The 2nd in a series of pieces on characters and places featured in Joinings: A Seared Sky. This is background information, not covered in the book, but intended to enhance the reading experience. For some of my people, there’ll be a character drawing, supplied by Alice Taylor, maybe a video interview, and accompanying script. I may do a short piece of fiction, deepening the knowledge of certain minor characters as well.
For the places, I’ll use sections of the map, to indicate location, along with a description of the place, as I see it, and, where appropriate, linking it with characters. Perhaps indicate life there with a short anecdote or story. I won’t reveal any of the story, either as already published or as written into the series, merely enhance readers’ enjoyment of the trilogy by providing more information. I hope this will give pleasure to those who’ve bought the book and, perhaps, persuade others to take that step.
In this interview, the character’s names are pronounced phonetically.
These are just my take on the names, how I hear them in my head. You may pronounce them any way you wish; reading is, after all, an active rather than a passive occupation.
Tarruss is a giant of a man, with green eyes, short red hair and a cropped beard. He accompanies the main group, acting as guardian. Here he talks with the author.
SA: So, Tarruss, how should I describe you?
Tarruss: You invented me. Say what you see.
SA: Most people would describe you as a giant. I’d describe you as a giant.
Tarruss: Bigger than most. But that doesn’t make me a bully, you know.
SA: Remind me, what do you do for a living?
Tarruss: Work with wood an’ metal, making weapons for the army and tools for farmers. Strong, you see.
SA: And, women? What’s your attitude to women, Tarruss?
Tarruss: Love ‘em. Beautiful, mysterious creatures with a shape that makes a man want more. Clever, too. And strong in a way lots of men don’t seem to see. I love the look of them, the feel of them in your arms, the way they laugh, the way they moan with pleasure. To be honest, I prefer the company of women to men.
SA: And what about your religion? How do you feel about that?
Tarruss: That’s a strange question. I Follow. We all do. It’s our religion. I don’t know what you expect me to say.
SA: Well, for instance, how do you feel about the High Priest?
Tarruss: Dagla Kaz does a job, like we all do. He’s the leader and has direct contact with Ytraa. He’s the one as makes sure we’re all doing right. Fierce, like, when he’s riled. I sometimes wonder…well, I shouldn’t really say, you know. I’m a loyal Follower, that’s all, really.
SA: I see. And the Holy Ones?
Tarruss: You tryin’ to get me in trouble?
SA: Not at all. I’m trying to show our readers the sort of guy you are, that’s all.
Tarruss: Seem a bit tricky to me.
SA: The Holy Ones?
Tarruss: I’d rather not say, if you don’t mind.
SA: Okay. What about food?
Tarruss: A man likes to fill his belly. Preferably with good stuff. And the odd flagon of good strong ale, of course. Hot work, hammerin’ metal.
SA: Don’t say a great deal, do you?
Tarruss: Depends who’s asking the questions, and how good they are.
SA: Right. There’s a rumour you once killed a man with your bare hands.
Tarruss: Is there? Look, any man who mistreats a child like that deserves what he gets. And I’m admittin’ nothing.
SA: Last one. What’s your role on the pilgrimage?
Tarruss: Well, you wrote the story: don’t you know? Oh, you want it in my words. Right. I’m along as guardian, soldier, hunter, and general drudge. Because I’m big, people think I’m not too bright.
SA: Thank you for your thoughts, Tarruss.
Tarruss: Welcome. Can I go now?
SA: Of course.