Kendra DeSola the Hero of School of Lies by Mickey Hoffman

Bertram: What is your story?

Kendra: I don’t have stories, I have issues. I’d tell you about them but you’d be sorry you asked.

Bertram: Who are you?

Kendra: My name is Kendra DeSola and I teach Special Education in a city high school.

Bertram: Are you the hero of your own story?

Kendra: Well, I think I am but I have been told I wouldn’t get any awards for my behavior.

Bertram: What is your problem in the story?

Kendra: I’m sort of being set up. First I thought it was just to make me look like a child molester, but things went down hill after that.

Bertram: Do you embrace conflict?

Kendra: No, it finds me because I keep asking too many questions.

Bertram: How do you see yourself?

Kendra: An idealistic and strong-minded young woman.

Bertram: How do your friends see you?

Kendra: A pig-headed compulsive who has a mother hen complex. Hey wait, those are my friends?

Bertram: How do your enemies see you?

Kendra: Now you have me confused. I’ve been called a snoop, I can say.

Bertram: How does the author see you?

Kendra: She thinks I can get out of all the dubious situations she writes me into without long-term consequences. Me, I’m not sure about that.

Bertram: Do you think the author portrayed you accurately?

Kendra: Of course not. I would never lie…

Bertram: Do you have any special strengths?

Kendra: Definitely. I can figure out what people are really thinking and if they’re lying to me or not.

Bertram: Do you have any special weaknesses?

Kendra: Maybe it’s a weakness to not give up on kids that nobody else wants to deal with. Sometimes that feels like a weakness. Or maybe a punishment.

Bertram: Do you have any skills?

Kendra: I can think really fast when I get into trouble.

Bertram: What do you want?

Kendra: I wish I could get rid of some of the rotten people I work with. Oh god, that doesn’t sound good, after what happened. I must mean that if people really knew what goes on, there would be a lot of changes in the schools.

Bertram: What makes you angry?

Kendra: I don’t like being lied to and I don’t like being discounted because I teach Special Ed.

Bertram: What makes you sad?

Kendra: Professionally, the fact that nobody wants my kids in the schools. Personally, I’d rather not say.

Bertram: What do you regret?

Kendra: I regret not being able to stop what I think was a murder. Those damn cops, they didn’t believe me!

Bertram: What, if anything, haunts you?

Kendra: The sister of a coworker told me I didn’t care about him until it was too late.

Bertram: Has anyone ever betrayed you?

Kendra: You mean, like they betrayed a confidence? I have to say no because I’m pretty cautious about who I trust. In fact, I’m not sure I like all your questions but I’m trying to be patient here or my author will be very angry with me.

Bertram: Have you ever failed anyone?

Kendra: You have to ask them. My author thinks I might have. What does she know?

Bertram: Do you keep your promises?

Kendra: Um, well. Usually. When they deserve to be kept.

Bertram: What was your childhood like?

Kendra: It was okay until my older brother got set up to look like a drug dealer and went to jail. By the time the truth came out he’d already served several years!

Bertram: What in your past would you like others to forget?

Kendra: If anyone saw the slanderous email about me, I hope they forget that fast!

Bertram: What is your most closely guarded secret?

Kendra: That trouble at Standard High, I know some stuff.

Bertram: Do you have any hobbies?

Kendra: I play on line fantasy computer games and I love home decorating.

Bertram: What is your favorite scent?

Kendra: Anything that doesn’t smell like my classroom.

Bertram: What is your favorite food?

Kendra: Cheese crackers because I don’t have to cook them.

Bertram: What is your favorite beverage?

Kendra: I love coffee, I have to say. Maybe because I can cook it.

Bertram: What are the last five entries in your check registry?

Kendra: What are you, the FBI? The detectives didn’t even ask for that!

Bertram: What are the last three books you read?

 Some boring thing about bilingual education, the book I got written into “School of Lies” and I reread “Lord of the Rings.”

Bertram: If you had the power to change one thing in the world that didn’t affect you personally, what would it be?

Kendra: I’d do something to shelter all the homeless animals. Right now I’m–oh, I can’t tell you that because I’m not supposed to give anything away.

Bertram: How do you envision your future?

Kendra: I will be teaching for a long time but I’ll be in a decent school before long, I just know it!

Bertram: You said you got written into School of Lies. Where can I get a copy of the book?

Kendra: I got mine from Second Wind Publishing, LLC. It’s also on Amazon.

