Hello! And welcome to the weekend Amaranthine interviews where YOU ask the questions!
In honor of the new book, I’m going to give everyone else some time off and conduct these interviews myself. See what a good author I am?
Jo: Today we have Velnya. I don’t think it will be much of a spoiler to explain that the poor girl is dead…was dead…is still a bit dead… Let’s just say that as an author I can resurrect dead characters for interviews. I’ve done it before, and so I did it again. (You can read Velnya’s resurrection if you like, though she was better behaved than Patrick was.)
Anyway, a big welcome for her.
Velnya: Good evening.
J: Good evening to you! As Jorick’s first wife, well, last wife, we have some interesting questions for you, so let’s hop right to it.
V: I have a few questions of my own. As you suggested, I skimmed the book you gave me, but I do not understand Jorick’s relationship with this Katelina person.
J: Ah, yes, well, you missed some things, since you didn’t skim the second book, but let’s just say they’re together and move on, shall we? Amanda has asked: What would you say is your biggest strength and also what is your biggest weakness?
V: I-I don’t know. I suppose my greatest strength would be my patience. As the younger sister I spent much of my life waiting patiently to catch up to Jeda, who was always ahead. My greatest weakness has been my…timidity. Jeda was always stronger and more forceful and perhaps to make up for her roughness I was shyer. Or perhaps I had no choice to be anything else. A flower does not bloom best in the shadow of another, and though I love my sister dearly, I spent most of my life in her shadow. Speaking of Jeda, she wasn’t mentioned in the book you gave me. How are she and Traven?
J: Oh, um…good. They’re good. Amanda also asks: What do you fear the most?
V: The darkness. The best thing about the immortality Traven shared was that it gave me new eyes that banished the blackness.
J: A worthy fear. Christine asked: What made you fall in love with Jorick?
V: *soft giggle* Have you ever laid eyes upon him?
J: Yes. But surely there’s more to it than that? As Dawn asks: What did you love about Jorick?
V: His sense of justice, of morals, and of honor and duty. He clearly knows right from wrong, and he follows that, no matter the opinions of others. Or, he did. The book you gave me hints at some underhanded dealings, but perhaps they are a misunderstanding that you correct in the second?
J: Um…he does have his own strong sense of…Anyway, Alicia asks: What did you dislike most about Jorick?
V: He was often gone because of his job. When we were married, he promised that he would soon be done, but ten years later he was still a slave to whims of The Guild. Though his letters promised that he was on his final assignment, I didn’t live to see the promise proved true. I..I don’t wish to speak of it.
J: Right, right. Fair enough. Laura asks: What were Jorick’s best and worst traits?
V: As I mentioned, he had a strong sense of right and wrong and he did not hesitate to act on it. He was never afraid, never timid as I am, but with me he was always kind, even deferential. His worst trait, I believed, was his cold anger. When he was vexed he would grow silent, and even when I inquired about the trouble he would not speak of it and would only brush me off. But if the book you gave me is correct-
J: Never you mind about that right now. Amy asks: Did any of Jorick’s friends give you a hard time, like they do Katelina?
V: Good heavens, no! Mr. Cotterill and his wife were respectful and polite, as was Jorick’s partner Jamie. I did not have occasion to spend much time with them, but I cannot imagine them saying such things to me, nor do I believe Jorick would have allowed it.
J: It was a…more polite time then, and you were already a vampire, and… um… anyway, Alicia wants to know: Why did you allow yourself to be murdered?
Velnya: *eyes bulge and then she quickly regains her composure* I-I hardly allowed…as if they asked for tea and I gave it to them! But you must understand, though I was scared – I had been scared for some weeks as their threats grew louder – I did not fear death! I could not have comprehended such an idea. I feared only hurt; the scorn in their eyes, the rocks through the windows, that they might beat me or…or do that which men often do to women, but to kill? And Jorick – Jorick did not anticipate that either. He insisted they could not even hurt me; that as an immortal I was too strong for them. They could not break my bones, or cause me injury, and I believed him. I believed in the goodness of the people who were my neighbors, even if I did not know many of them well, for how can good Christian men and women look another in the face and then hurt or kill them?
