The day started out cold and gray. Rain beat down against the windows of my house all morning long. But now the clouds have parted and turned to fluffy whiteness, the sun is shining, and all that remains of the long storm are a few puddles.
Writing has been exceptionally difficult lately. With the busy-ness of autumn, a book release, unexpected travels, and all the fall-ish things starting back up, I’ve been sitting in what feels like a writing traffic jam, inching slowly towards an unknown barricade. That is to say, not much writing has happened in the past three months.
However, NaNoWriMo is fast-approaching, and what better time to try diving back in to the writing regimen? I’d still like to finish up my current story by the end of the year, and if I can rediscover my discipline… then I still think that deadline is doable. But somehow I have to find a way to reignite my own enthusiasm for this project, rather than the sense of dread I’ve been struggling against lately.
Which is why I decided to join Liv K. Fisher’s Language of Worlds link-up… but I’m letting a couple of the characters from my Turrim Archive series answer the questions.
Rubs hands together… this is going to be fun!
First of all, a bit about this story I’m writing and the characters you’re about to meet.
Towers of Might and Memory is a gaslamp fantasy novel. It is the fifth and final book in the Turrim Archive series. I am currently sitting about 45,000 words into the story.
Marik is a pirate. An airship pirate, to be precise. He prides himself on being able to steal anything… but he’s been distracted from piracy of late in an effort to save the world. He’s got a murky and questionable past, with secrets he’d like to keep hidden.
Raisa is one of Marik’s crew. She’s fiercely loyal to her captain, but she’s recently had a rough time (which I won’t go into due to SPOILERS) but suffice to say that she’s re-evaluating everything she thought she knew about herself and where her place in the world might be.
We find ourselves aboard the Valdeun Hawk, Marik’s airship, high above the ground. The sails flutter in the breeze as the ship drifts lazily through a cloud. Despite the idyllic scene, the airship is being pushed to its top speed. However, since no threat appears to be imminent, perhaps we can let Oleck take the wheel and chat with Marik and Raisa on the main deck for a bit. Here, let me help you adjust your goggles, they’re new and a bit clunky since up until recently airships couldn’t manage speeds high enough to warrant them.
1. Your character is in crisis! Who is the first person they turn to?
Marik: gives a dashing grin “I’d get myself out of it, like I always do. I spend most of my life dodging one crisis after another. Do you think it’s easy or safe being a pirate? Somebody’s always trying to kill you, and there’s never enough money to pay for proper repairs, but that’s what makes it fun.”
Raisa: lets out a snort “He would, too. Can’t have anyone seeing the *great* Captain Marik needing help.”
Marik: “What’s that supposed to mean?”
Raisa: “Like you don’t know.”
Marik: “Well, who would you turn to?”
Raisa: “Oleck, of course. He’s always been there for me.”
Marik: “Oleck! What about me?”
Raisa: “Well… if you weren’t off somewhere blowing up a mine or signing us up for a job without consulting us first… then I might come to you.”
Marik: “Excuse me? If you don’t like the way I run this operation…”
Raisa: waves a hand “We can’t spend the entire interview on this question. Next?”
2. Who has their unconditional loyalty?
Raisa: shifts uncomfortably “Captain Marik and Oleck. They’re… my… family.”
Marik: “We are NOT family.”
Raisa: “What is your problem?”
Marik: crosses his arms stiffly “Nothing.”
Raisa: clears throat pointedly
Marik: “My crew. Next question.”
3. What cause do they believe in? Why?
Marik: “I used to know….” he drifts off and stares out at the horizon “I had a monster to fight. One I thought was the worst possible. But then I met Dalmir, and he showed me how little I understood. There are bigger evils in the world than I ever knew. They have to be stopped so that people can live their lives without fear.”
Raisa: stares at Marik like she’s never seen him before “I… um… this is going to sound… I always just believed in taking what I could. The world kicked me in the teeth and I just wanted to kick back as hard as I could. But… recently….” she pulls her sleeves down over her hands in an effort to hide them and if we’re observant we might notice that she has a strange pattern criss-crossing her deeply tanned skin “Well… I’d love to see the Ar’Mol and his entire regime toppled for good.”
