I also wanted to quickly say that we'll be at Geek.kon in Madison this weekend! You can find out more about the convention at the link above and here's a map for if you're attending so you can stop by our table! We'll have our books, plus all the different crafts and costumes we make. Hope to see you there!
Oh, also, if you'd like your character interviewed for Character Days, feel free to fill out this form!
Character Days: Jack Gawain from The Standard, Standard II (The Citadel)
Tell me a little about yourself and the world you live in. (If the character and story is our world, tell me about the neighborhood or city, town, country etc)
I was born in Belfast in Northern Ireland during the Troubles around the Eighties. My parents were murdered by the Official IRA in front of the rest of our family during a home invasion when I was a ween. I joined the Ulster Freedom Fighters and ran my own crew until I was arrested in 2005. I was facing life imprisonment in Maghaberry Prison until MI6 made me an offer to work for them. It's all about God and Country for me, I could care less which side of the fence I'm working,
Tell us your most closely guarded secret?
That would be all the bad guys I've done in. My so-called partner, William Shanahan, has filed numerous complaints but so far nothing's been done. Logic dictates that if I let someone walk away to tell the tale, chances are either they or their colleagues will be looking to get even in future. I've got fantasies of having a wife and kids one day, and I don't want to bring them up while looking over my shoulder. Plus, the kind of people we're sent after are not the sort that you want to be living on the same planet with. I can't imagine anyone missing the people I've taken out, except maybe their next of kin.
Tell us about your single most important memory. What was it and how does it affect you now?
As I mentioned, the murder of my parents. It taught me that nothing's forever, except God and country. My siblings were parceled out to foster homes and I never saw them again. I was lucky enough to end up in a Loyalist home where I was coached up along the ranks, from the Apprentice Boys to the UFF. After that, everything I've done was in defense of God and country, from taking out the IRA to protecting the United Kingdom from enemies here and abroad.
What type of person are you? Are you a hero or do you shy away from conflict?
I don't consider myself a whole lot tougher than the next guy - well, that's not entirely true. My work requires me to be a rather dangerous sort. I consider myself fearless because I've got nothing to lose. That's why MI6 and the Narcotics Division of the Police Services of Northern Ireland call me in for the tough jobs. I'm like one of those bunker blaster bombs. I go in as deep as possible and kill everything down there. The peelers don't seem to mind, it saves the Crown the cost of room and board for all those I don't bring in.
Do you have any hobbies, any special talents?
Well, I'm not a shoddy domino player. I did reach the finals in the World Domino Championship last year when I was harassing Enrique Chupacabra, if you remember. I got the best of him at the poker tables in those Miami Beach casinos as well. Back in the day I was a pretty fair administrator on Shankill Road in Belfast. I had a twelve-man squad and we were bringing in over a million pounds a year with our various operations. Aye, and I'd also say I'm a pretty good actor. No one's blown my cover on the field yet. Otherwise I wouldn't be sitting here.
And in that line, what would be your ideal day?
Well, since I've been out of prison, I try to make it a point to wake up with a good woman alongside me every morning. I'll usually take her out on the town or along the countryside for a drive and a picnic. At night I'll take her to dinner and a nightclub, or just go pubcrawling. I don't have any male friends, the less that's known about me the better. Having the right girl is the key to happiness. Of course, when the new wears off, sometimes you just have to cut your losses and move on.
Do you have anyone close to you, any family or friends of interest?
At risk of being what the Yanks call a 'spoiler', I've hooked up with Lucretia Carcosa from INTERPOL after my last job. She's a beautiful woman, highly intelligent and incredibly capable. Before that, there was Darcy Callahan, that lass I met in Texas on the previous assignment, and Fianna Hesher. She was Morgana Mc Laren-Shanahan's best friend. As far as male friends, I'll always consider the fellows on Shankill Road and my comrades in the Ulster Defense Association as my band of brothers. I suppose that William Shanahan and I have saved each other's lives enough times to add him to the list.
What is your most prized possession?
Nothing. I don't consider women a possession, they're like your other self. Worldly possessions don't really mean anything. I've taken countless scores in my time and gambled them away. Friendships are of enormous value, to know that the fellow at your side will place his life at stake for you. Loyalties are just as important, when a man you don't know will endure torture to keep your secret because of the code he lives by. Friendship, honor and loyalty - if you consider those possessions, they are truly priceless.
What initially spurred your actions in this story. Obviously it had to start somewhere for you, give us an idea of where that starting point is and where it all started.
Well, as regards Operation Citadel, I suppose it was when Colonel O'Shaughnessy briefed Shanahan, Lucretia and me on the mission. He told us that the Russian Spetsnaz, their special forces, were smuggling weapons across Europe from the Ukraine and might be hauling a WMD to New York City in the USA. Shanahan was still working that European Council scam of his that he used to sting the Corsican Mob. Lucretia and I infiltrated the Citadel, which put us next to the Russians. Long story short, Shanahan and I saved the world again, and Lucretia nearly sacrificed her life to save mine. I'm greatly enjoying this wee vacation.
How do you envision your future?
That's a hard one. Lucretia and I are sorely tempted to set up a shop of our own somewhere. She's got her EUROPOL connections and I've got East Belfast, we could make good money together. Still, I'm tired of dodging the law, so I may just sit and wait until MI6 or the PSNI call again.
Tell us where we can read more about you? (The book(s) they are featured in)
The novel is called Standard II - The Citadel by John Reinhard Dizon. The fellow seems to be quite a writer.
Author: John Reinhard Dizon
Author's blog or website: https://www.facebook.com/johnreinharddizonUSA
John Reinhard Dizon was born and raised in the Cobble Hill section of Brooklyn, NY. He participated in local and high school sports at Bishop Loughlin MHS, and was a key figure on the Brooklyn rock scene during the Punk Revolution of the 70's. Relocating to San Antonio TX in the 80's, he moonlighted as a pro wrestler before pursuing a BA at UTSA and degrees in Korean martial arts during the 90's. He currently lives in KC MO where he is studying for his MA in English at UMKC. Mr. Dizon has been studying and writing about American and European society and culture for over twenty-five years.