with Neve Talbot, author of “West End”
Today, I am walking with a close friend. I only met her a few weeks ago, but when I did, I loved her instantly. She is one of those people that “fits” wherever she goes. I do not mean she is a social butterfly; she is really very quiet. What I mean is that walking next to her is like walking next to a cool ocean breeze. See, Beth has the gift of healing. She volunteers in a hospital in Jamaica, sitting with people in their rooms and attending to their needs while they are there. I have seen her in action, and seen the radiant smiles of the patients she attends in the hospital. I would venture so far as to say that Beth has saved some lives, lifting broken spirits from the depths of despair.
She is also a resident patient, and I wish her prognosis was a happy one.
with Scott E. Tarbet, author of “Nautilus Redux”
Today, I walked for miles, treasure hunting. I was rewarded when I reached the house of a Mr. Ned Land, whose riches are in his own life story: for his life intersects with the with the lives of both Captain Nemo and Professor Arronax. I have waited long weeks to talk to Mr. Land, but every journalist wants to talk to him. They want to talk about the Nautilus and Nemo. I thought about that but . . . . No, that would have been too obvious.
I came to see Ned Land, to ask him about Captain Ahab.
Mr. Land does not like reporters, so I was careful to approach him as a friend, not as a cutthroat who would kill for a story. I prepared my questions carefully, but it was a daunting task. Sitting across from me in his own tea room, serving me crackers and cheese, was the closest living connection to the Nautilus. This was one of the men who traveled the world under the seas, in the first known submarine. I could spend weeks just completing a single interview, but for today, I focused on only two of the giant characters in his past.
It happened that Mr. Land saw the last days of a one-legged sea captain that stalked a great white giant. Yes, Ned Land met Captain Ahab himself, years after the sinking of the Pequod, and yes he was still haunted by the monstrous Moby Dick! Not many people know the story of their final days – I mean, the real story, not the one that is so often retold. Mr. Land knows. He met both the man and the monster, just as they locked together in the titanic clash that changed him forever.
Here is the transcript of my interview with him. Continue reading
Walking aboard a spaceship with J. Aurel Guay, author of “The Princess of Jasoom”
Today, I am in a shipyard. Once again, it is the Victorian era, and once again, I am surrounded by brilliant, impossible machinery. However, unlike my walk with the con artists of The Silver Scams, I am pleased to note that I can be a female on this walk. Small favors.
I wander down the boardwalk, merely curious. It looks as if a war was waged here. There are planks of broken timber, shards of wood, and then . . . oh, hang on, there is a young woman there, lying unconscious! Though her clothing is damaged, she is still well-dressed and attractive. I check her pulse, and she is living. She seems to be sleeping peacefully, but she has many cuts and bruises. Normally, I would help, but my tight Victorian gown with its full bustle isn’t going to give me much maneuvering room. I need to find someone to assist.
There, at the end of the dock, I see a ship under construction. At least, I think it’s a ship. It isn’t going anywhere on the ocean, that’s for sure. I stand, gazing at it, looking for a human face somewhere in the automaton construction crew. To my surprise, a ramp lowers down to my feet, inviting me to enter.
with M. K. Wiseman, author of “The Silver Scams”
Steampunk author M. K. Wiseman, creator of the story “The Silver Scams,” arranges a walk for me with two rather shady characters.
I have, upon this occasion, traveled all the way to Holland to speak with a most impressive gentleman who has promised to raise the country above sea level. Dr. Thomas Silvertongue, has extended to me an express invitation to tour his facilities, promising to answer any questions I might pose.
Or, that’s what I want him to think.
It bears mentioning here that I must rely on my limited knowledge of costuming in order to meet this man. Already, I am sure that I am dealing with a con artist, and I want to know for sure. I must appear as someone who would perk his interest, and not in a male-female way. He must believe me to be in a position of political power. I think I can pass for a guy, but not easily. The era of Victorian Steampunk clothing helps — there is more for me to put on, and less chance of discovery. I am hoping that Dr. Silvertongue does not care enough to notice my heavy makeup and thick overcoat. Well, anything for an adventure!
Approaching the site, I already find myself impressed. Though the building is not much to look at from the outside, there is much commotion within. Sheets of metal lie about the floor while the man himself, Dr. Silvertongue, oversees production from a makeshift office. I see he has secured a chair for me. Continue reading
What does a heralded, hooded, pointy-toed Merry Man of Robin Hood’s gang have to do with an Appalachian water ghoul?
A walk before Midnight
with Author TC Phillips
TC Phillips, author of the story “60 Seconds to Midnight,” gave me a bone-chilling interview with his character, Victoria.
. . . or, is it his character Ylana?
To be honest, I was sure that I spoke to two young ladies during this walk. It was obvious that one body held two souls. However, the conversation was a delicate one. Not only two souls, but two worlds unite in this poor creature. She was a mess when I saw her, pale and worn. She looked to be no older than her late teens, but her eyes held centuries of pain. Abandoned by her family in our Terran reality, Victoria met Ylana inside her own head, while struggling for survival on the streets of Cardiff. Soon after that, she languished in a mental institution, fighting the pain that came from suppressing Ylana’s voice. Continue reading
at the Dawn of Time
with Jodi Milner
Author, Jodi Milner, really rocked it for me. I mean, it’s brave of another writer to let me interview a character, but Jodi made a leap of faith, and let some of my characters talk to hers.
As it happens, Ms. Milner’s story, “Breath,” graces The Toll of Another Bell, right along with my story, Jilted River. It didn’t take me long to notice that her story had a set of twins, a brother and a sister, just like my story. So as you might guess, my twins, Trystan and Wagner, were eager to interview the elemental twins, Aquata and Ventus. Continue reading
A walk through Abréal
with Danielle Shipley
Author, Danielle Shipley, gave me a fascinating interview with her character, Heartsinger.
Ms. Shipley tells the story, “Reality as We Know It,” in the fantasy anthology, The Toll of Another Bell. Two companions leave a tortured life in a dream world to make a new life in the “real” world of London. The world Ms. Shipley invents is not a dull one. Abréal is a land of true dreams, where all thoughts come to life by force of will. Cruel judges rule the world, and dictate a fate to Heartsinger that is worse than death. He and his best friend spend a month, after arriving in our world, just discovering how much they need each other. Continue reading
A walk on the roof with Dragonflyers
and Author Scott Tarbet
Rather than “walk,” perhaps it is more appropriate to call this a “dragonflight.” Author Scott E. Tarbet told the story, “The Year of No Foals,” in the fantasy anthology, The Toll of Another Bell. This was where he introduced me to his character, Murphy Hargreaves. I begged Scott to help me get this interview. Murph captured me as soon as he was introduced. He is a “Horse Man” and a horseman. He is the kind of trainer who sleeps in the stables, personally overseeing the care of his horses. He has done that job for as long as he can remember, and he was still doing that job in Dubai, when we met on top of a high rise building. That was his work and his home, right there on the roof. Continue reading
Announcing: Character Walks
What if you could jump into a book, and talk with someone who is there? That’s what I’m doing in my new series, Character Walks. You’ve read the story once, from one perspective. I want to go into the books, and talk to the people in them. These authors are bravely passing the pen to their creations, letting them walk with me for awhile as I interview them. Join me for some amazing journeys to far-off lands, and some surprising talks with new characters.