Friday, 27 January 2012

Interview with a Character: Secrets, Lies, Hidden Love, and Bloodshed

Ave! And welcome to Interview with a Character.

Anne Gallagher interviewed her Lady Olivia the other day, and she's inspired me to seek an audience with one of my characters.

Devran is the hero of Rome, Rhymes and Risk. He's the son of the Grand Vizier, who is the highest official of the Ottoman Court under the Sultan himself. An exalted position, to be sure. Yet Devran's been exiled, for a crime he did not commit, and now he's forced to sail the length of the Mediterranean.

He kinda sorta looks like this:

(snapshot from my Tumblr page)

Devran's also got one secret - but I'll let him explain.

Thank you for joining us, Devran Bey. Please, have some wine.

It is my pleasure. Thank you. [Takes cup]

Many of our readers are not familiar with your story. Can you tell us where you're travelling from and why?

[Frown] I'd rather not discuss the why, actually. I have left the Ottoman Empire and am on my way to Cadíz in the Kingdom of Castile. I'm told the Admiral Columbus will be sailing from there in some months' time, and I propose to join his expedition.

How exciting! This will be the Admiral's second journey, I believe?

So I'm told.

And who are you travelling with?

Ah. [Smile] Some others were exiled along with me, for entirely different reasons. A man named Baha, whom I knew in my childhood. His wife, Rosa, who actually hails from Castile, and her guardian, Brother Arcturus. Her father, Santiago, who is Sailing Master under Admiral Columbus.

Is that all?

Er, no. Rosa has a maid - well, they call her a maid, but she's more of a companion. Her name is Ayten. She has... quite an interesting background.

Is that so? Are you at liberty to tell us about it?

It's not my secret to reveal, exactly. She was kidnapped by slave traders some months ago. I was very pleased to find that Baha and Rosa had rescued her.

And how has the journey been? I hope you've had good weather.

We haven't, as a matter of fact. There was a terrible storm, which cracked the bowsprit, and we've been forced to remain in Rome for many days. They promise to have the ship ready to sail the day after tomorrow.

That doesn't sound so bad! I hear you were guests of the Sultan's brother, Cem.

Hmmph. [Crosses arms]

He is not a gracious host?

Oh, he's gracious, all right. Has a way with the women, that one.

Does he, now?

Yes. He began making love to Ayten almost from the moment we arrived. And I can't say anything because -

Because?

Never mind.

[At this point Devran stands up and makes to leave. In his agitation, he knocks over his cup, which shatters and drives a splinter into his palm. He falls back into his chair, sucking the cut.]

Well? What do you want to know?

Nothing you're not willing to tell us, of course. How's your hand?

I'll do. Listen, Cem is a swindler and a cad. He's flattered Ayten no end, and I guess she's swayed by the opulence of his court. She... She likes fine things, Ayten. Pretty dresses and gilt tableware and all that sort of thing. I had enough of that growing up, myself. I can do without it. Still, she deserves the best. And I guess she thought...

Look. I'll tell you. Before Ayten was kidnapped by those slave traders, her father had arranged a marriage for her. All that fell apart when she was kidnapped. Everyone in town spent weeks searching for her, and it was only much later that the truth of the matter was discovered. But by then it was too late.

How so?

She never saw the face or knew the name of the man she was betrothed to.

Do you mean -

Yes. It was me. Her father had arranged for her to marry me. But she didn't - doesn't - know that. She came on board my ship having heard all the rumours of the terrible deeds I'd been accused of. She thinks me an exile, a penniless rake. How can I blame her for considering the Sultan's brother? How can I tell her that she's betrothed to me? She thinks I'm a liar, a criminal. She'd never believe me.

I cannot force her. I want her to come to me willingly. How can I prove my worth to her?

[There is a silence. A maid comes in and clears up the spilt wine. Devran stares out the window at the bright winter's day outside. The maid leaves.]

Can you give us an idea where you'll be travelling to next?

We're still bound for Cadíz. I hope we leave Rome soon. I hope I can give Ayten reason enough to forget the awful - and untrue! - rumours about me. Her eyes glow when she's pleased, and I - I want that glow turned to me. Anyway, I've gone on long enough. I'm sure you have other interviews to get through today.

Thank you very much, Devran Bey, for answering our questions so patiently. I do apologise about the blood. [Turning to audience] If anyone has any questions for Devran Bey, I'm sure he'll be pleased to answer them. Send them on through the comments page, please.

Sweet Lovin' Man by the Magnetic Fields

12 comments:

Jill W. said...

I love character interviews. [g] Hi, Devran!

The one I did with Sam was really helpful. Much later, I did one with Juna--that was kinda helpful too. But a lot's changed since then. I wonder if I should do another one?

cathandlingwriter said...

Lovely! I've done a few interviews using standard questions of the type you can find on internet and it's worked rather well. Loved this approach, with the "free" questions, however. Maybe I should try it on my characters!

Question for Devran: what are you the most ashamed of in your life (or is there anything in your past that you regret?)? And what are you the most proud of?

Zan Marie said...

Oooh! This is developing nicely. I particularly like the secret that Ayten was to be his all along. I can't wait for this one, Deniz. ; )

Anne Gallagher said...

Wow, great interview. So much more in depth than mine. I love the fact Ayten thinks Devran is a bad bad man. But there's something to be said about bad boys isn't there.

Sarah McCabe said...

Poor guy! I hope he can clear his name someday.

Michael Offutt, Tebow Cult Initiate said...

Great character interview.

The Romantic Scientist said...

Very nice! Looking forward to reading more of his story!

Trisha said...

It's so fun interviewing your own characters! I do believe there's a blogfest to this effect coming up soon!

Deniz Bevan said...

