Interview with Troy

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?

This is the last of our interviews, so before we get into it I want to thank everyone for their questions, and for checking these out! This is the eighteenth of the set, the most I’ve ever done, and I’ve had so much fun  – and it’s all because of you! So, thank YOU!

troyJo: And now, the least for last.. erm, I mean, the meanest for last – can you tell I really don’t like Troy?

Troy: Pffft. Whatever. You need me to be the villain.

J: True, but I don’t have to like you just because I need a villain. You might like to know though, that Steve likes you. (He’s reading Patrick right now, where Troy has a bigger part.)

T: Not as big as I deserve, but whatever. Let’s get on with this shit, huh?

J: Fine with me. Since I mentioned Steve, we’ll start with him. He asks: What kind of aftershave does he use?

T: Ha! Aftershave. Well, all right. There wasn’t no aftershave back in “my day”. That shit didn’t get popular until the 30s. But I always like aqua velva.

J: Nice. That should help their advertising campaign. Wait. Do they even make it anymore?

T: *Snickers* You’re bein’ hostile.

J: Not at all. Sherry asks: Troy, what was it like trying to pick up the pieces after your parents left you and your brother alone?

T: Ha ha! This is where I’m supposed to get all emotional and touchy-feely, right? Well, it ain’t happenin’. We managed. I was old enough to know what the fuck was goin’ on, and my brother and my sister were pretty enough to be worth a little cash. I found the clients, they did their jobs, I made sure they got paid, and we all ate a goddamn meal. We had a good racket too, ‘til my sister went septic from the damn abortion and died-

J: Yeah, I’m gonna stop you right there. Amy asks: What are your top three regrets, and what would you do differently?

T: Ha! You ain’t ready to hear my confessions, sister! But to keep my author a happy little girl, I’ll see what I can come up with, huh? I regret underestimating Jorick – not that I underestimated what he *could* do, but what he *would* do. I knew he had the hots for the bitch, but I didn’t think it went far enough for him to storm the den. I also regret that I wasn’t the one who got give it to her, but I needed Claudius to do it. Truth be told, I figured since Jorick was there, he’d kill Claudius over it and I could get the coven. And the third…I regret not getting Patrick made immortal. He was better than his brother by a long shot.


You can read Troy’s short story in the Vampire Morsels Collection (Free everywhere except Amazon)

J: Dawn asks: What did you feel for Patrick?

T: *laughs* he was a pretty little thing, wasn’t he? Ah, what does anyone feel, huh? He was fun to break, and the best part of him was that since he got to escape in between he had time to put himself back together and I could do it again, and again, and-

J: We’re done with that. Dawn also asks: Are you Jealous of Katelina?

T: Ha! Jealous? Of what? That Patrick thought he loved her? No. Truth is, he needed her to keep his head together. That bitch he had at first didn’t do much for him, so she was a nice change. Though it’s funny how fast she forgot he even existed.

J: And that pissed you off?

T: What? That she went for Jorick before the boy’s body was even cold? Nah. I don’t care. Just saying it says something about her. Made it easier to give her to the wolves, if you know what I mean. Had she been loyal, I might have had a soft spot for her. Or a hard spot.

J: Oh God. Steve asks: When he is rogering his victims, does he feel hottest with a male or a female?

T: *laughs* The girls are fun, but the best are the pretty boys – even better are the ones that hate it but like it at the same time. Makes them ashamed for enjoying it, and that shame tastes delicious.

J: Ugh. Steve also asks: Is he shunned by straight vamps?

T: Nah, not for the most part. Once the fangs sink in, they all feel the same. You’d be surprised how many of the so-called straight vampires hop the fences.

J: Sharon asks: If you change one thing, anything, what would it be?

T: We’d go back to the moment when Jorick stormed the den and got the better of me. A smarter way to do it would have been to set Claudius up doin’ what he was doin’, and then to stay down there instead of following orders and going upstairs. Jorick would have been busy killing Claudius, and wouldn’t have noticed me, and I could have been the bad guy in the rest of the book, or in the next one. Hell, maybe I could have teamed up with that bitch Kateesha. She was a dirty who-

J: Ahem! God! Steve asks: Does he have vamp playmates?

T: Ha ha, hell yeah. Of course. Yulia is always up for it, and there’s two or three others that are regulars. Don’t let their better-than-you bullshit attitudes fool ya. I’ve tasted most of that coven in one way or another. Even Joseff, for all his tough guy shit.

J: Right. Amy asks: Do you have any remorse for the horrible, evil things you did?

T: Sorry, sweetheart, but I can’t come up with anything horrible or evil that I did. Anyone who got hurt had it coming, one way or the other. Either they deserved it, or they liked it. It’s not like I went around breaking the wings off angels, just killin’ demons, coz that’s all there is in this world – no angels, just the goddamn demons. Some are just more obvious than others.


You’ll see more of Troy in the prequel Brothers of Darkness

J: God you’re bitter! Amy also asks: What do you think is your one redeeming quality?

T: *snickers* like what? You wanna hear how I love puppy dogs, or help old ladies across the street? Fuck that. My redeeming quality is that I did what I had to do to survive. I took care of my brother and my sister, ‘til she died and he found a dirty old woman to keep him, then I took care of me. I worked hard, I did what I was told when I needed to, rebelled when I needed to, and I survived. And I woulda had that coven if-

J: I’m not sure that’s redeeming, but whatever. And for our last question, Sharon asks: Where do you see yourself in, say 5yrs?

T: In your nightmares, sweetheart. *rough laughter*

J: And with that we are done. Thank god. Thanks so much to everyone who left a question and stopped in. Unfortunately, you can look forward to more of Troy in the upcoming prequel Brothers of Darkness, where I suppose he’s probably the main villain, just like he really was in the first book.

Did you read all the interviews? If not, catch up!

Katelina’s Bonus Follow Up
Jorick Part I
Jorick Part II
Velnya’s Resurrection


Interview with Patricia

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: Okay, this is late because I went ghost hunting at Malvern Manor on Saturday (bad author) but it was awesome, and I don’t thing Patricia minds… Anyway, let’s say hi to Katelina’s mom and dive right in! JJ asks: What is your favorite memory of Katelina as a baby?

Patricia: You weren’t joking about diving right in! I have a lot of favorite memories, but the sweetest was the way she would fall asleep on her father’s lap. I’d rock her, walk her, sing to her, everything, and finally he would get up, lay her across his lap, and she’d just drop off to sleep.

J: That sounds more annoying than sweet.

P: But it was sweet to see them together. And of course, I took the opportunity to run to bed before she woke up again.

J: I can see that. Teresa asks: What was Katelina’s temperament like as she was growing up? Was she a wild child?

