A Character Interview with Kerlia from HEALER OF SURFLEX plus a conversation with author Sue Raymond!

Today we're bringing something different to Writing in the Modern Age in the form of a character interview.  These character interviews, now and in the future, should prove to be very enlightening for all of us. 
We have the pleasure of meeting Kerlia, the main character of Healer of Surflex. We'll get a chance to talk to the author, Sue Raymond, in a bit, but now we have on the stage...Kerlia!

In order to talk to Kerlia, we must be transported to the Fairy realm by the fairy ring. Please step into the ring and take a deep breath as the ring will give humans a good squeeze while transporting you to the fairy realm. The ring pulses with an iridescent glow rising around you and domes over your head. The air thickens around you as the walls shrink and compress against you. Your blood pounds in your temples as you wink out. It pulls your body sideways, your eyes seeing only streaks of iridescent colors. Suddenly, you stop and you are standing in a wood glade. The sunshine baths you in its warmth as brilliant colors of the glade overload your vision with their loveliness. Small flashes of lights play among the leaves of the trees over head as you hear tinkling laughter float on the gentle breeze. One of the flashes of light settle in front of your face and it materializes into a petite female fairy. 

Her wings flutter softly with iridescent light. Sparkles encompass her silver hair, and her ice green eyes twinkle with merriment as she smiles. “Welcome to the fairy realm. You are one of the few humans to be allowed to visit. Kerlia is on her way for the interview. Please stay in the glade for your protection. The brownies are not the friendliest of the wee folks and they delight in tormenting humans when they feel the humans have invaded where they do not belong. You may sit over on the stone bench in the shade as you wait for Kerlia.” She points to a welcoming shady stance of trees.

As you sit in the shade a large shadow appears on the ground in front of you. You look up and to your surprise there is a red dragon circling above you. The dragon lands and a young lady dressed in leather slides gracefully to the ground. "Hi, I am Kerlia. You stated you wish to interview me. Please have a seat and we can begin the interview."

I must confess that I'm a bit undone by this display, but I am eager to learn more about Kerlia...


Marie Lavender:  Hello, Kerlia.  It is so nice to meet you!
Character Kerlia:  Thank you.  It's a pleasure to be here.

Marie:  We're going to start out with some simple questions, okay?

Kerlia:  Of course.  

Marie:  So, what is your occupation? Are you any good at it? Do you like it?

Kerlia: I state I’m an artist of metal, however, Moryx, God’s messenger, says I am the Healer of Surflex. I have spent the last ten years training with the wee ones for when the day comes to heal Surflex. The pixies teach the healing arts, the fairies teach magic, and the brownies teach martial art of war.
Marie:  I see.  What is your family like?

Kerlia: My mother died at my birth so it was just my father, Terian, and I until I came to live in the fairy realm. Now my family consist of Fangtooth, Thunder, and Visionary my three wolves, Starblazer, my unicorn and Ergogene, my dragon.

Marie:  What did your childhood home look like, Kerlia?

Kerlia:  In the human realm my mother tried to have me sacrificed at birth to Kernel because I wasn’t a boy. After she died, Terian moved us to the village of Quarx. We had a room over the stables where Terian also had his blacksmith shop. At the age of six, Kernel’s minions tried to capture me and I landed up here in the fairy realm to begin my training. 
Marie:  So, do you have any hobbies?  What do you enjoy doing?

Kerlia: I create hanging creations that dance the sunlight in a multitude of colors. I also love to ride upon Ergogene’s back in the clouds.

Marie:  That certainly sounds exciting! Kerlia, I'm going to ask you some more serious questions now.

What is your greatest dream?
Kerlia:  My greatest dream is to live out my life in the fairy realm where there is no evil.
Marie: What kind of person do you wish you could be? What is stopping you? 
Kerlia:  A simple artist; the prophecy that if I don’t become the Healer of Surflex Kernel will destroy the human realm and I cannot allow Terian to be destroyed. 
Marie:  Who was your first love?
Kerlia:  The second in command brownie, Rhystaff, but don’t tell Teariff. He has threatened to banish anyone to the realm under the sea who dare try to court me.

Marie:  What is the most terrible thing that ever happened to you?
Kerlia:  At my birth, Kernel almost claimed my life if it wasn’t for Terian’s faith. As it was, Kernel claimed my voice in the human realm. That is why you had to come to the fairy realm for the interview. 
Marie:  Oh!  I see. 

Let's try something else, Kerlia.

Marie:  So, what was your dream growing up? Did you achieve that dream? If so, in what ways was it not what you expected? If you never achieved the dream, why not?
Kerlia:  In the human realm, to grow up beside Terian at the forge creating as he worked as a blacksmith.
I came here to the fairy realm to complete my training as the Healer.