Jack, the Torment Demon, from Shadows by Joan De La Haye

Bertram: Who are you?

Jack: I’m a Torment demon who will drive you to suicide. I’ll even help you pull the trigger. It’s all in a day’s work and I love my job.

Bertram: Where do you live?

Jack: I live in the Shadow World when I’m not tormenting some idiot human.

Bertram: Are you the hero of your own story?

Jack: Of course. Why wouldn’t I be the hero? Just because I’m a demon doesn’t mean I can’t be the hero.

Bertram: What is your problem in the story?

Jack: My latest victim doesn’t want to believe I’m real. It really irritates me when people do that. I’m not simply a figment of the imagination.

Bertram: Do you embrace conflict?

Jack: Oh, I’m the very heart and soul of conflict. I get bored very easily and causing conflict is the best way to liven things up. Wouldn’t you agree? 

Bertram: How do your friends see you?

Jack: My friends have long since withered to dust. All I have now are the people who I torment and others of my kind. They aren’t exactly the friendly type. I don’t care how others perceive me. I’m not who I am by choice, so you and everybody else can think what you like.

Bertram: Do you have a hero?

Jack: What part of ‘I’m the hero’ didn’t you understand?

Bertram: Do you have a goal?

Jack: My goal is to make you kill yourself and if I get to make you scream along the way – well, that’s just gravy.

Bertram: What makes you happy?

Jack: The sound of someone’s agonised screams has always put a smile on my face. I also love popping open a bottle of Champagne when yet another soul becomes mine to torment for all eternity. Of course I never tell them that will happen before they blow their brains out. The look of shock on their faces when they realise their fate makes it all worth while.

Bertram: What are you afraid of?

Jack: Well, considering I can’t die, there isn’t all that much that scares me, but the council members, who run the Shadow World, always manage to scare what’s left of my humanity right out of me.

Bertram: What makes you angry?

Jack: I get very angry when my victims ignore me or try to pretend that there’s nothing wrong.

Bertram: What makes you sad?

Jack: It upsets me when my victims give in, when they stop fighting. Why do people give up so easily?

Bertram: What do you regret?

Jack: What kind of a question is that? Don’t you have anything better to do than ask ridiculous questions? Why would I have regrets? I’m a demon. Demons don’t have regrets, do we?

Bertram: Has anyone ever betrayed you?

Jack: One of my slaves betrayed me, murdered my family and turned me into this fearsome, horrible creature.

Bertram: Have you ever failed anyone?

Jack: Yes, I failed to protect my wife when I was mortal. As a result both she and our unborn child were murdered in a foul and unspeakable manner.

Bertram: Do you keep your promises?

Jack: If I promise that you’re going to die screaming – you will die screaming.

Bertram: Are you honorable?

Jack: I have my own code of honour, so in that way I would say – yes. I am honorable.

Bertram: What is your favorite music?

Jack: I quite enjoy listening to Queen. Their ‘I’m Going Slightly Mad’ is now one of my favourite songs. I’m thinking of making it my anthem.

Bertram: What is your favorite item of clothing?

Jack: My leather biker jacket is my favourite item of clothing. It makes me look really mean.

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

Jack: I would definitely prefer being stranded with a woman. Their screams are just so much more interesting. There’s something about the pitch when a woman screams. It sends shivers up my spine.

Bertram: How do you envision your future?

Jack: Well, my future is looking pretty interesting at this stage. I’m going to have a lot of fun with a girl called Carol. You’ll read about her in Shadows and I think you’ll agree that she deserves me. Then I’m going to pay Sarah another visit. I’ve missed her.

See also: On Writing Shadows by Joan De La Haye
               
Starting an E-Publishing Company by Joan De La Haye

Niall Campbell, the Hero of Invisible Hand by Larry Mason

Bertram: What is your story?

Niall: I was recently released from captivity and have returned to the U.S. in 2028. Things seem to have changed. The computer sees and hears everything anyone does. There must be some vast conspiracy going on but I can’t seem to tell who is behind it or what their motives are. I am determined to do what I can to rescue my daughter and her family but they seem to not notice being oppressed.

Bertram: Who are you?

Niall: I am a former developing nations education consultant who was kidnapped by terrorists and seemingly forgotten when the world economies nearly collapsed. I have been held for 15 years in the mountains near the Afghanistan border. If you want to know more about me, you can read the entire novel at http://www.nopom.info or listen to it in MP3 from there (no ads) or read the novel on Gather.com and see the comments of others.

