Interview with Bradley "Fly" Flyer

Character Interview with Bradley Flyer

By Lashell Collins

I’m standing in what’s called the drum room of Twisted Manor, and I know my mouth is hanging open. I have never seen so many different kinds of drums all together like this. The room isn’t exactly small, although it’s not overly huge either. But it is completely full of drums. 

There is a modern Gothic style, black leather couch off to one side. It is the one and only piece of actual furniture in the room. Every other nook and cranny is filled with some sort of drum — a standard drum kit in one corner, another more massive kit that sports two kick drums and extra toms in the opposite corner. And in between there are bongos, and timbales, and congas, and djembes, and other things I’ve never seen before. One short wall beside the door houses a set of built-in shelves, only there are no books contained there. Instead, all I see is row after row of handheld percussion instruments. It’s quite an impressive collection.

“Hey, Lashell. Good to see you again!”

Bradley Flyer bounces into the room with his characteristic exuberance and a huge genuine smile. He rushes toward me and envelopes me in a friendly hug.

“Hi, Fly. Well, you seem to be in a good mood today.”

He motions me over to the couch. “Aw, you know me. I try to always be in a good mood. It’s much better than taking myself so seriously, you know?”

His words come out in a rush, and I know that means he’s a little nervous right now. He takes a seat at one end of the couch and I sit at the other, facing him.

“I’ve always loved that about you. You have a somewhat unique perspective on the world, I think.”

Fly gives me a curious look. “Unique? How so?”

“Well, you never let anything get you down. Somehow you always manage to let things roll off your back, so to speak. That’s a quality I think many people wish they possessed.”

He shrugs his shoulders as if it’s no big deal, but he doesn’t respond. I glance around the room at our surroundings.

“So, tell me. Why did you want to do our interview here, in the drum room?”

Fly looks around and smiles. “Because this is one of the greatest rooms in the whole castle.”

“Really?” I can’t help but smile at his obvious affection for his massive collection.

“Yeah. Well, it is to me, anyway. I spend a lot of time in this room. Sometimes Dash will join me in here. He’ll bring his bass and we’ll fool around with different rhythms and stuff. We’ve written a few songs together that way. But mostly I come in here alone and just pick up a drum or sit behind one of the kits and see where it leads. The end result is always magic.”

“So this is where Fly comes to do his best thinking?”

He looks at me and nods. “In a way, yeah. A lot of times when I come in here, it is because I have something on my mind that I need to work out. It’s good therapy.”

I pause as I watch him. “I want to ask you a shifter question. Is that all right?”

“Sure.” He gives me his full attention.

“I know people have asked you in the past what it’s like to be the lone human in this band, and in this family …”

“Can’t ask me that last part anymore! I’m not the lone human in the family anymore thanks to Aleigha.” 

His smile is contagious, and I laugh a little as I look at him. Fly has a boy-next-door charm about him that’s difficult to deny. Bright blue eyes, a great smile, and blond unruly curls that invite your fingers to play in them. Today he’s dressed simply in a pair of worn faded blue jeans and a gray Rolling Stones t-shirt.

“Well, my question is this … you’ve said before that you feel like a shifter. What do you mean by that exactly?”

Fly shakes his head, as if the statement is self-explanatory. “Just that. I do feel like a shifter most of the time. In a weird way, Lashell, I was raised as a shifter. See, that’s what most people don’t understand about me. Yeah, my bandmates and me grew up in an orphanage that housed both shifter and human kids. But I spent ninety-eight percent of my time with Morpheus and Dash and Raven. I’m talking from the time I was about five years old. The three of them practically raised me, and even now as an adult, I spend most of my time with shifters. Honestly, to this day, I’m more comfortable in a room full of shifters than I am in a crowd of humans. Shifters are my people. They just are. And I don’t expect humans to understand that … like I get why they don’t. But that’s just the way it is.”

I hesitate as I watch him and let that response sink in. This character sprang from my imagination, and yet he’s just revealed something about himself that I never saw coming. “You’re more comfortable with shifters than you are with humans?”

“Yes.” His response is immediate, and he nods his head as if to drive his point home. “Humans always talk about how dangerous and volatile shifters are, but that’s not the way I see it. To me, shifters are honest. They’re open with their feelings, good or bad, it’s always right there on the surface. You don’t have to guess about it. But humans are so secretive, they lie and they conceal their true feelings, and you never know what they’re thinking or planning. They’re always scheming.”

“So you see humans as untrustworthy.” I am astonished at this revelation.

“Yes. Untrustworthy, and dangerous. I’ve only met two humans in my life that I completely trust. One of them is Aleigha, and the other is you.”

His confession has me speechless for several seconds. I created this character, and yet I had no idea he felt this way.

 

“I’m floored. And I’m honored to be among the few humans you trust. But I have to say … that is so fascinating.”

Fly blows a puff of air through his lips, making a soft raspberry sound. “Not really.”

“No, I mean it. You really are a fascinating guy, Fly.”

