger latched on to Aeryn, well, I knew The Harbinger would manipulate her into setting him free. And then it would be a race against time to stop him from bringing back the Time of Terror. The whole affair was bloody and even terrifying at times, but I would not have missed it for all the gold in a dragon’s horde.
What did you first think when the curse was triggered?
When I first became aware that Aeryn had survived my curse, which had stopped so many before her from reaching The Harbinger’s prison, I knew it was time for Aric to have a new master. I only hoped she was capable of battling The Harbinger.
To read the rest of the interview, head over to The Protagonist Speaks.
A little about The Protagonist Speaks
This site is dedicated to the characters living inside books. Each week we aim to publish an interview with a protagonist from a novel we believe you should read.
Yep, you read that right. The protagonist – or antagonist! – from the book. Not the author. Not the reviewer. The character. We aim to put the characters out in the limelight – to be heard, to be felt. As readers, they are the ones we care about the most.
We aim for most of the interviews to be done by authors for their own characters, but some interviews will fall under the category of fan-fiction. As long as it give voice to a character, we don’t mind. We’ll just make sure it’s tagged accordingly.
This is a new concept in book-blogging, one that is catching like wildfire (you should see our pipeline of character interviews!). It has been created and managed by Assaph Mehr of egretia.com.
Interview with 'Jacob' of The Phoenix Lord by Angelique Anderson
In 1850 I was sent to interview a young man in his early 20s, in the front parlour of a comfortable house in New York. There was a longcase clock in the corner and comfortable, rather elaborate settees. I wondered at first if it was his house, as he appeared to me to be a stable hand. I have to say he smelled like one too. He was wearing worn slacks with a small tear and worn rubber wellingtons, with a traditional long-sleeved, white, button up shirt and a dark vest. Perhaps it was the bowler style hat, but he looked out of place. Something in the way he carried himself and the way he talked, made me suspect this show of appearing poor was an act.
Interviewer: So, perhaps you could introduce yourself and tell me a bit about what you do for a living. You work with horses?
Jacob: *chuckling slightly and crossing his legs* Well, you can call me Jacob for now. My last name is irrelevant, and non-existent really. Yes, I currently work with horses, but I find them repulsive. However, one might call me a jack of all trades, though I'll never tell what other trades I do.
Interviewer: Then why work with horses if you find them so repulsive if there are other trades you could turn to?
Jacob: Well, I can't give away much... who knows who you'll tell, but see... I'm really only here for a short time. I've a bone to pick with a Miss Wylie Petford. The Immortal Ones, my creators, made her a Teselym Dragon, and so I've come to destroy her. Oops, I've said too much.
Interviewer: Um.. *coughs* so - uh - where are you from? You don't sound exactly local...
Jacob: Oh, I doubt you've heard of it... it's quite ummm... warm... if you're into a tropical feel. Though, since we've only just discovered steamboats... I highly doubt anyone knows what tropical temperature is really like. I, however, happen to enjoy the intense heat.
Interviewer: Do you have any friends in New York?
Jacob: *uncrossing his legs* What exactly do you mean by friends? I don't make friends, waste of time really.
Interviewer: Um - people you spend time with, attend social events with, that kind of thing.
Jacob: Well, not friends per se... but I am enjoying playing puppet master so to speak. I've tricked a few people into thinking that they are working for the greater good. *chuckles again* I used water to nearly drown a person. It was quite fun, not that water is a person. However, its just as easily manipulated.
Interviewer: *looks nervous and gives a rictus grin* Then to finish up, perhaps you would like to tell us a bit about your long-term ambitions. Where do you see yourself in five or ten years time?
Jacob: Long-term ambitions? I'd say to bring down the Teselym Dragon, you may or may not know this... but the Teselym Dragon was created by the Immortal Ones to balance the good in the world. If I kill her, there goes all the good, and then I get to have my fun. *wicked laugh*
Interviewer: *Gets up quickly and heads for the door* Um, right. Well thank you for your time - I have just got to.. Um.. um... Get out of here now! *exits rapidly*
SFRT Interviews Sland from Brittle Riders by Bill McCormick
By The Sci Fi Roundtable
SFRT: Greetings, for today’s issue of Ten Questions I’ll be talking with Sland from the Brittle Riders.
Sland: Ten is too many. No one knows ten things.
SFRT: Everyone knows ten things. Most know many more.
Sland: No they don’t. I only know one. That’s all I need.
Sland: All comes down to one thing. You see, killing is easy, sexing is easy, and boozing is easy. Killing is good, sexing is good, and boozing is good. All one thing. Life is easy and good.
SFRT: That’s it? That’s your whole life?
Sland: What more do you need?
SFRT: What about a purpose?
Sland: Keep life easy and good.
SFRT: What about friends?
Sland: Anyone messes with Geldish, R’Yune, N’leah, or Braarb gets killed. Easy question, so thing’s are good.
SFRT: AHA! What about sexing?
Sland: You’re sick. No sexing with friends.
SFRT: Oh, okay, sorry. So what’s your role in the Brittle Riders?
Sland: I kill anyone who works with Xhaknar and drink skank. Unless R’Yune has some Whae-Vin. Then I drink that.
SFRT: Those are both alcoholic. Do you ever drink water?
Sland: Do you know what the fish-people do in that stuff?
SFRT: Never mind. Do you know the history of your kind? How you all came to rule the world after all the makers (humans) were killed?
Sland: Makers were bad, so we killed them. Xhaknar is bad, so we’ll kill him. All the same. Killing is easy.
SFRT: Maybe, but what do you do after the killing?
Sland: Who knows? Sun rises, someone gets killed. Sun sets, someone gets killed. Never known a time without killing.
SFRT: You’re impossible. I surrender.
Sland: I hear that a lot.
The Brittle Riders by Bill McCormick.
Apocalypses are Funny That Way