I’d hoped to have this done earlier, but other stuff cropped up. Also, book 5 is finally complete, and links will be posted once the CreateSpace version has gone through.

But for now? Another interview between Travis and another person’s character. This time, it’s Jared Fleming’s character Naomi.

A strong smell of alcohol hits Travis’ somewhat-large nose. He’s pretty sure that this bar is where he is supposed to meet her. He checks the small notebook he’s taken to carrying in his pocket lately to make sure he has her name written down. Okay, he does. Good. The monkey-human hybrid roams through the bar and looks for her, occasionally patting his back pocket with his tail to ensure that his wallet is still there. To be honest, Travis has a sneaking suspicion that places like this are where some people go to get shanked. But he knows he’d recover from that, at least.

Sitting in a corner of the bar is a blue-skinned alien, noseless, hairless, and humanoid. A thermos is on her right, unattended, while a beer, the third tonight, as evidenced by the two empty bottles, is in her left hand.

With a twitch of his tail, Travis strides over to the corner of the bar. “Hey,” he begins once he’s closer. “Naomi Matu?”

“Yep!” She says, her demeanor going from ever so slightly sour to a smidge enthusiastic. “You’re Travis, right?”

He nods. “Yep. So, ready to do this?” he asks as he takes a seat nearby.

“Yep,” she nods.

He looks through his notebook for a moment. “Alright, so…I get that this might be a rough one, especially for a first question, but what was Istav like? Like, if you don’t mind my asking, I mean.”

She chuckles. “Lived in a cave first 20 years of my life. Worked for gangs, mostly. Entire planet’s littered with caves, half the world lives underground. As bad as it was, there were some advantages. You learn perfect balance real quick. I didn’t do too much of note there, at least, anything noteworthy and legal at the same time. I kinda want to go back, though. I miss it, sometimes.”

“What would you say you miss most about it?” he asks, head tilted slightly.

“The food. A lot of it’s still traditional stuff, stuff we’ve been making since we learned how to bang two sticks together.”

He’s already interested, but the mention of food *really* gets Travis’ attention here. “Do you have a favorite food from back home?”

“Panu eta kari. It’s the eggs of a…what’s the word…it’s…it’s like a…homeless snail…” she thinks for a moment. “A slug! Yeah, a slug. They lay about a million eggs, we help ourselves to half, and salt ’em and spice ’em.”

“That does sound good,” he says, keeping a mental note to try that if he were ever to get the opportunity. “Alright, next one. What do you like to do in your downtime? And for that matter, how much downtime do you generally get in your line of work?”

“Downtime…well, mostly I read and cuddle Kate. Sometimes take time to clean my weapons, make sure everything’s in working order. Sometimes I talk to Silat, our crew’s other psion. He’s a bit boorish, though.”

“A psion, hm? Would that include the ability to read minds or move stuff with your mind, by any chance?” he asks.

Naomi responds by glancing over at one of the empty beer bottles. It responds to her look with a rather loud, and very nasty CRACK as it’s crushed down into sand. “More than that. Silat can’t, though. He’s too busy being a brain in a jar.”

He jumps at the sound of the crack, soon regaining his composure. “Ah, cool, cool. I ask mainly because I know someone with psionic abilities, myself. Hers aren’t nearly to that extent, though. Anyway, to backtrack a bit, can you tell me about Kate?”

“She’s my girlfriend of five years. We’ve been on the same crew for about eight, but…well, one thing lead to another, we got drunk, feelings were confessed, and we’ve been together ever since. She’s the heavy weapons operator on our team, so if you see her, she’ll probably be carrying a gun that fires bullets the size of your hand. I’d recommend not getting into a fight with her. She’s real sweet, otherwise. Helps me a lot.”

Naomi’s clearly smiling, the mere act of speaking of her girlfriend making her happier.

Travis can’t help but smile at the description of her, himself, his tail twitching again. Sure, in the back of his mind, he’s trying to figure out exactly how long it’d take someone like him to recover from such a shot. “Good to hear. I’ve also heard that you’re a fan of tea. Do you have a favorite?”

