Archive for the ‘Character Interviews W/ Travis’ Category

Traveler Blog Tour Welcome to Hell Bent

Hey, there, and welcome to stop number 11 (if my math is correct) of the Traveler Blog Tour! Traveler is the third in S.E. Anderson’s Starstruck series. While I haven’t yet gotten to read this one, the prior 2 were highly enjoyable.

 

So enjoyable, I had a certain half-monkey of mine take some time to speak with the main character herself.

 

Travis had to admit…he was a bit nervous about this interview. He was used to showing up in-person to speak to his interviewee, but this was one of those rare occasions that he didn’t happen to have transportation. What he had was a video call setup, determination (or stubbornness…one of those), and an afternoon to kill. And what’s more, he had someone to interview.

 

Just as soon as she located her, of course. He’d been using this video setup to contact as many different ships and spaceports and the like as he could, just searching for one woman. He had some questions to ask her, and all.

 

The redhead had contacted many of the wrong places so far, and a few of those were VERY much the wrong places. But there was one where he felt he’d finally gotten it right.

 

“Hey, I’m looking for a Sally Webber…do I have the right frequency here? I’d just like to ask her some questions,” was the message he’d transmitted each time. And he was just waiting for someone to respond positively to the video call.

 

“Hello?” a voice cracked to life on the other line, “This is Sally Webber, who is this? How do you know my name?”

 

Soon a face appeared through the fog of static: a young woman in a tight black uniform, her dusty blonde hair sticking to her sweaty face. She couldn’t have been more than twenty-five, though her eyes looked tired beyond years. Even if they were now wide with shock.

 

“Oh, thank, GOD, I’ve been trying to reach you all morning,” Travis said, looking rather relieved. Over the video call, his prehensile tail could likely be seen twitching. “I’m from Earth—yeah, I know, probably hard to believe with, well, that,” he pointed to his tail, “but anyway, I was hoping to get an interview with you, if you don’t mind.”

 

“You’re from Earth?” she squawked, before throwing her hands over her mouth to hide the sound. “I’m sorry, I just haven’t had any contact with home for weeks! I have no idea how you managed to reach me, but of course I’d be happy to talk.”

 

“Okay, awesome. My first question, I guess, would be…how’s space been treating you?” he asked, before realizing that he may have just opened some sort of can of worms, for which the lid has run off.

 

“Well, as you can tell by the smoldering wreck behind me,” she stepped out of frame to indicate the hunk of metal now jutting out of the ground, “my spaceship just crashed. Not the best start to the day.”

 

“I-I see…but at least you’re not alone, right? How would you describe Zander and Blayde?”

 

“They’re… they’re beyond words, you know? I guess it comes with the territory when you’re immortal, and can travel anywhere in the universe like that,” she snapped her fingers, dirt flying, “Blayde’s what you might call unhinged. She’s lived so long nothing seems to matter to her, or phase her. But Zander… he’s the opposite. He’s still amazed by everything. Right now he’s more excited about alien plant life than the fact we crashed the only way off this rock.”

 

Travis nodded as he listened, his tail flicking again. “What, would you say, is your favorite part of this crazy adventure you’ve been on?

 

“Oh man, how do I even pick? Probably the people: meeting someone who’s never even heard of your home planet really puts things in perspective.”

 

 

“I can imagine. And on the other side of that coin, what have you liked the least?” he asked.

 

“Sadly, the food. I thought it would be my favorite part, but the last time I tried their pizza it literally tried to kill me. So I’ve been avoiding it now.”

 

Travis’ eyes went wide for a moment, as he tried to imagine food trying to kill him. He dared the food to try it, though…bigger threats had tried and failed. “That’s understandable… Is there anything you’d do differently with your life? Like, in general, not just with the whole space situation.”

 

“You might think I would want none of this to have happened. You know? Like if I could change one thing, I would go back in time and stop that stupid hot air balloon from landing on my house. Stop the chain of events that derailed my life and has me lost in space. But I’m not quite sure of that answer anymore…”

 

“So, this may be a somewhat depressing question, and I’m really sorry if, like, I hit any nerves with it…but is there anyone specific you miss from Earth?”

 

“You mean other than food that isn’t trying to kill me?” She snorted, “My friends. My family. Netflix. Not having to run for my life every other day. I really miss that.”

 

Travis listened, and if he were in the same location as she was, he’d have offered her a hug. But for now, he just thought on the next question. “Okay, now…if you had any kind of power—like, say, what Zander’s got going and all, what would you want?”

 

“You know, I spend more time thinking about what I would do with a proper brain, one which wasn’t sick and on meds, than what powers I would like? I think maybe I would like to be able to travel anywhere, like Zander, but I could do without the immortality part. I can’t imagine ever living that long.”

 

“Yeah, it is kind of a fucked up thing to try and imagine…” said Travis, thinking on his own possible future. “Alright, last question…if you were to learn that you were a character in a book, what might you say to your author? I’m usually curious about what others would say about that one, because if I had one, I’d have some choice words for that damn sadist…”

 

“Honestly, that would explain a lot of the weird shit that’s been going down in my life right now! So yeah, I would have a bone to pick with whatever ‘author’ has been ruining my life. But at the same time, we’re all characters in our own stories: whether or not someone’s writing mine, I don’t mind so long as there’s a happy ending down the line.”

 

Travis’ tail twitched. “Alright, Sally, thanks for taking the time to talk to me. Sorry if I sprung this interview on you at all, and best of luck with everything.”

Traveler Final

Sally’s search for Earth isn’t off to a good start: chased out of her hotel room and into the broom closet of a spaceship, she’s accidentally become a stowaway on the Alliance Flagship, Traveler.

But when sabotage and murder show the crew’s true colors, Zander and Blayde are forced to stay and help them out of their mess. Lies, drama, and deceit lead them light years away to a mysterious planet on the edge of the galaxy, where the crew must band together just to stay alive. Which would be much easier if they didn’t have to deal with a diva first-mate, a droid with a religious obsession, and Blayde’s Ex whose brain is a spaceship.

Finding Earth has to be put on the back burner, as Sally’s stuck tending alien boo-boos – and she still has no idea what she’s doing. And she might live long enough to get off the planet in one piece.

You can find S.E. Anderson’s books here!

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Hey, all! Welcome to another interview. This time, Travis spoke with Luthor McAlester, the main character in C.J. Rose’s “Generation Chronicles”.

As he strode through Belmont Park, Travis knew that his first priority should have been the interview. The monkey/human hybrid had, however, been distracted by food. And so, he was killing two birds with one stone for now: seeking out his interviewee and figuring out where to get a snack first. His long red hair was pulled into a braid for today, so he’d have less of a chance of tripping over it. There was still a chance of that, of course. It was just lessened. His tail twitched as he looked around the park for one Luthor McAlester.

 

Luthor sat quietly under an old oak tree right at the edge of the water. With one of his father’s journals in his hand, he contemplated his next move. Now that he was home from Olympus, there would be questions from some of the people at school, and in the building. The biggest issue he had now was whether or not to go on like nothing ever happened or embrace his heritage and do more with his life.

 

A sudden rustling caught his ear over the sound of th carousel ride not far from him. He looked up to find a creature unlike anything he had ever seen. Normally he would be frightened, but now he is only intrigued. He nods to the creature and goes back to his thoughts.

