It is a bright and sunny day, barely a cloud in the sky. The chubby, brown skinned young woman brushes her finely curled black hair back and pushes her black, pseudo-cat-eye framed glasses up as she reaches the top of a small hill in the midst of a grassy plane. There atop the hill sits a slim teenaged boy dressed in lose-fitting pants, a tunic, and a robe, all white with pale yellow accents. The two long sidelocks of his otherwise short dark brown hair blow in the wind as he looks up at her with a face which seems too boyish for his seventeen years. He smiles sweetly, innocently, at her and they exchange greetings. Then, the interview begins.
Fast Facts about Inferno Bendis:
Name: Inferno Ichabod Bendis
Birthday: Avril (April) 25, 1026 P.W.D.
Height: 5 feet, 7 inches (170.2 cm), and growing.
Hair: Dark Brown
Eyes: Medium Brown
Weapon of Choice: Offensive magic, mostly elemental.
Favorite Color: Purple
Danielle Freeman: It’s great to finally get a chance to interview you, Inferno. By the way, thanks for helping to stop Silver’s crazy takeover of my Twitter page a while back.
Inferno Bendis: I’m glad I could help! That is the last time that I let Silver touch my spell books…
D.F.: So, let’s get rolling, shall we? At the end of The Rebirth and Awakening of Wolfie Star-Runner, you end up traveling along with Wolfsbane, Falor, and your uncle, despite your misgivings about life on the road. What compelled you to do that, exactly? A secret desire for adventure, perhaps?
I.B.: Absolutely not! For the record, adventure is never something that I’ve ever wanted, felt that I’ve needed, or even entertained the thought of in my entire life. The only reason why I decided to come along is because Wolfsbane and Falor have plans to travel to Avalonia, and Uncle Falcon managed to convince me that it may benefit my research to visit the city. Nothing more, nothing less.
D.F.: Duly noted. And how are you enjoying the open road so far?
I.B.: Well, aside from sleeping on the ground, having bugs crawl all over me while I try to get a good night’s rest, and the hundred or so failures that I’ve had while learning to pitch a tent, it seems to be bearable. However, Grimorum, my riding drake, seems to be enjoying it much better than I am. I can tell by how happy he is when he comes back to camp after catching his own dinner, and the fact that he has barely snarled at anyone since the day that we headed out. *laughs* I haven’t seen him this happy…well, ever.
D.F.: *smiles* And you have a rather special relationship with your mount, don’t you? So, how is it that someone as mild and sweet as you can get along with such a temperamental, demanding beast as Grimorum?
I.B.: Because, well…how do I put this…? We just…understand each other, that’s all. We’re both used to being misunderstood by people who think that what makes us unique…makes us useless. We’re both victims of other people’s expectations…I guess that’s why we click.
D.F.: That’s right. Your father wanted you to be a fighter just like him, but instead you turned out to be not so hot at physical combat and very talented in magic.
I.B.: *nods* That’s right. At first, Father kept holding out hope that I would catch on with martial arts or that I would at least get strong enough to not fall on my behind from the recoil of a simple handgun…But eventually, not long after Wolfsbane became a rookie hunter, he finally resigned himself to the fact that I would never make it as a werewolf hunter and allowed me to study magic fulltime. Note that I said “resigned himself.” He didn’t like it, and he still held out hope that I would decide to be a hunter anyway and use my magic as my main weapon.
D.F.: Even so, you’ve grown to be very adept with combat spells. In Plays with Hellfire, you actually prove your mettle in more than one battle.
I.B.: I do alright…but I’m still quite an amateur when it comes to using magic in a real battle. Before hitting the road, I only ever fought with non-lethal spells…and that was only to defend myself from the Bowsum brothers and their idiot lackeys. Actually using magic to slay monsters or do battle with other mages is a totally new experience for me. *laughs sheepishly*
D.F.: Speaking of new experiences, Wolfsbane and Calvin release the legendary Hellfire Lord Goramesh in this latest adventure. Without giving out too many spoilers, how do you feel about your first run-in with Sealed Evil in a Can?
I.B.: Without too many spoilers? The Hellfire Lord Goramesh is the most irritating being that I have ever met. That’s all I can say without spoilers. Believe me, if I say any more on the subject, I will go on a three-hour spoiler-filled rant about it…*huffs in annoyance*
D.F.: That bad, huh?
D.F.: And what about your relationship with Wolfsbane? Since you’ve learned about your brother being a werewolf, has that changed things between you any?
I.B.: …Not really. I mean, a first I felt very guilty that I had not been able to finish my vaccine in time to prevent him from being turned…But seeing how happy he is now, I’ve come to realize that that was for the best. There are a few things that I’m still getting used to, though. For instance, it’s really strange seeing Wolfsbane running at forty miles an hour or changing forms…or eating raw meat. The first time I saw that…*shakes his head* It was just uncanny. Still, I know that he still cares about me just as much as he always has, and would still lay down his life to save mine…and I would still do the same for him. That fact will never change.
D.F.: You two have always been close though, haven’t you?
