Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Character Interview- Mallory

Posted: January 1, 2018 in Uncategorized

Here we go with another A Twist of Fate interview, this time with Rebecca Bruner’s character Mallory, from her modern day take on the story of The Frog Prince.

Of the two guys nearing the med school campus, one looked a bit more out-of-place than the other. The taller, thinner of the two seemed a lot more comfortable in this environment, and had mainly just come along to make sure his red-haired, monkey/human hybrid friend didn’t get lost. Their destination was actually the coffee shop not too far from campus. While the taller one was looking to get some coffee, the redhead was after some conversation.


They strode into the coffee shop, Travis’ red tail twitching lightly. He was here to speak with a pre-med student by the name of Mallory. He was looking around for her, thinking over what sorts of questions to ask.


A slender girl wearing Converse high tops, blue jeans, and a hoodie rushed through the front door. Her light brown hair was twisted into a sloppy bun at the top of her head and secured with a pencil. She stepped up to the counter with the air of somebody in a hurry and ordered a large coffee with a shot of espresso.


After placing her order, she glanced around, looking for the guys she was supposed to be meeting. She checked her cell phone for the time.


The taller one nudged his friend. Having been through med school himself and all, he had the feeling that this rushed girl was probably set to go down that path, herself.


“Hey. Is your name Mallory, by any chance?” Travis called toward her.


The girl glanced up from her cell phone and did a double take. She looked the red haired creature over. “Oh, hi. You must be Travis. Do you want to sit down?”


Travis nodded. “Yeah, might be a good idea. Any preference where? Also, thanks for taking the time out for this interview. I can get how busy the whole pre-med thing can be, then med school itself.” He jerked a thumb toward his companion. “Spence here frickin’ mainlined caffeine the whole time.”

He looked for a good spot, tail twitching again.


Just then the Barista called Mallory’s name. “Speaking of mainlining caffeine, I’d better get my coffee.” She hurried over to the counter, collected her drink and then plopped down in one of the upholstered chairs near a window that looked out on the nearby park. She motioned to the adjacent sofa. “Here, sit.” She took a big slurp of coffee. “So are you a journalist? Why did you want to interview me?”

He thought of how to answer that one as he sat down, fingers drumming on his thigh.


“Well…somewhat. I kinda do these interviews for this one writer’s blog to help promo other authors and whatnot. I wish I could say it was in exchange for her, y’know NOT hurting me, but that’d be a lie…”


Mallory frowned. “No offense, but are we talking animal cruelty here? No, wait. That came out wrong. I’m not saying you’re an animal. I’m just personally very opposed to animal cruelty. I’m not even sure I’ll have the guts to dissect a frog.”


With a slight chuckle, Travis shook his head. “Not animal cruelty, exactly. More like messing with the genetic experiment…”


“Genetics is fascinating! So many cool things they can do now with gene therapy and everything! Sorry, you were saying?”


but if we started going into that, we’d probably be here all day, and this is more about you and not the part about my being a genetic freak, and…um…wow, okay, so I kinda started rambling there for a sec. Anyway, I’d wanted to interview you because of this anthology you–well, okay, all three of us, far as I know–are in. I realize I probably sound kinda crazy here. But the first question I’d have for you…what made you want to pursue medicine? Mainly curious, there.”


“As far as medical school, I was always sorta interested in medicine. I was about seventeen when my dad died of cancer. I promised him on his deathbed that I’d become a doctor. I want to make a difference for good in the world, you know?”


“I can get that,” Travis replied, leaning back a bit. “So, hoping for the best with your goals, there. Now, is there anything specific that makes you so opposed to animal cruelty? Or is it just on principle?”


“I think mainly just in principle. But I sit in biology lab week after week watching those poor frogs with their big, sad, eyes climbing over each other in the tank and I keep thinking what it must be like to be one of them.” She glanced from Travis to Spence. “Course you can’t go to medical school if you don’t pass biology. I know I’m gonna have to toughen up and dissect one some day.” She shuddered. “Just not looking forward to it!”


“I have a pretty good idea of what it’s like,” said Travis, cringing a bit. “But yeah, I can get how it’d be tough for you, as well. It’s kinda nice to talk to someone that’s not all gung-ho about cutting one open, y’know? Um, okay, next question…Spence, I think you had one?”


Spencer nodded. “Is there a particular field you want to specialize in?” he asked.


“I’m not sure. I’ve considered obstetrics, or maybe neonatology. I’ve also thought a lot about oncology, cuz of my dad. But then you’re always dealing with really sick people, dying people.” She took a big swig of coffee and swished it around in her mouth. “Maybe I’ll become a surgeon.”


Travis glanced over at Spencer for a moment, the slimmer of the two giving him a few quick definitions. Once he had an understanding of what each field she’d mentioned covered, he nodded, writing something down on the notepad he generally brought along to these interviews.


“Next question. What might you do if medicine wasn’t an option? Holy shit, I just realized that might sound like I don’t have any faith in you to get through this…”


Mallory grimaced. “You sound a bit like my stepmother, Janice. Doesn’t matter that I’ve got straight A’s. She’s convinced I’m going to screw up somehow.”


Travis flinched slightly, now having thoughts of his own dad’s opinion of him. Okay, time to cover himself here…


“I’m pretty sure you’ve got this! But like, in another reality…?”


Mallory chuckled. “I’m not sure. I might volunteer with the Peace Corps or something. But really, I’m a senior, my dad left me money for college in his will. It would take a major catastrophe to keep me from graduating in May!” She took a sip of coffee, then looked up at Spence. “Providing I don’t flunk biology for failing to dissect a frog!”


