Meet Author Aurora Springer


The young empath, Violet Hunter, is chosen to work for a year as the pawn of one of the twelve Grand Masters. She embarks on a quest to uncover the true nature of the secretive Grand Masters, who are suspects in the portal failures threatening galactic civilization. Watch for explosions when she meets the Grand Masters.  

The genesis of this story is described in Violet travels to different planets on missions for her Grand Master. Each mission is like a chess move in analogy to Alice Through the Looking Glass by Lewis Carroll. 

These interviews take place prior to the fourth mission when Violet meets her mysterious Grand Master.

Interview with the Pawn, Violet Hunter

Good morning, I’m Melody Lane, the host of the Daily Star Show. Today, my guest is Violet Hunter. This spring, Violet was selected as the pawn of one of the elite Grand Masters. She has come to the studio to tell us about her life as a pawn.

The display switches to a slender young woman with a friendly face, green eyes and a star-shaped birthmark on her forehead.

Melody: "Good morning, Violet, and welcome to the Daily Star morning show."

Violet: "Good morning, Melody. Please forgive my nervousness. I’ve never been interviewed before." 

Melody: "Tell us a bit about yourself, Violet."

Violet: "You want the basics? Well, I’m twenty two years old. I’ve earned master’s degrees in xenobiology and geomorphology from the Terran Space Academy, and I have certificates for proficiency in single combat and target shooting. It’s all in the public records! 

Off the record, I’m an empath, secretly trained by the White Mother Tingu. Don’t tell anyone! The Grand Masters banned the training of psychics twenty years ago. I suppose they don’t want any competition." 

Melody:  "Why do you wear a steel necklace with two sapphires?" 

Violet: "I have a pawn’s collar to show that I serve one of the twelve Grand Masters. I found the sapphires on my first mission to the Crystal Cave on Erebus. The planet of Erebus has these creepy tunnels under the icy surface. You have to crawl through a labyrinth of caves by the greenish glow from the fungus growing on the walls. The bear-man, Rothan, guided me through the caves. He’s neat, although too hairy for my tastes.

The Crystal Cave is marvelous. I found an amethyst as well as the two sapphires. My Grand Master stuck the amethyst into the birthmark on my forehead. He said it’s activated by psi power and claimed I don't have any. He doesn’t know about my empathy. Then, he put the sapphires into the pawn’s collar so that he can watch me on my missions. I’m not sure if I like the idea." 

Melody:  "Do tell us about your mysterious Grand Master?" 
Violet: "Oh, he’s totally obnoxious. He won’t tell me his name and he likes to shove his psi power at me. But, I’ve got a plan to handle him. The Black Dragon, Ythris, gave me a hint when I met him on my mission to the planet of Sythos."  

Melody:  What does your Grand Master look like?
Violet: I’ve no idea! He has a griffin avatar with flashy blue eyes and a gruff voice. For all I know, he might not even be human. But, I can sense people’s emotions and there’s a weird thing about my Grand Master. I can sense when he is amused. It’s a pleasant sort of laughter, not scary or anything. He seems almost human."

Melody:  "Do you know the other pawns?" 
Violet: "I’ve met the pawns who were selected this year. My friend Srini is one. I’m not surprised he was chosen. Srini is very clever. And, I met Lira Tong, a cat-woman from Aman-el. I like Lira. We’re going to meet at McCoy’s Cantina to chat about our missions. The other two pawns are Alfonse and Gary. Alfonse doesn’t talk a lot and Gary talks too much. Gary is dating my best friend Tessa. She’s beautiful and very sweet, but she has dreadful taste in men. Gary’s always boasting about the luxuries his Grand Master gives him. He says she is a great queen and rules over many planets. My Grand Master expects me to earn my allowance. That seems fair to me. Maybe he’s not so bad." 