 

The half-monkey looked at him. “Your name Luthor, by any chance?” he asked, his tail giving another twitch. “And if so, would you be up for an interview?”

 

Luthor’s attention drew from the water back to the creature. “Yes, I’m Luthor.” he turned his gaze back to the water. “Why do you want an interview with me?”

 

Travis shrugged. “It’s part of a blog I’m involved with, and your life sounded fascinating, and holy hell, that sounded creepy…”  He cleared his throat. “Anyway…feel like talking about it?”

 

“This blog of yours…” Luthor paused, “How do I know it is real? How do I know you are not some figment of my imagination?” He stood up to face the creature in front of him. “Your name?”

 

“Name’s Travis,” he replied. “And I’m pretty sure you didn’t imagine me. The writer I kinda work for would probably go ballistic if that were the case.” He tried to think of how to continue without either sounding insane or bringing up a whole bunch of existential concepts that might screw with someone’s mind. “But yeah, I promise I’m not a figment of your imagination, and there are a number of labs back home that will back me up on that.”

 

“What are you anyway?” Luthor questioned Travis as he turned to face the ferris wheel in the distance.

 

He was almost tempted to give a reply of “Freaking adorable, if you ask my girlfriend” but held back on that one. Instead, he went with the straight answer. “I’m a genetic experiment, pretty much. So, first question…I’ve heard a little bit about your heritage and all. Is there anything you’d like to tell the readers about it?”

 

“There isn’t a lot to tell, at least not right now. The most that I know of I learned from my father’s journals. My great grandfather was from Scotland. He immigrated to Ireland when he was just about 18. It was a hard life for him on his own, but he made it pretty far. Until fate happened.” Luthor stopped there, not wanting to get into to many details about Hera quite yet.

 

“Yeah, fate’s brought about a lot of crazy things…” Travis replied, nodding slightly. “How would you say your life has been in general?”

 

He was eyeing the tree somewhat, resisting the urge to climb it right now. There was a time and a place for everything, and now didn’t feel like the best time.

 

Luthor thought for a minute…”Before I tell you my life story, I need to know what kind of readers are going to see this Blog of yours. There are some things I have been through that the normal mind could not contemplate.”

 

Travis paused for a moment. Alrighty, here it went. It was time to bring in a lesson that would probably blow some people’s minds…

 

“What if I were to tell you that you’re the main character in a book? Possibly a series of books?” he asked.

 

“So are you telling me that the life I have been living is something that someone came up with in their head? Hmm. Interesting.” Luthor laughed to himself. “That would explain a lot.” He turned away from Travis and began to walk along the pier. “You coming?”

 

Travis walked with him. “Pretty much. Anyway, the type of readers that’d check this out are some that’d probably be interested in learning about whatever you end up going through.”

 

“Gotcha. Well, it is hard to explain really. I thought I was a normal teenage boy going to a normal high school, hanging out with a normal best friend. No one ever imagines that their life changes in one split second. At first it was hard to deal with, knowing that my whole life had been a lie. I could be angry with my mother and father for not telling my about my destiny, but I understand that they did it just to protect me. After my trip to Olympus, I am slowly starting to get used to the idea of being a Traveler. It is getting used to Gwen… that’s my best friend by the way; being my guardian.” Luthor stopped walking long enough to glance at Travis, waiting to hear his response.

 

“Yeah, I could definitely see that taking some getting used to,” Travis replied, thinking a bit on what his life was like at 18 and shivering at the thought. “The whole destiny thing in general’s probably kinda weird to think about. So, how would you describe being a Traveler?”

 

Luthor contemplated on how to explain being a Traveler to Travis. “Imagine you are someone who has the power to help anyone, at anytime, in any era. That is what being a Traveler is. The only difference is, I do not have the choice to go on my own. I cannot just up and pick somewhere to go. I have to be called on by the person who is in need of my help. They have the ability to pull me into whatever time period that they want. From there, I find the issue, find the solution, possible fight some evil, and save the day. I do not do it all on my own though. On my first trip, I had the help of some of the most well known Greek Gods and the resources of old journals and and Gwen’s grandmother.”

 

“On the one hand, that sounds awesome. On the other, it also feels like it’d be a lot to deal with,” said Travis, soon just taking to walking on his knuckles as opposed to the bipedal gait he’d been using. “How stressful would you say it is for you, if at all?”

 

“In the beginning is was pretty stressful. It was a lot to get used to and a lot to learn. It took me a while to learn to control my temper and subdue my need to walk away from it all.”

 

“Well, sticking with it sounds like the way to go. As someone that’s needed help way too many times to count, that kind of work is definitely appreciated,” he said. “Backtracking a bit, you mentioned that your best friend is your guardian. I’m just kinda curious…what’s that mean, exactly?”

 

“Her family and others are described as the keepers of knowledge. They have a lot of pull in the community without anyone knowing who they really are. To be honest, I do not even know who they really are. As for Gwen herself, she has her own special powers. When she touches things, she can see the past. It is not always something that she can control, but it can come in helpful I’m sure. She is also a pretty good fighter. She doesn’t really use a sword like I do. She prefers a bow and arrow.” Luthor’s eyes began to distance themselves at the thought of Gwen.

 

“Sounds like a good person to have at your side,” he said. “Between the abilities and being able to go for a more ranged attack as opposed to melee…pretty good balance, there. What would you say is the most intense thing to have happened as a Traveler so far?”  

 

“Well, since you say I am a part of a book, I do not want to give too much away, but I would say the worst part of my adventure so far was the thought of losing Gwen for good at the hands of an evil torturer.” Luthor’s face began to grow angry at the thought.

 

Travis was soon back at his full height again, gently putting a hand on Luthor’s shoulder. “Out of anything here, that’s one I know ALL too well,” he said. Though in his case, it was his brother-in-law. “Both of you are okay though, right?”

 

“Oh yeah, we came out of my last endeavor stronger than ever. I love her all the more for it too. She is the best part of me.” Luthor began to blush.

 

Travis stepped away for a moment, but grinned somewhat. He did, however, decide not to tease him over the blushing. “Cool, cool. Hoping things work out for you two, in that case. So, second to last question…is there anything that you regret above all else?”

 

“I think the one thing I learn out of everything I have experienced so far is that is you regret something, then you didn’t learn from it. So, to answer your question, no, I don’t regret anything.” Luthor concluded the sentence firmly.

 

Trav nodded in response. “Fair enough. I know a few people that could probably benefit from that one. Alrighty, last one. Is there anything you’re looking forward to in the future?”

 

“I can’t wait to see where my next adventure takes me. In the meantime, I need to concentrate on finishing high school. I won’t be much of a Traveler is I fail at my education.” Luthor laughed.

 

“In that case, best of luck with school and the Traveler thing. Thanks for taking the time to talk to me, too,” Travis said, his tail flicking somewhat. “Hug or handshake?”

 

“I think a handshake will do just fine. Then you can go climb that tree you’ve been eyeing this whole time.” Luthor chuckled.

 

“That’ll probably be after I grab some food,” Travis admitted, going to shake his hand. “And thanks again!”

For more about Luthor and the world he’s in, you can check out the Generation Chronicles on…

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Here we go with another interview! This time, Travis got the opportunity to speak with Jeffrey Cook and Katherine Perkins’ character Ashling.