Log top cover

You’ll meet Patricia in Legacy of Ghosts

P: Ha ha! Far from it. Katelina was…cautious? Oh, let’s be honest, she was a bit boring. She didn’t sneak out, or lie about where she was, or any of the normal things. I think some of that was because her best friend wasn’t available to sneak out with, what with Sarah’s family life and all. And then when they got to be teenagers Sarah moved out of her parents’ house and in with us for a while. That’s not to say Katelina didn’t get into any trouble. It was mostly her temper – she’d get into fights with some of the other girls when they pushed her too far, but I say good for her.

J: Boring. That seems right. Dawn asks: Do you think Katelina makes good life decisions?

P: Is she here? No? In that case no, no I don’t. Remember I said she was boring? She’s made up for that since. I haven’t liked any of the boys she’s dated since she graduated. Though I suppose they’re men, now. She seems to be attracted to jobless, drifting bums, who only have their looks going for them. I didn’t say anything to her, but when she was seeing Patrick, I knew, and I knew all about who he was, and his family, and all of that. This Jorick… well, anyway.

J: We’ll get to that. Until then, Sharon asks: What was your dream for her?

P: I wanted her to get married to a nice, stable, rich man who worshiped her, treated her like a princess, and gave her everything she wanted. I suppose that’s old fashioned in this day and age of woman power, but truth be told Katelina didn’t have a career in mind. If she had, then I’d have wanted her to follow that, but since she didn’t, I hoped she marry someone rich so she’d have the leisure time to float around and find something to be passionate about.

J: Oh, she’s got time *cough* Alicia asks: Do you notice something strange about Katelina?

P: She’s been strange for years! Ha ha! All right, honestly, she and Sarah…it’s all strange. And this Jorick. She said he was a friend of Patrick’s, but was he? We couldn’t find any proof he even existed – and why run away with him? And what about Sarah’s disappearance – and reappearance. It’s all strange!

J: There is that. Bridget asks: Have you ever believed the answers Katelina gives for being gone sooooo much?

P: Absolutely not! Jorick’s “work”? Ha! And all of that about being overseas? I just don’t know. Travel is so expensive, and I’m pretty sure he’s really a hippy, so how could they afford it? But she did send me a package from Russia…But there are ways around that. Mail it to someone in Russia, then have them mail it for you. She could have gotten someone online to do that. It’s all very confusing, and I’m worried that she’s gotten into something dangerous, especially if Jorick *really* knew Patrick.


this looks a lot like Patricia’s living room shelves – (photo by Eirik Newth CC license) 

J: Oh, Patrick wasn’t *that* bad. A bit immature, but… anyway, Bonnie asks: Wouldn’t you love to pinch Katelina’s head off for all the worry she put you through?

P: Good heavens! Not pinch her head off, but give her a good spanking!

J: *snicker* Sharon asks: What changes would you like to see Katelina make in her life, if any?

P: For starters, I’d like to see her be honest with me, and then get out of whatever she’s gotten into with Jorick. I mean, it may be criminal! Is she thinking about her future at all?

J: And on that topic, Dawn asks: What do you think of Jorick?

P: I think he’s up to something. There’s certainly more to him than meets the eye. Yes, he’s attractive, I’ll admit that, and he’s been polite the few times I’ve seen him, except he won’t eat my food. I find that a little rude. As if my cooking isn’t good enough? Though I suppose if he’s a hippy maybe he’s allergic to gluten or whatever it is these days.

J: Um, that might me. Amy wants to know: What do you think of vampires?

P: Vampires? As in suck your blood, sleep in a coffin, Dracul-type creatures? Oh, I suppose they’re all right for a horror movie now and then. We used to watch them at the drive in, before they tore it down. They had double features of older horror movies-

J: I’m gonna cut you off there. Amanda asks: Do you like that Katelina is hanging out with vampires?

P: What? What do you mean-

J:Nothing. It’s a figure of speech. Bonne wants to know: How do you feel when Katelina points out Brad was her best friend’s boyfriend?

P: Very annoyed. I don’t point out who Jorick used to date. Not that I know. I don’t know anything about him. Seriously, what did she mean about vampires?

J: Steve asks: What do you see in your toy boy? Is it just sex, or does he have something else, like money, knowledge, or charm? Aren’t you bored with him?

P: *laughs* Brad? A toy boy? I like that! Of course he has charm, and knowledge – especially about the first thing you mentioned – and he’s very sweet and thoughtful, but most of all I have fun with him. We like many of the same things, despite what Katelina thinks, and at the same time we like different things. He’s willing to introduce me to the things he loves, and he’s also willing to learn about the things I love. I think that’s important in a relationship.

J: Well, it is…Dawn asks: Are you happy with your life?

P: Oh yes.

J: Bonnie wants to know: Would you ever be interested in immortality?

P: Hmmmm. I’d never given it much thought. I don’t know. It would probably depend on the stipulations.

J: Uh-huh. Amy asks: If you had the opportunity to become a vampire, would you do it?

P: A vampire? What’s with all of these vampire questions? Good grief!

J: Never mind, never mind. And here’s the last question, also from Amy: What is your plan for your future?

P: Right now we’re working on renovating the house. Nothing big, no walls are coming down, but it’s still a makeover. When that’s finished, we’ve discussed doing the backyard – a proper patio, maybe even a pool – a pool! I’ve always wanted one! Or a hot tub! I think we’re going to turn Katelina’s old room into a home gym.

J: I’m not sure she meant about the house. I think she meant in general.

P: What? Oh. Well, I’m not making plans to get remarried anytime soon, if that’s what you mean. Yes, living together is one thing, but marriage is another step. Besides, I’m sorry, I believe he has to ask first. Old fashioned or not. I’m happy in my job, so I’m not planning to quit, and I have a long time left until retirement. I have been thinking about trying to surprise Brad with a vacation, but I don’t have a definitive plan in mind yet-

J: Okay, that’s good. Thanks so much for cooperating, and thanks to everyone who left questions! Be sure to check out the post where you can leave questions for the very last interviewee, Troy.

Did you miss an interview? Check ’em out:

Katelina’s Bonus Follow Up
Jorick Part I
Jorick Part II
Velnya’s Resurrection





Interview with Jamie

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?

36-JamieJo: Today we have Jamie! Hello Jamie! It looks like your fangirl has left a LOT of questions, so let’s dive right in. Bonnie asks: What was your last name?

Jamie: Fan girl? And as for my last name, when? I’ve gone through several. My current Guild issued ID says it is Jamie Wolfsfeld.

Jo: I think she meant before you were turned, but never mind. Bonnie also asks: Were you angry when you got well and found out your sister had turned you?

J: I didn’t have time to be angry over that. It was nearly in the same breath that she told me my father had been murdered, my wife was dead, and that my brother-in-law had allowed it to happen.