4. Are they easy to get along with?
Raisa: Flashes a wide smile, her green eyes gleaming in the shadows of her hood “Not really. I don’t enjoy being around people much. It’s why I keep my circle of friends small. Besides, you never know when someone might come along and stab you in the back.”
Marik: “You really have to let that go, Ray. If I can forgive Shaesta, so can you. She didn’t have a choice.”
Raisa: shrugging “I wasn’t talking about Shaesta.”
Marik: raises an eyebrow “Well then.” grins and spreads his hands “I have to be easy to get along with, it’s part of what makes me a good pirate… getting people to trust me.”
Marik: “I’m very easy to get along with.”
Raisa: “I didn’t say anything.”
5. Are they a night owl or morning dove? (Or “weird daytime pigeon”?)
Marik: “I guess you’d say I’m a weird daytime pigeon. When I’m awake, I’m awake. When I climb into my bunk, I sleep.”
Raisa: “Mornings are my favorite time of day. I love the quietness of the air, the colors swirling on the horizon, and that moment when golden dawn pierces the sky and changes everything from darkness to light.”
Marik: “Since when are you a poet?”
Raisa: “I like mornings, okay?”
Marik: tries to hide his laughter
6. What do they consider most vital to their health? Are they right?
Raisa: “Being able to trust the people around me.”
Marik: “The Valdeun Hawk.”
Raisa: rolls her eyes “Admit it, the only thing you really care about is this ship.”
Marik: “She’s the only thing that’s never let me down.”
Marik: “Neither of those times was her fault. Besides, I’m still here, aren’t I?”
Raisa: muttering “Barely.”
7. What was their childhood fear?
Marik: presses lips together
Raisa: “Were you ever a child?”
Marik: “Ha ha, very funny.”
Raisa: “Well, it’s not like you ever talk about your past. The rest of the crew and I don’t know anything about you before we all met.”
Marik: “And that’s worked well for everyone. I see no reason to change that now.”
Raisa: “Well, I was afraid of Igyeum soldiers. Turns out, I was right to be scared.”
Marik: scowls “Let’s move on.”
8. What do they have nightmares about?
Raisa: shudders and wraps her arms around herself “Trust me, you don’t want to know.”
Marik: “They probably do. That’s why they asked the question.” he scowls “Fire. My nightmares are about fire.”
Raisa: takes a deep breath “The night my father was murdered. And…” she shudders and draws her sleeves further over her hands “…and…. no… I’m sorry. I can’t.”
9. What sights/sounds/smells remind them of home?
Marik: his gaze grows wistful “Long, winding rivers cutting through emerald plains and meandering around the tall, verdant peaks of mountains that rise up almost unexpectedly throughout the landscape. When a sudden breeze wafts the scents of fruit past you. The gold of aspen-glow…” he shakes himself. “But of course, the only real home I’ve ever had is the Hawk.”
Raisa: “I try not to remember home. It’s too painful to think about the things I loved and lost.”
10. What do they love most about themself?
Raisa: laughs self-consciously “A few months ago, I could have answered that question without a single thought. But now… now I’m not even sure I know who I am, let alone what I love about myself.”
Marik: “My freedom.”
Raisa: “I’m… not sure that’s what they mean, Captain.”
Marik: shrugs “It’s still true. But if you need more… well, I’m dashing, confident, stylish, and charming. I’m also brilliant. What’s not to love?”
Raisa: “Humble, too.”
Marik: looks up thoughtfully “No… not that so much.” tosses her a wink that makes her laugh out loud then gives us a flourishing bow “I hope we have answered your questions to some amount of satisfaction, my lady, but we have urgent business to be about. Outrunning and outwitting assassins, and forestalling the end of the world and all that… so… if you’ll excuse us…”
And there we have it!
I hope you enjoyed reading this little interview as much as I enjoyed writing it!
Thanks for reading! And let me know what you think of Marik and Raisa in the comments!