Trav re-pocketed his phone, having reassured his brother-in-law that he knew what he was doing, he wouldn’t get lost in a park, and that he’d be back soon. There was some sort of conference going on or whatever (Travis hadn’t quite paid attention), but he knew that Spencer was going to attend that, and he’d tagged along to do another interview. Looking at his notepad, he saw that the newest interviewee was someone by the name of Ashling. His tail drooped a bit, as he tried to think of what this Ashling looked like.

 

An average person who didn’t know better would think a crow was flying to a nearby branch with a butterfly clinging to its head. A keener, more well-informed observer, especially in the right light, would know that in fact, the crow was ridden by a pixie, her Cosmopolitan Butterfly-esque wings tattered and torn.

“Caw.”

“You sure that’s him, Count?”

“Caw.”

 

Jumping slightly, Travis looked in the crow’s direction. After which point he made his way up the tree, making sure not to get too close to that particular branch.

 

“Hey. Ashling, right?” the monkey-human hybrid asked.

 

“That’s me! This is the Count. Thanks for agreeing to do this. It’s good to get the real information out there; when you leave things to rumor, you end up with sudden attacks by redcaps with spiked bats on a human playground.”

 

He blinked. “Okay, then I guess that brings me to question number one…are redcap attacks a major problem for you?”

 

“Only recently. But the real problem is that it’s never just about the redcaps. Distinctly not idea people. At least not in An Teach Deiridh, where I’m from. If they’re pulling this kind of thing, there are some serious Faerie court politics going on. And here I am already having to give good, wholesome advice to a brand new princess in the middle of all this.”

 

“Okay, that brings up a couple questions,” Travis said. “I guess the next would probably be about An Teach Deiridh. What’s the area like?”

 

“Well, from here, it’s just a jump to the left, step to the right, you do the hokey pokey and you –”  

“Caw!”

Ashling sighed. “All right, so /technically/ it’s just a matter of stepping into the right circle of mushrooms or lodestones with your eyes closed. But anyway, the castle is great, manages to provide a place where the Unseelie and Seelie courts can live together without destroying each other.  Usually. Things have gotten unusual lately, and some of it’s spilling into the mortal realms, particularly Washington State, where the Unseelie King’s daughter lives. But mostly it’s great!”

 

He raised a thick red eyebrow. “Now, when you say it’s spilling over into the mortal realms…like, how is that coming about? What kinds of things should, say, someone like me look for?”

 

“Well, to start with, people in San Francisco 49ers caps with terrible dental work. You should watch out for those anyway; their taste in football teams with bad offensive lines is suspect. But……if things get /worse/, well… if the humans around you gradually seem less interested in music, or if there’s a weird… chill. … well, that would mean we haven’t successfully saved the day and returned the balance of the courts, so /probably/ not going to be an issue.”

“Caw.”

“Don’t be a pessimist, Count.”

 

He chuckled slightly. “Fair enough. But okay, weird chill…will have to keep that in mind. Alright, so, there’s one that I’ve been kinda curious about, and–feel free to not answer this one if it’s, like, too personal for you–…What happened with your wings? Like I said, feel free to avoid answering that one if you’d rather not. I’m just wondering if they’re naturally like that, or if there was an accident, or what.”

Ashling’s face goes a little flat. “It wasn’t an accident. It was a butterfly collector. But we get around just fine now, thank you.”

 

Travis thought of what likely happened with the butterfly collector, cringing visibly. “Wow…sorry you went through that,” he replied. “So, what is it you do for fun?”

 

“Well, with my /lengthy/ professional obligations as the Unseelie King’s hunting scout, most trusted messenger, and now, serving as a magical tutor, medicine-reapportionment infiltrator, and all-around tour guide for his daughter in the midst of this political crisis, there’s really not all that much time for hobbies, although the hunting is always fun, regardless of what kind.”

 

“Duuuude…that sounds like a lot. Glad some of it’s fun, though. What would you say is your favorite part of hunting?” he asked.

 

Ashling looked sheepish. “Well, right now, I’d have to say it’s the part where we all go home afterwards to a warm fire with everyone feeling happy and well-exercised, because I’m kind of missing that part right now with all the current difficulties.”

 

He nodded slightly. “Yeah…political difficulties can screw with a lot,” he said. “So second to last one: if you were to find out that there was someone out there, writing about your life and possibly even causing some of the more unpleasant parts of it, how would you react?”

 

Ashling blinked. “Well, I’d tell them that I appreciated their getting all my valuable wisdom out to the masses, and that if they’re /causing/ things, well, thanks for meeting Megan; she’s a good kid….” The pixie’s eyes narrowed. “But if they don’t give me my King back soon, they’re going to find out the Death of the Author isn’t just a literary-philosophy term. There’s plenty of blank space on the next hunting-target list.”

 

“Getting wisdom to the masses…okay, so I haven’t thought of it that way before,” he replied. “Last question: Where can you see yourself about a year from now?”

“Caw.”

“Count, I can too think more than five minutes ahead.” Ashling looked thoughtful. “Well, Megan’ll be in her more advanced bardic magic lessons, and certainly I can’t leave her stuck relying on anyone else for those, so some of that, the downfall of certain butterfly collectors, can’t exactly count out a massive interplanar war….” She shrugged. “It’ll be interesting times, certainly.”

 

He smiled somewhat. “Welp. Best of luck with everything. Especially the butterfly collectors.”

 

Travis would have offered a handshake or a hug, but wasn’t sure how either of those would work, given their size difference.

 

“Thank you. We appreciate the interview.”

 

“Always happy to interview people,” he replied, soon hopping down from the tree.

 

Ashling will give a cheery, manic-pixie wave good-bye before the Count flies off.

Jeffery’s Amazon Author Central page is here, and Katherine’s would be right here.

Jeffery Cook’s Facebook and Twitter

 

Another of the A Twist of Fate interviews, we have one Anita Stewart’s character, from her contribution to the anthology: Stephan!

The two figures just sort of appeared outside of the castle. One was tall, slim, and about ready to drop from exhaustion, muttering about his friend asking him to teleport them all over creation.

 

“Sorry, Spence,” said the second figure, a slightly less-tall redhead with abnormally long hair and a long prehensile tail. “I’d teleport myself here, but I kinda can’t, y’know?”

 

The two moved toward the entrance, and probably looked a bit out of place (given that they were from the modern day US, and were now in some sort of Victorian-era version of Bavaria, if the half-monkey remembered correctly). Looking over his notes, Travis could see the name of his interviewee for today. Man by the name of Stephan, and there was something about him having a rather unique arm.

 

Trav looked around for any guards or his interviewee…any way to get inside and get this interview started.

 

A creaking door and a clanking noise caught their attention. A hidden door opened and a mechanized man stepped out of the entranceway. “Greetings, gentlemen. You must be the expected guests. I am Friedrich, the castle’s butler. If you will follow me, I will show you to the room we’ve prepared for the interview, and where Herr Stephan awaits.”

 

The pair exchanged glances and trailed after the butler into the castle. They were led to a parlour, where Stephan waited, and Friedrich showed them to their seats. The young blond man smiled and nodded, and that’s when they noticed the tip of a white wing poking out of his shirt sleeve, where his left hand should be.

 

Both sat down, Spencer pulling off his glasses and cleaning them off on his shirt. Travis cleared his throat. “So…Stephan, right? Thanks, first off, for agreeing to meet with me. First one, just to get this question out there…how’d you end up with the wing? I’m really just curious about that one, you see.”

 

His tail twitched a little, as he wondered if that was the best question he could have started with.

