We’re thrilled to be talking to Addison Shaw from Richard Hacker’s Dieback. It is a pleasure to have him with us today at Pimp That Character!
Thank you for your interview, Addison. How old are you and what do you do for a living?
Thanks for having me. I’m twenty-two and for cash I pick up some work from my dad’s genealogy business—you know, clients he had before he died. This is just between us, right? I don’t usually talk about it, but my fulltime gig is being an Inker. I can see from your expression, you don’t know what I’m talking about. Let’s just say it involves an alchemical pen that let’s my consciousness enter the mind of someone living in the past. I know. Crazy. But it’s true. I’m part of a League that was put
Can you tell us about one of your most distinguishable features?
Another thing I don’t like to talk about, but Richard says it will help me to be more open about things. I was in a pretty bad car accident—rolled a car in a snowstorm. My girlfriend…she didn’t make it. And I damaged my leg. So I’ve had a limp. Although since the robotic implant, you wouldn’t know. At least not in this time continuum.
What would I love the most about you?
My persistence. I just don’t know how to give up. I will keep fighting, keep struggling to survive. For all of us to survive.
What would I hate the most about you?
LOL. Well, Jules, my inking partner and on and off girlfriend would tell you it’s what I just said you’d love about me--my persistence. I don’t know when to let it go. We’ve had some pretty good arguments. And I admit, in my head I’m thinking, Addison, let it go, man. But the words just keep coming out of the mouth.
What is in your refrigerator right now?
Cold beer and that sandwich I picked up at Café DaVinci a couple of days ago. Hmmm. I should probably eat that before it walks out on its own. Oh, and I always keep a JavaJolt or two in the fridge for Jules.
What is your most treasured possession?
You’d think it was my Kronos comic book. I mean, it’s in perfect condition and #1 in the series. It’s worth some serious cash and I’ve had it since I was a kid. My dad bought it for me, so it’s pretty special. However, given what’s happening in the world, the time continuum and all, well I’d have to say my inking pen, Renascentia. It’s one of the five pens made by Johanne in the sixteenth century when the alchemist, Tobias Faryndon, started all of this. We have been through some pretty amazing things together.
Do you think the author portrayed you accurately?
Maybe a bit too accurately. I mean, would you want everyone to know your inner thoughts? The things you do, maybe things you’re not so proud of, but things that had to be done? He’s okay though. We’ve talked about it and he tells me if he didn’t share my dirt, I would come across as not very interesting and folks wouldn’t get what the League is about. Why it’s so important for all of us. And besides, it’s a social media kind of world. Who has secrets anymore?
Are you a loner or do you prefer to surround yourself with friends?
A bit of a loner, I guess. Since the car accident, I kind of went inside of myself. However, now that I’m part of the League, I’ve got some solid friends. Nikki Babaneaux, who runs the League after my dad was murdered. And my inking partner, Jules McCullough. But the work I do keeps me from having much of a social life. At least in this present. Now you should have seen me at Versailles. I was the life of the party.
Who is your best friend?
Jules McCullough. I still remember the day I met her at a vintage vinyl shop near my house. Her ebony hair swept tightly back from her face, exploding into a Mohawk of red-tipped spikes. She had piercings in her eye brows, a silver nose ring, and white bone spiraling through her ear lobes contrasting against mocha skin. A tattoo ran the length of her right arm, a twisting vine of green leaves and yellow, orange, and pink flowers, disappearing into the short sleeve of a black Ramones tee shirt. She wore a khaki utility kilt with a silver studded belt slipped over her hips and black combat boots. She looked like a woman from another time and place—a fierce female Maasai warrior from the Tanzanian Serengeti.
I guess you can tell I’m into her. Yeah, we have our ups and downs. Man, some of the fights are epic. But I’ve been across time and space with her. We’ve lived…and died many, many times. I know it sounds a bit cliché, but I’d take a bullet for her. Come to think of it, I have.
If you knew you were going to die tomorrow, what would you do today?
Considering what I do, that’s a pretty epic question. I absolutely know I’m going to die tomorrow. Actually, I died yesterday in the British Isles—impaled by a ninth century Viking in Carhampton, Somerset. And last week, a 1950’s cold war Russian spy garroted me. Not pleasant, but part of the gig.
What? Oh yeah, the question wasn’t tell me all the ways you’ve been killed for dieback—although it’s kind of important since it’s the only way I break the link with my host and get back to the present.
