Ella Font (EF): Good morning wherever you are. This is Ella Font if the Interdimensional News Network. I’m here today with Yaasha Moriah, another of our 21st Century Authors. Yaasha’s work was popular throughout the first half of the century.
Yaasha, thank you for joining us today. What have you brought to share with us?
Yaasha Moriah (YM): Thanks for having me! I am sharing about my fantasy novella “Wings Beneath Water.”
EF: Beneath the water? Sounds interesting. Can you tell us a bit about it?
Ever since Risha was found on the shores of the river and adopted into the tribe, he and his brother Uraun have been inseparable. But when a neighboring tribe ignites war, killing the boys’ father, their lives start on a path that begins to divide them.
As the tribe goes to war, Risha’s gift awakens. He is the Siyeen, capable of reading a person’s true nature—and in Uraun’s nature, he reads only vengeance.
Fearing that his gift will endanger Uraun, Risha flees to the marshes. To save his brother’s soul, Risha must learn the secrets of the first Siyeen and seek the redemption that will grant his brother a second chance.
EF: Fascinating. That doesn’t sound like a typical fantasy. Does it fall into one of the other categories?
YM: “Wings Beneath Water” is a sort of “native fantasy.” Think native peoples, all mixed up with supernatural dragons and shape-shifting powers. One of my ARC readers said it had “deeply spiritual themes” and was more in-depth than my other books, which he liked better.
EF: I don’t think I’ve seen many fantasy novels told from the perspective of native people. Can you tell us more about your main character?
Discovered as an infant in the marshes, Risha bears distinctive purple eyes. As he grows up with his adoptive brother Uraun, Risha seems like a normal boy. He trains with the tribal warriors, hunts deer with Uraun, and swims in the river.
Risha cares deeply about his brother Uraun and about the truth. Sometimes the two things conflict, so Risha struggles with the implications of his choices, especially when the power of the Siyeen awakes in him.
EF: He sounds like a complex person. Many of our viewers are curious about how much authors invest in their own characters. Are there any characteristics you share in common with you main character?
YM: Risha and I share a deep love for truth, even hard truths. If you look for comfort instead of truth, you will eventually end up with neither. If you look for truth, even truth that makes you uncomfortable initially, you will eventually find both truth and comfort.
We also share a fierce loyalty to family, even despite conflict. Risha makes hard choices in order to protect his family and, although my choices aren’t nearly so dramatic as Risha’s, I’ve done the same. Family is worth fighting for!
EF: Indeed it is. Let’s see if any of our viewers would like to ask you a question. First up? Amanda Rekkonwif from Tombstone Colony on Europa. Amanda asks, “If your character actually had pockets, what would be in them?”
YM: Twine to fix a fishing net, arrowheads for his arrows, a knife, a sinew for his bow… Odds and ends that help him survive in the marshes.
EF: I can understand that, but those are definitely not things you’d find in most people’s pockets. Next up? A question from Jerry Mander calling in from Wiggle Road on Charon. Jerry wants to know, “Can you share a line from your work?”
YM: “They say when you see wings beneath the water, you get a second chance to live.”
EF: So you sourced the title from your book from one of the lines in the book. That’s a good way to do it. Tom Katt from Litter Pan Colony on Ganymede. Tom wants to know, “If your character existed in main life, would you be friends?”
YM: I think we’d get along splendidly. Risha would teach me about survival in the wild and I’d teach him how to read and write. An excellent trade, I think.
EF: Where can our viewers find your work?
I’m always busy on my website at YaashaMoriah.com. I am also on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram as Yaasha Moriah. I love interacting with people about all things speculative fiction, so people are always welcome to introduce themselves, tell me about their favorite sci-fi or fantasy book, and why they like it.
EF: That’s great. I’m sure our viewers would like to connect with you online and share about their love of science fiction and fantasy in the early 21st Century. Thanks for joining us today. [Looks into the camera] That’s all we have time for today. Please stop by Yaasha’s internet hangouts and chat if you have other questions about her amazing work. Stay tuned tomorrow when we’ll have an excerpt of “Wings Beneath Water.” For now, this is Ella Font of the Interdimensional News Network. Back to Bob Frapples at the news desk. Bob?