Interview with Belladonna, hero of HELL’S DODO by Tamara Lowery

Hello Pat, I finally convinced Belladonna, one of the major characters in my Waves of Darkness series to agree to an interview. Thanks for this opportunity. ~ Tamara Lowery

Who are you?

(laughs) A more accurate question would be “What are you?”

I am Belladonna, eldest daughter of the great sea dragon Theonikos, which makes me a siren.

Do you embrace conflict?

Life is conflict. yes, I embrace conflict. Occasionally I even incite it; the chemical changes it causes in the bodies of my prey add flavor to the meat.

How do you see yourself?

I am a predator. For the most part, my prey is sentient. There have been times when I’ve had to settle for sharks, but I prefer mermaids or humans.

Do you think the author portrayed you accurately?

Most definitely, although I object to her attempts to humanize me. Any human traits I exhibit are merely learned habits I use to blend in with my prey or to capitalize on their weaknesses. I do like to play with my food.

She does at least recognize the difference between a mermaid and a siren. I know that my shark tail in my true form rather than human guise could cause some confusion on the matter. (extends fingers to 10-inch razor-sharp talons and grins literally ear-to-ear to reveal multiple rows of needle-like teeth) However, mermaids do not eat sirens, nor can they take human form.

Well, I should correct that. True mermaids are blonde and cannot take human form. Sirens have red hair and can take human form. The rare males can also transform into sea dragons capable of swallowing a ship whole. Viktor Brandewyne (pauses in irritation) sired a merman on a mermaid. The new strain in the species has black hair and can take human form. At least the dark-haired ones cannot breed with humans like the purebreds. As it is, they breed like guppies and are quickly becoming the dominant strain in the species. (frowns in disgust)

Do you have a goal?

It used to be to regain my freedom. I once made the mistake of taking a bite out of Viktor. Now, I am magically and telepathically bound to the pirate-turned-vampire. He is powerful enough to master me, something I fought against vehemently for some time. My attitude toward him has changed over the years we’ve sailed together. My primary goal is to help him find the Sisters of Power. After that: we’ll see.

What makes you happy?

A skilled lover and a satisfying meal. In most cases, the former becomes the latter. As I said, I like to play with my food.

What do you regret?

Biting that chunk out of Viktor. I was free for millennia.

What, if anything, haunts you?

Being exiled from my native waters of the Mediterranean and Black seas. Who’d think that old wizard would be so touchy over a few hurricanes?

Have you ever betrayed anyone?

I had my pregnant sister killed in an attempt to protect my territory from her mate. It didn’t work.

Do you have any distinguishing marks?

(smiles wryly) That is an interesting, if abrupt, subject change. Did my answer to the last question disturb you?

Very well: I have blood red hair. My eyes are the color of the ever-changing sea in my human guise but amber-gold in my true form. I have a mouthful of very efficient, needle-like teeth and can open my mouth wide enough to bite a man’s face off, but I can make them appear blunt like a human’s. My jaws are powerful enough to crush a man’s skull. My fingers can extend to 10-inch, razor-sharp talons and house toxin-bearing stinger cells in the fingertips, much like the stinger cells found in jellyfish tentacles. They exude toxins that can cause mild discomfort, chemical burns, anesthesia, or a paralysis that can cause a very painful but swift death. I also have an amazing voice capable of ultrasonic frequencies and volumes that can sonically lobotomize a human. I use song-spells to bend the winds and currents to my will.

What in your past had the most profound effect on you?

The murder of my sister. It led to a war between me and her mate. Eventually, it led to my exile from and the dragon’s restriction to my old territory. He cannot pass beyond Gibraltar, and I would forfeit my freedom to him to reenter those waters.

Who is your true love?

I am loathe to admit love at all. It is too human an emotion, and I am NOT human. However, given how rarely I have observed what you call “true love” really demonstrated by humans, I will say that I love Viktor. I would and have put his needs above my own, something normally alien to my nature. Anything less than that is merely lust or infatuation, two things all too often called “love.” Oh, I understand and enjoy lust quite well. It is a very useful tool to me. Infatuation, however, is something I never have and never will suffer from.

What is your favorite food? Why?

Mermaid, purebred anyway. To eat any of the strain Viktor introduced would only bind me that much closer to his will and possibly incur his anger. He is very protective of anything he considers his.

I prefer mermaid over human because their diet is far healthier, and they present more of a challenge as prey than humans. They are wily and wary of predators. Humans, the males especially, but quite often the females, too, all too often allow their lust to override their sense of self-preservation or forethought to the consequences of their actions. I’ve had men swim to my deadly embrace willingly; simply because they were more focused on what was below my shoulders rather than what was above them.

If you were stranded on a desert island, who would you rather be stranded with, a man or a woman?

(laughs again) First, I can’t be stranded on an island, with the exception of Hell’s Breath Island. She only lets you leave when she wants you to.

However, for the sake of argument, if I was stranded on an island, I wouldn’t care whether I was with a man or a woman. Food is food.

You can read my profile page at http://talowery.wordpress.com/waves-of-darkness-character-profiles/belladonna-image-nsfw As the URL indicates, my profile picture is not safe for work. I find clothing a nuisance.

Thank you for being a gracious hostess. Is there anyone around here you wouldn’t miss? All this talk of food has my appetite up.

Thank you for letting me interview you. I think.

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