2017 Brain To Books Convention GIVEAWAY of my latest science fiction novel, Curse of Koris, part of the Furlites of Aroriel series.
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For fun we have an interview with the main character to introduce you to him and his world, instead of your humble author!
An Interview with the main character of
CURSE OF KORIS
I sit and wait for our guest, he walks in, striding on strong muscular
legs, his tail stiff behind him, and his talons click on the smooth tile
floor. He looks like a hairy flat-faced dinosaur, with large cat eyes
the color of a glacier. He sits in the chair, slipping his tail through
the gap in the back, and nods. I blink, trying not to stare at this
alien man, who looks so very different from us, different than any alien
I’ve ever seen in movies or television. His thick, long,
predominantly-white coat gleams with meticulous grooming. I resist the
urge to reach out and touch one of his muscular arms. I compose myself,
and begin the interview.
Greetings, and welcome to our world! I’d like for our readers to get
to know you a bit. Go ahead and introduce yourself, Kutius. May I call
Kutius: My name
is Tius of Clan Zuliarus, though many still call me by my given name,
Kutius. As you see, I look very different from humans. I am a Furlite, a
furry-coated, bipedal race of what you might call dinosaurian
mammalians. We certainly do not stand and walk the same way you do, and
we have tails. Nothing like your animal family exists on our planet.
We are descended from a species from a primate species that is now
extinct. We had a group of creatures on this planet called dinosaurs,
that went extinct some 60 million years ago. It’s fascinating primates
never evolved on your world.
No, they did not. We have winged mammalians that take up that niche.
Many species of matissias and gerials live in the trees. They resemble
what your people’s mythical dragons look like, but with fur, and much
Me: I find that so wonderful. A place so different, yet giving rise to a dominant species. Tell the audience about your planet.
We live on Aroriel, a cold planet that is slightly larger than this
one, with slightly less land mass, and more ocean area. We evolved our
furry coats, as has most life on our world, to protect us from the harsh
Me: I imagine your society is similar to ours? What do you do in life? Tell us more about yourself.
I’m a successful business owner, running a big farm that supplies the
world with fickle Swikin (type of domestic fowl) meat. I was not always
so successful, but worked hard with my spouse to grow our business. I
like getting into every aspect of our business from the breeding, caring
for, and processing of the swikins. I enjoy working the land, to sow
the seeds of various plants to feed not only us but our award winning
product. I work alongside every employee on the farm.
Me: How many employees do you have?
Most are Clan members, and they range from my father, who records
breading and also plows and sows the land, to my cousins who work with
the genetics of the swikins. My spouse keeps our books. My mother runs
the kitchen. We occasionally hire local primary School age children,
(Kutius pauses with raised furry brows, and I realize I am staring in
Me: Do you endorse Child labor?
No, not young children, though all must eventually learn they must earn
what they have, and to contribute to their household. Primary school is
equivalent to your High school. (Kutius laughs)
Yes. When they turn Primary school age of eighteen, uh, thirty of your
years, they should either get a an after school job, or earn good enough
grades that they earn credits into their new vaults. They begin saving
for things like a shuttle to drive, or University schooling.
Me: I think I understand. You’re a long-lived people indeed. I’m jealous. Do children receive allowances from parents?
No. They earn credits by getting good grades. Our Clan pays the schools
and some of that is earned back by the children. For University
studies, our Clan may pay for us or we pay for it ourselves, or a mix of
Me: Interesting system. Do you earn scholarships? Does Government help out at all?
(gazes at me quizzically) Scholarships? I’m not sure I understand the
concept. Our Clans take care of the cost. Nobody else. Government does
not pay for anyone’s schooling or anything else in life.
Me: Oh I see. What then is your Government's role?
Our government is quite small, a council of our state Governors that
propose laws, and discuss complaints from the populace that meets once a
cinth. Proposed laws are put to the populace in referendum. Once the
Council affairs are done, they return to their normal jobs. (Kutius
scowls) I assume your Government is different, according to what
little I read about your society?