 

“The usual sort of thing. My evil hag of a stepmother,” Stephan scowled as he mentioned her name, “cursed me and my brothers. Turned us into swans. My poor sister had to lift the curse by weaving us nettle shirts, but unfortunately mine still lacked an arm as time ran out. Hence my still having a wing.” He wiggled the feathers, and a few bits of down floated to the floor.

 

“Damn…” Travis replied. “I can kinda get how that goes. No step-parents, but the parent issues in general…yeah. Glad your sister was able to reverse the curse. Y’know, for the most part, anyway… How would you say you get along with your family? Aside from the stepmother, I mean.”

 

Stephan frowned. “Relationships are strained. My family tries to be accepting, but they don’t quite know how to deal with me anymore. I tend to avoid people these days. Especially my brother-in law. On my best days I dislike him, on my worst I loathe him.”

 

On hearing the mention of Stephan’s brother-in-law, Travis’ tail curled gently around Spencer’s leg. “Wow…so, what’s up with your brother-in-law?” he asked, considering mentioning his own relationship with his brother-in-law, but deciding against it. Didn’t want to feel like he was rubbing it in.

 

“Where do I start. He’s arrogant, dismissive, critical. He accused my sister of killing their child and tried to execute her. Those actions are to blame for the incomplete reversal of my curse.” Stephan curled his fingers into a fist. “Now I have to live in his castle, eat his food, and watch them pretend like none of it happened.”

 

“Damn…” Travis muttered. “Anything you can do about it? Like, within the confines of the law?”

 

“Not really. Being a Count, he is the law. And it would just upset my sister. Even after everything she still loves him. Why I cannot fathom.”

His tail twitching, Travis grumbled something. But then he looked back at Stephan. “Sorry to hear,” he said, letting out a breath. “What would you say is the best thing in your life right now?”

 

“Hmmm. Until this morning, I would have said nothing, but now… Now I have hope. The letter from Dr. Von Grimmelshausen saying there may be a fix for my arm… well that has given me hope.”

 

The half-monkey leaned in, fascinated by that. “Think it’d work out? Kinda hoping it does. I mean, that’s gotta throw you off, y’know? Um…okay, next question,” he said. “What would you do if you weren’t living in this situation?”

 

“That’s hard to say. I spent most of my youth as a swan, so I really had no dreams or thoughts of a vocation. But perhaps I would have joined the foresters, or become a hunter. I always loved the forest, even as a small child. And I would have needed some work, as my oldest brother would have inherited my father’s lands and title. But even that is gone. Father abandoned us in favour of our stepmother.”

 

Travis looked at him. “Well…here’s hoping things start looking up for you. So, what is it you tend to do around here? Like, as a way of keeping the family situation from driving you too crazy?”

 

Stephan’s eyes lit up. “I tinker with my motorized carriage. It is a most wonderful machine, three wheels, excellent steering control, and with the latest in steam engines. And I can drive it through the forest roads and visit with the charcoal burners. That’s where I get my fuel for the engine.”

 

“Ah, nice,” he replied. “I’ve only learned some of the basics of working with machines, myself. My mom’s really good with ‘em. So…last question: if you were to find out that there was a writer out there that was writing something about you, how would you take meeting them? Like, assuming they have some control over how your life was before you met them?”

 

“You mean if my dear brother-in-law let them past the gates? He hates artistic types. He thinks they will form dissent among the peasants. You’re lucky he’s away today. But I digress. Personally I have much admiration for writers, most I’ve met are delightful people. I should love to chat with them.”   

 

“He’s away for today? Welp…there goes my thought,” he sighed, having had thoughts of meeting with this brother-in-law and punching him. Right before having Spencer teleport the both of them to safety.

 

“Speaking of chatting with people, thanks for taking the time to talk to me. Would you want a hug before we head off?”

 

“Thank you, but no. I’m not much of a hugger, and I’m moulting today. I’d most likely get feathers everywhere. Perhaps a handshake instead. It has been a wonderful visit.” Stephan held out his hand.

 

Travis went to shake his hand, Spencer standing up and pushing up his glasses. The half-monkey’s tail gave a slight twitch.

 

“I can kinda get how the moulting thing goes…only with shedding,” he said.

 

“It gets really fun when the shedded hair finds its way into the drains,” Spencer added, his tone flat as could be.

 

“Dude, I said I was sorry…”

 

Stephan smiled. “Just be glad it doesn’t get in the food. Last week I had feathers in my sausage.”

 

Travis chuckled slightly. “Sorry to hear…hope the moulting thing doesn’t last too long, and that you’re able to get an actual arm back before the next time it happens.”

 

“That would be an answer to my prayers. Well, aud wiedersehen, my new friend, and good luck in your endeavours as well.”

 

He nodded, as his tail curled around Spencer’s leg. The taller, slimmer man focused, casting a teleportation spell to get the two of them back home.

Anita also does character interviews, which you can find (among many other awesome things) on her blog !

 

Sorry I didn’t get this posted for a bit; got so wrapped up in comic pages that I sort of forgot. Anyhow, this one features Stephanie Barr’s characters Fiona and Zeris, both of whom are featured in her contribution to A Twist of Fate: A Collection of 11 Twisted Fairy Tales.

Somehow, Travis had a feeling that he’d look mildly out of place as he entered the inn. His tail twitched as he looked over the notepad. The half-monkey man saw the names of his two interviewees for this one: Fiona Fae Silvertongue and Zeris Hellspent. He held back a grin at the latter’s surname, as it reminded him of home.

Striding through the inn, he kept an eye out for the pair in question, soon noticing a pretty guy and a tiny lady.

“Hey!” he called, making his way over. “Would your names happen to be Fiona and Zeris, by any chance?”

The man rose with alacrity and sketched a bow that would not have shamed a diplomat. “It seems impossible that one could mistake my lady Fiona Fae Silvertongue for any. But, nay, you have not heard her sing, which explains your confusion.”

The lady, clad in boy’s simple garb shook her head. “He’s not a king’s envoy, you know. He’s not going to give me a heavier purse because you impress him.”

“Nonsense, my dear. One never knows and it’s always best to be prepared. Any chance acquaintance might lead to yet another venue that will add to your immeasurable glory. Another tale of adventure you can add to your vast repertoire.”

The hybrid blinked, before flashing the two a friendly grin. “So…I’m here to interview you two,” he said, his tail curling a bit. . “Like, if you’re up for it. And nah, I don’t think I know any kings or anything like that.”

Zeris clicked with his tongue and resumed his seat, but gestured across the table for the hybrid. “At least you appear to have had an interesting past yourself. Do let us talk among ourselves. Innkeeper, your best wine.”

“His best wine will likely taste no better than horse piss,” Fiona offered.

“Well, then, we’ll be in no danger of becoming inebriated.”

Travis chuckled a bit at the exchange, sitting down. “I’m not much of a drinker, myself. That’s more my girlfriend’s sort of thing. So, first question: how did you two meet? Just really curious about that one.”

“Ah,” said Zeris. “That is a tale. As a simple traveler, I had been accosted by loathsome miscreants. Unaware, that I was in danger, I resisted, only to find that they were slavers, intending to take me into custody and use me for infernal purposes. Fortunately, Fiona, and her misguided brother, happened upon me in my hour of need and, er, rescued me.”