Spencer pushed up his glasses. “That’s one of those things that gave me a bit of trouble a while back, as well,” he said. “But you can do this, I’m sure.”


Travis nodded. “So, your stepmother…do you two get along at all, or…?”


Mallory snorted. “She’s like the bane of my existence. You know how in fairy tales there’s never a kind, sweet stepmother? They’re all wicked and cruel. Janice must have read a lot of those stories as a kid, cuz boy does that fit her! She’d say I’m totally ungrateful, of course. I say she’s a psycho drama queen!”


The half-monkey let out a chuckle. “Ah, one of those types…I’d say my dad was the same way, but the drama thing’s a level of sophistication he never got to. More of a yeller… Um, okay, next question, next question…


Mallory checked her cell phone. “I’ve got a few more minutes, then I’ve got to get to class.”


“If you ever found out that you were, like, a character in a story, what might you ask the author? Like, about anything?”


Spencer shot him a look, wondering how an existential question was that much better than bringing up parental/step-parental issues.  


Mallory looked bemused. “I guess I’d ask the author if I’m going to make it. I mean, will I become a doctor? Will I find true love? Will I live happily ever after? Sounds pretty stupid, I know, but sometimes I wonder.”


“Makes sense to me,” Travis replied. “And like both of us have said with med school, we’re pretty sure things will work out. Might not be in the way you expect, but things, in my experience at least, seem to ultimately work out for the…I don’t wanna say BEST, exactly, but sometimes for the least painful? I have no idea if that makes sense, but either way, none of that sounds stupid.”


His tail twitched a little more, as he came to the next one. Just one more after this, I promise. Anyway, with the true love thing, is there anything specific you’re looking for?”


Mallory giggled. “Maybe Michelangelo’s David translated to flesh and blood? I’m such a nerd! But if we’re talking total wish fulfillment here…” She took a slurp of coffee, then threw her head back and laughed. “Course that’s never gonna happen. But I can dream, can’t I?”


Travis’ tail twitched a bit, slapping against Spencer’s leg. “It might happen. Not really a given either way. But I wouldn’t rule it out, y’know? Alright, last one, since, y’know, class and all.”


“Biology lab. Not looking forward to it, but I need all the points I can get!”


He nodded, before thinking on that last question. “So, you mentioned being against animal cruelty. Do you have a favorite animal? And if so, what would it be? Yeah, probably kind of a random one, but…yeah.”


She smiled. “I like lots of animals. I kinda like orangutans. Are they any relation to you?”


He chuckled slightly. “I’m really not sure. Started off as human, and mom sorta…I guess you could say ‘borrowed’ some DNA from the zoo? There might be some orangutan in there, but the redhead thing’s always been there. Anyway, thanks for taking the time out to talk to us.”


“My pleasure.” Mallory stood up, grabbed her coffee, and gave a little wave. “It was great meeting you both. Best of luck with your blog.” She checked the time again. “Gotta run.” With that, she dashed out of the coffee shop.

You can find out more about her writing on Facebook! And here’s hoping you’ll all add the anthology to your to-read list!


Character Interview- First Pea

Posted: December 27, 2017 in Uncategorized

The first of the anthology interviews! First up is a character from Nanea Knott’s contribution to the book (which I look forward to reading soon; the official release date is January 2nd, and all proceeds go to the Global Scoliosis Fund. Feel free to add it to your Want-To-Read list on Goodreads!).

“First Pea…” Travis muttered to himself as he looked at the list. The monkey/human hybrid made his way into the castle, a tall, slim, and rather exhausted young man with glasses in tow. He’d teleported the two there, but was still getting used to trips of that range.

“Need a break, Spence?”


“Alright, fair enough.”

The two were heading for the castle’s receiving area, Travis thinking over what sorts of questions he might ask. He did sort of wonder about what kind of royal title “Pea” was, but would get to that soon. He had his long hair pulled back and–astonishingly enough–had remembered to wear a shirt this time.  

“Is there a ‘First Pea’ around here?” he called as he entered and looked around, his tail twitching a little.

A grizzled man named Douglas stood in the receiving area waiting for the stranger to arrive. He had been instructed by First Pea to bring him and his companion to the sitting room for The Royal Peas where First Pea would receive them there. Douglas tried to smooth his hair and straighten his shirt and dust off his pants. First Pea had told him to expect a man who would be half-monkey, but Douglas had no idea what that was. He would look for two men who looked out of place and he would bring them to First Pea.

Douglas saw a flash of light and there stood two men, one with glasses, another with a tail. These must be the visitors. He approached them with what he hoped was a friendly smile while trying to ignore the strangers curling tail. He wondered if the man spoke a common language. Douglas was relieved to hear him ask for First Pea. “Yes, First Pea is here and if you would follow me, I can take you to him.”

The two followed him. Travis considered asking Douglas why they called First Pea “First Pea”, but figured that might be best asked directly. “Thanks for the escort,” Travis told him, giving a friendly smile of his own.

Douglas took them to the sitting room. First Pea was sitting on his red velvet cushion. The one used for impressing honored guests. “Welcome, Mr. Malone,” greeted First Pea. “I hope your journey here was pleasant. Please make yourself comfortable. Your friend may join us or perhaps our library would be more to his liking, Douglas can show him the way.”

Travis looked around for a moment. And then he realized that the voice was coming from an actual pea, his large green eyes becoming somewhat larger.

“…Pea’s not just a unique title, is it…?” he murmured, sitting down.

“Might be a good idea for me to stay with him,” Spencer replied.

After taking a few breaths, Travis spoke up again. “SO, first off, thanks for taking the time to talk to me.”

