Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Hero's Perspective: Callie and Jonathan

Hello, all, and welcome to the very first episode of Hero's Perspective, a brand new feature-

Jarek: Which you just invented because you haven't posted any of your novella in months, and which you'll probably never do again.

Shush, you. Since when do you know the future? And this isn't your story anyway. *shoves Jarek out of the post* As I was saying, welcome to Hero's Perspective, a new feature in which I, your host, interview the heroes and heroines of various speculative fiction. Joining us today are Callie Heartwood and Jonathan Davis, from my novella Fight Song. And, yes, as Jarek pointed out, this will serve as a refresher for what's happened in the story so far. Callie, Jonathan, welcome to the show. It's great to have you here. 

Callie: Thank you . . . I think.

Jonathan: Nice to be here. I take it that this means you'll be posting again soon?

Definitely! The next chapter is going up a week from today! So, to start out, how about you tell us a little bit about yourselves and how you got mixed up in the events of the novella?

Callie: Well, my name is Callie Heartwood. I'm a college student currently studying music and basically the main character of Fight Song. A few years back, I was working in a hotel in my hometown when I heard something odd and went to investigate. When I got there, I found a strange man doing something weird to one of my coworkers. I called the police, but when they showed up, the man had disappeared. My coworker died three days later, and I've been searching for her murderer ever since.

Jonathan: I'm Jonathan Davis, a reporter for the Foundry City Herald. I've been investigating Damian Welsh, a businessman who I believe is actually a minor supervillain responsible for a long string of murders including that of Callie's coworker. She contacted me, offering an exchange of information, and when we discovered that we were indeed hunting the same man, we decided to join forces.

Right! However, Welsh isn't the only one with superpowers. Now, before I go on, you two should know that this is a secure space and that neither of you will remember anything from this conversation when you return to your story. Given that . . . Callie, want to share what you can do?

Callie: Well, you don't exactly give me much of a choice. My power, or curse, whichever you want to call it, is music. See, everything in this world has a song. Air, wood, asphalt, fire, people, that pencil you're playing with . . . everything. I can hear those songs and, by either playing or singing them, I can control the things they're connected to. The only song I hear but can't use is the Death Song, which is exactly what it sounds like: the song I hear when someone nearby is dying. That's what led me to Welsh in the first place.

Jonathan: So, the mugger stuck in the subway tile . . . ?

Callie: Yeah, I did that. I was hoping you wouldn't find out, but since she says you won't remember, I guess it's ok.

Of course he'll forget. I wouldn't have brought it up otherwise. But, Callie, stopping the mugger wasn't the only time you've used your powers recently. Can you tell us about that incident?

Callie: Yeah. So, last Sunday, I went out busking, because it was a nice day and I wanted to earn some extra money. I stayed out pretty late, and on my way back, I heard the Death Song. Naturally, I followed it, and just like that night in the hotel, it led me straight to Welsh. I was too late to save the victim, but I wanted to make Welsh confess, so I used the song of people, and . . . Well, that was a bad idea. Welsh broke my control over him and took control of me instead. I almost died, but then this girl who can control fire showed up out of nowhere and attacked Welsh so I could get away. After that, I was planning to play it safe for a while, just in case Welsh was looking for me, but right now, the cafe I gig at is being held up, and I'm pretty sure I'm the only one who can stop it.

I'm sure you'll manage. So, what can you two tell us about Welsh?

Jonathan: As I said earlier, Welsh is a businessman, specifically the CEO of a software and big data company. He usually does a pretty good job staying out of the public eye, which makes sense for a serial killer.

Callie: Not that it would matter a whole lot in his case. We're not really sure how his powers work, but it seems like he can somehow drain or suck up a person's life or energy or whatever until they're basically dead, but not exactly. The person can still walk around and act pretty normal, if kind of out of it, for a couple days, and then they just drop dead, seemingly out of the blue. But they're still dead as soon as Welsh finishes with them, or I'd guess they are, because I heard the Death Song around Lacey from the night I saw Welsh attack her until she actually, y'know.

Jonathan: And that's what makes him so hard to catch. By the time the victim appears to die, Welsh is long gone. The police can't explain the murder, so they chalk it up to some more mundane cause, even if the facts don't quite add up. With a lot of investigation, though, I managed to find the pattern, that Welsh was always in town a few days before the victim visibly died. There are more connections, but I won't go into them.

Callie: About that. I'm still curious how you found out all this.

