Swift Six Character Interview – The Unnamed #ScienceFiction

Character Name:

My name isn’t mentioned anywhere.

Which book/world do you live in?

I live in the year 10.000.002 in a small house we share with my wife Trudy and our pet frog Rupert. Like everyone else, I keep a battered time machine in our garage. Since I’m constantly busy with work, we don’t travel much.

The university I work at is run as a for-profit corporation, where science and progress are just side-effects of a cut-throat fight for personal advancement and prestige. At the university, there’s a lab where scientists grow universes to experiment upon. There’s an old, baroque-like fountain spewing streams of time instead of water in the university’s courtyard. There is also a site with portals connecting different universes, much like the Four Corners Monument in the US. It’s frequented by tourists taking selfies with a hand in one universe and a leg in another. Everybody keeps a time machine in a garage.

I relate the time travel history in one of the appendixes.

Tell us about yourself:

My name is not important. Neither is what I do — I’m an investigative ontology researcher. It’s a field you’ve probably never heard of, at a comparatively undistinguished university you’ve definitely never heard of.

In my line of work, I periodically declare scholarly pronouncements in the form of scientific articles no one has any interest in, except my fellow academics who cursorily thumb through and subsequently evaluate my work based on their ever-fluctuating level of pettiness and professional jealousy.

Long story short, I’m an alcoholic …

What are your greatest strengths and weaknesses?

I’m persistent, I’m an idealist, and, despite all evidence pointing to the contrary — I’m exceptionally good at what I do. You’ll have to take my word for it. As for weaknesses, I’ve none. I do have a nemesis, though — Scott — my ex-PhD fellow student, currently a quantum semantics investigator at the Bauer-Richter Academy of Speculative Sciences — our direct competitors.

Here’s Scott’s short bio. Not long ago, Scott bursts out of an abyss of ignorance and joins the ranks of our university as a PhD student. He spends his time doing absolutely nothing apart from toadying to our supervising professor. All the while, he turns my life into an unendurable Gehenna. The reason? No reason at all. Eventually, Scott defects to Bauer-Richter, taking with him many collectively developed ideas, which he then claims as his own.

Now I’m left to fight for the scientific truth, which I will, whatever it takes.

Name three important people/creatures/institutions in your world (such as lovers, pets, government institutions, leaders, gods etc).

Here are the three characters living in 2022 who caused the Great Convergence.

Larry: a highly-regarded professional art critic who projects his frustrations onto the artworks he doesn’t even bother to see. Unbeknownst to him, Larry is a singular. A singular denotes an object or a person that can only inhabit a single universe at a given moment. In other words, only one version of Larry exists in the whole multiverse. Larry often switches between several universes wreaking havoc as he goes. Larry’s spontaneous flings between different realities are exacerbated by the crude creations produced by a tormented sculptor — Geoffrey.

Geoffrey: an aspiring — yet essentially talentless artist living in denial. Geoffrey’s sculptures, he cranks out to impress a girl he fancies, act as interdimensional portals, swapping things and people between realities. All of this happens without Geoffrey’s knowledge. A series of seemingly-random occurrences culminate in creating a perfect inter-dimensional portal connecting all the universes in existence. Geoffrey’s perfect portal brings about the most dramatic transformation of the multiverse — the Great Convergence.

Timothy: a genius astrophysicist suffering from severe schizophrenia. Timothy fights a host of his versions from alternate realities — who want to take over his universe. It remains unclear whether Timothy’s versions are real or exist in his imagination. One way or another, Timothy’s actions bring about a real-life catastrophe no one could have prevented.

What does ‘heroism’ mean to you?

Perseverance in the face of adversity. I’m not afraid of hard work, however daunting the task at hand. I believe in the triumph of science and that it’s possible to learn the principles governing the Great Convergence. To master the quintessence of existence. Unearth the building blocks of nature. Look into the eyes of the beast. Hypnotise it. Discover … everything!

What do you think of your ‘creator’?

What creator? I’m not a character in a book. Unlike fictional characters, I control the reality around me. Everything I do has a real impact on the real world.

Give us your favourite piece of advice:

Keep fighting the good fight. You’re always right, and everyone else is wrong. If you do, the truth will prevail!

Links to the book:

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B099Z5KH33

*****

Swift Six Character Interview – Jane #Fantasy

 

Character Name: Jane

Which book/world do you live in? Why don’t you ask the author?!

I had quite a normal life on earth! And what did she do?! Throw me head over heels into this, this- what should I even call it?! Ha! I don’t know the name of this world… Damon is the name of the land we left on our way north, but that’s as much as I can say…

Tell us about yourself: I was working as an emergency room nurse for about seven years. I loved my job! Loved my staff, the work, the crazy hours. Sounds crazy? Maybe, but I truly felt alive every time something entered through the doors!