Bertram: Let’s finish this interview first. Where do you live?

Niall: I have been moving pretty much since I came back. I couldn’t stay with my daughter because that would be imposing. I rented a small house for a couple of months near Washington, DC and took work driving a garbage truck. Then I moved to Los Alamos, New Mexico and worked as a computer operator in the large computer center there.

Bertram: Are you the hero of your own story?

Niall: I thought I was but the further along I go the more I begin to wonder.

Bertram: What is your problem in the story?

Niall: To find out about this computer controlled society and how to defeat it, at least to the extent of escaping with my daughter and her family. It’s like fighting smoke, though.

Bertram: Do you embrace conflict?

Niall: Absolutely not. I was held captive for years as a result of conflict. I have never been the fighting sort. But my experience has made me somewhat paranoid. I take some drugs to help with that but there’s still that suspicious edge. I don’t know whom to trust, if anyone.

Bertram: Do you run from conflict?

Niall: In some ways, yes but in other ways I stand my ground. If I see I am in the wrong I will admit my error but if I feel I am in the right I am braver than I thought.

Bertram: How do you see yourself?

Niall: As an ordinary, late middle-aged guy who had some strange events happen to him.

Bertram: How do your friends see you?

Niall: As a nice guy who seems to not understand how things work now. As a guy who puts his foot in his mouth from time to time but who is willing to pull his weight.

Bertram: How do your enemies see you?

Niall: How can I tell? I don’t know who they are or where they are. But they must be watching and hearing every thing I do and say because that computer is everywhere.

Bertram: How does your author, Larry Mason, see you?

Niall: He seems to think I only exist to show how this scary system works. He has me asking questions and arguing with people and even going to school. Of course it has been interesting, I’ll give him that.

Bertram:  Do you think the author portrayed you accurately?

Niall: Pretty well. He seems to have interviewed my parents and talked to my ex-wife and even explored my dreams several times. There isn’t much about me that he doesn’t know.

Bertram: Do you have a goal?

Niall: Yes. I have to save my family and myself.

Bertram: What are your achievements?

Niall: I survived physically and pretty much mentally 15 years of being held hostage in pretty impoverished confinement (dirt floor, little exercise, mostly solitary). I helped set up public school systems in third world nations. I have a really good daughter of whom I am quite proud.

Bertram: Do you have any special strengths?

Niall: No, I am just an average guy in most ways.

Bertram: Do you have any special weaknesses?

Niall: No. Other than the trauma left over from my captivity. The drugs and other treatment I received after release helped with that though there are still some problems.

Bertram: Do you have any skills?

Niall: Nothing but a good liberal arts education and that 20 years out of date. It’s hard to find a career when everything has changed so much.

Bertram: Do you have money troubles?

Niall: Funny you should mention that. The change in the nature of the money seems to be at the root of all these changes I am experiencing. I don’t have any troubles in the sense of not having enough to buy food or housing, I seem to have almost gotten rich somehow while I was out of the country. But money just isn’t the same as it was. I can buy things with it but I can’t give it to anyone else. And there are all these people who wear white clothes and have no luxuries who can give other people money but can’t have any themselves. In fact, I don’t actually need to have any money at all. People will just give me food and clothes and a place to live and not expect anything from me at all. They say the people in white pay them.

Bertram: What do you need?

Niall: I need to understand what’s going on here.

Bertram: What are you afraid of?

Niall: I am afraid of that computer system with its eyes and ears everywhere keeping trace of everything I do. Yes, I know it’s helpful sometimes like when we were hurrying to the hospital it cleared the traffic and made all the lights green and warned people that we were coming and it even got the guy who was driving us to come by and pick us up. But it can be a terrible tool for any totalitarian government. They have to be controlling everybody with it. I just can’t find anybody that’s being made to do anything. Nobody be me seems to worry about it at all. They treat it like a well trained dog or like a servant. Well, I do call it “Jeeves” myself since it seems to act like a superior butler when we talk but that thing gives me the willies.

Bertram: Are you lucky?

Niall: Am I lucky? You think 15 years of abject poverty and threats of death and torture are lucky? But on the other hand, I did get through it sane, sort of, and I did live to go home, such as home is now. I guess, on balance, I have been rather lucky.

Bertram: Do you keep your promises?

