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Hi Michelle! It’s great to meet you.
(Laughs) As for your question, if you ask me, I say the story is a horror. I mean, all I wanted was to live the normal, quiet life of a clan hunter and trader, but all that got turned upside down once those damned Rovers ploughed into the south bent on destroying it and after the Purple Morrow showed up--night after night--in my dreams. Seeing the Morrow is pretty significant and when I finally found out why…! (Sips water and runs a hand through his hair). Anyway...getting mixed up with Kelen, the Rover commander who literally wanted my head, also sucked, as you modern people say. I still have the scars from our fights to prove it! But meeting him did cause me to meet my wife, Nyssa, so that part wasn’t bad (grins).
But if you ask Dyane she’ll say it’s a light fantasy novel with action, mythological and romance elements. Not too heavy on the romance though! She’s more interested in lopping off heads and writing macho axe-and-sword duels than sending me off with Nyssa to some cozy love nest for pages at a time. You know, I’d been meaning to talk to her about that one day, but with running for my life and trying to understand the Morrow’s long-forgotten lore, I guess I just never got around to it. (Laughs)
Where is your story set? In another world, the past, the future?
My clan is the Wolf Clan, and it’s located in the lush forests of Marathana. That’s our continent. See, there are four main Clans, three of which broke away from the Mother Clan generations ago when three brothers decided to settle the south. Sage Clan, the wisdom and law keepers, settled in the mountains, while the Water Clan, from which our line of healers come, settled the eastern cliffs. Earth Clan, of which Wolf Clan is a sect, settled the forests. As a clan, we’re known for our stubborn loyalty, and for our dedication to tradition and to the clan’s common good. Marriage and procreation are key values and central to our survival, especially with the ever-present threat of Rover attacks, which is why my refusal to remarry after the death of my first wife was such an aberration. Also, it was foretold that Marathana’s saviour would come from my clan. That’s...where I come in. I’m still not sure how I feel about it.
Can you tell me something about the land you live in? It seems different from the world I know of today.
Well, Marathana is divided into the Northlands, which are populated by the greedy and destructive Northmen--the Rovers are their army of marauders, the Southernlands which is where my people live, and further down are the Deep Southernlands, which is largely desert. There’s a miserable little hole there called the Badlands. That’s where the half-breed spawns of the Northmen and Southernmen are sent because anyone found to have Rover blood is immediately exiled. That’s how hated the Rovers are. I’ll let you figure out how the half-breeds come to be; I’d rather not speak of things like that in mixed company.
Aside from that, I guess we’d appear pretty primitive compared to you: we’ve no lights, or cars, no ‘tech’ as I have heard some of you mention. But it’s a beautiful land of mountains and rivers and plains. Silver Falls is one of our most important and sacred features...though, sadly, it’s also the location of one of the saddest events of my life: the death of my first wife...um...next question?
I can't imagine life without electricity but it must be amazing to gaze up at the stars without any light pollution.
For the benefit of the readers, what do you look like?
I’m 24, have black shoulder-length hair I often keep tied back, and have green eyes. Apparently, I’m the only living person with eyes this colour and they’re the sign of my destiny. As for the rest of me, I think I must be attractive since Dyane often describes me as having ‘full lips’, as being ‘lithe’ and ‘graceful as a cat’. I think there’s even a line somewhere in chapter six about my skin ‘glistening in the sun’ from sweat during martial arts training. (Grins and shows off delightful dimples and straight, white teeth) I don’t mind, though. I figure the more she likes me, the better my storylines will be! You know, the positive effect of strong inspiration and all that. (Laughs).
*Michelle fans herself* I love green eyes. Skin glistening in the sun while doing martial arts...phew...I'd best not go there!
From the excerpt I read of your story, you seem sad and lonely. What caused you to feel that way?
Yeah, life hasn’t been kind to me. Ten years ago, the Rovers razed our village and my family and a lot of villagers were killed. It was lonely growing up in the aftermath of all that, especially as an orphan. Luckily, I had Lark, my best friend, and Mara, the healer, to help but I guess you never really come back from something like that, do you?
No, I'm glad you had the comfort of your best friend.
And, as I mentioned before, five years ago I married my first wife, Aliyah, only to have her die on our wedding day. I...thought it was my fault. A man’s supposed to protect his wife, right? Anyway, after all that I kinda felt like life had it out for me. I just closed off, lived quietly with my head down. Until the Morrow showed up and messed all that up!
Can you tell me more about the Purple Morrow? I know it is a butterfly that you have been dreaming about.
Well, butterflies are revered by the Clan as symbols of hope, change, second chances and so on. There’s some sort of mythology tied to it as well, and I spend a lot of book two unraveling what it’s all about. But basically, when one is seen in a dream or a vision, it’s thought to be some kind of sign. What’s also important is the fact that the rarer the butterfly, the more important the message or ensuing destiny. The Purple Morrow is the rarest of them all, so you can understand the trepidation I felt when it started showing up in my dreams!
I can tell your dreams disturb you. How long have you been having them?
For weeks! I felt so stupid being afraid to sleep for fear of dreaming about what is essentially a beautiful insect, but knowing its significance...anyway, they nearly drove me crazy! Poor Lark. He got the brunt of it all. (Laughs)
How did you meet your friend, Lark?
Oh, Lark and I have been buddies since we were kids. When my family was killed he sort of stepped in as big brother and best friend. He’s easygoing and fun and dependable-- the kind of friend every guy wants watching his back. Half the time nothing he says makes any real sense, but when it came to getting me to see Nyssa as a possible wife, by some magic I’ve yet to understand, the man actually spoke sensibly. At the time, it was maddening!
What do you think are your best attributes?
I’m just a regular guy, an Everyman, trying to live right in a difficult world. I think I’m loyal and honest and I genuinely care about people. And even though it might take a while to get me going, when I know what needs to get done, come hell or high water, I see the thing through.
And what are your worst?
I’m stubborn. I get set in my ways and it’s hard to change my mind. I mean, it took the Morrow, Mara, Lark, Nyssa, nearly getting killed by Kelen more than once amongst other things to get me to accept the challenge the Morrow set for me. Yep, stubborn as a mule, I am!
Will you be appearing in any future books?
Yes! I’ll be in all the books since the trilogy is mostly the story of how I become Marathana’s deliverer. But in Wolf’s Bane, book 2, other characters take on larger roles and we see more of the other people groups living in Marathana. For example, Kelen, a crowd favourite, becomes co-main character as his role in the story and in my life moves to the forefront. What happens between he and I at the end surprised even me. I can’t wait for book 3!
Michelle, thanks so much for having my on today. I hope I did Dyane proud...and that she’ll remember it when it comes time to finish book 3 as in add more love scenes! (Coughs) Anyway, Michelle! It was great to talk about The Purple Morrow and the world I come from. I hope you’ll have me back when Wolf’s Bane comes out, hopefully sometime later this year (2014).
It was a pleasure meeting you Jeru. I'd love to have you back and I will be reviewing your book here on my blog soon.