Jo: Okay, we’re treading dangerous ground. Moving on, Dawn asks: How did you become an Executioner and do you like the job?

J: It was 1715, during what you’d call the Yamassee Indian Wars-

Jo: No, no. They don’t say ‘Indian’ anymore.

J: Um… all right. As I was saying it was during the Yamassee…what?

Jo: Just Yamassee Wars, so Wikipedia says.

J: All right. The Yamassee Wars. We were on the – well, we were not on the British side. I assume we still call them British?

Jo: Oh yeah. Who is we?

J: My friend, Wapi. Anyway, though we were not on the British side, we were wary of getting involved on the…other side. Isn’t it Native American’s now? Anyway, we didn’t need to – they had vampires of their own, already. Word of the fight and the involvement of vampires made its way to Malick, and he sent Jorick and Ark. Wapi and I had the same whisperer abilities as the others – Malick was only recruiting Executioners with those abilities at the time. In the end I joined them, and Wapi did not.

Jo: Fair enough. Alicia asks: Why do you love this job?

J: I don’t know that I’d say love…It gives me a chance to do things and go places…truthfully I don’t know what I’d do if I wasn’t an Executioner.

Jo: Opinionated Man asks: What are the health benefits of being an executioner? Holidays?

J: *Laughs* The health benefit are that you rarely find yourself on the wrong side of the law, and since punishment is often death, being on the right side of it is good. The Holidays aren’t very good, though.

tob top cover

You’ll meet Jamie in Ties of Blood

Jo: Dawn asks: Do you Wish Jorick would have stayed on as an Executioner?

J: No, I think it’s just as well that he left. The job eventually wears on the mind, and Jorick started in a bloodier time, when there were fewer rules and more killing. I imagine that weighs heavier than the deeds we do today, but even those are enough.

Jo: Dawn also asks: What do you think of Jorick?

J: As in, what do I think of his personality, or his gifts, or the way he handles things? I believe he overreacts sometimes, but then don’t we all.

Jo: I think she had more in mind the same thing Jennifer asked: Do you consider Jorick a friend or just an ally you get along with?

J: I’d call him a friend. I was the best man at his wedding, after all.

Jo: And speaking of weddings and significant others, Jennifer asks: What is your opinion of Katelina?

J: She seems…fine. I can’t claim to know her, though she seems a more appropriate mate than the last. Not that I knew her well either.

Jo: Dawn asks: Do you think Katelina is good for Jorick?

J: Yes, I think he needed something to pull him out of the self-imposed funk he was in after Velnya. Though perhaps Oren’s war was already doing that to some degree. Had he really wanted to hide and mourn, he’d have never left his den at all.

Jo: That’s a valid point. Bonnie also wants to know: What are your hobbies?

J: I have a strange suspicion that she’s the fan girl you mentioned. As for my hobbies, I enjoy reading, though not as much as Jorick. I once wrote poetry but I haven’t done that in a long time. Hunting used to be quite enjoyable – I traded skins for awhile before I joined the Executioners. Um..I enjoy playing the piano. Is that enough?

Jo: That will do. Bonnie also asked: Do you play video games or get on social media?

J: No, I haven’t made the move to video games, and social media is a confused mess. I do enjoy strategy games on paper however, with dice and such. Though new ones are hard to come by.

Jo: Amy asked: What’s your favorite color?

J: Deep green.

Jo: Good choice. Sharon wants to know: If you could do anything at all, what would it be?

J: Besides killing my brother-in-law? I suppose that’s a bad answer, but it’s the first thing that leaps to mind.

Jo: You should let it go and pick something better.

J: Fine. A magic portal to another realm would be interesting.

Jo: Ha ha! Now your nerd is showing. Bonnie asks:  I know you collect crystal but do you fiddle with other things like the occult or astrology?

J: I have done horoscopes, if that’s what you mean. Tarot is an amusing diversion, but I don’t believe in the results, or in runes.

Jo: Another question from Bonnie: What sort of books do you read?

J: Fantasy novels are my favorite.

Jo: No vampire books? Alright, Sharon asks: Where was the last place you went on vacation, if ever?

J: Canada. Not for the ball, but several years ago I went for two weeks and camped in a deserted area. It was…peaceful.

Jo: And probably reminded you of your fur trader days. Moving on, Bonnie asks: What do you think of modern women?

J: I…um…modern women in general? I really don’t know enough of them to comment, and what age group do you consider modern.

Jo: Bonnie also asks: Do you tend towards long relationships or do you prefer hit and runs?

J: I…good grief. I guess longer relationships would be my answer.

Jo: I did mention fan girling, remember? And on a less fan girl note, Sharon asks: What are your dreams?

J: Erm, as in my dreams at night? Last night-

Jo: I think she meant the future, but never mind. This is running long. Our last question comes from Amy: What is your deepest, darkest secret? (I promise I won’t tell! )

J: I don’t…erm…I mean…I-I don’t have any…um…Uh…

Jo: I didn’t think you’d answer it, either, but it was worth a shot. And with that, we’re out of questions. Thanks to everyone who left a question, and to everyone who stopped in to read. Be sure to check out the post where you can leave a question for Katelina’s mother.


Interview with Sorino

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?

22-sorino Jo: Today we are interviewing Sorino! Hello, Sorino! Let’s get right to it, shall we? Dawn asks: How old are you?

Sorino: Yes. Hello. As to my age, I was born in in 1509, and turned in 1536 – the same year Ann Boleyn was executed. And yes, it did create some brief excitement in court, but there’s always something new to divert the attention.

J: Okay. I’m assuming you were involved with court to some degree, but I refuse to humor you and ask, so on to the next question. Sharon asks: What kind of music do you like, if you listen to it of course?

S:I enjoy what you’d call classical music. Brahms, Beethoven – Chopin is not as brilliant as everyone thinks, but he’s listenable-

J: Of course you’d say that because you’re such an excellent composer yourself.

S: I am, actually. If you’re a good author perhaps someday I’ll let you hear my greatest Sonata.

J: Lucky me. In that vein, Sharon also asks: Just wondering what some of your favorite things to do are?

S: Ah, an interesting question, as tastes change as we evolve, or should. I mentioned that I used to compose, though I have not done that in a century or more. For a piece I greatly enjoyed hunting rogue vampires, and I still do it now and again when I’m bored. Travel, of course, holds much enjoyment, but travel with a purpose is even better. My latest amusement is my collection of artifacts, and it allows traveling and hunting when there is a lull. I believe our little Katelina calls it “treasure hunting”. Whatever label you want to apply, it is quite amusing, and gives one a rush of… satisfaction to acquire that which someone else was so close to. I’m not alone in this, though one of my fellows fell recently, and I’m most curious to know what became of his collection.

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You’ll meet Sorino in Ashes of Deceit

J: Give it a rest. Dawn asks: In the pursuit of something you want is there anything you won’t do?