First Pea was a little concerned over the hungry look Mr. Malone was giving him, but Douglas was nearby assuring his safety.  “Mr. Malone, you are very welcome and we are pleased for your visit. I am indeed a vegetable. I am but one part of The Royal Peas.” First Pea rolled forward a little on his cushion. “We were given a prestigious task by our queen of helping her to find a suitable princess for our prince. We were successful. There are five of us, of which I am the largest and thus designated as First Pea.”

And Spencer was there to make sure Travis didn’t cause any sort of incident with The Kingdom. “I see… How is it you all ended up with that task? Is it a tradition around here?” the half-monkey asked, head tilting to the side.

First Pea was a little hesitant to answer. It was not widely known that they were given the task by the Queen to discourage the process of princess selection. “The Queen wanted to ensure that only the best and brightest princess would be able to spend time with our prince. My siblings and I were to be the final test of the worthiness of any candidate. That is, providing they past the other tests of the Queen’s choosing. It was not a tradition of The Kingdom for determining our future monarchs.”

Now quite curious, Travis leaned in a little more. But not too far; Spencer had created a barrier between him and First Pea for safety reasons. “How is it you do that?” he asked. “Or would you rather not say?”

First Pea was a little disturbed by the look of eagerness on Mr. Malone’s face and grateful for the barrier put up by his magical friend.  “The Queen’s thought was that a worthy woman of royal blood would be unable to sleep on anything except a bed of exceptional comfort. She wouldn’t be able to sleep on a lumpy mattress.” First Pea was reluctant to say that there were several mattresses, but it had already become public knowledge. “The mattresses were stacked high and one my siblings was to be smuggled beneath the bottom mattress. The thought being that if the princess were worthy, she wouldn’t be able to sleep for the lump in the bed created by us.”

Writing this down, Travis thought about his next question. “So when you’re not involved in the whole princess selection thing, what do you tend to do? Like, any hobbies at all?” he asked.

First Pea rolled back on his cushion. He was so enjoying this. “My siblings and I have many interests. We are taken outside to enjoy the weather, we float in a bowl of water at least once a day to keep us from drying out and the Prince often comes to read to us. My brother Fifth is becoming quite the scholar. Princess Viola, our chosen Princess, comes to speak to my sisters Second and Fourth regarding the latest gossip and fashion in the kingdom. My brother Third enjoys watching our soldiers training. I enjoy the quiet myself. While the Princess Tests were going on, it was quite noisy listening to all princesses grunt from exertion in the courtyard below, poor dears.”

Tapping his pencil on the notepad, Travis thought over the next one. “So…sorry if this is, y’know, a weird question or anything, but what would you say is the most challenging thing about being, well, a pea?”

Looking at Mr. Malone’s hungry stare, First Pea replied, “Possibly being eaten. It is a logical fear of ours that one day we will end up in,” First Pea almost couldn’t say it. “soup. Although the Queen has assured us that would never happen, we know it is always a possibility.”

He nodded, understanding. “Yeah, I can get that. Sorry if I’ve been creeping you out at all, by the way. Seriously not my intention! It’s just that I kinda haven’t eaten for a bit. I have a feeling that it’s probably your worst fear, too, so I’m probably not going to ask that one. But how about regrets? What would you say is your biggest one?”

First Pea rolled to the side a little contemplating the question.  There was a regret that he and his siblings had discussed at length. “The biggest regret is that we were witness to some of the tests assigned by the Queen and unable to do anything about it. Some of the tasks were cringe worthy and despite our exalted position. We are only peas. We wished we could have done more.”

“Now, when you say cringe-worthy…just how bad are we talkin’, here?” he asked.

“The tests were designed to ‘challenge’ the contestants, although some would say ‘eliminate’ was a better word. The Queen had spies in the castle tell her the weaknesses of the princesses. She made one poor portly princess attempt to climb a vertical rope to retrieve an egg at the top. The poor girl ran from the castle with yolk in her hair. Another princess, rail thin, was to retrieve a heavy iron ring from the bottom of the moat. Poor thing probably gain a few pounds from all the water she swallowed.” First Pea cleared his throat. “The Queen was a brutal task master. The most dreaded was climbing a greased pole to retrieve a teacup. So many were broken we had to requisition more.”

“Wow…” he replied. “So, is the Queen just that particular about who her son marries?”

First Pea was hesitant to the tell the truth. He had no wish to cast his Queen in an unfavorable light, however, it had all turned out for the best. “The Queen’s original plan was for the Prince never to marry. She wanted to continue to be Queen until it was no longer possible. We Peas were tasked with assisting her. In the end, we saw how much our prince and Princess Viola were well matched and we did what was necessary to encourage the match.

“Ah. Some resistance to change…I can get that. Now, one more question before I go: If you weren’t given the task that you’d been given, what would you want to do in life? Like, if your being a pea weren’t a factor at all?” he asked, tapping the pencil on his notepad again.

First Pea considered the question. It was something he had never been asked before. “If I were born a human instead of a pea, I think I would like to have liked to be a gardener. I would enjoy walking. I already have an appreciation for flowers, trees and all things growing. I would enjoy eating the fruits of my labor, but it goes without saying, I would never eat peas.”

He nodded. “Thanks again for taking the time out for this interview. Was nice to eat–MEET! I mean MEET you!” He stood up, blushing a little at that particular slip of the tongue. And then he looked at Douglas. “…Please note that I have absolutely no intention of hurting anyone here,” he said, tail curling around Spencer’s leg.

First Pea shifted nervously on his cushion. His words left him in a rush. “Yes…well…Thank you for coming Mr. Malone, Mr. Spencer, thank the heavens for you. Douglas will see you out.”

