I would like to formally recant a statement I made last week:
“Boy, NaNoWriMo is easy!”
[insert negative adjectives here]
The biggest downfall with nano is that all my creative energy gets channeled into my book, with none left over for the blog. This results in stress, scrambling last minute to churn out something half-way decent, and — you guessed it — more stress.
With Aeterna on my mind so much lately, and finding nothing better to post, I figured I might as well sit down and interview Liriel, my protagonist. Yes, it’s a boring idea, but… whatever.
What resulted is not my fault.
Hello, Liriel! Thank you for joining us today.
Liriel crosses her arms.
So to kick this thing off, why don’t you tell us a little bit about yourself? Your name, your age, all the fun stuff.
Liriel: “Considering you’ve already mentioned my name seven times in the last three paragraphs, introducing myself seems like a dreadful waste of words.”
Ehm… right. Okay then. Tell us some interesting things about yourself.
Liriel: “If I must. My name is Liriel–”
You just said you weren’t going to introduce yourself…
Liriel: “–and my purpose is to serve my people to the best of my ability, no matter what form that takes. The rest is none of your concern.”
Interviewing you was a bad idea.
Okay, well, since you brought it up, we might as well talk about the Aeterna. Who are they?
Liriel: “The best.”
Besides that, I mean. (And try and answer with more than two syllables, please.)
Liriel, muttering: “You certainly are a demanding author. Fine, then: The Aeterna are a race of forest dwellers blessed with long life by our God the Sovereign. We are militant and straightforward, adhering strictly to the laws of duty and righteousness. We honor strength as the noblest virtue a creature can possess.”
What are some of the Aeterna’s weaknesses?
Liriel, staring icily down her nose: “We have none.”
Yep. I thought you’d say that. So, moving on: What impression do you make on people when they first meet you?
Liriel: “How should I know? Can I see their thoughts?”
Well, no, but… Put it this way: What impression do you think you make on people?
Liriel: “Why would I waste my time making suppositions about things that I have no way of knowing?”
Fine. What impression do you want to make on people?
Liriel: “A good one, I should think.”
I hate you.
Liriel: “Likewise, I’m sure.”
Lotch, randomly popping up: “People gen’rally scream when they first meet Liriel, though I honestly don’t get it. Just ’cause she’s creepy and all don’t mean she’s gonna mug ’em.”
Liriel gives a startled shriek, claps a hand to her mouth, and continues with frazzled sternness: “Where did you come from?”
Lotch: “Tapitha says a stork dropped me through the chimbley when I was a baby, but I think that’s silly. Hey, what are you doing? Can I do it too?”
Sorry Lotch, but this interview is so we can get to know Liriel better. You’ll have your turn later.
Lotch: “Oh. Drat”
ANYWAY. Liriel, let’s get personal for a moment: What’s one of your biggest fears?
Lotch giggles: “Liriel’s biggest fear is being asked this question….”
Liriel, looking more frazzled than ever: “WHY ARE YOU STILL HERE?”
Lotch: “I dunno. I’m bored.”
*coughs into sleeve* Liriel, is there anything you’ve always wanted to do but have never done?
Lotch: “I always wanted to try on Mister Sley’s hat, but I don’t think he’d like that too much.”
Hey, speaking of which, why don’t you tell us about–
Liriel: “DON’T ASK THAT.”
Liriel slaps a palm against her forehead and groans.
Lotch: “Sley is a real nice chap with a cool hat! He’s super polite (except when he yells at people) and he’s always really gentle and sweet (except that one time he stuck a fella with his sword) and I like him a whole bunch. Liriel says he’s a missionary.”
Liriel: “MERCENARY. SHE MEANS MERCENARY. THE MAN HAS KILLED PEOPLE.”
Lotch: “Liriel, honey, I know you don’t like him, but you don’t gotta insult the poor guy.”
MOVING ON. Liriel, who’s your best friend?
Lotch: “Blarmey, you actually got friends?”
Liriel: “YES, I have friends. He’s–”
Emolas wanders in and promptly trips over the carpet: “Hello, everyone!”
Liriel sighs: “And there he is. How many people did you invite, Lotch?”
Lotch: “Shucks, I dunno…”
Emolas, beaming: “I brought Sley too.”
Sley is dragged in, clutching his hat for dear life and waving his sword wildly: “Confound it! What does a fellow have to do to get away from you people?”
Lotch: “Aw, you know you love us.”
Liriel: “I find serious error with that statement.”
Guys? Can we… stay on topic here? Liriel, tell me about the worst thing that’s ever happened to you.
Lotch, bouncing up and down and flapping her hand: “Ooh! Ooh! Lemme answer this one! The worst thing that’s ever happened to Liriel was that time when–”
Liriel: “Lotch, we don’t need to talk about this.”
Lotch: “–when we were hiding in that cave thingy and Nob was flipping out because you’d just–”
Liriel: “WE DON’T NEED TO TALK ABOUT THIS, LOTCH.”
Aven pokes his head through the door: “…if it helps, I’ve been keeping a record of all the worst days of your life.”
Lotch: “Hey! It’s you!”
Aven: “I heard something about an interview that needs disrupting?”
Liriel: “I hate all of you.”
Sley, muttering in the corner: “I hate you.”
Emolas, giving the stern Eyebrows of Disappointment: “Come, my friends, let’s be charitable about this.”
Aven throws something at Emolas.