Okay, what would I do if I knew I was going to die in my present. Like die, die. I would gather up Jules and a picnic and we’d sneak onto the roof of the Space Needle here in Seattle. We’d watch the sun set over the Olympic mountains and then I’d kiss her goodbye. Given the kinds of deaths I’ve had—stabbing, shooting, strangling, burning, falling, exploding—well, I’m hoping for something quiet that doesn’t involve tigers. Man, I hate being eaten by tigers. Really. Trust me on this. You don’t want to be tiger food. Been there. Done that. Got the T-shirt.
Hey, thanks for the interview, but Nikki’s giving me the eye. Think I better move along. Have a feeling our nemesis, Kairos, is trying to take control of the time continuum again. Talk about persistent. He is one persistent son of…yeah, well, better go.
For fun, go check out the trailer for the book. https://youtu.be/qesyHscyzNM And Richard tells me he’d love to hear from you. Visit his website, www.richardhacker.com and drop him a line.
About the Author
Richard Hacker is a longtime resident of Austin, Texas who now writes and lives in Seattle.
His writing has been recognized by the Writer’s League of Texas and the Pacific Northwest Writers Association. In addition to his writing, he provides editing services to other writers and is the editor of an online science fiction and fantasy journal, Del Sol Review. His three published humorous crime novels ride the sometimes thin line between fact and fiction in Texas. DIE BACK, his first fantasy thriller novel, has been published by Del Sol Press.
When not writing he’s singing in a vocal jazz ensemble, cooking with a sous vide and a blow torch, or exploring the Pacific Northwest with his wife and his springer spaniel, Jazz.
Website Link: http://www.richardhacker.com
Twitter Link: @Richard_Hacker
Facebook Link: http://www.facebook.com/RWHacker
About the Book:
In 272 AD Egypt, an enemy thwarts an attempt by League Inkers, Thomas Shaw and Nikki Babineaux, to obtain the Alchįmeia, a document holding alchemical secrets. Sensing his impending death, Thomas secures Nikki’s promise to keep his son, Addison, from the League, an organization
Fixated on the pen, Addison inks into a B-17 bombardier in 1943. The pilot, whose consciousness has been taken over by someone calling himself Kairos, gloats over killing Addison’s father and boasts of plans to destroy the League. As Kairos attempts to wrest Addison’s consciousness, Nikki shocks Addison out of the Inking. She confesses her knowledge of the League. When Kairos threatens to steal aviation technology, she she sends Addison and his partner, Jules, to an Army test of the Wright Flyer in 1908. Believing they have succeeded, they return to find the continuum shifted and Nikki knowing nothing about the League.
Inking back to his father’s mission in Alexandria, Addison and Jules hope to get his help in returning the time continuum to its original state. Instead, Addison’s father gives him the Alchįmeia to hide in a crypt at the Great Lighthouse on Phalos. On their return to the present a Kairos agent murders Jules, her consciousness Inked into the past. Addison follows the clues, Inking into Pizarro in 16th century Peru. He finds Jules in the child bride of the Inca emperor. His plan to find the technology and save Jules without destroying the Inca civilization is thwarted by a fleet of Inca airships. Captured, he is taken to Machu Picchu. With Jules help, they find the stolen schematics, but are confronted by Kairos. He stabs Addison, forcing Addison’s consciousness back to the present and traps Jules in the 16th Century. Addison returns to another altered world. Nikki no longer exists, the world is at war with the Inca, and Manhattan lay in ruins.
Addison Inks his father, learning the origins of the League. Thomas urges Addison to uncover their enemy with the help of his colleague, Maya. Putting suspicion on another inker, Cameron, she insists he must be killing Inkers and acquiring Pens. In a final attempt to stop him, they entrap Cameron, only for Addison to discover Maya is Kairos, his enemy. She kills Cameron, also wounding Addison. He chases Maya, who intimates that she holds his mother’s, Rebecca’s, consciousness. Confused he delays, giving her time to scrawl a name with her pen before shooting her dead.
Inked away when Maya died, Kairos finds himself, not in his intended host, Hitler, but in a German infantry soldier POW in the Ardenne during the Battle of the Bulge, WWII. Hoping to repair the shift in the time continuum, Addison brings the League Pens together with the fate of the world and everyone he loves at stake. He awakens to a dissimilar world, but Jules and Nikki exist. And with life there is always hope.