Niall: I try but sometimes you just can’t.

Bertram: Are you honorable?

Niall: To the best of my ability. I think an honest person would say I was honorable.

Bertram: Are you healthy?

Niall: Well, I am still underweight and those years of malnutrition have not done me much good but it may have lengthened my life. It sure made me appreciate good food, being clean, and plumbing.

Bertram: Do you like remembering your childhood?

Niall: Yes, it was a pretty good childhood growing up in central North Dakota. It taught me a lot and we loved each other in my family.

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

Niall: My captivity, obviously.

Bertram: What in your past would you like to forget?

Niall: Nothing really. Of course I suppose there are parts of my captivity that I have forced myself to forget already.

Bertram: Have you ever had an adventure?

Niall: You mean besides being kidnapped? Yes, I was kidnapped a second time though that wasn’t nearly so bad in some ways. Of course, the second time I had to worry about someone else who may mean more to me than I realized. But only time will tell about her. Yes, her being kidnapped, too, did make the second time quite different from the first.

Bertram: Was there a major turning point in your life?

Niall: That’s hard to say. If there was I certainly didn’t realize it was a turning point at the time. Perhaps one day I will look back and say yes that was it, that incident in the bar or, perhaps, landing at the airport in D.C. or maybe just riding the bus back from Albuquerque to the payer school when I finally realized… But then, maybe there wasn’t any real turning point, maybe it was all just sort of a long, smooth curve.

Bertram: What is your most closely guarded secret?

Niall: Secret? Why would I tell you if there were? Why are you asking me all these questions? What business is it of yours who and am and what I think? I don’t think you have any business prying into my private life that way. You aren’t even a payer. I’m leaving. Goodbye.

Jakob Faircrow, one of the main characters in Wintermoon Ice, the first book of The Sons of the Mariner series by Suzanne Francis.

Bertram: Who are you?

Jakob: Jakob Tomas Faircrow

Bertram: Where do you live?

Jakob: On Earth, in a place called Cloudy Bay.  But I’ve lived a lot of other places too.  Suzanne liked me so much she decided to use me in Sons of the Mariner, but I started out in Song of the Arkafina, in a book called Ketha’s Daughter.

Bertram: What is your story?

Jakob: I came to Earth to protect Tessa Kivelson.  We have a connection from before this life that I don’t understand.  I love her very much, and she somehow tolerates me too.

Bertram: Are you the hero of your own story?

Jakob: I’m the screwup of my own story.  If you want hero you should talk to my twin brother Lut.

Bertram: What is your problem in the story?

Jakob: I’m haunted by the memory of my dead wife, who eventually comes back to life in a horribly twisted way.

Bertram: Do you embrace conflict?

Jakob: It embraces me, and I have to fight back.

Bertram: Do you run from conflict?

Jakob: Never.  I’d have to turn my back on it, and that would be a mistake.

Bertram: How does the author see you?

Jakob: She makes me seem a lot more sensitive than I really am.  Suzanne writes for other women, and they like to read mushy stuff.  I don’t mind too much–it pays the bills.

Bertram: Do you have a hero?

Jakob: My father.  He was a God — the Mariner, but he never used his power indiscriminately.  He wanted a simple, quiet life with the people he loved.

Bertram: Do you have any special strengths?

Jakob: I have the physical strength of ten regular guys.

Bertram: Do you have any special weaknesses?

Jakob: See above.  My strength makes me dangerous as hell.  Especially to people I care about.

Bertram: Do you have any skills?

Jakob: I can navigate the worlds between.

Bertram: Do you have money troubles?

Jakob: I don’t care about money or personal possessions.

Bertram: What do you want?

Jakob: To stay out of trouble.

Bertram: What do you need?

Jakob: My girlfriend Tessa.  She is my rock and my harbor.

Bertram: What do you want to be?

Jakob: Calmer and more rational.

Bertram: What do you believe?

Jakob: That the world is a dangerous place.

Bertram: What makes you happy?

Jakob:  Eating fast food.  Watching old movies with Tessa.  Going fishing with my brother.  Staying in one place.  The passage of time.

Bertram: What are you afraid of?

Jakob:  Too many things to mention.  The Gyre is a dangerous place.

Bertram:  What makes you angry?

Jakob:  Stubborn people who won’t do what’s good for them.

Bertram:  What makes you sad?

Jakob:  Thinking about Maia.

Bertram:  What, if anything, haunts you?

