Note: This interview was originally part of the Royal Rebel blog tour, and was first shared on @a_lady_and_her_literature Instagram page.
What was your childhood like?
I grew up in the castle, because of my father’s high position in the Devendran military. My father was gone a lot for his different military assignments, so I didn’t spend a lot of time with him. Whenever he was home, I was practically his shadow. I wanted his approval more than anything. My mother was always loving, but she was often ill, so I spent a lot of time with Wilf and his wife, Rachel. I had a good childhood, really. I never lacked anything I needed, and I was surrounded by people who loved me.
What is your earliest memory?
I’m not sure how old I was, but I remember my mother giving me a stuffed, fabric panther. I took that thing everywhere with me, but I especially remember playing with it in the grass, pretending we were in the jungles of Zennor. My mother was there, just watching me with a soft kind of smile on her face. A lot of that afternoon might be hazy, but I’ll always remember the quiet peace that surrounded me.
When you were young, what did you want to be when you grew up?
For the most part, I grew up wanting to be a soldier, like my father. But when I was about seven, Wilf let me go with him to the royal blacksmith. I was completely mesmerized by the process of making a sword. When my father came home for one of his visits, I told him I wanted to be a blacksmith. He wasn’t impressed. He told me that learning to use a weapon was a far better use of time than learning to make one. Because I wanted to please my father, I focused on training to become a soldier. That set me on the path to become a royal bodyguard, and I honestly can’t imagine a different career for me—especially because it brought me to Clare. But someday, I would love to wield a sword I forged with my own hands.
You are the youngest captain of the royal guard in Devendran history. When you became captain of Serene’s guards, were you intimidated?
Oh, absolutely. Not only was I new to the work, but I was the commanding officer to older, more experienced men. I quickly learned the importance of listening to their opinions, and to trust my own instincts. It’s the advice I would give to anyone who might be intimidated or unsure of themselves in a new position or situation.
Where do you go when you need advice?
The men I serve with have become some of the most important people in my life. Wilf, Cardon, and Venn are all people I trust to advise me. I also value Clare’s opinion so much. She’s a great listener, so she’s easy to turn to.
If you could live anywhere, where would it be?
I’ve always imagined I’d settle down in Iden. I love the city, and Devendra. After the chaos of the last while, though, a remote cottage on the side of a mountain sounds very appealing. But honestly, as long as I’m with Clare, I’ll be happy anywhere.
What three words would you use to describe Clare?
Selfless. Brave. Kind.
What do you think is your best quality and why?
Dedication. When I commit to doing something, I will see it through, no matter what. It’s served me well in all areas of my life.