“This is why you’re not a bard, for all your pretty talk. You left out your own part of it, disappearing with the turn of a ring, using lightning to take out those we couldn’t see.”

“Mere trifles. Hardly noticeable, with you taking out nearly a dozen of the ruffians with only your mythril dagger. Quite a sight, let me tell you.”

“I was there, too,” a tiny fairy said, buzzing above their heads.

“Indeed you were, you irksome insect, but you played your part by putting several into slumber. I hope I didn’t fail to express my gratitude,” Zeris said.

Travis had jumped slightly at the sound of the fairy’s voice, having honestly forgotten about the fact that said fairy was with them.  When he jumped, he’d let out a quick monkey-like screech. But he soon composed himself again. “Well, that’s one hell of a way to meet someone. Glad you’re safe now. Next one…is there anything that scares either of you?”

Zeris, in his shortest answer to date, said, “No.”

“I can be frightened. Not so much of things–I was trained by the Fairy Queen’s Captain of the Guard–but I don’t want to fail or go back to my brother’s farm a failure. It’s hard for women in this world.”

“You’re not afraid of failure, are you, Zeris?”

“Certainly not. I was trained by dragons. Once you’ve had dragons looking over your work, it’s hard for anything else to impress you.”

Travis blinked at Zeris’ response, unsure if he truly wasn’t afraid of anything. But he decided not to press the issue. Mainly because he mentioned being trained by dragons and he had no idea what sort of ass-kicking that might result in if things became antagonistic at all.

Nodding, he sighed. “Yeah, I know how the whole failure thing goes…Next up: If you guys weren’t doing what you are now, where could you see yourselves in life?”

“I am on a quest, said Zeris. “As I’ve been groomed to this question since birth, I cannot imagine what else I might be doing. Studying perhaps it teaching at an accent college perhaps.”

“I can imagine all too well, married off, if my brother or father had any say, to the apothecary’s assistant, raising brats in his spindly image.” She shuddered.

He cringed at that thought. “I can only imagine, there,” he said. “Glad you’ve managed to get your own life going.” He looked to Zeris next. “A quest, hm? What kind, if you don’t mind my asking?

“That is an excellent question, ” beamed Zeris. “The thing is, I have no idea. I’m hopeful the nature of the actual talk will be clarified in time.”

The half-monkey leaned back a bit, drumming his fingers on the table. “So, you weren’t really told about the kind of quest, just that you’re on one?”

Zeris nodded sagely. “Well, you see, I was destined for the Stone of Significance,” he said, gesturing at what looked like a wide but shallow silver block resting on the table. “Since it was mine, and it has a pivotal destiny, clearly I must fulfill it. Unfortunately, while it came with many contrivances of surpassing usefulness, it did not come with instructions.”

“Ah…yeah, that lack of instructions…always fun,” he remarked, somewhat drily. “Well, I hope it goes well for you, in that case. How much trouble have you two…erm, three run into so far?”

Zeris gestured handsomely to Fiona. “What would you say, Fiona?”

“Well, what was it, three kingdoms back, there was the king who thought to keep me caged like a songbird. It’s not that I couldn’t have escaped, but even I would be reluctant to take on a castle full of guards.”

“I could get that…not sure which sucks more; being caged, or being super-outnumbered by people that’re probably armed. So how’d you get out? Or is that part of the story you’re in? Because I can definitely understand not wanting to spoil anything for the readers,” he replied, basically ignoring the whole “Fourth Wall” concept.

“Well, I did get free, or I wouldn’t be here,” Fiona laughed, “but that is the story. And I have to keep the best stories and ballads for the paying customers.”

She sighed. “I wanted to do it all myself with Zeris helping me–he’s overprotective–but he does tend to wiggle his way in.”

“I am not overprotective,” Zeris said. “I just love to tinker. It’s an occupational hazard.”

“I can relate to the whole overprotective thing. I’ve been on both ends of that one,” he chuckled. “So, is there anything either of you regrets overall?”

Fiona sighed. “I wish my brother understood. He’s younger than I and was born to be a farmer. He wanted to stop me from leaving, even came with me in ill-fitting armor that nearly got him killed, but he never has become accustomed to my choices.”

Zeris looked wistful. “I regret not having instructions.”

“Also, the rabbit we had for dinner. That might have been cat after all.”

Travis’ tail curled around his leg a bit, thinking of a couple members of his family (who were both part-cat). “Well…what would you say is the best thing about your time together?” he asked.

Zeris smiled, “Fiona is a talented songstress, quite out of the common way, but she is an even better conversationalist. It is rare indeed to find a woman was intelligent and yet so self-assured.”

Fiona appeared genuinely touched. “Zeris is great company, too, but what I really enjoy most is his decimating someone uppity with his erudition. If you ever get a chance, don’t miss it. Hilarious.”

Travis smiled. “Always good to find someone you can get along with for this sort of mission…quest…thing. Seriously, I can’t imagine anything worse than going from one point to another with someone you really can’t stand. Like, willingly.” He tapped his lip piercing with the end of his pencil. “So, one last question. Once you’re done with this quest, what would you want to do next?”

“I can’t speak for Zeris, but I hope to do this for the rest of my life. It’s what I always wanted,” said Fiona, fighting her blush a bit.

“I have no idea what my quest might be, but I do know I should be loath to give up Lady Fiona’s company. I’m sure I’ll be able to find new quests that will allow me to accompany her until she finds my company tiresome.”

With a smile, Travis looked at both of them. “Here’s hoping you find more quests. Major ones, side quests, anything to keep you from having to settle down unless you seriously want to. And I can tell that that’s not likely to happen for a long time.” Travis moved to stand up. “Thanks for taking the time out to talk to me,” he said. “I should probably head off now, though. Hoping everything goes well for your quest!”

“Always a pleasure,” Zeris said. “I love talking about myself.” He took a sip of wine and grimace. “Well, talking to you was a pleasure. This wine, however, is an abomination. I shall be forced to do something.” He reached into a pouch on his belt and pulled out a tiny vial, then sprinkled it into his goblet. He sipped again. “Ah, that’s nearly palatable.”

“I’m not going to help you if you wake up with a hangover,” Fiona told him, leaving her wine untouched. “It was a pleasure meeting you. I hope we see you again on our adventures.”

“Me too, me too,” said the little fairy, zipping around overhead

With a chuckle, Travis brushed some of his long red hair behind an ear. “If it does happen, I have a feeling my crappy luck would’ve kicked in, and I’d probably thank you for the help in advance. But for now, thanks again for the interview!” He soon turned and started heading out of the inn.

 

You can find more about Stephanie’s work on Facebook!

I would have posted this yesterday, but I honestly didn’t get around to it (or shading/highlights for book 6, for that matter). Hope everyone that celebrates it had a good Christmas (and that those who don’t had a good day, period).

Anyway, today’s interview is with Assaph Mehr’s detective character Felix the Fox.

Well, this was a new experience for Travis, in terms of interview venues. He’d had to ask Spencer to teleport him to a civilization that was around WAY before either of them were conceived, and the city itself was built into the side of a volcano. They’d come close to the top of it, and it took all both of them had not to make some comment about tossing a cursed ring into it…

 

No, they were at the top of this thing for the sake of an interview, and Travis honestly hoped he wouldn’t be too irked about the climb. Spencer would sit in on this one, partly to keep Travis out of trouble, and partly to rest from the teleportation spell. They’d have met him in the city itself, but they would have stood out a bit too much, what with Spencer’s glasses, Travis’ tail and feet with opposable toes, and the fact that both of them were wearing pants and made absolutely no effort to disguise the fact that they were not, in fact, of that time period or location. The main thing keeping either of them from checking their phones was that they were already set to be bizarre enough as it was.

