02 March 2015

Proust Your Protagonist with Frankie Stevens

Meet Prince Ablias from The Divine Spark,
the first book in the Polarity Breach series
by author Frankie Stevens.

Presenting His Royal Highness

Prince Ablias

Never in my life did I think I'd have the chance to meet a prince. Well...I've met the Prince of Boxing and someday before I die I'd like to high-five Prince, but when it comes to bonafide flesh-and-blood royalty, I couldn't believe someone like Prince Ablias would give me the time of day. And not only a royal prince, but a prince of wizards?!? Incredible.  

Kristina: Prince Ablias, I'm humbled and delighted you're here. Thank you for allowing me to interview you. And I hate to sound so clich├ęd, but I think you're absolutely charming. Really. You seem very down-to-earth.

Prince Ablias: Thank you for having me, Madam Butke. I get nervous before big interviews so I’m sorry that I accidentally turned your houseplant into a viper. Snakes are just another thing that makes me nervous so it’s not surprising that one popped into my head at that moment. Also, a big event is going to happen in my life soon. And, please, call me Your Highness. It’s the respectable thing to do even though I'm not that crazy about being so exceptional.

Kristina: Your Highness. Right. Sorry. And if vipers aren't too poisonous, I suppose we're okay. Hopefully. (clears throat). First question, Your Highness:

What do you regard as the lowest depth of misery? 
The lowest depth of misery, to me, is to be lonely. No, I’m not talking about isolating yourself from people. That’s being alone, which is different. A person can be lonely even in a crowd of people. For the first four years of my life, I was mostly surrounded by my mother, my father, my nine older siblings and the servants. Sure, my siblings weren’t too kind to me but my mother, as busy as she normally was, would intervene if things got out of hand. 

And then the massacre happened. It wasn’t until Sardonicus Mafic killed my mother and siblings that I realized how much I depended on them for love and company. My father simply wasn’t interested in being the sole provider of those things for me, so when my mental magical outbursts got out of hand, he dumped me into the Troubled Boys’ Home. Despite being surrounded by boys who were under the same circumstances, I still felt disconnected and numb. I suppose it was good that the people running the place had us do certain activities to take our minds off our minds but I never saw anybody there as family.

Where would you like to live?
Ever since my dad introduced me to the ancestral land of Kakaan, I’ve simply fallen in love with the place. Such a scenic view! The people there live in simple tribal societies but this place proves that you don’t need tall, fancy buildings when you have massive green trees that have weathered many a storm and provide shelter with their roots. Also, there is a thrill in hunting and foraging for your food and clothing that you don’t get when you go shopping or have a servant give you an elaborately prepared dish that you ask for. Granted, the peasants in my home country still do at least some of these things but I’m part of the all-important elite. And I’d never forget the other reason to live in Kakaan, which is my lovely Laiune.

What is your idea of earthly happiness? 
Earth may be the name of your planet but no such place exists in the Outer Universe, so I wouldn’t use the word Earthly. Outer Universal happiness would be a better way to phrase it. My idea of it would be to explore the areas that have not been explored. Sure, plenty of people have settled in plenty of places but your own experience matters just as much as the collective experience of sapienity (a word that we use instead of humanity, since humans aren't the only race). I suppose it’s because I spent almost my entire childhood in one place and saw the same things every day. Even if going to new places makes me unhappy somehow I would still be happy for doing it, as paradoxical as that sounds.

The quality you most admire in a man? 
I like a guy who does not resort to violence right away. As a politician in training, I am always trying to be diplomatic – you know, resolving conflicts peaceably and not offending others. It’s rather odd that politicians that are twice my age have forgotten how to do those things. I would also find a man honorable if he only hurts things for nourishment or self-defense, although the former still makes me uncomfortable since I am a vegetarian (I’m not preachy about it, though).

The quality you most admire in a woman? 
I like a woman who has something to teach others. If she has a piece of advice to give us or a problem that needs correcting, she shouldn’t be afraid to speak up. If Gronara the Medicine Woman were fifty years younger, I would have considered dating her, and no, I am not afraid to admit that. However, Laiune has been teaching me a few things about the flora and fauna of her world and she’s quite patient when I’m learning a new skill. 

Your favorite virtue?
There are several that I have. One of them is mercy. My dad and others in my society feel the need to deride the Sardons (people from the nation of Sardonica) as stupid and greedy. I know for a fact that not all of these people fit that description but that isn’t the point. The point is that even people who are stupid and greedy became that way through certain circumstances, like upbringing. I believe that people who are unfavorable deserve another chance and, maybe then, they will meet our approval. 

My other favorite virtue is chastity. When young people in Vitalia turn sixteen (or younger if they have permission from their parents), they participate in a ritual during mid-Spring where they perform the Creative Rite, or what you people would call sex, with an acolyte. They do this in order to learn the loving and creative ways of the God and Goddess, as well as shake off the last bit of childhood innocence they have left. I didn't partake in this ritual. This is because I believe that the Creative Rite is sacred enough so that it should be done with someone you love, preferably the person that you intend to marry. My opinion may stray from the norm but it’s my opinion nonetheless. 