Jakob:  That my father left without saying goodbye.

Bertram:  Have you ever failed at anything?

Jakob:  I’ve failed at everything.

Bertram: Has anyone ever failed you?

Jakob:  I don’t give them the chance.

Bertram: Have you ever failed anyone?

Jakob:  Every woman in my life.  My mother died because of my stupidity.  My wife died because I failed to protect her.  It’s only a matter of time before I screw up my relationship with Tessa as well.

Gabriella Deza, from “Indian Summer” written by Dellani Oakes.

Bertram: To get us started, tell us a little about yourself.

Gabriella: I am Gabriella Deza, youngest daughter of Governor Ferdinand Deza. I live in the village of St. Augustine, Florida territory. The year is 1739.

Bertram: What is your story?

Gabriella: I haven’t much of one yet, I’m only just 15, but what there is of it is told by Dellani Oakes in Indian Summer.

Bertram: Are you the hero of your own story?

Gabriella: Me a hero? Heavens, no! That would be Manuel Enriques, my father’s aid du camp and the love of my life.

 Bertram:What is your problem in the story?

Gabriella: Quite by chance, I found out a terrible secret. British spy is trying to capture the fort and take over the town.

Bertram: What did you do? Did you embrace the conflict or did you run from it?

Gabriella: I’ve never wanted to embrace conflict, but one must face it bravely. Troubles are sent by God to test us. Am I going to argue with Him? I never run when I can fight.

Bertram: How does the author see you?

Gabriella: Headstrong, demure, capable, passionate, honest, loving. I am these things and ever so much more.

Bertram: Do you think the author portrayed you accurately?

Gabriella: Oh, yes, Dellani Oakes portrayed me very accurately. She seems to have seen into my heart with great alacrity.

Bertram: What do you think of yourself?

Gabriella: I think I am all those things and more. For one so young, my life suddenly became rather complicated.

Bertram: Do you have a hero?

Gabriella: My father, Manuel, and Sailfish are my heroes. They are all so brave and noble. Though, in their own way, all men are heroes, don’t you think?

Bertram: I suppose they can be. But I’d rather talk about you. Do you have a goal?

Gabriella: My goal is to marry Manuel as soon as possible. I love him more than I can possibly express. I want to be with him forever. He is my own, true love.

Bertram: What are your achievements?

Gabriella: I’m too young to really have many of those. Although I have made Manuel love me and I have done everything I can to help him and my father keep their secrets and save the town.

Bertram: Those sound like achievements to me. Do you talk about what you did, or do you keep it to yourself?

Gabriella: What need have I to brag? God sees what I have done. If He deems it worthy, than others will hear of it in time. Manual and Papa know what I have achieved. For now, that is all that is important.

Bertram: Do you have any special strengths?

Gabriella: My faith in God is my greatest strength. My faith has seen me through very trying times. I would not be the woman I am without it.

Bertram: Do you have any special weaknesses?

Gabriella: My passion for Manuel is nearly my undoing. All he need do is look at me and I go weak in the knees.

Bertram: Do you have any skills?

Gabriella: I speak English and French in addition to my native Spanish. I ride a horse very well and drive a buggy as well as any man.

Bertram: What do you need most in life?

Gabriella: I need the wretched spy disposed of so that  our town will be saved and I may marry the man I love.

Bertram: What do you want to be?

Gabriella: I want to be a wife and mother, what greater purpose is there for a woman save to go into holy orders?

Bertram: What do you believe?

Gabriella: I believe in God and I believe in the love of Manuel and my family. I also believe in my own abilities to cope with any situation life presents.

Bertram: What makes you happy?

Gabriella: Many things make me happy, but when Manuel kisses me, I can’t think of anything but how happy I am. There is only one thing which would make me happier, and that would be to marry him.

Bertram: What are you afraid of?

Gabriella: I’m terrified of losing Manuel. If he were to die, what would become of us? Papa says only he can save us in this troubled time. If I lost him, I would have no reason to live.

Bertram: What makes you angry?

Gabriella: The fact that wretched spy is trying to kill us all! He is someone we know, a person who pretends to be our friend. He has all but ruined my life. If I had the skills, I would find and slay him myself.

Bertram: What makes you sad?

Gabriella: The loss of my mother makes me sad, as does the death of Manuel’s beloved aunt. Though they are in a better place, I miss them both very much.

Bertram: What do you regret?