Jonathan: I'm a reporter. Reporters investigate things. Look, you have your secrets; let me keep mine.

Let's not argue, you two. So, Welsh is a businessman who happens to be able to suck the life out of people. Anything else we should know about him?

Callie: He's dangerous. The murdery bit isn't his only power. His voice, it's . . . it controls you. I can play the song of people and I can basically make people do whatever I want, just like I can with air or stone or other elements. I don't, usually, because it . . . it just seems wrong, you know? But Welsh, he can do the same thing with his voice. He tells you to do something, and you don't want to do it, but you have to. You can't control yourself. And it lasts a little while even after he stops talking. It's terrifying.

That definitely sounds pretty scary. I have one last question for you: what's driving you to keep pursuing Welsh despite the danger? 

Callie: . . .

Jonathan: And I thought you were going to let us off easy.

Oh, you have no idea. Anyway, the question?

Callie: Well, the reason I started looking was to bring Lacey's killer to justice. It didn't seem right for a man to kill and walk free. And . . . I guess I wanted to reassure myself that I wasn't crazy. That what I'd seen and heard that night was real and the songs I heard weren't just some sign that something in my head had snapped.

You said that's why you started. Is that not the same reason you're still doing it?

Callie: Yes. No. I . . . I still want Welsh to get what he deserves. I still want to prove I'm as sane as anyone else. But I guess it's become about more than that, sort of . . . I'm trying to figure out who I am, who I'm going to be, and what my powers make me, and I'm sort of using my pursuit of Welsh to do that.

Fascinating. All right, Jonathan. Your turn!

Jonathan: My answer's a little simpler than Callie's, I think. I went into reporting because I wanted to be like some of the journalists I'd read about in my history classes, the ones who dared to publish the truth and reveal the lies. Today's world of reporting doesn't make that easy, but I'm still trying. Exposing Welsh is part of that. And, of course, if I know there's something wrong going on, I can't just stand by and do nothing- but since I'm not the type to grab a gun and a mask and play the vigilante hero, I use the skills I do have for what's right.

Interesting. Thank you both for allowing me to interview you! Now, I know I said that was the last question, but . . .

Callie: Oh no. I knew there was a catch coming.

Very astute of you. Indeed, there is a "catch," if you want to call it that: I'm opening the floor up to my readers! Any questions they want to ask any of the Fight Song cast— not just Callie and Jonathan, but any of the characters—  they can post in comments, and the characters will answer! 

Jonathan: Well. That's not so bad.

Why, thank you, Jonathan! I'm glad you aren't being stubborn. And thank you to my readers! Don't forget to comment with your questions  for the characters or reactions to the interview. I'd love to hear from you!
-Sarah (Leilani Sunblade)


  1. Great to hear from these two again! I'm looking forward to more of Fight Song.
    My questions for Callie and Jonathan both:
    -Who is your inspiration?
    -What is your greatest fear?
    -What is your greatest joy?
    -what do you think is driving Welsh?

    1. Thanks! I'm glad!

      Your Answers!
      -Who is your inspiration?
      Callie: Starlight, definitely. She's in the papers every couple weeks, sometimes every week, for stopping some kind of crime or something. She's got impressive powers, she knows how to use them, and she does. She doesn't seem to have the same kind of doubts I do, and . . . I don't know. She knows what she's doing with her life and she isn't letting anyone stop her, and she's brave enough to stand up for the people who need it.
      Jonathan: Like I said, I went into journalism because of the jouralists and reporters I learned about in history books, and they're still my inspiration now. Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein in particular stand out in my mind- they're the reporters who helped expose the Watergate scandal.

      -What is your greatest fear?
      Callie: That people will find out about my powers and look at me as a freak or a science experiment instead of a person. I already get people looking at me like I'm less of a person because I happen to be black. I can't imagine how much worse it would be if they knew I had powers and I didn't have some other me to hide behind.
      Jonathan: I don't know. Failure, maybe?

      -What is your greatest joy?
      Callie: A song well-played, without having to hold back, with my family around me to love and support me.
      Jonathan: The feeling of triumph when something I write seems to actually make a difference.

      -What do you think is driving Welsh?
      Callie: Not sure.
      Jonathan: He must be getting something from the kills. My guess is that taking other peoples' lives somehow lengthens his or gives him strength.
      Callie: Maybe that. Or he just likes causing people pain. Or both. *shrugs*


I'd love to hear your thoughts! But remember: it pays to be polite to dragons.