This is the 13th (Oooer, not superstitious, are you?) in a series on characters and places featured in Joinings:A Seared Sky. This background information isn’t covered in the book but will enhance the reading experience. For some of my people there are character drawings, supplied by Alice Taylor or myself (but I'm still learning how to draw, so bear with me!), maybe a video interview, and accompanying script. I’ll do short pieces of fiction, deepening knowledge of certain minor characters as well.
For the places, I use sections of the map to indicate location or a sketch to illustrate the place, along with a description of the place, as I see it, and, where appropriate, links with characters. Sometimes, I indicate the way of life there with a short anecdote or story.
I don’t reveal any of the main story, either as already published or as written in the series, simply enhance readers’ enjoyment of the trilogy by providing more information. I hope this gives pleasure to those who’ve bought the book and, perhaps, persuades others to take that step.
Corphanda – cor-fan-da (as in ‘dad’).
Names are pronounced phonetically. But this is my take on them; how I hear them in my head. You may pronounce them as you wish, of course; reading is, after all, active rather than passive.
Interview with Corphanda, who’s along as chaperone for the Virgin Gifts. She’s a chatterbox, opinionated, fun, stern at need, a great confidante, as she doesn’t gossip. An older, rather chubby widow, she still enjoys men and sex. Her voice is full of underlying chuckle and slightly sultry.
SA: So, Corphanda, how would you like to tell us a bit about yourself?
Corphanda: Well now, for a man as good lookin’ as yoursen, I’d be ‘appy to chatter for a good while. Me? Well, I’m as round as I’m tough, so don’t go thinkin’ there’s no solid stuff under this layer of warm softness. An’ I don’t stand no cheek, neither, so watch what you say. Grey and past me best, I may be, but I could still give you a good go.
SA: I see. Well, thank you for the compliment, I think. But let’s talk about you and your role in the story, shall we?
Corphanda: I’ll talk about me till the Skyfire returns. Mind you, that’s just an expression, you know. I mean, there’s a rumour goin’ round that the Skyfire might well be on it’s way back. But I don’t listen to no gossip. I’ll wait till I hear it from the village priest. You’ll know more about what’s expected of me than I know meself. Come on, lover boy, tell me what I need to know.
SA: Well, you’re to be guide and guardian to a party of young virgin women on a mission back to the ancient homeland. How’s that suit you?
Corphanda: Whoa there! That’s a lot to take in one bite. Guardian? What, to keep them virginal, like? I can do that. Yes, I can keep young lasses in hand. I’ve a swift slap for any that doesn’t want to do as she’s told. An’, even though I’m a bit portly, I can walk as far as the next man. That’d be you. I’d walk as far as you’d like to take me, if you understand my meaning? That a blush? I like a modest man. Well, Truth be told, I like any man willin’ to take me on.
SA: So, the prospect of foreign travel doesn’t daunt you, then?
Corphanda: I’ve lived too long to be daunted by such as that. There’ll be others along to deal with problems, like. An’ I’ll have me herbs and roots to cure any ailments. I’m good with medicines, you know. Me old mother was a proper healer and she taught me all she knew afore she went off to the Garden of Delights.
SA: Why do you suppose you’ve been chosen for the job?
Corphanda: Who else would do? I’m the obvious choice, like. Folk know me as reliable and down-to-earth. A woman with a strong character and a good knowledge of the ways of the world. I don’t stand for no nonsense, you know. Folk always know where they stand with me. What you get is what you see, if you understand my meaning. I know what I know and I don’t care who knows it, neither.
SA: Well, thank you very much for your time and…
Corphanda: That it? You call me all the way over ‘ere for that? Well, I ‘ave to say I’d wished for a bit more than that. I mean, ‘andsome fellah like you. I could do us both a favour if you…
SA: No doubt, Corphanda. Another time, perhaps? I’m a little busy at present. But thank you for the…er, offer.
Corphanda: Well, if that’s it, I might as well be getting’ back. You’re not the onny one as is busy, you know.
SA: Of course. Thanks again. Well, that was a close shave.
Corphanda: I ‘eard that!
That's Corphanda. And you'll find her amongst the people populating the epic fantasy series, A Seared Sky, book 1 , Joinings, available in print and digital formats online and in bookshops.