Gabriella: That I with all my education, I never learned how to shoot a pistol.

Bertram: Has anyone ever betrayed you?

Gabriella: Yes, the man who spies on us, using our friendship against us. He betrays me, my family, and my home. I hope I have a hand in bringing him to justice.

Bertram: Have you ever failed anyone?

Gabriella: I hope not. I will only have failed them if I do not find the spy and send him to God early for judgement.

Bertram: What was your childhood like?

Gabriella: Delightful in so many ways, but also sad because we lost Mama when I was five and Grandmama not long after. However, Papa and his new wife, Clara, have provided a loving home for the four of us. My older sisters, little brother, and I have lived in relative comfort our entire lives.

Bertram: Do you like remembering your childhood?

Gabriella: Oh, yes, very much! I have wonderful memories of my childhood.

Bertram: Who was your first love?

Gabriella: My first and only love is Manuel. I never realized how much he loves me nor I him, until he declared his love for me on my birthday. He is the most magnificent man alive and I love him more than my own life.

Bertram: What is your most prized possession?

Gabriella: My peso necklace, because Manuel gave it to me. Though my parents gave me pearls for my birthday, the peso shows Manuel’s love for me. He can’t ask me to marry him, it wouldn’t be proper, but that shows each of us our promise to wed.

Bertram: What is your favorite scent?

Gabriella: Sandalwood., because that is the scent of Manuel’s soap.

Bertram: What is your favorite color?

Gabriella: Apple green, because it was Mama’s favorite as well, and I am most like her of all three of us girls.

Bertram: What is your favorite music?

Gabriella: The flamenco I danced with Manuel.

Bertram: What is your favorite item of clothing

Gabriella: The apple green dress I wore to my party. It is the first dress I wore that showed everyone I am now a woman. And because Manuel and I danced the entire night together when I wore it.

Bertram: If you had the power to change one thing in the world that didn’t affect you personally, what would it be?

Gabriella: I think I’d like the Spanish and the English not to hate one another so much.

Bertram: What makes you think that change would be for the better? There would be less fighting and conflict in the world.

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

Gabriella: Do not think badly of me of saying this, but I would want to be stranded only with Manuel.  I can think of no one else with whom I have enough in common to spend any period of time. Only if we were married, of course. Anything else would be scandalous!

Bertram: How do you envision your future?

Gabriella: I see my future happily married to Manuel, having his children and loving him for the rest of my life.

Bertram: I hope you get your wish. Thank you for taking the time to talk to us.

Alden Cameron Lindsay Scott, the Duke of Buccleuch and Monmouth, and the Hero of A Love Out of Time by Mairead Walpole

Bertram: Before we get started, why don’t you introduce yourself.

Alden: My name is Alden Cameron Lindsay Scott, but my friends call me Alden.

Bertram: Is it true that you are a member of the titled aristocracy?

Alden: Er, yes I was and currently am the Duke of Buccleuch and Monmouth but as my wife will tell you, that and plane fare will take me anywhere I want to go.

Bertram: What is your problem in the story?

Alden: That question assumes that I had a single problem. The story sets up several problems for me. The first problem is losing the woman I felt to be my soul mate in a freak riding accident. The second is somehow walking 129 years into the future and into the arms of the woman who my soul-mate reincarnated into. The third is getting dragged back into my own time and not knowing how or if I can ever get back to her.

Bertram: Since you are here now, can we assume that you do return to this time?

Alden: Sorry, but you’ll have to read Mairead Walpole‘s A Love Out of Time to find out the specifics.

Bertram: Can you give us just a hint?

Alden: I can neither confirm nor deny anything. Mairead will sic Taly on both of us and trust me, you do not want to deal with that guy in a temper.

Bertram: Who is Taly?

Alden: You would know better recognize him as the Merlin Taliesin but he prefers to go by Taly. He is a Formorian and the head Time Sentinel. Anything that deals in time travel has to be cleared through him before being revealed to mortals and/or humans.

Bertram: Are you saying that Merlin is neither a mortal or human?

Alden: I really can’t go into that and I fear I may have revealed too much as it is. Can we get back to the interview questions that Mairead has approved through the Time Sentinels and Guardians?

Bertram: Who are the Time Sentinels and Guardians? Not going to answer that either? Then, do you think the author portrayed you accurately?