I practiced martial arts since high school. It’s a mix of Aikido and Jujitsu. I feel it gives me the best of both. Love my sensei! Really, he is like a father figure to me. A father I never had…

What are your greatest strengths and weaknesses? You know this is really hard to answer… do you ask all characters these questions? Okay then, let’s see…

Strengths- I think fast, I can take in quite a lot of information and come to the right conclusions real quick. I have good intuition.  I take my job seriously, actually most things I put my mind to. I am not afraid of hard work or getting my hands dirty.

Weaknesses- well, I guess I am not the best judge of character, and after being hurt in the past, I have a hard time putting my trust in others. I think sometimes I bite more than I can chew and swallow.

Name three important people/creatures/institutions in your world (such as lovers, pets, government institutions, leaders, gods etc). My world? I really can’t say which is my world… but just for the sake of this interview, let’s say it’s this world I am now stuck in.

Owen- my anchor and connection to this world. I have no idea why we keep hurting each other… why do we act so stupidly around one another…?

Lord Kiran- saved my life. More than once. I owe him at least that.

A certain creature, but I will not name it. I shudder just being reminded of it… it’s a type of entity, but I can’t say much more. Only that we’re not on best terms…

What does ‘heroism’ mean to you? Heroism? I don’t know. I don’t like referring to someone or being referred to as a hero.

I was called a hero several times in the ER, but I don’t think myself as one. I was just doing my job. I enjoyed doing it and I dare say I was quite good at it.

But I guess it might mean giving something of yourself for the good of others without expecting to be repaid.

What do you think of your ‘creator’? If you can hurl her also into this world, I will gladly show her, in person, what I think of her! What do you think  I might think of her after everything she put me through?! My intuition says it’s not getting better in the sequel, and as I told you before- I got good intuition…

Give us your favourite piece of advice: Right now it would probably be-

Don’t go training in the ruins of old watchtowers.

But as I built everything in my life by myself, I guess my advice would be- trust your arms, for they will always be by your side. Trust your legs, for they will support you and finally your fingers, because you can always count on them!

Yeah! Always loved that one!

Links to book

https://amzn.to/3uOWtJh – Jewels of Smoky Quartz

Swift Six Character Interview – The Girl #Sci-fi #Fantasy

Character Name: The Girl (I have several aliases depending on the situation)

Which book/world do you live in? I live in the Sunspear world. I have been on this journey from the beginning and still remain despite close calls.

Tell us about yourself: I usually avoid this question.

There’s only two people left that know who I am and that’s Alika and Alena.  I wish they didn’t know. I’m always afraid of putting them in danger, but it can’t be helped.  My parents are both dead. Their death haunts me for different reasons, one I grieve still and the other I wish it had come sooner. You must think me a horrible person for saying such a thing, but if you knew the truth maybe you wouldn’t think so.  Perhaps you still would. I’ve seen close up the ugliness of the Black Dragon, and so I fight them. However, my past requires I battle differently.  I routinely rotate between a number of roles to get the job done. I’m the shipping dealer, the disguised Black Dragon soldier, the security advisor, and the list goes on. You’d think I would be confused, but I keep it straight. Part of it is I have to.  Survival is a strong motivation.  It’s a deadly game I play. So, one day I’m Chris the shipping dealer, another day to another person I take on another random name for my shipping cover, then another day I’m Kate the advisor, and then another day Dante calls me …  (She shakes her head). I still can’t understand that one, how he sees me like that.  Alika tells me Dante sees clearly when it comes to me, that I’m one with the distorted vision on that one.  He hasn’t convinced me yet.  Of course, no one sees the images I do, the gift from the Ancient One.  I tell myself it’s a gift, and it is because it helps us in a lot of ways.  Yet, there are images I can’t get out of my head, that I can’t unsee.  Honestly, it scares me to death. It’s something that you can’t extinguish with a sunspear blade like a Black Dragon agent.

What are your greatest strengths and weaknesses?

 Strengths, huh?  I’m excellent in a fight, but a give a lot of credit to my teachers, Alika and Alena.  I can also get into about anything electronic; it’s invaluable in the operations we carry out, with hacking into systems and creating clearances.  I’m always had a knack for it, just like my… well I guess that kind of stuff isn’t passed down in genes, but sometimes it feels like it.  I can play whatever role needed or at least so far, I’ve been able to. Some are harder to reconcile than others once the scene is played out, but I have to bury it and move on from the aftermath. There’s a line, and certainly I’ve walked it more than once now. Honestly, I’m certain I’ve stepped across it. Beyond those, strengths get hard to find if the truth were told with my vision, but others disagree with my assessment. Alika and Alena frequently tell me I’m my worst critic, that I don’t see this incredible person I am. It’s easier just to nod and pretend to agree with them those times.  They already know that’s all I’m doing.  They try to convince me I’m not to blame for everything I place on myself.   I see the failures though, the ones I didn’t make it in time to save, like my … (She looks down momentarily). I guess that’s one of my weaknesses. Any victory is swallowed up in the memories of what I couldn’t change, of what the Black Dragon has taken away.  It drives me to never let them have victory again and that means protecting those around me at all costs. I vow never to fail them again, and that’s a good thing. However, sometimes the anger boils to the surface faster than I realize, and it consumes me all over again. Regrettably anyone in the path of it feels its fury, and I hate it about myself.  I don’t know how many times I’ve had to beg for Alika’s forgiveness, but thankfully he never gives me what I deserve for how I act. Instead, he gives me a hug and affectionally calls me by the name he uses on me still, his child. I’m grown now, but I’m okay with that name, because I still feel like a child in so many ways.  That desire to protect those around me and to fight for them is also what gets me into many of the messes I find myself in.  Even though we go in with a plan for an operation, I’m impulsive and change the game plan on my own.  If that means it’s my last stand so that someone I care about survives, I’ll make that trade any day.

