Monday 25 March 2024

An interview with Zarina from A Memory for Love #characterinterview #fantasy #books

A Memory for Love
Linzé Brandon

Zarina sa'Der is a category one memory witness trained to work with the most vulnerable victims of violent crimes. Her last court case left her with nightmares, which required her to take a break to focus on clearing her special memory banks before she went insane. As a Treasure of the Magicians' Order, the Grandmaster arranges for her to take her vacation at the High Order retreat for the ideal peace and quiet she needs.

It has been three suns since Aidan Crea lost his mate and youngest daughter in the Wa'raki war that devastated Xa'an. When his best friend accuses him of becoming a grump, he agrees to take a break before the Grandmaster orders him to. After some soul-searching, he realizes that he needs to get back to living instead of purely existing after the loss he has suffered.

Zarina and Aidan form an unusual friendship that soon grows into something deeper until Aidan is tasked with protecting her after a contract is given out to assassinate her. Although her job exposes her to the worst criminals in society, things take a turn for the worse when they finally find out who is behind the attempts on her life.

They find themselves pawns in a larger plot and risk their hearts and lives to finally get a chance at a happily ever after.

Interview with the character from A Memory for Love

What is your full name? Do you have a nickname?
My name is Zarina Elri sa'Der, and I don't have a nickname, sorry.

What is your background? What makes you you?
was born a magician, and from a young age, I knew that my path was not going to follow the traditional route because of my ancestry. This did not limit my choices at all, and I am fortunate that my parents supported my choice to study at the Xa'anian School of Magic and Knowledge to become a memory witness. Our training starts at an early age; I was about seven, and involved rigorous and disciplined training in magic control. I am the only category one witness, and my teachers learned early on that I needed to develop my skills my way. Memory witness teachers are used to this and provided me with the guidance I needed to hone my skillset.

Can you explain what a memory witness is? It sounds intriguing.
A memory witness is a magician who can record someone's memories by copying their brain patterns. This information is relayed during a court case, where the victim is either incapable or too traumatised to testify.

Where do you live?
I live in the capital city of Xa'an, Ikea. Xa'an is located in the third solar system. It is my dream, however, to retire in the village of Akan, because it is situated on the edge of a beautiful forest. I love the forest, and often go there to hike amongst the trees and waterfalls.

Who are your parents? Are they still alive?

They are Aaron and Liz'aBe sa'Der and they live in the second solar system where I was born. They are very much alive and in good health. 

How do you travel from solar system to solar system? Do you use magic?
It depends on the person travelling. Magicians travel with spaceships, but other humanoid beings travel by other means. And no one can travel that distance using magic! 

How would you describe your childhood?
I had a happy childhood despite the history of my people. My extended family is small, but we are all close despite the distance between us. 

How old are you? Do you worry about getting older?

I am 29. Since I was born with magic power, I will age much slower than non-magic folk. This requires me to look after myself so that my source of magic remains active and productive, which will help slow down my ageing process. The typical life expectancy of a magician is around 300 suns (or years, as you would call it here on Earth).

So your magic can slow the ageing process but not send you around the galaxies!

Do you have a job/hobby?
I work as an officer in the security service of Xa'an. I work with victims of violent crime who cannot speak for themselves. If I had a hobby, it would be hiking. I love being outside in nature.

Me too! So, Zarina, what would you say is your biggest wish/desire?
It may sound weird, but I would love to live in a world where my job is superfluous. My skills can then be utilised to help people in a more positive environment. But until that happens, I will speak for the victims because their voices need to be heard for justice to be served.

Who is the person you respect the most, and why?
Grandmaster Géra Ville and his 2IC, Lord Aidan Crea, are the two people who lead the Xa'anian Magician's Order. Along with the rest of the Members of the High Order, they work hard to establish an order with members who contribute their skills to the benefit of everyone on Xa'an: humans, magicians, shape-shifters, and others. They enforce the magic rules and work together with human authorities and the king to create a society of equality and respect for everyone.

