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.

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.

October Interviews – Graeme!

Once again, I am several people behind and have to do a blitzkrieg of updates. I swear it is because I have been writing / reformatting and not because I’m just really bad at posting. *cough*

Quick side note – I would love, love some fresh Amazon reviews for my books. If you’re interested, comment down below or email me. You can choose from any of my works. Currently available I have The Age of Waking Death series (books 1, 2, and 3), Mr. Fingers, and Baron of Blood. For a more details on the individual books type C.N. Faust into Amazon.com and check out my author page!

All right now ONTO THE INTERVIEWS. Here we hand the mic to Graeme, in case you didn’t read the title…

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Did you and Encarz ever get along?

We might have, if we had ever crossed paths. Very seldom did we ever run into each other in the great halls of our castle. That is what happens when two brothers lead completely separate lives. Encarz was the heir, the favorite, the soldier. Everything he did was excellent and he was a gleaming figure in the public eye. I preferred my books. After some time I devoted myself entirely to learning magic, since I was no cleric or godsborn and never possessed the natural ability. There was a time when I tried to share my findings or interests with Encarz, but he never seemed to care much at the time. He always retained the information for later when he needed something from me. I remember, growing up, that I always wanted to be just like my older brother. I wanted little more than his approval and companionship for a long time.

What was it like growing up with your brother?

As I mentioned, we didn’t really cross paths. I didn’t grow up with him so much as grow up in his shadow. It was always easy to hear about his exploits, his slaughters, his achievements… but I did not know much about the man. He never seemed interested in getting close to me. And of course… mother showered all of her attention on him. I was touch-starved and hungry for any grain of affection I could receive. If my father ever hit me, it was a blessing. At least someone knew I was there and felt something stronger than indifference.

How did your relationship with your mother evolve as you grew up?

She lost Encarz, eventually. She fell to me at first to get revenge, then to cradle her bruised ego. She knew I was always there for her, that I would never have abandoned her no matter how much I resented her for ignoring me all those years. I was her loyal lapdog. My magic became of some use to her when she wanted an untraceable poison that would make my father suffer as much as possible before his death. I admit, I was reluctant to aid in Prokopios’ death. But by the time she approached me, his mind was already deteriorating, and he barely knew me.

What made you get started in magic? What do you like most about practicing?

Loneliness was the main reason. I needed something to fill my time as an extra son. I thought briefly about becoming a cleric but that life did not appeal to me, and over the years I became increasingly cynical and less religious. Malhii eventually excommunicated me, and that was fine. He always hated me anyway. What I enjoy most about practicing is the satisfaction in mastering a spell. There are a few fleeting moments of feeling like the most powerful person in the world. When that feeling is gone, you want it back. Magic is as much an addiction as any drug.

Have you ever fallen with someone other than your mother?

I would like to make it clear that I do not consider myself to be in love with my mother. I do love her, but in the way a desperate orphan will cling to the skirts of the matron who beats him just to feel some kind of affection. That being said, I was in love once. I was deeply in love with Anastasia Nicos. Some know her better as Encarz’s first wife and the mother of Pharun. When Anastasia married Encarz, I was consumed by such hurt that I had an affair with her younger sister, Fatima. We were not careful, and she conceived my child. That was a year or two after Pharun’s birth. By then her family was already in disgrace that they could not handle another disappointing daughter. They disowned her, and she came to me. I tried to use my knowledge to get rid of the baby… but by then it was too far along. Instead of the baby dying, Fatima ended up giving birth early, and the baby survived. She, however, did not. I kept the baby in secret for as long as I could, passing him between nursemaids and sympathetic servants. As he grew older, he was just seen as another servant’s boy. I used a spell to change his eye color for his protection. The spell will fade, eventually, and then he and everyone else will know. I pray he will still be protected by then. My one regret is that I was never able to tell him of his lineage.

October Interviews – Ekaterini!

More interview catching up!! Image credit: dashinvaine

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What was Encarz’s father like? How did you two meet?

My husband, Prokopios, was exactly as you would expect. He was a weak man who overcompensated for his shortcomings with feigned ambition and cruelty. When I was young, too young to marry, I was given to be his wife. Had I a choice, I would have never married such a fool.

What was Encarz’s relationship with his father? Was there one?

Prokopios was too busy stirring up minor skirmishes with his barons and pretending to be king. When he did pay attention to his sons, it was only to inflict pain and abuse. He was often drunk and he had a temper that was quick to combust. He made sure they hated him.

What was Encarz like growing up?

He was a good boy. He loved his mother. He was a fine man, a good warrior, a sharp thinker. He was intelligent beyond his years but always very down-to-earth. I appreciated that he was not a man of nonsense – not like his brother. Graeme was always an inspired mind and a very dull child.

Do you take your murder personally?

Of course I do. What kind of ungrateful, terrible boy kills his own mother who gave him the world? He could have been so happy if he had just trusted me as he used to.

What was it like ruling as a woman in Dragoloth?

Very difficult. Everyone wants to make you jump through as many hoops as possible. Perhaps if i had taken things over in a different way it could have been another story.

Describe a time when you put a man in his place.

Besides the time when I made my husband swallow poison, and then had him buried while he was still breathing? (Something they don’t tell you, in the history books).

When did you first get a taste of real power?

As soon as Prokopios died, and I could breathe again as a woman who was not controlled by her husband.

October Interviews – Olympia!

Cy is behind – Cy is very behind in posting, responding, and everything else! I’m also behind on these interviews. So here we go – Blitzkrieg catch-up!!

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What was it like growing into a woman in Dragoloth?

I was ignored through much of my childhood. Pharun was a pain in the ass and Shrukian was father’s pride. I was confined to  my nurses and my embroidery. Dragolothian women are not often taught how to read, but one sympathetic tutor educated me in modern letters, though I cannot read the ancient ones.

When did you and Shrukian start to become more than brother and sister?

He was sixteen, I think, I was nearly nineteen. He was such a beautiful man, then, young and fresh with new muscles. You would not be able to ignore him, either, if he were living just down the hall from you.

When Encarz found out about you and Shrukian, how did he react?

At first he wanted to discourage it heavily, but then he started to ignore it. I think he knew that there was nothing he could do to make it stop… and Shrukian meant so much to him that he would have pulled down the moon to put on his cloak pin if he thought it would make his son happy.

What do you have to say to all of your haters (like me ;p)?

You don’t know a strong woman when you see one, and if you do then you must resent them. You don’t know anything about my life and you have no right to judge me.