Name three important people/creatures/institutions in your world (such as lovers, pets, government institutions, leaders, gods etc).

I consider Alika and Alena my family now.  Alika is an Elder, one of those called to the task of training sunspear-bearers.  However, he’s so much more than that to me.  He’s shown me the love of a father, but never been afraid to challenge me at the same time when he knew I was moving into dangerous waters.  Alena, a spear-bearer herself, has helped trained me, but more than that she is the sister I never had.  She has seen me through the darkest moments of my world and been the shoulder I cried on.  They both continued all the teachings of the Ancient One. The Ancient One is this other one in my world that some days it’s a wonder He doesn’t leave me be.  Somehow though as many times as I come unravelled, He’s there to reassure me I’m still His and that He has me in His hands.  As far as my world, I’ve seen different landscapes at various points in my life.  I’ve lived as a child in a household that seemed to the rest of the world as normal and played my role to survive. Then when it fell apart to the outside world finally, I became formally accustomed to a new world, one that frequently saw the inside of bars as a shipping dealer.  Then there’s the other side of me, the other world I found myself drawn into or better yet, the person I found myself drawn to.  That would be Dante.  I saw him in the visions and tried to tell myself that’s all it was.  I knew better. I had admitted the truth to myself long before he understood. It scares me to death though even as I long for every moment I get with him.  If anyone finds out what he means to me, what’s growing between us, what will be the price? If something happened to him because of me, that would be it. The final blow in my world.

What does ‘heroism’ mean to you?

A hero… I guess for a lot of people it’s measured in how many kills you make with a blade. If you took a poll in many of the places I hang out, I wouldn’t be surprised if it’s your top answer. It’s a pretty shallow measure though. Not to say those good with the blade don’t qualify. I mean, those I consider closest to me now are all masters with a blade.  Yet it’s their heart and spirit that’s behind the blade that makes them a hero.  It’s why they swing the blade repeatedly and keep getting up to battle again that gives them the title.  Yet there’s those that never swing a blade, and yet they are heroes as much as the others.  I watched that battle too, the one who is bent over from wounds of battles and yet struggles over and over again to one’s feet until the strike of the death wound.  What the two have in common is what is heroism.   It is the willingness to give of oneself, to put it all the line, in order to stand up against the darkness and to protect others.

What do you think of your ‘creator’?

Liz, as we know her as, is a lot of things. Somebody else asked Dante and I about Liz recently. She’s a lot of things. She pushes herself hard and keeps to an insane schedule.  It’s no surprise then how she pushes us.  I’m grateful for the splashes of down time she does give us. I’ve learned to treasure that time with Dante (she smiles).  She does put us through a lot though, and I guess in some ways for that I could say I didn’t like her too much sometimes. I can’t though, because she never has us go through it alone.  She’s steadfast and has proved herself a true friend. She fights beside us, reminding us we’re stronger than the battlefield in front of us. Sometimes that means being the shoulder to cry on.  She gets that battlefield too, and it doesn’t scare her. She listens to us too, willing to help, but still lets us direct our own way. Honestly, I can’t blame her for the mishaps, because I do rush into things a fair amount of the time, especially when it involves people I care about.  Liz gets me though, and I can be me with her too. There are other people it feels similar with, but Liz really does know all my secrets after all.  Sometimes there’s parts of me that I don’t like, that I can’t imagine how anyone would still stay if they knew all of it. Yet, she does, because she doesn’t leave those she cares about. But I guess that’s what it comes down to with Liz.  Even though we go through a lot of stuff with her, she loves us as we are and so we trust her. Because we’ve seen her heart, and so we’re not afraid of the journey ahead since she’s traveling with us.

 

Give us your favourite piece of advice:

That’s a tough one. I’ve been given so much training and words of wisdom already in my small number of years. Some I try to practice because they really are wisdom, but I find I’ve regrettably failed at keeping those at crucial moments. Others I’ve practiced not as much for their true wisdom, but to survive in the situation I found myself.  It’s not a noble reason to follow it, but sadly it’s what I had to do. I suppose one of the best pieces of advice I ever got was from Alika.  “Do not fear what is ahead. You are equipped for the path you chose.  Remember who you are and cling to that truth.”  It is the moments that I have strayed from that path, forgotten who I am, and believed the lies of the darkness that I have paid the price.