Spencer got up with Travis, nodding to First Pea. And the two of them were ready to follow Douglas’ lead out of there.

Douglas escorted them back to the receiving area of the castle. “Mr. Malone, Mr. Spencer. It’s been an honor. Thank you for you time and for not eating First Pea. We would be distraught without him.” Douglas waved goodbye and watched the strangers disappear in a flash of light and a audible pop.

And you can follow Nanea Knott on Facebook or her website. Another interview will be here tomorrow!

Hey, all. A Merry Christmas Eve, first and foremost. Secondly, I’ll be rolling out a bunch of interviews starting today, starting with this first one. Then another tomorrow, and on Tuesday, I’ll go with the ones related to “A Twist of Fate: A Collection of 11 Twisted Fairy Tales” (set for release on January 2nd!). I’ve also been hard at work on book 6, which should be out this coming week.

Now without any further ado…

As he approaches his destination, the half-monkey pulls out his notepad and looks to the list. The destination is Rainbow Tower, and he knows that this interview is going to be a different one for him. Usually, Travis is used to one interviewee. Possibly two. But this time, there’s a list. And he realizes that one of the names on that list is familiar to him. His tail twitches a little, as he wonders just how Luke Callindor is holding up after what’d happened between their last meeting and now.


But first off, he needs to find the tower in question. He finds the outer wall first, and considers scaling that. But then he considers that the place is a hotbed for magic users, and he’s seen first hand what can happen when one pisses off someone that uses magic. So he starts looking for the entrance, tail twitching a bit once he finally finds it.


It doesn’t take him long to find that the door is open, and he steps inside, walking on his knuckles for the time being.


Once inside, Trav finds himself taking in the sight of the garden. A lot of love has clearly gone into it overall, from what he can see. But he’s here on a mission: he’s got some Champions to chat with.


He starts looking around the garden for them, knowing that two are half-elves, one has blue hair, one would send his muscle-phobic brother-in-law into conniptions, one is probably armored, and the last would have silver hair.


After a while, he eventually locates the group resting around one of the ponds.  The white iron benches are pristine as if they have recently been placed in the garden.


“Hey, all. So, thanks for agreeing to meet with me,” says Travis. “Especially with the major showdown and all coming up. I mean, this has to be stressful…No matter what, I’m hoping for the best for all of you. Alrighty, so, Luke…I remember the last time we met, and it was just before you went into a…let’s face it, a goddamn nightmare of a situation. How’re you holding up?”


Shivering even though there is no breeze, Luke can only stare blankly at the half-monkey.  His eyes blink out of synch and he appears on the verge of a breakdown until Sari casts a relaxation spell on him.


“Okay, one more for you; probably doing two questions for each of ya, come to think of it. Don’t wanna take up too much of your time. So…you looking forward to the fact that your conflict with the Baron’s coming to an end, at least? Okay, so that could apply to all of you, sure. Especially Dariana; I’ll be getting to you soon enough. But given that you personally suffered at his hands, I figured I’d ask you first.”


“I . . . I really just want this to end,” Luke mutters, his face devoid of emotion.


“I can imagine…” he replies, tail curling around his leg as he starts thinking of the nightmare that had to be Luke’s post-torture mindscape.


Travis clears his throat and turns his attention toward Nyx. “I’ve heard about you,” he says. “Mainly the fact that you’re, like, insanely powerful and not to be messed with. Anyway, my first question for you…What’s your favorite spell? Like, overall?”


“That’s always a tough one,” Nyx replies, the half-elf coiling a black hair around her finger. “I can’t pick a specific spell, but I tend to use fire more than anything else.  There’s always been an affinity for me, which might come from my home village burning down.  It’s one of my earliest memories, so maybe I find that to be the most destructive.”


“And if there were anything in your life that you could do differently, what might it be? What would you change about it?” he asks, scribbling the responses thus far down on his notepad.


The channeler rubs her amethyst necklace before saying, “I guess I would keep my temper in check more often.  This is more for when I was younger and that would get me into trouble.  With my level of magic, I always needed more self-control, so it’s fairly problematic when I let my anger get the best of me.  Beyond that, I can’t think of anything since that would mean I’d be a different person than I am now.  Possibly even one too weak to face the Baron.”


Travis nods slightly, understanding. Looking to Sari, the half-monkey smiles slightly. He taps the notepad with his pencil, tail twitching. “So, Sari…First off, I just wanna say that I’m sorry to hear about, well, everything that’s gone wrong for your love life, and your life in general, and hope for the best for you. Second, is there anything specific that scares you? If so, and if it’s not gonna drag you on a horrible trip down memory lane, what?”


“Thanks for the concern, but I’ve been fine-ish for a while,” the gypsy states with a smirk.  “Nothing really specific scares me.  I’ve had to push through a lot of pain and terrible situations, so I try to take the world as it comes.  I mean, there are a few lingering abandonment issues that crop up from time to time.  That’s to be expected considering how many people I’ve lost, but I have my friends to see me through it.”


“Second question: What would be your biggest hope for the future? Like, post-Baron?”


“That another Baron doesn’t show up for a while.  Windemere could really use a break from all these ancient evils and ambitious bastards that tend to pop up.”


He then looks to Timoran, thinking over his questions for him carefully. Travis is certain that the barbarian is more even-tempered than he is likely to throttle him, at least. But he’d still want to avoid annoying him, anyway, as he hasn’t done anything to him to deserve it.


