October Interviews: Felix

What do you remember about your childhood?

Very little. Most of it was spent in prayer. I can recall flashes of my mother… but nothing of substance. I don’t remember her voice, or what she smelled like, or if she ever held me close and told me that she loved me. I remember her mostly being surrounded by men and white powdery drugs, and I don’t think I ever will know what she looked like decently clothed. My memories with High Priest Gwynafor in the temple of Morre are better ones, if not much clearer. But I was happier, then, and I think when you are happy time goes by so quickly that you neglect to collect memories. Or maybe I have reached a point in my age where it is just more difficult to recall events that feel like they happened so long ago that it’s almost like they didn’t happen to you at all.

What’s something no one knows about Pharun?

He can be nice, sometimes. 😀 But in all seriousness – isn’t it easier to list what most people do know about him? He wraps himself up in so much mystery that sometimes even I begin to doubt whether or not the man I love is the “true” Pharun. If I had to pick one possibly little-known fact, I would say that he can be very gentle. There are times when I can see it in the way he holds me … his arms are strong but in the way that makes them sturdy and safe to lean on. And he will kiss me gently… no teeth or tongue to escalate the mood but sweet, soft kisses from firm lips while he keeps me close. He does some things that are sweet… when he gives me gifts that I was not expecting, always something small and sentimental, the kind of things I treasure the most. If I ever doubt myself for loving him… memories of those moments remind me why I can’t live without him.

What’s your fondest memory from your time as a cleric?

I was very fond of the piece and tranquility that life at the temple offered. Most would consider it a mundane existence, but I enjoyed the routine – fulfilling my daily duties, saying my prayers to Morre, studying scrolls and, on the best days, sharing a meal or a few hours of meditation with my mentor Gwynafor. It was a blissful time without complications, I’m not sure I could single out one perfect memory.

How did you feel learning your father was Death?

I was startled, to be sure. I have never consider myself to be a person of much cosmic importance or worth. Mind you, I do not feel as though I am worthless – no one in this world is completely without worth. I just never saw any reason for me to be singled out by someone more powerful or interesting. I also didn’t think it made much sense… after all, don’t children of the divine always display some sort of special quality or talent? I’ve never really had any of those. Compare me to Pharun… and it’s like pointing to the nuthatch and the heron and claiming they were both spawned from the same egg.

What’s the cutest thing Pharun’s ever done?

You know he pretends to hate children, right? He secretly adores them. He was always so kind and playful with the younger clerics at the temple whenever he came around to visit me. More times than I can count, I would catch him pulling sweets out of his pocket to give to them (they were not permitted to have decadent sweets).

Did you ever run into Encarz? What was that like?

Oh, my. Encarz was a man to be admired… that is for certain. I do not think I ever came into contact with him, directly, but I experienced many of Pharun’s memories of him. He did not seem cruel, but he wasn’t kind either, and he had a frigid nature about him that made him come across as absolutely unapproachable. I would not have liked to know him, and if I had I don’t think we would have gotten on very well.

Who besides your husband do you like most in the Mahtrador family?

Oh, I am quite fond of Shrukian. Again, I don’t have many real memories of him (not many that didn’t end in bodily harm, anyway) – but from Pharun’s memories, I have gleaned that there is just … something about him that is undeniably appealing. He is very charming, yes, but very kind and very gentle, also. He can be firm when the situation calls for it but he also loves to laugh and enjoy himself, and in a world as dark as ours those are qualities worth appreciating.

October Interviews: Benito

image credit: fimbul_vinter (deviantart)

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Do you ever feel guilty about stealing another man’s wife?

WAIT! Who says I stole her? o.o And no… Adriel did not want to marry her in the first place, and I knew he would have ended up divorcing her. She was in danger and I was helping her run at the time, I wasn’t really thinking…

What was life like when you and Olympia fled?

As a few details of that story have yet to be released… I can’t say much. I will say that I enjoy her company and her boys, I would honestly do anything for any of them. I know she could never love me like I want her to, but that doesn’t stop me from loving her.

What is the fondest memory you have raising her children?

The day they stopped crying when I held them…

October Interviews: Austric

What was is your relationship with Domenico like when the two of you are alone?

*snorts* What would I like it to be, or what is it in actuality? Domenico is as infuriating in private as he is in public. The only difference is that in private he sees no reason to be polite. He’s a rogue, and that is what I love about him, but it is also what drives me crazy behind closed doors. Believe it or not, he is quiet for the most part. Unless you get him talking about one of two things he cares about (politics or poetry) and then he will go on and on without stopping for hours. I don’t think he actually needs me to be present for him to continue a conversation, he answers himself often enough. I’ve napped before in his presence and he’s never noticed.

