11 April 2015

Proust Your Protagonist with Jan Ferrierr

AddMeet Edgar, the protagonist of  the Amethyst Series.
first in this fantasy trilogy. caption



Kristina: I'm so happy to bring my readers another participant in the Proust interview series! Since Edgar is a bit on the shy side, he opted to write his answers out for me instead of doing an in-person interview. 

His good friend Jan (who introduced us) passed his responses on to me, and she included this fabulous introduction with his notes:

"We first meet Edgar in the opening chapter of The Children With The Sky In Their Eyes, book one of the medieval fantasy trilogy known as Amethyst. His name means "protector of the good," and throughout the books he does indeed fulfill the role of a protector. He is a reluctant hero who prefers privacy, his books, and his modest role as a teacher of The Way, a living philosophy of the east. His charges, the children with the sky in their eyes, Hinto and Amaryllis, become pawns in a territorial war between The Lands Of The Sands and The Kingdom Of The West. The ancestors choose this rather shy young man to be the leader of their people and he is transformed into a Lightning Struck at the Pool Of A Million Stars. He has to make life changing choices to save his people from their slide into anarchy and the clutches of the people traffickers who thrive in the wake of a brutal planetary war."

Exciting and impressive, indeed! Many thanks to Edgar for allowing me to interview him, and thank you, Jan, for introducing me to another fascinating hero!

Without further ado, here are Edgar's responses to the Proust questionnaire

What do you regard as the lowest depth of misery?
That is a hard question. On a personal level there are two moments in my life when I have experienced the lowest depths of misery. 

The first was when I was a very young boy. A caravan from the east came to us at Lord Charles's keep and brought with it the fever. My mother, little sister and big brother were taken by it. My father, Halen the hollow, so called for his lack of personal attachments, sent me back east because I was, shall we say, difficult. I was so grief stricken that I tried to jump into the grave with my mother and siblings. He could not handle my overt emotionalism. He thought the logical teachings of The Way were just what I needed to stabilise me and in the long run, he may well have been right.

The second time of great sorrow for me was when my beloved wife, Aurora, died. You see, when I became lightning struck on the night of The Great Retribution, at The Pool Of A Million Stars, I was also given longevity. Aurora was not. I had to watch her age and die while I remained young. I don't think I ever got over that, quite.

Where would you like to live?
The adventure (and Edgar!) continues in
 the second novel  of the Amethyst series,
Ah! An easy question that. I would choose to live behind the waterfall. I created that community from nothing and have strong links with the people there.

What is your idea of earthly happiness?
Another simple answer for me. My idea of heaven on earth would be to be surrounded by my books. Anguo, my boyhood teacher, called my books my babies and I do love them almost as much as I love my children.

The quality you most admire in a man? 
Above all I admire honesty, pure and simple. Lies never have a good outcome.

The quality you most admire in a woman? 
Women are different. My best friend, Rhiago, who is a warrior, would say that I am hopeless with women and in a way that is sort of true. I am shy with them. However I have to say I can be drawn to them by their warmth. I love their warmth most of all I think.

Your favorite virtue? 
My favourite virtue I believe is beauty. All things have a natural beauty to them if you look closely enough. Even what appears to be ugly on first inspection can have an inner beauty to it when it is studied more closely, don't you think?

Your favorite occupation? 
I like working with metal. When we, Rhiago and I that is, we're being inducted into The Way, we had to create something out of nothing, so to speak, as part of our training. Rhiago, who is incidentally my best friend, made wonderful reins for his horse and decorated his saddle. I made a rather beautiful armour face plate for Precious, my black stallion, with silver inlays set into the pewter. The figures on it are mythical beauties. I still have that horse armour to this day. Perhaps you might like to see it later, if you have the time.

[Kristina: This sounds lovely, doesn't it, readers? Edgar, if you're reading this now, yes, I'd love to see!]

Your most marked characteristic? 
I can bore people sometimes. I tend to philosophise overlong about people and things. I am a bit of a night owl who doesn't sleep so well. Consequently, I have been known to ramble on well into the wee small hours of the morning, if you know what I mean?

What do you most value in your friends? 
Now that is easy. Loyalty. Nothing to add to that.

What is your principle defect? 
Again, I have a short, succinct answer for you. I talk too much.

What to your mind would be the greatest of misfortunes? 
The greatest of misfortunes for me would have been, never to have known The Way. 

The Way is the only path of life for me. It teaches you to know your strengths and weaknesses. It helps you to value the good in life and reject evil for evil's sake. There is great satisfaction in its teachings and the people are so wonderfully open and generous. You feel this most in communal exercise when the energies of the people are somehow joined and at one with the gentle displacement of the air that occurs with each tiny, exacting movement. The air is the invisible chain that links each to the other. The elements and the people are then as one, in perfect harmony.