“Alright, Timoran…” he says. “From what I hear, alcohol is a huge deal in your culture…come to think of it, my girlfriend would probably love that. ANYWAY, what would you say is your favorite kind of alcohol overall? Okay, so that’s one that the girlfriend I mentioned threw in, and she probably would’ve come with me if she didn’t have to go out on a job…”


Timoran chuckles before taking a flask from his belt and offering it to the interviewer.  “My favorite drink is called Ifrit Mead.  It is both sweet and has a fiery kick.  The aftertaste is what gets most people, but it is a fairly common choice among my tribe.  There are stronger ones out there, but this one is also easier to find outside of our lands.”


Travis politely takes a step back, not being much of a drinker, himself.


“Sounds like one she’d be interested in. I don’t tend to drink a lot, myself, but that’s for personal reasons… Alright, next question’s from me,” Travis puts in, clearing his throat. “What are your thoughts on some of the others?”


“They are my friends, so I trust them completely,” the barbarian admits without hesitation.  “I cannot think of singling anyone out for good or bad traits since we each have them.  With all of our adventures and battles together, I have found that they are more my family than friends.  I could go on at length about each one, but I feel that may take too long.”


“Delvin, you’re next,” the half-monkey says, looking at his questions. “If you weren’t a mercenary, like, at any point in life, what could you see yourself doing?”


“Well, I was still trained as a warrior, so my job or whatever would still revolve around that,” Delvin answers while pouring himself a cup of coffee.  The liquid flows from the ring on his finger, which remains untouched by the steaming brew.  “Most likely, I’d have ended up as a soldier for a few years to get some experience.  Once I had proven myself, I’d return to Hamilton Military Academy to become one of Selenia’s instructors.  That’s a fairly low risk path, which wouldn’t have sat well with her.  She had big expectations for me, so I’d have to become a General or some type of legend.”


“Now, as a merc, what would you say was your most memorable mission?


Leaning back on the bench, Delvin closes his eyes to think over his impressive career.  “There was one that involved rescuing the children of a noble.  It was four princes and a princess, so I came up with a plan that my friends and I impersonate them after breaking into the kidnappers’ hideout.  It didn’t work out too well because Tavris was too muscular to be any of the boys and I tore my dress while pretending to be the princess.  We still got out with them, but that story spread through Fort Journeyman really quickly.  Took about a year to get over that debacle and be taken seriously again.  It really seems to be the plans that go wrong that I remember more than the perfect ones.”


Finally, he brings his attention to Dariana. “Before I ask you anything,” he says. “I just want to say that I’m REALLY sorry about who your dad is. And your brothers. Especially the older one. Just…holy shit. Hope you get through this okay… ANYWAY, the first question I have for you is about immortality…is it as lonely as I keep thinking it’ll be? I know, probably kind of a weird question for an interview, but it’s something I’ve been curious about for a while. Like, to the point of losing sleep, y’know?”


“Thank you for the apologies, but I don’t understand. I had no choice in my family,” the telepath says in confusion. She licks her lips and gets to her feet before pacing. “I’m sorry, but I don’t really have a good answer for you.  I spent most of my immortal life under a sleeping spell, which could last from twenty to one-hundred years.  I would be woken up, spend time with those who hate me, and be put back under when those champions failed.  So, I couldn’t say if my loneliness stems from being immortal alone or if it’s because I was never given a chance to make friends until recently.  The gods and goddesses of Windemere have each other, so they don’t get lonely.  My father had his agents and the demons of the Chaos Void.  I think immortality could be lonely if one doesn’t put effort into making connections.”


Nodding slightly, Travis takes that into consideration. He doesn’t get into why that particular question would concern him, though.


“And last individual question…what makes you happiest in life? Figure that might be a good antidote to the last question… I hate seeing people with family issues. The more hardcore, the worse it is, and I just wanna see these people happy, y’know?”


Dariana opens and closes her mouth several times, the answer rapidly changing in her mind.  “Happiness is actually a fairly new emotion for me to have.  I’m sorry that sounds so horrible, but it’s the truth.  Being with my friends makes me happy as well as interacting with the world.  I can eat foods I’ve only heard of, listen to music I’ve only caught in the minds of travelers, and live an actual life.  Even if it’s only for a moment, I can be happy and feel like I have a place in the world.”


Taking a couple of breaths, Travis looks over the notepad once more.


“Got one last one for all of you…In the event that this doesn’t go well for any of you…is there anything you’d like to get off your chest to the others? Or to anyone that might be reading this interview?”


Silence falls over the champions until Delvin raises his hand. “I don’t think any of us can think of any grievances.  We’ve put our affairs in order before heading out.  With what’s on the horizon, none of us really want to think about the smaller things.  They don’t seem important since none of us know if we’ll be getting out of this alive. I mean, this is an enemy that terrifies the gods.  Needless to say, having the last line of defense be five mortals and one immortal really doesn’t do much for the nerves.”


“Alright,” says Travis. “Thanks for taking the time to talk with me. Before I go…anyone up for a hug?”


“I’m always up for that,” Sari states with a beaming smile.


Author Bio & Social Media

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 his wife decided that she was tired of hearing the same stories repeatedly, she convinced him that it would make more sense to follow his dream of being a fantasy author. So, locked within the house under orders to shut up and get to work, Charles brings you Legends of Windemere. He looks forward to sharing all of his stories with you, and his wife is happy he finally has someone else to play with.





Catch the rest of the LEGENDS OF WINDEMERE on Amazon!

And of course, we have the newest entry (which I’m in the process of reading now…definitely recommend the full series): Warlord of the Forgotten Age

Warlord of the Forgotten Age 2.jpg

All cover art by the awesome and talented Jason Pedersen


Character Interview: Miri Katz

Posted: December 7, 2017 in Uncategorized

Hey! Welcome to the first in a number of character interviews this month. To celebrate the release of Londonium, book 4 of the P.A.W.S. series, Travis got the opportunity to speak with with the main character herself.

