Character Interview with Cobaaron from THE COMING DAWN trilogy, more info about character Ky and a conversation with author Austen Knowles!

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 Cobaaron the Unconquerable, a character from The Coming Dawn Trilogy. 


We'll get a chance to talk to the author, Austen Knowles, in a bit, but now we have on the stage...Cobaaron!  

Marie Lavender:  Hello, Cobaaron.  Please have a seat.

Character Cobaaron the Unconquerable:  First let me say thank you for the interview, Marie. 



Marie:  Oh, my pleasure, of course!  We're going to start out with some simple questions, okay? 

Cobaaron:  All right.


Marie:  So, what is your occupation? Are you any good at it?  Do you like it?
Cobaaron:  I’m a warrior first and a king second. For two hundred years, I fought in a hostile land where not only witches sought my demise but the animals were equally fierce. Where I’m from, it’s nothing like your planet. At fifteen I left home to join the army, which most men do here, and I challenged my way to the top until I became chief at a young age. I had to earn my men’s trust, and show them I could lead. So, am I good at it? I’d be dead if I weren’t, and so would my men. Do I like being a chief? I lived for every warrior under me, and my legacy was everything to me, that is, until I risked everything, even my reputation, to resign my position and rule alongside the woman who changed me. As for being a king, it’s not so different than a chief; I still lead. It’s in my blood.

Marie:  So, what is your family like?
Cobaaron:  As you learn from the end of the trilogy, my family has shrunk drastically. It’s taken time to have peace knowing what I’ve done, but I have no regrets. Now, I have my beautiful wife, Ky, my daughter, Lu Lu, and we’re trying for more children. I would love to have eight.
Marie:  Oh, my! Eight! That's quite a number. (Chuckles.)
All right. So, what did your childhood home look like?  

Cobaaron:  First you have to understand that where I’m from, women were cursed to not have children. Few women gave birth, and for those lucky enough to conceive, both the mother and child were treated like royalty. My mother never had a maternal instinct, so my siblings and I lived a privileged yet separated life from the world. Because I grew up with only siblings, you see my great bond with my brother, and that is why I have unwavering loyalty and trust toward Noxis.  
Marie: Okay. Let's try something else.  
Do you have any hobbies now? What do you enjoy doing? 
Cobaaron:  I’m a man, Marie. It’s no secret The Coming Dawn has descriptive, sensual chapters. Being a warrior, we choose either women or war. For the longest time, I chose war—until Ky. That said, I don’t waste anymore time doing frivolous activities. We’re each other’s hobbies.  

Marie: (Smiles.) Ahem...Ah, can you tell us your greatest dream, Cobaaron?



Cobaaron:  I have been very fortunate to have accomplished so much. When I first met Ky, we all lived in a dark world, and forced underground. The only light, besides the dim moon, were stars, like Ky, who fell from the sky. I already had a prophesy declaring I would fix all of that, and I dare not dream of anything greater.  


Marie:  Fair enough.


Let's try another question. 


What kind of person do you wish you could be? What is stopping you?


Cobaaron: As King Cobaaron of the City of Lights, I couldn’t do anything but rule. I know I look young, but I lived a long time. I’ve seen much of this world, even as it changes before my eyes, and I’ve never been happier. I wouldn’t change anything about myself or my situation. I’m proud of where I ended up, and I wouldn’t go back to the callous person I was before.


Marie:  All right. So, who was your first love?


Cobaaron: I think you’re asking the wrong question here. What you should ask is what was it like to fall in love? I won’t lie; I had a hard time with how easy it was to feel for Ky. I knew to break our blood bond the moment it happened, and distance myself from her before I cared for her; but while she slept for three days in the cave, I couldn’t stop wondering if I finally satisfied my desire to conquer the world and needed something else. I easily, too easily, decided I wanted something more to live for.


Marie: What's the most terrible thing that ever happened to you? 

Cobaaron: When you have been in as many battles as I have, you grow numb to terrible things. Although, witches are nasty, and I will caution anyone who wants to read Ky’s and my story, that there are some unnerving parts in the trilogy regarding them. And unfortunately, witches are worse than ever.


Marie:  Well, I'm sure we'll find out soon enough.


Let's try something else, shall we? 


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?

