March Mayhem continues! I’m hosting interviews with characters from some of the books you can win when you enter the giveaway (you’ve done that, right?), starting with Yalira, the heroine of Kat Parrish’s Bride of the Midnight King.
Yalira de Braxis, the heroine of Bride of the Midnight King and its sequel, Daughter of the Midnight King, was the natural daughter of Lexander de Braxis, a merchant who served on the vampire King Idrax’s Sunlight Council. She was orphaned early in life and brought up by her stepmother Tamare in the company of her stepsisters Resa and Rilla, working in Tamare’s gambling club, The House of Chaos and Chance. Yala, as her friends call her, never expected her life to take the turn it did, but that’s chaos and chance for you.
This interview with Yalira was conducted after the events of The Bride of the Midnight King, so her answers may contain mild spoilers.
If you had a free day with no responsibilities and your only mission was to enjoy yourself, what would you do?
As you know, I live in the Shadow Palace now and sleep during the day, so it would have to be a night without responsibilities. The truth is, I enjoy my responsibilities and my days are balanced between duty and pleasure so that I never feel over-burdened by one and never get bored by the other.
If you were to die and come back as a person or a thing, what would it be? What are you most proud of about your life?
I should like to come back as a person in the far future when it will be possible to travel not just to other realms but also to whatever realms lie among the stars. When I was a little girl, my father would point out the pictures in the sky and tell me stories about the stars and I would wonder—what kind of marvelous creatures live on the stars?
I hope at the end of my life I’ll be able to look back at things I’ve done that have made Eindar a better place for all her citizens, human and vampire alike. I’m well aware of my position and the power that position gives me to effect change. I see my role as someone who can unite the factions that are threatening the peace and happiness of Eindar’s people.
What was the happiest time of your life?
Was? The happiest time of my life is the present.
What about the lowest point?
I prefer not to dwell on the past.
If you could spend the day with someone you admire (living or dead or imaginary), whom would you pick?
I very much admire Lord Melix, the Rex Emeritrix of Eindar and my grandfather-in-law. He was very kind to me when I first came to the Shadow Palace, helping me to navigate the protocol at court and offering his perspective on the people I met. But more than that, he is a delightful companion, full of stories of his life before his blood-birth as a vampire, and the ages since. I never tire of his company.
Which historical figure do you most identify with?
I have always admired Malindyr, consort to King Herex and Speaker of the Law. She was responsible for reforms that resonate even today, generations after her death. She is the inspiration for my own work, particularly my efforts to end the tradition of child debt in Eindar’s northern reaches.
Who are your favorite writers?
Arcia Ybor is my favorite novelist. When I moved into the Shadow Palace I was delighted to learn that the library contained some of his unpublished works. I also like the Idrassan poet who calls herself Elodie, although very little of her work has been translated into Eindari.
Do you think you’ve turned out the way your parents expected?
I was so very young when my mother died that I doubt she had any expectations for me, only the hope that I would be happy. Had my father lived, I believe he would have found a place at court for me, perhaps as a scribe or a Speaker of the Law. But what has happened to me in the last little while? He could never have expected that.
Is there anything you’ve always wanted to do but haven’t done? What would happen if you did it?
I would very much like to see all the wonders in the Twelve Realms—the rainbow lights of Rathe, the Drowned City in the Sea of Zoor, the Tower of the Stars in East Themis. After that, I’d like to travel beyond the Realms and see what there is to see. And all that would happen is that my journeys would inspire other journeys.
What is your greatest fear?
Being unloved. I grew up knowing that my parents loved me and when they died, I was afraid that no one would ever love me again. Fortunately, that fear proved to be unfounded.
What’s the worst thing you’ve ever done to someone? Why?
Probably the worst thing I ever did was spit in the wine I served to some of the patrons at the House of Chaos and Chance. And no, I won’t tell you which ones. Some of them are members of the Sunlight and Midnight Councils and it’s punishment enough for them knowing they mistreated me and my sisters when they could.
It was such a childish thing to do but I felt they were often childish as well; petty and cruel for no other reason than it amused them. I despise pettiness, that exercise of power over the powerless.
What’s the most important thing in your life? What do you value most?
I value my husband’s love and cherish our extended family. But the most important thing in my life is the welfare of Eindar just as it must be the King’s first concern.
How do you feel about your life right now? What, if anything, would you like to change?
I feel like the heroine of a fairy tale, one who is living happily ever after. If I could change one thing, I would combine the Sunlight and Midnight Councils at the Shadow Palace and end the division between vampires and humans, a division I think creates ill will among Eindar’s citizens.
What do you consider your greatest achievement?
I have not yet achieved anything of great worth but I aspire to.
How would you like to die?
That’s a complicated question for a vampire. We’re not immortal, as you know, but we live a very, very long time. I think I would like to die floating in the Sea of Stars, the constellations reflected in the water so that I would be surrounded and cradled by the Cosmos as I fell asleep for the last time.
What is your idea of perfect happiness?
I don’t believe that you can ever achieve “perfect” happiness. I think there must always be at least the memory of unhappiness for one to appreciate what a gift happiness is. Like an icy draft from a window when you’re cozy and warm in bed, or a bite of bitter herbs in a plate of rich food.
A big thank you to Yalira for being our guest today, and don’t forget to sign up for the giveaway! You can win a copy of Yalira’s story, plus many other frabjous prizes sure to delight the heart of any book-lover. See you next time!