Character Interview: Rowan

The-Alchemists-Flame-800 Cover reveal and PromotionalBack in June, I decided to interview some of the characters from my Final Formula series. Fans voted, both here and on my Facebook page, and selected Ian, closely followed by Rowan. With the voting so close, I decided to interview both characters. I did one interview last month and today I’ll do the other.  If you missed it, you can read Ian’s interview here.

Today I’ll be interviewing Rowan, Fire Element and leader of the New Magic community—though some say, he leads the whole magical community. But there are a few necromancers who would disagree with that.


Now for the man of the hour: His Grace, the Lord of Flames.


Becca: Thanks for stopping in, Rowan. I know you’re a busy guy.

Rowan: (straightens in his chair) It was no trouble. And I should clarify that I’m only responsible for New Magic, though I try to maintain a good working relationship with Old Magic. Lately, that’s become difficult.

Becca: So we’ve seen. Perhaps things will get better.

Rowan: I suspect you will ensure that it doesn’t.

Becca: It’s nothing personal, but there is no story without conflict.

Rowan: (sighs)

Becca: (clears throat) Back to the interview. I asked the fans for questions and they came up with quite a list. (waves a sheet of paper) Unlike some I’ve interviewed, I don’t guess I need to remind you that we expect honest answers?

Rowan: Naturally. I won’t deceive you.

Becca: Thanks, Rowan. We’ll start with the most popular question. Several people asked if you’ve ever been tempted to use your magic for vengeance or convenience. For example, if someone cut you off in traffic, or if you wanted to roast your own marshmallows.

Rowan: (laughs) The marshmallow roasting would be difficult. I don’t technically wield fire. I elevate the temperature of an object to the point of ionization, momentarily creating a plasma. Typically there is nothing left, unless the process is interrupted and ionization doesn’t occur, then the high temperature might cause a fire. As for vengeance… Yes, I’ve been tempted. So far, I haven’t acted on it.

Becca: I suspect I can guess the source of your temptation, which leads to the next question. Do you think you will ever like Ian?

Rowan: No.

Becca: That’s an abrupt answer. Do you want to elaborate? Offer an excuse or give a reason?

Rowan: To offer an excuse is to apologize for my dislike, and in that, I am justified. He deals in half-truths and secrets. Everything he does is to further his own agenda. I tolerate him, but I will never trust him.

Becca: Because of what he did to Addie?

Rowan: That is the primary reason—not that she can see the deceit in him. She sees him as a tragic figure; someone in need of her help. I cannot fault her compassion, but I will not let him use it against her.

Becca: Speaking of Addie… I did get quite a few questions about her.

Rowan: (smiles) I can imagine. She is an intriguing woman.

Becca: Is that what attracted you to her or is there another reason?

Rowan: I guess if I had to name one particular trait, it would be her fearlessness. She doesn’t back down from anyone—which I found refreshing. Few people tell me what they think. She doesn’t hesitate. (laughs) Though that aspect of her personality can be just as frustrating as it is attractive. Between her lack of fear and her confidence, she tends to get herself into trouble quite often.

Becca: Her confidence, yes. She does seem to have that in abundance.

Rowan: Absolutely. It makes her what she is.

Becca: An extremely talented alchemist?

Rowan: And a natural leader, though I don’t think she realizes that. She makes friends easily, and those who are close to her will do anything for her.

Becca: Except Cora.

Rowan: Cora doesn’t dislike Addie personally. On some level, I believe Cora respects her, but Cora would disapprove of any woman I was romantically attracted to. Cora sees Addie as a threat to my control and fears that I will do myself harm. I cherish Cora’s love, but I find her lack of faith in me frustrating.

Becca: I suspect Cora also holds Addie responsible for what happened to Era. Which brings me to another question. Gwynn wants to know if you believe that a caring woman like Addie could be responsible for hurting Era.

Rowan: (sighs) Addie is incredibly confident, driven, and single-minded. But she is also naive. In the wrong company, that’s a dangerous combination, and I think she was in such a situation at the Alchemica. Her colleagues exploited that side of her nature. I’ve watched Addie willingly sacrifice everything for those she cares about. Someone with that kind of compassion wouldn’t harm others to further her own agenda.

Becca: Fair enough. (checks question list) Let me lighten the mood. April wants to know what your favorite food is? Also, do you cook and do the dishes?

Rowan: (laughs) Cook, no. I’ve been told I can burn water. As for my favorite food… I love BBQ—wings, ribs, whatever. The hotter the better.

Becca: (grins) I guess I should have seen that coming. Here’s another fun one. Kelly asks: if you could have any pet (wild animals and the fantastic included), what would it be?

Rowan: Hmm. That’s a tough one. (taps his chin with an index finger) How about a unicorn?

Becca: (tries not to laugh and fails) That seems…unmanly.