Links to book 

https://books2read.com/TheSpinningOfDeception

https://books2read.com/Deceptions-Hold

https://books2read.com/ShadowedBonds

Social media links for author

https://elizabethlavender.net

https://twitter.com/Elavenderauthor

https://facebook.com/elizabethlavender.author

https://instagram.com/elizabethlavender.author

https://www.amazon.com/Elizabeth-Lavender/e/B07ZLS4G93

https://www.bookbub.com/authors/elizabeth-lavender

https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/19685019.Elizabeth_Lavender

(13) Elizabeth Lavender | LinkedIn

 

 

Swift Six Character Interview – Henry Fitzroy#Vampire #Paranormal #HistoricalFiction

Character Name

Henry Fitzroy – formerly Duke of Richmond, bastard son of Henry VIII

Which book/world do you live in?

Anarchic Destiny – Book 2 of the Naturae Series

Tell us about yourself:

‘Dying’ when I was 17 was a trauma, but I was told if I became a vampire, I would still be able to fulfil my destiny to be King. Annoyingly, after I said yes to being made vampire, my half brother Edward was born, so I had to wait, hidden and captive for another 17 years, until he too died in 1553. But, when I found out about his plans for succession, I realised I’d been forgotten. I was no-one. I have to find my place in this new world, find a way to fulfil my destiny to rule.

What are your greatest strengths and weaknesses?

I didn’t realise how liberating it would be to give up my soul, and so I would say my greatest strength is that I have no compunction about doing what is necessary to achieve my given purpose. I’m also super-fast, super strong, and, depending on the day or how I feel, super compassionate. Perhaps that is my weakness, but I still feel for the humans, even though most of my kind view them as fodder.

Name three important people/creatures/institutions in your world (such as lovers, pets, government institutions, leaders, gods etc).

The institutions in my world are the structures which enable people like me to rule – the Church, although I have wavering affiliation to it, and the monarchy. I’m ambiguous as to which of these institutions should remain once I get into power. On a personal front, I have few friends. Those I can count are Thomas Fairfax, a daemon, and, I suppose, my half sister, Elizabeth. She knows who and what I am, and means a great deal to me, possibly because I cannot influence her as I can mere mortals. She has the potential though, to be great, I have always sensed this about her and I hope that in the future our two realms can grow closer in proximity. Naturae is where I will set my sights though, the home of the fae.

What does ‘heroism’ mean to you?

I have thought a great deal about this, and my opinion of what it means to be a hero, and a leader, was largely influenced by my father, Henry VIII. He had his flaws, to be sure, but he was driven to greatness by passion. A desire to grow his influence, be the best. However, I am of the mind that life should be preserved where possible. I regret losing my mortal life, and mourn the loss of my soul. I am not about revenge, or killing for the sake of it, but rather, people should be allowed to choose how they live, not die because of what someone else thinks. I think that makes me quite heroic, I will always stand up for liberty. That is my passion.

What do you think of your ‘creator’?

She tries hard to make me into a sympathetic character, although I know at times I may make some choices which ordinary people could view as morally wrong.

Give us your favourite piece of advice:

Life is short, for humans. Make the most of it, live how you want to and with honesty and you will have no regrets when it is over. If, like me, you are destined to live a long life, then there is even more reason to be true to yourself, because hiding who you are will cause you untold miseries which you have your whole life to regret.

Links to book

www.books2read.com/anarchicdestiny

Anarchic Destiny - Bk2 - Naturae Series by Jan Foster

 

Swift Six Character Interview – Dorcas #YoungAdult

Swift Six Character Interview

Character Name:  Dorcas

Which book/world do you live in?

“I’s is livings in the lifer world with the Cracklocks.  They’s is my friends, and I has beens with them for a longs time now.”

Tell us about yourself:

“I is a Brownie, or ‘nim’, if’s you is using the olds way of speaking.  We is considered to be ones of the most helpful faeries; we’s help out in the home and looks after the family in returns for a little food. I’s been helping the Cracklock family for many years.  Hundreds of years, if the truths be told.  I’s cooking and cleaning and helping’s to look after the children’s.”

What are your greatest strengths and weaknesses?

“Oh, you’s! I is not boastings about me, you silly! I’s not one for tattle telling stories.  But if you’s is insisting, my weaknesses is cakes.  Big cakes and biscuits.  Looks at my belly!  It is too bigs, but its has saves me’s before.  When the redcaps came, they’s spears couldn’t get through my blubber guts.  So Elsie says.  I’s don’t let it slows me down none, anyhow, beings a bit bigger.  Everyone should’s be happy with how’s they are, I is thinking. And if you’s is big like me’s, then all good’s.  It show’s you is loving life’s.

For my’s strength, it has to be’s my loves for the little ones. The children.  I’s not letting anyones harm thems whilst I is in charge.  You see’s this rolling pin? Granny gaves it to me.  Come’s back when you summons it.  And I is pretty good with it; many a beastie and bumper it has whacked.  I is not havings no bullying of my charges, I can tell’s you. Anyone is trying that, then they is getting a thumping.”

Name three important people/creatures/institutions in your world (such as lovers, pets, government institutions, leaders, gods etc).