In the belief that good sense would prevail – that if I cooperated they would understand – I let them lead me from the house and out into the open where they felt safer. I thought then they would see the ridiculousness of their claims. When they continued to shout, to spit at my feet, I tried to speak to them, to show them I was calm and refined; a lady – as if a lady could be a witch! – but doing so only exposed my elongated teeth. Instead of crying monster, they took it as proof of witchery, of consorting with demons. When they laid hands on me at last, I struggled as best I could. I even kicked and scratched as they tied me to the tree, but it was a group of rough men and women; all angry calloused hands and sharp implements. Together they were stronger than I, and when the fire…No. No, I can’t. I…I do not wish to speak of this!
J: That’s fine, that’s fine. You’ve done just fine. Laura asked: Do you think Malick is the one who caused your death?
V: Malick? That is Jorick’s master, yes? Why would I think that? It was the local inhabitants, those who lived near me in Nebraska. How could Jorick’s master…why would…?
J: Um…no reason. It was just a question. Don’t concern yourself. Moving on, Dawn asks: Do you blame Jorick for not taking care of you?
V: I-I suppose he did the best he could…He…How could he have done differently? I suppose had he taken the threats seriously…had he pushed harder to be separated from his master sooner…Not that I don’t believe he tried…I am sure he did the best he could…but perhaps had he…had he pushed harder, had he made stronger demands, had he gone over his master’s head and appealed to the council, or to the higher council in Germany…then…then perhaps he would have been home where he belonged, where he had promised to be, so that when the villagers came…had a man been there I don’t believe they’d have caused such problems. I was a woman, alone, with only Natty for company, and what could she have done, even had she been there when they came? And now, now Jorick has…he has a new…he-he protected her! He…I…I am sorry.
J: No, no apologies needed. You’re doing fine. Dawn asks: Are you happy that Jorick has found love?
V: I-I suppose that I…that would be the best way, wouldn’t it? To smile, to nod, to say that I want the best for him, that I desire only his happiness. But I…I do not know.
J: Fair enough. Amy asks: What do you think of Katelina?
V: She…I-I have not made her acquaintance. I looked through the book you gave me, and I feel that she is…she is very forward, isn’t she? And, dare I say, a bit…demanding. In that book, she and Jorick have barely met one another and she already demands answers. How can one demand anything of a great man when they have barely met him? But it is a different time, and people are different. I have not grown with it, so I cannot judge her. Still, I must know. Does she know about me yet? What did Jorick say to her about it?
V: I should hope that had things gone differently, and had I not been…had I not…if I was still…that Jorick and I would be married at this moment, and so such a thing would be unnecessary. Jorick would have remained faithful to me, and she would never have caught his attention.
J: Yes. Right. Of course. But saying that I could bring you back to life right now, so that he was with her…
V: No. Such a thing would seem…desperate. A lady would not try to force a man’s attentions on herself. I would give him a chance to make the choice himself, but if he did not then I would find a new life. I would rejoin my sister, I suppose.
J: Heh-heh. Yeah. Um…Tricia asks: What is your biggest regret?
V: That I was too timid. That I am still too timid. Too proper. You heard my answer to the last question. Though in my heart I would wish to grab hold of him, to force him to choose me, I could not do it because it is not *right*, because it is too forward. But had I been more forward, had I been less timid, had I not stood in shadows and spoke reasonably, as a lady…
J: Um…right. Our last question comes from Steve: Velnya – how could you?
V: How could I what?
J: I don’t know. I hoped you had an idea. Maybe he means how could you marry Jorick? Or maybe it was how could you allow yourself to die? Or maybe how could you move to Nebraska? Or how could you not haunt Katelina, even though she’s running around wearing your necklace?
V: What necklace? My cross? Do you mean Momma’s cross? This Katelina is…why? Why has it not been returned to my sister? That is where it belongs! I want to speak with her! I-I insist. I-
J: It won’t do you any good to be “forward” with me. I’m the author and I don’t care what you want. We’re out of time, anyway, so off you go, back to…um…wherever deceased characters go.
Thanks to everyone for leaving questions and for stopping in today! Be sure to check out the post where you can leave a question for Etsuko!