Today I am delighted to introduce you to fellow Fantasy Author Lyra Shanti. Lyra is a novelist, poet, playwright, and songwriter. Her love of theater inspired her imagination, and also introduced her to her partner and soulmate, Timothy. Together they live in Florida where they are perpetually entertained by their two insane cats. Lyra is a lover of nature, animals, anime, music, theater, movies, myths, and of course, books.
Lyra’s epic sci-fi/fantasy series, Shiva XIV, is currently in its third installment, Riddle of the Gods. The fourth chapter, The River of Time, is due out in late 2017, with one additional book to follow.
Today she is introducing us to one of her characters: Pei, the brave priest turned warrior from her epic sci-fi series Shiva XIV.
What was it like growing up as a Dei priest, and then later as a “Lan” teacher for Ayn, the messiah of your people? Was it difficult?
Pei: It was rather peaceful growing up at the Holy Temple on Deius. My own teacher, High Priest Meddhi-Lan, was also Ayn’s teacher. He raised us both like sons, though I was older than Ayn by 14 years. I was charged with the task of helping Ayn to study more often, which proved to be quite the challenge. *slight laugh* Ayn was a little wild when he was young, always making jokes and avoiding his lessons. I admit, I miss that joyful exuberance he had as a child. If only we could stay the way we are as children…
You seem to fall in love instantly, and hard. How does the romantic love factor impact any of your life-altering decisions?
Pei: Oh, I… I don’t know. I try not to fall as hard or as fast these days, since it always gets me in trouble. But… I admit that love has influenced my mind and heart on a few occasions, especially when it came to joining the Lirhan on Kri. The transition of leaving the priesthood to become a warrior wasn’t easy. I had to change my entire mindset from a man of peace to a man of protection. I like to think I’m pleasing the Gods in what I do, but ultimately, I’m just trying to make myself happy… and protect those I love in the process.
Can you tell us about your childhood? What about your family?
Pei: I don’t know that much about my biological background. I’m an orphan, you see. I was told by the previous high priest, Amun-Lan that my parents left me at the temple without a word of why. I consider my family to be the man who raised me, Meddhi-Lan, and Ayn, who is like my little brother… albeit a very powerful one.
What’s your favorite food?
Pei: I used to be a vegetarian at the temple, but these days? I love roasted meats, and I like traditional Deiusian food, specifically nutty stews or maybe mint ice cream. Mmm!
Would you choose personal happiness over universal peace?
Pei: No, my guilt would get the better of me, and I wouldn’t be able to sleep. How those ruled by greed can do it is beyond me. They must have no conscience.
How do you define being a hero? Do you think you are one?
Pei: I think of heroes as those who willingly face their fears and step into harm’s way so that they can help those less fortunate or in danger. There are all kinds of heroes though. Even just lending an ear for a friend or caring for a sick person can be heroic. It all makes a difference in whatever form it may be. Am I a hero? I certainly hope so. I try my best to be a good man who cares for others. It’s my ideal.
Is war necessary? How do you balance your religious teachings with the violence of being a warrior?
Pei: I don’t think I’m qualified to answer if war is necessary. However, I can say that violence isn’t natural for me. My religious teachings gave me respect for all life, and for the universe. But my later experiences showed me the anger and fear that exists in the hearts of all living creatures. That fear and anger is something the Dei priests believe they can control, but all they are really doing is hiding their emotions… and hiding from the world. I don’t want to hide, not do I want to be excessively violent. The Lirhan do not seek violence where it’s not necessary. I personally fight because I believe it’s the only way to stand up for what’s right, but I would never pick a fight where one didn’t need to occur.
What do you think of the planet Kri and its king, Atlar?
Pei: Kri is fascinating. It’s a place of much philosophy and art, and has many old temples and architecture. They have gods, though they don’t seem to worship them as much as the religious do on my planet (Deius.) And I find their system of government fascinating; it’s a democratic monarchy. King Atlar is a fair and just king, as far as I can tell. I have a great deal of respect and love for his noble heart, sense of justice, and fearless courage.
Do you like your self image? Do you think you’re handsome?
Pei: Oh, um… *blush* What a question! I suppose I’m alright, certainly not ugly… I don’t think. But beauty is subjective, isn’t it? I’d like to think I’m attractive, at least to those I myself am attracted to.
Why haven’t you done an interview before? Why are you so shy?
Pei: I assume it’s my Dei upbringing. I find myself more at home with observing, rather than participating.
What’s the one reason you think readers would love to read about you in the Shiva XIV series?
Pei: Well, I don’t know if they would love me, but I personally like my willful determination. I think it’s my best quality. As for why readers would love the story, I can only say that I myself love its star, Ayn. He will forever be my younger brother, if not by blood, then by spirit. I am fascinated by his journey into the great man he is fated to become. I may lose faith in many things in this universe, but never in Ayn. He is pure. He is the light. He is my hope. I’m not sure if he knows all that, but it remains the truth.
Thank you Lyra for sharing your character with us. Definitely enough to spark MY curiosity 🙂
You can Read more about Pei in the Shiva XIV series here: https://www.amazon.com/gp/bookseries/B01FURVPQA/
And be sure to visit Lyra at her social places:
Lyra on Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Lyra-Shanti/e/B004RZZEXW/
Lyra on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/authorlyrashanti/
Lyra on Twitter: https://www.twitter.com/lyrashanti
Lyra’s website: http://www.lyrashanti.com