While a strong protagonist or couple is essential to a great novel, secondary characters that are equally well written are a must.
Here with us today to answer a few questions is the half-demon warlock, Terian, of Tara Fox Hall’s Promise Me series.
Q: <smiles> May I have your last name?
TERIAN: <shifting uncomfortably> No. Please ask your questions.
Q: <gives Terian a cool look> It’s required.
TERIAN: <stares at interviewer, the cherrywood color of his eyes turning to red>
Q: <shifting uncomfortably> In your relationships with others, Terian, how are you different with family than you are with friends? Why?
TERIAN: <unsmiling> I had no family except my brother, Keriam. He was killed less than a year ago. I don’t have any friends, either.
Q: You have Sar. Let’s talk about her. How did you decide you could trust her? First impressions? Do you use your magic? Do you test the person somehow? Or are you just generally disposed to trust or not to trust?
TERIAN: <smiles> Sar is easy to trust. My life rested before in her hands and she chose to save my life instead of letting me die. I trusted her from that moment on. Trust has to be earned, always.
Q: But isn’t Sar the one who shot you and put your life in danger in the first place? Saving you afterwards sounds like a ploy.
TERIAN: <angry> It wasn’t a ploy. Sar was confused, and thought she was saving Danial. She shot me only so we’d stop fighting and I wouldn’t kill him.
Q: <aside, behind his hand> The Promise Me series is a romantic series, Terian. Give me a little more to work with, okay?
TERIAN: <stared right back> Is it? I’m not sure. There’s a lot of heartbreak coming. I want Sar to be happy and live a good life. I’m scared for her. She rushes in to help without always looking to see if she has any backup coming at her heels.
Q: <intrigued> Did you look into your crystal ball and see this?
TERIAN: I don’t have a crystal ball. Half-demons as a rule don’t need them. <bares sharklike teeth> But I do know what’s coming, yes. Danial and Theo both love her, and she loves them both, too, even if she and Danial are not together anymore. Theo is still working for Danial. I may not have much experience with women, but I know a love triangle when I see one.
Q: Do you see yourself ever adding to that triangle to make it a square?
TERIAN: No. Last Christmas I used a spell to help me reveal my true feelings for Sar. The spell would have…Sar wouldn’t have been able to hide her feelings for me, if she’d had some. She didn’t.
Q: But people can change their minds in time. And you’re immortal, correct?
TERIAN: <nods> Yes.
Q: <shifts slightly> Describe yourself to me, beginning with your age.
TERIAN: I’m over seventy six years old, but I look about eighteen to twenty, sometimes older if I tied back my straight dark brown hair in a ponytail, or cut it short. I’m a fairly tall man with a slim build, yet I’m quite strong, easily a match for most werecreatures and vampires. As you mentioned above, I fought with Danial and bested him.
Q: Which of your characteristics do you consider to be your strengths?
TERIAN: I’m skilled in magic, and run a shop online selling potions. Nothing harmful, just spells to let someone grow wings, or some other appearance alteration. That’s my greatest asset. I’m also strong, as I mentioned above.
Q: You don’t list your immortality as a strength?
TERIAN: <shakes his head> I didn’t enjoy watching my brother grow old while I remained young. I looked into anti-aging spells, but the ones I found required demon blood. At that time, I didn’t know I was part demon. If I had known, I’d have tried to do something for Keriam.
Q: What is the most important thing in your life? What do you value most?
TERIAN: <shadow passes over his face> Sar, of course. But you already knew that, which is why you keep diverting the questions back to her. You must hope I’ll reveal something new and exciting about our relationship. But there is nothing to tell. She belongs to someone else. All I offer her is my friendship and loyalty, two things she has already given me.
Q: But you have the power to make her love you, don’t you Terian?
TERIAN: <eyes shifting to solid red> I would never do that. If Sar doesn’t ever come to love me, I can cope with that. Besides, I already have—<stops fast>
Q: <smiles hungrily> Yes, I had heard you had someone, a certain person you refer to in the last part of Broken Promise. Tell us about her. I did a little inquiry and learned her name was Sundown.
TERIAN:<blinks in surprise, redness in his eyes fading> No one should know that, not yet. Who did you talk to?
