Monday, October 24, 2016

Interview With Reuben

I got to interview Reuben! My interview is kinda long since Kendra and I did it by Google Hangouts, so I won't say much here. You can read my review here. And buy the book here. And one last thing, since I forgot to ask Reuben why there was a pile of pillows and blankets on the floor, he and Petra had just made a blanket fort. This takes place between parts 3 and 4 of Lady Dragon, Tela Du.


    I step out of a Door into the halls of the Kastle. This is where Clara and Andrew lived for so long, where their children grew up! That alone is exciting enough, but Laura has an even more exciting plan for my visit to Rizkaland.
    "Come along," says Laura, grinning. "Reuben’s expecting you."
    "Cool," I say. For Reuben to be expecting my visit, well, that's more than I could ever imagine.
    "Well, he had an interview with the Arista a week ago, so he knows to expect them."
    I follow Laura down the hall, trying not to skip or dance. Though what does it matter if the Klaranders think I'm strange? Laura does skip, but then, she's physically little more than a child.
    I'm not even trying to hold back an excited grin when Laura knocks on a door.
    "And here we are!" Laura announces, stopping and throwing open the door. Inside, Reuben is sitting on a pile of blankets and pillows, reading a book. He looks up with a grin. "Ah, hello! Come on in. Don't mind the mess. Petra won't let the servants pick this up because it's my job, apparently. I'll have it done by tonight, don't worry. I hear you have questions for me?"
    I laugh as I enter...this is so much like the Reuben I've read about. "I do. I'm so excited to be able to interview you. I feel like you're the brother I never had. Can I be your honorary sister? Or is that too weird? I don't mean to be weird."
    "How about honorary cousin? I already have a small number of those, so it wouldn’t be weird at all. I don’t mind, though."
    "That works." I grin widely as I grab a pillow from the pile and plop down on the floor on top of it. "We could have had a lot of fun together as kids playing that we went to a fantasy world if we really were related. And now you're basically in a fantasy story, which is super duper cool. What's it really like, though? Because I bet most fantasy books get it wrong."
    "It hasn't been quite as exciting as I had expected," he admits, closing the book. “Petra tells me that it's because the books always edit the boring parts out. Even if they acknowledge the long stretches of nothing happening, we never really feel it, you know. And we won’t talk about how painful it really is to learn how to use a weapon."
    I laugh. "I was actually planning to ask you how weapons training was going. But I guess you're right about the boring stretches of nothing. I know The Horse and His Boy just acknowledges that they journeyed on for weeks where nothing happened. That's actually how I figured out how to write journeys in my own books. But it's totally different to live them, I'm sure. Still, you're in a fantasy world. That has to count for something."
    "There are telepathic unicorns - I mean harandas, so I suppose it does. Petra gave me a nasty bruise on my leg this morning. That's how training's been going. No, I'm not going to show you. I don’t want you to faint."
    "Thanks. I'm not the fainting sort, but I'd rather not see your bruise. I am kind of squeamish." I scratch the edge of my front tooth with my thumbnail, the way I sometimes do when I'm thinking. Reuben's brought up a few things I want to ask him about, and I'm not sure where to go next. Finally, I just go for the next question on the list. "What's the weirdest thing that happened to you after coming to Rizkaland?"
    "Petra told me to kiss her," he answers without hesitation.
    I'm sure I'm grinning like a silly idiot, and squealing too. "I bet you've been waiting for that for a long time."
    "Um, perhaps?"
    I giggle. "She'd probably prefer you not to answer that question in an interview, yes?"
    "Probably not."
    "I guess I can understand that. It's sorta private. But you've never made your love for her a secret. When did you first decide you were going to marry Petra when you grew up?"
    "I think I was eight the first time I proposed."
    I'm really not surprised. This is Reuben after all. "That would make Petra six, right? I can't imagine getting a proposal at age six. What did she do?"
    "Told me that she was too young to make such a decision and to ask again when we were older."
    "And did that become her standard answer?"
    "Yeah. It did."
    "I guess she was never really opposed to marrying you, then."
    "She never told me no."
    "Of course not. Especially since you're Tied now." I bounce on the pillow in my own excitement. "How excited were you about finally getting Tied to Petra?"
    "Pretty excited. I hadn't expected it happen so quickly, but ... it was exciting."
    "That's very descriptive." I grin. "Was it everything you could have dreamed? Or completely different from what you dreamed?"
    "Well, seeing as how I had expected a marriage ceremony and not a Tying ceremony, I'd lean towards the latter."
    "I see. Well, I'm sure you can have more of what you were expecting once you go home." Petra would probably rather me stop talking about their relationship, but she's not here, and it's interesting to me. "What's your favorite memory of Petra?"
    "You do realize that I've known her for sixteen years - her whole life."
    "Yep. I do. But there has to be something that stands out."
    "Oh, I have memories that stand out ... but I can't pick a favorite. There are too many. Maybe the way she glares at me whenever I say something ridiculous. She enjoys doing that."
    "I bet she does. And I bet you give her plenty of opportunities."
    "I try squeeze in at least one or two every day." He grins broadly.
    I shake my head, but I'm grinning uncontrollably, so it probably completely ruins the effect. "You two are adorable."
    "Why thank you. Have you any more questions, dear honorary cousin?"
    "You're welcome. I did want to ask about your telepathy, dear honorary cousin. I've always thought it would be cool to be able to read minds. So could you tell me about your and Petra's power?"
    "Telepathy is a dangerous power not to be taken lightly, because with it, you can strip a person down to their deepest secrets, or even destroy their freedom of choice," he says, sobering. "Petra doesn't think I take it serious, but I do. But it's a very interesting power, at the same time. I thought I knew Petra before ... but now..."
    "Wow." I rest my chin on my hand. "I guess I didn't think too much about the implications. More about finding out what my dog is dreaming about when she starts twitching in her sleep. But that's true. It could be a very dangerous power in the wrong hands. I'm glad it's in yours. I'm sure you won't abuse it. And I'm sure you're glad to know Petra as well as you do now."
    "Our power is limited to Eliue, so it wouldn't help you with your dog, unfortunately,” Reuben answers. "Actually, it's Petra I worry about. She likes to think she knows best, and with this power in her hands..." He shakes his head. "She doesn't trust herself, either. That's actually the reason she's so adamant about rules. They're for her sake, not mine. Not that I don't need rules but ... prying is just wrong."
    "Well, at least she knows she can't trust herself and needs rules. That's a step in the right direction. Prying is wrong. I'm sure it can sometimes be hard not to, but if you know what's right, that should help you not to."
    "Yeah. It's a cool power, but scary, too."
    "Yup. My last question isn't super cheery either, you feel like you're ready to rule Rizkaland?"
    "If I thought I was ready, I wouldn't be ready, I've read the books," says Reuben. "I've always dreamed of ruling a country, but this ... I'm glad Petra's here with me. She'll make a great queen."
    "I was actually thinking of Prince Caspian just now," I admit. "I kind of thought you'd say something along those lines. You two will make great rulers, and you won't be alone. That's kind of against Rizkaland's customs."
    "No, and I thank Alphego that there will be others," he answers. "So that was your last question? I guess that means you have to go. Can't spend the long hours like I did with the Arista, after all, since this is only a short interview, and not study for her book."
    "Yeah, I was going to ask you if you felt like Peter Pevensie, but it didn't really fit in. I'd love to talk to you again sometime, but Laura's probably ready to take me home." I glance back at the girl who seems to have been hanging back in the corner all this time.
    "Peter didn't have a Petra, so no, I don't feel quite like him, but I don't think I'm far off, maybe we shall chat again, and you can certainly read my book," he answers.
    Laura jumps up. "Ready to go? Very well then, let's go!"
    "Oh, I've read your book many times, and being friends with the Arista does have its perks. Thanks for talking to me, Reuben, I've really enjoyed it. Say hi to Petra for me."
    "I shall!"
    "Come along!" says Laura, with a giggle.
    "Alright." I turn to follow Laura, but look back to say "Goodbye, Reuben!" over my shoulder.
    He waves, nose already back in the book.
    I follow Laura out into the hall. It's been great, but I am ready to go home. Then I can tell everyone I interviewed Reuben Eaglechaser in the Kastle.