“Yeah, there’s a kind that’s from Istav, I get it imported sometimes. It’s made of a cave fungus. It’s really nice, but for some reason people I try to offer it to hate it.”

Travis shrugs. “Eh, sometimes people don’t tend to appreciate that kind of thing for whatever reason. Is there anything about your job that you dislike?”

“I mean, not really? It’s fun, good work. As long as two people exist in this galaxy, there’ll be a contract to kill someone. Besides, I can’t exactly go back to a normal life. I have the death penalty on me in four different sectors.”

“Holy shit…what brought the death penalty on?”

“Sec-delta-53, I helped take out the Grand Ambassador of LaiariCorp. Sec-alpha-34, that’s my home sector, I’m wanted for piracy, which carries the penalty of death by vaporization in the Istavii-Nongma Commonwealth…uh…let’s see. The third was an accident, I fired a round at the wrong time I sent a small meteorite into a pre-space world…crime according Nharil Union’s bullshit ‘anti-enlightenment’ laws.” She makes air quotes, clearly thinking it’s unjust. “I didn’t even kill anyone, just wrecked a few miles of forest. Last one, just general piracy in sec-Null 9. Most people just want pirates dead, I guess?”

He thinks for a few seconds. “If…if you were given the opportunity to go for something other than piracy as a career option, what might you choose?”

“I’d probably go into science. Study psionics for a living.”

“Ah, cool. I’ve met a number of different scientists over time…though most of those weren’t on the best of terms. Not gonna really go into that, though. Where do you see yourself in…say, five years?”

“Either dead, or happily married on some paradise world and living the rest of my days being served by beautiful women.”

“Really gonna hope for the second one there. Trust me on this one, death tends to be painful.” Though he isn’t sure if that’d apply to everyone or just those that would return from it. “I’ll probably have to head out in a few, but I’ve got a few more questions. Is there anything that scares you above all else?”

“Not really. Used to be my nightmares, but those don’t bother me anymore. I have ’em every night. I mean, I guess I’m a little afraid of those anti-psion fucks who keep coming after me, but they’re not really bothersome unless you out yourself as a psion to them.”

“Ugh…yeah, I could see them being a bitch to deal with. So, what kind of drawbacks are there to being a psion? Aside from what you just mentioned.”

“Eh. Extradimensional monsters constantly haunting your dreams kinda sucks.”

“Damn…yeah, I can imagine. Thanks for taking the time to talk to me, by the way.”

“No problem. It’s welcome to meet someone new.”

“Yep, no argument there,” he replies, getting up. “And hoping everything goes well.”

He checks his back pocket again. Okay, someone didn’t come by and nick his wallet during the conversation. Always a good sign.

Naomi

 

Jared’s work can be found:

http://royalroadl.com/fiction/11618

https://www.facebook.com/JaredJFlemingWriter

https://www.patreon.com/JaredJFlemingWriter

 

 

 

 

 

Travis had his turn already, so here’s the other half of Double Trouble.

Library of Erana

#Swiftsix #graphicnovel

Name: Spencer Abbot

CardSetTell us about yourself: (Name, race/species, etc.) Hello, there. My name is Dr. Spencer Abbot, and I (unlike most of the family I’ve married into) am mostly human. The only part of me that is not 100% natural is my lower left leg.

I’m an adventurer – why should I recruit you to accompany me? Never know when you’ll need a medic on some sort of adventure. Also, I’ve been learning magic lately, and it’s been going well. So, a mage might also be useful.

Tell us about your companions?  How do they see you? Starting with Travis, he seems to see me as a tall twig that walks and needs protection. I love the guy, but he has an even worse track record than I do in terms of staying out of trouble. Next is my wife. I’m sure she loves me, but I…

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I had hoped to have book 5 out by now, but…yep, STILL working on that one and frustrated at myself for being so slow. On everything, basically. This weekend, though…I’m working on final edits, finishing the comic pages, and assembly all at the same time, basically. One of these days, I’ll have this thing published. And who knows? Maybe someone might even find it worth it to pay me! I can hope, right?

 

Anyway, the next segment of this comic is below. Part 1 can be found here.