Q: <smiles> Tell us about her. Is it true she’s a stripper? And that she—
TERIAN: <stands and begins murmuring words, with his left hand outstretched toward the interviewer>
Q: <scrambling up from his chair> Stop that! You can’t—!
<Interviewer screams, then falls to the floor, changing into a brown and white dwarf rabbit. Terian walks to the rabbit, and gently picks up the trashing, terrified animal.
TERIAN: I don’t give warnings, human. <pats the rabbit’s head gently, as it trembles> I’d love to take you to Danial’s land and release you into his forest. The werefoxes, if not Theo himself, would make short work of you. But that’s the demon side talking.
<Terian sits in the interviewer’s chair, the rabbit on his lap still struggling madly as he holds it> You forget that Promise Me is written from Sar’s point of view, with every event filtered through her eyes. She views me as harmless, and I am to her, because of what she is to me. <Terian sharply twists the rabbit’s neck, close to the point of breaking. It lets out a shriek> If I were a full demon, I would not hesitate to snap your neck. But I’m only half. You counted on that, didn’t you? Yet you threaten two women I love, and you think I won’t do everything in my power to protect them? What happened to those werebears will be a pale shadow of what I will do to you—
< The rabbit screams again in terror. Terian releases the rabbit, which scurries to the other side of the room as Terian stands> Talk, and tell me you understand what I expect of you <Terian murmurs words, again with outstretched hand, and the Interviewer returns to human form>
Q: <scrambling up from the floor and taking the chair to brandish in front of him> Stay away from me!
TERIAN: If you keep your silence about all you know, Sundown included. Agree and you’ll never see me again.
Q: <nods head frantically> Get out!
<Terian nods once in approval, then leaves. Interviewer slumps to the floor, sobbing>
Excerpt from Broken Promise:
“What is it?” I asked Terian.
“Someone is out there, Sar,” he said angrily. “Someone is out there watching us.”
Blackness coiled out from him as he stood there. I looked out the window, and noticed a figure standing outside, just at the edge of the barn. I knew that familiar silhouette: Theo.
Terian watched for a moment, then headed for the door with a purpose.
“What are you going to do?” I asked.
“I’m going to go and see what he wants,” said Terian, his words hot with anger.
I watched as Terian walked all the way to the barn, but by then he was too far way to see clearly, especially in the poor light with the corral in the way. I busied myself building up the fire tossing out Terian’s empty containers, and putting away my uneaten Chinese food while I waited for him to return.
Ten minutes later, there was a thump as the door opened. Terian came in, knocking a little snow off his boots.
“Well?” I said.
“He was there,” Terian said. “But he took off by the time I arrived at the place he had been.”
“He’s probably watching me for Danial. I don’t think he believes I’m coming back, even though we’re oathed.”
He looked at me for a long moment, then turned and went to the door. “I’d better be going,” he said, putting on his coat. “Thanks for tonight.”
“Terian,” I said, confused. “You don’t have to leave—”
“Sar, I don’t want to get you in trouble. Theo’s clearly watching you for Danial. And you just told me that you are oathed. So I’m better off leaving now.” Terian went out the door.
I followed him. “What’s wrong?”
“Nothing’s wrong,” he said, stepping fast to his truck.
“Something is wrong, Terian,” I said, exasperated. “Tell me why you have to leave?”
Terian turned suddenly, and pulled me into his arms. I looked up at him with wide eyes.
“This is why.”
He brought his mouth down on mine, his hands tangling in my hair. His kiss was not soft; it was full of need and longing. In shock, I stood there and let him kiss me, one moment stretching into the next with exquisite slowness.
I’m an OSHA-certified safety and health inspector at a metal fabrication shop in upstate New York. I have a bachelor’s degree in mathematics with a double minor in chemistry and biology from Binghamton University. My writing credits include nonfiction, horror, suspense, erotica, and contemporary and historical paranormal romance. I am the author of the paranormal action-adventure Lash series and the vampire romantic suspense Promise Me series. I also coauthored (with Eric Dietrich) the essay “The Allure of the Serial Killer,” published in Serial Killers – Philosophy for Everyone: Being and Killing (Wiley-Blackwell, 2010). I divide my free time unequally between writing novels and short stories, chainsawing firewood, caring for stray animals, sewing cat and dog beds for donation to animal shelters, and target practice.
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Learn more about Tara Fox Hall Below:
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