Cobaaron:  I grew up wanting to be a warrior. I sparred with my brother, Noxis, long before joining an army. Being a chief was everything I hungered for. I gained respect, wealth, a name for myself, and a legacy that will long outlive me. So, yes, I conquered my dreams, and then some. I did what was necessary to make my world a better place, but to tell you why reaching my goals was not what I expected, I’d have to first explain the ending.


Marie: Okay.


So, who is your role model, Cobaaron?


Cobaaron:  I chose to look at mistakes rather than achievements. I saw many good men around me die. Taking their shortcomings and learning from them is how I grew. It’s like sparring; you win by learning men’s weaknesses and exploit them. You become better. What could I learn from a man who never fails? I could never be as perfect, and so I change in myself what I see isn’t.


Marie:  Is there someone you pretend to like but really dislike?


Cobaaron:  I don’t pander to anyone’s ego—not even my own.


Marie:  What is your deepest desire?


Cobaaron: As I said, I’m a man.


Marie:  (Laughs.) All right, I see your point. ;)


Let's try something else.


So, what is your greatest fear?


Cobaaron: I’d like to say I don’t have fears, but sometimes I wonder if Ky came into my world believing Earth was a very real place, who’s to say I will not fall into another foreign land. I would never willingly give up what I have now, and although that’s not a fear, I do think about that sometimes.


Marie: I see.

Well, it looks like we're running out of time, Cobaaron. Thank you for visiting us today.

Cobaaron:  You're welcome.



Marie:  It was so interesting getting to know you. I wish you luck with your family and your people.  (Waves at her guest as he heads off the stage.)

Now, let's shift over and get the author's perspective.  We have Austen Knowles on the stage today!  Hi, Austen!
Author Austen Knowles:  Hi, Marie! It's so nice to be here!


Marie:  (Smiles.) Welcome to Writing in the Modern Age!  It's good to see you again. The last time I got to see you was on the MLB blog

So, we just got to talk the male character from your story...Cobaaron the Unconquerable. Quite an interesting character. However, the book follows Ky as the heroine. We'd love to know more about her.
Can you tell us a little about Ky?


Austen:  In The Coming Dawn trilogy, Ky is a star. Meaning she was an actual star who slept, dreaming of a life on Earth, until one day she raced across the sky and fell into a dark cave. As a star does, her skin glows with warm light, heating the region where Ky wanders. In Cobaaron’s world, she’s considered to be a deity, although, Ky knows she’s not. However, her presence does influence the world greatly, because there is a prophesy that a warrior and a star will restore light into the sky—despite how impossible that sounds, I know.

Marie:  All right.

What are your characters' greatest strengths? 

Austen: Cobaaron is naturally really strong, and wise. He’s a great king, as well as an amazing warrior. If I ever find myself stricken blind in a new world, I’d want Cobaaron to rescue me. Ky certainly has a lot to offer her new world. She thinks all women should be respected, and lifts women up. I love this about her. She also grows and changes a lot in all three books, going from a scared teen to a brave woman. As the author, I am very attached to both Cobaaron and Ky. I have a lot of respect for both of them, and I wish I could say I wrote them this way, but in truth, I didn’t. These characters developed as I got to know them and wrote them.


Marie: Well, I can certainly admire that! Isn't it funny how our characters surprise us?

So, what are Ky's greatest weaknesses?


Austen: In the beginning, Ky is naïve, and, like many teens, she thinks she knows best. She questions Cobaaron when he tries explaining how she got into his world, and she doesn’t trust his judgment about witches. She has to see for herself how nasty witches are before truly trusting him.


Marie:  What are some of her favorite foods?


Austen:  Ky didn’t grow up eating the strange dishes as Cobaaron did. Although Ky liked eating glowing fruit or blue noodles, she didn’t want to know what she was actually eating.


Marie:  (Laughs.) Okay.


What's a positive quality that your character is unaware that he or she has?


Austen:  Ky never gets to learn how to master her full potential as a star as you read Cobaaron doing at the end of the third book. Ky is not a warrior, despite learning how to fight out of necessity. Her greatest attribute, however, is her wholesomeness which Cobaaron greatly admires. Ky wouldn’t consider faithfulness a novelty, though, and is unaware how rare it is in her new world.