“This is difficult’s for me to answer.  There are many importants things to keep an eyes out for.  The Seelie and Unseelie Courts; they is not liking us mixing withs the lifers.  But they makes some exceptions for the Cracklocks, particularly of Bartholomew’s line.  The others are too bads to mention.  I’s is loving my adopted family; Jacksie my sweets boy, Elsie my old friends who’s I lives with before and poor Sammy, who’s can’t see the Fae like the others cans.  And we is trying to find David for a long time now; I is hoping that we can save’s him soon. Also, now’s I has a boyfriend too’s!  Gnorbitts is nice, but he sometimes drinks too much beers.  Especially when he is being with Popple.  Those twos are bad influences on each other.  Such a mess they’s is leaving; last times they burned popcorns on the stoves, and left it for me’s to tidy.  I makes them get up even though they have hurty heads and cleans it all up.  Or they is in much troubles.”

What does ‘heroism’ mean to you?

“I is no hero, dearies.  I just does what needs to be done.  And if I has to crack noggin’s to do’s it, then I does.  Like that Lisovyk monster, well, there was no ways it was going to eat Jack and Jimmy’s now, was there?  Or that Jailer in the Catacombs.  He was a nasty man; too nasty, treating the Faes like that.  He was gettings what he deserved, and no mistakings.  I is not standing for it; my’s family is what is importants and old Dorcas isn’t having no nonsense where they’s is concerned.”

 What do you think of your ‘creator’?

“Mister Deegans? Oh, he is alrights, I is thinking. Blathers about a bits when he’s is writings us up; we’s is having to give him a poke sometimes in the night to make him write faster; puts some ideas in that mushpot of his.  But he is nice; he is trying his hardest we is knowing, and we’s helps him where we can’s.”

 Give us your favourite piece of advice:

“You’s should stay away from the other Cracklocks.  They is bad Cracklocks; tainted with evil.  They’s is killing Fae just because they’s is not understanding us.  I is having nothings to do withs them, and you’s shouldn’t neither.”

 

Links to book

I is in the Cracklock Saga books.  There is threes of them now and Mister Deegan has finished the fourth and is writings the fifth.  You’s can find them at:

Book 1:  Fae or Foe?        https://www.amazon.com/dp/B09G9RNMMS

Book 2:  The Lost and the Departed.  https://www.amazon.com/dp/B09KNDM9YZ

Book 3:  Alice and the Mirror Glass.   https://www.amazon.com/dp/B09QJ2TV9S

I is in all of them’s.  And I’s is getting in some right scrappy scraps, I’s can tell you!

 

Swift Six Character Interview – Sarah Stone #Vampire #ParanormalFantasy

 

Which book/world do you live in? Shades of Night series

Tell us about yourself: Well, I used to be an agent for The Monster Defence Agency. We hunted vampires, ghouls, demons, ghosts…basically anything that wants to harm humans. My partner is a werewolf, the alpha in his pack, and he was by the book until I was turned into a vampire. The kicker is, I’m some sort of weird hybrid that can withstand sunlight.

What are your greatest strengths and weaknesses?

When I was a normal human witch, I could manifest anything I needed when I needed it. If I needed a sword or knife, bam, it appeared at will. Clothing, same thing. But I couldn’t call anything but objects. So that was a strength and a weakness, because it would be really convenient to enact my revenge on the bastard that turned me if I could just call him into existence before me. My biggest weakness is my alpha partner. I’ve been secretly in love with him since we were in the academy together. Come to find out, he felt the same, but any relationship was prohibited by the agency we work for. And they are militant about their rules.

Name three important people/creatures/institutions in your world (such as lovers, pets, government institutions, leaders, gods etc).

Robby, my partner and secret lover.  The Monster Defence Agency (TMD for short) where we work.  And the vampire who turned me, although I really want to drag him out into the sun for what he did to me.

What does ‘heroism’ mean to you?

Heroism is your partner having your back in the middle of shit storm. It’s a firefighter running into a burning building to save a child. It’s a soldier recovering a fallen comrade through enemy fire. It’s a police officer shielding others from a wacko with a gun. It’s the child who stands up to the bullies picking on a weaker kid.

What do you think of your ‘creator’?

My creator meaning the asshole who turned me?

Oh, you mean the author who created me. Well… she has a mean streak a mile wide, but she does give me what I need when I need it. But that does not mean she lets me off easy.

Give us your favourite piece of advice:

Find someone who doesn’t think of you as their property. Find a partner who views you as an equal partner in life and who adores you for all your faults and endearments. Once you find that special someone, do not let them go.