Very different, and I rather like the concept of yours. (My turn to
scowl) I don’t want to bore you with our convoluted system, so I’ll turn
to a more pleasant topic. What is your home life like?
We live in multi-generational homes, sometimes with our Clan living in
many homes on the same street. In our case, we all live in my home,
which has twenty-five sleeping rooms with two stories. We have a large
dining area and Common room, but we also have our own rooms with
amenities in case we wish privacy. What my parents did by living alone
with just me, when I was growing up is extremely rare. I see it is
common for you humans.
Me: Intriguing, and yes, it is. Many of us live completely alone. Do your people ever do that?
It is extremely rare, but I did so for years, while going to
University, and when I worked my first job. It was fine, but I did miss
the house full of loved ones, something I thought I’d never see again
in life at that time.
(feeling a tad uneasy as he stares at me with those cat-like, ice blue
eyes) Apologies for making you uncomfortable. Is it difficult raising
am fine. It is difficult, but I figured out how to raise them
successfully and guard that information with my life. (He grins and I
notice his eight eyeteeth, one set larger than the other. They gleam in
the lighting.) Our farm is located in a tropical zone, and it is warm
all year, but, we do see occasional snow on the equator. The farm is
surrounded by jungle forests. The swikins are protected but can endure a
light snow and cold, as long as it is not much below the freezing mark.
Go a distance away to the subtropic zones and snow will fall in winter.
Further than that, we have snow at very least half of our year, which
is 1.7 times as long as yours.
Me: My kind of planet! I love snow. Tell us where and when on Aroriel were you born?
I was born on my grandmother’s prosperous farm, thirty nine of our
years ago, half a world away from my present home, in the State of
Auriga. I believe, if I calculate correctly, I’d be sixty-six years old
by your planet’s orbit. By our standards, I am still a very young man.
(Kutius utters a growling sigh) I loved that place, and I still do,
with the cold blustery snowy winters that I miss. I learned a lot during
my time there, which helps me in my current business.
Me: Oh, impressive! Your people are quite long-lived. Tell us about your Grandmother’s farm? Is it much like yours?
It is, and yet is not. For my first nine years (our years-fifteen by
your world’s measure), I grew up on my grandmother’s farm, surrounded by
loving clan and animals. I loved the open prairie lands where the farm
was located. Then, family conflict, which I prefer not to speak of at
this point, reared up, and my parents took off to live by themselves
across the continent into the northern forest land, with me tagging
along. The first couple of years were good, with my father’s clan around
but, after another conflict, we ended up destitute. (Kutius scowls,
ice-blue eyes narrowing) It all stemmed from the actions of a long dead
ancestor of whom I’d rather not discuss right now. I studied hard, and
eventually got myself out of that life.
Me: All right, I won’t pry. How would you describe yourself?
Successful, stern, and I have a ruthless streak. My family helps
balance me, and keep me from saying and doing things I might regret.
Physically I am about average size for my people, three hundred of your
pounds, and thanks to the work, lost my excess weight and built firm
strong muscles in its place.
Me: Are you dating anyone?
Kutius: I am not certain I understand the question. (Kutius flicks his thick dinosaur-like furry tail, and frowns.)
Me: Ah. let me rephrase. Romantically that is. Are you in a relationship?
Of course. I bonded to my wonderful spouse several years ago. (He
smiles broadly, showing the impressive cutlery of a carnivore.)
Me: Bonded? Were you married before?
Yes, bonded. If by married, you mean bonded, no. When we bond, it is
generally for life. It is a physiological and emotional tie driven by
our bonding pheromones. It is only broken by death, and it is not
uncommon for the grieving spouse to die soon after.
Me: You have no choice in who you bond to?
No. (Kutius frowns, his facial fur bristling) But it is rare for our
bondings to be wrong. Yes, weird things can happen like one person
bonding and the other does not, but when we bond, we are united, mind,
body and soul. The love is deeper than anything else in life. We cannot
have intercourse with anyone else but our spouses, and have no desire to
ever do so. We also cannot procreate until we do bond. Before bonding,
well, anyone is fair game, and multiple partners is the norm unless you
bond in childhood.