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


Austen: Some readers like very strong characters who won’t flinch even in the hardest of circumstances. Ky definitely flinches when she is suddenly in a dark world, lost, with no way out of a cave, and suddenly stricken blind. On the other hand, other readers like how real Ky is. I have to ask myself, as the author, under the difficult situation Ky found herself in, would I be afraid; I still say yes. But if readers stick with Ky, they’ll see how much she’s changes, and, hopefully, they’ll feel as attached to Ky as I do.


Marie:  I agree. Well, I think anyone would have trouble acclimating to a strange, new world.

So, now that we have a real taste of Cobaaron and Ky, we have a few questions for you as well as the author. 

What first gave you the idea for
The Coming Dawn

Austen: As I briefly mention in my bio, I wrote The Coming Dawn after picturing a woman by a cliff in the shadow of a dark world. From there, I sat down and wrote the trilogy in two years. I wish I could say something fascinating, like the entire plot came to me in a dream and I woke in a sweat before writing it all down, but that just isn’t the case. I LOVE writing, and enjoyed the story as it unfolded. Writing The Coming Dawn was a great experience for me. I loved creating, and in all three books I get to build fascinating places, animals, foods, and people. I’d love to write another fantasy, but it will have to wait until my two children are older.


Marie: All right. 
Let's try something else. 
What is your writing style like, Austen?  Are you a pantster or a plotter?

Austen:  I have to admit, and laugh as I do, I didn’t know what pantster was until I looked it up. After adding all the words I’ve written, well over a million, I must confess I’ve never written a single outline—ever. I practically memorized The Coming Dawn and made a very long spreadsheet to keep facts straight, but besides a whole stack of mental sticky notes, I didn’t jot down a single plot idea. My grandmother once told me that novels don’t write themselves, and I have to chuckle, because most authors I talk to are pantsters. For me, I feel inspired when winging it.


Marie: I do a bit of both, but you're right. It's awfully liberating to write whenever an idea just comes to you!  

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

Austen:  I’ve actually helped two people get published, and I’ve learned from watching them that if you don’t have a lot of money to pour into publishing, I still recommend getting your book edited. In fact, I’d recommend not publishing anything until it’s edited. Second, I’d say if you do try to make your own book cover, please ask people who will be frank if it’s professional and appealing. Third, if you do finally publish, and then only sell five books, don’t give up. The more books you write, the more people see your work, the more you’ll get your name out there, and eventually all your work will sell. So keep writing, and writing, and then write some more!


Marie:  That's great advice!

Well, it was such a pleasure having you here on Writing in the Modern Age, Austen. We hope you can come back sometime!  :)  

Austen:  Thank you for having me here.


Marie:  Of course!

Readers, here is the blurb for The Coming Dawn.


In a parallel world of total darkness, Ky was a shining Star and a beacon of hope that the gods did not forget the human race. After her descent as a shooting star, she was stricken blind. Without the aid of chief warrior Cobaaron the Unconquerable, she had no chance of survival. When she regained her sight, she observed the cruel reality of her new surroundings.
Poised on the brink of extinction, most women were barren, corrupt morals flourished, and vicious beasts ruled the constant night. Evil stalked the land as wicked witches and the three depraved kings, powerful practitioners gifted in the dark arts, fought for supremacy.
But all was not lost; there was another twist in Ky’s fate. A prophecy foretold of a Star and a warrior restoring light and peace to the world. Boldly, Ky embraced the adventures and perils awaiting her.

Ky was assured prophecies always came true. What could go wrong? At least that was Ky’s outlook until Wyt, her friend and ally, betrayed her. Suddenly Zevera the Untouchable, the three kings’ mother, traps her in a tree with no hope of escape. Days later, when Cobaaron hadn’t arrived, Ky knew the hardship was only just beginning.

There is more to the prophecy, and a happy ending seems nowhere in sight. Ky’s prophetic dreams take an unsetting twist, as Noxis’s hatred festers, and she must embrace dark magic to save her life and her unborn child. Ky is determined to do what it takes to see the world bathed in light, even as war approaches.

Purchase Links:

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Sounds like a great trilogy!


Readers, don't forget to pick up a copy of Austen's awesome series!


About Austen Knowles:


 Austen Knowles’s inspiration for The Coming Dawn came to her in a vision of a woman warrior with long, glowing, crimson hair standing over a dark cliff. From that first glimpse, she wrote the beloved trilogy in two years. In this realm, she is married to her loving husband, Aaron, and together they raise their two children.


Author Links:         

Austen's Books:

As Lacy S. Kinsley:

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