Alden: Mairead did a good job in capturing my looks and basic personality but I think she downplayed some of my confusion and discomfort with finding myself in the 21st century. I appreciate her tact but I come off as much more in control of my emotions than I really was.

Bertram: What do you mean?

Alden: Well, take the first night I found myself in this time period. I saw so much that was new and amazing like cell phones and computers, it was truly mind boggling. Then I was given clothing that in my time would have been considered laborer garb and these things that passed for shoes. I was just getting adjusted to what I was wearing when Olivia walked in the room in her low-rise jeans and that blouse…it was…um…positively shocking.

Bertram: Who’s Olivia? You’re shaking your head, so it seems that’s another question you won’t answer. Were you offended by what she was wearing?

 Alden:Oh no, offended is not exactly the word I would use. I am not sure I can use the word that comes to mind when I think of my impression of how Olivia was dressed in this forum. Let’s just say that I was seriously, um, unsettled. In my time, one did not acknowledge that women even had legs!

Bertram: What was the most difficult transition for you?

Alden: That is a hard one. I guess the hardest concept for me to accept was that a man had walked on the moon. I am still not completely convinced of that but I have experienced stranger things over the course of my acquaintence with Taly and he assures me that it did happen.

Bertram: What are you afraid of?

Alden: Losing Olivia. If something were to happen to her, I don’t know what I would do without her.

Bertram: What, if anything, haunts you?

Alden: That we haven’t seen or heard the last of Jack Horton and before you ask another question I can’t answer, you’ll have to read the book.

Bertram: Since you’re short on specifics, maybe there’s another way to let readers get a sense of who you are. For example, what are five items in your pockets?

Alden: The keys to my Porche, season tickets to the Virginia Opera that I plan to surprise Olivia with, my wallet, my grandfather’s pocket watch, and about 82 cents in spare change.

Bertram: What are the last three books you read?

Alden: EE Knight’s Fall with Honor, JJ Dare’s False Positive, and Laz Barnhill’s The Medicine People. Both Dare and Barnhill are authors from Second Wind Publishing. If I could, I’d like to use this opportunity to put in a shameless plug for all the authors from Second Wind Publishing. There is something for everyone, no matter what your favorite genre is. Mairead Walpole is – obviously – my favorite. If I didn’t say that I think she might kill me off in her next novel for this series.

Bertram: So A Love Out of Time is the first in a series?

Alden: Yes. The series is built around the non-human races that co-exist with humans. The second book in the series is about Olivia’s sister Jocelyn and an old acquaintence of mine, who isn’t what I thought he was, i.e., human. Not to worry, Lucian is a good guy and he is exactly what Jocelyn needs whether she accepts it or not. I can’t say anymore about that story, so don’t ask. Mairead is being rather quiet about it.

Bertram: I guess we’ll have to wait for more information as the story develops. Let’s go back to questions you will answer. If you were at a store now, what ten items would be in your shopping cart?

Alden: That all depends on the store, now doesn’t it? If I were in a grocery store, those items would be: cream cheese, ground lamb, patty pan squash, onions, organic skim milk, nutmeg, greek yogurt, figs, spinach, and garlic. If I were in one of those discount or one stop shopping stores like a Wal-mart or Target, who knows? I tend to go a bit crazy in those shops. 21st century shoppers have such a wide variety of items to purchase. Olivia doesn’t like it when I go to a Wal-mart or a Target. I buy gadgets we don’t really need.

Bertram: Your grocery items are a bit intriguing. It almost sounds like a receipe. Is it?

Alden: Yes, I have found that I love to cook and play around with food tastes and combinations. I was creating in the kitchen several weeks ago and created a recipe for stuffed patty pan squash that Olivia loves. When I was a boy, I loved to visit the kitchens. We had a cook as well as a chef and they let me sit by the hearth and sample their creations. Mother and Father entertained a good bit when we were in the country as well as in town, Father being a member of the House of Lords. Thankfully, Olivia also grew up with a love of fine dining. Don’t get me wrong, we both love down-home southern cooking from time to time but cooking and eating is a hobby we both enjoy.

Bertram: How do you both stay so fit?

Alden: We stay physically active. Both of us like to run and hike. One of Olivia’s sisters recently opened a gym and we both have a membership there.

Bertram: How do you envision your future?

Alden: Happy. Seriously, I’d like to say something profound but if nothing else this adventure through time has taught me to cherish the here and now because the future you think you’ll have may not come to pass and if spend time thinking of what might have been, you will miss the present.