Sunday, November 12, 2017

The Gal's 2017 Halloween Frivolities Day 22: Vogel's Character Has Spoken


In Saria, women rule.  With the Flamewalker powers of Fire, Seeing, and Healing, they govern with wisdom and justice.  The magic is a gift, and those who wield it are respected and feared.  The country to the north, Banol, is ruled by an aging tyrant king.  Women with Flamewalker powers there are his slaves, and wear the king's brand on their cheeks.
            Adon's fifteen-year-old daughter Nelana escaped the king's mandatory testing and walked through the sacred fire on her own.  She was gifted with Healing power and went into hiding with the rogue Flamewalkers.  If captured, they are executed for treason.


The Gal in the Blue Mask:
Hi, Adon.  Welcome.  Some of my readers have yet to read your story.  What should they know about you?

Adon Estervar:
I'm a good man.  A simple blacksmith.  When my wife died giving birth to our daughter Nelana, I thought the world would end.  But the sun rose in my baby's eyes and she grew up to be the image of her mother.  All I ever wanted was to protect her.

The Gal in the Blue Mask:
What do you believe in?

Adon Estervar:
I believe in the God of the king.  I believe that divine retribution waits for the man who ordered my daughter's execution.  And I'm going to make sure he gets there very soon.

The Gal in the Blue Mask:
What haunts you?

Adon Estervar:
I was forced to watch as my daughter was burned alive for treason.  Her crime was using the Healing gift without the king’s authority.  Everything inside me died that day.

The Gal in the Blue Mask:
Do you have any phobias?

Adon Estervar:
I have no phobias.  I watched as every father’s worst fear came true in fire and smoke and screaming.  There is nothing left for me to fear.

The Gal in the Blue Mask:
What's the worst thing that has ever happened to you?

Adon Estervar:
I wasn’t strong enough.  I couldn’t break away from the king’s guards to throw myself onto the fire with Nelana.  No man should outlive his child.

The Gal in the Blue Mask:
Are you lying to yourself about anything?

Adon Estervar:
I have a secret.  The Flamewalker powers are only given to women.  No man wields the flames, or Sees into another’s mind, or Heals with a touch.  But I found the secret.  And I can handle it.  People think that Flamewalker power is madness for a man.  But I’m strong enough.  It won’t take me. At least, not until the king and all who serve him are dead.

The Gal in the Blue Mask:
What was your childhood like?

Adon Estervar:
I was apprenticed as a child to an alcoholic blacksmith who beat me when he was drunk.  It made me strong.  He’s been dead for many years now, but if I could, I would thank him for making me strong enough to endure.

The Gal in the Blue Mask:
Were your actions the result of freedom of choice or of destiny?

Adon Estervar:
I am no chosen one.  There is no destiny in my story.  I found the secret.  I wield the fire and I hear the thoughts of those who would oppose me.  No one gave me this gift.  I took it for myself, and I will use it in the name of my daughter.

The Gal in the Blue Mask:
If you could go back in time and change anything, would you?

Adon Estervar:
If I could go back, I would have left Banol when Nelana was a child, and taken her south to Saria. If she was destined to bear the Healing power, she would have been revered there.  Honored and respected.

The Gal in the Blue Mask:
What does your name mean to you?

Adon Estervar:
My name is Adon.  It’s a mistake to ever change your name.  Don’t let anyone ever change your name.

The Gal in the Blue Mask:
What scars, birthmarks, tattoos, or other identifying marks do you have?  What stories lie behind them?

Adon Estervar:
You want to know my secret?  You want to know why my face and arms and body are slashed with black tattooed lines cut by my own knife?  I will give you a hint.  Flamewalker power is only given to women.  The power is in their bodies, in the white lines on their skins.  And when they are burned, it’s in the ash left behind.  It must be fresh, still warm from the burning. There is magic in the ash from their skins.  It can become magic in my skin as well. 

The Gal in the Blue Mask:
What was unique about the setting of your books and how did it enhance or take away from your story?

Adon Estervar:
I live in Banol, a kingdom ruled by a tyrant.  Hardly unique.  To the south, the country of Saria is ruled by women with Flamewalker magic.  We are not at war.  Our pathetic old ruler can barely govern his own bowels.  But if we had a stronger monarch, who knows?

The Gal in the Blue Mask:
How do you see yourself?

Adon Estervar:
I'm just a man broken by loss.

The Gal in the Blue Mask:
How does your enemy see you?

Adon Estervar:
My enemy will never see me until it’s too late.  When my knife presses into his throat, he will know me.  He ordered the execution of my daughter.  He will die by my blade.

The Gal in the Blue Mask:
How does the author see you?

Adon Estervar:
She cannot help but love me. What kind of father would I be if I could not avenge my daughter?  Who would deny me this vengeance?  She understands.

The Gal in the Blue Mask:
Why do you think the author chose to write about your story?  Do you think they did a good job?

Adon Estervar:
For a thousand years the secret  remained hidden.  I have found it, and the magic of women has come to me.  She could write about no other. And she knows me well.

The Gal in the Blue Mask:
What do you think about the ending?

Adon Estervar:
Everything I did was for Nelana.  I only wanted to end the killing of innocent girls for the “crime” of wielding magic.  No other father should ever hear his daughter’s screams as she burns.  If you remember nothing else of me, remember that I did it all for her.

The Gal in the Blue Mask:
Do you think the author portrayed you accurately?  Would you change anything about the story told? Did they miss anything?

Adon Estervar:
She knows my heart.  There are many things I would change about the story, but if I did, it would become a fiction.  My life is my own, and she has told you my truth.

The Gal in the Blue Mask:
Have you read any of your authors' other works?  Any good?

Adon Estervar:
I am a blacksmith.  Reading horses is part of my life.  Reading books is not.  She has muttered in her sleep about dinosaurs, but what this means I cannot say.




About the author:
D.W. Vogel is a veterinarian, marathon runner, SCUBA diver, and six year breast cancer survivor.  She lives in Cincinnati with her husband and a house full of rescue pets.


About the book:
In Saria, women reign.
            Their powers come from the Goddess, and her Flamewalkers wear the scars of sacred magic.  Gifted with the ability to Heal, See, or conjure Fire, they use their powers fairly and wisely.
            Then comes Khalira.  Bestowed with not one, but all three powers, she is feared by even the other Flamewalkers - a freak among the extraordinary.  The leaders suspect that her powers were granted for a reason and, indeed, there is an ominous threat emerging to the north in the city of Banol where Flamewalkers are burned alive for merely being who they are meant to be.

            In Wendy Vogel's first published full-length novel, she explores the roles of women, power, and destiny while taking the reader on an action-filled journey filled with danger and courage as Khalira and her sister Flamewalkers endeavor to bring to an end a madman set on revenge.

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