The redhead had gotten a few odd looks as he approached a cafe in Jerusalem. He’d never been to the area before (and had hitched a ride with his girlfriend, her sister, and his aunt; they had a target in the region). As for Travis, he had an interview to conduct.


He remembered the first of these he’d done, with one particular member of P.A.W.S. And now he was looking to speak with Miri. Though he hoped that he hadn’t chosen a bad time for this. Ah, well. The half-monkey would worry about that later, as he looked around for the girl in question. He wasn’t sure if she’d be in human form or feline, but was ready to ask her some questions either way.


The half-monkey scanned the area for a bit, before eventually finding someone that seemed to fit the description of his interviewee for today. His tail twitched as he approached.


“Hey. Miri Katz, right?” he asked.


“Yep, that’s me,” said Miri nodding to Travis. “Why don’t you sit down?”


He sat down across from her, moving his hair aside to keep from sitting on it.


“So first off, thanks for agreeing to take the time to talk to me. Name’s Travis, and I just wanted to ask you a few things.”


“Sure, go ahead. Happy to answer your questions if I can.” She smiled at Travis.


“Okay, so, right off the bat…how did you become a shifter? Like, if you don’t mind my asking,” he asked.


Miri took a deep breath. “Well, it started when my Omama gave me this silver cat charm the night before she died. I didn’t know at the time but it contained magic that had originally saved her from the Nazis. Her mother had passed it on to her just as the family was being taken from their home in Vienna and that’s when my Omama first turned feline.

“I didn’t become a cat shifter until a few years after I got the charm from my Omama. After she’d died I was sent to this fancy boarding school by my aunt and uncle and the kids there bullied me. One day they chased me up into a tree and it was then that I first changed into my cat form. Later I met Josh (here’s a werewolf and my friend) and he took me to P.A.W.S.”


Nodding somewhat, he moved on to the next one. “What do you like to do in your downtime?”


“I love to read and write, especially fantasy. Writing down stuff helps me think and sort out all the weirdness that goes on around me. And believe me there’s a lot of weirdness.”


“Okay, so, I know you’ve made a lot of friends since you joined P.A.W.S.” He paused. “Wow…that probably made me sound like a creeper. Sorry about that. But anyway… Who are some of your closest?”


“Well, back at P.A.W.S. as I mentioned there’s Josh (he was my first friend who brought me to P.A.W.S.), then there are Sandy and Sean from Texas – they’re shapeshifter horses and then there’s Joey, the kangaroo animagus from Australia. I kind of miss them at the moment. Oh and I miss Danny too …” Miri sighed and looked away collecting her thoughts. “He’s my boyfriend, an animagus cat like me. I hope I get to see him again soon.”


The monkey-man tapped his pencil on the table. “Next, next…AH, right. So, what can you tell anyone reading this about the next adventure you’re involved in?”


“Well I hear the next book’s called “Londinium” and I get to visit the P.A.W.S. Institute in London. I’ve always wanted to visit London. I hope get to see some of the sights.”


Travis listened, his tail twitching a bit. “Wow. Hope that works out for you! Next up: what are your goals for the future? Like, aside from what’s already come up in response to the last one.”


“Well, I want to go back to St. Louis and see all my friends at P.A.W.S. and I suppose I should finish my studies too with Professor Ainsworth (he’s an animagus owl). When I’m done I’d like to travel. Danny has said that maybe we can go together. I’d love to visit the other P.A.W.S. Institutes dotted around the globe. I hear in the P.A.W.S. Institute in Africa there’s a magician who can turn himself into an elephant. That must be amazing to see.”


“So, let’s go with this one: is there anything you regret? Like, anything you would redo in a freaking heartbeat if you could?” he asked.


Miri paused and looked down into her lap. When she looked up again, Travis could see traces of tears in the corners of her eyes. “I wish I’d got to say goodbye to Jenny. She was my best friend as a kid in the Lower East Side in New York. When my aunt Cynthia took me away from there after my Omama died she didn’t allow me to say goodbye to my friend. She also sent our cats, Kitty and Susie out onto the street. I wish I knew what happened to them.”


He nodded somewhat. “Damn, that’s rough… Hope you’re able to get some closure eventually. Now for my next question…what is your favorite thing about being a shifter?”


“As a cat shifter I can blend in really well with my surroundings. No one really notices cats – especially here in Jerusalem.”


“Last one, I promise…do you have any advice for anyone reading this?” Travis asked, his head tilting somewhat.


“Appreciate what you’ve got. You never know when it will be pulled away from you.”


The half-monkey stood up once the interview was done, offering Miri a hug. Miri returned the hug. His tail twitched slightly and he stepped back after a bit.


“Thanks for agreeing to meet with me, Miri. Hope this all goes well for you, and next time you’re in St. Louis, can you tell Ian I said hi?” he said. “Thanks again!”


“Sure – Ian told me all about you. Says you’re to come visit again sometime.”  

You can find the whole series HERE.


And you can check out more about the author here.


An Update!

Posted: December 3, 2017 in Uncategorized

So, what’s been going on on this end? A LOT of projects. I’ve figured out my Christmas list…as in the projects I intend to have done by Christmas. Also, starting on Thursday this week and going for several days, there will be more character interviews! One will be a group interview for an upcoming release (final Legends of Windemere book), one for the next P.A.W.S. release, one with a detective that’s actually interviewed both Travis and Spencer once, and a handful of them for the release of an anthology I’m involved in.

