Dear readers, tonight with us is Ayn, otherwise known as The Bodanya, Shiva the Fourteenth. Predestined to become the great messiah of his people, Ayn must save his galaxy from disease and war. But when an unknown enemy threatens everyone he loves, the destiny he thought was his spins out of control.
He is here to tell about the conflicts of his true identity, and the choices he made in life.
Tell us a little about where you grew up. What was it like there?
I grew up secluded in the Holy Temple on the planet Deius. I was mostly raised by the high priest, Meddhi-Lan, who was like a father to me. I didn’t know my mother very well, unfortunately, for it was against the Dei priests’ laws. I’m not sure why… but they didn’t let me see her much. Unfortunately, the priests believed me to be their “Bodanya,” which means savior. It was very difficult for me to accept as a child. I just wanted to be a normal boy. If I’m honest, I had a strange, gilded childhood. However, I was given a lot of love and attention from Meddhi-Lan, and from my secondary teacher, Pei, who was like an older brother. I had a wonderful dog-like pet named Duna too. I have fond memories of my childhood, despite its abnormality.
Did you have any favourite toys as a child? Any cherished memories?
I was mostly forced to study, especially meditation, since I was expected to understand the “paradox” of the universe. But I did receive a wonderful birthday gift when I was seven. It was a blue-colored toy boat, and I loved it so very much. I believed it could fly, and I would one day fly in it to the heavens where I would meet all the Gods in the old myths.
What can you tell us about your latest adventure?
My latest “adventure?” I don’t think I’d call it an adventure per say, though I’m told my story is epic and possibly the stuff of legend. I can only hope that’s true. It would justify all I’ve gone through if it ended up as a legendary tale in a book. Anyway, the last thing that was written about me was in “The Veil of Truth,” and I was dreaming of escape! However, by book 3, “The Riddle of the Gods,” I may just get free and take revenge! Also, I hear there’s a huge battle scene with ships, swords, and even a fiery monster! I’m a little scared of all that, to be honest, but I hope it turns out alright!
What did you first think when you left your home and discovered another planet?
I was a little nervous to be away from, not only my planet, but the royal palace and the holy temple: the only two places I had ever experienced. But once I saw what Xen was like with its bustling city and different races of people, I was amazed. I was intimidated, but equally excited. I especially loved the exotic food! Lots of fish!
What was the scariest thing in your adventures?
Wow… there’s been so much that’s happened that terrified me to my core. I guess when I was taken prisoner. I hate feeling trapped. More than anything.
What is the worst thing about being expected to be a God reborn?
I hate the pressure! I don’t mean to be ungrateful for all the priests gave me, including shelter, books, and love, but… I never felt normal. My body and mind both felt too different from the time I was born, and yet, they wanted me to be their reincarnated “Great Adin,” and I could barely know who I was in this life, right now!
What is the best thing about being the “Bodanya?”
Um… *grimaces* I guess I never had to live on the streets or anything like that. I’ve had a privileged life, and compared to the poor children who’ve grown up without love or basic necessities, I had it good, and I am grateful for that.
Tell us a little about your friends.
Well, my student-teacher, Pei, was always like an older brother, always prodding at me to study more, but he was loving too. However, I suppose my first real friend was Zin, the prince of Ohr. He was weird though. *slightly laughs* I mean, he came right into my face and said I was familiar. Who does that? I grew up with everyone keeping their distance, especially physically, so that was unsettling. I felt the familiarity too, but… I just didn’t know how to handle his ultra-friendly behavior. Plus, I think he was trying too hard to impress me, just the feeling I got. Anyway, Zin ended up becoming my closest friend for a while.
I’ve made a lot of friends since though, namely Srah, the most beautiful, lavender-haired girl in the world, and Axis, my bonded Sarax (sphinx.) Although, for a long time, I didn’t know if Axis was even real. I’m still not sure! *laughs*
Any romantic involvement?
Oh… yeah, um… Srah… just so pretty. She’s like an angel. I really thought she was a mythical angel when I first met her. I’m not sure if we’re just friends though. Considering I was only fourteen when I met her, I don’t know if she saw me like a full man, but maybe… The third book will tell!
Whom (or what) do you really hate?
I cannot stand Governor Seith! He may not be Yol Notama, the man who ruined my life on Deius, but he is a slave owner and a terrible person! Plus, he looks like an eel! Really! Like an evil, slimy eel!
What’s your favourite drink, colour, and relaxing pastime?
My favorite drink? I like water, ice-water. I guess I’m boring that way. My favorite color is blue. It reminds me of the open sky and the freedom that lies ahead. And a pastime that relaxes me is sleeping! I really like sleeping. I also play the flute, which is my favorite hobby. I adore music! It speaks to my soul.
Can you share a secret with us, which you’ve never told anyone else?
Well… I… can’t tell you my biggest secret, I’m sorry. It’s too private. However, I can tell you that despite my shy and reserved nature, I am the biggest romantic there is. As a child, I used to sneak into the “forbidden library” and I would read all night in the wee hours from the hidden scrolls. I’d read about the old, forgotten Gods and their wild, intense love affairs! My favorite story was about Otho, the wolf God, and Matana, the moon Goddess of Judgement, as well as twin sister of the sun God, Siri. She had a forbidden affair with Otho, who loved her greatly and gave her twins. Siri got jealous, of course, and punished her to live as a half-mortal, which is why she’s always cold in the sky. Otho tried to take revenge, but only got himself burnt by Siri’s undying flame. It’s one of the greatest stories ever, and I would stay up late, night after night, pretending I was as brave and passionate as Otho. *blushing* Great, now everyone’s going to know their “savior” is a big, romantic fool! Thanks! *laughs*
What does the future hold for you?
In “Riddle of the Gods,” I am finally able to become my true self! I grow up to the age of sixteen too! I can’t wait! I hope I find true love and lead an army to reclaim my home! I don’t know if I’ll be able to balance the paradox of sickness and war like the Dei priests expected of me, but I hope I can at least help my own people and end slavery throughout the galaxy!
Lyra Shanti is a novelist, poet, playwright, and songwriter who currently lives in Florida with partner and spouse, Timothy, and their two insane cats. Author of the epic sci-fi series, Shiva XIV, Lyra loves to explore myth, magic, and the metaphysical! Further information about Lyra’s stories, music and more can be found at www.lyrashanti.com and www.shivaxiv.com.
You can find Ayn on the pages of the Shiva XIV series (with the third volume – The Riddle of the Gods- released this month!)
Next week we will be hosting a woman who, despite having no memories, is intimately familiar with that brief moment when life passes on to death. Please follow the site by email (bottom-right), via Twitter, or like our Facebook page to be notified when the next interview is posted.