Rowan: I think I’m confident enough in my masculinity to handle it.

Becca: But why a unicorn?

Rowan: Stick one of those in the front yard and no one would care that I was the Flame Lord. The hype gets old after a few decades.

Becca: I bet. As for the past, a lot of readers have expressed an interest in yours. Could you tell us a little about your childhood? Your family? Did you get in trouble a lot as a teen or were you a straight-A student?

Rowan: Not straight-A, though I could have been if I had applied myself. I got in my share of trouble, but I wasn’t a trouble maker. (pauses) My parents were firm, but understanding. And I had a younger brother and sister. A typical childhood. (falls silent)

Becca: Sounds like it. (decides not to push for more information) How about when the magic returned? Andrea would like to know about the point when you became aware of your Element and New Magic.

Rowan: It took a few years before it was labeled New Magic. We had to wait for Old Magic to crawl out of the dark first. I’m not sure which was more shocking: that magic had returned or that it had technically been here all along.

Becca: And on a personal level? When did you know you were an Element?

Rowan: Again, the title came later, but I knew I was magical the moment it returned. Fortunately, I was working in a desolate part of Iceland and alone at the time.

Becca: What about the rest of your Elemental family? Did you find them or did they find you?

Rowan: Cora found me, then we found Donovan together. He led us to Era later.

Becca: Just like that? How did you even know to look for each other?

Rowan: Instinct, at first. But by the time we found Donovan, we began to understand. It helped that the European Elements had already assembled and had started calling themselves Elements. I always thought they found each other so quickly because they weren’t that far apart geographically.

Becca: And the four of you were?

Rowan: Cora is from Boston, Donovan is from Dandridge, Tennessee, and Era was born in Nebraska.

Becca: And you? Where were you originally from?

Rowan: Cincinnati. Cora and Donovan both wanted to relocate, so they chose to join me here. Fortunately, Cora had money. Volcanology didn’t pay as well as I would like, and Donovan’s savings were tied up.

Becca: Sounds like there’s a story behind all that.

Rowan: Perhaps, but nothing I feel we need to go into today.

Becca: Okay, you can tell me about it another day. Back to your living arrangements. Is it a problem sharing a house with so many people? What if you want some alone time with Addie?

Rowan: (smiles) It’s a big house.

Becca: (laughs) Okay. One last question. This one is deep. Kelly asks: What’s your greatest fear?

Rowan: Wow, that is deep. (rubs his chin)

Becca: Do you fear loosing control?

Rowan: Of course, but I’m not sure that’s my greatest fear. It’s not what keeps me awake at night. I know Addie would call me on my arrogance, (smiles) but I’ve spent two decades honing my control. I’m good at it. What really bothers me is this whole Flame Lord situation. Contrary to what Xander thinks, I never sought this position. I frequently wonder if I am the best man for the job. If I screw up, the repercussions could be tragic.

Becca: What do you mean?

Rowan: It’s a balancing act: between Old Magic and New, between the magical and the nonmagical.

Becca: Why are the nonmagical a concern?

Rowan: The magical are only a tiny fraction of the population. Currently, the nonmagical are fascinated with us, but if they ever decided otherwise, we wouldn’t stand a chance. Some of us might be resilient, but enough bullets, or one in the right place, would still kill.

Becca: I see what you mean. But as far as you being the best man for the job… I think the powers that be chose well.

Rowan: The powers that be? Shouldn’t that be singular? (lifts a brow)

Becca: You give me too much credit. Most of the time, I think I’m just the scribe. You all write your own stories.

Rowan: Really? Then I have a few suggestions. (smirks)

Becca: Um, yes. I bet. (glances at list of questions) Well, I think that covers it. Thanks again for agreeing to this interview.

Rowan: It was an honor. (leans back in his seat) Go ahead and wrap this up, then we can discuss my suggestions. I’m thinking about a hot tub scene.

Becca: Rowan.

Rowan: What? I’m sure you could find a way to make it significant to the plot. You’re a talented storyteller.

Becca: Are you trying to flatter me?

Rowan: (his gray eyes twinkle) I’m only telling the truth, as you asked.

Becca: You know, in your own way, you’re as bad as Ian.

Rowan: Now you’re just being mean. So, how about that hot tub?

Becca: (sighs) Rowan, Lord of Flames and Manipulation.


  1. I still want a karaoke scene!

  2. Mollie

    Ohhhh, I second a karaoke scene! Maybe Addie takes Ian out to try it and when Rowan comes and finds them somehow ends up in a singing war with Ian. 😀

  3. Right, the karaoke scene. I forgot about that suggestion over on Twitter. I think we decided that Rowan can sing, but I hadn’t considered throwing Ian in the mix, lol.

  4. ahaha, hot tubs! naughty naughty rowan!

  5. Hot tub for sure! Personally I think Addie is “hotter” than Rowan!

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