Hey all! Popping in with my participation with Jenelle's February is Fantasy Month party!
Normally, she hosts these Interfiction Gazette Interviews on her own blog, but since things are going so crazy over there, I'm posting it here for her instead.
(Illustration from Paul Chesswick's "The Adventures of Robin Hood," my favorite version of Robin Hood.)
Over to Jenelle!
Maid Marian looks up from the arrow she has drawn and breaks into a broad grin. "Greetings," she says, in a vaguely British accent. "What would you like to know?"
"This is Skewwood, formerly Sherwood, and it used to be a regular forest until magic returned. Now it's downright strange." Maid Marian shook her head. "And I'm here because this is my home."
I jot down her answer and then give her a curious look. "The magic returned? Can you explain that a little more? And can you tell my readers a little bit about yourself, as well?"
"Our land is magical, but for the last hundred years, most of the magic was locked in a few very large enchantments," Maid Marian explained. "However, those enchantments are now broken, so the magic is free to do whatever it used to do, such as make this forest strange. As for myself, I am the wife of Robin Hood, leader of the Merry Men, thorn in Prince John's side. There was a time when I walked in other circles, but those days are behind me, and I have carved a new identity for myself."
"Thank you for explaining all that. Can you tell me about this new identity you have carved for yourself? And... if I may... what is it like being married to the notorious Robin Hood?"
"My new identity is that of the notorious Maid Marian," Maid Marian answered. "And being married to Rob? I can't say that it's terribly different than being married to any man, save for our chosen lifestyle and how he generally allows me to do as I please."
I grin at her. "Sounds adventurous." I decide to change tack on her. "Is there anything you wish were different about your life?"
Maid Marian sobers as she considers. "I would have liked to have known my mother," she answered. "I might not have been so scared of being a woman, had she been there to guide me through it."
"I'm sorry to hear that," I reply sincerely. "So... you are friends with another Robin, right? Princess Robin of Locksley? Have you heard from her lately? I was wondering if you could tell me what she and her brother are up to these days?"
"Aye, that I am," Maid Marian agreed. "Robin's a dear thing, always has been - my only regret when I ran from my old life was leaving her behind. But now that she's grown, she found me again. I'm quite proud of the woman she's become, even if her own mother will never quite know what to make of her - ah, dear Charlotte. Robin's currently here at camp, along with her little girl, Maryanne, who they deny naming after me, and her husband is with mine, investigating some rumors. As for Robert, I hear that he's settling into life as crown prince of Locksley."
I write furiously, jotting down notes, then look up. "Thank you! Just a few more questions: Can you tell me about this camp? And I'd love to hear more about those rumors Eric and Robin Hood are investigating."
"I'm afraid that I can't tell you the location of camp - my husband is very strict about keeping that a secret - but I can tell you that it's quite a civilized little village these days," Maid Marian answered. "Though I can't say that it was true before Ellen and I got there. As for the rumors - it's just a routine check, nothing interesting. Some scouts say that they saw some men prowling a little too close to camp for Robin Hood's liking, and so he wanted to see what that was about. Most likely nothing, once all is said and done."
Her frown belied her carefree tone, however.
"Hmm..." I eye her for a moment, wondering if I should press this any further, but then I grow aware of a faint vibration coming from my badge. "One final question," I blurt out in a rush, "if you could ask the Author one question what would you ask?"
Maid Marian tilted her head to the side, fidgeting with her bow as she considered. "You know, in my youth, I had a lot of questions for Him. Why hadn't my mother survived my birth? Why couldn't I have been born a boy? Why did only boys get to learn all of the interesting things, and what gave them the right to be all insufferable about it? Then, later, why did my father have to die? Why did his brother cast me aside as a troublesome nuisance, forcing me to serve as a companion to a pansy of a princess? Why did he think that he had a right to marry me off to the awfullest man I ever knew, forcing me flee to seek sanctuary from the last man on earth I wanted to be indebted to .... but," here she gave a small smile. "I'm older now, and I can look back and see things more clearly than I ever could, then. Right now, I don't have questions - just faith."
Her response warms me to the core and I give her a smile and try out a curtsy... it... doesn't go super well, but she is gracious enough to pretend not to notice. Or maybe she really doesn't... she seems distracted suddenly. "Well, thank you so much for taking the time to answer my questions. I, for one, can't wait to hear more about your adventures!"
Find out about what becomes of those rumors in Honor: A Quest In, the fourth book in the Bookania Quests. Just a reminder, but preordering the novel on Kindle could win you a full set of the series in paperback! Just email me your receipt at Kendraeardnek@gmail.com.