Dear readers, tonight with me is a wizard, a man with the soul of a poet and the heart of a demon.
His family is bound to a demon in a geas of murder and mayhem, or risks losing his father. He is here to tell us about his conflicted love life, his estranged relationships, and about deals one might strike with a demon.
Tell us a little about where you grew up. What was it like there?
I grew up at Ashimar House just outside of Guildford in Surrey in the U.K.. Ashimar House is a respectable old pile, with a great library, but it’s drafty, and Ashimars have been continuously replacing the roofs for centuries. At 13, I boarded at Eton College in Hertfordshire, just west of London. I loved everything about Eton—the sporting fields, rowing, and of course beaks who taught me my mind was more important than my money.
What was your favorite pastime as a child?
My favorite thing about Ashimar House was its library. My favorite days were the ones I could spend with a book in front of the fire. My father was an exacting man, and often found fault with a lot of what I did, but never with my love of books. Stories or knowledge, I love them both.
What have you been up to since University?
I have been living a life of parties, women, and fast cars. My mates and I have become quite the fixtures at wizard parties all over Europe. We spend our time in every part of Europe except home. My father has plans for me to take up the family business, and eventually I’ll have to, but I’ve been steering clear of Ashimar House and its secrets for as long as I can.
What are you doing in Seahaven?
My father and I have been trying to mend fences for a few months and he summoned me to Seahaven, Washington. He’s been working on a project for years and asked me to help him with the last piece of it. The only problem is he wants me to bring him a girl, Winter Mulcahy, so he can kill her. It seems this grand project has been wiping out the Mulcahy line and I’ve been summoned to help him finish.
What did you first think when your father asked you to help him kill someone?
Mostly, I felt resigned. I’m not proud of this, but it’s not the first time. The Ashimars are sorcerers—wizards who maintain intimate pacts with a particular greater demon—and killing sacrifices has always been part of that. I can hate it and drag my feet, but it is going to be part of my future as long as we are tied to the demon.
It sounds like you’re not really comfortable with being a sorcerer?
I’m not. I hate it. And I don’t seem to be very good at it. My magic feels pretty weak, and where my father talks about getting a boost from a sacrifice, I usually feel like I’ve come down with the flu. If being a sorcerer was something I could quit and just walk away, I would. But I’m descended from the demon.
What is the worst thing about being a wizard?
Wizard society is all about appearances and power. No one really cares what we do as long as we can do it better than others. From secluded childhoods to arranged marriages, the life of a wizard is not particularly warm.
What is the best thing about it?
Magic is convenient and can be fun when it is working properly. I won’t lie, having money you can weigh makes running away from your unhappy life a lot more possible.
Tell us a little about your friends.
I met my two best-mates, Thomas Griffin and Fitz Martin, in F-block at Eton. We all boarded at The Hopgarden together and have been inseparable since we were thirteen. Thomas and Fitz are brilliant and love books as much as I do. We’ve formed quite the rabble-rousing crew. We’ve travelled the world together and they came with my sister, Elspeth, and me to Seahaven.
I hear there’s going to be a wedding?
Please don’t remind me. I am told that I am to be happily married in two weeks to Celia Carralond, the daughter of the Archwizard. He is very powerful, and she is both beautiful and ambitious. I have made my thoughts on the matter very clear, but have been informed that I don’t need to be enthusiastic. I need to be sober, dressed, and standing at a church in London on the appointed day. Thomas has been tasked with making sure that I show up.
Whom (or what) do you really hate?
I hate the powerplays and snobbery that comes with being a wizard. Too many of us couldn’t care less about who we hurt to achieve our goals. But I fear the demon. It has been a destructive force in the lives of my entire family and can’t wait to destroy mine. I don’t consider myself a coward, but all I really want to do is run and never stop running from this life my family has set up for me.
What’s your favourite drink, colour, and relaxing pastime?
I love a scotch that is old enough to order itself, and think it is barbaric to dilute it with ice. My favorite colour is red. While my favorite quiet pastime is reading, I am a fairly physical man. I enjoy rowing, fencing, boxing, mixed martial arts, and ignoring the posted speed limit.
What does the future hold for you?
I wish I knew. I have dreams like everyone else. I dream of warmth, and friendship—family that holds each other dear. Love, if such a thing really exists. I want a life of purpose, a life where I create far more than I destroy.
Can you share a secret with us, which you’ve never told anyone else?
I enjoy writing poetry even more that reading it. I never share my poems with anyone, but I practice metered forms the way that some people might doodle. It doesn’t fit very well with my aloof playboy façade, but my journals—that is where I hide the real Alerich.
A. E. Lowan is the pseudonym of three authors who collectively create the dark urban fantasy series, The Books of Binding. Collaborating on this project since 2013, Jessica Smith brings a passion for science, Jennifer Vinck brings a love of theatre and linguistics, and Kristin Vinck brings an obsession with history and folklore.
You can find Alerich on the pages of Ties of Blood and Bone, the second Book of Binding after Faerie Rising.
Join us next week to meet a demon in charge of a hellish prison. Please follow the site by email (bottom-right) to be notified when the next interview is posted.
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