Meet My Character Week – Madam Giry

CHARACTER’S NAME: Madam Lise Giry

How did you find yourself in your current predicament/on your current adventure?Life is an adventure, of that I am certain. What led me here? A Ghost. 

Years ago when I was a lonely and neglected bride I saw a travelling fair – of the sort the gipsies manage. There he was – this young man in a cage – like a beast. The fashion was for freaks – bearded women, dwarfs, those unfortunate souls God had touched with something not quite right. This man in a cage wore little more than rags, his face covered by a mask and his eyes had a hateful feral look but when he sang – heaven wept. Neither before nor since have I heard such a sound – it went directly to the soul and bared it before one – raw, weeping, glorious. 

Then his keeper made him remove the mask. Such a face was revealed as the devil himself would turn from. Poor Erik. For that was the wretch’s name.

I did not know it then but an act of kindness would send my life and my heart along paths I never knew I could endure. He wept at kindness. A life of such woe that a simple Christian kindness brought this man to tears.

 The caged devil – The Living Corpse – became a ghost, and an angel and our paths diverged for many years but I never forgot that music, and he never forgot the only kindness he was ever shown.

How many crimes have you committed? I sheltered a murderer, I aided his escape. I have been complicit in blackmail, theft, seduction – and I have sinned before God in thought and deed. I turned away from the Church, I loved a man who was not my husband, although I never committed adultery I thought about it.

How do you think others see you?  A stuffy, prim and proper dance mistress and seamstress. I know what the corps de ballet whisper about me. Some of the girls spend more time on their backs than dancing and I have seen what happens to those left with an unplanned burden. They are Séductrice! I am strict, but I am not stupid – those who leave due to pregnancy will end up at best a short term plaything for the rich patrons. 

Are you resilient? Do you deal with change easily? How do you react? I’ve had to be resilient. My mother died when I was very young, my father died when I was just married, my husband’s family despised me, several of my children died, and I’ve been a widow for twenty years. 

I would like to say God saw me through the hardest times, but I am unsure if that’s the truth. I dare say I deserve it.

If you could live your life again would you make the same choices? If I was married to Jules when I met Erik? Yes, I think so. The rational side of me says what kind of life could I have had with him? Always on the run, probably often afraid and hungry. Could I live with the things he’s done first hand? I do not know. The part of my soul that yearns to live in that music, for the Angel to sing for me, as he sang for her says I should have made the choice to have followed him. 

What is the hardest choice you’ve had to make in the course of your adventures? What was the easiest? I have a daughter, I buried my other children, and then my husband. I had very little for a long time and then Erik arranged for me to come here. That was an easy choice. The hardest? I suppose not having the courage to say I would go with him when he left the barn so many years ago. Not having the courage to say what was in my heart. Turning aside when the bodies started mounting up, and having to stand by whilst he destroyed himself for that ingénue, Christine Daae.

What trait do you abhor most in yourself or others? Spite and shallowness. 

Do you have any dirty secrets? Apart from the crimes, unrequited love, casting my Catholic upbringing aside, knowing who is behind the murders here and not informing the gendarmes? No, I can’t think of anything else.

Have you ever loved/been loved? I loved my husband Jules He was a decent man but he has been gone a long time. I loved my father, and I loved Erik. I believe Jules loved me. Did Erik love me? No, but he was kind to me – helped me when I was desperate and hungry – but he did not love me.  Perhaps the tragedy at the Opera house could have been averted had he loved me, not her. 

Do you believe in a god/s? I was raised a Catholic but in the dark nights when I hear Erik’s music in my dreams and see that awful, terrible visage given to him by God I wonder at such a fickle deity – a god that took my children from me and left us to starve. I have sinned and so perhaps that is my punishment but as each year passed my faith dwindled.

Why should we read about your adventures? My story is a tragedy; a tale of desperate love, death and music. Ours was a strange friendship that spanned the decades and sustained two terribly lonely souls and we had that night in the barn, so many long years ago. 

Madam Giry features in

Tears and Crimson Velvet

Madam Giry finds herself embroiled in the tragedy unfolding at the Opera house; mystery and murder stalk the corridors and, it is said, a ghost haunts the place. Giry knows the truth, for she recalls the caged man she met so many years ago. This is her story, their story.

When murder and mystery begin at the Opera House one woman knows who is behind it, and what really lies beneath the mask. Secrets, lies and tragedy sing a powerful song in this ‘might have been’ tale.

A short, tragic tale based on characters from Phantom of the Opera.

A Legacy of the Mask Tale.

https://books2read.com/TearsandCrimson

Amazon UK https://amzn.to/2CH7c0w

Amazon.com https://amzn.to/2oW2frb

Amazon UK audio https://amzn.to/2S9zpRh

Amazon.com audio https://amzn.to/2R7iwFM

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Apple https://books.apple.com/gb/book/tears-and-crimson-velvet/id1344489540

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Kobo https://www.kobo.com/gb/en/ebook/tears-and-crimson-velvet

 

 

Meet my Character Week – Father Vincent Paul #Fantasy #Paranormal #Meetmycharacter

CHARACTER’S NAME: Birth name Sebastian – but I go by Father Vincent Paul now.

–Who are you? (Give a brief description of yourself) I am a Catholic priest.