Devran says hi, Jill. And he'd love to see an interview with Sam and Juna.

Thanks, cat. Devran says "I regret everything about the affair of the girl who was killed. I was not at fault, but could have done so much more to save her. But even more than that I regret that I did not tell Ayten the truth from the beginning. I suppose I'm proudest of the fact that I was able to save Ayten from the worst of the troubles we fell into. It's nothing to be proud of, but I... well. I feel such a thrill that her heart is given to me."

Thanks so much Zan Marie and Anne and Michael and Lara. I loved your interview, too, Anne!

Don't worry, Sarah, he will.

Looking forward to that blogfest, Trisha.

Rek said...

Great interview...poor Devran but all is well that ends well...and I liked the fact that he displayed his anger, makes him more vulnerable and human.

Nadja Notariani said...

Devran has interesting secrets...I wonder if there is going to be questions about Ayten's time spent with kidnappers...I wonder that Devran didn't mention rumour that way???>.. ha!
What a great story in which to place these two characters, Deniz.

Deniz Bevan said...

Thanks so much Rek and Nadja! It's exciting to see others connecting with my character's story.

Books I'm Reading and Finished Books

  • One Hundred Names by Cecelia Ahern
  • 11 Doctors 11 Stories by various authors (including Neil Gaiman)
  • Nightmares and Dreamscapes by Stephen King
  • The Mapmaker's Daughter by Laurel Corona
  • ***Reading At Intervals***
  • Creed or Chaos? by Dorothy Sayers
  • The Hobbit by J. R. R. Tolkien manuscripts edited by J. D. Rateliff
  • The War of the Ring - Book 8 in the History of Middle Earth series by Christopher Tolkien and J R R Tolkien (reread)
  • Lessons for a Sunday Father by Claire Calman
  • Moby Dick by Herman Melville
  • The Jerusalem Bible
  • ***Finished Books***
  • Notwithstanding by Louis de Bernieres
  • The Eyes of the Dragon by Stephen King
  • Temptation by Sandy Loyd
  • The Incorrigible Mr. Lumley by Aileen Fish
  • Effie's Outlaw by Karen Lopp
  • Breathing Lessons by Anne Tyler
  • The Christmas Crossing by Bev Petterson (short story)
  • secret beta read!
  • An Astronaut's Guide to Life on Earth by Chris Hadfield
  • Forgotten by Catherine McKenzie
  • Arranged by Catherine McKenzie
  • Emil In the Soup Tureen by Astrid Lindgren
  • Whales by Jacques Cousteau (excerpt essay from his book)
  • Tutankhamen's Tomb by Howard Carter (excerpt essay from his book)
  • Ice Dogs by Terry Lynn Johnson
  • Everything's Eventual by Stephen King
  • Go the F*^$ To Sleep (board book)
  • Green Eggs and Ham by Dr Seuss (reread) (brought to you by Neil Gaiman: http://www.worldbuilders.org/our-next-stretch-goal-unlocks-at/neil-gaiman-reads-green-eggs-and-ham)
  • The Sagan Diary by John Scalzi
  • mini Twitter stories by Talli Roland (available here: http://advice.uk.match.com/dating-advice/enjoy-valentine%E2%80%99s-day-and-get-mentallydating?utm_expid=55691082-15.2L0G0ictTcSJ4BI9Srh77A.0&utm_referrer=http%3A%2F%2Fadvice.uk.match.com%2Fdating-advice)
  • The Book of Jane by Anne Dayton and May Vanderbilt
  • Chicken Soup for the Soul: O Canada The Wonders of Winter
  • Beloved Demons by Anthony Martignetti
  • Hands-on Therapy by T L Watson
  • Let Me Make Myself Plain by Catherine Cookson
  • The Razor's Edge by Somerset Maugham
  • Mystery of the Fat Cat by Frank Bonham
  • Spin by Catherine Mckenzie
  • Virgins by Diana Gabaldon
  • The Snow Queen by Hans Christian Andersen (reread)
  • The Friday Night Knitting Club by Kate Jacobs
  • The Ghost in the Window by Betty Ren Wright
  • The Progress of Love by Alice Munro
  • The Treason of Isengard - Book 7 in the History of Middle Earth series by Christopher Tolkien and J R R Tolkien (reread)
  • The Tales of Beedle the Bard by J. K. Rowling (reread)
  • Behind the Lines (poems) by A. A. Milne
  • the Harry Potter series by J. K. Rowling (reread)
  • Chicken Soup for the Expectant Mother's Soul
  • see the 2013 list and statistics at http://thegirdleofmelian.blogspot.ca/2014/01/toast-to-professor-books-read-in-2013.html
  • see the 2012 list and statistics here http://thegirdleofmelian.blogspot.ca/2012/12/the-hobbit-review-and-year-end-books.html
  • see the 2011 statistics on http://thegirdleofmelian.blogspot.ca/2012/01/books-read-in-2011-statistics-fourth.html
  • see the 2011 list at http://thegirdleofmelian.blogspot.ca/2012/01/books-read-in-2011.html
  • see the 2010 list at http://thegirdleofmelian.blogspot.com/2010/12/books-read-in-2010-listed-here.html
  • see the 2009 list at http://thegirdleofmelian.blogspot.com/2009/12/books-read-in-2009-part-ii.html
  • also in 2009 at http://thegirdleofmelian.blogspot.com/2009/12/books-read-in-2009-part-iv.html
  • see the 2008 list at http://thegirdleofmelian.blogspot.com/2008/12/books-read-in-2008-part-ii.html
  • also in 2008 at http://thegirdleofmelian.blogspot.com/2008/12/books-read-in-2008-part-vi.html
  • also in 2008 at http://thegirdleofmelian.blogspot.com/2008/12/books-read-in-2008-part-iv.html