I.B.: *nods* Yes, we have. A long as I can remember, Wolfsbane has always been there to look out for me. Even when he began working and he had less time to spend at home, whenever he came back, he always made time for me…and no matter what he was feeling or going through, he never let it affect how he treated me. Like…well, there was a time a few years ago when he had come home after a particularly grueling job. He was very down, to the extent that he barely ate…and it is a rare thing for Wolfsbane to be so upset that he can’t eat! Still, he made time to visit with me as I studied and let me talk his ear off about the differences between Alchemical heat generation and Elemental fire spells. I was trying to distract him from whatever it was that was weighing on his mind…but I’m not very good at comforting others…
D.F.: But you are good with magic. So, tell me, how did you even discover that you were gifted with such a wealth of magical talent?
I.B.: *nervous laugh* Well, it was quite by accident, really. I was about three, and our aunt Osprey had just come to visit us. As always, she had brought me and my brothers and sisters presents from her travels. Her gift to me that time was a book called Little Dragon’s Big Book of Spells. Miss Amersbey thought that it was too early for me to start learning magic—since human children usually aren’t able to grasp the basics of magic until the age of five or six—but Aunt Osprey thought I should get a head start on magic since I had already learned to read in half the time it had taken my siblings to learn.
D.F.: Half the time?
I.B.: *nods* You see, in our family, reading lessons begin as soon as a child turns a year old. My brothers and sisters were all reading well and writing at two to two-and-a-half years old…but I mastered basic reading all the way up to silent “E” words in just six months.
D.F.: That’s pretty impressive. Please continue.
I.B.: *nods* Well, anyway, I started reading that book almost as soon as I’d gotten it. That very evening, I attempted my first simple wind spell…and I ended up summoning a whirlwind which basically destroyed all of the furniture in the downstairs parlor. *laughs* I had only meant to move my little pinwheel just a bit, and ended up losing control of the spell and…well, at least no one got hurt. Miss Amersbey did have to help me stop the flow of magic, though, because there was so much power coming out of me that I couldn’t control it on my own! I ended up sleeping all night and all of the next day, and I started getting proper magic lessons the day after that.
D.F.: …Daaaaaaamn, boy! You did that when you were just three?! I’d hate to see what would happen if you let loose like that now…
I.B.: True. I could probably take out a whole city block if I expended that much energy on one spell today. Luckily, I am much better at channeling my magic these days, so it is unlikely that I would cause that level of wholesale destruction unless it was an absolute emergency. *smiles sweetly and innocently*
D.F.: No wonder you’ve had so many magical mishaps in the past. With that sort of power in you, it must have been quite a challenge learning to use it properly.
I.B.: Yes, it was. Though power like mine does not lie outside of the range of human mages, I do rest on the narrower end of the bell curve, as it were. In the beginning, I spent just as much time learning to channel my power as I did memorizing spells. I didn’t get to cast another spell for a full six months after the incident, in fact, just because Miss Amersbey wanted to be sure that I could light a candle without setting myself on fire. As soon as I was allowed to practice casting again, however…I picked up new spells very quickly. Sometimes, I would even sneak into the library at night and skim through more advanced magic books, just to see if I could pick anything new up.
D.F.: Well, I have to go soon, but one more question before I leave: What do you think that your aunt Osprey would think if she could see you today?
I.B.: *smiles sadly* I think…I think that she would be proud of me to a certain extent. She would be proud of how I’ve grown as a mage, and how I’ve stuck with my research, no matter how tough it’s gotten. She’d definitely be glad to see me finally going out on the road like this! She really loved adventure, you know…However, I think that there are also some things that she would be poking and nudging me over…personal things. She’d definitely lecture me about how I shouldn’t be afraid to let people know if I’m sick…and that I shouldn’t spoil Grimorum quite so much. *laughs quietly to himself* …I miss her terribly. All I can do to honor her memory is to continue my research and fulfil the promise I made at her grave and try my best to become the man that I think she hoped that I would become…
D.F.: Thank you, Inferno. It’s been great talking to you. And, hey, don’t be afraid to tweet me next time you’re across worlds, ’kay?
I.B.: Sure, I’ll tweet. Thanks for the interview.
And so, the two say their goodbyes and go their separate ways—one back on the road to adventure, and the other back to her computer to get back to work…
Well, that does it for this week. Join us next week for a discussion about dragons! Hopefully by then, you will have finished up The Rebirth and Awakening of Wolfie Star-Runner (available now at Amazon.com [print and ebook…both available through international versions of the site as well], Createspace.com [print book], and Tower Books [print book]), and already ordered up your copy of Wolfie Star-Runner Plays with Hellfire (Coming later this week!). What? Haven’t even ordered the first book yet?! Well, go get it, dude (or dudette)! Want to be the first to know as soon Plays with Hellfire drops? Feel free to follow me on Twitter at @DanielleVFreman! I’ll be sending out a tweet as soon as the book hits the web! And if you like this blog or my books (or know someone who would) don’t be shy, tell your friends in real life and on your favorite social media sites all about it! ^_^