Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Tara's Honour by Bryn Colvin

What's her name?

Why did you pick that name?
I’d been struggling for a while to find the right name, then, coming home from a folk club in Birmingham one night, a friend mentioned his daughter in London – he hadn’t said anything about her previously. Her name is Tara, and as soon as he said it, I knew that would be the perfect name for my heroine.

Give us a brief description of how she looks.
Tara is quite pale skinned for an inhabitant of Estraguil. She is lightly built, graceful and tends to wear dark colours. She has a striking, memorable face – not beautiful exactly, but unmistakably her own. She has an unassuming presence and tends to look thoughtful. She smiles readily however. Her dark hair looks green in sunlight.

Is there anything unusual about her appearance? By the standards of Estraguil, Tara is quite unremarkable. She doesn’t have any major deviations from normal human form.

Who does she love? Why? Tara loves her family, even though her relationship with her mother is strained. She admires her father and adores her younger brothers. She has a deep bond with Mist – her avowry who has sworn to protect her. Tara also has a strong attachment to her former mentor, Emyr. Although she gives readily of her care and affection, she has never really been in love with anyone.

Does this person love her? The vast majority of people in Tara’s life return her affection. To her knowledge, no-one has ever been in love with her.

Tell us about her family. Tara comes from the Tolthian kith- a group who prize learning and knowledge above all else. Her father Rhys is a lore master, as is her uncle. Her mother – Lia prefers working with animals and is practically minded. Tara has two younger brothers – Faolan and Lavel. In addition to this, her familiar household also includes Will – her father’s avowry, his mate Orna, and Orna’s daughter Joy. Joy is a marcher child – no one knows whether it was Rhys or Will who fathered her. Will and Orna have a daughter – Mist, who is of an age with Tara and is Tara’s avowry. This domestic arrangement is entirely normal in Estraguil society.

Where is she from?
Tara lives in a tref – a small settlement of people who share a kith group. They live deep in the forests of Estraguil.

Does her hometown affect her behaviour, thoughts and attitude? Very much so. Like her community, Tara prizes learning and knowledge highly. She believes that everything can be rationally figured out, given time. She also believes in honour – coming from a culture where the giving of your word is the basis of the law, and all interactions, she struggles to comprehend how anyone could be dishonest – not an ideal condition to be in when conducting a murder investigation.

What does she want out of life? Tara wants to qualify as a lore master in her own right. At the outset of the book, she hasn’t thought beyond that. She’s not an especially ambitious person and has little idea what she wants to do with herself.

What's her biggest secret? (Only share if it isn't a spoiler in the story.) At the outset of the book, Tara has no secrets. Her life and heart are open books that anyone can read. By nature she is an open and trusting soul, but as she becomes exposed to the dark secrets of others, she loses some of this innocence.

Did you write more than one story about her?
As yet I’ve only written one story, but I might revisit her.

How would she describe you? Coming from such a radically different world and culture, there are many things about me that would confuse her, especially the technology I use. She might mistake me for a Straifian, because I am a musician and a writer, and their kith prizes those skills. My own hunger for learning and sense of honour would probably seem familiar to her, but she would be perplexed by the sexually restrictive culture I live in, and by our lack of care for the environment. She would be equally intrigued by our similarities and differences, but I doubt she would try to describe me in anything other than my measurable quantities – that I am taller and broader than her, with brown hair, brown eyes and dexterous fingers.

Is there anything else about your heroine that we need to know? Feel free to share. Tara’s particular area of study involves trying to predict the movements of the fickle moon. Estraguil has two moons – the constant moon is large and has an entirely predictable cycle. The fickle moon is much smaller, and although it has been studied in detail, no one has unlocked the mystery of its cycles. Tara has spent two years making observations and trying to plot the course this smaller moon with take.

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