S: Perhaps. If so, I have not discovered it yet.

J: I’d pretend to be surprised, but I don’t see the point. Karen asks: How do you feel about love? Are you someone who thinks they love someone or do you feel love for someone?

S: Romantic love is an illusion, a fairytale told to make the idea of procreation less sinful. As for love of a more platonic type…I don’t believe it exists as many would pretend it does.

J: And along that line, Amy asks: who would you consider a true friend…someone you trust, who trusts you, without deals, bargains, blood debts, favors, etc.?

S: *Chuckles* Ah, friends. Once you’ve lived some time, you will see that a friend is only a friend when it suits them. I trust myself.

J: You don’t trust Kai?

S: *dismissive gesture* He does not have the free will to betray me. That’s not trust, but control.

J: Wow, You’re nice. Speaking of Kai, Dawn asks: Why did you save Kai and why did you keep him?

S: That is an interesting question. I keep him because he is convenient if nothing else. He is human and so does not suffer from some of my more unfortunate limitations, though thanks to the blood he has ingested he is not as weak as other humans. As to why I saved him…I’ve asked myself that question many times. I suppose because he was there.

J: Uh-huh. You know you feel some affection for him, no matter what you pretend.

S: I did not deny it. Do you not have affection for your cats? Your dog?

J: He’s not a pet. And speaking of that, Amy asks: do you ever plan to let your human free?

S: He has no desire to be freed.


you can read Kai’s interview

J: Dawn wants to know:  Are you going to change Kai?

S: It is something I’ve considered, but he isn’t old enough yet. When he is we’ll see what happens.

J: Yes, yes we will. Gwahahahaha! Ahem. Moving on. Amy asks: What do you think of Verchiel? Is he up to something?

S: *chuckles* Ah! Poor Verchiel, much maligned and often misunderstood. I’m a mind reader, who can see his chaotic thoughts, so to tell you what I know would really be unfair, wouldn’t it? *looks amused* I will say that I’m not sure he knows what he is up to.

J: I believe that. And the final question comes from Angela: If an evil genie offered you three wishes, would you take them and what would you do with them?

S: A most amusing question. One assumes the genie must grant any wish, correct? If so, my first wish would, of course, be that the genie became my slave and from that moment on followed my every order and granted my every wish. From there we would sweep the globe and then we’d see what became of my collection! Ha ha!

J: Only you would want to enslave the genie. And with that we are out of questions! A huge thanks to everyone who provided questions, and who stopped in to read. Please check out the post where you can leave a question for Jamie.

Did you miss an interview? Catch up!

Katelina’s Bonus Follow Up
Jorick Part I
Jorick Part II
Velnya’s Resurrection

Interview with Maeko

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?

28-maekoJo: Today we have Maeko – and before we begin can I please, please request you don’t pull an Etsuko and thank everyone for an hour.

Maeko: *giggles* As Naylor-sensei requests.

J: Thank goodness. Anyway, let’s get right to it. Rami asks: I know what Etsuko’s name means. What does your name mean?

M: My name is Tsukino Maeko, though you might render it the other way around. Maeko means “child of true blessings” – written with the characters for “true; reality” (ma), “favor; blessing; grace” (e) and “child” (ko). I chose it and my clan name – Tsukino, which means “moon field” – after I was changed, as both seemed appropriate to my new situation.

J: Bonnie asks: Do you think Jorick was an ass for abandoning you?

M: *giggles* Jorick-ue belonged to Malick-san and so was unable to remain in Japan, at no fault of his own. Jorick-ue could have taken me with him, but chose not to because he feared that Malick-san would lay claim to me. Their laws stated that if a vampire created a new vampire while still in debt to their master, then their master might also claim the fledgling. Jorick-ue had my best interest at heart when he did not reveal me to Malick-san. He did what he judged to be best, which is the most that can be asked of anyone.

J: True. Alicia asks: Do you hate being stuck in a young child’s body with an adult intellect?

M: We each have a burden to bear in our own way, for no one can be perfect. If they were, they would not be able to grow and improve because there would be no room for growth. Being in a child’s body is inconvenient at times, but it is the burden I bear, and is a lighter one than those carried by others.

J: Very philosophical. Bonnie asks: Since you were the first Japanese vampire, who was the second?

M: *giggle* Tsukino Shinobu-san was the second, and my first fledgling. Shinobu-san is very beautiful and he made me smile. *giggles*

J: Uh-huh. I know what that means. Bonnie also asks: Are most of the vampires in Japan from you or did others move in later?

M: All those in the Tsukino clan are from my line. Later, vampires came from Korea. Together with some of my fledglings, they went on to form the Fukui and Sato clans.

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You’ll meet Maeko and her clan in Heart of the Raven

J: Alicia asks: Do you know of any other fledglings or dark secrets of Jorick’s?

M: *giggles* Perhaps. But it is not my place to reveal Jorick-ue’s secrets.

J: That was boring. Come on, just a little something?

M: I am sorry, Naylor-sensei, please ask something else.

J: Fine. If you’re determined to be that way. Alicia also asks: What do you think of Verchiel…is he to be trusted?

M: I find Verchiel-san to be many things, and in my dealings involving him, he has so far proved trustworthy. As to what Verchiel-san might do in the future, I cannot tell, for the most upright might stray and the most corrupt become clean.

J: Uh-huh. Amy wants to know: What has been your favorite experience as a vampire?

M: Such a challenging question Amy-san! I have seen so many amazing things. I believe the movie theater was that which was the most amazing to me. To see people from half a world away moving and talking as though in the room with me was awe inspiring. Since then technology has continued, but none has managed to fill me with the same wonder – yet.

J: Always the optimist. Tricia asks: If you could travel anywhere, where would you go?

M: I think…I think I would like to go to outer space, perhaps to Mars or another planet. To step foot in a place that is revered only in stories, books, and movies would be a great thing indeed.

J: Now that’s an interesting answer. Amy asks: What do you consider your greatest strength and greatest weakness?

M: Amy-san asks very challenging questions! My greatest weakness is that I am too attached to the physical; to people and things. Being unable to let go prevents me from moving to the next level of development. My greatest strength…Hmmmm…The ability to command, perhaps?

J: It’s funny. Most of my characters can come up with their strengths but not their weaknesses, you’re the opposite. Bonnie asks: Have you ever had to completely abandon your dolls?

M: Ah. It is sad to say, but there are those who died of injuries, and then I lost many in a fire that claimed one of my dens. I have thankfully never had to walk away and leave them alone with no one to protect them.

J: I get the impression that few of the vampires really mess with you.