–Tell us a little about your world I live in South Dakota, out in the middle of nowhere. I shepherd several parish churches, the small kind that attract photographers from the big cities, looking for images of better days. I wouldn’t know what days those were, however.

–Does your world/area have different races/people? Do they get on? They seem to, but they do not. Several tribes of Dakota Sioux live nearby. I minister to them, but many of them do not attend services. There is a dam being built where their homes currently stand, and they are being flooded out. I can’t blame them for not having a properly Christian attitude, although it disappoints me. There are Franciscan monks who run a nearby Indian school, where the children are sent to learn how to integrate with White society. I don’t think either set of those folks get on, either. And then there are the local farmers. No, all in all, I would say that despite an appearance of peace and quiet, nobody gets on, as you say.

–How do you think others see you? I hope they think I’m a good priest, humble, and with a sense of humor that defrays hot tempers. But I doubt it.

–Are you a likeable person? In my heart, I know I am not.

–Do you see yourself as a ‘good’ person? Some days I do. Those are the days I generally disappoint myself.

–If you could live your life again would you make the same choices? I would not. I would have married the nun that I fell in love with while I was in seminary, and turned aside from my vows. Then perhaps I would have been elsewhere when tragedy struck.

–Tell us about your family. I could speak for days of them and still not explain enough. I suppose you could call us the royalty of the prairie. My father holds himself as such, in his heart of hearts. There are nine of us children, all but the youngest, Jerome, a grown man. Of the three of us nearest in age, there is myself, a priest; Aloysius, a rancher, and Theodore, another rancher. If I am a clever man, then Aloysius is a charming one. Theodore is the strongest. We are all three of us caught between integrity and the way things are done.

–How does your society deal with those on the edges? Do you approve of this? With drowning their homes under a hundred feet of water, apparently. No, I do not approve.

–Do you believe in magic? Sadly, I do. I was curious when I shouldn’t have been, and read a book I should not.

–Why should we read about your adventures? So that you can avoid making the same sad mistakes yourselves.

Author’s name DeAnna Knippling

Link to book or books where this character appears.  Chance Damnation

Website/Blog/Facebook/Twitter page

http://wonderlandpress.com/

https://www.facebook.com/deanna.knippling

https://twitter.com/dknippling

 

Meet My Character Week – Justin the Wizard #Fantasy #Meetmycharacter

Author’s name:  J. K. Lutes

Link to book or books where this character appears.

 

CHARACTER’S NAME:  Justin

Who are you? (Give a brief description of yourself)

I am a White Wizard, so I have mastered the four elements and I can command plants, animals, magical creatures, and dragons.  A dragon sired one of my ancestors, so I also possess Dragon Magic, so I can use the breath weapon of a dragon.  I have already mastered breathing fire, ice, and lightning.  I can also smell gold, become invisible, and transform myself into an elemental cloud.

How did you find yourself in your current predicament/on your current adventure?

My father told me stories every night before I fell asleep, and my favorite story of them all was about the fall of our ancestor’s ancient city.  The fall of the city was awful, but it was my ancestor who led the survivors to safety and founded their new home.  I heard the story one last time on the day I faced the trials to see what sort of magic I would learn.  When I finished my training, I traveled back to the ancient city to recover magical weapons that were lost during the attack.  Not only will I have to face the creatures that now inhabit the city, but the journey to get there is filled with perils of its own.

Who are your companions?

My friend, Grace, accompanied me on my journey, so that she could summon animals to scout the city for us.  Alyssa, the wizard who taught me plant magic, has come along to recover an ancient crown lost by the faeries during the fall of the city.  Lauren, the wizard who taught me gold magic, has come along to recover a dragon lance lost by her most famous ancestor.  And finally, Niall, another White Wizard, has come along to recover Cumhacht, the sword of power.

What is the government structure of your world? Are you happy with this or do you strive to change the status quo?

My city is ruled by a council of wizards, one wizard from each of the wizard sects of my city.  While they seem to have the best interest of the city at heart, they seek personal fame and recognition.  They are also stuck in the past and refuse to allow my people to grow beyond their current constraints for fear that they will lose their power and influence.

Do you have a mentor? Tell us about them.

My mentor is Riordan, and he is a White Wizard.  He is a distant cousin of mine and both of our families descend from Lucinor, one of the most famous White Wizards in the history of my people.

What trait do you abhor most in yourself or others?

            During the planning stage of our quest, a wizard who should have accompanied us sought riches rather than help.  And while on my adventure, I noticed that one of my companions was willing to put his own needs above the needs of everyone else.  His selfishness could have led to our capture, or worse, our demise.  Selfishness is the trait that I most abhor.

Tell us about your family.

My father, Jerome, is a Red Wizard.  He can control fire, but unlike most other Reds, he can also control air.  He is the Master of the Great Forge and the weapons that he produces are prized above all others.   My mother was a Gold Wizard, so she could control dragons, but she disappeared when I was twelve.

How does your society deal with those on the edges? Do you approve of this?