What was it like growing up as an Ercole?

I have never really felt like “an Ercole” growing up. As he likes to mention often enough, Adriel became everything that father and aunt Nerissa wanted. Most days I was alone. I actually became very fond of reading, and I enjoyed fairy tales. When I was little I would act them out until one of my nurses stopped me for my ‘frivolous and ridiculous’ behavior.

Give us some dirt on your brothers.

You mean my cousins? I remember how Adriel used to disappear for hours and none of the attendants could ever find him. I stumbled across him, one day, on all fours romping around with the hounds and kissing them. I was too busy laughing to confront him at the time, but I will forever cling to the hope that he has some deep-seated “special love” for dogs.

Benito has a weak bladder. He had to wear napkins until he was almost seven. To this day he cannot go a full hour without having to relieve himself. I used to tease him about it, but there was one day when he held me face-down in a rain barrel and wouldn’t let me up until I swore to never mention it again.

What was the most difficult thing you experienced growing up?

I would say the distinct absence of love and affection, but how can you miss something you have never before experienced? Perhaps the most difficult thing I experienced was finding ways to catch up to my cousins. Talk about an insurmountable hill.

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.

One Lovely Blog Award

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Hello my loves!

Taking a small break from the interviews for a second. I was nominated (like, FOREVER ago) for the One Lovely Blog Award by the very awesome Deby Fredericks! So THANK YOU, again, I am so flattered that you thought of me! I’ve been sitting on top of this email for weeks and then my work email went down inexplicably for a while. And of course, I’m so organized. Nevertheless, blog awards are great and so much fun! I enjoy participating and keeping the love spreading. 🙂

Award rules are to thank the nominator (double check!), disclose seven facts about yourself, and nominate others. Is it any amount of others or is there a number? I’m just going to nominate however many I want, how about that.

So here we go! First, let me get my seven facts out of the way.

1. I am a trans male, married to a trans feminine non-binary.

2. I really love makeup. I love makeup so much that my ‘makeup box’ is actually a legitimate toolbox.

3. I love theatre, I was a huge theatre nerd in high school.

4. I used to write a lot of plays. (That kind of builds off #3, is that cheating?)

5. I actually wrote, directed, and performed in a play that had actual attendants who paid to be there. The results are still on Youtube somewhere.

6. Almost half of the characters in my books are based off people I know in real life.

7. When I look back, I honestly can’t remember a time when I was not writing. I had the first early draft of The Dragon’s Disciples finished by the time I was 15 or 16.

Cool! Now the nominees.

Legends of Windemere ( http://legendsofwindemere.com )

Aleksis Faust  ( http://aleksisfaust.wordpress.com )

A Small Press Life ( http://onetrackmuse.com )

Vampires, Crime and Angels… Eclectic Me ( http://ellelainey.wordpress.com )

If you’ve done this award recently I declare you exempt from doing it again.

Have fun!

October Interviews – Cyrano!

Image credit: kir_tat, deviantart

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What was Austric like growing up?

An absolutely worthless child. He cried over everything, he was always pleading for attention, and he had no ambition to grow into anything useful. I had too many duties to give him a generous amount of my time. Then again, if he had earned it I might have made more of an effort.

Which of your sons are you most proud of?

Austric is my only son. Adriel is my nephew, and I must say that he is the one who has proved himself most worthy of my praise. He is good to his mother, he is good for the family, and he is a model for his brothers. He is a ruthless assassin and yet he has not allowed his line of work to turn him into a recluse. He would make an excellent baron.

What was it like being married to Nerissa?

To be clear, I never married Nerissa. She was my sister, and while our relationship would be considered an intimate one, we were never wed. I married a woman named Vincentia and she married a man named Ettore. After their deaths we simply never remarried, focusing instead on the family we had. It was better at that point to not branch out.  My sister is strong in ways that most women could not comprehend, or would fear trying to achieve. She is a joy and a thrill to engage with.

Are you whipped?

Pardon?

Me: Does Nerissa control your every movement.

I should certainly say not. Make no mistake, Nerissa is a strong and admirable woman – but she and I operate as a team. One or the other may gain leverage now and then, but for the most part we live and work on equal plains. At least as far as our relationship is concerned. Society, obviously, tries to force us to turn in different circles.