 

After a while, the two could see a figure making their way up to their location, Travis trying to get a good look.

 

“I think that’s him…” he murmured, tail twitching a bit.

 

Pushing some of his immensely-long hair back, he watched as the figure got there.

 

“Hey!” he called. “You Felix, by any chance? My name’s Travis, the skinny dude with me is Spencer…I think we might’ve spoken, like, once before?”

 

Salvete,” said the man. “If I wasn’t warned about your appearance, I would be running very fast back down the mountain.” The man, Felix, was in his thirties, with dark wavy hair and dark eyes. He was wearing a light tunic, sweating from the effort of climbing the mountain in the summer’s heat.

 

“My scribe told me you would like to interview me, prior to the publication of the next scroll of my adventure on his world.”

 

Travis nodded. “Yeah, if you’re up for it…”

 

“Would he have made his way up here if he weren’t?” Spencer asked.

 

“…Point made. Anyway, first question…” the half-monkey began, tapping his fingers on his upper arm. “What made you want to become a detective?”

 

“It seemed like a good career option at the time. Better than a gladiator or a beggar, that’s for sure,” said Felix. “I was accepted to the Collegium Incantatorum, but couldn’t complete my studies due to lack of money. I tried the legion, and found out I was not soldier material. Then, quite by accident — actually, funny story this, but maybe later — I ran into two famous detectives. I apprenticed with them, and then started my own business, specialising in the, shall we say, occult cases. Bringing all my experience to bear, as it were.”

 

“So, like, you were originally looking to study magic?” the half-monkey asked. “How do spells and incantations and all that work here? I’ve seen it in action back where Spence and I are from, but…hey, Spence, would you say it varies?”

 

Pushing up his glasses, Spencer nodded. “Depending on location and era in history, I would think so.”

 

And since he was curious about this, himself, Spencer pulled out a notepad and pen. He wanted to have this knowledge somewhere, after all.

 

“As I understand it, the world of my scribe Assaph doesn’t have the magia floating through it. Here we do. It’s everywhere. Philosophers argue about its origins, but we learnt to manipulate it. It is one of the colleges that make our city great. We teach philosophy, engineering, art, magic. We have the great library and teaching colleges in the world.”

“So…about your scribe. He one of those sadistic ones you find out there?” Travis asked. “Because if so, I totally get that. Got one myself…I guess the main question here would be, if you were to meet your author–erm, scribe–face to face, what would you say to him first?”

 

“Where’s my money? The mentula promised me payments and royalties for my memoirs, but hasn’t paid a rotten sestertius yet!”

 

The half-monkey cringed at that. “I DEFINITELY get that,” he said. “Tried asking mine that once…and that’s how I learned how long it takes me to heal from a hacked-off limb. That was a nasty few days…Umm…ANYWAY, uh..what is it you tend to do in your spare time?”

 

“Oh,the usual. Watch the chariot races at the circus, or the occasional gladiatorial fight. Share a cup of wine with old army buddies. Go to the Forum to pick up on the latest gossip and court cases, and maybe pick up a new client. I read too, in quiet evenings.”

 

Travis’ tail flicked, as he looked at Spencer, who would explain the difference between this era’s type of circus and the type Travis looked like he’d escaped from later. Tail twitching, the half-monkey thought on his next question.

 

“What would you say has been the most dangerous job you’ve had so far?” he asked.

 

“In my latest case I was nearly mummified alive, or close enough to it. A rather deranged incantator decided to explore the boundaries between life and death, and I happened to be a handy test subject. I very narrowly escaped that fate.”

 

Both Travis and Spencer cringed at that. “Dude…I’ve been a test subject way too often, myself,” Travis said. “Glad you were able to get out of that… Next one, next one…is there anything you regret in life?”


“Too many things to mention here. Learnt to go on, though, and look forward rather than be haunted by the past.”

 

“Good way to go about it,” Travis replied.

 

“The only way. Besides, my scribe says my past will be published at a later volume, to keep the fans engaged. If only that translated into sales…”

 

“Oh, I definitely hear that,” he said with a slight chuckle. “So…is there anything that scares you?”

 

“Plenty of things. Fear is a rational response to danger. It’s what you do about it that counts. And that’s usually what my clients hire me for — faced with circumstances beyond their ken, they come to me to resolve them. Well, that, plus usually they want it done on the hush, away from the official authorities.”

 

“So…y’know, running in without hesitation is probably not the right response to danger,” Spencer said, looking right at Travis.

 

“Healing factor, dude. Alrighty, one last question…” Travis said, tail twitching again. “Do you have any advice for the readers?”

 

“Advice? To readers? Hmm… Study hard and avoid the funny mushrooms? Appreciate scribes, and pay them well for their scrolls? Don’t piss against the wind? Never practice magic when you’re drunk? Really, it all depends on the circumstances… Maybe the one my father used to say, ‘never leave a pretty woman spitting at your back’ would serve them well.”

 

He wrote this down in the notepad Spencer was using, pausing to shiver at Spencer’s handwriting.

 

“Thanks for meeting with us,” he said, flashing a grin.

 

“It was my pleasure. Valete et curate!

 

Travis and Spencer could Felix mumbling to himself, as he turned to walk down the mountain. Something about “All this hiking up and down for hours better work, or that cacator is never getting me to another interview.”

You can read more about Felix in “Murder In Absentia”.

MurderInAbsentiaCover.png

Book Blurb

A young man is found dead in his bed, with a look of extreme agony on his face and strange tattoos all over his body. His distraught senator father suspects foul play, and knows who to call on.

 

Enter Felix the Fox, a professional investigator. In the business of ferreting out dark information for his clients, Felix is neither a traditional detective nor a traditional magician – but something in between. Drawing on his experience of dealing with the shady elements of society and his aborted education in the magical arts, Felix dons his toga and sets out to discover the young man’s killers.

 

Murder in absentia is set in a fantasy world. The city of Egretia borrows elements from a thousand years of ancient Roman culture, from the founding of Rome to the late empire, mixed with a judicious amount of magic. This is a story of a cynical, hardboiled detective dealing with anything from daily life to the old forces roaming the world.

 

This is a story of Togas, Daggers and Magic – for lovers of Murder Mysteries, Ancient Rome and Urban Fantasy.

Extra Short Blurb

A senator’s son is found dead, in what looks like a cult ritual murder. His father wants to have a resolution, but at the same time to keep it away from the public eye. Enter Felix the Fox: neither a traditional detective nor a competent magician – but something in between.

This is a story of Togas, Daggers and Magic – for lovers of Murder Mysteries, Ancient Rome and Urban Fantasy.

 

“Hardcore Historical Fantasy – Felix the Fox is Sherlock Holmes in Ancient Times”
— Jonathan Maas, author of City of Gods – Hellenica

“Mehr’s imagined world based on ancient Rome feels at once familiar and dreamlike.”

