The following is a transcript of an interview I conducted with Jamison Undrand, one of the protagonists in The Brumal Star.
T.Q.: Thanks for taking time from your busy schedule to join me today.
Jamison: No problem, glad to do it.
T.Q.: Make yourself comfortable. Tell us a little bit about yourself.
Jamison: (putting his feet up on my coffee table because GG Wondermutt is laying in front of the couch.) This OK? Your dog is taking up half the floor.
T.Q.: Not at all. He thinks he owns the place.
Jamison: (Takes a sprig of murrgam* out of his jacket pocket) Do you mind?
T.Q.: Sure, hold on a sec. (Goes to get an empty seltzer can out of the recycling bin for him to spit into.)
Jamison: Thanks. What do you want to know? You’re the one who created me.
T.Q.: It’s not for me, it’s for the readers, so they can get to know you better. Why don’t you start with your childhood.
Jamison: I see. Well, as a child I lived in the province of Caunlie until I went to the Araskolsa in Reathe.
T.Q.: Anything else?
Jamison: Oh, you want more details? (spits into can)
T.Q.: Sure, unless you don’t feel comfortable sharing. I know you had a difficult beginning.
Jamison: Not as difficult as when you killed me in the first draft of the book.
T.Q.: Oh, come off it! I’ve apologized for that. Can we keep doing the interview, please?
Jamison: I know, I’m just giving you crap. How about this? My parents were so afraid of me that they locked me in the basement. I was six.
T.Q.: That’s terrible. You were doing some pretty dangerous magic though, right?
Jamison: (shrugs) There’s magic that’s plenty more dangerous than a fire spell. Anyways, that was the day my mentor, Jarin Crewe, came to get me. He brought me to the mage school and that’s where I studied until I was eighteen.
T.Q.: What can you tell us about the mage school?
Jamison: Magic users call them Araskolsas. Lawyers have to go to school, doctors have to go to school, and so do people born with magic. Otherwise, there’d be untrained people walking around not being able to control it. What a mess that would be.
T.Q.: What kind of magic did you study?
Jamison: All kinds. Combat, energy manipulation, healing, detection, summoning, banishment, mental. You could do different concentrations depending on where your talents were.
T.Q.: What were your talents?
Jamison: My specialties were transmutation and communicating with nature.
T.Q.: Can you explain what transmutation is?
Jamison: It’s the power to alter people, beings, or objects, to morph or transfigure them into something else, and make them stay that way, rather than keeping it temporary, depending…(trails off and spits into can.)
T.Q.: Depending on what?
Jamison: Depending on how vindictive I was feeling.
T.Q.: Can you give us a example?
Jamison: There was this bail jumper. He was so slippery, he’d managed to get away from two other bounty hunters. They hired me and I fixed the problem by turning him into a fish and sticking him inside a jar.
T.Q.: A jar?!
Jamison: Oh, I filled it with water first. But he never jumped bail again.
T.Q.: (At this point, my cat Rory waddles by. She’s a bit on the “hefty” side.)
Jamison: Good gods, that cat is gigantic! What are you feeding her?
T.Q.: Jamison, you’ll hurt her feelings!
Jamison: Cats don’t have feelings. If she gets any bigger, she won’t be able to fit through the pet door.
T.Q.: If it makes you feel better, we cut way down on giving her treats. Let’s get back on track. Tell us about your crossbow.
Jamison: Isn’t she a beauty? See all these symbols and designs on it? They’re to ensure that this gorgeous piece of weaponry never fails. She’s been solid so far.
T.Q.: Where’d it come from?
Jamison: She. I have a weapons guy. A dealer. This is custom-made.
T.Q.: She’s very nice.
Jamison: Helped me catch a rogue werewolf. You know, you should tell that story. Give it away as a free eBook or something.
T.Q.: Hmm, maybe I will. Let’s talk a little bit more about your adventuring. What was the most difficult job you’ve ever been on?
Jamison: You mean besides having to guide our friend Lorica to the Cave of Wrykirk? Let’s see…there was another magic user who was involved in human trafficking.
Jamison: Yeah, it was brutal. The magic user was a real piece of work, as you can imagine. Gave me this for my trouble (moves shirt to reveal three inch scar on his shoulder).
T.Q.: Whoa. What’s the story with the scar?
Jamison: He pulled a knife on me. Seems to happen to me fairly often.
T.Q.: Did everything work out in the end?
Jamison: Yeah, the ring was busted and we arrested the magic user and his gang of degenerate slavers. Freed the girls. They were young– twelve, thirteen years old, most of them. Sickening, what those bastards had planned for them.
Jamison: See, I’ve done some good in the world, contrary to what my ex-father-in-law thinks. (spits into the can)
T.Q.: No argument here. What’s your proudest achievement?
Jamison: Besides bringing criminals to justice and joining Reathe Guard, I married Taryn, the love of my life.
T.Q.: You’re a hopeless romantic at heart.
Jamison: I know, I’m going to ruin my reputation.
* a spicy root that people chew