Melody, checking her notes:  "What is your goal in life?" 
Violet smiles: "I love exploring planets. And, I’m hunting for the truth about the Grand Masters. Mother Tingu believes some of them want to destroy civilization. Gary’s Grand Master seems a prime suspect. She sounds horrible. On the other hand, Srini’s Grand Master helped Space Corps make peace treaties. My Grand Master doesn’t seem interested in civilized planets. He sends me to investigate strange places and people, like the dragon lords of Sythos. Mind you, I don’t always obey his orders. I’d never have saved the Black Dragon if I’d listened to my Grand Master." 

Melody, in an incredulous tone: "You saved a dragon?"

Violet: "Yes. His wing was injured and a pack of carnivores had trapped him in a cave."

Melody: "You have a very exciting life as a pawn, Violet. Maybe you can come back when your contract is over and tell us all about your missions."

“Maybe I’ll know more about the Grand Masters by then. Goodbye, Melody.” Violet smiles and walks out.

Exclusive Interview with the Griffin Grand Master

A stellar good day to our viewers! I’m Dan Murray of the Galactic Network News bringing you an exclusive interview with one of the twelve Grand Masters. The black-uniformed guards have opened the iron gates to let me into the black marble Council Hall.

A furry alien with six legs beckons from the inner door and leads me along a corridor to a door marked with the symbol of a griffin. The alien’s long ears twitch and it squeaks, “Wait inside for Grand Master.” 

The room is dark. Peering around, I see the stone statue of a griffin at one side. Suddenly, the eyes glow blue. The Grand Master is present. Tapping my mike, I check my list of questions and begin.

Dan: "Grand Master, it is a great honor to interview you. Please tell us a bit about yourself."

Grand Master: “I am a Grand Master!” A rush of icy air accompanies his deep voice and my hair stands on end.

Dan: “Er, do you have a name?”

Grand Master: “You may call me the Griffin.”

Dan: “Why don’t you appear in person?”

Grand Master: “Fool, it’s too dangerous! Did no one tell you? Exposure to my power is deadly.”

Dan: “Violet Hunter is your new pawn. Why did you select her?” 

Grand Master: “She has excellent qualifications and an interesting pedigree.” 

Dan: “Do you mean her father? Frank Hunter died twenty years ago.”

Grand Master: “He was murdered. No culprit was identified.”

Dan: “Did you select his daughter because you were sorry for her?”

Grand Master: “Why should I feel sorrow? Her father was clairvoyant, although my little pawn has no record of psychic talent. She looks like a pixie with those big green eyes. At the selection, she seemed to look straight at me. Impossible! We have impenetrable shields in the Council Hall.”

Dan: “Is Miss Hunter an asset for your missions?” 

Grand Master: “She’s impudent and disobedient. Remarkably, in spite of her foolish risks, her missions are successful. My pawn knows how to fire a laser. I’ve seen her zap a pack of reptilian carnivores.” 

Dan: “What is the goal of your missions?” 

Grand Master: “No more questions!” His thunderous voice echoes through the room, the blue glow vanishes from the stone griffin’s eyes, and a blast of wind smashes me against the wall.

My interview is over. I grope through the darkness to the door. His pawn is a brave woman to stand up to him. He sounded almost human when he spoke of her. Who knows the Grand Masters’ true nature? He might be an alien or an artificial intelligence.

If you would like to know more about the twelve Grand Masters, read this post -

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Author Bio:

Aurora Springer is a scientist morphing into a novelist. She has a PhD in molecular biophysics and discovers science facts in her day job. She has invented adventures in weird worlds for as long as she can remember. In 2014, Aurora achieved her life-long ambition to publish her stories. Her works are character-driven romances set in weird worlds described with a sprinkle of humor. Some of the stories were composed thirty years ago. She was born in the UK and lives in Atlanta with her husband, a dog and two cats to sit on the keyboard. Her hobbies, besides reading and writing, include outdoor activities like gardening, watching wildlife, hiking and canoeing.

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Apryl Baker

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