Dirty Dozen – Character Interview – Gwyn Blaidd – Fantasy/Bundle



  • Tell us a little about yourself.

I’m a Heroka of the wolf totem. The Heroka are a race of shapeshifters. We are linked to our totem species, drawing our vitality from them, with the power to control those animals and to take their form.

I’m over 100 years old and have been living a life of a recluse in my wilderness retreat, surrounded only by my wolf brothers. I’m not big on humans. I have my reasons. Probably something to do with them killing anyone I ever loved.


  • Tell us why you’re embarking on this adventure?

Didn’t have a lot of choice, did I? First an old friend, Ed Three Rivers, emails me. His granddaughter, Mary, has been killed. Maybe a wild animal. Maybe a Heroka. He wants my help.

Then Mitch Ducharmes, head of the Circle of the Heroka, shows up with a teenage girl, Caz, in tow. Her parents have been killed by the Tainchel (keep reading—I’ll get to them) but Caz escaped. Mitch has the bright idea that I’d be the perfect person to protect her. Yeah, right.

I tell Mitch no. I tell Ed no.

That changes when the Tainchel attack my home. They kill Mitch, almost kill me. I kill them instead. My secret retreat is secret no longer, and the Tainchel are hunting Heroka again. I need to find and face them, but the problem with finding a covert organization is, well, yeah—the covert part.

So I head to Thunder Lake, where Ed lives, with a reluctant teenage girl tagging along because she’s safer with me than alone. Why Thunder Lake? Because a killing with Heroka signs will attract the Tainchel to the town.

And that works for me.


  • Would you kill for those you love?

Been there. Done that. Told that story in “Spirit Dance” but it comes up again in this one, too. I didn’t think I had anyone left in the world to love, but I have lessons to learn on this journey.


  • Would you die for those you love?

I tried. She wouldn’t let me. I still wish…I still wish it had been me, not her.


  • What is your world like? How does it differ to mine?

You not been paying attention? The Heroka? A race of shapeshifters who are linked to the animals of their totem? Oh wait. That’s actually not different from yours. You just don’t know we exist. And we’d like to keep it that way.


  • Who is your greatest friend?


Ed Two Rivers, an Ojibwe and a human. Runs a store with his white wife, Vera, in Thunder Lake. He knows of the Heroka. He keeps our secrets. Now he needs my help to find out who—or what—killed his granddaughter, Mary. I knew Mary. Taught her to track, to hunt. Great kid. Now she’s dead. Dead like all the other friends I’ve had in my life. Ed’s the last.

No, that’s not true. There’s Gelert, the great Irish wolfhound (I like the irony) who is my pawakan, my animal companion of my totem who is bound to me as I am to him.


  • Who is your greatest enemy


The Tainchel, a covert operation of the Canadian intelligence agency CSIS, formed with the single goal of tracking down and capturing the Heroka. For scientific testing. Testing that we, the Heroka, generally don’t survive.

Tainchel. Old Scottish term: armed men advancing in a line through a forest to flush out and kill wolves.

The Tainchel developed specialized scanners from tests on early victims. Subtle differences in alpha wave patterns, infrared readings, and metabolic rates give us away, even in crowded cities.


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

I’m told I have a bit of a temper. Likely something to do with humans trying to kill my people all the time.


  • Do you believe in god(s)?

I’ve always been pretty ambivalent on the topic. My general response to anyone talking of gods and an afterlife has been a shrug and a “maybe.”

But after you’ve met the wolf spirit, Mahigan, and fought an indestructible supernatural flesh-eating monster, and walked in the Spirit World…

Well, let’s just say I’m more open to the idea now.


  • Within your culture what is the political structure.

The Heroka are all pretty independent. Yeah, some of us are herd or pack creatures, but we’re not big on being told what to do. The Circle of the Heroka is as close to a political structure we have. It’s elected. Reps from each of the totems, with one of them serving as the head. I headed security in the northeast once, under Mitch. That was before the ambush (keep reading).


  • What is your greatest fear?

The vitality of the Heroka is tied to the vitality of our totem animals. Human greed for land, for power, for resources, is destroying our wilderness, destroying the habitats of our totem species. As the animals dwindle, so does the strength of the Heroka. That’s why so many of us are environment activists. Sometimes the activism gets violent. Before you judge, remember—we’re fighting for our survival as a species.


  • Tell us about your greatest achievement

The ambush. My greatest claim to fame—or infamy. Depends who you ask.

It happened while I still ran security in the northeast. Once we finally realized the Tainchel existed and were hunting us, we set a trap. I leaked word about a gathering of Heroka planned for an isolated spot. At a full moon—figured they’d expect that touch.

About twenty Tainchel walked into the ambush. They were focused on capturing subjects, so they only had trank rifles.

They walked in. They didn’t walk out. We were all predator totems. Wolves, bears, the big cats, birds of prey. We didn’t take prisoners.

Like I said, we were fighting for our lives.


