Dear readers, tonight with us a thief, a knife-fighter who robs from the rich and gives (some of it, at least) to the poor. She is here to tell us about the biggest heist — to steal the heart of a saint and punish a tyrant — and about her partner who keeps dying.
Tell us a little about where you grew up. What was it like there?
The Veldt? The river dominates it. Men with money and religion on their side keeping the ones without down. And the rest of us, we do what we can. Cord n’ me, we make our own luck though. Better to be free on the road than tied to a post.
Did you have any favourite toys as a child? Any cherished memories?
I had a knife. It was shiny. I named it Knifey.
My parents dumped me at Our Lady of Perpetual Weeping and Moaning. I don’t know if they were too poor to afford me, or too weak to raise me, but in the end, the nuns got me. No. I don’t think nuns is the right word. They were temporary guardians. We tended the grounds, and sometimes were rented out for work—not like that. They were rarely kind, but they also weren’t lunatics. I don’t think religion ever entered into it. OLOPWAM was a business, and they ran it like one.
When I turned seventeen, they released me, and I made my own way. Sometimes honestly, busting my back at the mill. Other times, not so honestly, busting teeth and heads in the alleys for a little money.
What do you do now?
I rob people. And sometimes stick knives in the assholes who deserve it. Oh, we don’t keep it all. Cord says that’s selfish. You gotta give. There are people even smaller than you, and no one deserves to be on the bottom rung. I guess he’s right, but I’d sure like a new pair of boots and something to eat that isn’t dried fish.
What can you tell us about your latest adventure?
Cord’s got a plan. We’re getting his old gang back together. This big mountain named Rek, a really pretty, but a bit cracked lady, named Lux. There’s enough suffering in this world and seeing men like Anaxos Mane take more—well that doesn’t sit right with any of us.
What did you first think when you met Cord ?
I thought I’d be burying him in the nearest dumpster. But he’s a tough chunk of leather. Turns out he can’t die, so when he came back, my second thought was that he was crazier than a bag full of weasels. Jury’s still out on that one.
What was the scariest thing in your adventures?
Killing a man with a stuffed squirrel. You don’t know. I could’ve been turned into a rutabaga, or worse, a lounge singer.
What is the worst thing about living on a boat?
What’s not terrible about it? It’s cramped, it’s always wet, it smells, it’s noisy, it never stops moving, and you eat fish more often than the gods intended. You know, people romanticize pirates, but if I had to do that permanently, I’d seriously consider tying the anchor around my waist and going for a swim.
What is the best thing about it?
Did you not read the above?
Tell us a little about your friends.
Rek—Big man with a big heart. Don’t mess with his cats. Lux—Undead? Genius. Scary. Gorgeous. You don’t even know. Cord—Pain in my ass, and best friend I ever had. No matter what he’s planning, in the end, it’s probably going to work out for someone—even if it’s just Cord.
Any romantic involvement?
Did I not just describe the super hot wizard lady?
Whom (or what) do you really hate?
Harrowers. Crazy-ass sorcerers who can conjure up anything from nightmare. They give me the creeps. You’re better off putting them in the ground than risking pissing one off.
What’s your favourite drink, colour, and relaxing pastime?
Brandy, smoke, and a bit of slipweed. Colour? I don’t have any idea. Red can be pretty. Green’s not bad.
What does the future hold for you?
We’ll see. We pull this off, we can go anywhere, really.
Can you share a secret with us, which you’ve never told anyone else?
There’s a story about Rek and a horse. It’s hilarious. Don’t tell him I told you.
C.W. Snyder is the author of Child of Nod and River of Thieves, currently splitting his time between work and writing. He has worked as a system admin, developer, and project manager and authored several short stories, his most recent, “Mother Time, Father Death’, at Helios Quarterly. His literary influences include Roger Zelazny, Stephen King, and Robin Hobb. Born and raised in Michigan, Clayton is a North Dakota transplant currently living in Bismarck with his wife, two dogs, and a cat. He participates in several charitable works, including the Brave the Shave event for research for childhood cancer, and the local humane society.
You can find Nenn on the pages of River of Thieves.
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