My city recognizes nine types of Wizards.  Red Wizards control fire, Blues control water, Greys control air, Blacks control the earth, Greens control plants, Browns control animals, Silvers control most magical animals, and Golds control dragons.  White Wizards possess the ability to use all eight of the basic types of magic.  Within the last hundred years some wizards have found that they possess the ability to use more than one of the basic forms of magic, but not all eight.  Those wizards have been labeled anomalies and have been encouraged not to use more than one type of magic.  I do not approve of this practice; I believe that a wizard should explore all of his or her powers and expand their knowledge as much as possible.

Do you have a best friend/worst enemy?

My best friend is Grace, she is a Brown Wizard, which means she can control the animals of this world.  She is following in the footsteps of her mother, who passed along her love of animals.  She has two animal companions:  a golden eagle named Spiorad (Spirit), and a mongoose named Diabhal (Devil).

 

Do you believe in magic?

Of course I believe in magic, I have used it most of my life.  From an early age I was able to cast spells that most other students could not.  An older student gave me a spell to polymorph inanimate objects, and I got in trouble when I scared my mother by transforming a stick into a snake.

 

Website/Blog/Facebook/Twitter page

Facebook Page

https://brigidstrove.blogspot.com/

https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/18528487.J_K_Lutes

Meet My Character Week – Kaine Martin – #Suspense #Paranormal

CHARACTER’S NAME: Kaine Martin

  1. Who are you? (Give a brief description of yourself)

Hello, my name is Kaine, and I’m an anthropologist. Rarely people notice me, mostly because I don’t like to be in the spotlight.

I’m very shy, and I’m never confident about whether people might like me or not. This side of my character leads me generally to be mistaken for a person who gets above himself, as it happened with Nora, one of my colleagues.

  1. Who are your companions?

Well, first of all, there is Mark. He’s the other side of my sky, the man I love with all my strengths.

He’s completely different from me, self-confident, charming, and sexy as hell. The typical guy who’s always in the spotlight.

We complete each other, and I believe we were just meant to be together.

Then, there is Jason Murdock. He is an anthropologist who was trying to track an elusive and mysterious tribe in Africa. Eight years ago, he was considered missing, until one day, I received an email from him. That message changed my life forever, giving me a precious lead to continue his research and be the one to bring the tribe to the spotlight.

 

  1. Do you have a mentor? Tell us about them.

From the time I reached Jason to Africa, my life reached a sudden turn, and with so many things going the wrong way, I ended up into a curse.

Yes, I know it sounds crazy, and sometimes I find it also hard to believe it myself, but it’s true.

The most important mentor has been also my tormentor, the high priestess Akuna-Ra.

She helped me to release my inner power to communicate with the entities of the underworld, and opened my eyes to a brand-new vision of the Universe.

You won’t believe its complexity, not at least until you start to see the reality from a completely different perspective.

 

  1. If you could live your life again would you make the same choices?

Absolutely, because even the wrong one, the one that cursed me, turned out to be a blessing.

  1. What is the hardest choice you’ve had to make in the course of your adventures? What was the easiest?

The hardest choice was perhaps leaving for an undefined period to search the tribe in Africa.

I just started my relationship with Mark, and I was afraid this long period away from each other could undermine our future together.

The easiest choice was choosing to remain in Africa, and propose Mark to move there with me.

If you are going to read about my adventure, I’m sure you will also be tempted to leave everything behind.

 

  1. Would you die for those you love? Would you kill for them?

I don’t believe in violence, and I don’t believe that dying for someone I love would make things easy. They will mourn my absence and the pain would be unbearable.

I would rather try to solve every situation in a less dramatic way.

The same is for killing; there must be a better way than to kill or be killed by someone.

Maybe I might summon the forces of the underworld.

 

  1. Have you ever loved/been loved?

Yes, I love, and also I am loved.

I fell in love with many guys before, but only Mark made me feel special.

You know, when everybody started to believe I was dead, he ran to Africa even to bring back my corpse. He’d never accept my death without having the certainty.

 

  1. Tell us about your family.

Unfortunately, there isn’t much to be said.

I was raised by my mother alone, and I don’t have any siblings.

My father died shortly after I was born, and I have no memory of him. Many times, I fantasize about how it would have been to have him close to me.

I wonder about what kind of person he was and whether he’d been proud of me like my mother was.

Mom has been for me more than just family, she supported me, and even after her death, she returned as a ghost to help me make the right decision, guiding me to the right path. She also tried to guide Mark when he didn’t know where to search for me.

 

  1. Do you believe in magic?

Of course, I do! My whole life revolves between this world and the underworld. Without magic, I could never keep the balance between them, and believe me, it’s a hard job!

  1. Why should we read about your adventure?

Because it’s so crazy that sometimes I also feel impossible that things like that could happen, particularly to me.

Before this adventure started, I never considered magic being something real.

It was just mumbo-jumbo, something that shamans used because they didn’t have scientific knowledge. Only now, I understand how wrong I was, and I thank Akuna-Ra for introducing me to magic and release those dormant powers in me.

Therefore, if you think magic doesn’t exist, this is a book to open your eyes and entertain you with a fascinating new point of view.

If you, instead, believe in magic, this is going to be a compelling read to find out something more about it.

Together with this, you will discover the powerful beauty of the African Rainforest and the amazing people living around it.

So, what are you waiting for? Come to find me there, I’ll be waiting between one spell and another, trying to stay alive.