The tentative release date for this anthology has changed a few times, but now there are sights set on DECEMBER 12th for its official release. The anthology’s name? A Twist of Fate: A Collection of 11 Twisted Fairy Tales.

While I still need to touch base with some of the authors involved, and have tweaks to make on a few of the completed interviews, I figured it might be fun to have Travis interview at least one person from each of the stories involved. Also, a story that I wrote is in this thing. I wrote my own take on Rapunzel.

Blurb: When a rock star finally pushes his girlfriend/main songwriter too far, he finds himself cursed with a monstrous mane of hair. To stop the carnage brought on by his hair, he seeks help; what he finds is a pair of comic-book nerds that may have the key to reversing his curse.


Other things I intend to have finished by Christmas, aside from the slew of interviews: a bunch of reading, the rest of my Inktober (and Kinktober) pieces, prizes for giveaways I’ve done during takeovers on Facebook, a bunch of character pics for others, this DeathTrav comic, the Major Arcana with my characters, and last but not least…

Book 6. It’s still being inked and took a backseat to NaNo (which I got mostly finished over the span of a few days…it took some semi-incoherent rants, at least one completely incoherent one, and the quoting of song lyrics..but I got it!). But I have some ASS TO KICK!

What’s Been Going On

Posted: November 4, 2017 in Uncategorized

So, it’s been a while since my last post. I haven’t quit the Inktober pieces, for one thing. Those were just put on hold because of the 50 or so other things I’ve got going on. I’ve been: working on book 6, working on other art pieces, getting more character interviews lined up, doing author takeovers on Facebook.

But thanks to doing those, I had the thought of creating updated character profiles for the major players of Hell Bent, complete with the fonts I’d use for their POVs. I made these months ago, but now’s as good a time as any, I think.

Also, screenshots from book 6!

TravCardProfileSpenceCardProfileBeastCardProfileGemmyCardProfileIvyCardProfileYvetteCardProfileSerenaCardProfileNickCardProfileJesseCardProfileSladeCardProfileLorenaCardProfileSilasCardProfileScreen Shot 2017-10-26 at 4.35.04 AMScreen Shot 2017-10-27 at 1.44.48 PMScreen Shot 2017-10-27 at 1.45.10 PMScreen Shot 2017-10-27 at 1.46.33 PMScreen Shot 2017-10-27 at 1.47.00 PMScreen Shot 2017-10-27 at 1.47.19 PMScreen Shot 2017-10-27 at 1.49.00 PM

Recently, Travis had gotten the opportunity to speak with Lily Luchesi‘s character Angelica Cross, from the Paranormal Detectives series.

As he entered Crowley’s, Travis held back a chuckle. He was starting to think he’d visited more bars than his girlfriend by this point. But he was here to learn about people, as opposed to drinking. The half-monkey was looking for one person in particular. A vampire, in this case. Though with a paranormal bar, he couldn’t just outright ask for someone to point out the vampire; might not narrow it down. He’d pulled his long red hair into a braid for today, wanting to avoid tripping over it. Okay…a sort of curvy and pale woman with long black hair…that’s who he was here for. And as soon as he saw someone fitting that description, he headed over to her.

“Hey…is your name Angelica, by any chance?” he asked as he approached.

