The author KM Tolan writes many amazing fantasy and sci-fi stories with memorable characters. Fans of his books may wonder, what would happen if these characters met? Well their curiosity issoon to be satisfied because today we welcome the many characters of Tolan for a rousing interview.
Hello KM, how are you today?
“Fine, uh (gets bumped aside by a dark muscular six-foot-three redhead with claws) doing ok if I can just (nearly steps on a diminutive fellow with skin the color of green olives) find a seat here…ah, thanks Vincent” (lanky dark haired young man in long brown leather coat shows KM to his seat).
Tell us, which characters are joining the interview, and what books are they from?
KM nods. “Well, sitting to my right here is Mikial Haran, a Dathia Qurl from my Dancer series. (She waves). She’s seventeen at this point, a young soldier as you can see by her black-and-red uniform, and earning a reputation as a really good fighter. First in her class, actually.”
“I’d rather be out dancing.” Mikial huffs, folding her arms.
“You’d rather be out with the first male you could run down,” quips the white-haired sprite sitting next to her in a blue dress.
KM nods toward the newest speaker. “This is Paleen Chimmer. She’s Ipper Qurl, as evidenced by the slight build and long ear fans. She’s Mikial’s best friend, and is also from the same series. Her biological specialty has to do with communications and swimming, though one might argue that mischief is another aspect of her sect.”
KM gestures to the two on his left. “Here we have two characters from Waiting Weapon, Richard Pinn and Jamie Brinnwall. You can see they’re also not human, thought they were raised by our race. Both are Me’Aukin, which explains their greenish complexions and large eyes. Trust me, they might look like two innocents, but they’re not by a long shot. Dr. Pinn, the one in the business suit, is a noted archeologist. He’s heading back to Me’Auk to investigate why he and Jamie were left behind by his vanished race as cryogenically preserved embryos.”
“Good luck with the ghosts,” Jamie chimes in with a snide look at Rick.
(KM clears throat) "Jamie is the daughter of Me’Auk’s would-be governor when the planet is opened for colonization. As you can see, she’s more into jeans and t-shirts. And attitude.”
Rick stares at Jamie. “What ghosts?”
“I don’t think they like each other very much,” Paleen pipes up despite Mikial trying to shush her.
KM glances at Paleen and continues. “Finally, next to our two Me’Aukins we have Vincent Maloney, raised in Illinois and currently…Vincent, can you explain where you are?”
Vincent shakes his head and taps at a bubbling blue tea pot before him on the table. “Try her.”
A whoosh of steam from the pot coalesces into the upper body of an elfin-faced young lady with a top hat and Victorian lace collar. “He’s in Hobohemia right now,” the apparition supplies in a whispery hiss.
“Thanks, Freedom,” KM replies. “For those wondering, she is one of Hobohemia’s steam children, or ‘riders’ as the Hobos call them. Vincent is on his way to becoming a gandy dancer who can call the living rails. Both of these folks herald from Tracks."
“Which nobody will explain to me, either,” Vincent grumbles.
“In time,” Freedom breezes. “Got to get you over to Red Socks to get trained up, remember?”
Guys, we are going to ask you some questions and hopefully you will have an answer. What do you think?
Mikial folds her arms and glances at the host as if wishing to be elsewhere. Paleen rubs her hands in anticipation while Rick nods. Vincent simply shrugs. Jamie rolls her eyes and gets into a staring contest with Freedom.
Alright, here we go! What do you consider the most overrated virtue?
“Cuteness,” Mikial volunteers with a snicker, eyeing Paleen.
“Hey!” Paleen sniffs. “How about discipline, you over-conditioned Dathia.” Bats at Mikial’s shoulder.
“Ambition,” Jamie speaks up, her expression clouding. “Just gets people in trouble…if not outright killed.”
Rick sighs. “Can I have another seat?”
“Wasn’t talking about you,” Jamie mutters.
“Friendship can get you in trouble, too,” Freedom adds with a bubbly rumble.
“Or family,” Vincent joins in sourly.
Which words or phrases do you most overuse?
“No man wants me,” Paleen snickers, grinning Mikial’s way.
“I will kill you,” Mikial replies in a syrupy voice, waving extended claws.
“She says that a lot, too.”
Mikial bares her canines. “How about…they’ll never catch us. Or…I’ll love him forever. Rings up any memories, Ipper girl?”
Paleen sticks her tongue out.
Freedom blows out a few puffs with a sheepish look. “I probably say you’re silly too much, don’t I, Vincent?”
Vincent raises his eyes. “You? Little Miss I-Know-Everything? Just don’t forget who’s the one holding your Hobo nickel.”
“Didn’t say you could keep it,” Freedom huffs.
“How bout’…Can’t wait until I see you again?” Rick offers dryly, eyeing Jamie.
She returns a long middle index finger.
Where would you most like to live?
“With the clans,” Jamie replies with a wistful sigh.
“Tried that when you stole the freighter,” Rick chuckles. “How’d that work for you?”
“Which is about all I’m going to take.” Jamie leaves her seat and stands on the other side of Vincent. “At least I don’t pretend to be human…Richard.”
“Thought we had problems,” Freedom remarks.
“Mind your own business, steam puff,” Jamie warns. “We’re a hell of a lot more real than you’ll ever be.”
“Jamie, she’s Fantasy,” Rick interrupts. “Just let it go, will you?” He regards the host. “I’m fine studying on Me’Auk.”
Jamie responds with a serrated grin. “You won’t be for long.”
“I like where I am,” Freedom breaks in, with a diplomatic smile. “There is no place I’d rather be than riding the rails.” She floats in front of Vincent. “Got that?.”
“Got what?” he responds. “Look, steamy, I’m just visiting. Getting my sister out from under some crazy Rail Baron and taking her back to Illinois.”
“You’re in Illinois,” Freedom says with a smirk. “Just not your Illinois.”
Vincent looks hopelessly at their host. “See what I mean about knowing it all?”
What is your motto?
“Rest in the arms of the Datha,” Mikial replies confidently.
“Itsa, are you conditioned,” Paleen moans.
“Just leave me alone,” both Rick and Jamie say in perfect unison before exchanging surprised looks.
“Stop that!” Jamie snaps.
“Sounds like a good enough motto to me,” Vincent adds with a nod to his left and right.
“You’re all hopeless,” Freedom retorts. “My name is motto enough.”
“So says the steam child with not a care in her life,” Vincent throws in.
“Wouldn’t say that, either,” Freedom responds, her gray swirls darkening.
What do you most value in your friends?
“They’re there when I need them,” Mikial says, cutting off what looked to be a clever riposte from the Ipper beside her.
“We’re like that,” Paleen says, giving Mikial’s cheek a quick peck. “Of course I’ll be there.”
KM looks away from the two with a grimace.
Vincent taps at the table. “Friends? I’ll let you know when I find some.”
“I’ll let you know, too,” Freedom assures.
Both Rick and Jamie simply glare at each other.
Last question, if all of you were stranded on a desert island with no escape in sight, what would you do and who would be the last man/woman standing?
Everyone looks uneasily over at Mikial.
“What?” she blurts out. “Look, I didn’t ask to be Dathia, ok? Not like I had a choice.”
Thank you all for coming out to join us!
Don’t forget to check out these characters and more in KM Tolan’s books.