[Kristina: This, too, is quite lovely.]

What would you like to be? 
Not Leader of The Way. I wish every day that I did not have the responsibilities of leadership. I would be much happier as a plain librarian surrounded by all my books.

Who are your heroes in real life? 
Why, the people of The Way, naturally! They accept their lot in the main and just try to live the best lives that they can, day to day.

Who are your favorite heroines? 
My mother: my wives, past and present, Jez, who is a fantastic example to us all. She is the leader of her community in The Lands Of The Sands, despite being almost totally blind. The beautiful, Amaryllis, my first pupil, who sadly is no longer with us. She was a truly brilliant and dedicated nurse and the first of my Children With The Sky In Their Eyes to learn The Way. She was happily married to Afzal, the dark caster or enabler. The people say he inhabits the space between life and death, part man, part myth, centuries old, yet, he has the power and the looks of a man of twenty something. There is a secret to that, but, it is for me to know and for you to try to unravel, if you can. 

But I digress.

What is it you most dislike? 
I hate war. It is so destructive and wasteful and kills indiscriminately. In its wake comes the breakdown of law and order. It heralds the four horsemen: death, destruction, pestilence and people traffickers, who are the scum of the earth and epitomise evil in its worst form.

What natural gift would you most like to possess? 
Bravery. I think I'd like to be naturally brave like a warrior, like Rhiago. However, there is and always has been this frightened little boy inside of me. Linden, one of the Originals of The Way, has always made light of this inner child in me. He says I am not unique in my fear. He says that all men have such a child in them that has to be conquered. He says it is as simple as that, but, I do not agree with him on this subject. As a telepath I can sense things in men even if they try to hide their innermost thoughts and daemons from me. I have not detected the scared little child in all of the men that I have secretly scanned for hidden flaws.

How would you like to die? 
The trite but true answer is that I would like to die in bed with my boots on. I know it's a cliché but my feet are too big and not really so beautiful to look at. They must be the exception to the rule that there is beauty in all things. It is best that they be covered over in death so that people will not laugh at them when they come and find me. People sometimes laugh at the oddest of things when they see the dead, you know, to disguise their fear of the inevitability of it all. They long to know what happens but dread having to find it out for themselves.

What is your present state of mind? 
Enquiring. As I get older and nearer to the ancestors, I wonder more and more about things and I am especially fascinated by our founder, the prophet Chi, who cast the six hundred letters onto the earth in The Creation Time. Is there still life in his perfectly preserved sky blue eyes?

What is your motto? 
I don't think I have a motto. I just try to be the best I can be every day that I draw breath.

...Thank you for having me. Your questions have been varied and interesting. I just hope that my answers do not disappoint. Everyone tends to think that leaders have all of the answers to life's main questions. Let me assure you that is not the case. 


For more on the Amethyst series:  Book One, The Children with the Sky in their Eyes,
is available as a paperback or ebook at Amazon (UK/US), as well as in paperback via CreateSpace.

Book Two, The Lightning Struck, is available as a paperback or ebook at Amazon (UK/US), as well as in  paperback via CreateSpace.

Book Three, The Rise of the Violet Sorcerers, is forthcoming and will complete the series. Stay tuned--this page will be updated when the book is released!  

Photo (c) Jan Ferrierr
About the author, Jan Ferrierr:

Originally, I come from Scottish Baronial stock and can trace my lineage right back as far as my ancestors in the time of Queen Mary Queen Of Scots. I was an only child. I earned a bursary to Aberdeen Academy, the local grammar school, where I completed my basic education. I attended King's College, Aberdeen where I graduated with an M.A. My main subjects were English and History. I went on to teach after that - general subjects. 

While I was in full time employment I wrote poetry and had some thirty to forty poems published in anthologies, magazines and literary papers. My biggest success was "Living On The Edge," which went into The National Poetry Library of the USA's River Of Dreams. That same poem was read by Ira Weintraub accompanied by The London Chamber Orchestra on "The Sound Of Poetry."

I am a widow and after my husband John's death I decided to try my hand at prose writing. He encouraged me to do that. I have quite recently completed a trilogy called Amethyst and two books are available on Amazon in paperback and Kindle and Create Space. They are The Children With The Sky In Their Eyes and The Lightning Struck. The third book, The Rise Of The Violet Sorcerers, is due out soon. They are medieval fantasy.  I am currently working on a few other projects this year. I love movies and jazz and like to dabble in water colour and embroidery. I have two children who are both adults now and like to spend time with my family and friends.

Keep in touch! Follow Jan on Twitter, Facebook, and Amazon's Author Central.

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