Welcome to my M J Mallon author blog otherwise known as Kyrosmagica.
Today, I am interviewing using the initials MJ – (my author nickname and tribute to my favourite superhero – Spiderman’s Mary Jane.)
I have started doing a series of character interviews. Now it’s your turn Ryder…. Previously, I interviewed my black cat character: Interview with Shadow.
Come out of the shadows, Ryder, and let’s chat about your role in my YA novel The Curse of Time: Book 1 – Bloodstone which I intend to release in August. But, before we begin let’s put out the fire….
MJ: That smoke is troubling me.
Instead of answering Ryder lifts his head and blows smoke in my eyes….
So I resort to another tactic… I ask him about himself.
MJ: Who is Ryder?
There is a long pause while Ryder stares at me long and hard. His penetrating gaze is unsettling, I try to look away but I can’t.
Ryder clears his throat and then replies.
Ryder: I don’t like interviews, I much prefer being the one in control.
MJ: I realise that Ryder – I created you! – but could you make an exception just this once?
Ryder sighs: His lush eyelashes open and reveal his beautiful eyes, one black, one green. For a moment I’m drawn into staring at him and I can’t remember what I am doing let alone what I want to ask him.
I blink, and try to regain control of the interview, innumerable minutes pass by and at last I manage to re-focus.
MJ: I believe some folks call you a hero but there are others who take the opposite view?
Ryder sits up. He considers the question and shocks me by his sudden response.
Ryder: I am considered a hero by my friends but those who question the things I do, (and that is rare,) tend to judge me differently. I’d argue that I’m not a villain. I’m just misunderstood. One person’s villain is another person’s hero. It’s all about perception, and the desire to believe. If you want to, you will believe anything. Ask me something else MJ.
MJ: I immediately respond. Would you say that you are a narcissistic character?
Ryder: What do you think?
He runs his hands through his hair. His beguiling eyes seek mine out and I see the answer there.
MJ: Okay, no more questions about your villainy or ego. Instead, tell my readers about life as you see it?
Ryder: I believe all humans have an element that controls their destiny. For some it is earth that grounds them, or water that claims their depths, or air that makes them long to travel airborne or fire that inflames their emotions. Sometimes ice can be their guiding force making them cold and unapproachable. These elements are enhanced by further powers such as time, light, darkness, and shadows. But, I can see you’re itching to ask me another question MJ.
Again I have this overwhelming desire to reply straightaway.
MJ: Sometimes I see an edge to you, a brief moment and then you reveal something unexpected.
Ryder: Ha… yes. When the earth trembles beneath my feet there’s no hiding my power, it’s who I am and who I will always be.
MJ: You sound sad?
Ryder: He frowns. Where there is light and darkness there is sadness. The two polar opposites cause strife. If I hide from light, (and its sweet partner kindness,) my darkness, deepens. I am reminded of it constantly. I long to savour light, but the crystals that glow with such brilliant beauty hide from me.
MJ: The Crystals?
Ryder: Stop teasing me! You know that magical crystals play an intricate part in this novel. The gift of light is never far away and yet the power the gems promise is beyond my reach.
Ryder: Huh… here comes the cruel twist. Only a pure untainted soul can wield the crystals’ power.
I pause for a moment to consider this statement.
MJ: Oh so you aren’t exactly pure and untainted?
Ryder: What do you want to believe? Tell me? I could convince you of anything if I wanted…
MJ: I expect you could! I would prefer that you don’t. Instead tell me about time?
Ryder: Humans are intelligent but weak creatures. They are forever at the mercy of time, regardless of whether they are young or old. The only difference is the old realise their vulnerability whereas the young do not. The young don’t think they will die anytime soon. They play a game of chance and expect to win. If an older person plays the same game, they know they are likely to lose.
MJ: Are you at the mercy of time?
Ryder: What a stupid question. I am at the mercy of nothing. I lie down to nothing. But I crave time.
MJ: You crave time?
Ryder rolls his eyes.
Ryder: Yes, I crave time. I long to live in a state of beauty and never age.
He pushes his dark hair from his eyes and I know that he can’t bear the thought of his youthful beauty dying. His eyes become moist with tears.
