It’s not every day you hear a novel being a mash-up of multiple genres (like steampunk, fantasy, science fiction). Nor is it every day that I share a character interview with someone who is so sweet.
Today it is both, which is super exciting!
To say I am a little happy to be participating in the Halayda blog tour and sharing a character interview with Sylvie is an understatement. However, before I get into the fun interview, let me first introduce you to this beauty of a cover and intriguing book description (that is definitely on my to-read list).
About the Book
A mortal alchemist. A faerie king. A bond that transcends death.
Betrayed by a trusted mentor, Sylvie Imanthiya hides on the fringes of society, caring for half-fae orphans and trading her alchemical creations on the black market. She lives for the one night each season when she can see her dearest friend—a man whose destiny is far above hers.
King Taylan Ashkalabek knows better than to exchange halayda vows with a mortal. Even their friendship is a risk; love is an impossible dream. Then a brutal alchemical attack poisons his realm, unearthing a dark power within him—and leaving Sylvie with the ancient mark of Faerie’s savior.
Manifesting unpredictable abilities and aided by allies with their own secrets, Sylvie and Taylan journey into the wilds of Faerie to heal the damage and confront Casimir, an invincible star-fae determined to claim the realm as his own. But only their enemy knows Sylvie’s true capabilities—and Taylan’s weaknesses—and how to use them in his vicious schemes.
Her fate is life. His fate is death. With Faerie in the balance, Sylvie and Taylan must stand together before reality as they know it is destroyed.
– Hi Sylvie! So excited to be chatting with you today! Do you have a birthmark? Where is it? What about scars? How did you get them if so?
I don’t have a birthmark, but I do have a bunch of tiny burn marks on my arms, though they’re barely noticeable. Being an alchemist means I constantly get splattered by boiling potions! I don’t really mind, though. Alchemy is both my source of income and my creative outlet, so it’s worth risking a few burns.
– Ouch! That sounds painful. What makes you laugh out loud?
Usually something to do with my kids. I’ve taken in 17 half-fae and changeling orphans, and they bring a lot of joy into my life. They do the funniest things, especially when they can’t quite control their magic.
– I could imagine! My two children bring a lot of joy to my life as well. What is one strong memory that has stuck with you from childhood? Why is it so powerful and lasting?
The memory of my childhood home. I grew up in the slums of Sabellyn, which is not a pleasant place. Our run-down flat was a haven of warmth and love. It was just me, my mother, and my father, and we looked after each other in a world that was otherwise very harsh. My parents showed me what the world might look like if people were kinder to each other. Some of my favorite memories are of my father singing songs by the fireplace and my mother teaching me how to make alchemical potions. They died when I was twelve, but those memories sustained me through the hard, lonely years that followed.
– What a precious gift they gave to you, Sylvie. What has been one of your favorite journeys?
I don’t get to travel much, sadly. I’d love to sail down the river to the ocean sometime, but that would be expensive, and it would mean either leaving the kids for a long time or taking all seventeen of them with me. Sabellyn is a pretty big city, though, so there are a lot of places to explore here. One thing that stands out is the first time I went into the storm drains with my father. Sabellyn’s storm drains are a massive network of tunnels under the city, and they’re the territory of black market dealers and other people who are considered less respectable, including half-fae like my parents. My father first took me there when I was eight, and that was the first time I started to understand my heritage and how hard life could be in Sabellyn, but I also found many friends there.
– Hopefully one day you will be able to take that journey of sailing down the river to the ocean. If you and Sarah went out for lunch, what would you both talk about? What would you want to ask her?
I’d ask what her world is like, and then tell her all about life in Sabellyn, and about the solstice and equinox festivals when the fae visit. We would probably talk about art and maybe swap a few ballads, since our worlds have completely different songs. We would talk about places we wanted to travel and scheme up ways of getting there. Then I’d show her how I make some of my alchemical potions.
– That sounds like so much fun and would love to join in and listen. Thank you so much for stopping by and chatting with me, Sylvie. I enjoyed our time together and look forward to hearing more of your story in Halayda.
About the Author
Sarah Delena White was raised by wolves in an alternate dimension. She writes eclectic speculative fiction that reworks mythology with a fine balance of poetry and snark. She’s an experienced world traveler who loves to weave world folklore and ancient concepts into vibrant, original story worlds. She is the Benevolent Firebird (acquisitions editor) for Uncommon Universes Press. When she’s not writing or editing, she can be found making jewelry, singing Irish ballads, drinking tea, and working a variety of odd jobs. She can be bribed with dark chocolate.
Sarah mentioned that she often takes inspiration from music. She also mentioned that like most of the characters in Halayda, Sylvie has a fairly long playlist. Here are a few of the songs she used when she wrote her scenes.
“Warrior” by Beth Crowley
“Elan” by Nightwish
“I Won’t Let You Walk Away” by Mako ft. Madison Beer