Marie:  Who is your role model?
Kerlia:  The leaders of the fairy realm, Jamshyer of the pixies, Teariff of the brownies, Vetta of the fairies.   

Marie:  Is there someone you pretend to like but really dislike?
Kerlia: The innkeeper’s daughter, Naboquil, she pretends to care about me but all she really wants is to become Terian’s wife so she doesn’t have to wait on tables in her father’s inn.

Marie:  So, what is your deepest desire?
Kerlia:  To be able to do both dream and prophecy.
Marie:  What is your greatest fear?
Kerlia:  I will fail as the Healer of Surflex and doom the human realm to the terrors of Kernel.

Marie:  Well, I think those are all the questions I have. I must travel back to the human realm to speak with author.
Kerlia:  Good luck. 
Marie:  Thank you. I want to thank you for letting us visit today, Kerlia.
Kerlia:  My pleasure.
This was a very interesting experience.  (Waves goodbye as the fairy returns to escort her back.)
(Clears her throat when she gets back into the studio.)
Now, let's shift over and get the perspective of the author.  We have Sue Raymond on the stage today!  Hi!  
Author Sue Raymond:  Hi, it's so nice to be here.

Marie:  We just got to talk the heroine of your story, Kerlia.  Quite an interesting character.   
Can you tell us a little about her?
Sue: Kerlia has had great responsibility placed on her shoulders since birth that would bring the strongest warrior to their knees.
Marie:  So, what are your character's greatest strengths? 
Sue:  Her faith that God has given her what she needs to complete her destiny. 
Marie:  What are her greatest weaknesses?   
Sue:  Kerlia fears she will fail and bring ruin to everyone.  
Marie:  What are some of her favorite foods?
Sue:  Fish and fresh vegetables.  
Marie:  What's a positive quality that your character is unaware that he or she has?

Sue:  She is unaware that she has the strength to overcome anything that Kernel throws in her path.

Marie:  Will readers like or dislike this character, and why?

Sue: I believe the readers will like Kerlia and identify with her struggles to do what she must to keep those she loves safe.

Marie:  Great! Well, now that we have a real taste of Kerlia, we have a few questions for you as well as the author.   

What first gave you the idea for Healer of Surflex?

Sue: I read a YA fantasy series by Donita Paul and realized there was an outlet for my wild imagination.  
Marie:  That's great!


What is your writing style like?  Are you a pantster or a plotter?
Sue:  My characters are pantsers; they tell me what is going to happen and when. I tried to outline a story and they threw the outline out the window and took over the novel. I didn’t know the meaning of a character’s name until the very last page when he explained the meaning to his love.  
Marie:  LOL. I hear you on that one.  Sometimes characters are demanding!

So...I’m throwing this one in for our aspiring writers.  Did you come across any specific challenges in writing Healer of Surflex or getting it published? 
What would you do differently the next time?

Sue:  When I wrote Healer of Surflex, there was such a narrow opening in the Christian publishing companies for a Christian fantasy that you had to be a well known writer for anyone to even open the query let alone have them read the manuscript. They were only interested in Amish romance at the time that I pitched to them so I indie published it through CreateSpace.
Marie:  Well, I'm glad you were able to publish it! 


It was such a pleasure having you here on Writing in the Modern Age, Sue. 

Readers, you will just have to pick up a copy of this awesome book!  

Here is the blurb for Healer of Surflex.

Kerlia has fought to survive even before she was born because of the prophecy a child will destroy Kernel's evil hold over the Kingdom of Surflex and heal the Kingdom. Kernel's minions search for the healer as his wizards strive to design the ultimate weapon to end the resistance and bring the Kingdom completely under Kernel's control. They have destroyed Kerlia's mother at her birth and are closing in on where her father, Terian, has hidden her. They all most succeed in Kerlia's capture in the forest however she escapes only to be transported to the fairy realm. Under the guidance of the pixies, faires,and militant brownies Kerlia must learn how to control her healing powers to protect those she loves from Kernel. Can a mere child stand against Kernel's evil that has brought so many men to their knees?
Purchase Links:
Universal Amazon link:  http://bookgoodies.com/a/B00MT614MQ
About Sue Raymond:
Sue Raymond was born and raised in the Midwest along with her siblings. Sue was trained in the Commercial art field before marrying her husband. After raising two sons and having five grandchildren Sue started a new avenue in her life, writing. She has six published novels as she works on four other novels and children’s stories.     

Author Links:

Sue's Books: