Everybody knows that one guy. The guy who views the world in the negative, that anything and everything existing outside of his self-imposed bubble is bad. The guy who swears at least once in every sentence. He knows what he’s good at, and he doesn’t care about all the other shit that doesn’t interest him. He’s grumpy, moody, opinionated, and a little bit lonely. Take him outside of his comfort zone and you’ll know about it, because he will verbalise all that negativity (probably in the form of a string of expletives).

I know that guy. I know him very well, because I am that guy (all right, I’m a girl, let’s not get fussy over genderisms here, okay?). I swear far too much, have strong opinions, and don’t mind expressing them. I often view the unknown in the negative. I am a thirty-three-year-old, female, grumpy old man.

In ‘The Machine’ and the series of books that will follow, that guy is Cid Mendle. He has spent his adult life cooped up in a laboratory, working. He’s a highly logical engineer with no time or need for adventures or romance or anything of that sort. Why then, would you want to have such a negative force along on an adventure? Because he is so much more than that. Where, on the one hand, he is “stuck in his ways”, he is also dependable. He is secretive and selective in whom he trusts, but loyal to a fault; once he’s on your side, you have a friend for life. He is the perfect counter-balance to Larissa, who is a dreamer and seeks out the positives in every situation. Cid wastes no time in giving her a verbal smack back to reality.

Cid is one of my favourite characters to write, probably because I know him so well. His dialogue comes so naturally. I can’t say I look anything like him, because I’m short and chubby, whereas he’s tall and spindly. I’m also not a super intelligent engineer (unless you sit me in front of an excel spreadsheet and then I can make magic). Cid is funny and charming in his own way, and without him, the book would be missing something special.

Plus he hates cats…

You can meet Cid, Larissa, and their other companions when The Machine is released on November 1st.