— Ruth Downie, author of the Medicus series of Roman mysteries
“Mehr is a master alchemist, blending the real and surreal on a captivating flight of fantasy.”
— Cynthia Celmer

 

 

Top Reviews

“Hardcore Historical Fantasy – Felix the Fox is Sherlock Holmes in Ancient Times”

— Jonathan Maas, author of City of Gods – Hellenica

 

“Mehr’s imagined world based on ancient Rome feels at once familiar and dreamlike. In Egretia, magic is real and potentially deadly. While rival incantatores have been banned from calling up competing winds to speed ferries across the bay – they’ve drowned too many innocent sailors – the powers of magic appear to have fallen into malevolent hands. Failed incantator Felix the Fox is investigating a mysterious death in a growing atmosphere of menace. I can’t help thinking the idea of Death by Magic might be closer to the mindset of some of the ancient world than our modern rationality.”

— Ruth Downie, Author of the Medicus Roman mysteries series

 

“Mehr is a master alchemist, blending the real and surreal on a captivating flight of fantasy.”

— Cynthia Celmer

 

“This book gave me a ‘book-hangover’ – I could not get my head out of the world of Felix for days after finishing it! I hope that there will be more stories coming, of Felix’s past and future. I like authors that create real human characters”

— R.M., Israel

 

“Finished Murder In Absentia twice now. A truly remarkable story which draws you in and makes it so you never want to leave.”

— Fuchsia Carter, UK

 

“For a history buff like me, it was the perfect blend of historical trivia and good old-fashioned murder mystery. A sheer delight to read.”

— W. Klijn., Australia

 

Awards

Virtual FantasyCon 2016

  • 1st place – Favourite Dark Fantasy Book
  • 1st place – Favourite Dark Fantasy Author
  • 2nd place – Favourite Urban Fantasy Book
  • 2nd place – Favourite Urban Fantasy Author
  • 3rd place – Favourite Fantasy Series

Goodreads

1st place – Indie Books Worth The Read (https://www.goodreads.com/list/show/37072.Self_Pub_or_Indie_Books_Worth_the_Read)

Author Bio

AssaphAuthorPic.png

Assaph has been a bibliophile since he learnt to read at the age of five, and a Romanophile ever since he first got his hands on Asterix, way back in elementary school. This exacerbated when his parents took him on a trip to Rome and Italy – he whinged horribly when they dragged him to “yet another church with baby angels on the ceiling”, yet was happy to skip all day around ancient ruins and museums for Etruscan art.

He has since been feeding his addiction for books with stories of mystery and fantasy of all kinds. A few years ago he randomly picked a copy of a Lindsay Davis’ Marcus Didius Falco novel in a used book fair, and fell in love with Rome all over again, this time from the view-point of a cynical adult. His main influences in writing are Steven Saylor, Lindsey Davis, Barry Hughart and Boris Akunin.

Assaph now lives in Sydney, Australia with his wife, kids, cats, and – this being Australia – assorted spiders. By day he is a software product manager, bridging the gap between developers and users, and by night he’s writing – he seems to do his best writing after midnight.

Alternative Bio

Assaph has had his nose in a book since he was five, and had to yell at the librarian that he can read already so he should get his own card. With a rather diverse taste in reading – from fantasy to philosophy, from ancient times to the far future – his first novel Murder In Absentia is an “historically-themed urban high-fantasy hardboiled murder mystery, with just a dash of horror”.

 

After years of reading and only dreaming of seeing his name in print, he suddenly started writing in 2015. He owes this to his wife, who complained that there was nothing good left to read. Once the challenge was accepted and Murder In Absentia was born, Assaph just kept on writing – short stories, flash fiction, and now a second full length novel. You can find them all on egretia.com.

 

When he’s not busy mashing up genres or interviewing other author’s characters on TheProtagonistSpeaks.com, this ex-Israeli-turned-Aussie enjoys – in no particular order – his kids, cats, wife and even his day job. He hopes that his thirty years of martial arts make his fight scenes realistic, and that his love of history shines through his work.

Super-short bio

Assaph has had his nose in a book since he was five, so it wasn’t surprising that he turned to writing. All those years reading on ancient Rome, sci-fi, fantasy, and mysteries while practicing various martial arts, travelling the world, and working odd jobs lead to some interesting combinations in his stories.

Media links

Website: http://egretia.com

Author Blog: http://egretia.com/news

Character Interview Blog: http://TheProtagonistSpeaks.com

Facebook: http://facebook.com/AssaphMehrAuthor

Twitter: @assaphmehr

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/assaph/

Google Plus: http://plus.google.com/+AssaphMehr

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/14422472.Assaph_Mehr

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/assaphmehr

Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/Assaph-Mehr/e/B015U1F3NC

Murder In Absentia on Amazon: http://amzn.to/1XbfKN1

From the Author

Murder In Absentia is the story I always wanted to read. I have been in love with ancient history, and in particular Rome, since I first laid eyes on Asterix. Growing up in Israel, a country steeped in millennia of human history, and playing D&D just helped cement that love.

As a kid, I was a voracious reader. I borrowed my sister’s library card when the librarian said I was too young for the Sci-Fi & Fantasy section. I grew up on all the classics, reading and rereading them as I matured. Along with sci-fi and fantasy, I loved mysteries and thrillers – Agatha Christie, Raymond Chandler, Dashiell Hammett and Alistair MacLean to name just a few.

So when it came time to write, I had it all in my head – all jumbled together. I sub-titled Murder In Absentia as “a story of Togas, Daggers, and Magic”, as it draws elements of ancient Rome, Fantasy and Mystery. It’s also a bit shorter than “an historically-themed urban high-fantasy noir detective mystery (with a splash of horror)”.

If you like any two out of the three (Rome, Fantasy, and Mystery), give Murder In Absentia a shot. I trust you will enjoy reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it.

 

Videas Lumen!

Assaph

13 long tour banner

Hey! Welcome to the next stop of the “The 13: Tales of Illusory” blog tour! Are you, by any chance, looking for a creepy read, with a classic Night Gallery sort of feel? This might just be what you’re looking for.

Tag Line: Can you survive all 13?

Back cover blurb: 13 enchanted horrors. 13 spine-chilling tales. Down, down in the depths they fell, bodies in the dark of a liquid hell. Can you survive all 13?

So to help commemorate the new book, Travis has gotten the opportunity to interview one of the many characters found within the 13 short tales… No character pic this time…but in all fairness, I think I might have forgotten to ask about that.

 

In all honesty, Travis can’t remember how he’d gotten underwater. Nor can he figure out why he hasn’t drowned (then come back, then drowned again, over and over) by now. He knows that he has an interview to do, though. As a few small fish pass him, he looks around. And that is when his gaze settles upon…

 

DUDE. Is that a carnival?! He swims toward it, his overly-long red hair streaming behind him. And after a while, he stopped. To his surprise, he hasn’t died yet. He can breathe a little more easily than he’d have thought. Furthermore, he recalls the exact reason he’s here.

 

“Hey…I’m looking for an ‘Azrika’?!” he calls. “I was looking to interrog– INTERVIEW you…Yeah, yeah, interview. I swear it’s an interview.”

 

“I am Azrika. Welcome!” He steps from the booth at the entrance of the carnival and surveys the monkey critically.

 

The monkey-human hybrid thinks a bit on his first question, tail twitching. He’s accustomed to odd looks from those outside of his hometown.  “SO…first off, do you and your people stay underwater all the time, or can you go on land? Kinda curious about that.”

 

“I am a pixie. We inhabit the world in many places. My particular tribe prefers the water. We only go on land if we must. When that happens, it’s usually not pretty. We are mischief makers.”