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So, I recently had two of my characters interviewed, and first up is Travis.

Library of Erana

#Graphicnovel #Horror

VisionsPaperbackArc1.pngCharacter Name: Travis Malone

Which book/world do you live in?:  Hell Bent

Tell us about yourself:  Well, I’m pretty damn hard to kill, for one thing. Also, I’m part-monkey. Both of those come from some genetic stuff my mom did. Not like that, though! I’m adopted, and she’s a scientist. Also, my hair grows a little every time I come back from the dead.

What are your greatest strengths and weaknesses?

Strengths, hm? I’m…uh…well, I guess I’m kinda cute in some way? I know I’m not that smart. Hell, if I were, I might’ve made it through college. I’d say I’m perfectly fine, but the multiple nightmares and shit have made that a complete lie. Uhh…please don’t tell McManus, Jesse, or my dad that one. They’d totally take advantage of that. Plus, my nose is too big, and… Damn. I think I focused on the weaknesses a…

View original post 315 more words

Gallery  —  Posted: May 25, 2017 in Uncategorized

Comic-y Stuff

Posted: May 17, 2017 in Uncategorized

As of last night, book 5 has hit the next step to completion: the flat colors for the comic pages are complete! Taking a day off from that to work on other stuff (like the RWBY fan art piece, character sketches, and the 3rd episode of that series involving a Grim Reaper version of my half-monkey dude). Now, what about episode 2, you might ask? I’ve posted it to Patreon as of a couple weeks ago. And for $5, the whole thing can be read in one sitting.

But there’s been enough of a waiting period between there and here, so…the first segment of DFTR: Episode 2.

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Once again, a certain half-monkey of mine has gotten the opportunity to interview another author’s character. This time around, it’s Luke Callindor, from Charles Yallowitz’s Legends of Windemere series. Also included is a poster of the main characters from the series. Well, okay, so it’s technically 7 tarot cards, assembled into a poster, but…yeah. Anyway, the interview!

 

Travis checks the name on the small notebook in his pocket, as he strides through the city one evening. It’s one not really familiar to him, but that just means he won’t be tackled and taken to one of the local labs. Sometimes, he enjoys leaving his hometown.

 

Not sure where to really begin looking for his target, he heads into the nearest tavern. If nothing else, he might be able to grab a snack. His long prehensile tail sways behind him as he strides in, and he looks around for a good place to sit down.

 

As the monkey-human hybrid’s green eyes scan the room, he notices a figure with some sort of blondish hair and pointy ears. He takes out his notebook again, tilting it a bit to read the description with the name. He sort of regrets having asked Spencer to write this down, with his classically messy doctor handwriting. But Travis does eventually decipher it.

 

Yep, that’s who he’s here to see. At least, he’s pretty sure of it. The half-monkey approaches him, his tail swaying again.

 

“Hey! Are you Luke Callindor, by any chance?”

 

“That’s me. My friend told me to meet someone with a tail here, so I guess that’s you. Nice to meet up.”

 

Travis takes a seat at the table, his tail curling around one of the legs.

 

“So, name’s Travis. Last name Malone. And I was wondering if you’d wanna talk for a bit? See, I’d heard a little about you, and I got curious, and it felt like a good idea to get outta my hometown for a bit… SO, anyway, the whole adventuring thing…how’d you get into that?”

 

“Well, I’m a Callindor, which is a heroic bloodline. Nearly every one of my ancestors was an adventurer and did great things. So, it was only natural that I’d want to be like them. Some people call it a curse since part of it stems from a wanderlust that Callindors feel when they get older. It does make it sound like I had no choice in being an adventurer, but I like it . . . Usually.”

 

“Sounds like one hell of a legacy to live up to. Seen anything that’s really scared you? Like, to the point that you can’t sleep for a while because you keep seeing it every freaking time you close your eyes? “

 

“I’ve run into a lot of demons and bizarre monsters, but none of those have really given me nightmares. They’re part of the path. Closest thing there is the Hellfire Elf that nearly killed me during my first adventure. Actually, the scariest thing I’ve ever had to face was a man. If you could call him that. Stephen was powerful, sadistic, and bloodthirsty. I do get chills whenever I think about how close he came to killing all of us.”

