Today we have the berserk warrior Tarn from Heroes Never Fade by Rick Haynes. So, Tarn, tell me, how old are you?
About thirty, but I feel older, as would you, if you had seen the carnage of war that I have. Tarn’s eyes cloud over.
Do you have any family?
Yes, my wife Tasmina and my beautiful daughter, Lori. My father is alive, but he isn’t around too often, unless there’s a battle to win and he gets paid to join in.
If so, what’s your family like?
I confess my wife is a little feisty, not that she always gets her own way, I should add. Tarn chuckles. She told everyone we were to be wed, but, conveniently forgot to tell me.
She definitely sounds like a bit of a character. How’s your relationship with your parents? Do you love them? Hate them? How have they influenced you?
I was brought up my grandparents after my mother died, as my father, Grona, left, and I hardly saw him over the years. I miss Grandfather Renda, and Grandmother Sollos, for without them I would have perished long before reaching puberty. My father hated me for years; his sarcastic taunts always rang in my ears no matter what I did. Yet, time rolls on quickly and we have an agreement now. I think our little daughter has something to do with his change of heart, as not only is she the image of her grandmother, she knows how to manipulate her grandfather.
What about your siblings? Do you get along?
I have no siblings, my little sister died in childbirth, as did my mother
How did you become a berserk warrior?
I really don’t know. I’ve been told that I was possessed by the God of War, Titian, but as I can control my actions much better now, any influence from, Titian, has gone. It started when the previous peaceful Helgs invaded our lands. They were driven to vile acts by the shaman, Myracdonis, who in turn was in the sway of, Titian. Our lord, Bokin, had countered their attacks but the stalemate lasted until Grandfather Renda died in my arms. A hidden Helg warrior rose up from a thicket and plunged a knife into his throat. I remember his blood spurting all over me and the reek of despair running through my body. And then I held my sword aloft and yelled, ‘Charge.’ I swung my sword and rushed at the enemy, others followed me on the road to death. Luckily for me, my author allowed me to live in Evil Never Dies, as clearly he wanted me for the follow up novel.
What’s it like? Which bit?
My author keeping me alive, or… only joking, I know what you mean. I remember that first battle as my blade sang the song of death and men, older and wiser than me, followed my tune. Every slash, cut and parry was automatic. When it was over, I couldn’t see any part of my body that wasn’t blood spattered. I sank to the ground and wondered what I had become. Years later, control of my actions is automatic. I know when I can slip in to berserk mode and when not to. I choose my time, but once I start fighting I never turn back, I’ll kill my enemies or I’ll die. I have no scars on my back and I will never stop if my family, my friends and my clan, The Maxilla people, are threatened.
You should like quite the family man, how do you make time for your loved ones?
That’s easy. Whenever I’m not needed, I’d rather play and cuddle my daughter in a peaceful world than fight any battle. Alas, in my author’s new novel, Heroes Never Fade, my little girl is showing an aptitude for magic, and that is a little worrying. Tasmina knows more than she lets on and no doubt I’ll be informed in due course, probably in the last book in the series. Magic Never Ends, I think my author said.
What’s your greatest fear?
I have no fear for myself, but letting others down hangs like a heavy yoke around my neck. With the gods taking sides – Titian is determined to turn our world into one of chaos – Jade favours peace and harmony – there is little chance for a quiet life. Yet, when there is, I’ll take a ceasefire and serenity any day.
What do you hate most about yourself?
Love and hate go hand in hand. In a battle I don’t really think about hating my opponent, I can’t spare time thinking. So it’s obvious that I do not hate myself here, but I do hate not having the power to kill the God of War. I also hate arguing with Tasmina, as even when I know she’s right, I can’t seem to let the conversation end.
Hm, that last bit seems like a common issue for people. So, what is your greatest strength? (can be intellectual)
That’s definitely my power of movement in a sword fight. Without it, you and I would not be having this conversation. You better thank, Rick Haynes, for that.
Do you have a weakness?
Oh yes, I love drinking ale, or mead, with my best friend Wynne. He’s built like a giant of old folklore and seems to me immune to strong drinks. He usually has to carry me home after a good drinking session.
At least Wynne’s nice enough to give you a lift. Is there something from the past that haunts you, keeps you awake at night?
Most of the time, my dreams are about my family, and my friends, so I sleep well. Occasionally, which is often after a bloody battle, I have been known to yell out in anguish, before turning over and snoring loudly. I think Tasmina, and my warrior friends are used to it now, as I suspect the bruises on my back are there by the grace of a few hefty kicks.
What is your biggest secret?
I have none, for my beloved knows immediately if I don’t tell the truth.
What’s your favorite animal and why? (can be a mythical creature)
My horse means all to me, but many never survive a battle, as it’s easier to kill the horse to unseat the rider, than be trampled by the big beast as you try to reach the swordsman on its back. I do love dogs, for they really are man’s best friend, but my author hasn’t given me one. I’ll have to tell him.
What would you want from your writer in the last book of the series?
That’s simple. I’d want a quiet story about my family and where we live in Lakeland, and my work in training new recruits for The Bokin Band – the Maxilla’s elite warriors. But it’s not going to happen as no one would buy the book, Rick would be out of a job and I’d be forgotten. I understand that readers like the first two books in the Maxilla series, and that means that I like readers. So, I say, roll on the last one in the series. Maybe loads of your wonderful readers will buy the books and keep me alive, metaphorically speaking.
Well, you do seem like a good guy, so I’m sure someone will want to help keep you alive. That’s all we have time for today, so please swing by Rick Haynes’s Author Page and check out his books. To learn more of about Tarn and see him in action, click here.