M: *giggles* You are correct, Naylor-sensei. There is an unspoken arrangement that only the Keiri ignore, and even then they are careful. Though it has been proved untrue, a belief persists that if the maker is killed, all those they made will also perish. Since most can trace their lineage to me, I am the mother to all of them and they do not dare risk their own demise. *giggles*


Maeko returns in Clash of Legends

J: You seem to enjoy that. All right, last question. Angela asks:  If an evil genie offered you 3 wishes, would you take them and what would you do with them?

M: Ah! The genie is evil, and so one is expected to turn them away, yes? *giggles* I believe I would accept the wishes. With my first wish, I would wish the genie to become good and no longer evil. Next, I would wish for safety for Japan, as there are many things I am concerned for at the moment, and last…last I would wish to bring him back.

J: Him? Him who? Jorick?

M: *giggle* No, not Jorick. *looks sad for a moment* We have all loved someone who was lost to us. I will say only that “he” was that person for me.

J: Can’t we even get a name? I mean, come on, I can’t think of a way to stick you in the last book, so we may never get the answer otherwise.

M: *giggles* Naylor-sensei could write a story about it.

J: No! I don’t want to! Do you know how much research I would have to do?

M: Naylor-sensei loves research.

J: Do other people have this problem with their characters? Seriously!

M: *giggles*

J: And with that we’re out of questions! Thanks so much to everyone who submitted one, and to you for stopping in to read. Please check out the post where you can drop a question for Sorino.

Missed an interview? Catch up!

Katelina’s Bonus Follow Up
Jorick Part I
Jorick Part II
Velnya’s Resurrection

Interview with Oren

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?

08-Oren Jo: And since I am doing these myself instead of having my (lazy) characters handle them, I missed last week because I was sick (boo!). But we’re here now, and ready to welcome Oren! Since everyone’s waited long enough, let’s get right to it. Steve asks: Oren how did it come about that you are Jorick’s fledgling?

O: Yes. I suppose it’s best to get this over quickly. How did I…That’s easy enough, though not very interesting. Jorick’s uncle – no. I don’t suppose it was his uncle. Anyway, the owner of the neighboring plantation died quite suddenly and Jorick appeared, calling himself the man’s nephew. Of course he took over the property, and we became acquaintances. Neighbors were closer to what modern people would call friends in those days, and despite Jorick’s best efforts to be left alone we were often in one another’s business. My wife, Jesslynn, was the one who noticed that Jorick didn’t age, was never sick, and never appeared in daylight. Tristan, our youngest, was ill with whatever malady had taken most of our other children, and in desperation she sent me to Jorick to demand his secret. I didn’t believe there was a secret, and was surprised not only to discover the truth, but that he agreed to share it. To this day I don’t know why he did instead of simply killing me.

J: I’m not sure he knows, either. Also from Steve: what did it feel like at the time? Was it erotic?

O: Erm…I-I couldn’t say. It was far more involved than what our readers have since been exposed to; no slap-dash desperate thing, it involved preparations and such, for instance removing most of a person’s body hair – I imagine at one time this had a practical purpose for the sake of cleanliness. I’d guess that was the way that Malick also turned him, and so he did the same.

J: Hmmmm…I’d be interested to read that. Dawn asks: Were you upset/jealous that Jorick has another fledgling?

O: Does she mean the Japanese child? No, I’m not jealous…surprised, yes, but then I suppose he’d have had to have made others. I only wonder if there are more, and if so how they escaped Malick’s clutches.

J: Another interesting quandary. Maybe some of that will show up in Jorick’s novel in 2017 (Yes, it is happening!) In the meantime, Amy asks: Do you regret any of the decisions you’ve made since turning?


read Oren’s origin story FREE

O: Yes, several. I wish I hadn’t turned my sister so hastily. That she would have been made immortal eventually is of no doubt, but to start things that way…And Jesslynn. I should have stopped her from turning the children. I believe that Alexander would have grown to manhood, though I admit Tristan would probably not have survived. Of course, I’ve often wondered if his life as a perpetual infant was survival or simply prison? Perhaps he’d have been better…Wait. What is this? Did you administer some of the truth serum you used on Jorick?

J: Nope. You’re just being unusually chatty. Maybe Etsuko has been good for you.

O: What are you implying? I-

J: This brings us to our next question, Jennifer asks: Why is everything a fight for you?

O: Hrmph. I’d like to know that as well. My author excels at miserable backstories, and she seems to feel I need more than my share. I don’t understand why she insists on drowning me in misfortune.

J: It’s your attitude. You never wanted to be immortal in the first place. You got stuck with it because Jesslynn wanted it, and so you see everything through a lens of not really wanting to be here, anyway.

O: If you’re going to answer the questions for me, why am I here?

J: Because I enjoy torturing you. Jennifer also asks: Do you ever let anything go and move on?

O: *choke* As a matter of fact yes, I do. It might seem like years because my hack author is so slow in churning out misery filled books, but it has only been six months since my wife of two hundred years and our two children, which had been alive nearly as long, were burned to death. When Jorick’s wife of only twelve years was killed he mourned for a 150 years! Yet no one accuses him of holding on to things!

J: Okay, okay, calm down. You’re touchy, I know. Dawn wants to know: Are you done with all the wars?

O: I’d say yes, but I imagine Jorick will drag us into what is going to be a final confrontation with Lilith. Assuming we live through it, I have no intention of fighting anyone else; those who murdered my family are all dead now. My revenge is finished.

J: That’s a good point. And you never really wanted a war with Claudius or Kateesha, or the rest of them, anyway, did you? Those were Torina and Jesslynn. Alicia asks: Do you want a new coven?


See Oren play father in the FREE short Alexander

O: Erm…I don’t know. There is an advantage to a coven…to be honest at the time I was turned we had a large household; my mother who lived with us had just recently died, there was my sister, my wife, our children, the slaves, and hired help. From that we went on to a coven…In truth I find having only Torina and Etsuko for company to be very…quiet. I don’t know if I like that or not.

J: I could see that. Dawn asks: Do you wish Jorick would live with you?

O: That I can answer: No. I’ve…enjoyed isn’t the word I want to use, but I’ve…endured this time of seeing Jorick nearly every day, and I’ll be quite satisfied to go back to seeing him only on occasion, as it used to be.

J: Basically you just want everything to go back to the way it used to be, right? Alicia wants to know: What do you think of Katelina?

O: Ah. Katelina. Contrary to popular opinion I don’t hate her I…she’s a complication. Yes… That’s it. Since she first appeared she’s been nothing but a complication. Things with Patrick and Michael fell apart because of her, though I’m aware it wasn’t her fault, still, she was the root cause. Since then she’s been the root cause of a lot of complications. Had Jorick turned her immediately, I think she’d have been less of a nuisance.

J: Well that’s nice. Amy asks: How has your opinion of Katelina evolved since meeting her?

