I was hoping Bob would be able to share some insight on his bad, bad guy, Taksidian from his Dreamhouse Kings series in this spotlight but something went seriously wrong! I think I’ll let Bob explain ~ I’m not going to rock Taksidian’s boat, that’s for sure!
Over to you, Bob:~
First, a word of explanation. It wasn’t until after midnight that I sat down to answer your queries about Taksidian, the man who causes so much trouble for the King family in my chronicle of their adventures, the Dreamhouse Kings. I like to write in my study by the light of the computer screen and a fire, so I wasn’t aware of someone else in the room until Taksidian stepped out of the shadows. The guy’s creepy in broad daylight; he’s an outright nightmare in the dark. He insisted on answering your questions himself, though I did make him promise to be honest and transparent (as much as a black chunk of evil can be). The following are his words, for what they’re worth.
Over to you, Taksidian:~
Brief physical description
Stunningly handsome, if I do say so myself. Actually, I’ve heard people say my face is a bit gaunt, but that’s only from lack of body fat. I like to keep fit–strong and muscular. You can say my occupation demands it. Hard to chase down people when you’re out of shape. In ancient Assyria I trained as an assassin, so I became strong and agile. Though I’m now over fifty, I’m proud to say I’m as fit as ever. (If you calculate my age from my birth year, I’d be over 2,700 years old; I found the portal into the Dreamhouse when I was in my twenties.)
I’ve kept some things from the era of my youth, such as armour (in storage) and a dagger (always with me). I’ve also kept my hair long. It’s kinky, black, and hangs to my shoulders. My eyes are as green as a lizard’s hide–I love the way people shrink under their gaze. My fingernails are long and sharp, last-ditch weapons in a fight. I’m rarely seen without my black leather trench coat. Forget fashion; it helps conceal the many scars I’ve sustained, as well as my weapons.
I’m told Lance Hendriksen could be my twin. You know, the actor from the Alien movies . . . even though the guy tries too hard to appear genteel. But I have to say, he was wickedly good in Near Dark, playing a old vampire. Xander King should appreciate that, with the way the boy’s always relating things to movies. I’ll ask him if I remind him of Mr. Hendriksen . . . next time I go after him with my dagger.
Strengths and weaknesses
Ah, strengths: too many to enumerate. Cool concentration, charm–I guess you’d call it old world charm, a calculating mind, physical strength (but we’ve been over that), patience (to a point), the ambition to get what I want. Occasionally, I get people to do my bidding through bribery, but I much prefer intimidation. It’s amazing how easy it is to scare people. (You should see Liparulo, pacing in front of the fire, throwing me frightened glances, practically shivering out of his clothes from sheer panic at my presence. Xander and David–mere boys–are braver than this joker.)
As far as weaknesses, ha! Wait a minute . . . Liparulo says I should mention that my single-mindedness can sometimes drive me to rash action, but I really don’t believe he knows what he’s talking about. Wait a minute . . . the man is rambling now, totally out of his mind . . . something about narcissism, heartlessness, greed. Pay him no mind. Ok, ok, I did murder my best friend, but I had to in order to win a challenge and move on to the next level of training. Who wouldn’t have done the same? Liparulo is asking about the King children. Yes, yes, they have to go too. The little brats are interfering with my use of the time portals in the Dreamhouse. Again, I ask, who wouldn’t do the same?
Quirk (if any)
I like to think of them as eccentricities. I often find myself rubbing the scar on my hand while thinking. It reminds me of my many battles, the times I wasn’t fast enough or had underestimated my opponent. I rarely make that mistake now. It is I who give scars, now, not get them. Did mention that I retained trinkets from my past? One of these things is the Assyrian custom of keeping a body part from each of my conquered enemies, sort of a way of remembering my victories as well as my own mortality. They make up a fine sculpture I keep on display in my house. It’s gotten quite large . . . soon to be larger as I vanquish this pesky King family.
Your inspiration for the character
I am my own inspiration, thank you. And character? I mean, really, you are as mad as Liparulo. He says to tell you that every good story needs a villain, and since I want the Kings out of the house I guess that makes me the bad guy. As if! Was it I who moved into the house, interfering with another’s hard work? I think not. Thank the Kings for their own misfortune. Liparulo says the bigger the story, the better the opponent ought to be. Well, I like that idea: I am a better opponent. Since it’s taking him six books–oh come on . . . six?–to tell the Kings’ story, what better villain than an ancient Assyrian assassin? Ok, he has something there. But since I’m the one being interviewed here, let me offer some conjecture. Nothing happens by accident. It’s all in the cards or the stars or whatever. Now, look at Xander: a fifteen-year-old tyke who is obsessed by the movies. He revels in the heroics of Gladiator, 300, Terminator. That boy needed a taste of reality. He needed to understand what real heroism looks like, heroism in the face of true danger. I am that danger.
Background to the story
Oh, everything was running smooth as a fire-tempered blade–until the Kings moved into the old house. They soon discovered the rooms on a hidden third floor. These room lead directly into various times in history. But not only can they go back in time, people from the past can also come into their house. Well, of course someone did, and made off with Mom, took her right back into time with him. Now, the family is doing everything to find her–in and out of time, running into all kinds of dangers and I’m sure the boys would say adventures. That’s where I come in. I don’t want them messing about, keeping me from using the portals to change history–why I want to is my business. But never fear, I’ll have them out soon enough . . . one way or another.
Speaking of which, I must get back to it. I hear the Kings think they found their mother. That just won’t do. I have to get to the house, see what’s going on. I have a few places on my sculpture in dire need of parts. And if Liparulo doesn’t stop looking at me like he is, he’ll be the first to contribute.
Um…Bob? Are you still there? All okay? Yikes, I hope Bob didn’t tick Taksidian off too much!
Well, I guess thanks is in order to you, Taksidian, for sharing your honest opinion of yourself. And be nice to Bob, won’t you? We really want the chance to read the last DHK book, Frenzy and we can’t really do that without him!
Bob is once again generously offering one of my readers a signed and personalised copy of Whirlwind!
To enter, post a comment on or before Sunday 13th December, 2009, telling me the bad guy you love to hate, from a book or movie!
Come back on Monday, when the spotlight shines on Alex LaDuca from Noel Hynd’s Countdown in Cairo. I’m sure it will be safe to return!!