Your favorite occupation?
That’s an easy one! My favorite occupation is that of a healer. The great thing about being a wizard is that your magical practice does not have to match up with your day job. That is to say that even if I weren't a member of the Royal Family, I’d still be a healer. The position of healer is usually stereotyped as a woman’s job but let me tell you, it can get pretty intense. What you do to help a person may not work exactly as you plan and that person may die. All that time, you wonder whether doing something else would have made the situation turn out differently. Thankfully, I haven't gotten to that point in my career yet but I have successfully healed people and the smiles on their faces and the thought of you making a difference in their lives are worth it

Your most marked characteristic? 
People have told me that I am humble, at least for a nobleman. I tend not to think negatively of those below me. In fact, I'm more likely to help them, that is, if they want the help. Also, I'd rather not have a servant do everything for me. I’d rather do things myself. I suppose I got this industriousness from my mother. One of the few memories I have of her is that she would give the servants one day off a week and take care of the chores and childcare herself on that day. I’m also not afraid to do a little rugged adventuring even though I am one of the last members of the Royal Family left. We all need some risk in our lives. 

What do you most value in your friends? 
I only have one friend right now and she’s been my friend since we were youths. There’s a reason she’s my only friend: she’s amazing. She’s patient, she’s kind and she’s never needy. We've been seeing each other regularly for the past ten years. Other couples have differing interest but if I’m interested in something, she’s curious about it as well. She sat with me while I learned about medicine from the Medicine Woman. What’s more, she’s interested in my world and other worlds, even if she only hears about it from me. She doesn't have the same sense of adventure as I do but I’m sure she’ll change her mind overtime. These are among the many reasons that I will be spending the rest of my life with her… or at least she will be spending the rest of her life with me since wizards have long lifespans.

What is your principle defect? 
I try too hard to please people. I have come to terms with the fact that I do not want to continue the tradition of practicing battle magic but I don’t want to disappoint my father. He had a dream of training my oldest brother Euripides to be as fierce and skillful a fighter as those before him but those dreams were tragically cut short. Now, he’s left with a son that he constantly disagrees with and I tend to beat myself up over that. I’m also going to be ruler sometime in the future and there will be a whole swath of people disagreeing with me then.

What to your mind would be the greatest of misfortunes?
Losing everyone you've ever known or loved. I don’t care about my fame and fortune. Someone else can have that for all I care. It makes me think that family doesn't have to be someone who shares your blood. People who aren't related can love you just as much and that makes me feel hopeful. 

What would you like to be? 
I want to be an effective ruler who is not tyrannical like some of my ancestors were. I know I won’t be the only one since there’s an entire council who will be by my side. When I know enough about medicine, I would like to pass this knowledge on at no cost. I have enough money already, so this wouldn't be a problem. 

Who are your heroes in real life? 
As odd as it sounds, I see my dad as a hero. Sure, I get into fights with him but he’s a man with the entire Outer Universe on his shoulders. He has the will to carry on even when most of his family has perished. Either that or he’s just good at hiding his emotions. He also taught me my first bit of healing magic, although he didn't think it would lead anywhere. At times when he’s being stubborn, I have to be my own hero, which isn't as hard as it sounds.

Who are your favorite heroines? 
My favorite heroines are the women who train with Gronara. Bepsona tradition dictates that a Medicine Woman inherits her position from her mother. However, if the current Medicine Woman doesn't have any daughters, other women step up and volunteer to become new Medicine Women. These women do it because they truly care about the tribe, not because they inherited it with no say in the matter.

What is it you most dislike? 
I don’t like violence. This is a simple answer that anyone could relate to but reasons behind not liking violence can differ. Violence was what nearly destroyed my family and all it does is escalate into a chain of revenge that doesn't end until one man is on top. However, there are instances where violence is inevitable and the very passion you feel toward someone makes you fall under its destructive spell. I am certainly not immune to this and neither are you.

What natural gift would you most like to possess? 
I would like to empathize with people a bit more. I can empathize with people who have loved and lost, that’s easy. I mean, sure, when a patient is suffering, I know that he’s suffering and I feel bad but I've never known what it is like to suffer from a brain-eating disease or to accidentally swallow a fork. And I’ll never know what it’s like to give birth. Granted, there are spells that can simulate the experience but I’ll just take the woman’s word for it, thank you very much.

How would you like to die?
I would take a non-heroic but dignified death. I would be resting in my royal bed surrounded by friends and loved ones. Granted, the media would be all over it and would never give me a moment of privacy. It seems that, no matter how many embarrassing mistakes you make in your life, people are always sad to see you die if you were famous. 

What is your present state of mind? 
I say that things are looking up. I am going to marry my best friend, which would lead to us building a bigger and better royal family. I don’t think anything will come along to ruin that.

What is your motto?
Don't judge a wand by how sparkly it looks. If it’s sparkly and doesn't do anything, then don't judge the other sparkly wands by that one.

~*~

Author Frankie Stevens.
About the bookAfter a tragic event, Prince Ablias went from being the last born prince to being the crown prince of the wizards. As he is on the cusp of manhood, he is still deciding which type of magic to pursue for his studies. As he does this, he meets and befriends a tribal girl who shares his interest in plants and makes his life a little sweeter. Meanwhile, the man who massacred most of Ablias’ family has triplet nephews who each have unique ways of finishing what their uncle has started. Once his friend’s tribe becomes threatened by one of the brothers’ plans, Ablias must decide how to use his magic in order to save both the tribe and the royal family.

About the Author: Frankie Stevens in an author that has had a love of writing ever since she could pick up a pencil. All sorts of inspirations have come to her over the years, including novels, video games, movies and other media. However, she perfected her skill after earning a BA in English/Writing from Framingham State University. Now that she has become a published author, she hopes to continue with her hobby. She currently lives outside of Boston, MA.

For more of Frankie Stevens, visit her official website. Keep up with Frankie's writing by visiting her Goodreads and Amazon Author Central pages. And be sure to follow Frankie on Twitter!

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