O: Oh, you will force me into this! At first I found to her to be a vapid, shallow, stupid creature whose only purpose was to get in the way and cause trouble between men – as I mentioned she was a bone of contention between Patrick and Jorick who both thought they were in love with her. But I will admit that she is not as…She has her place, I suppose.

J: That’s all you’ve got?

O: I refuse to compliment her. Especially when you want me to.

J: In other words, you’re saying that if you keep going you’d end up saying something complimentary whether you like it or not? Ha! So basically-

O: Yes, yes, she’s….not as bad as I thought. Can we move on?

J: Heh-heh. You don’t really hate her after all. Alicia and Dawn both want to know: What do you think of Verchiel?

O: Oh, him. I think he’s a troublemaking irritant. I agree with Jorick and Micah that he’s up to something foul, and I wouldn’t be surprised to find out that he’s absconded with Katelina. I don’t think he’s in love with her, or any romantic notion like that, but I think he’s after the same thing I was: revenge. Despite everything, Kateesha did turn him, and from what I can gather they had a relationship of a romantic nature. Then Kateesha abandoned him to come to colonies with Jorick. Essentially Jorick took the person who mattered most to him, especially if that ridiculousness about having no memory of before is true – imagine having the only person you know, the only one you remember ever loving or having loved you, taken away? Something like that can leave a dark mark on a man.

J: Hmmmm. I hadn’t really thought of it that way. You do make him sound sinister! Since you’re analyzing people, Alicia wants to know: why is your sister a bitch?

O: *snicker* That’s easy enough. Torina was born beautiful, even I can admit that, and she was spoiled from the moment of that birth. My mother was the same; in her youth she was considered the most beautiful woman in the township, add to that that her parents were wealthy and she was prone to be…exacting. A perfectionist. She demanded that Torina and I be perfect in deportment, in appearance, and Torina excelled at that. She could twist my parents around her finger and was rewarded for her efforts, even encouraged by my mother and my aunts, and my father, who might have had the good sense to see that a woman needed more than damask and doilies to survive, was too captivated by my mother to raise an objection to her methods or means. I always imagine that he hoped Torina would marry well and so not be his burden.

J: Instead you got stuck with her forever! Ha! Laura asks: Oren how do you honestly feel about your life as it is now?

O: Erm…I can’t really say. We’ve just gotten a new den – we haven’t even moved into it yet, and I don’t know how the new surroundings are going to be, or whether Torina and Etsuko will be able to get along or…Uncertain. Uncertain is how I feel.

J: Good answer. Speaking of Etsuko, Alicia asks: What are your intentions with Etsuko?


Oren tries to come to terms with his new life in this FREE short

O: Oh good…I-I don’t know that I have any intentions! She is my fledgling, yes, which means it’s my responsibility to see to her to some extent, at least until her blood debt has been paid, and then…I don’t know.

J: Oh come on. Amy asks: How have your opinions and feelings for Etsuko changed?

O: At first I had no opinion of her. She was the human servant of another but…Well, I must admit she is quite capable. Able to handle things without a complaint. And sensible. She is sensible. And calm. That’s a nice change. And quiet. She keeps her opinions to herself well, only interjects something when it’s actually useful.

J: In other words you like her.

O: Well, I won’t say I dislike her.

J: As Sherry says: Oren why don’t you just admit your relationship? Everyone knows already.

O: I…erm…we…I don’t know that we have a relationship…All right. Fine. Yes, Etsuko has decided that she’s in love with me. I said she was practical, but not completely logical. She’s still a woman with a romantic streak. But as far as having discussed it, or having agreed to anything…it isn’t as if she has spoken her feelings, or that I’ve asked her hand in marriage yet, or anything of that sort! I barely know the woman!

J: Yet. That was telling. Steve asks: Do you have something going on the side that Joleene is not sharing with her vast readership for shall we say discreet and sensitive reasons?

O: Something on the…such as what? Are you insinuating an illicit relationship with someone?

J: I don’t know. Do you? Never mind. I know the answer to that. Angels asks: So Oren, if an evil genie offered you 3 wishes, would you take them and what would you do with them?

O: The genie is evil? As in, the wishes you wish will  be brought to fruition in some terrible way, as in the story of the monkey’s paw? In that case I would ignore him. I’ve had my share of terrible things.

J: Well that was boring. And now for our final question from Penny: You seem to be tense most of the time. Do you ever do things just for fun? Have you thought of taking up knitting or crochet as a stress reliever?

O: Knitting?!? Crochet?!? I…Hardly! Of all the…As a matter of fact I do enjoy leisure activities. I like to read, though not as voraciously as Jorick, and I don’t have his hatred for television, until recently we had several in the house. I also enjoying plants; though my author never bothered to mention it, I had a green house before the Executioners destroyed everything with quite a unique collection of orchids, for instance. And I like military history. And I did enjoy horseback riding, though I admit I haven’t done that in some time. And cryptology. That’s always soothing.

J: Huh. Who knew. And with that we’re out of questions and time! Thanks to everyone who dropped a question, and who took the time to read Oren’s uncooperative answers! Be sure to check out the post where you can leave questions for Jorick’s other fledgling Maeko!

Have you missed some interviews? Catch up!

Katelina’s Bonus Follow Up
Jorick Part I
Jorick Part II
Velnya’s Resurrection

Interview with Loren

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?

14-lorenJo: Today we have Loren. His interview was delayed a week because of time constraints, but now he’s in the frying pan – erm, I mean, in the hot seat – no, no… um… it’s his turn. Welcome Loren.

Loren: Um…okay.

J: Let’s start with an easy one. Lisa asks: Just exactly, how old are you….?

L: Easy? It depends on what the year is in the Amaranthine world. I was born in 1978, so if we go off of the year that my author wrote Shades of Gray then I’m 27. If we go off the year she published it, then I’m 31. If we go off of what year it really is then I’m 38. (Incidentally, I’m two years older than my author.)

J: Yeah, yeah, you’re a geezer. Dawn asks: You’re a man in your 30’s does it bother you that people treat you like a kid?

L: Yeah it does. As you said, I’m  not a kid anymore. Though sometimes it can be kind of handy because it means they don’t heap a lot of crap on me since I’m “just a kid” but at the same time… I guess it is a double edged sword. The main problem is chicks, though. Teenage chicks are mostly kind of…boring, you know? I try it now and then – like that girl who wanted me to make her a vampire – but I can’t stand them for very long. Meanwhile no decent chick will give me a chance because I look like a kid to them.  I thought I’d solved it with Ume, but…

J: In that vein, Tricia, Alicia, and Laura ask: Are you looking for a love interest or do you have one you’re hiding?