 

Mandatory info (author):

Paula J. Mann lives a double life. She is a geologist by day and a novelist by night. She’s best known for writing psychological thrillers and dramas, like ‘A Tale of a Rough Diamond.’
She also writes historical fiction, like the Amazon.co.uk best-selling Aquila et Noctua, and paranormal suspense.
She loves traveling and shares her experiences on her blog:

Author’s name: P. J. Mann

Link to book or books where this character appears:

Thou Shalt Never Tell

Website/Blog/Facebook/Twitter page

Blog: http://paperpenandinkwell.blogspot.com.
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/paperpenandinkwell
Website https://pjmannauthor.com
twitter: https://twitter.com/PjMann2016

*Optional – short piece on why you chose to showcase this character and what draws you to him/her/it/them. Is there a basis in reality for this character – for example.

I chose this character and this particular book because there’s a lot about the places I visited, and for which I fell in love.

Africa is a very diverse continent, and every country has its peculiar beauties that draw me there. Kaine is a bit like me, shy and introverted, although I don’t have any special mediumistic power, I’m attracted by everything belonging to magic rites and supernatural forces.

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Heroika Skirmishers – Cas Peace and her Character #Fantasy #HistoricalFiction

Author section

  • Name: Cas Peace

Give us a brief synopsis of your story: Britain is a country rich in legends and myths. Any writer seeking inspiration for a story concerning battles, skirmishes, mythical creatures or heroic deeds could do worse than research the many wonders of our misty Isles. For my second Heroika story, “Black Quill”, I did exactly that.

I’m from Hampshire, southern Britain, and soon unearthed the legend of a cockatrice that reportedly lived near a local abbey. When I also discovered that this abbey had connections to Queen Ǽlfrida, mother of Æthelred, called the Unready, I simply had to combine the two stories.

Queen Ǽlfrida became the prioress of the abbey after her husband, King Edgar, died, and she reportedly had Edgar’s son killed so her own son, Æthelred, could inherit the throne. Æthelred, whose nickname ‘the Unready’ is a derivation of ‘unraed’, or poorly-advised, forced his mother to give up her powerful status as queen and become prioress of the abbey as penance. And it seems that tragedy and sly dealings dogged the former queen because before Edgar married her, he sent his best friend, Æthelwold, to check her out. Æthelwold fell for her and married her himself, and Edgar was so furious when he found out that he had Æthelwold killed. What a family!

In my story, “Black Quill”, the life of a disabled farm girl becomes irrevocably entwined with the fates of both the abbess and the cockatrice—producing a denouement that is anything but simple.

What are the challenges in writing historical fiction/fantasy? I find the main challenges revolve around invoking a realistic, visceral atmosphere, enabling the reader to immerse themselves in the story as fully and naturally as possible. In many ways, I find it easier to achieve this with a historical fantasy rather than one which comes purely from the writer’s mind, because there will be readers already familiar with the chosen setting. The hard work comes in the research which, if thoroughly and successfully carried out, enables the writer to surround themselves with ancient sights, sounds and smells, allowing the writing to flow seamlessly, already imbued with the ambience of the time. Solid historical facts play their part too, although in fantasy, of course, facts can be twisted and adapted, providing hours of fun for playful writers and readers alike.

Are you a plotter or a pantser? When I first started writing I was definitely a pantster, mainly because I hadn’t intended to become a writer and certainly didn’t know what I was doing! I was simply filling a few bored hours by writing out a little scenario I’d had in my mind since watching a kids’ TV show in the ’70s. Wow, did that open some floodgates! Before I realized it, I’d written around 300,000 words, and those words eventually became my first Artesans trilogy. The second and third trilogies were written in a similar way; although this time I understood more about my craft. Since that heady, exciting, scary and immersive time, however, I have learned the pleasures of plotting, very necessary seeing as I’m writing a prequel to the events in that first trilogy. But I’ll admit that I still crave that incredible, irresistible feeling of words desperate to be written, rushing through my mind and onto the page.

What did you want to be when you grew up? When I was a kid, I really had no idea what I wanted to do. I was average at most things scholastically: best at English, abysmal at anything to do with numbers (still am!). The exams I took were generic, and I only achieved good passes in English, Biology and Art. I did toy with the idea of going to art college to study fabric design, but throughout my childhood my heart really belonged to horses. My parents couldn’t afford for me to have one and neither could they really afford to send me to college, so I finally found a good school of equitation and enrolled as a working pupil. This meant you had living accommodation and meals provided, and received a clothing allowance for work clothes, but there was no wage and you worked with the horses in return for lessons in equitation and horse care. It was a good arrangement and I had a great group of co-workers around me. I passed my initial exams to become an Assistant Instructor, and remained at the establishment for several years as a wage-earning instructor. Now, I incorporate horses into my writing, as my love for them has never waned.

Character Section

Name: My name is Gytha

Tell us a bit about yourself: I am the daughter of Rathgar, a farmer. I had a twin sister, Larna, who was killed. My father took another wife, Anice, after my mother died and she gave him two more children: Anice cared nothing for me. They call me the cursed girl because I saw great evil but didn’t die like Larna did. They say I caused her death, and that evil is sure to find me again.

