Welcome to another Author Highlight, a series where we feature authors like ourselves. You’ll find author interviews, tips, stories, poetry and more. We aim to entertain, promote, and inspire. Other interviews can be found here.

Nick Wilford

Joining us in our post today is Nick Wilford, author of The Becalmer coming from Creative James Media August 2023! Nick is taking over our blog today with an exciting character interview with his main character, Harica! She’ll give you a look into her conflict-defusing power and how it works. (Psst. You may recognize this publisher from books K has posted on social media recently: Does Love Always Win by Diane Billas and When Oceans Rise by Robin Alvarez)

Harica is gifted with the ability to defuse conflicts using her mind. When she is recruited to assist in resolving a war via an arranged marriage, she discovers that the reluctant bride-to-be has similar powers. Princess Jasmila doesn’t use her powers for good and when Harica arrives to help with the marriage arrangements, she fights back and sends Harica into a coma.

It is through this comatose state that Harica discovers a mysterious liminal space populated by others who share her gift. In this new realm, she learns to do things she never believed possible, but soon things spiral out of control.

In the face of a terrifying and seemingly unstoppable adversary, Harica wrestles with the decision to come to terms with the dark side of her gift. Will she take ownership of it or turn her back on it forever?

Character Interview with Harica

Hello! Welcome to the Galactic Channel’s regular feature where we spotlight amazing people making a difference in the galaxy. Today’s interviewee is maybe the youngest we have featured but perhaps the most awesome. Meet sixteen-year-old Harica, who has an incredible ability that is about to be put to the test in the biggest challenge of her young life.

Hello Harica, it’s great to speak to you.

Oh um, hello. I’m a little bit nervous about all this… I just want to ask before we start, how did you find out about me?

Well, we can’t reveal our sources but a story like yours is hard to keep down. Don’t worry, we’ll make you feel right at home.

It’s just I haven’t told my parents I’m doing this yet. They’re not really happy about it, so I’m going behind their back, but it doesn’t really feel like I’ve got a choice.

Oh. Well in that case, we’ll hold back on running this until you’ve achieved glorious success in your mission, which I have no doubt you will. They’ll see they were in the wrong then!

[awkward silence]

O-kay, so we’ll get into the interview proper, if that’s alright? Now, the word is out that you’ve got this awesome gift of being able to resolve conflicts using your mind. Let’s hear a little more about that.

Right, well I don’t know if it’s awesome exactly, it’s just something I’ve always done, almost as long as I can remember. How it works is like, I sit with the people – just two people, I’ve never been able to do like a group or anything – and go inside their minds, I mean like both their minds, it feels like one entity because of the tension that’s between them – and I just unravel that tension, which feels like a physical thing. There’s always one person who’s stronger, more dominant, so that’s the main thing I work with. I suppose you could imagine something like taking hooks out of a metal grille that are tightly locked in – but it’s a living thing as well, so it’s probably more difficult than that. Can I say the word “suppurating”? That sounds a bit gross, sorry!

No, no, it’s fine! You’ve created a very vivid picture for us. Absolutely fascinating. Now, can you describe for us when you first became aware of this gift?

Yeah, I was about five and I didn’t really know I was doing it at first. These two girls in my class had got into a fight because one of them had drawn a picture of an animal, but the other one said it was a different animal. Yeah, pretty stupid stuff but that’s what little girls are like and one basically had the other in a death grip and was trying to pull her hair out. I just found myself in their minds and was able to defuse it. The teacher – who was useless, by the way – didn’t know what happened.

Wow! Now that must have been a very useful skill to have throughout your life so far.

Well, I suppose but it gets a bit much sometimes. Like, once everyone knew about it, and soon the whole school did, I got called on to sort out pretty much everything. Like, fighting over boys, or someone stole someone’s homework. It gets pretty ridiculous, and they don’t seem to care that it takes a lot out of me. Like, it can be draining depending on how hard it is, and one time recently the headteacher even called me into her office to intervene in a discipline issue she was having with the deputy. I’d never done adults before, and I actually puked after it. That’s when my dad put his foot down.

Well, I can understand that reaction. I’m sorry you were taken advantage of that way. But after all that, you’re facing the ultimate test, and the outcome affects the future of many.

Yeah. Well, I’m going to have to step up and try and handle myself better if I’m going to do it. They want me to stop that war – the one going on down on our planet between the Camzhargi and the Narbrutsi. It hasn’t really affected us because we’re up on a moon, we’re only orbiting, I’ve never been planet side before. And stopping a war sounds massive but I’m still just working with two people so I’m concentrating on that and trying to block out anything else. There’s these two members of the royal family from each country who are supposed to be getting married off as a peace treaty thing, but the bride-to-be isn’t playing ball, so I’m meant to see what’s going on with her. 

Good luck. We’re all right behind you here at the Galactic Channel. Hopefully you can deliver a better future for the people.

Um, thanks. Yeah, no pressure at all.

Connect With Nick

Nick Wilford is a writer and stay-at-home dad. Once a journalist, he now makes use of those early morning times when the house is quiet to explore the realms of fiction, with a little freelance editing and formatting thrown in. When not working he can usually be found spending time with his family or wrangling his six adorable dogs. His first traditionally published novel, a YA sci-fi adventure entitled The Becalmer, will release from Creative James Media in August 2023. His other books include the Black & White trilogy, a YA dystopian series, and A Change of Mind and Other Stories, a collection featuring a novella and five short stories, four of which were previously published in Writer’s Muse magazine. Nick is also the editor of Overcoming Adversity: An Anthology for Andrew. Visit him at http://nickwilford.com.

Preorder The Becalmer coming from Creative James Media August 2023!

Also available: 

Black & White, part 1 of a YA dystopian trilogy

Corruption, part 2 of a YA dystopian trilogy

Reckoning, part 3 of a YA dystopian trilogy

A Change of Mind and Other Stories

Sign up to his mailing list and receive a free prequel novella to the Black & White series!

Thanks, Nick, for taking over the blog today! Readers: What would you do if you had the power to directly change minds? Would you use it for good?

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