Kelly S. Marsden grew up in Yorkshire, and there were two constants in her life – books and horses.
Graduating with an equine degree from Aberystwyth University, she has spent most of her life since trying to experience everything the horse world has to offer. She is currently settled into a Nutritionist role for a horse feed company in Doncaster, South Yorkshire.
Her first book, The Shadow Rises, was published in January 2013. The entire Witch-Hunter trilogy is now available as paperback and download.
THE SHADOW RISES
Witches are real, and to be blunt, they’re all black-hearted, and evil. These are not wiccans; witches are a different breed that use magic with devastating effect.
Charged with stopping the witches, taking whatever measures necessary, there are witch-hunters, all reporting to the Malleus Maleficarum Council (MMC). For hundreds of years witches have been persecuted and when the powerful Shadow Witch rises again, they have their opportunity for revenge.
The best the MMC has to offer, the talented seventh-generation witch-hunting Hunter Astley has his own part to play. In his own way.
1. Tell me a bit about your character. Who are they, how old are they? What do they look like?
Hunter Astley is a typical English gent. He is tall, dark and handsome; and at 25 years old, he is Lord of Astley Manor and benefits from a family riches. He is also a modern-day witch-hunter.
2. Do they have any strange or unique physical traits?
The Malleus Maleficarum Council (MMC) governs the hunting of witches and there are established witch-hunting families. It has been discovered that if three generations of a family hunt witches, they naturally develop traits to help them – they are stronger, faster, and can sense spells being cast.
This improves with each generation, along with an immunity to some magic.
As the world’s first 7th generation witch-hunter, everyone is excited to see just what Hunter Astley is capable of.
3. Does the character have any quirks?
Hunter is from a highly respected family, he is wealthy and handsome and enjoys the benefits of this. He is also famous amongst the MMC and witch-hunters who hold him to a higher standard.
Only his best friend James tells him the truth – that he’s an arrogant git.
4. Where do they live? What’s it like there?
The Astley family have lived in Astley Manor since it was built in the late 1800’s. It is a grand estate set in extensive lands, near the quaint English village of Little Hanting.
Hunter loves and hates his home. It is his home, and he is proud to be an Astley; but growing up he often wanted to escape from his bickering parents.
His father died five years ago, leaving only his mother behind.
Mrs Astley is… a difficult person to like. She is displeased with everything and enjoys nothing more than sharing her bitter opinion. She openly blames her late-husband for her disappointing life.
Hunter takes some dark pleasure in antagonising his mother, and tries to fill the Manor with people he likes as a punishment.
5. What is their role in the story? Are they the protagonist/antagonist, a supporting character?
Hunter is the protagonist the Witch-Hunter trilogy. He sees himself very much as the hero, rescuing damsels and protecting the innocent against evil witches.
When the most dangerous witch for a thousand years rises, it is up to Hunter to stop them. But Hunter doesn’t know that this witch has been obsessed with his family name and the many ways he can be killed.
6. What do they do for a living?
Hunter has been a witch-hunter for the British MMC for the past five years.
He has always known that he would be a witch-hunter, just like his father and grand-father, etc. Hunter has been training from a young age with his father; and after his father’s death, he finished his training with Brian Lloyd, a rather scary 5th gen and widely-respected witch-hunter.
The MMC couldn’t wait to get their claws into rare 7th gen Hunter, and they employ him in a much more flexible manner than other witch-hunters, because they can’t bear for him to turn away from it all.
The MMC does pay a reasonable wage, but it is inconsequential next to Hunter’s wealth. Hunter sees witch-hunting as a call of duty, rather than a job. If he didn’t do it, he’d probably be a wasteful heir, existing on family money.
7. What do they do for fun?
Hunter enjoys going to the pub with his best friends from university – James and Charlotte, the only people that keep him grounded.
Otherwise, he likes to drive fast cars, off-roading in his Land Rover, and he treats dating like a sport.
8. What is their greatest weakness, their greatest strength?
Hunter’s greatest weakness and strength is his friends.
Hunter is faster and stronger than the rest of the witch-hunters and general populace. He has been trained from a young age to confront witches, and is naturally immune to magic.
He is in the prime of his life and thinks he is invincible.
His friends have such normal backgrounds, and are full of human flaws. They are the easy target for any vengeful witch. They are also the only ones that can keep Hunter safe and sane.
9. What is the best that ever happened to them? The worst?
Up until now, Hunter would smile and say that his best moment was the summer before university, or getting his first car. The worst would be the year his father died, or watching his best friend Charlotte marry another man.
But the truth is that the best and worst things are ahead of them. Hunter will fall in love, have a son, realise the miracles he is capable of. He will also lose everything that ever mattered to him.
10. What do they want from life? What are their goals?
Hunter doesn’t like to set goals. In his profession, witches are always in the shadows, waiting for the opportunity to take him down. Witch-hunters don’t have the longest lifespan, especially not witch-hunters with a name that has killed and created more enemies amongst the witchkind than any other.
Hunter knows that it’s only a matter of time before he dies, so he lives every moment to its fullest. He enjoys now, not the tomorrow that might never come.
11. Does this character of a “theme” song (or several)?
Oh crikey, that’s a hard one. I’ve never really thought what music Hunter would like as a theme song. Maybe no music, just stunned, appreciative silence whenever he walks into a room!
Well, judging by question #9, it seems Hunter has some fun times ahead of him (both the genuine, and the sarcastic kind). As an author myself, I always approve of some good ole’ suffering. ;D
If you want to find out more about Hunter, THE SHADOW RISES is free for download. GO check it out!
Kelly Marsden can be followed via the links below.