Links to book  https://books2read.com/u/mgEV5x

Character Interview – Clyde the Vampire #Fantasy

CHARACTER NAME:  Clyde

  • Tell us a little about yourself:

Let’s get the obvious out of the way.  I’m a vampire.  Not the kind you’re thinking of, but a species called a Dawn Fang.  In fact, I’m the first one due to this thing called the Great Cataclysm.  It washed over the world and turned my execution into a rebirth type of thing.  Now, I’m faster, stronger, and immune to the sun.  A few accidents later and I realized I could make more of my kind, which resulted in me creating a kingdom called Nytefall.  I’ve been leading the Dawn Fangs for a few decades now and it doesn’t get any easier.  Running a gang of vampiric thieves is one thing.  Now, I have to run a kingdom in the face of a civil war, sun-worshipping priests, hunters, usurpers, and all manner of enemies.  The worst part is that I can’t kill all of them if I want to prove to mortals that Dawn Fangs aren’t monsters.  Not that I haven’t considered it.

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

The mess I’m in is rather complicated.  As far as I know, I haven’t done anything to anger this vampire hunter.  He calls himself Alastyre and keeps ripping the heads off vampires.  Swears he’s the one who’s going to kill.  Scary part is that he might not be wrong since he’s the strongest enemy I’ve ever faced.  Nobody else has managed to match my power and primal brutality like this guy.  So, I’m going to have to do something I haven’t done in over one hundred years.  I have to train and get stronger in order to stop this maniac from killing my people and destroying my kingdom.

  • Do you believe in monsters?

Of course.  I am one.  Don’t go thinking all monsters are heartless beasts that can only destroy.  Sure, that’s basically the definition, but that way of thinking is why Dawn Fangs are having trouble.  We are vampires, which makes us monsters.  Yet, we’re able to live like mortals, so we’re in the middle.  Personally, I think any species can be seen as a monster in certain situations.

  • Do you have a moral code? If so what might it be?

I guess you could say that I do.  Hard to tell since I use illusions to trick people, especially in battle or when I’m stealing.  Guess you could say that my moral code depends on who I’m dealing with.  If I’m facing an honourable person then I’ll act the same.  Pit me against a jerk and I’ll do whatever it takes to either kill them or knock them down a few thousand pegs.  One constant rule I have is that you don’t draw children into your fights.  They can join when they grow up, but let them be kids before that time.

  • Would you kill for those you love?

I’ve proven that I would on several occasions.  Not only for the woman I love, but my friends too.  They’re my family and I’m going to protect them with this great power I’ve been given.  In return, they watch my back and make sure I don’t surrender to the monster in my soul.  Guess that desire to retain my humanity makes the whole killing for loved ones rather strange.  It makes sense if you’re a vampire.

  • Would you die for those you love?

Tough one here because you can only do this once.  It would have to be a very specific situation.  My sacrifice would need to result in my family being safe for the rest of their existence.  Otherwise, I’d get myself killed and they’d still be in danger, which means I made a mistake.

  • How do you define ‘heroism?’

Heroism is the ability to stand by your convictions and defend others.  It’s very easy to change your mind or abandon people to save your own skin.  In fact, I’d say most people do this once they’re challenged.  Those with heroism ignore their own survival instinct to make the world a better place.  Although, to be honest, I don’t have that much use for the mortal version of heroism.  For a vampire, it’s closer to having the ability to control your destructive tendencies for the good of your people.

  • What is your greatest skill/asset?

I would have to go with my illusions, which work off my cunning.  Sure, I can shatter mountains with my fists.  My Lord’s Rage allows me to get even stronger at the cost of my self-control.  Those work for slaughtering enemies and physical obstacles, but they can be undermined.  My illusions are much more difficult to get around and they create opportunities for my strength to be used.  I can create decoys, false attacks, or mask my true form to confuse my enemies.  That and it’s simply fun to mess with people.

  • What is your greatest weakness (we won’t tell)?

This is the big question.  In fact, it’s the reason I’m on this ridiculous training quest while my friends are trapped with Alastyre.  I need to figure out my greatest weakness in order to overcome it.  After decades of never feeling threatened, I can’t imagine what it would be.  Could be overconfidence, but I’m trying really hard to stay humble while I rule a kingdom.  I really wonder why people can’t just show up and tell me the answer here.

  • Do you believe in god(s)?

Definitely.  I come from Windemere, which has active gods.  There’s a whole pantheon that lives on an island and watches the rest of us.  They have this rule against physically interfering in events because of past mistakes.  Actually, I recently had my first god encounter.  The guy was a jerk and I’d have punched his face in if I didn’t think he’d smite me.

  • Do you believe you will be successful in your quest?

Yes to both quests.  I believe I will find a way to become stronger and defeat Alastyre.  There’s no reason it wouldn’t happen since I always find a way to win.  I need to be patient and think hard about the problem.  That or beat up whatever’s in my path until they give me what I need.

My other quest is the big one.  I want to prove that Dawn Fangs can live amongst mortals without posing a danger.  This is possible since we can eat regular food and drink blood without killing.  The biggest hurdle is that we’re still vampires, so people see us as monsters.  Doesn’t help that we have a civil war going on between Nytefall and those who wish to stay in the shadows.  Once I get that cleared up, the big quest will be nothing more than a simple test of patience.

  • What do you think of your author/creator?

