The voting is complete, and the readers have spoken. You’ve selected Stig as the character you most wanted interviewed. Eventually, we’ll interview all the main characters from the book, but right now, here’s everyone’s favorite owl, Stigidae Ghostwing--uh, Stig for short.
Editor: Welcome to the Deliverers Publishing Headquarters, Stig. Thanks for taking the time to, um, perch with us.
Stig: It’s my pleasure entirely, I assure you. I say, your headquarters is really quite impressive.
Ed.: Oh, how so?
Stig: Well, the sheer size of the place for one thing, and the fine art and furnishings, to say nothing of all the awards and autographed political and celebrity photographs. I mean, who knew this was such an accomplished organization!
Ed.: Stop, I’m blushing. But this isn’t about us. We want to hear about you. What was your childhood like? Were you an only owl?
Stig: I was an only child. It was rather difficult. You see, my childhood lasted for about 150 years. Most of that time was spent in school. Owls are nothing if not educated. When I wasn’t in school I was with my parents hunting for mice, moles, and the occasional rabbit.
Mother was kindly and very understanding of my youthful foibles. My father was a most respectable business owl, and did not go in for any “carrying on” whatsoever. This led to some friction between us when I entered my adolescent years. I must confide that, just between you and I, I was quite the hellion back in those days. Eventually, I settled down and became somewhat respectable myself, but the entire process was rather painful.
Ed.: What is your world like?
Stig: Oh, much like any other, I suppose. Owls are the predominant species. We’ve developed a very learned society, known for its universities. A nice place altogether, but not really my cup of tea. I don’t spend much time there these days, what with my Assignments and all.
Ed.: How did you first get sent on an Assignment?
Stig: I first stumbled upon the Hallway of Worlds when I chanced upon a doorway while exploring a cave on my world. This was, let me see, over 100 years ago when I was around 320 or so. I can’t begin to describe my amazement when I found myself in the Hallway.
Then, the Gatekeeper appeared. He seemed to have been expecting me. Naturally, I was skeptical when he told me he needed my help, but I could not deny that I was not in the cave that I had entered, so I agreed to help him as best I could.
That was the first of many Assignments in my service to the Gatekeeper. It took a long time until I was chosen to lead an Assignment.
Ed.: Let me guess, that was this last mission with Eric, right?
Stig: Mmmm…Yes. Apparently, the Gatekeeper had his eye on Eric for some time. He asked me to approach him with an Assignment. Mind you, I wasn’t sure Eric would accept. He was going through an extremely rough patch, and had quite a large chip on his shoulder. Thankfully, I was able to convince him, which worked out to everyone’s benefit.
Ed.: What do you like to do in your spare time?
Stig: Well, I don’t have much of it, I can tell you. I teach a class at university on my home world every other semester. I enjoy it—it’s a real hoot.
Ed.: Did you know Hedwig, Harry Potter’s owl?
Stig: Oh, not that well. We flew in different circles. The few times I did meet her, she didn’t have much to say. Bad show what happened to her, but she died bravely. For me, it underscored just how unpredictable life can be.
Ed.: How has the release of the book impacted your life?
Stig: I’ve worked in virtual anonymity for over 100 years, so it was a trifle disconcerting to have the bright light of the media turned upon my work. All in all, though, I must say that it has been surprisingly satisfying. For one thing, it was an excellent Assignment. For another, it gave me a chance to work as part of a team, which was a most singular experience.
Eric, Kate, and Hallo were fun to work with, although a trifle exasperating at times. Each brings their own expertise to an Assignment, and I think we play well off each other. I’m looking forward to working with them again in future.
Ed.: So, do you think you will all take part in future Assignments?
Stig: From what the Gatekeeper says, I would think it stands to reason. There are thousands of worlds out there, and more than a few are encountering difficulties, so I would think you could count on it.
Ed.: Well, thank you for your time Stig. I look forward to reading about The Deliverers’ future Assignments.
Stig: You’re quite welcome. The pleasure has been all mine. Now, do you think you could help me find my way out of the building? All the passages are quite confusing, and I can’t make head or tail out of the map you gave me.