This week, Daedalus and the Deep is featured on Assaph Mehr’s fascinating ‘The Protagonist Speaks’ website. The premise of TPS is to interview fictional characters. The results are wonderfully illuminating. The website features an interview with Midshipman Colyer of HMS Daedalus, the main character (or one of them, at any rate) in the novel Daedalus and the Deep.
As the novel’s author and Midshipman Colyer’s creator, I can reveal that taking part in the interview wasn’t easy for Colyer, on the basis that there were some fairly major things that the young cadet officer couldn’t reveal for fear of spoilers. As such, Assaph’s kind introduction contains a tiny but fairly important inaccuracy that can’t be pointed out! It was really interesting exercise, and I hope it will prove enjoyable both to those who have already read the novel and who might be thinking of doing so. I hope Assaph won’t mind if I include a short excerpt:
How did you feel when you spent all that time chasing [the sea serpent]?
At first it was exciting. It was new – we were doing something no-one had done before, we were like explorers on the edge of some wonderful discovery. And it brought the ship together, apart from poor old Spencer. Even the Captain seemed to get a lift from it. I didn’t realise at the time. But I don’t think creatures like that and us are meant to inhabit the same world. And then when we started to get close – what we did to it, and what it did to us. Before anyone realised it there was no way out. I didn’t think any of us were going to get away alive, and we’d end up as a few wrecked timbers and bones scattered on the bottom of the South Atlantic or washed up on some ice island. It was us or the creature. Or that was how it felt.
It’s worth having a good look at The Protagonist Speaks as it’s full of similar interviews with a dizzying range of main characters from an equally dizzying range of novels. I’ve just been reading about why you can’t use mouthwash when you’re fitted with an electronic tag, living with gangs in Glasgow, what it’s like to freelance for the Dutch secret services, a rather intriguing system of magic that also serves as currency… if I didn’t have so much writing to do, I’d happily spend hours wandering round this amazing catalogue of characters.