How do you come to be on this adventure? My father had to find a place for me because my crippled legs mean I cannot work on the farm. I was useless to him and no one would wed me. But I am quick and clever with my hands and so he sought a place for me at the Benedictine abbey, where I might learn to copy manuscripts and scrolls. The abbess, who once was Queen Ǽlfrida before her son forced her into the abbey, took pity on father’s sorrow over the death of my sister and eventually agreed to take me. That is the reason I was here when the evil finally found me.

Tell us a bit about the society in which you live: Our Anglo-Saxon society is structured and ordered. Our countryside has been formed into areas called hundreds, and shires. We have laws and government. The language we speak is known as Old English. We worship the Christian God and there are many abbeys and monasteries throughout the land. Although there are also kings, the bishops, abbots and priors wield great power. We have been relatively peaceful for many years but recently there has been an increase in Viking raids on England. The Danes are keen to take back the land King Edgar took from them—land they first stole from us. But these are matters for kings and leaders. I come from a line of simple farmers; all we can do is farm and try to survive.

Are you brave? Is it brave to run from a monster? Is it brave to leave your twin sister to a horrific fate? Is it brave to survive being crippled, faced with a useless life? If so, I am very brave, for I have done all these things. Larna’s voice in my mind tells me all will be well, and so I endure for the sake of my sister.

How do others see you? I am called the cursed girl—I am the girl who survived seeing the devil, the girl who should have died instead of her sister. They see my twisted, ruined legs; they never see my nimble, clever fingers. They hear me speak of Larna’s voice in my head and hear madness. They would much rather not see me at all and, in the abbey, they do not have to.

Do you believe in a god? I believe in the Christian God. Most of England believes in the Christian God—the bishops and abbots make sure that we do. Yet we also believe in the ancient evils, and there are some in the countryside who still practice the old rites, the forbidden rites, the druid rites. There are hedgewives and witches still and, of course, there are Danes who refuse to spurn their pagan beliefs.

How do you define a hero? I have never met a hero. I suppose a hero would be a great warrior, someone like King Edgar who subdued the Danes in England. Or maybe a hero would be someone who rescued people from disasters, who gave up his life to save others. I am a simple girl with no life—what do I know of heroes?

Do you love anyone? Do you hate anyone? I adore my twin sister, Larna. I speak to her all the time and she speaks to me, even though she’s dead. She is my only friend. I love my father, even though he gave me to the abbey. It was not his fault; he could not afford to feed a crippled, cursed girl. I don’t really hate anyone, although I don’t like father’s second wife, Anice. Anice only cares for her two young children.

What do you REALLY think of your author? I am not sure why she decided to tell my story above all the others she could have chosen. But I am grateful to her, because she has given my useless life some meaning.

Do you have a moral code? Father taught us to be honest, to be kind to others, and to respect others’ property—especially Seyerd, the farmer who owns land next to ours. He grows delicious fruit and father says we’re not supposed to pick it without permission. But if the branch grows across father’s side of the hedge, why should we not? The abbey where I now live has strict rules, and everyone must obey the abbess.

If you could have three wishes what would they be? The first would be that my sister had not died. The second that I was never crippled. The third that father had never wed Anice.

How do you view yourself? I was a happy, cheerful, helpful child before the monster came. After, I was quiet, because I was shunned by people who thought I was cursed. I became sad, fearful that father would send me away because no one would wed me. At the abbey, I work hard and make no trouble because I need the shelter the abbey provides.

What is your favourite thing? My favorite thing in all the world is to hear Larna’s voice in my head. It is my redemption, my promise that all is not lost, that I will one day be with her again.

Do you think you make a difference in your world? Of course not! What difference could a useless girl like me make to the world?

 

AUTHOR BIO (short)

Amazon UK Bestselling author Cas Peace lives in the lovely county of Hampshire, southern UK. Originally, she trained and qualified as a teacher of equitation. She also learned to carriage-drive. She then spent thirteen years in the British Civil Service before moving to Rome, Italy, where she and her husband Dave lived for three years.

As well as her love of horses, Cas is mad about dogs. She currently owns two rescue lurchers, Milly and Milo. Cas loves country walks, working in stained glass, growing cacti, and folk singing. She is also a songwriter and has written and recorded songs or music for five of her Artesans of Albia fantasy novels. They are available to download free from her website.

As well as being a novelist, Cas is also a freelance editor and proofreader. Details of her Writers’ Services and other information can be found on her website: http://www.caspeace.com.

Heroika 2 1.2 FINAL JPG

Dirty Dozen Character Interview – Nicodemus Etalo – Sci-fi

Name: Nicodemus Etalo: Please, call me Nick.

1) Tell us about yourself.

Well. I have an older sister and younger brother.  My parents are no longer together.  I work for the Trintaty Military.  I work with a team to rescue people who’ve been taken by the scum of the universe.  I get aboard the ship and defeat whoever thinks they have a right to make people do things against their will, and then we get the survivors back to our ship and help them get their lives back.

2) How did you end up in the situation you’re currently in?

We had intercepted a Krutan ship to rescue those whom it was holding prisoner.  When I found the Krutan, I also found a woman in a room with him.  He threw her across the room, and she hit the ceiling, which subsequently fell on top of her.  I rescued the woman, Zehána, and we blew up the ship.  It should have been over at that point, however it was just the beginning.
3) Do you have any regrets?

