October Interviews: Nerissa

Is it hard to be a mother and a ruler?

It is not difficult when you know how to maintain balance in your household. I was a mother long before I had to step up and take over the barony for Cyrano. Most of my children are grown, and even Cappi, who is young, knows how to conduct himself like a man. My children are not burdens, they are assets, and we know what to expect from each other. A successful family dynamic is key to alleviating the pressure that other responsibilities present. So, no, it is not difficult, but it is not necessarily easy.

What were your aspirations as a young girl?

I grew up being very well educated about my family history.  I wanted to the first and the best – I was always competing with Cyrano academically and in every game was played. Of course, of the three of us I was the middle child – my younger sister, Belinda, was not very useful and did not have the same aspirations as my brother and I. According to tradition, I had to marry before she could receive and suitors – so my father ended up arranging a marriage between me and a weak, but wealth lord because she was the far more ‘desirable’ daughter. It was never my goal to be a mother so young. I wanted to be baroness first.

Did you always want to be head of your family?

Of course I did. I was the only one who had any common sense. Cyrano is… was… a brilliant man, but he has no head for the finer politics. He doesn’t understand the nuances quite as well, but he is successful because he knows when to listen to someone who has better strategy. Because of how he and I worked together, I have always felt like the head of the family despite what the census said.

What do you admire in a man?

I admire creativity. I enjoy men who are inspired, even the young insipid poets who run around clinging to their maidens. I need a man to be able to create his own ideas, or at least steal the ideas of others in a tasteful way. If he isn’t creative, he isn’t truly intelligent.

What do you wish more women would do?

I wish more women would realize that being in control is more than just stepping on the heads and hearts of every man in their path. Many want power but they don’t realize the responsibility that comes with it, or they don’t want to work for it. Women in this day and age are not born to privilege, so they need to go in not expecting anything. If I had to advise any woman who had aspirations towards title or power… I would tell her to capture a man’s inspiration before you conquer his bed. Don’t sleep your way to power… and don’t come across as a threat. Don’t be afraid to be seen as a pawn in the early stages, don’t ever take a small victory for granted, and don’t ever run out of patience.

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