 

He keeps this in mind. Something about that feels like something he’s heard at points, but it’s nice to get some confirmation.

 

“Next up: how often is it you deal with–okay, this is gonna feel really weird for me, saying this next part–regular-ass mortals?” he asked, pretty sure he didn’t classify as one, himself.

 

“We only deal with those we invite under the surface. We are particularly fond of children as they make the best pets in the most glorious colors. They also make for pretty tasty meals when they’ve grown. Adults are nuisance. Their reality doesn’t allow for us to exist, and we end up punishing them for this. Admittedly, we get a kick out of it, usually.”

 

He keeps up his smile, but one of his eyes twitches a little. No, no, he can’t let himself get offended…

 

“Okay, third question, third question…Do you, like, regret anything? And if so, what? Okay, so I guess that might be two questions instead of one…but let’s count it as one, anyway,” Travis says, rubbing the back of his neck.

 

“My only regret is that we have involved children. Unlike the pixies of the water, they have a conscience. They always end up turning on us, and we end up fending for ourselves. When we fend for ourselves, it’s a bad place for that human to be in.”

 

The half-monkey chews on his lower lip for a moment, thinking. He flinches as he bites his lip piercing. “Dammit! Now, wait, where was I? Ah, right! Next one: What do pixies eat? I know, kinda random…but I’m curious.”

 

“We satisfy ourselves with the underwater flora for the most part. Twice a year we have a celebration in which I choose fish from the schools we’ve created here to sustain us til the next celebration.”

 

“So…like, what’s with the carnival?” Travis asks after a moment. “Is that just for kids that end up down here, or can anyone go to it?”

 

He’s eying that roller coaster, and is still really pretty suspicious of Azrika…but doesn’t want to risk pissing off any sort of magical creature too badly. Not without a magic user to help bail him out. It’s taken him a few times, but he did eventually learn that lesson.

 

“What child can resist a carnival? We only invite children, of course. They do make for the tastiest and most colorful after all.”

 

He starts thinking of his aunt, and the wreckage she’d cause down here, if she were the one conducting the interview. But thankfully for all, he’s the more personable of the two.

 

“Still got a few questions left for you, little pixie-dude. Is there anything that scares you at all?”

 

“I am not afraid of anything. My magic is far and beyond what any human could do to me. My speed and agility belies my age. I have no reason to fear. It is I who controls this whole world.”

 

Travis then thinks of some of what he’s heard about Fae in general from his sister. “So…is cold iron one of those things that’d, like, hurt people like you?”

 

“Silly monkey!! Cold iron! Haha. What do you think the carnival is made from? Seaweed?”

 

His eye twitches again, and he clears his throat.

 

“Alright, last question…” he says. “Is…is there a cultural reason for, y’know, what you guys do? Like, is it just a tradition carried through thousands and thousands of years, or something?”

 

“It is just our way. My father and his father before him followed the same path as I, and my legion comes from a long line of water dwellers. We are more than you can see. This whole world is full of pixies, all with their own task to contribute to our society. Without me and my gift of magic, there would be no fish, no sustenance for our way of life.”

 

Travis takes a few moments to think, before looking to Azrika again. “I know I said that last question was the last question…but this is probably the last question: I should probably get going now. Would I have to exit through the funhouse, or can I just swim off from here? Anyway, thanks for your time.”

 

In the back of his mind, he considers asking Spencer to set up some protective wards around the house, particularly in the kid’s room. Just in case.

Curious about the Pixie King, and other horrors that inhabit The 13?

You can buy the book through Amazon KindleSmashwords, and Goodreads!

The 13

Title: The 13: Tales of Illusory

Author: Stephanie Ayers

Publication Date: October 4th, 2017

Paperback Price: $10.99

Digital Price: Pre-order $1.99. Will go up to $2.99 on October 4th

Pages: 63

ASIN: B075JQKS1Q

ISBN ebook: 978-1-946382-14-6

ISBN print: 978-1-946382-15-3

About the Author:

A published author with a knack for twisted tales, Stephanie Ayers is the Executive Creative Director of OWS Ink, LLC, a community for writers and readers alike. She loves a good thriller, fairies, things that go bump in the night, and sappy stories. When she is not writing, she can be found in Creative Cloud designing book covers and promotional graphics for authors.

 

Stephanie Ayers is a published speculative fiction author, full-time world-building ninja, and graphic designer from central Virginia crafting her own story and resisting adulthood at all costs. She mothers her children, two cats, and a pitbull; neglects housework as often as possible; loves her husband; and avoids all things zombies.

 

Stephanie has been a regular contributor and leader for Bloggy Moms and Just Be Enough and currently writes content for Our Write Side.

 

Bannerwing Books published her debut novella, Til Death Do Us Part, in 2013, and her work appears in several anthologies and collections, most notably The 13: Tales of Illusory, a collection of her short and scary stories. Her poetry has been published in Ambrosia, in magazines and literary journals.

 

Her favorite quote is: “The blank page is a canvas on which the writer paints a story.”-Stephanie Ayers

Stephanie Ayers Author

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A Few of My Favorite Things (Fast Five)

Favorite Books: The Stand, Divergent, Through the Looking Glass, The Forgotten Garden, and Inkheart.

Favorite Songs: Anyway by Martina McBride, Chasing Cars by Soul Patrol, Dream On by Aerosmith, Nothing Else Matters by Metallica, Shape of You by Ed Sheeran and Maroon 5

Favorite Movies: Hope Floats, Divine Secrets of the Yaya Sisterhood, The Messengers, The Wizard of Oz, Mary Poppins

Favorite Foods: pizza, pasta, ice cream, chips, second breakfasts

Favorite TV Shows: Chicago Fire, Chicago PD, Law & Order SVU, The Voice, This Is Us

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Book Launch Tour September 23rd through October 18th

Book release October 4th, 2017

October 6-8th Facebook Launch Party

Support Through Thunderclap

Support Through DayCause

Blog Tour Schedule:

9/22 Tour announcement and release schedule shared on Ourwriteside.com

9/23 Release Announcements Emery’s Wonderland https://shirleywilliamson1.wixsite.com/website

9/24 Release announcement Circle of Stalkers www.circleofstalkersbookblog.wordpress.com

9/25 Welcome to Hell Bent https://kaylamatt.wordpress.com/

9/26 Book review https://m.facebook.com/knjohnsonauthor/?ref=bookmarks

9/27 www.thisisnothitchhikersguide.wordpress.com Author interview

9/28 Thrilling Thursday On An Angell’s Life of Bookish Goodness

10/3 Author Interview http://reneescattergood.com

Oct 3rd. Live reading by Joshua Robertson “A Child Lost” by Stephanie Ayers https://robertsonwrites.wordpress.com/

10/4 Release announcement on Stephanie Ayer’s Blog

October 5th Author Interview https://jm-ames.com/blog/

October 6th Review RevKess Reviews http://revkessreviews.wordpress.com

10/7 www.alteredinstinct.com author interview

 

10/8 Book review https://m.facebook.com/mark.mackey.127?ref=bookmarks

10/ 12 Guest Post http://reneescattergood.com

10/13 Author Spotlight http://afstewartblog.blogspot.ca/

10/17 Mackenzie Flohr’s | Author Interviews, Book Spotlights, Book Reviews, Creative Writing – https://mackenzieflohrblog.wordpress.com Author Interview

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