No way.  Zehána had endured more torture than any of the people I had helped rescue so far.  That alone stands that I made the right choice.
4) Is your life now as you envisioned it?  If not, then why?

Absolutely not.  Twice, I had envisioned the rest of my life a certain way and neither time I was right.  The first vision I had wasn’t a positive one.  I was a young child, I didn’t realize I had an option of how I was supposed to live, so I thought I’d always live my life with this… broken heart so to speak.   You know that heavy feeling you get when you’re not living the life you were meant for.  With my mother having once been in the Trinataty military, we lived a good life, had lots of things – whatever we wanted and then some.  However, I learned the hard way that we were not allowed to help others.   I had researched about the Trinitaty Military when I was older, and I left home the moment I could because I did not want to live that life.

The second time was when I met Zehána.  I had been serving the Military for a long time, and I had it down to a science.  Find the scum of the universe, rescue the people, get them home or to base, and then on to the next ship of universal filth.  It was the perfect life for me.  I lived and breathed my job.  However, the day I rescued Zehána everything changed.  I had convinced myself it was because of the circumstances I had found her in, and then she was not treated like the other survivors.  My need to protect her became above and beyond what was normal, especially for me.  Nothing in my wildest dreams prepared me for what came next.

5) Do you believe in monsters?

I certainly do.  Working for the Trinitaty Military, I have seen my fair share.  It’s why I continue to do what I do.

6) Do you have a moral code?

Yes.  I’m usually a good soldier, I do what is expected of me.  Unless I feel that it isn’t the right thing to do.  As I told my friend, Connor, “Sometimes you have to think for yourself, question the motives of your superior.  Sometimes you have to break the rules to do the right thing.”

7) Would you die for someone you love?

That’s an easy question since death is always a possibility when you’re saving people from monsters.  I wouldn’t even bat an eye.

8)  Who is your greatest enemy? 

Before this particular adventure, I don’t think I would have known the answer.  However, the Krutan, whom Zehána calls “the beast”, has definitely showed me what a real enemy looks like.  Highly intelligent, calculating, and patient.

9) Tell us about your family?

My mother disappeared after I left home, although I’ve heard rumors that she went back to work for the Trintaty Military.  We are not close in any way.  My father still lives on Zynast, the planet I’m from, but we don’t keep in touch.  I have a younger brother who is a mediator for the Trintaty Military, whom I see from time to time, and my older sister… well, she’s been through a lot.   She works at the base so I see her every time I come home.

10) How would you describe yourself?

An average guy who wants to do the right thing.  I suppose you could consider me a workaholic, but honestly, I just love my job.  Being able to save people who have been kidnapped from their homes, feels good.  I’m a little stubborn which sometimes gets me in trouble, but I always think things through.

11) How do others see you?

I suppose it depends on who you talk to. Martin, the captain of the ship I travel on, thinks I’m a pain in the as— butt, however, he knows that I am very good at my job – which allows him to bask in the glory of a skilled team.  My friend Connor gets annoyed with what he sees as my lack of respect for the rules and stubbornness, but he knows I’m an intelligent guy, trying to do good in the universe.  My sister sees me as a hero, but she thinks I can be difficult at times, and maybe a bit overprotective.  And Zehána, she sees me as someone she can trust, and honestly that’s good enough for me.

22) Do you think you will be successful in your quest?

I sure hope so, because Zehána’s life is in my hands.  And this is one point in my life I do not want to fail.

Project21cover

 

Amanda Schmidt – Nick’s creator can be found here

Links:

Blog: It all started with a dream…: https://amandaschmidt09.blogspot.com
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/amandaschmidt09/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AmandaSchimdtFans/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/AmandaSchmidt09

 

A Day in the Life of… Johann Conrad Dippel #Meetacharacter #Bundles #Frankenstein

A Day in the Life of Johann Conrad Dippel (the real-life inspiration for Dr. Frankenstein)

(As told to DeAnna Knippling)

*Who are you?

Tell us about an average day in your life. I am an investigator of great renown, among those who study the chemical and esoteric elements.  My patron is Conrad Reiz, Baron Frankenstein.  Although he does not live in the castle here, he highly values my work.  Not many people have the intelligence needed to do so.  As far as what I do on any given day, it should be enough for you to know that I have the most rigorous practices, and do not stoop to equivocate my results.

Are you a lark or a night owl? I am a man, and do what it is necessary for men to do, regardless of the hour.

Do you have your own dwelling? If so, do you own servants? I am honored to be a guest of Baron Frankenstein, who maintains the castle and its grounds. I have had the occasional assistant, but none who please me.

How do you think your ‘average’ day compares to other people’s? I understand that most people find themselves crushed, both mentally and physically, under the weight of their daily tasks, taking no pleasure and only the barest sustenance from them. Most people are animals, unworthy of better.

Give us a brief rundown of your day from when you wake to when you sleep. Your inquisitiveness is unseemly.

Do you court danger?  I certainly do not cower before it.  I have encountered many dangers, in experimenting with chemicals as I have.  But with fortitude, intelligence, and care, those dangers can be made more or less negligible.