Travis shivers slightly. “Yeah…some of the scariest people I’ve ever run into myself were more human than anything else. And what about annoyances? What pisses you off more than anything else?”

 

“I’m not a fan of spiders, but that’s a phobia instead of a pet peeve. This might sound cliché, but people threatening my friends. Actually, people threatening anyone tends to get me annoyed. Sari keeps pointing out that I have a hero complex, which I need to get under control.”

 

“I know how that one goes,” Travis replies. “Got a friend that’s not a fan of spiders, himself. I’ve seen the guy scream and hurl ice spells at spiders several times. And seriously? Not a cliché at all. Trust me on that one. I’m kinda the same way with my friends and family.”

 

Travis thinks on how to go into this next question, his tail thumping against the chair for a moment.

 

“Okay, so, it probably sounds like I’m jumping into the awkward and personal stuff pretty early on, but I’ve heard about your…let’s call ‘em relationship issues. How would you say that’s going for you? Because that’s gotta be rough to deal with, for…well, all three of you.”

 

“It’s fine. Everything’s fine. Sari and Kira aren’t trying to kill each other. We’ve figured out a way to put the messy stuff in the past. Nobody’s feelings are too hurt since we all knew what we were getting into. To be fair, I’d never had a girlfriend before and my first one ends up coming from a culture that practices open relationships before marriage? It’s got a bad learning curve, especially when you add a gypsy to the mix. As rough as it was on us, I’d like to think we all came out more mature.”

 

The half-monkey nods slightly, relieved that the two girlfriends he’s had over time were at different points. He’s not sure he would have the fortitude to navigate an open relationship.

 

“Cool, cool. Alrighty, a more conventional question. What makes you happiest?”

 

“Just being in nature. It used to be going on an adventure, but I think my wanderlust is fading away. Simply being in a forest and relaxing makes me feel recharged. At least it would if I could ever find time for it. Being a champion destined to stop an ancient evil doesn’t give me much free time.”

 

As Travis listens, he tries to think of what it’d be like to have a destiny. And then he considers that maybe he’s destined to be targeted by anything and everything back home. But he pulls himself out of that mindset before going to the next question.

 

“Is there anything in your life you’d do differently, if given the chance?”

 

“So many things because I’ve made a bunch of mistakes. Probably do things differently with Kira and Sari? It’s hard to tell because the regrets are part of me now. Timoran has told me that our mistakes are as essential to growth as our successes. So, I don’t know if I’d want to change my past.”

 

Travis taps the table a few times, thinking on his next question. He has a few of them, but is trying to decide just which one he should go for.

 

“So…tell me a bit about the other champions. I mean, I know you guys are all close and they’re, like, a second family and all… Is there anything you disagree about in particular?”

 

“We argue about tactics, plans, and the usual, but end up agreeing when it really counts. It can get a little tense since you have some strong personalities. Well, mostly Nyx and her temper. Then there’s Sari being mischievous, me being impulsive, Dariana is fairly low key, Delvin is always trying to maintain some control, and Timoran picks his battles. We tend to compliment each other fairly often. Ordering food can be an issue though. Everyone has their own preferences and it tends to be whoever pays gets to choose. Unless it’s Sari because she doesn’t always pay with her own money.”

 

 

“Outta curiosity, is there a reason you use two swords? Is it for the sake of symmetry, or because it looks cool, or what?”

 

“My family uses a fighting style called the Whirlwind of Uli. It’s been perfected over the generations and requires two swords. Callindors train to be ambidexterous from childhood, which helps with the reflexes. The style tends to put speed above power, which is why I have my sabers. I know some people think a shield would be better, but I can still block with one sword and stab with the other.”

 

“What kind of weapon would you use if you didn’t have the two swords?”

 

“Uh . . . one sword? I never really thought about it since I’ve been using two since I was a toddler. Maybe a spear or I’d learn archery like my dad?”

 

“If you had to do something with your life other than—I’m just gonna say it—being a badass, what would it be?”