MJ: Your character reminds me of Dorian Grey…
Ryder: Really? Perhaps there are some similarities. They say that writing is never original. A totally original idea doesn’t exist. Even if I am like Dorian in some respects I am never him. I am me. I exist as a new slant on a renowned story. A man of beauty is a fascination and always will be.
MJ: Don’t you think that old people have a beauty in their soul too, having lived a long and remarkable life?
Ryder: Old people taste the ash of their life gone, it is bitter and tasteless, but they remember vividly what life was like when they were young. That is cruelty in its purest form.
MJ: Are you cruel?
The room darkens, and an eerie, ephemeral smoke fills the darkness surrounding us with strange shadows. I edge back in my chair uncertain if I want to continue this interview.
Ryder: A final wisp of smoke escapes from his lips. Perhaps. My survival instinct kicks in – I always get what I want. When the mood takes me, I can be charming too. Why ask me these tiresome questions when you already know the answers. You created me and only you know the truth.
MJ: I sense that in time you might reveal who you really are?
Ryder smiles, this thought seems to please him.
Ryder: Yes, maybe. At the moment it is as if I am playing on an elaborate stage – on a knife edge of your writerly imagination – but I am still a puppet in your hands, dear writer, and you will decide my fate.
MJ: Tell me about your childhood.
Ryder: I can only tell you that I didn’t grow up in a four bedroom house, in a nuclear family, with a rottweiler dog, and an ugly pet rat. I lived in constant shadow on the edge of the world. A place where love doesn’t exist, and neither does hate. Only one thing matters – time.
MJ: So my novel is aptly named?
Ryder: Yes, The Curse of Time: Bloodstone is the perfect title. You must employ a hypnotist to sell it for you. A person whose developing powers will be at your disposal.
MJ: Are you that person Ryder?
Ryder smiles, I find myself smiling back, slipping into a strange comradeship.
Ryder: You must ask the Grasshopper of Time, he might tell you. He knows all there is to know about the delicate nature of time.
MJ: The Grasshopper is indeed an intriguing fellow, a character who appears in Book One in tantalising snippets. Can you tell us whether we will see more of him in Book two?
Ryder. It will be criminal if you don’t. I will personally shoot the author! The Grasshopper of Time will become a very important character in Book two. It will be his task to take the reader into a quiet meadow to reveal an extraordinarily heart-wrenching riddle.
MJ: That sounds curious.
Ryder: Yes, it is curious. But, it is also a frustrating, and confusing tale. I promise you it will be worth the wait. All good puzzles and mysteries take time to unlock, but poetry will be your guide.
Ryder: You frustrate me. Stop pretending you don’t know what’s in your book! Each chapter (puzzle piece,) begins with a Tanka poem.
MJ: I see your patience is becoming thin. Before you go can you say one thing about Amelina, the female protagonist in the novel?
Ryder: She is young. Naive. Artistic. Musical. A little selfish sometimes. She lives in a dysfunctional family. Has a black cat for a pet. She is the heroine. UGH… in the story. To begin with, her naivety is pretty evident but as the tale unfolds she changes. Her aura grows as she accepts her power. She is light. I am dark. It’s a yin/yang tale, with elements of sadness, contrasting with humour. Read it, then you’ll see what I mean.
Thank you for coming to M J Mallon, Kyrosmagica blog today, Ryder.
Ryder’s lower lip curls in distaste.
Ryder: I wish I could say it’s been my pleasure but if I did, I would be lying. Can I go now?
MJ: No, you are my prisoner… only kidding. Yes, of course you can. But before you go, I’d like to share some Tanka poetry with you…
Ryder’s eyes hold me speechless. I say goodbye. I know that I will see his much admired reflection again. The mirror of time tells no lies.
Photography credit – my daughter Georgina Mallon.
Male actor: J. English.
Hope you enjoyed my interview with Ryder, please comment below, tell me your impressions of Ryder.
Next, I will be interviewing The Grasshopper of The Corpus Christi Chronopage Clock.
Bye for now,
My social media hang outs:
Twitter: @marjorie_mallon and @curseof_time