For every book we release, we feature an interview with one or more of its main characters. Our next book, The Blessed by Remy Apepp, is a dark literary fantasy that came out September 1st. We decided to let the two main characters, Illiaz and Lux, dialogue as they answer questions from "fan mail"! Here's what they had to say:
Illiaz: So, Lux, our fans have some questions they’d like to know the answers to.
Lux: We have fans?
Lux: Where? I haven’t seen anyone.
Illiaz: Just because you do not see something does not mean that it does not exist.
Lux: If I can’t see it, then it might as well not exist. It certainly doesn’t exist for me.
Illiaz: Then believe that I exist, at least, and answer the questions for me.
Lux: That’s fair.
Illiaz: Then the first question is this: “What would an ideal day look like for you?” An ideal day? Hmm...
Lux: I’d like to fight something, to be honest.
Illiaz: That would be an ideal day for you, Lux, yes.
Lux: And for you?
Illiaz: There’s not much for me to want that I do not already have. Perhaps for me, then, the ideal day will be the day I finally die.
Lux: Then you must have an ideal way in which you’d like to die.
Illiaz: It is not a matter of an ideal death. I know how I will die. And death is death, no matter how it comes. It will be the same no matter what face it wears or what hands it reaches with.
Lux: That’s true. So, ah, it’s my turn to read the next question, I guess? It says here, “What are your opinions on the deities?” Huh. Well, I don’t know any deities personally, so I can’t say.
Illiaz: Only you, Lux, would refrain from having opinions on the deities simply because you are not personally acquainted with any, as if it were even possible for them to be known.
Lux: Someone must know them. Otherwise, how could what is known of them come to exist? But even if others have encountered them and formed opinions, I’ll wait to form my own upon meeting any deities for myself. But it sounds like you have opinions on the deities, Illiaz.
Illiaz: They are callous, bored creatures. They feel nothing themselves so they find every kind of feeling delightful. The deities will torment you and laugh at you and never understand you. They will curse you with blessings and bless you with curses.
Lux: Whether something is a blessing or a curse is all what you make of it. The deities have power they can bestow and use to influence the world, but it is not they who decide the meaning of what they have done. All any of us can do is make the best of what we have.
Illiaz: Do you never see fit to blame the ones who have given you that which you have, and have refrained from giving you something else that they could have given you?
Lux: I cannot control others; I can only control myself. It is only when you lose sight of that that you become powerless. As long as I can determine my own choices and actions within the world, it matters not what choices and actions others make, whether human, monster, or deity.
Illiaz: I think, with that, you probably already answered the next question, which is “What is your life philosophy?”
Lux: Yeah, I guess so. Your turn, then.
Illiaz: My life philosophy...I guess I just try not to lose sight of the beauty in all of the pain.
Lux: Sounds abstract.
Illiaz: You are far more practical than I, it is true.
Lux: The fourth question then is “Do you ever wish that you had more company, aside from each other and the servants?” Who would I want the company of, though?
Illiaz: You perhaps already answered that, as well, when you said you’d like something to fight.
Lux: Ah, you’re right. How about you, then?
Illiaz: Whom would I want the company of? You are already the one with whom I can be the closest to what I am. With anyone else, it is just more of the same illusion. I am cloyed, at this point. I have no desire to have more audience before whom to perform. The fifth question here is “If you could leave the mansion, where would you go?” I think I already know your answer to this one, Lux.
Lux: There’s nowhere to go.
Illiaz: Indeed, how could there be, when what you don’t have and can’t see doesn’t exist for you? As for me, I traveled around a fair amount when I was younger. I have gone everywhere I wanted to go and seen everything I wanted to see.
Lux: Did you have a favorite place that you went?
Illiaz: Like with people, places are all the same, in the end. Different ways you could die, maybe, but if you do not die then the living is all the same. Behind every face and within every scenery is still pain and emptiness.
Lux: Your world sounds like broken spider-web threads. The moored pattern of the weave has been torn and everything’s just drifting.
Illiaz: How is your own web strong enough not to break, I wonder.
Lux: The wind isn’t strong enough to break it, I guess. I don’t really understand this last question, though: “Do you think that Rujir-Zakurele will ever wake up?” What does that mean? Who’s Rujir-Zakurele?
Illiaz: The Reality Deity. All of this world is but fragments of Rujir-Zakurele’s unending dream.
Lux: Oh. In that case, if Rujir-Zakurele woke up, the world would end, right?
Illiaz: That is the idea.
Lux: Then as long as the world exists, Rujir-Zakurele hasn’t woken up.
Lux: So if Rujir-Zakurele woke up, none of us would exist, so none of us would know.
Lux: So it doesn’t really matter then, does it? The world will exist for however long it exists, so there’s no use fearing the end of it. But at least we know that no matter what happens here, the world will never end within the dream. So we need not fear anything that may happen. And if we’re all just fragments of a dream, anyway, then we can’t really die because we were never really alive. Our existences are indeterminate, changeable, independent of space and time. There’s a lot of possibility in that, don’t you think?
Illiaz: Rujir-Zakurele does not appear to have any good dreams, but I see no reason why the Reality Deity would care to wake up from them if the only alternative is the utter emptiness and nothingness of a singular existence. Surely, even if Rujir-Zakurele were to wake up, they would surely fall back asleep again. I think it is far easier to sleep for eternity than to be awake for eternity.
Lux: So it’s a useless question no matter what angle you come at it.
Illiaz: You do dislike useless things.
Lux: That was the last question, right? So we’re done here?
Lux: No reason to linger, then. Let’s go.
Thanks, guys, for your deep and thoughtful answers! They really give a flavor for the tone and content of the book. The Blessed is perfect for fans of Anne Rice books and is available in paperback, hardback, and e-book formats on Amazon.
Click here to read Remy's author interview and here for our official book review of The Blessed.
(The Blessed is a sequel to Sand to Glass, but the series does not need to be read in order.)
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