He’s got a pretty good imagination, but I have a major grievance.  It took the moron about 15 years to get to my series.  He pretended to be me in this imagination game for about a year, but then shelved me for nearly half of his life.  Don’t get me wrong.  I’m happy that he’s given me the spotlight, but I waited so long and I can see that my time isn’t going to be as long as that of his previous heroes.  We’re definitely going to have to chat once he goes to bed.

For the author:

Books in which this character appears:

War of Nytefall Series–  https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07KBFS2LK

  • Loyalty
  • Lost
  • Rivalry
  • Eradication
  • Ravenous
  • Savagery

Bio-

Charles Yallowitz was born and raised on Long Island, NY, but he has spent most of his life wandering his own imagination in a blissful haze. Occasionally, he would return from this world for the necessities such as food, showers, and Saturday morning cartoons. One day he returned from his imagination and decided he would share his stories with the world. After spending many years fiddling with his thoughts and notebooks, he decided that it was time to follow his dream of being a fantasy author. So, locked within the house with only pizza and seltzer to sustain him, Charles brings you tales from the world of Windemere. He looks forward to sharing all of his stories with you and drawing you into a world of magic.

Social Media

Blog: www.legendsofwindemere.com
Twitter: @cyallowitz
Facebook: Charles Yallowitz
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/cyallowitz/

Links etc

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0921ZGG44

5 Tips on Writing Fantasy Characters – Guest Post Desiree Villena

5 Tips for Writing Fantasy Characters – Desiree Villena

Most creative writing classes treat writing characters and writing fantasy characters as one and the same. They provide run-of-the-mill tips (create conflict, establish flaws, etc.) and you end up with run-of-the-mill characters — well-developed, but nothing out of the ordinary.

But what fantasy writers need are legendary characters — characters that stay with you for a lifetime, like those that occupy the worlds of J. R. R. Tolkien and George R. R. Martin. Unfortunately, these writers haven’t exactly revealed all their secrets to the rest of us. But by working backwards, I’ve put together five top tips, exclusively for fantasy writers, that should help you think outside of the character-profile box.

1. Interview your characters to get to know them

Whether you adopt the tactics of a police interrogator or Oprah Winfrey, interviewing your characters is a great way to flesh out their motives, weaknesses, history, habits, and hobbies. Sure, the same advice is given to authors of all fiction genres, but when writing fantasy this exercise calls for more creative flair.

For instance, most questionnaires will ask your character about their career: What’s your dream job? What job would you never consider? When writing contemporary fiction, it’s easy to fall back on conventions: I want to become a writer, a football star, a successful entrepreneur. I’d never be a high-school teacher, a telemarketer, a pest control worker. Your fantasy characters, however, will need to produce answers that make sense in the context of their world.

Let’s take the Harry Potter series as an example. Some Hogwarts graduates will join the Aurors — an elite group of Dark Wizard catchers — others take soul-crushing jobs in magic middle management, and I imagine someone has to clean up the mess made by the post-office owls. These jobs are recognizable; we can place them in the real world, and even make assumptions about a character based on their magical nine-to-five. But at the same time, they place the character firmly in the unique world of the books, seamlessly weaving the two together and adorning the bigger picture with original details.

2. Don’t assume that your characters think like you

When a story takes place in a world that’s not our own, its characterizations should reflect that on a deeper level than just creative job titles and otherworldly hobbies. Everyone in your world, good or bad, leading lady or forgettable friend, will share a baseline set of assumptions informed by the world they inhabit, which means that their inherent ways of thinking won’t always resemble our own.

Let’s say your fantasy novel is set in a world where gods regularly show their faces to interfere in everyday life. Though atheism might be common here on Earth Prime, it would make no sense for anyone in that world to be an atheist. This doesn’t have to mean that everybody thinks and feels exactly the same way about the gods; some characters might fervently believe that they reward devotion and punish sin, while others might quietly think of them as meddling pranksters.

Setting up coherent belief systems and knowing where your characters stand on your world’s “big questions” will help you to build more complex relationships among your characters, and between your characters and their world.

3. Build diversity into your cast of characters

In general, creating some diversity in your cast of characters can be a really useful thing to do. Meaningfully different perspectives and experiences will add complexity to your world, and hopefully create intuitive conflict or tension among your characters.

If your world is divided into different regions, for example, then the people in each region might have vastly different cultures due to the influence of climate, landscape, or the way they’re ruled. Take A Song of Ice and Fire. The people in the North live, think, and dress very differently from the people in King’s Landing: the first being sparsely populated, harsh, and independently ruled while the other is crowded, coastal, and right under the thumb of the Iron Throne.

Even within distinct groups, one member doesn’t need to have the same mannerisms, views, and values as the next. In The Lord of the Rings, Tolkien has creatures that are familiar to fantasy readers, and certainly employs generic tropes. But his elves, dwarves, hobbits, and wizards are not carbon-copy fantasy races. Among the dwarves, for example, there are good and wicked, eloquent and crass, loyal and traitorous characters.

