Monday, December 12, 2011

Character Interviews: In Which Interviewing a Lady From 1844 is More Difficult Than I Thought

This week on the Lucky 13s blog, we're conducting interviews with our main characters.  Before I start, here's some information about my book, THE FALCONER.

Humans will be the hunted. Love will be tested. Vengeance will be had. 

The Falconer begins in Edinburgh, Scotland in 1844. We meet 18-year-old Lady Aileana Kameron, who was destined to live a life carefully planned around Edinburgh’s social events — until a faery killed her mother.

Now, between the seeming endless parties and boring dances, Aileana has a new hobby: she secretly slaughters the fae who prey on humans in the city’s dark alleyways, and is determined to track down the faery who murdered her mother.

Vengeance has become Aileana's life . . . so she never anticipated her growing attraction to the magnetic Kiaran MacKay, the faery who trained her to kill his own kind. Or that there was a world beyond hers, filled with secrets which affect her past and have the potential to destroy her present.

But when her own world is about revenge, and when she holds Kiaran’s fate in her hands, how far is Aileana prepared to go to avenge her mother’s murder?

To be released in 2013 by Gollancz (UK/Commonwealth), and Chronicle Children's Books (US/Canada)

Elizabeth May:  I’m excited!  I’ve never interviewed the people in my head before.  Hi, Aileana!  Remember me?  I wrote you.

Aileana Kameron:  Indeed.

EM: So, would you like to tell the Lucky 13 readers a little about yourself?

AK:  Where shall I start?

EM:  Hobbies?  Things you like to do?

AK:  I find dancing to be quite invigorating.  For leisure, I enjoy reading, watercolours or embroidery.  On Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays, I meet with my friend Lady Katherine for elevenhours, and—

EM:  Uh huh, I’m just going to stop you there.

AK:  Am I not answering the question correctly?

EM:  You’re not answering the question honestly.

AK:  Of course I am.  Don’t be silly.

EM:  You hate dancing.  You don’t even like to read, and you’re terrible at watercolours.  And as for embroidery — can you even sew?

AK:  Not well, admittedly.

EM:  Let’s try the question again.

AK:  [sighs] I spend my leisure time inventing weapons to more effectively kill faeries.

EM:  And?

AK:  And I hunt the fae every night.  Would it be possible to keep the first answer?  It doesn't sound as threatening and demented.

EM:  I think the readers like threatening and demented.

AK:  Oh.  How fascinating.  But if my father asks, I spend my nights innocently reading poetry in my bedroom.

EM:  So on the topic of faery hunting, someone on Twitter asked —

AK:  Someone on . . . what?

EM:  Twitter.  People gather there and chat about things.

AK:  I see.  Like a party?

EM:  Yes, like an all day party, seven days a week, where people say anything.  Anyway, someone asked how you fight in a corset.

AK:  [seems appalled by the question] 

EM:  I should clarify that in 2011, that's not generally considered a presumptuous thing to ask.

AK:  Ah.  Do people frequently inquire about each other’s undergarments, then?

EM:  Aileana.

AK:  Very well.  I find it more practical to hunt in men’s clothing.  If I have to fight in formal attire, my corset is the least of my concerns.  I never lace the stays too tightly.  Some ladies might disagree, but I don’t find it particularly fashionable.  It's the blasted petticoats that have nearly gotten me killed.

EM:  Someone else asked about Kiaran MacKay.

AK: [Warily] What about him?

EM:  She wanted to know what he’s like.

AK:  Secretive about everything, never wears a bloody coat, thinks hats are far too formal.  Considers walking away an adequate response to a question.

EM:  He’s a good faery, though?

AK:  MacKay is useful.  But I would not mistake someone who is useful for someone who is good.  In the end, his actions will always benefit him.  I believe if he were here, he would say the same. 

EM:  So how did you two meet?

AK:  I would rather not discuss it.

EM:  Oh, but—

AK:  If you don’t mind.

EM:  Fine.  What are you most afraid of?

AK:  Drowning.

EM:  You’re not being honest again.  I’ll bet the other Lucky 13’s have main characters who will totally answer everything they ask.

AK:  If you’re trying to guilt me into a response, it won’t work.

EM:  All right, last question, and don’t lie in your answer.  If your mother were alive, do you think she'd be proud of you?

AK:  On the contrary.  If my mother were alive, I think she would be horrified by me.


Elizabeth May is an occasional book cover photographer, a fantasy novelist, a lazy PhD student, and an accomplished coffee drinker. She resides in Edinburgh, Scotland, where she can frequently be spotted skulking about dark wynds with a camera in hand.  She spends far too much time on Twitter and her blog.

Her début novel THE FALCONER will be released in 2013 by Gollancz (UK/Commonwealth) and Chronicle Children's Books (US/Canada).


  1. I love it, Elizabeth! Great interview! I definitely get a feel for your character and look forward to learning more about her inside the book.

  2. I love this! Aileana is a fabulous character, I can tell. Her voice is impeccable. And her last answer is my favorite. :D (Also, her answer to the corset question? YES. SO MUCH YES. A practical solution to the petticoat conundrum! I love your book already.)

  3. Ohhhh HAHAHHAHA I love the way she responds so formally to everything! This is gonna be my favourite book I KNOW it.

  4. This was so much fun to read. Love the character study.

  5. She sounds so interesting! Great job :-)

  6. Oh, Aileana and her delicious mix of caginess and candor.