Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Meet the Characters – An Interview with Michael Valiant from “The Valiant Chronicles” by Val Tobin

Three Exciting Novels from Award-Winning Author Val Tobin

The Experiencers
Not killing her might be the death of him.

Black-ops Assassin Michael Valiant questions his agency's motives when he's ordered to silence a group of UFO enthusiasts who look less like terrorists than they do housewives and nerds. Michael finds himself running for his life and dragging his intended target along with him.

Can he save them both, or will the Agency and the aliens find them first?

A Ring of Truth
Some heroes come disguised as monsters.

To ensure her daughter’s safety, Carolyn Fairchild has surrendered to the Agency and the aliens. In retaliation, Michael Valiant, Agency assassin, has gone rogue. He’s made his way to the Northwest Territories to find the alien base in The Valley of the Headless Men. But time is running out, and the abductees might be executed before he can save them.

Nothing says bad day like waking up dead.

Who killed Jayden McQueen? Why? How?

In her quest to find answers, Jayden sets in motion events that propel humanity towards a future already written. But just because events appear inevitable doesn't mean you shouldn't fight them. Does it?

Today we’re talking to Michael Valiant from “The Valiant Chronicles,” a Sci/Fi Thriller Romance by Val Tobin. According to the author you are only a secondary character in Earthbound, which is told from Jayden McQueen’s perspective, but you are the glue that binds all three stories together. Let’s get started. I’m sure our readers are eager to learn more about you.

What is your relationship status?
When Earthbound begins, I’m married to Jessica, a woman I’ve loved since university. Our marriage is troubled, which doesn’t surprise my partner, Torque. He warned me that assassins shouldn’t marry, but I loved her—I still love her. When The Experiencers opens, I’m afraid she wants a divorce, but I’ll do anything to keep her, even if that “anything” involves avoiding her and lying to her.

She believes I’m a scientist studying climate change. In reality, I’m a pawn of the Agency and beginning to realize I’ve been duped. When I figure it all out, my life implodes, and I take everyone around me down with me. In the end, I find a love I hadn’t known possible that helps me heal on all levels: physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual.

What is your best memory to date?
The night I spent with the love of my life hiding in a cave in Algonquin Park. We’d only just discovered one another, and we were hunted by the Agency and the aliens, but I lost my heart to her that night. She became my lifeline, my reason to fight and to do the right thing.

What are you most afraid of?
As I look back on everything that happened in the Chronicles, my biggest fear is losing those I love. I lost everything and everyone dear to me once, and my biggest fear is that it’ll happen again. While my near-death experience taught me that we’re all connected and destiny is a moving target, losing the love of my life right now would devastate me. We’ve been through too much and deserve a respite from trauma and grief.

What was your first impression of her?
I won’t name names, but when I first saw the woman who is the love of my life, I didn’t recognize her as such. She was simply a target, and I’d have shot her on first sight if the Agency would’ve demanded that of me. Yet when I confronted her in her home, when I met her face-to-face for the first time, something within me recognized the connection. I couldn’t cause her harm after that, though I pretended to myself that I could.

What would you most like to forget?
I’d most like to forget the way my partner betrayed me and ruined my life. Torque recruited me to the Agency. He mentored me. He molded me into a killing machine. Too bad his killing machine turned out to have a conscience.

If you could go back in time, what one thing would you change in your life?
I’d make different choices when I was in Nahanni and searching for the alien base in Valley of the Headless Men in A Ring of Truth. I wish I’d turned away immediately when I spotted Althaea, my former partner, in the forest in Nahanni. The shock of seeing her there when I thought her in the US paralyzed me. That stupid lapse cost me and cost those around me.

But if you haven’t read the story, you don’t understand what happened between us, and as it turns out, she was manipulated by the Agency to such an extent she’d lost herself. They’d programmed her the way they’d programmed me—worse, because they’d manipulated her mind in horrific ways.

I’m not excusing whatever transpired between us, whatever decisions we made, but we didn’t know the truth then. I didn’t know Torque had manipulated to throw Althaea and me together. I didn’t know what she’d suffered at the hands of the Agency. We were monsters and thought we were heroes.

Do you see morality as black-and-white, or with shades of gray?
I’m as morally grey as the aliens who abducted the experiencers I was ordered to silence. Most of them hate the term “experiencer,” but that’s what the Agency taught me to call them. It was a euphemism. In reality, they’re abductees because they had no choice in the matter. The aliens kidnapped them as much as the Agency did afterwards to silence them.

If someone from your past showed up, who would you most want it to be, and why?
I want Jessica to show up—but I’ve already had that, haven’t I? She came to me more than once after Torque destroyed us. Even so, I miss her and would welcome seeing her again.

If someone from your past showed up, who would you most NOT want it to be, and why?
My former boss, Jim Cornell, can stay out of my life forever. He’s evil—a sociopath. If I saw him now, it would take all my self-control not to kill him, if killing him were possible, and I never want to kill again.

Who in your life has the power to hurt you the most and why?
Those I love the most have the most power to hurt me. I’m not talking about physical pain—I can endure a great deal of physical pain. Physical torture can’t touch me, but if the woman I’ve pledged my life to were to betray me, I’d never recover. When she held a gun on me and threatened to shoot me in A Ring of Truth, I’d rather have died than live with the hatred she displayed then.

Describe a typical Friday night.
After everything that happened to all of us, my Friday nights are simple but special. With minimal television and no movies being made for a long time to come, we gather together in the common room and play games the old-fashioned way. Do you know, I’d never played Charades in my life before this? I’d never been close to other people—never opened myself up like this to other people. Fun wasn’t a big part of my repertoire in my life before the world fell apart. Ironic, isn’t it?

The Valiant Chronicles” is available through:

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