Monday, 26 August 2013

Crest by Emma Raveling; Character Interview with Tristan Belicoux.


17622805Over here at Book Passion for Life, we're huge fans of Emma Raveling's. Now if you're not aware of this great self published author, then you should definitely check out her work. She's the author of Whirl, Billow, Chevalier, Warrior Prince and the soon to be released Crest, and today we're here with a interview from one of our favourite characters, Tristan and the author. 

Illusion. Power. Identity.

Tensions are reaching a fever pitch everywhere Kendra Irisavie turns.

Darkness settles over elementals as a new threat stirs suspicions of a betrayal from within. Details of recent events spread through Haverleau, prompting doubts over Irisavie leadership. The mysterious Selkie Kingdom finally opens its doors, but the gesture only fans the flames of division. And despite the perils involved, Kendra finds it difficult to ignore the demands of her heart.

As the body count rises, pressure also grows to shift the tides of war. The sondaleur is on the hunt, but tracking the Aquidae leader is the greatest challenge she’s ever faced. With the Shadow playing a deadly game of obsession and horror, Kendra’s best chance to win is to unravel a tangled web of deception spanning back to the origins of the elemental world.

Nothing is what it seems and the closer she gets to the truth, the more dangerous her pursuit for answers becomes.

When the unthinkable happens, Kendra must decide if survival is worth the sacrifice.

Conflicting loyalties, fierce passions, and irrevocable choices ignite in the electrifying third installment of the Ondine Quartet.
 
Before we start, a quick warning: These questions are spoilery for previous books (Whirl, Billow).
Tristan is an intensely private person and I knew getting answers would be challenging. 
Here’s what happened when I sat down with him for a conversation.Recording starts.
 
