Today I’m going to be shaking things up, and thought that maybe you’d like to hear from a character in Echoes of Winter. Convel is the main character, and the one wolf that we’ve been with from the beginning of the book. This is only able to be done with the help of a special machine from Japan – the canine translation machine. Batteries were included.
*Upon hearing clicking upon the ground, our interviewer puts down the pad of paper with her questions on and rushes to the tap, filling a bowl of water up and then adjusting a machine on the table. She soon hears scratching on her door and stands up, opening the door to welcome the large black wolf into the room. He walks straight to the bowl and drinks thirstily, her eyes anxious as she waits until he is settled before turning the machine on. On the side reads the words Canine-translator.*
“Afternoon Convel, I’m hoping you didn’t have to travel too far from your pack today…” *As the wolf begins to growl, the machine converts his sounds into words, thus forming intelligent sentences in a masculine voice. As soon as it’s up to speed, the answers come through thick and fast.*
“Travelling is fine, thank you. They think I’m on a hunting trip or that I need some space.”
“I’m glad! I’m sure you want to get back home, so I’m just going to get on with the questions, so feel free to answer them with as much or little as you want.”
Interviewer: Are any other people living with you? Who are they?
Convel: There are quite a few others living with me now, my brother Faolan and his friend Baker, plus my pack-mates, Tikaani, Teira, Amore, Morte and Draven.
Interviewer: Tell me about your parents. How well do/did you get along with them?
Convel: Until I was ready to leave my pack, I was really attached to both my parents, but I’ve not seen them in more than a year. My mother was my favourite parent though- she had more patience than my father, he was the Alpha so he didn’t spend much time with us pups when we were growing up.
Interviewer: What was your birth order? How many siblings did you have? Older? Younger?
Convel: There were a lot of us! I’ve got a younger brother, Faolan. He now lives with me, plus four sisters! One of them is older than me, the rest were younger. I’ve got Ayame, she was always one of my favourites. She used to cuddle with me when it was cold, then it was Larentia. She was the dominant one in our litter – the one who most liked to be the winner of our play fights.
My last two sisters were Waya and Tala – but Tala was the one I never really got along with. She was the odd wolf out in our pack…
Interviewer: Who else was in your family while you were growing up? How did you get along with them?
Convel: I grew up with Steam being my closest ‘relative’. I think she was my father’s mother, but I can’t really remember. She wasn’t too fond of familial bonds. Otherwise there were three other wolves, none of them related to us. There were Nuntis and Otsoa – the Beta male and Beta female and then Lyall, our Omega, the most submissive wolf in the pack.
Interviewer: What were three things you liked to do when you were a puppy?
Convel: I loved to practise my hunting, play-fight and howl. Just typical puppy things, you know! I just loved spending time practising the things that would make me stronger.
Interviewer: What were you afraid of when you were a pup?
Convel: I was only really afraid of strangers. And the Humans that mother told us about – they sounded really scary! Until I met one, that’s when I got this. *Convel turned to the interviewer and showed off the black collar which was mostly invisible where his fur meshed over it.* Both myself and Teira wear these, we met the Humans and ended up with them.
Interviewer: How did you respond to the physiological and psychological changes in your life as a teenager?
Convel: I don’t really know- I got bigger quick and had to assert my dominance quicker- that’s when I discovered I was nearly as strong as my father was. I didn’t know what to do about it though!
Interviewer: What makes you happy now?
Convel: Running with the pack, hunting and running through the territory. We are the only wolves in that area, well…apart from Singer’s pack, but they live higher up than us.
Interviewer: What is your greatest fear?
Convel: Losing more of my pack. I’ve lost enough of them as it is, thanks to those who were around us.
Interviewer: What would you change about yourself if you could?
Convel: I wish I could see into the hearts of those around me. I hate the way that I’m able to be deceived because I want to see the best in everyone.
Interviewer: What is it that you have never told anyone?
Convel: I never wanted to be an Alpha as a pup. I saw myself as more of a Beta, helping the Alpha keep control of the pack.
Interviewer: What do you want?
Convel: To keep my pack and future pups’ safe and to protect my territory from any intruders. Getting the Humans to leave us along would be good, too.
Interviewer: Who do you look like? Your mother, father, or someone else?
Convel: Definitely my father. We have the same eyes, coat colour and build – but I’m taller than he is. I’ve always been bigger than he was.
Which Word Do You Think Describes You Best?
Nervous or calm? Calm when I can be.
Teacher or student? Both, but mostly teacher.
Leader or follower? Leader. I’m an Alpha, it’s what I do.
Brave or fearful? Brave – I’ve had to be.
Religious or superstitious? Both and neither. Lightning and Boulder are the ones who watch out for us, and I respect that.
Humble or proud? Proud.
Tall or short? Tall.
Long fur or short? Long, at the moment. It’s the winter coat, you see.
Honest, stretch the truth when necessary, or all out liar? Stretch the truth when necessary. The pack don’t need to know everything.
Introvert or extrovert? Introvert.
*As soon as he finishes the final word, the machine stops it’s gentle whirring and just clonks, leaving the room silent apart from the breathing of our interviewer, and the panting of the wolf. She gets up and refills the water bowl, placing it in front of the black wolf and stepping back. He drains the bowl then moves to stand by the door, waiting for her to open it expectantly. She opens it, then watches as he slinks down the hallway until he is out of sight, before returning to examine the translator machine.*
“Damn it, the batteries died!”