For the author

Books in which this character appears:

Gwyn Blaidd is the main character in Doug’s urban fantasy novel, THE WOLF AT THE END OF THE WORLD. He also appears in Doug’s award winning novelette, “Spirit Dance,” which is the prequel story to THE WOLF novel.

Links, short author bio…

Douglas Smith is an award-winning Canadian author described by Library Journal as “one of Canada’s most original writers of speculative fiction.” His fiction has been published in twenty-six languages and thirty-two countries. His work includes the urban fantasy novel, The Wolf at the End of the World, and the collections Chimerascope, Impossibilia, and La Danse des Esprits. His non-fiction guide for writers, Playing the Short Game: How to Market & Sell Short Fiction, is a must read for any short story writer.

Doug is a three-time winner of Canada’s Aurora Award, and has been a finalist for the John W. Campbell Award, CBC’s Bookies Award, Canada’s juried Sunburst Award, and France’s juried Prix Masterton and Prix Bob Morane. A short film based on Doug’s story “By Her Hand, She Draws You Down” won several awards at film festivals around the world.

His website is www.smithwriter.com and he tweets at twitter.com/smithwritr. You can sign up for his newsletter at http://www.smithwriter.com/mailing_list.

This book features in:

BundleRabbit https://bundlerabbit.com/b/heroic-tales

Kobo https://www.kobo.com/gb/en/ebook/heroic-tales

Barnes and Noble http://bit.ly/2u33Tfd

I books https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/id1257100962





Swift Six – Author Samir Karimo – Supernatural/English Language



What attracts you to the genre in which you write?

I like to create different worlds, namely strange and surrealistical ones with known characters which try to attract the audience. I have a strange relationship with the reader, I like to play with him/her, e.g. I like to try them to question about things, even the smallest ones and that’s why most of my stories are flash stories. In those short stories I try to synthesise my conception of horror, science-fiction and terror.

What piece of writing advice do you wish you’d known when you started your writing adventures? First of all, follow your dreams, whatever they are and try to have a certain writing style. People will always criticise the way you write but it’s important to create your own style with your features. When I began I wanted to write grammatically well but now I want to have a style of my own.

If you could have dinner with any famous person or character who would you choose?

Pirandello, Unamuno and Pessoa due to their idea about the being, not being and the different characters we assume every day. Dr.Jekyll and Mr.Hide, Adriano Meis, Sheherazade from Arabian Nights without doubt and Ramayana’s Valmiky.

Who has been the greatest influence on your own work?

As I have mentioned, on one hand I was deeply influenenced by Pirandello, Unamuno and Pessoa. Their ideas are still updated and even today we don’ t know how to interact in society…. I like that idea of double personality, the heteroynms  and ortonyms, on the other hand, as you read the book, you’ll find references to Indian mythology, Nordic folklore and also D.Juan’s Myth.  Kafka also, there’a flash story, DAMNED WORDS which looks Kafka’s  IN THE PENAL COLONY. But I have also a muse called Reyam  who inspires my work. Besides I have a text dedicated to her, music divine.

Do you think the e-book revolution will do away with print?

Someday maybe, but there are still people wanting to feel the “taste of the book”. I like both, but more and more people are using e-books . And besides, e-books are more compact and easy to carry than a book. And with the digital stuff in e-books it is possible to create more things than in a book, like for example holograms, and so on.

Which 3 books would you take to a desert island and why?

Arabian nights because I love the stories Sherazade tells to the sultan, and because is one of the most important books of the world which influences our way of seeing the world.

Lucian of Samostata’s true story because it’s a very advanced book, even today with their creatures and the idea of Moon and, finally, Charles Nodier’s Infernaliana, one of best scary books ever written. Some stories make me beg for more, one of my favourites is the “Devil pact”.


Author bio and book synopsis

Please introduce yourself (250 words or so):

My name is Samir Karimo, and besides of being a translator, I’m also a writer. This book SOBRENATURAL is my first English book which was written almost at the same time that in Portuguese and Spanish also. I usually write in Portuguese to BABELICUS EM PORTUGUÊS  and in Spanish and English to MINATURA. I also collaborate with DEMENCIA magazine and WAX MAGAZINE, both in Spanish . And I’m also a comic screenwriter to a comic magazine called H-ALT where by September it will publish my first story.

My first stories appeared at FENIZ FANZINE  in Spanish in 2013. But I published my first Portuguese  poems in late 1998.

I like to create strange situations with strange characters…. like Kafka


Tell us about your book(s) – title, genre etc (short)

Sobrenatural (supernatural surrealistical scary stories ), a small anthology of flash stories and tales where the reader will find famous characters in strange situations. Imagine yourself having a dream where nothing is what it seems, when you find space vampires and their connection to dinosaur’s extinction, killing noses and other alien creatures. Imagine if D.Juan would go to paradise or, finally, would find peace. Also imagine Oscar Wilde as an attorney or Dulcinea having a relationship with a snake….  And imagine a character called INTRODUCTION, and a FUN GOD falling in love by a cyborg woman in Harlequin Carnavalin.

Finally, the book cover was done my the ESFS Awards winner’ JUAN MIGUEL AGUILERA


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