Do you have a secret? Does anyone else know the secret? What would happen if you told someone this secret?
Yes, I have a secret or two. Aside from my family, no one knows who and what I am. I share my secret with a small circle of trusted people, but they are also aware of the dangers of sharing that knowledge. It was necessary to share the knowledge for their own sakes.

Do you own a gun (or any other weapon)? Killed anyone (either purposely or not)? 
Officers in the Xa'anian security service do not carry weapons, as a rule. A few select officers do, but they are only called into duty for very specific tasks, which I am not at liberty to discuss. My magical ability allows me to incapacitate someone, but I am not trained in offensive or defensive magic. I can, however, share power with a warrior if he or she needs more power to use in a magic battle.

Are you happy now your story has been told? Is there more to come?
Yes, for sure. I have been bugging my author for years to tell my story, and even I was surprised at some things that happened. Since my book is part of a series, readers will meet me again in future stories, as has been the case for many of the friends I have made along the way. (Note for the author: Zarina will be around again in Tarryn's Vampire, a future Grandmaster novel in the series.)

What, if anything, would you like to change about your life?
Something horrible happens in my story as a result of a choice I make. I will continue to feel guilty for that for the rest of my life, even though everyone assures me that the tragedy wasn't my fault. It is the one thing that if I could have predicted the future, I would have done differently.

Who is the person you despise the most?
The person I despise the most is the one behind all the tragedies, death threats, and deaths in my story. I hate him for putting the lives of innocents and good people in danger for his own cowardly and nefarious plans. 

If you knew you were going to die in 24 hours, name three things you would do in the time you had left.
I would contact my parents and blood relations to tell them how much I love them. I would also talk to my new friends to tell them how much their support and friendships mean to me, and lastly, I would spend the whole time with the man I love...without sleeping a wink.

Excerpt from A Memory for Love, Book 7 in the Nations of Peace series.

 Aidan ignored the cold stones numbing his ass and the rigid bricks biting into his back. They were of no consequence. The true pain had been inside of him so long that he hardly recognised himself. Had grief done this? That didn’t feel right, so he must have been doing it to himself. Albeit subconsciously. Until now, he had not been ready to move forward. Someone once said that life was for the living, and tonight, he finally felt ready to take that first painful step.

With a groan, he got to his feet. Damn, the cold had made his muscles stiffer than he realised. Stretching his arms, he paused.

 Buy the book!

“What was that?”

He moved to the end of the balcony. There it was again. It sounded like...

Ignoring his bare feet and the cold, he jumped over the balcony railing and took a moment to find his balance before he ran. As he came closer, his anger cleared the fog from his mind. No one hurt a woman. Seconds later, he was over the balcony railing and bursting through the flimsy balcony door.

Just as the light came on.

The door panels, fortunately not made of glass, crashed. The impetus drove him to the bed. He almost fell on top of her.

Shrinking back on the bed, Zarina watched it all with wide eyes.

Feeling undignified, Aidan managed to control his body enough to stop at her bedside. He looked around the room. Everything looked fine, but he was sure she had screamed earlier.

“Where is he?”

She frowned at him. “Who?”

“The man who attacked you.” Then he saw traces of tears on her face. He sat down on the bed. “Are you alright?”

Wiping her eyes with the sheet, she turned her head away. “I am fine. There is no one here. I have nightmares sometimes, that’s all.”

It was his turn to frown. She looked so young with her hair down and wearing a white nightgown. Then his brain clicked.

“Your last court case?”

Her head snapped back to his. “You know who I am?”

“Yes. I finally remembered why you looked so familiar. Didn’t you learn how to purge your memories so that you don’t have nightmares?”

She shrugged. “The case was long, and I didn’t do all my meditations as I should have. It just caught up with me. I will be fine after I start working at it tomorrow.”

Confident that there was no real threat, he got up.

She grabbed his wrist. “I am sorry about earlier. I didn’t mean to remind you of painful things.”

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