Me: You have sex as children? (I can’t help but gape at him)
No. (Kutius laughs). The sexual pheromones develop at puberty, around
fourteen of our years old, twenty-four by your planet’s biological
clock. If you are bonded already, you only copulate with each other. If
you are not, you seek out new partners until, eventually, you do bond.
Me: Do you have a marriage ceremony?
If you mean a Bonding Ceremony, of course! Both Clans, as well as
friends of the couple gather, and a simple ceremony is performed, where
the couple chooses what Clan to join and what name their children will
bear. All is recorded with the town and state records.
Me: Very intriguing. Tell everyone what it is you do when you’re not farming.
Relaxing with my spouse, our Felakoon, and Clan, playing in our
enormous swimming pool, or visiting Clan on another continent, and
holding huge Clan gatherings on our estate, but we really enjoy our
work, which is almost non-stop. (Kutius grins, baring the tips of his
upper fangs, revealing all eight eye teeth again).
Me: What is a Felakoon? (I want to know more about them!)
(regards me with a smirk)Nonnative beings brought here by our people
during the first interstellar voyage. A member of Clan Darius
genetically altered the zygotes of an alien creature she called
Felicakoon, but we have since learned it was a Maine Coon feline. It’s a
long story, but we also bond to our Felakoons, without the mating urge.
Its very much like the parent-child bond, but stronger. I know you know
what a Maine Coon is.
Oh yes! (I laugh) I’ve had several in my lifetime and my present one is a
blue smoke named Darwin. Did you bring your Felakoon with you?
Of course. They accompany us since they are family. (Kutius turns his
head, and calls, waving a hand adorned with sharp finger-talons.)
Korion! (I watch, slack-jawed as an incredibility large, easily over
fifty pounds, black, long-furred feline, looking like a gigantic Maine
Coon cat, strolls out to join Kutius. His gold eyes regard me with
great intelligence, far more than even the most intelligent cat
(Phantom) I ever owned!)
Me: (I regain my composure and resume my interview, utterly fascinated by Korion). He seems quite intelligent. How smart are they?
As intelligent as a young school age Furlitian child. They are also
telepathic, and mindspeak their bondmates, and some can bespeak anyone.
As I said, they are members of the family, not only by virtue of their
bonding to us, but by law as well.
Fascinating. I hope we will learn more about them soon. Since I love
Maine Coons, I can’t wait to meet more Felakoons, and certainly wish I
could have one of my own.
I don’t think they can bond to humankind. They are genetically now
Aroriellian lifeforms, and linked to us. But, Korion wants me to tell
you he likes you. (The giant Felakoon walks over to me, gold eyes
bright, and I think I hear a purr that says “you may pet me!” I reach
out and tentatively touch his head and he purrs like a freight train! I
am enthralled and want one!)
Tell him I think he is fantastic. (I glance at the clock and realize
time runs low. Disappointment floods me.) I must wrap this up with this
question. Tell us about your worst fear.
My early life was filled with so much strife, and conflict with family.
I had few friends. When life turned and things worked out for me, I
still worried that it would all fall apart. I still fear, after all the
good that has happened, thanks to good fortune and hard work, that
something or someone will snatch it all away from me, including my home,
spouse and Korion. (Kutius looks down at the floor, and a shiver goes
over his body as he digs his impressive toe talons into the floor.)
I am sorry to dredge up such anxieties. I hope you never lose what you
worked so hard for. Very pleased to meet you, and I look forward to
people learning more about you as they read your tale. (I take his hand
in mine noting how large it is, with the thick black skin on his palm,
and the short white fur on the back. He is careful not to nick me with
his finger claws.)
Thank you. I must meet Commander Geupetus and get my ride home. I never
thought I’d be on good terms with the Ship Commander and his Clan. I
once hated them all so much. Thank you for speaking with me, and I, too,
hope all people will enjoy my tale.
Me: As do I. Safe flight home.
We shall meet again I am sure. (He smiles and winks one eye, before
trotting out of the room with his beautiful Felakoon. I watch, seething
with more questions than answers, and know they wait between the pages
of this book!)
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