Recently, I was fortunate enough to interview Renee Scattergood on my blog (you can read that here). Today I am interviewing the protagonist from her book series, Shadow Stalker.
Hello, can you tell us your name and a bit about yourself.
My name is Makari. I’m the son of the emperor of the Galvadi. I’m a shadow stalker by birth, but I was not raised on the Dark Isle with the others of my kind.
Where are you from and what is it like there?
I grew up on Nadiria, an island in the far south of the Serpent Isles. It’s not quite a tropical climate, but we do not get snow and it tends to stay fairly warm year round. The winters do get cold, but not unbearably so. Nadiria is the capital of the Galvadi Empire. I admit I haven’t seen much of it since I grew up in an academy from the age of five. Before that my father kept me locked up in a small room in his palace most days. I didn’t see much of Ostara, the city where my father lives and the capital of Nadiria, during my childhood, but judging from what I’ve seen as an adult, I haven’t missed much. It’s an old city and my father does little to keep it from looking run down.
What was it like growing up? What’s the happiest memory from your childhood?
My childhood was really not what you would call happy. All children on Nadiria are denied clothing and forced to sleep on cold hard floors without blankets from birth. They are also denied basic medical attention. Those who survive are removed from their parents care at five years and taken to one of the many academies across the empire. The academies are where we receive our education and learn to be productive servants of the empire. We receive daily cleansings, which are little more than torture sessions, to remove the influence of the delohi-saqu from our minds. It’s a harsh life, but those of us who live to adulthood are strong and capable. We have our jobs chosen for us based on our abilities and we live our lives to serve the emperor.
Even though I had been born the son of the emperor, I was never treated as royalty. I was no different than the others. In fact, since I was a shadow stalker, and shadow stalkers are hated in the empire, I was given separate training and had to endure an extra cleansing each day. I was trained for one specific purpose. To find the delohi-saqu and bring her to my father so she could be destroyed and our people would finally be safe and free from her mind control.
Do you have a best friend?
Auren is the only friend I have come to know in my life. Friendships were not encouraged on Nadiria. In fact, we were not allowed to socialize with each other in the academies.
Can you tell us about your family? Are you close with them?
My father is the only family I know. My mother died shortly after my birth. He and I were never close. In fact, he was quite cruel. I suffered daily beatings by him just for being born a shadow stalker. The only reason he allowed me to live was because he felt I could be useful in finding the delohi-saqu.
What would you change about yourself if you could and why?
If I could change one thing, it would have been to be born among the shadow stalkers instead of in the Galvadi Empire. I think the why is self-explanatory at this point.
Are you in love with someone? Tell us about them. Did it work out?
I loved Auren from the first moment I saw her, though having been denied love all my life, I didn’t recognize it for what it was. I only knew I felt connected with her in a way I had never felt before, and had a strong desire to protect her.
What do you do when you’re angry?
I was trained not to express my emotions outwardly, so I tend to internalize all my emotions. I’m learning that’s not the best way to handle them, but it’s a process.
What is your idea of perfect happiness?
Living in peace with Auren. No war. No Galvadi.
What is your greatest fear? What do you do to overcome it?
My greatest fear is losing Auren. Though I know we will be reunited in the shadow world, there are things my father can do to keep us apart in the world of the living.
What do you consider your greatest achievement?
My greatest achievement was breaking my father’s conditioning and helping the Coalition to fight against him.
What is the most important lesson you’ve learned about life?
Always trust your instincts. If something doesn’t feel right, it probably isn’t.
What is the greatest obstacle you have ever had to face?
Coming to terms with my conditioning and my feelings for Auren. I did terrible things to her in the process of determining what was right.
Who has been the greatest influence in your life? Why?
Goren, my shadow stalker mentor. He was a prisoner of my fathers. My father promised to free him if he trained me. Of course, my father never specified that his freedom would come in the form of death. Although he was forced to train me in the methods prescribed by my father and Jharak, my father’s master interrogator, he was always fair and helped me to appreciate what it truly meant to be a shadow stalker.
Do you have any regrets about your life? What are they?
My only regret is that it took me so long to realize my feelings for Auren, and my father’s lies. I regret what I did to her. Though in an odd way, the experience also strengthened our bond. Still, I’m sure we would have bonded even if I hadn’t tortured her the way I did. Maybe we would have even been closer than we are now. It’s something I’ll never know.
What a life you’ve led, Makari. I appreciate you taking the time to answer my questions.
About Renee Scattergood:
Renee Scattergood lives in Australia with her husband, Nathan, and daughter, Taiya. She has always been a fan of fantasy and was inspired to become a story-teller by George Lucas, but didn’t start considering writing down her stories until she reached her late twenties. Now she enjoys writing dark fantasy.
She is currently publishing her monthly Shadow Stalker serial, and she has published a prequel novella to the series called, Demon Hunt. She is also working on a new series of novels, A God’s Deception.
Aside from writing, she loves reading (fantasy, of course), watching movies with her family, and doing crafts and science experiments with her homeschooled daughter. Visit her site for more information and a free copy of Shadow Stalker Part 1 (Episodes 1 – 6).
Connect with Renee Scattergood:
Website/Blog ~ Renee’s Author Spotlight (a blog where Renee features indie and small press authors) ~ Amazon ~ Smashwords ~ Wattpad ~ BookBub ~ Goodreads Author Page ~ Goodreads Shadow Stalkers Page ~ Facebook ~ Twitter ~ Google+ ~ LinkedIn ~ Pinterest
Places you can find Renee’s books:
Demon Hunt (A Shadow Stalker Prequel Novella) l/ Auren’s yearly camping trip with her foster father, Kado, turns to disasters when she accidentally lets a demon from the shadow world loose on Luten Isle. She and Kado have little time to hunt it down and return it to where it belongs, before it starts its killing spree.
Shadow Stalker Part 1 (Episodes 1 – 6) / Auren learns she is destined to enslave the people of her world, and Drevin, emperor of the Galvadi Empire is determined to end her life before it happens. Her foster father, Kado, has sworn to protect her and trains her as a shadow stalker. But her training is cut short, when their people are overrun by the Galvadi Empire. Now she has to find a way to help her people without succumbing to the prophecy.
Shadow Stalker Part 2 (Episodes 7 – 12) / Auren is captured by the Galvadi trying to rescue her friend, Jade. Then she is tortured by the man who is supposed to love and protect her. When Makari finally realizes she’s not the delohi-saqu as his father claims, he helps her escape, but their plans don’t go as expected.
Shadow Stalker Part 3 Individual Episodes 13 – 15 (Episodes 16 and 17 coming soon!)