Dear readers, tonight with us is a woman from a utopian floating city, dreaming of serving the gods as a priestess. Armed with the power of the sea goddess, she must fight Mechanical beasts which are attacking innocent people on the streets at night.
us a little about where you grew up. What was it like there?
I grew up in a city that’s floating in the
sky. It’s scarier than it sounds. We have high walls so you can’t see the
ground. We get clean air, but there’s also not a lot of open space and
everything has to be flown in by airship. Some people say city dwellers are
snobs, but I just think we’re different, y’know? The gods choose the best
places for everyone, so we’re just suited to here, and I’m sure people on the
land have things they like about it.
Anyway, I think it’s exciting to live in
the city because there are so many things. I can hop on a cable car and be at
the bookstore in a few minutes. A few stops away, there’s a chocolatier and
pastry shop. I can buy cute clothes from all over the empire, and see my
favorite singer at the concert hall. There’s always something fun to do!
you have any favourite toys as a child? Any cherished memories?
I have a rag doll. We’re supposed to give
up our toys when we leave school, but I held onto her. She’s a little ratty but
my best friend, Nexita, she fixed my doll up nice. So I couldn’t give it up.
Nexita has been my best friend for years,
and I don’t know what I’d do without her. We were roommates in school, so she
was the one who always made sure I cleaned up our room, got to class on time,
and helped me with homework. I know it sounds like she does everything for me!
But I try to be a good friend, too. She’s really shy, so I help her talk to
other people and I stand up for her. We’re really close. We don’t know who our
parents are (no one knows their family), but we pretend that we’re sisters.
We were supposed to be apprenticed together
. That’s what we dreamed of, being priestesses. It’s so weird that I got to be
a priestess and she’s an engineer. It’s tough to be separated, but I visit
every chance I get.
do you like studying to be a priestess?
It’s not really what I expected. I thought
we’d be able to talk to the gods, y’know, since we’re supposed to be serving
them. How do we know that we’re doing the right thing if the gods aren’t
speaking to us? And there’s so much work. Like, not just learning about
priestess stuff, we have to do all our own chores like cooking the food and
cleaning the temple. Since priestesses are so important, I don’t know why we
have to waste time on chores. But the Sister says we have to be
But being a novice isn’t all bad. My
favorite part of the day is when we’re in the temple first thing in the
morning, at the dawn ceremony, and everyone sings together. We all pray to the
sun goddess and she grants us her power for our city. It’s hard because we
can’t have breakfast until after, so I’m always starving, but the connection I
feel to the gods is incredible. It’s almost like they’re right there in the
room with us, and when I open my eyes, I’ll see them standing there…
makes you think you can speak to the gods?
Well, don’t tell anyone else I said this,
but I think it may have already happened. I had a dream about Sawycha, the sea
goddess. Okay, it was a dream, but it felt real. And the weird thing is, she warned
me about this giant wolf machine thing. I’ve never seen anything like it, but
it was really scary.
I know I have a wild imagination—Nexita
says I read too many novels—but then my dream came true. Not the part about
talking to the sea goddess, but the part about the wolf. Wait, let me back up.
So first this bird started talking to me. Sounds crazy, right? But she told me
she’s a messenger from the sea goddess—she’s a sandpiper, I guess that makes
sense—and she could give me magic. I thought I was still dreaming. Until I
jumped out the window and didn’t even get hurt! So Tika, that’s the bird, she
led me to the giant wolf which was attacking Nexita.
where did the mechanical wolf come from?
I don’t know, we’re still trying to figure
that out. I was able to break the machine with the sea goddess’s magic and save
Nexita. We got away, but when we went back to look for clues, the mechanical
wolf was gone! And everyone just acted like it never happened. It’s so weird,
but we’ll figure it out. Nexita’s helping me and she’s really smart.
was the scariest thing in your adventures so far?
Everything! I’m not, like, good at running
or climbing things. I’m usually clumsy and I tend to fall down a lot. These
days I’m jumping from one building to another, fighting these giant mechanical
beasts, trying to save people and solve this mystery. It would be exciting if I
were reading it in a book but it’s way scarier to deal with it for real. Some
days, I don’t want to get out of bed! But the worst part was something I don’t
want to talk about. I still can’t believe it happened. People are worse than
the monster machines.
us a little about your friends.
Besides Nexita, I’m lucky to have a lot of
good friends. My new roommate, Kyra, didn’t like me at first but I think she’s
coming around. She’s very critical every time I mess up, but she’s just looking
out for me in her own way, y’know? And then there’s Janera, she’s a guard at
the temple, and she’s really nice. We swap books and she shares my taste in
music. Tika, the messenger bird, she’s strict but I like having her around to
give us advice. I wouldn’t understand any of this magic stuff without her. Then
there’s this guy I keep bumping into, Deryt, he’s an engineer apprentice with
Nexita. He’s annoying and he’s probably hiding something, but I didn’t hesitate
to save his life because I think he’s a good person. Finally, we found out that
Amena, my favorite singer, is actually a warrior like us! I’ve never met a
celebrity before and I don’t know if we can be friends, but she’s part of the
team now, so I’m going to try.
Um, I’m afraid it’s way too obvious,
because I’m always staring at her… I have this huge crush on Kyra. It’s
really awkward because we share a room, so I see her all day long. I’ve crushed
on girls before, but this feels different. I can’t get her out of my head. I
bet she’d be mad if she found out.
do you really hate?
Whoever is building these mechanical beasts
is a real creep. They’re hurting innocent people, but they don’t seem to care
at all. And they have to be powerful, because the constables in the city seem
like they’re covering it up. There’s nothing in the news about the attacks.
When I find out who it is, I’m giving them a piece of my mind!
your favourite drink, food, colour, and relaxing pastime?
I love to drink chocolate and I’ll eat
anything sweet! Or fried. Or full of garlic. Or… I really like food. I’ll try
anything once, as long as it doesn’t have too many soggy vegetables. My
favorite color is pink, like my hair. Besides eating and sleeping, I love to
read, especially romance novels. My favorite part is the happy ending.
does the future hold for you?
That’s hard to say. I guess I’m stuck as a
warrior for the gods, at least until we figure out how to help them. It seems
like the sun goddess is hogging all the worship, so we have to get people to
pray to worship the other gods again. It feels like a lot of work. There’s a
lot of people in the empire and they don’t change their minds easily. Even when
we summoned a goddess to show them how powerful she was, they didn’t believe
she was real. And if you’ve ever seen a god in person, you know that’s not easy
to fake. So we have to think of something else.
you share a secret with us, which you’ve never told anyone else?
A secret? I’m not good at keeping secrets,
especially from my friends. I tell Nexita everything…
I’m afraid of what I’m capable of. I don’t
want to hurt anyone. I didn’t choose to become a warrior. But if someone was
trying to hurt my friends…
I’d kill them.
Fantasy author Kristen S. Walker dreams of being a pirate mermaid who can talk to sharks, but she settles for writing stories for teens and adults. She lives in northern California with her family and a rescue cat.
You can find Riwenne on the pages of Riwenne & the Mechanical Beasts.
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