Do you think your life is fulfilling? What, in your opinion, ought it fulfill?  I am not a superstitious man and do not believe in prophecies or the like.

If you had the choice what would you change in your daily life? I would wish for a servant of the greatest strength and obedient loyalty, who understood the principles, if not of my work entire, then at least those of chemical reactions, and in preventing injury. His appearance would be of no consequence. I would employ a demon or an ape, if I could only find reliable assistance.

Tell us a little about your home/environment/land – how does this reflect on your day to day life? I was born here, at the castle, and was educated by the baron.  The Oldenwald, or “old-wood,” is a superstitious area, with many legends of witches, hauntings, and curses.  All nonsense, of course. But I find that the peasants’ superstitions have both assisted me, by keeping the curious at bay, and hindered me, by preventing me from obtaining skilled help and the materials I need.  I will admit to having played tricks upon the peasants from time to time.

Are you organised or chaotic? Does this annoy your family/companions? I am organized, in such a way that allows me to pursue inspiration and insight.  I believe my methods annoy everyone around me, but for Baron Frankenstein—although he is often away from the castle. My methods, however, are none of anyone else’s business, and should not be considered a matter deserving of pleasure or displeasure.  Those who live here in Baron Frankenstein’s absence have no right and no accurate means of judgment of my methods, and would be better off staying silent as the grave.

Read more about Joseph Conrad Dippel in “The Legends of Castle Frankenstein,” now included in the Might Have Been book bundle, on sale now! See www.WonderlandPress.com for more about DeAnna and her work.

https://bundlerabbit.com/members/marketplace/80ABmi4Q

https://bundlerabbit.com/b/might-have-been-tales-retales

Legend of Castle Frankenstein

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Swift Six Character Interview – Teneyros – Chronicles of the Mages’ Guild/Here Be Magic Bundle #Magic #Characters #fantasy

Name Teneyros

Which book/world do you live in? Chronicles of the Mages’ Guild

Tell us about yourself: (Name, race/species, etc.) My name is Teneyros and I am a human wizard in the world and the Wilds.

I’m an adventurer – why should I recruit you to accompany me? I have text tattooed onto my body so I can ready-cast spells more easily. Rather than needing to scramble for a book to grab words to apply my Will to.

Tell us about your companions?  How do they see you? It depends on who you ask. Other wizards think I’m too chatty and probably not serious enough. Possibly lacking in focus. But, my best friend Mac, she’s the Guild Master for the Mages’ Guild still keeps my company. Even though she thinks that I enjoy causing trouble. It’s not so much that I enjoy causing it, it’s more that I tend to find trouble around every corner whether or not I’m looking to cause it.

What’s your most heroic exploit to date? I’m not anyone’s hero.

What’s your greatest failure? I failed to become the Elder of Scrolls and in the process…well. I may or may not have cursed my brother William into a map.

Where do you think you’ll be in a decade? I have no clue. Doing something interesting, I hope.

Do you have a great love? (This could be a person/trait/item) I love my leather jacket. I spelled it so that it is linked to my apartment in London. Easy access to my books.

 

Link to Bundle

Chronicles of the Mages’ Guild:

Torin’s Legacy, Book 1

The Guild Master’s Quest, Book 2

Shakespeare’s Curse, Short Story

About the author:

Karen C. Klein is a disabled non-binary writer who writes across speculative fiction sub-genres. She is the author of Torin’s Legacy, which is the first book in her series Chronicles of the Mages’ Guild. She also enjoys writing short fiction and novellas.

Character Interview – Madam Giry – Tears and Crimson Velvet/Eclectica

Name: Madam Lise Giry

Which book/world do you live in? Tears and Crimson Velvet.

Tell us about yourself: I am a wardrobe mistress at the Opera House in Paris. I have been here many years – M. Giry died not many years after our marriage and the children from his first marriage ensured I was left with very little. I have a daughter – Meg – the only one of our children to survive and thus at first my life was hard.
How do you see your world? A friend, I suppose that is the correct term, arranged for my employment here. I have been seamstress, box-keeper, ballet mistress, and almost every role open to a woman in this grand establishment. I am eternally grateful to Erik, through his kindness my daughter has been educated, danced and we have had, if not a life of luxury then at least more comfortable than otherwise. Once I was an innocent girl with dreams. Now I am an old woman with arthritis, a heart that loved unwisely and memories of an angel in cage.

I have a kind benefactor – perhaps the greatest, but most unhappy and tragic of men. I could have a life so much worse.

What part do you play in this tale? This is my story, our story. The tragedy of the Phantom of the Opera is well known; the deaths, the disappearances, the music, the Opera Ghost. I knew the man behind them when we were both barely out of childhood. I suppose you might say I saved his life, and he changed mine.

Do you consider yourself a good person? I have tried to live a good life, a life to please God, and in that, I may have failed.

He could have left me to starve, or eke out my living in the slums, but he did not. He remembered me, and he repaid the debt he thought he had – and more. Women of my status and situation have very little on offer without a husband or money and I have seen many sell everything, including themselves. I could have, should have been one of those unfortunate women.