4. Revitalize common character tropes

Lots of fantasy writers love character archetypes — which is not necessarily a bad thing, because fantasy readers love them too. But if you rely too much on clichés, you might stray into overly predictable territory. There’s also no reason to get anywhere near that black hole when there are so many great ways to revitalize common character tropes. Here are a couple to get you thinking:

  • Deconstruct it: Even if you adhere to its traditions, you can deconstruct a trope by shining a light on its implications and consequences. For example, Harry Potter may be the Chosen One — but only because the antagonist, Voldemort, decided to believe a prophecy and mark Harry out. The notion of the Chosen One only has as much power as Voldemort gives it.
  • Defy expectations: When readers encounter an archetypal character they’ll bring certain expectations to the table (because that’s how archetypes work). But you can give your character a dose of originality by meeting enough of the required standards that make a trope recognizable, while defying other characteristics that are simply expected. For example, the White Witch of Narnia ticks all the boxes of an Evil Overlord, but she defies character conventions by being a woman shrouded in white, rather than a male character cloaked in darkness.

5. Keep the bigger picture in mind

You may have noticed that in fantasy writing, worldbuilding and character development often go hand-in-hand. And nowhere is this more evident (or more important) than in the mood and tone of your story. Whether you build your setting or your characters first, the general tenor of both elements should work together to create the perfect atmosphere.

The easiest way to think of this is to look at some more examples. In the Song of Ice and Fire books, where the dead stand up to fight and swords are forged with blood, even our favorite characters are flawed — Arya is obsessed with revenge, Tyrion is morally ambiguous, and Daenerys is proud and stubborn (and burns down a city). These gray characters meld perfectly with the grim and somber tone that shrouds this highly cynical series.

Meanwhile, the first few books in the Harry Potter series are full of wonder and whimsy. Its magical world features bat-bogey hexes, dodgy spell-checking quills, and wacky divination lessons. So it makes perfect sense that the protagonists be quirky teenagers who are always bickering, fumbling first crushes, and failing to get to grips with Muggle technology (I’m looking at you, Ron).

So take inspiration from fantasy legends JKR and GRRM. Don’t just fill in a character profile. Think about the emotional texture of your book and the kind of reaction you want from your readers. Then approach the task of character development with your mind on the bigger picture.

Legacy of the Mask – On Tour

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Feb 11

kickoff at Silver Dagger Book Tours

A Pinch of Bookdust

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Dirty Dozen Character Interview – Judas Wells and Nadine Ellis

CHARACTER NAMES: Judas Wells / Nadine Ellis

  1. Tell us a little about yourself.

Judas – I’m 23 and come from the country of Denmé, the oldest brother of my two younger siblings Gabrielle and Michael. There’s not much else to say, I’m not allowed hobbies aside from my government mandated tasks.

Nadine – I’m 21 and come from the country of Olympia and the youngest sibling in my family. I like photography, going to the gym and hanging out with my best friend Payton on weekends. 

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

Judas – You’ll have to read the book.

Nadine – I know how Judas got in his, but yeah read the book.

  • Is your life now as you envisioned it? If not – then why?

Judas – HA! No. I lost my freedom when I was six years old, and have been a puppet since. My dad always told me how great the old country was, and wished I grew up there.

Nadine – Yes and no. Life takes us on weird journeys.

  • Have you committed a crime? What was it? If not, what circumstances would cause you to commit a crime?

Judas – Yikes. Erm, read the book.

Nadine – I got a DUI once from drinking cough medicine

  • Do you have a moral code? If so what might it be

Judas – Act how you expect to be treated, treat others like poop get it in return.

Nadine – I second that.

  • Would you kill for those you love?

Judas – Who’s to say I haven’t already?

Nadine – Depends who

  • Would you die for those you love?

Judas – Yes

Nadine – Again depends who

  • Who is your greatest enemy?

Judas – Our Leader, hands down.

Nadine – President Sanchez or Our Leader as Denmé citizens call her.

  • Tell us about your family?

Judas – I have my mum, my younger sister Gabrielle and my youngest brother Michael

Nadine – I live with my mum and dad, and older brother Wyatt.

  1. What is your greatest skill/asset?

Judas – I think the government mandated tasks have made me a man of all trades

Nadine – My dad taught me self defense since I was a child

  1. Do you believe you will be successful in your quest?

Judas – Hopefully

Nadine – Let’s kick ass! Ha, ha, ha!

  1. What do you think of your author/creator?

Judas – If you take my mental health and run over it with a train and then a second train that is what my author has done to me. Seriously, why?

Nadine – I think they’re great, we were promised pizza for going through with this…still waiting for that pizza.

For the author

Books in which this characters appears:

LISTED by L.J. Kerry

Links, short author bio…

L.J. Kerry born and raised in Sheffield, England. She has always loved to read and write from a young age, some of her favourite genres are Urban Fantasy and Dystopia.

Now living in Derbyshire, England. L.J. Kerry likes to spend her free time (aside from reading or writing) playing video games, travelling and learning new languages/cultures.

www.ljkerrybooks.com

https://amzn.to/3o9b3WX Listed on Amazon