She turned towards him, dark eyes assessing. Just what WAS this thing, and should she be killing him? No, he didn’t seem like an outward threat; the werewolf guards at the door would never have let him in,
“Let’s say it is, who the Hell are you?” she asked.
His tail twitched slightly. “Name’s Travis, and I was wondering if you’d be up for an interview?” he replied, inwardly hoping that she’d leave his blood alone.
It was bad enough that the scientists back home were interested in it, but he’d prefer to not be targeted by a vampire, either.
“Huh. Usually someone intervenes in my interviews with the press. I have a tendency to…overshare and be a bit blunt. But you don’t look like you’re from the Tribune, are you?” She leaned back and tipped back a shot glass that seemed to hold wine, but of course this Travis fellow would know better. “I have some free time. Why not?”
“Nah, I’m not,” he replied. In all honesty, he wasn’t even sure if he knew how to spell “Tribune”. The half-monkey sat down nearby.
“So…I’m just gonna get this first one out there right now, and I’m, like, really sorry if it’s a weird question, but the vampirism…is that something you have naturally, or were you turned at some point?”
Angelica chuckled. “That’s actually one of the most common questions vampires face. Myself especially. I was actually both born and turned. I was born to a human man and a vampire woman in the early nineteenth century. I lived as a vamplet, or dhampyr depending on your preferences, until just three years ago, when a battle gone wrong forced me to either die, lay in a coma, or be turned. It wasn’t my choice to turn, but here I am, now a full-fledged vampire. And suddenly very popular with the inhabitants of Hell because of it. Go figure.”
“Now, when you say ‘popular’…I take it that’d be sort of popular where they just won’t leave you alone, no matter how much you just wanna be left in peace, and that leads to someone getting their ass kicked?” he asked, having written the response down. Or at least some notes on it.
Angelica nodded. “You already seem to know my MO well. Let’s just say that they don’t like that vampires aren’t the ruthless killers of horror movie lore and want me to convince the vamps to go darkside.” She scoffed. “Like that’s going to happen. I’ll fight the whole Legion if I have to.”
“I’ve had some experience dealing with that kind of attention, myself,” he said with a slight chuckle. “More serial killers and such, but yeah…” He drummed his fingers on the table, thinking on his next question. “So, what is it you do for a living around here?”
“Serial killers? I’ve faced my share of those, too,” Angelica said, impressed. If this little monkey-man could evade serial killers, he deserved at least a little respect. “Funny you should ask, since you must be in my database. I run the Paranormal Investigative Division of the FBI in American and MI-5 in the UK. I’ve been a field agent for about a hundred and fifty years, but recently I had to take up the director position for the branch here in Chicago. A rogue vampire killed the old director, you see. The PID oversees all paranormal activity around the world, making sure everyone stays in line and doesn’t go off killing humans or each other. I’m the thing that things that go bump in the night are afraid of.”
“I’m not sure if I would be…wait, do they tend to cover genetic experiments?” he asked. “I’d ask this uncle of mine in the FBI, but he’s more HRT than PID.” And now was wondering if his uncle Nick knew about that particular division. “None of these serial killers would happen to be any you’ve accidentally bumped into and ultimately pissed off, would they? I wouldn’t think so because, y’know, FBI…but life’s also kind of a random thing sometimes.”
“Genetic experiments? Is that why you look like you do?” She asked. “No, we only protect humans, we don’t have any other involvement with them. Except…this one time I did have to execute a couple of hunters for killing us indiscriminately.” She shrugged. “Maybe you faced them before. Who knows? Humans do work for us, however. Still, I don’t know about or approve of animal testing of any sort,” she added
“Yeah, it is,” he replied. “Well, okay, so ‘experiment’ probably isn’t the right word…mom knew exactly what she was doing, even if there were some side effects. Anyway, not sure I’ve encountered any hunters like that. So, what could you tell me about some of the people you work with? Like, human or otherwise?”
“We’ve got quite the motley crew. There’s our deputy director, Mark Evans. He’s from England and is a human, one of our best strategists. He’s engaged to Brighton Sands, who’s a human psychic and also a killing machine. I’ve never seen someone so accurate with a blade except me.” She laughed lightly. “Our head of security is a werewolf and ex-Werewolf Corps Army Captain named Bart Michaels. And then of course there’s Danny…” She trailed off, pink dusting her fair face. “He’s my fiancé…when he’s not busy being an asshole. I’ve loved him for a century, when he was a different person. He’s a reincarnated psychic, and ex Chicago Police detective. I’d trust him with my life.”
“When you say psychic, would that be the kind that can see the future, read minds, or move stuff with their mind? I know one that could do two of the three,” he said, smiling slightly.
“Do you? We must have some friends in common,” Angelica said, pleasantly surprised. “They can read minds, Brighton more so than Danny. They’re both psychometric, which means they can get visions of the past and future by touching objects…or people. That sucks, by the way. I can’t keep secrets from Danny to save my life.” She paused. “Well…not that I’d ever have reason to.”
“It’s helped quite a bit when searching for suspects,”she added.
“Yeah, I could definitely see that coming in handy,” he said. “So, what would you say is the craziest thing to have happened on the job?”
“Oh, man, how to decide?” She bit her red-painted lip. “My insane father went on a murder spree from London to New York to here. A witch cursed herself with immortality and wanted to murder me and have both Danny and the PID to herself. This is a good one…Danny’s ex got turned into a vampire and nearly murdered me with my own sword. I was kidnapped by demons, and now some old vampire is murdering people I know to lure me into some trap. Dare I go on?”
He listened, nodding slightly. “Damn…I can get how some of that is. Haven’t dealt with demons yet, but I’m pretty sure that given enough time, it’ll happen. My luck’s just like that…As for your father, he wasn’t an abusive asshat, was he?” He seemed more concerned than anything else on that last one.
“You’re concerned about me? How sweet,” she said. “Most are to afraid of me to be kind. No, actually he was a wonderful father. Then my mother decided to turn him into a vampire, and her blood drove him insane. When I was twenty…he killed her. Right in front of me. It was then I decided to found the PID, to catch him and anyone out there like him.” She blinked, her eyes momentarily going red.
“Ah…wow. See, I ask because my own dad was a ginormous prick and I hate seeing others go through that. But that…damn. Sorry you had to go through that. Would you be okay with a hug?” he offered.
Angelica gaped. “A hug? You’re either brave or stupid, but sure. Five seconds.” She smirked and stood up, nearly six feet in her four inch heels.
He got up as well, about 5’10″…his hair, however, was closer to 7 feet when not braided. He went for a quick hug, being careful about it, as he could think of three people that’d probably be mad if he wasn’t: her, Danny, and his own girlfriend. “Yeah, I get the brave-or-stupid thing a lot,” he admitted. “So, one last question…If you had the chance to do anything over again, what would you choose?”
Angelica admired his hair as he stood and then marveled at the question. “I ask myself that every day. I think there are at least a dozen things I could’ve handled differently, but the only one I regret not doing was killing the witch back in 1888. My kindness got the better of me. Otherwise, I think I’ve made the best out of every decision I ever had to make. “Thanks for talking with me, by the way. What publication are you with? Supernatural Monthly?”
“In all honesty? I’m not with a full-blown publication so much as a blog created by some weird-ass writer that sometimes talks to me and claims that she’s, like, my deity or something…she scares me,” he replied with a slight chuckle. “And always happy to talk with people outside of my hometown. Hope everything’s going well with you and Danny, and the ass-kicking biz in general, and thanks for taking the time to answer my questions.” His tail flicked for a moment. “I should probably get going, before my girlfriend, her sister, and my aunt start to get worried. They can get kinda…intense if they’re worried.” Travis started toward the door, having taken to all-fours and walking along on his knuckles.
Angelica watched as he walked, then shook her head in slight confusion and amusement. At least she wasn’t the only one with a crazy lady in her head, but she put Malone on the PID watch list…just in case.
You can find out more about the character, the world she lives in, and her author here.