There was something about that young man, a caged songbird filled with despair, hatred and the most exquisite song, and marvellous tricks, even then. There is not another such as Erik, no do I believe there ever will. But that haunted, twisted face still appears in my dreams. An angel damned to wear the face of a monster and be shunned by man and god alike. I am not surprised he lived apart from men, and the tragedy of his misguided love happened. My heart broke that day. Now my friend is gone and the world is thus emptier.

Should I have told what I knew? Should I have turned in the man I suspected to be a murderer? Probably. Do I regret that I did not? No. Not for one single day. I should have told the authorities where he was, who he was and yet I perpetuated his legends and his secrets. Yet I have heard him sing, and seen the tragedy and the curse in his eyes. And I have been part of that curse.

Do you follow any religion? I was raised a Catholic. Do I still believe? I pray, but mostly it is out of habit. The prayers are hollow. I have seen, and been complicit in too much to believe I will be forgiven. Once I may have thought that, but many years have passed.
What is your favourite music? I love Opera – the glory of the human voice and the excitement. One cannot work here without that love.

ToCV Eclectic ad

Eclectica A Short Story Bundle
From fantasy to space adventure, pirates, mystery, horror, historical fiction, romance and coming of age you’ll find short, snappy reads herein. There is something for everyone in this lucky dip.

19 short stories and collections from multiple authors.
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Blown – Diana Deverell
Socks and Pins and Aliens – Thea Hutcheson
Tales of Blood and Ink – Kate MacLeod
Tales of Tomorrow – Debbie Mumford
Shaken, Not Stirred: A Dawna Shepherd Short Story – Diana Deverell
City Shadows – Chuck Heintzelman
Outside the Walls – A.L. Butcher and Diana L. Wicker
Tales of an Altered Past Powered by Romance, Horror, and Steam – Donald J. Bingle
Dear Brother – Felicia Fredlund
The Cache and Other Stories – Sherry D Ramsey
Sword Oath – Jackie Keswick
The Hooded Man – Barbara G. Tarn
S F & H – Harvey Stanbrough
Resonant Bronze – J.M. Ney-Grimm
Hitomi’s Path – M.L. Buchman
Children – Kristine Kathryn Rusch
Jhyoti Planetside – Marcelle Dube
Petra and the Blue Goo – Kristine Kathryn Rusch
Tears and Crimson Velvet – A. L. Butcher

Three Questions With… Raoul Comte de Chagny #Phantom #Echoesofasong #Legacyofthemask

As part of the author/character features for 2019 I am starting 3 Questions With….

We get to meet, in brief characters or authors who answer only 3 questions, but have to bare their soul…

 

Three questions with…

Name: Comte Raoul De Chagny

Tell us a little about your life and story:

My life is one of riches and luxury, I should have everything money can buy. Yet I do not. I have an aching loneliness, sadness and my family is touched by a curse. I have three children – a son and heir, and two daughters – but I cannot love them, not truly as a father should. My wife Christine lies in the marble tomb yonder and my heart with her, but my soul belongs to a devil in a mask, who sang like an angel and entrapped us all. And I am ashamed of it. I could not save her, he was beyond saving and I surely cannot save myself.

I was a young man, wealthy and privileged, I married beneath my station and that choice brought death to my family, and left us semi-exiles. I loved Christine and was foolish enough to believe she loved me. But love is strange – there is the love of the heart, and then there is the love of the soul.  Love keeps us alive as it slowly kills us. I would have died for her,  — almost did — and her loss tears me apart. I know now I am not worthy of her love, and certainly not his pity or love. And so love and hate dance hand in hand and I can tell not one from the other these days.

The boy – Charles — looks through me, he is far more intelligent than either myself or his mother. I see nothing of myself in him, and he misbehaves. The girls grow more like their poor mother each day – and it breaks my heart. What lives will they have when I am gone? Who will take care of them? We are the last of the De Chagny’s in a world where the old nobility is long fallen. Once we had a name, now we have a curse.

Who is this nemesis?

Erik. I do not know his family name, if he even had one. I can’t tell you from where he came, or how. He is a ghost, a monster and an angel. I once believed he was just an unfortunate man – disfigured by God for his sins, but I am not sure now. He seemed so much more. Christine said he was the Angel of Music, and I believe her now. The  music – I still hear it in my dreams, oh God that music. No mortal man could surely sing and play as he could; such beauty from something so hideous.

Erik is dead. He died over a decade ago, yet I cannot escape him. I will never escape him whilst one of us lives. That terrible night he let us go – I thought myself the victor. I thought the loss of her would kill him, and surely it did – but this ghost of a man haunts me still, and I get no satisfaction in my gains and his loss. The world is poorer for his loss. For the songs never song and the notes never composed. Some nights I wonder if he ever existed, or if I do. It all seems so far away, and so bizarre – it must be a dream or the plot of one of the Operas we used to attend. Everything is as fragile as the painted canvas and as captivating as the arias. Nothing is real, yet on this stage which is my life it is all too real.

How do you see your future?

My mind plays tricks and my sleep is plagued by awful dreams. Laudanum is my solace and my vice. I hope to see my children grown but ever winter becomes harder to bear, every summer a little colder. I see the darkness and the mask which haunts me. I hear the music calling… the music always calls.

 *****

Raoul was originally created by Gaston Leroux, he has been adapted in many forms and by many writers. My own tragic adaptation is here in Echoes of a Song.