He gets a soft bashful blush to his cheeks and looks away.

 

“So, tell our readers a few things about you that they don’t already know.”

“Like what kind of things?” He frowns at me and almost looks afraid at the suggestion. It’s adorable.

 

“Like what’s your favorite food?”

“Well, first of all, anyone who knows me well will tell you that I love to eat! Like I love food, period. But if I had to choose a favorite meal or something, it would probably be a big juicy steak with a baked potato and broccoli on the side. Or a big ol’ bowl of pasta with meat sauce. Yeah.” He nods in approval of his choices, and I can’t help laughing. 

“Okay, what’s your favorite color?”

“Red. Like that drum kit over there.” He gestures to the corner where the standard drum kit is set up. It’s a bright candy apple sort of red, shiny and pretty. “Fiona has this tube of lipstick that’s the same color. Let’s just say it works!

He wiggles his eyebrows at me salaciously, and I burst out laughing. The kind of laughter that doubles you over and leaves you holding your sides when you try to catch your breath and compose yourself. After a good two or three minutes of trying, I finally take a deep breath and look over at him. He’s still grinning at me, and I shake my head.

“Wow. That was the best laugh I’ve had in a long time.”

“Glad I could be of service.” 

I can’t help but giggle, and I know I’m in danger of losing it again. I have to get back on track here. “Since you brought up Fiona, how are you and the lovely female wolf shifter doing?”

“Oh, were great, as long as she wears that lipstick.”

Laughter threatens to overtake me again, and I point a finger at him. “Stop it!”

He holds up his hands. “Okay, I’m sorry. I’ll stop.” He chuckles. “Fiona is amazing. She’s wonderful. She does so much to help others everyday at the youth center, and she’s just started a program to help serve breakfast to underprivileged youth because so many go to school hungry on a regular basis. And I didn't know that before I met her, but it, of course, impacts their ability to pay attention and learn in class. So we’ve been serving breakfast at the youth center in the mornings now, and it’s going really well. But that was Fiona’s idea, and we think it’s making a real difference to these kids, which is awesome.”

He’s wearing the most unadulterated look of pride on his handsome face, and I can’t help but smile. “You’re very proud of her, aren’t you?”

“Oh gosh, absolutely.” He nods. “You have no idea. I mean, the youth center was her baby before we even met, and it means so much to her. So, for me, just being able to help her with her passion is incredible. To be able to share that with her, and watch her shine. I love it. Fiona is an amazing person; she’s the best part of life for me.”

“Why Bradley Flyer, you sound like a man in love.”

He seems unable to contain the grin, and it lights up his whole face from within. “Yes. A man in love. I’ll admit to that.”

“I’m happy for you.”

“Well, thank you, Lashell. I’m happy for me too!” He laughs at his own joke, and I giggle at him.

“What’s next for Fly?”

He sighs and shakes his head. “More of the same. Just being the best drummer I can be, and helping to keep this band at the top of its game.

Standing by my brothers and protecting our growing family. Loving the people closest to me and letting them know what they mean to me. That’s everything right there. That’s what it’s all about.”

I smile at him. “You know, I think out of all of my characters so far, you’re one of the wisest.”

He frowns at that. “Me?”

“Yep, you.”

He snickers. “If that’s true, Lashell, then we’re all in danger because I know nothing.”

I giggle at the look on his face.

“I will give you a final piece of advice, though.”

“Really, what’s that?” Now I’m intrigued.

“Well, I’ve heard about your interviews with Morph and Dash, and I’m telling you right now … the answer is yes. So don’t ask the question again.”

"Okay, I’m a little puzzled. The answer is yes?” I frown at him.

“Yes.”

“But what is the question?”

He smirks at me. “The castle.”

I stare blankly at him, and then it dawns on me. “Oh yes.” I recall my two previous ghostly encounters at the end of my interviews with Morpheus Wolfe and Dash Lyons. “Well, I assure you, I have no desire to escalate those encounters. I am now a believer that the castle is indeed haunted.”

“Good.” Fly nods as he watches me. “Then this won’t come as such a shock to you.”

I frown at him just as the drums begin to sound. I jump and look toward the corner where the massive drum kit sits. There, behind the double kick rig sits a ghostly apparition, sticks in hand, playing a drum solo worthy of the legendary Ginger Baker. It’s not a recording of a drum solo playing behind a projection on the wall. The cymbals dance and the drums are rocking as the phantom drummer plays his heart out.

My mouth hangs open as the solo ends. The drummer winks at me, and then he is gone. I stare at the spot for endless seconds before I turn to Fly. He’s grinning at me.

“What? Who … how?” I can’t seem to form a complete sentence in my mind as I stammer. But I notice the room is freezing cold, and I can see my breath with each failed attempt at communication.

“This interview was fun,” Fly exclaims. “I hope your readers enjoy it!”

Well, there you have it. My exclusive interview with Bradley Flyer. I hope you enjoyed learning more about him as much as I did! You can  CLICK HERE to get your copy of She Wolf Now!

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