L: I’m not looking-looking, but I’m kind-of-looking, if you know what I mean. Like, I’d like to have someone, but I’m not getting on Plenty of Fish, or anything. I really liked Ume, and I guess I still like her, but I don’t know how that could work unless she’s gonna get over all that crap, you know? Right now, I kind of have my eye on Xandria, but don’t tell anyone.

J: Don’t worry, I won’t. Tricia asks: Do you think you’ll find true love?

L: Sure. I think everyone finds it eventually. You just have to not let it go.

J: That’s a romantic view of things. Dawn also asks: Does it upset you that you don’t have any special Vampire powers?

L: *shrugs* Sometimes. I mean, it would be cool to be all powerful and shit, you know? Like Jorick or Oren. I know that vampires get more powers, or get stronger, as they age, so maybe someday I’ll develop something.

J: That’s a good lead in to Dawn’s next question: If you could pick a power which one would you want?

L: It’s hard to decide between mind reading and all that, like Jorick has, and the super strength like Micah’s got. Jorick can make people do what they want by manipulating their minds, but Micah can make them do what he wants by bashing their face in. I don’t know which one is more bad ass.

J: Amy asks: Everyone seems to like you, and I don’t think anyone considers you a threat. Do you use that to your advantage?

L: Truthfully it used to really piss me off. I wanted people to see me and be instantly scared, like they are with Jorick, but then Micah pointed out that it is an advantage because they know Jorick will hurt them, so they’re on guard and ready for an attack, but with me they aren’t, so I can get in two or three shots before they recover from surprise, and if I’m good I can take them out before they ever do. I guess it’s all how you look at it, but I would still like to look scary sometimes.

J: No one is ever scared of me either. Jennifer asks: What is the most dangerous thing you have ever done and/or want to do for fun?

L: I want to sky dive, dude! The trouble is everyone does it in the daytime, and I can’t do it then, so that sucks.

J: Heather says: Your story breaks my heart and I’m glad you had Jorick, my question is how exactly did you two find each other?



You can read Loren’s origin story in the FREE short Ashton

L: Oh. *looks uncomfortable* Ashton, my brother, turned me just a few hours before the rogues killed him. It was…they got distracted with it all, and he’d told me to run, so I took off. I ran into Jorick farther up the beach. I think he was attracted to all the noise, or maybe he was out patrolling for them already, or maybe he was just out looking for food. I don’t know. But I told him what happened and so he took me back to his place, and when some of the rogues came looking for me he killed them. I’d met Jorick before – not really spoken to him or anything, but I’d seen him a few times. I just thought of him as that weird unfriendly hermit guy who lived up the beach. I’d never really paid attention.


J: Dawn asks: What was Jorick like before Katelina came along?

L: Bossy. Kind of jaded. He was always going on about how none of the love or romance stuff was real, that it was all a myth people made up so that they could procreate without guilt, because people love guilt and blah, blah, blah. I knew it was all crap then, or he wouldn’t have been reading some of the books he did, and he wouldn’t have saved Velnya’s letters. He wasn’t all annoying, though. Like, he taught me all about how to be a vampire and what to do and what not to do, and about the Executioners and The Laws, and all of that stuff, and he taught me how to hunt on my own since I don’t have his mental powers, and he helped me pay the bills and stuff on my house until I could start getting money on my own.

J: Yeah, I can figure out where your money comes from. Bonnie asks: What do you really think about Jorick?

L: I dunno. I guess I…I look up to him, you know? He’s like the vampire version of a father-figure, I guess. As I said, he helped me with all that stuff when he didn’t have to. I mean, technically I was part of that rogue group, at least as far as the blood line shit goes, but when the Executioners came he didn’t tell them that. Hell, he didn’t tell them anything about me at all. So he’s really a good guy. I think he just doesn’t want to admit he is. Like, he likes to think he’s cold and dead and blah, blah, because it makes him tougher that way.

J: Interesting. Alicia asks: do you like Katelina for Jorick?

L: I wasn’t sure at first. I’ll be honest, when I first met her I kind of had my eye on her myself. I mean, she seemed too modern for him, you know? And especially since he spouted all that crap. Then he told me about everything that happened, and I could read between the lines, so I gave that up. But yeah, they seem to work good together. Maybe because they’re opposites, you know? They balance each other out, but at the same time they overlap enough that it works.

J: Could be. Bonnie asks: What do you really think about Katelina?

L: I think it’s a shame our author didn’t write that Katelina/Kateesha scene she toyed with – heh-heh.

J: You’d better behave before Jorick hears that.

L: Are you sure he’d mind? *snicker*

J: *giving Loren a hard look* Moving on, Alicia asks: Why do like Micah so much?

L: When Kariss and I got to the war coven, she pretty much dumped me, and I didn’t really know anyone except from stories Jorick told. Micah was the only one who stepped up and said “hey”, and who was willing to tell me who everyone was and explain it all – I guess he was kind of like the Jorick replacement, you know?

J: Bonnie asks, what do you think about Micah?


Loren guest stars in the FREE short Tales from the Island: Micah

L: *slowly* Micah is a lot like Jorick. He spouts all this bullshit because he thinks it makes him tougher, but he’s really a softy too. Like, I know he really likes Katelina, though not in a bang-her kind of way, but like a kid sister, though I doubt he’d ever admit it. He’s not big on admitting his feelings for anyone, actually, just like Jorick isn’t. you have to just be able to guess. My Dad was kind  of like that, too, so I guess that’s why I get along with them, because I’m used to that.


J: That could be. Amy asks: Do you agree with Micah and think that Verchiel is up to no good?

L: Pfft. No. I think he’s overreacting. Verchiel seems like an okay guy to me, and I think he just looks at Katelina as a sister or a buddy, you know? And even if Micah was right and Verchiel was after her, I don’t think he’d do anything about it because he seems to actually like Jorick, too. I think it might have to do with all that weird blood connection stuff. He was made by Kateesha, and she and Jorick shared a master, so really he and Jorick are related if you think of it that way. It’s like he’s just having fun aggravating his Uncle.

J: I don’t think you’d better tell Jorick that one. Amy asks: What do you think of that whole Katelina/Jorick/Verchiel/Micah thing?

L: I think they’re all kind of crazy.

J: I can’t argue with that. Christine asks: Loren are you happy? Would you leave and go your own way if you could?

L: Nah. I don’t really want to be by myself. Maybe someday I will, but…I dunno. I guess I don’t see the point of being alive if it’s just to hide out alone. What’s the difference between that and being dead, you know?

J: Dawn asks: Why did you feel such a need to run off and fight in a war?