Two girls with one face
Two girls with twisted fate
One in purple, one in red
One shall speak the other’s death
Who shall win their final war?
Lady Dragon or Tela Du?

Amber, the Lady Dragon, has been promised a fifty-year reign over Rizkaland and nothing can stop her from claiming it. But when you've lived six thousand years, fifty is such a pitiful number. Only one person can keep her from making this reign permanent - the Tela Du, a girl who shall share Amber's face.

The last thing Petra wants is a magical world interrupting her plans for a normal life, let alone an ultimate battle against the Lady Dragon with only one prophesied survivor. She has her childhood best friend, Reuben, at her side, but she's not sure if he's more of a help or a hindrance right now. Though she'd much prefer to just return home and forget about this whole crazy affair, things change when she discovers that the world has surprising connections to her own family - including her sister who disappeared without a trace two years before. Still, Rizkaland can't possibly expect her to risk her very life, can it?

Author Bio:

Kendra E. Ardnek is a homeschool graduate who picked up a pen at an early age and never put it down. The eldest of four, she makes her home in the Piney Woods of East Texas with her parents, younger siblings, giant herd of giraffes, and honor guard of nutcrackers.


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  1. Google hangouts interviews need to become a thing. They're awesome.

    Petra's command to kiss was the weirdest thing that happened? Nice, Reuben. And you love her glare when you say something ridiculous? That's so true to life and adorable!

    1. They do. They take time and coordination of schedules, but they're so worth it. Especially since it feels like you're actually talking to the character. :)

      I know, right? Gotta love Reuben.

  2. Awesome interview! I love how you made it into a story-type thing . . . now I want to do one of these next time I get to interview someone.
    And I love Reuben. But that's nothing new.

  3. I loved this. It's probably going to be a positive influence on the review I'm writing. I might have forgotten to write nice things about Reuben.

    The fact that Reuben worries about how Petra will handle her power is scary. Maybe a hint of something to come.


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