Interview with Etsuko

amaranthine interviews

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 Etsuko. For those who are not deep into the series, you meet her in book five, Heart of the Raven. This interview may involve spoilers for you, but I think it’s okay to say that she joins Oren and the others.

Welcome Etsuko.

29-etsukoEtsuko: Thank you, Naylor-sensei.

J: No need to be formal here, though I know it’s pointless to tell you that. We have some great questions this week, so let’s dive in! Rami Ungar asks: What’s the meaning of your name?

E: Thank you for the question, Ungar-san. My name is written using the kanji for joy (etsu) and child (ko).

J: (Yes, I actually know this for ALL my Japanese characters. I’m weird like that!) Moving on, Amanda Broughton asks: Is there anything besides your name that makes you different from the rest of the characters?

E: Thank you for the question, Broughton-san. There are many things which make one unique, but I believe the simplest answer would be that I am the only one to leave Japan to permanently join the coven of Oren-sama. Another difference is that, like Kai-chan, I was raised by vampires, but unlike Kai-chan I was raised with other girls to be a servant to the clan’s household, while Kai-chan has been raised as a companion. I believe that many of the characters find me to be too formal, but it is the way we were raised to be; to always show respect to what westerners would call their masters.

J: Good answer. Dawn Muss asks: What is the best and worst thing about being a vampire?

E: Thank you for the question, Muss-san. In my view, the best thing is to no longer be a servant. To be made one of the immortals is the dream of all the clan’s human servants; a dream few ever achieve. As to the worst thing I do not have any complaints to share.

J: “To share” no doubt being the key words. Okay then, Alicia Martin asks: What are your ability’s at this point?

E: Thank you for the question, Martin-san. Since becoming a vampire I can read some minds, as well as see in the dark and the other things which are standard to immortality. Oren-sama has kindly offered to assist me with learning to perfect mind reading, and once we have settled down I hope to do this. Though Oren-sama feels he is not talented at this, like Jorick-sama I believe that it is only confidence that lacks, not ability, and so by teaching me, his skills may also increase.

J: While we’re discussing Oren, Tricia Drammeh asks: From most of the Amaranthine characters’ point of view, you are very docile and accommodating. Are there ever times when you take the lead in your relationship with Oren? For example, do you ever give him advice or refuse to go along with something he wants to do?


You can see Oren and Etsuko alone in the FREE short Tales from the Island: Oren

E: Thank you for the question, Drammeh-san. To lead a man, a woman must be gentle and not allow him to know he is being led. One can influence them with a word or a look far better than by making demands. I would never refuse a request by Oren-sama because he is my master, as the westerners would say, and so my better, but I believe he also values my thoughts, and so I might suggest a different strategy or point out a potential complication. Oren-sama is intelligent and logical, and such things are sufficient to give him pause and cause him to reevaluate his plan.

J: You catch more flies with honey, I suppose. Alicia Martin also asked: Do you love Oren?

E: *blushes* Th-thank you for the question, Martin-san. I…Oren-sama is my master, and so I owe him love and obedience.

J: That’s not what she meant, but your pink cheeks are answer enough. Dawn Muss also asks: Do you think Oren his falling in love with you?

E: *still pink* Thank you for the question, Muss-san. I…I believe Oren-sama is fond of me.

J: Uh-huh. Fond. We’ll call it that. Alicia asks: where do you want your relationship with him to go? – and you’ve thanked her twice already, so just answer.

E: As you wish, Naylor-sensei. I will admit that I…As all young women hope for love to blossom…but I will be content to remain by Oren-sama’s side in whatever capacity he will allow.

J: I think I should have hypnotized you or given you truth serum. Too late, I suppose.  Amy Wilson asks: How is Oren different with you in private vs. in front of others?

E: Thank you for the question, Wilson-san. We all wear different masks in private and in public. When Oren-sama is with Jorick-sama he is more reserved and allows Jorick-sama to take the lead, as is right because Jorick-sama is his master. However, when Jorick-sama is not present, Oren-sama carries more responsibility for making decisions.

J: Let me stop you there. She wants to know if he’s sweet, and deferential, and kind, and romantic, and all of that.

E: I see. Oren-sama is very thoughtful and considerate of my comfort and well-being. For instance, when I asked if he would accompany me to give gifts to Jorick-sama and those who helped with my transition, I do not believe that Oren-sama truly wished to do so, yet he agreed and accompanied me anyway.

J: I guess that’s the best we’re going to get. Amy also asks: What about Torina?

E: Do you mean is Torina-san different in private? I regret to say there is not much difference between her private and public faces, at least not the one I am privy to. Perhaps when she is alone with Oren-sama she is different since she considers me to be an interloper.

hor top cover

you’ll meet Etsuko in Heart of the Raven

J: That’s a point. And speaking of her, Dawn asks: What do you think of his sister? –And don’t thank her again, either.

E: As you wish, Naylor-sensei. Torina-san is a complicated woman, though I believe there is goodness in her that she keeps shielded in order to protect herself from hurt. Torina-san has been abandoned by many in her life, and I believe she fears that it will happen again, and so views me as an enemy who might make Oren-sama leave her. I have tried to assure her that I have no such plan, but I do not think she as of yet believes me.

J: She is complicated, that’s for sure. Alicia asks: Do you like Katelina? And no thank yous or as you wish-es. Just answer.

E: *nods* Katelina-san is a good person. I believe she and Jorick-sama are a good match, though I sometimes find her actions shocking, I must remind myself that she is from the western culture and was not raised by vampires to be a compliant companion as I was.

J: Compliant is something she’s not. And for the last question, Amy asks: Is there anyone you don’t like?

E: I have found everyone to be most welcoming in their own way.

J: And with that lousy answer we are out of time. Thanks so much to everyone who asked a question, and thanks for reading! Be sure to check out the post where you can ask Loren a question.





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Leave a comment


  1. alicia

     /  May 29, 2016

    thank you for your time

  2. Wow! Getting Etsuko to answer candidly must have been like pulling teeth. She did give some interesting insight into Torina and why she acts the way she does. Despite Etsuko’s reservation in answering some of the questions posed, it was a great interview. I learned a lot about her by reading between the lines.

  3. Amy Wilson

     /  May 30, 2016

    Ha! That was a great interview! I don’t think you’ve ever talked so much, Etsuko!

  4. I am sooo bummed I missed this one! How did I miss it? 😦 Great questions everyone! I was hoping find out how she felt about her relationship with Oren.

  5. Jennifer Gruenberg

     /  June 6, 2016

    What a great interview. I love the insight these interviews give us into your characters.

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