L: I was just tired of Jorick always treating me like a kid, and I was bored with everything at home. I mean I can’t get a job, and I’m not going to play Twilight and go to school over and over (even if I could – I don’t think that work anyway), and I’d beat all my games, and satellite sucks nowadays, and Jorick was only so much company, you know? I guess I wanted to try it on my own, but that’s when I realized I don’t really want to be alone, I just needed some different people to hang out with. Jorick might not respect me, but I guess, when I think about it, he’s never going to. It’s like a dad with his son. He might be proud of him, but he is never gonna look at him as an equal because, to him, he still sees that little kid. No matter what I do, Jorick is going to see that scared fledgling, but instead of being mad about that, I should look at that as proof that he thinks of me like a son of sorts, and be contented with that.

J: That’s very…mature. Angela asks: If an evil Genie, offered you 3 wishes, would you take them and what would you do with them?

L: Ha ha! Hell yeah I’d take them! I’d wish my arm back, then I’d wish for a few million dollars, and then I’d save the third one for some time when I really, really needed something.

J: Alicia asks: do you miss your arm?

L: Oh yeah. I still go to do things, or grab things, and am surprised when nothing happens. I wonder if there’s a way to take someone else’s arm and graft it on? Like, I know a human arm wouldn’t work because the skin and blood vessels and stuff wouldn’t knit themselves back overnight, but I wonder if I got an arm off of another vampire if maybe that would work? The trouble is I don’t want to take one off of someone…

J: Hmmm. It is an interesting quandary. I bet they’ve tried it in the Munich laboratories. While we’re on the topic, though, Bonnie asks: what weapon do you use now that you only have one arm?

L: Micah is the main one who taught me to fight, and he doesn’t believe in weapons, but Jorick did teach me some, too, and he likes daggers and short blades like that. Mainly I just use whatever I can get a hold of, but it would be cool to buy something of my own and carry it around, huh?


You can also find Loren in his own FREE short.

J: Bonnie also asks: Do you blame Traven for what happened or do you think it was an accident?  Are you glad he’s dead?

L: I don’t think he did it thinking “I’ll blow this guy’s arm off”, it was more like “I want this to explode now and I don’t care”, so yeah, it’s completely his fault. I don’t know if him dying makes it even, though. It would have been better if he’d just lost his arm, too.

J: And for a final question, Sharon asks: If there was one thing you could do, and I mean anything, what would it be?

L: Go out in the daytime. I really miss hanging out on the beach, you know? I grew up there; swimming, boating, skiing, tanning, all of that stuff. And yeah, you can do some of it at night, but there’s no one else there. That was the fun of it, like meeting people and making these sort of temporary best friends because you were both doing the same thing, and maybe you never saw them again, but for those few hours you were like unified…I dunno, it’s hard to explain, I guess.

J: Hard to explain tends to sum you up. And with that we are out of questions and time. Thanks so much to everyone who asked a question, and who dropped by to read this. Be sure to check out the post where you can leave a question for Oren.

Have you missed some interviews? Catch up!

Katelina’s Bonus Follow Up
Jorick Part I
Jorick Part II
Velnya’s Resurrection

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.





Interview with Velnya

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 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.

13-velnyaVelnya: 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?

Log top cover

Katelina does find out about Velnya in Legacy of Ghosts

J: Oh, you know. Um, anyway, Amy also asks: If you could, would you try to win Jorick away from Katelina?

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!

The Resurrection

The room is small and dark. Cobwebs cluster in the corners, a sign of disuse that contrasts with the circle flickering scarlet candles. Thunder sounds outside and, though there are no windows, one can feel the slice of lightning that cuts through the night, to be followed by yet another rolling growl from the heavens.

A low doorway is hug with a curtain that stirs, only to be pushed aside by a short woman. A hooded cloak shields her face and lends an air of mystery and menace. She pauses to tuck an unruly strand of hair back into the hood, and takes a quick stock of the room. It is just as she remembers it.

She shuffles across the room to an alcove that holds a dusty book. As she has done before, she blows away the dust and flips through the pages, seeking the words that will bring back the dead. The atmosphere thickens and outside the storm intensifies. The wind screams as though the demons of hell have come back to the world.

As the sound dies, the woman begins to mutter, first softly and then gaining volume:

“Velnya. Velnya. I did a short story on her once. How did that go? She was quiet and polite, I remember that…Good grief. Why do I get myself into this?”

The woman waves her hand and murmurs fantastic sounding words. A shimmery form materializes, slowly becoming a young woman with dark hair and large violet eyes. She wear a dress styled after the 1860s, her hair in long curls and a cross tied around her neck by a slender ribbon.

Hand to her throat, she looks around quickly. “What? Where-where am I? Who are you?”

The woman snaps the books closed and returns it to the alcove. “I’m your author. I know we’ve only met once, but you might put more effort into this.”

“My author?” The young woman blinks and then – “I-I remember you. You – you killed me!”

“I didn’t actually kill you, exactly. Those villagers did, remember? I just wrote about it. Anyway, readers find you interesting enough that they want to ask you some questions, so I’ve resurrected you so they can. If you want to take a moment to gather yourself? Not too long, though. We’re already a day late.”

“I don’t understand. Why would they find me interesting?”

“Because you were Jorick’s last wife, before Katelina. Not that he and Katelina are married yet, but you know.”

The young woman’s eyes go even wider. “Katelina? Who is she? What do you mean they are not married yet? Will they be?”

“Hey, hey. No interviewing me. Look, since you haven’t been paying attention I’ll bring you up to speed real quick. You died. Jorick moped. Then he met Katelina. They’re an item, and the stars of the novel series-”

“An item? I don’t understand. You mean a couple? But why? If you wanted to pen a novel series why not use myself and Jorick?”

“Ah, your love story was too weak. Besides, I didn’t come up with you until book two, so I couldn’t have done a series about someone who wasn’t even in the first book, could I? Here, if you need the details read these.”

The author shoves a stack of books at the young woman, who staggers under the weight. “Are these all about Jorick and…and what did you call her?”

“Kate-lean-uh. Some people call her Cat-a-lean-uh. I don’t care how anyone wants to say it, so long as they’re reading. Ha ha!” The author turns serious. “I suppose you don’t need all of those. Just flip through the first one.” She takes seven of the books back. “You can probably skim a lot. It’s pretty straight forward.”

Velnya flips pages and suddenly gasps and snaps the book closed. “This-this scene! Did Jorick consent to your sharing his intimate moments?”

“He doesn’t get a choice. None of you do. You’re my characters. Gwahahahahaha! If I let you all do what you wanted, it would be a very boring series. Now, I have an errand to run, and the you’re on, so familiarize yourself with the basics.”

The author starts for the door, but stops when Velnya calls to her and asks, “I don’t see myself mentioned here.”

“I told you, you’re mentioned in the second book, and maybe it’s just as well you don’t read any of that. In fact…” she hurries back and snatches up the other books. “I’ll just take these with me. I’ll be back. And no visitors while I’m gone!”

With the warning, the author hurries out the door, leaving Velnya bent over a paperback novel, a frown on her delicate features.

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