 

“I’m going to guess you mean a path other than adventuring. Considering my skills and experience are with nature, I’d probably be a hunter or forest guide. Many forest trackers take on these roles when they’re tired of fighting. I’m not very good at blacksmithing, farming, or most of your more common trades. So, I’d definitely go for something that involved being outside and helping others.”

 

The redhead listened. And as he thought of the answer and their conversation so far, he could definitely see him taking that route.

 

“Okay…now, I don’t know all the details, but I heard that your creator’s gonna be putting you through the wringer in this next book. I’ve been through a ton of horrifying crap, myself, so…would you want a hug, by any chance? I’d probably just go for it, but basically everyone back home told me ‘Travis, you don’t know the guy. It’s best just to ask first so he doesn’t freak out on you,’ and such.”

 

“I guess we can have a hug. Honestly, I didn’t expect that question before I mention what happens.”

 

Travis gets up and puts his arms around Luke. “Yeah…not everyone expects the question, there. I just ask partly because of the whole, y’know, ‘ask first’ thing, and there’s that whole thing where I’ve been through some shit, myself, and it usually helps a little, and…yeah.”

 

After a moment, he steps away, sits down again, and bats at some of his own hair for a few seconds, thinking about how to ask the next question. Before long, he looks at Luke again.

 

“And speaking of what’s coming up in your life…think you’ll be okay? I ask mainly because I know from experience that creators can be effin’ sadists that love seeing their characters in pain.”

 

“This is a tough one because the series has been fully written. All I can say is that I won’t be the same after this. Will I be okay? That’s going to be for other people to decide when they see what I’m like. The thing is that this book has been planned for a long time, so I’ve braced myself for it. Doesn’t help considering I’m being tortured, healed, and tortured some more. Yeah, I guess I’ll say I’ll be okay.”

 

He flinches at the thought of the torture-heal-torture cycle. That sounds sort of familiar to him, and it’s not something he’d like to experience again.

 

“I heard this Baron guy’s a nasty piece of work… Think you guys have a chance of stopping him? Like, scale of 1 to 10, how likely do you think it is?”

 

“If you asked me before my current situation, I’d say a 7 or 8. He’s tough and scary, but there’s 6 champions. Not to mention he’s been locked up in the Chaos Void for centuries, so he should be rusty. Now that I’ve met him . . . 3 or 4? This guy is like nothing we’ve fought before. I don’t even know how Gabriel expected us to be prepared to battle someone this monstrous. On the plus side, I’m used to being the underdog. People are more likely to underestimate you, so maybe that puts us at a 5.”

 

 

Soon enough, Travis sighs and gets up. “Sorry I can’t stay longer and ask more stuff. But I should probably get going. Thanks for your time, dude. And here’s hoping for the best!”

 

The half-monkey tucks the notebook back into his pocket and takes to all fours, walking on his knuckles.

 

You can read more about Luke in the Legends of Windemere series, which can be found here: Books 1-12 and the newest release: Ritual of the Lost Lamb

And of course, you could always check the official WordPress for more.

ChampionsPoster

From left to right: Luke, Fizzle, Nyx, Sari, Timoran, Delvin, Dariana

I’d definitely recommend this series. Also, watch for more character interviews in the near future! ^_^

Our Epic Worlds

WelcomeToHellBentThe Hell Bent series follows a family of genetic experiments, cyborgs, and magic users as they try to live their normal lives. However, their peace is disrupted by the various enemies they’ve made over time.

Arc 1: Travis Malone and Dr. Spencer Abbot never expected their lives to devolve into a sheer nightmare until they encountered Jesse Lynn Belle.

Visions- A quest that began with a hunt for an anniversary gift turns into a struggle to stay alive.

Retribution- Five months after the Visions Incident, Travis and Spencer learn that they still aren’t safe. RetributionPaperbackArc1.pngDestruction- Another four months pass. And Travis is taken from his home and loved ones and thrust into his own personal hell.DestructionPaperbackFrontCover

Arc 2: After the various encounters with Jesse, Dr. Abbot feels it is time he learns to defend himself. But then his life goes downhill when he chooses the wrong teacher…

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