Emma: Prince Belicoux. Thank you for meeting me in the middle of your busy schedule.
Tristan: Gracious nod. Of course.
Emma: I know I’ve made your life rather difficult recently…
Tristan: Raises brow. An understatement.
Emma: Shifts. Yes, well. Clears throat. I’ll resolve all of that by the end of the series —
Tristan: Exactly how much longer is that?
Emma: Well, the third book, Crest, is coming out soon and the next book, Breaker, will be the conclusion. Aims for a charming smile. You don’t have much to go!
Tristan: Stares.
Emma: Right, moving on. You have supportive and enthusiastic readers who’ve been following your story and wanted to ask you a few questions. I’d like to discuss them with you. Would that be okay?
Tristan: Amusement flickers across his face. I’ll do my best.
Emma: When we first met you, you were balancing the strenuous demands of Haverleau’s Chief Gardinel position with the duties of Crown Prince. Recently, you’ve devoted yourself completely to the throne. Can you talk to us about that?
Tristan: Leans back with a thoughtful expression. Since I was a child, my one dream in life was to be the kind of person who could protect another from being hurt, injured, killed. There was no greater calling for me than to become a gardinel. My older brother, Eric, was a giant in almost every way and was meant to be king.
Emma: You sound proud of him.
Tristan: Of course. He was amazing. Brilliant leader, ferocious warrior. The star every selkie looked up to.
Emma: Including your father?
Tristan: Especially my father. Eric could do no wrong in his eyes.
Emma: But your father disapproved of you being gardinel.
Tristan: Chuckles. My father disapproves of many of my choices.
Emma: Including your continued return to Haverleau?
Tristan: Yes.
Emma: He recently came to your birthday party. Caused rather an interesting scene.
Tristan: Exhales. My father came to that party to make a point.
Emma: Which was?
Tristan: That I should be celebrating my birthday with my real family. Not those in Haverleau.
Emma: And this would be your…I’m sorry what birthday was it again?
Tristan: Smiles. Clever, but I’m not answering.
Emma: You didn’t like that party.
Tristan: Shrugs. I am not fond of the idea of people going out of their way for me. It’s unnecessary.
Emma: Why does your father not like your presence in Haverleau? You serve on the Governing Council and your kingdom must maintain political alliances with the other elemental races.
Tristan: He believes I can be more effective back home than at Haverleau. And if I am to be completely honest, there are things within my kingdom - details, people’s concerns -  that I don’t know as well as I should because I’m away for so long. There are other reasons he’s upset but I believe that’s the primary reason.
Emma: I don’t suppose you want to discuss those other reasons…
Tristan: Blank expression.
Emma: All right. Then why do you remain in Haverleau?
Tristan: Silent for a few moments. As a child, I enjoyed visiting Haverleau with my mother. I liked the way people simply accepted me without the weight of the throne. I respected the wonderful friendship between my mother and the Governor. However, no matter how comfortable Haverleau, Rhian, and others made me feel, my kingdom remained my home. But…
Emma: But?
Tristan: But recently it has changed. Haverleau has grown to feel more like home.
Emma: I don’t suppose that has anything to do with a certain ondine.
Tristan: Politely inclines head. I don’t know what you’re talking about.
Emma: Shifts a few papers. The mother of the sondaleur, Kendra Irisavie, personally asked you to protect and bring her to Haverleau.
 Tristan: Yes. Pauses. The loss of her and her mate, Ansel, was a great tragedy to our world.
Emma: Did you believe her when she said her daughter was the prophesied sondaleur?
Tristan: Yes and no. I believed Naida. She was not the kind of person prone to exaggerations. She was a brilliant Clairvoyant possessing a razor-sharp intellect, much like her mother. But it was difficult to believe that the person our people had waited so long for was a seventeen-year-old ondine who’d never lived among us.
Emma: When did you start to believe? Or do you still doubt who she is?
Tristan: Shakes head. It started the moment I saw her against that alley wall in San Aurelio. She didn’t back down before a pack of Aquidae. She held a silver dagger and…there was such absolute power in her defiance. It was a courage I’d never seen before.
Emma: You sound as if you admire her.
Tristan: Looks surprised. Yes, I do. Not only because she’ll be the one to finally bring this war to a close; but because she has already begun to change our world. Her ideas, the way she challenges what we have long blindly accepted, is part of her strength.
Emma: Speaking of leadership… last summer, you returned to your Kingdom for the first time in a long while. You spoke with your younger brother, Dax. Can you tell me about him?
Tristan: Smiles. He’s bright, enthusiastic. A leader among his friends and currently training to be inducted into the gardinels. Dax…cares deeply for those he trusts.
Emma: And what did you two discuss?
Extended silence.
Tristan: Shifts. I believe that is between me and my brother.
Emma: Was it something that required you to be away from Haverleau for six months?
Tristan: I was away for six months because I needed to prepare for the future.
Emma: Pause. Would you like to expand on that?
Tristan: Lets out a deep breath. I believe things will become clear soon enough.
Emma: While you were home, you spent time with many people from your past, including a selkie named…. consults notes… Sian Ardaineau. Tell us about her.
Tristan: I’ve known Sian my entire life. She’s as close to being a part of my family as anyone.
Emma: And what kind of relationship do you have her?
Tristan: We are friends.
Emma: Anything more?
Tristan: You’ll have to ask her directly about that.
Emma: You won’t give us something?
Tristan: It would be inappropriate.
Long silence.
Emma: Sighs. All right, Your Highness. Let’s move on. It must’ve been very difficult when Kendra left for New York for a month.
Tristan: This war is difficult. Our lives are difficult. She must assume a role she doesn’t want. She has done this twice now, both in accepting the prophecy and her Irisavie inheritance for the Governorship.
Emma: A feeling you know well.
Tristan: Gazes at the window. New York is not… a pleasant place. I worry about her safety. There’s nothing I can do for her while in Haverleau.
Emma: And the fact that she’s with Julian LeVeq?
Tristan: Chevalier LeVeq is an excellent fighter. He trained her well.
Emma: I believe his feelings toward the sondaleur are more than that of a trainer.
Tristan: He has every right to feel whatever he wants.
Emma: Does his relationship with her bother you?
Tristan: What bothers me is that he sees her solely in terms of how she fits into his life. Not because he understands her, but because he needs her.
Emma: And what about you? Do you understand her?
Tristan: The question is irrelevant. It’s not about whether I understand her better than him. The point is she deserves someone who can give her everything she wants.
Emma: And you’re not the person who can do that?
Tristan: Stares.
Emma: shakes head. You’ve been busy preparing for a big event.
Tristan: Yes.The Elemental conference is happening in our Kingdom this year.
Emma: Isn’t that very unusual? In elemental history, there’ve only been a few recorded incidents of ondines or demillirs visiting your people.
Tristan: Nods. Shapeshifting is a very private act for our people. When we shift, it is a moment of tremendous vulnerability. We are at one with our surroundings, immersing in the other half of ourselves that come from the deep. Sharing both forms with another being is an act of deep trust.
Emma: How are your people reacting to the conference?
Tristan: Like most change, much of the resistance comes from the older generation. The younger selkies seem to be open to shapeshifting in front of ondines and demillirs. Small smile.
Emma: You escorted Kendra to her meeting with Jourdain in your selkie form.
Tristan: Jaw tightens. I was concerned. Jourdain’s magic is very strong and Kendra was not….fully herself at the time.
Emma: Does that mean you trust her?
Tristan: Voice quiets. Of course.
Emma: Kendra once stated you had the ability to see something in her others could not. That you have stood by her, trusted her even when she could not trust herself. Do you feel the same way about her?
Tristan: Fingers tighten. She is different.
Emma: Special?
Tristan: Eyes meet mine. Of course. She is the sondaleur.
Emma: Evasiveness does not suit you, Your Highness.
Tristan: And these questions are rather invasive, don’t you think?
Emma: Fine. Why host the conference now?
Tristan: Our kingdom has remained closed to the elemental world for a long time. It is one of the policies I wished to change the most.
Emma: Why?
Tristan: A number of reasons. With Kendra’s arrival, the end of the war is imminent. There is no possible way we can provide her with the right support unless we are united as a whole.
Emma: So you did this for Kendra. Raises brow. To protect her.
Tristan: Stiffens. There are other reasons as well. It’s important for my people, for the children who will become the future of our kingdom, to be exposed to other ways of thinking. War will eventually come to a close and they must be prepared for a different world. Only a God would claim to know absolutely everything. I believe there is much we can learn from each other.
Emma: Final question, Your Highness. If there was no war….pauses….if there was no Aquidae or death, if your brother Eric was still here….if it had been an ideal world, what would you have wanted for yourself?
Tristan: Eyes soften. I’d travel. See what the rest of the world had to offer. Listen to music in every great concert hall, spend hours reading. Learn new skills, new ideas. Work with people, help those who suffer. Voice quiets.  Live freely for myself.
Emma: With someone by your side?
Tristan: Yes. Pauses. With the right person.
Emma: Would you rather be alone otherwise?
Tristan: If it’s not the right person are we not alone anyway?
Recording clicks off.

AUTHOR BIO
 
Emma Raveling writes urban fantasy and fantasy books for teens and adults. Hopelessly addicted to coffee and diet coke, she is currently working on completing her young adult series, Ondine Quartet.

4 comments:

Melanie Hall said...

Awesome post, Tristan is just *sigh* lovely <3

Emma said...

Thank you, Donna and Mel, for having us over today!


- Emma

Melanie Hall said...

No, Thankyou! I love what you did with the questions and how you put it across :D

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