INTERVIEW WITH BRENNA JAMES AND HER GRIFFIN, ARVANDUS
What is your current job/vocation?
Brenna: Well, I don’t really have a job. I’m a student, although focusing on my classes is hard. And having my parents live in two different places? Yeah, not helping.
Arvandus: Do your best, Raven. Your schooling is of the utmost importance.
Brenna: Well, maybe. I mean, what about algebra? I doubt an employer’s going to expect me to solve an algebraic equation during a job interview.
Where do you see yourself in ten years?
Brenna: Um…I’ll be twenty-seven, soooo…(squints and trails off) I don’t really plan ahead. My ADHD makes that almost impossible. I’m better in the moment.
Arvandus: Since the bond between rider and griffin is for life, I will continue to encourage Brenna to make wise choices. Unlike many of her previous ones.
I’m having a lot of trouble with the neighbors. Do you have any suggestions for how to deal with them?
Brenna (leans forward): What kind of trouble? Because I could introduce them to Arvandus. A huge, winged, black panther can make people very reasonable.
(Arvandus growls softly, and silver sparks trail from his wingtips): Raven’s question is a good one. What kind of trouble? Torture? Blood sacrifices? I would be willing to help if they were involved in nefarious practices.
Do you believe in magic or other supernatural forces? What is your opinion of them?
Brenna: A year ago, I would’ve said there’s probably stuff out there we can’t explain. Now that I’ve gone through the portal and seen Linneah, I know it. All those things we were taught were myths, like centaurs and mermaids? They exist. Superpowers? Although they’re called talents, they’re a fact in Linneah. So, supernatural forces? Yeah, good and evil are real things.
Arvandus: I agree with Brenna. There is good and evil in every alternity. It is vital to choose wisely when making decisions, because every selection has far-reaching repercussions.
Do you have any animal companions?
Brenna: Big Guy here is my companion, although animal seems a pretty tame description for him.
Who is your best friend?
Brenna: Again, Arvandus is one of my best friends. Tiny is my best girl friend. And Baldwin and I are really close.
Arvandus: That is very true, sometimes I would say too close. Like last evening.
(Brenna blushes and refuses to look at him): Oh. My. Word. Do you have to bring that up?
Arvandus: I am only stating facts, Raven.
Brenna: He was saying good night!
Arvandus: I failed to hear any talking.
Brenna: I’m not talking about this with you. Next question?
Do you consider yourself a hero?
Brenna: No, but when people are confronted with tough situations, their actions can seem heroic. But they’ll feel they just did what had to be done.
Arvandus: That is because you have a good heart, Raven. There are cowards out there who choose the easy way. You stand firmly for what you believe. Sometimes, that is the most heroic action of all.
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Award-winning author J. M. Hackman loves thunderstorms, bookstores, and happy endings. She’s never met a reading nook she didn’t like and prefers soul talk to small talk. When she’s not writing or reading, she spends quality time with her greatest fans—her family.
Her stories have been published in the anthologies Encircled, Realmscapes, Mythical Doorways, and Tales of Ever After. Her YA contemporary portal fantasy series The Firebrand Chronicles (published by L2L2 Publishing) features an ADHD heroine and includes the titles Spark, Flare, and Burn.
She spends her days writing stories, consuming massive quantities of dark chocolate, and looking for portals to other worlds.