Lotch: “CHARIOTS? We got them too?”
Okay then. The whole gang is here. Well, seeing as everyone decided to show up for *cough* Liriel’s *cough cough* interview, here’s a question for all of you: What’s the worst thing you’ve ever done to someone?
Everyone looks at Sley.
Sley, glowering: “No comment.”
Liriel: “Logically speaking, you’ve done more terrible things than any of us, so it only makes sense that you should go first.”
Lotch: “Come on, Mister Sley, out with it. Spill the beans.”
Emolas, quickly cutting in: “If you want to. You don’t have to if you don’t want to.”
Sley, still glowering: “This is stupid.”
Aven: “Not as stupid as you! HA!!!”
Aven gives high-fives all around.
Sley’s glower darkens, if that’s at all possible: “The worst thing I’ve ever done to someone is what I’m about to do to you.”
Whoa, whoa, guys, slow down. We all agreed we wouldn’t ask Sley any uncomfortable questions.
Liriel: “An unfair agreement, considering no such stipulation was made for any of us.”
Lotch: “Yeah! We don’t got no staple-nations. What do you say to that, author lady?”
Lotch, glancing at Liriel and whispering loudly: “What’s a staple, anyway?”
Aw, come on, Liriel. He’s a villain. We have to protect his privacy, or it might spoil things for the readers.
Liriel: “Right. Because asking me about the worst day of my life isn’t at all considered a spoiler.”
Liriel: “IN FACT, if I didn’t know any better, I would say you were playing favorites.”
*awkward coughing* Whaa-aa-aat….?
Emolas: “Alright everyone, let’s settle down and give her the benefit of the doubt. Authors don’t play favorites.”
Aven: “HA! That’s rich, coming from you. We all know she likes you the most.”
*modest protesting* Really now, just because he’s better than everyone else and gets all the coolest scenes doesn’t mean he’s my FAVORITE…
Aven: “SHE ADMITS IT! The author plays favorites! Ladies and gentlemen, this calls for drastic measures! Anarchy! Mutiny! Revolution! FREE THE CHARACTERS!!”
Aven prances off, singing “The Red and Black” from Les Miserables.
Emolas, clearing his throat: “Revolutions take organization, Aven, and considering you don’t like organization, I respectfully suggest you drop that notion.”
Sley: “No, wait, I think we should listen to him. That’s the only idea that’s made a wit of sense this entire blasted time.”
Aven, blinking: “Wait, really?”
Lotch: “I have no idea what anyone’s talking about, but I support it.”
Emolas: “Can we please try not to get distracted by revolutions? We’re not that kind of book. Our author may have her flaws, but she’s at least trying to keep us from sounding like a typical YA dystopian.”
Lotch: “…I don’t know what that is, either.”
Emolas: “I think we’re missing the point here. Revolutions are not the point, Aven. Favoritism isn’t the point, either.”
Aven, sulking: “Care to enlighten us, then, about the point?”
Emolas, looking monstrously pleased with himself: “The point, gentlemen, is that our author wants the best for us. She doesn’t want to see us get hurt.”
*nervous giggling* Uhhhhh…. well, actually…
Lotch, snickering: “Snot-Head called me a gentlemen…”
This seems like a PERFECT time to move on. So here’s a fun question for y’all: What would you like it to say on your tombstone?
Sley: ” ‘Death was the only friend who dealt gently with him.’ ”
Aven: “I’ll admit, I was expecting something more along the lines of, ‘Here lies Sley — who, coincidentally, was a liar, so this tombstone is also a pun.”
Aven finger-guns: So… yes. Now I feel like horrible person.”
Lotch, tears streaming down her face: “D’you need a hug?”
Liriel: “Author, you have a twisted view of fun.”
I’ll admit, that didn’t go according to plan.
Aven: “Which makes sense, considering you’ve never had a plan in your entire life.”
Liriel: “Are we almost done here? This is growing tedious.”
Emolas: “Liriel, you shouldn’t make her feel bad. She’s trying her best.”
Liriel: “She’s talking to Aven. When has talking to Aven ever constituted as trying one’s best?”
Emolas: “I find it incredibly frustrating that there’s nothing I can say to dispute that point.”
Come on, guys, let’s not get distracted. My last question for you is about the book. How would you describe it to someone who doesn’t know what it’s about?
Sley: “It’s a stupid book.”
Aven snickers: “I mean, he’s not wrong…”
Lotch: “It’s a book about monsters and swords and heroism and stuff — though Liriel spends most of the time flipping out and I generally end up saving the day.”
Liriel: “NOBODY LISTEN TO HER.”
Emolas: “Aeterna is a story that explores the inherent nature of mankind, and our primal views of God. Along the way, you meet many lovely people–”
Sley slouches in the corner, muttering curses and threats about ‘idiot sprites’.
“–and witness the beginnings of many lovely friendships.”
Aven throws something at Liriel.
“But above all, Aeterna is a story of failure and faith; a story about humanity’s struggle to rise from the mire of their sins and reach for God’s untainted and unattainable holiness.”
Lotch picks her nose.
Thank you, Emolas, for that nice little marketing pitch. Ladies and gentlemen, let’s give it up for the cast of Aeterna!
*the cast troops out, tripping over each other and bickering bitterly*
So anyway, I hope you enjoyed that. These people are messed up. Writing them has been a real… uh… joy.
Have a nice day, folks, and may NaNoWriMo shrink beneath your pen.