Jeanette: Zadeki, Welcome. We’re chuffed you could take time to fly into today to enlighten us a bit more about yourself. We’ve been following your adventures Under the Mountain and also across the ocean in the Lonely Isles. It hasn’t all been smooth sailing (sorry, couldn’t resist the pun). Coughs Please, please pull up a seat and make yourself welcome.
Zadeki: My thanks, daughter of the pen. (Brushes a small feather from his hair, and jumps up onto a tree branch.) I’m glad you decided to have the interview outside. Sometimes I think I’ve been in more tunnels than anyone should in a life time.
Jeanette: I can understand that. The last few days most have been particularly harrowing. Can you tell us a bit about how your association with the twins, Delvina and Retza, came about?
Zadeki: Ah, well, that’s a bit embarrassing. I wanted to prove to the Kinleader that I was ready to be a Pathfinder. So I decided to fly over the mountains to show my skill at shape-shifting. Instead, I ended up being caught in a snow storm and colliding with a mountain and breaking a wing … er arm. That’s when the twins found me and took me into the mountain caverns.
Jeanette: Your time with the twins and their people has been fraught with danger and difficulties. Even now things are in the balance, yet I’m sure the twins have been very glad of your help and that of your Kin.
Jeanette: Lets talk a bit more about you. In our world, people are often divided between ‘cat’ people and ‘dog’ people. Do you have a particular preference between the two?
Zadeki: Do you mean as pets? We don’t keep pets though most animals are our friends. So far, I have only three shifting forms and none of them are ‘dog’ shapes. But I do love shifting into the jaguar form – so lithe and powerful, such grace and beauty – and sharp teeth.
Jeanette: (Moves back in the chair). Ah, yes so I see. What was your role in your family growing up?
Zadeki: I’m the youngest of seven children and I have heaps of cousins, aunts and uncles. Mostly, they think I’m still a youngling and don’t take me seriously.
Jeanette: I’m sure that’s changing now given how you’ve helped the twins and the other Darane. Who do you want to be like? Who are your heroes?
Zadeki: I grew up on tales on how the first Flame King guided the ships escaping the destruction of the central lands. And also on how Doryn and Ruhanna established our Kin in the wide lands several hundred years ago. But I do admire the Kinleader Telsima, and also my parents – oh, and Retza and Delvina who are full of courage and determination to save their people.
Jeanette: When and where were you happiest?
Zadeki: When I’m shapeshifting – flying in the skies or prowling through the Great Forest, seeing more of the wide world.
Jeanette: What music do you listen to?
Zadeki: Listen? I love joining in when our Kin sing together after the evening meal. The interplay of voices, the words of the ancient songs under the giant trees and stars, it’s moving and it says I’m home with my family, my Kin.
Jeanette: Do you have any bad habits?
Zadeki: Laughs. Lots of them, I’m sure. Aunt Bikan (pauses a second, clears his throat) Aunt Bikan would say I’m too impetuous, acting before I’ve considered the consequences. And maybe she’s right.
Jeanette: Does anything scare you?
Zadeki: Oh, yes. I hate dark, enclosed spaces, the feeling of being trapped with no way out.
Jeanette: What is the worst thing that’s happened in your life? What did you learn from it?
Zadeki: What happened on the Lonely Isles when we were caught and what Avardin did to us, to Aunt Bikan. I gave up hope but, by the Maker’s Favour, it didn’t end the way I thought it would. I hope I’ve learnt to be less impetuous, and to not give up hope even in the darkest night.
Jeanette: Who is the love of your life?
Zadeki: That’s a bit awkward. (Looks away). I really like Delvina and I think she likes me, but I’m still so young and there is so much of the world to see.
Jeanette: Perhaps things will sort themselves out with time. One final question. What have you always wanted to do but haven’t done? Why?
Zadeki: (Eyes shine). Oh, apart from explore the whole world? I’d love to learn the koraktil form. It’s such an awesome beast – huge, able to fly and breath fire. It’s a difficult form to learn but one day I will and own the skies.
Jeanette O’Hagan: That would be awesome. Thank you Zadeki. We’ve got time left, let’s take questions from our readers.
Caverns of the Deep Launch
Three years ago, I launched Heart of the Mountain – the first book in the Under the Mountain series. This week I launched the fifth and final book of the series, Caverns of the Deep. Find out what happens to Zadeki, Delvina, Retza and their friends.
Seven Gates, locked and warded, stand between life and starvation.
As belts are tightened notch by notch, Watcher Retza and Lady Zara seek to find the seal and open the Gate.
Meanwhile, Delvina, shapeshifter Zadeki and Danel race to return to the Caverns in time to help their friends.
Danger and betrayal stalk the tunnels and shadows grow darker in the deep caverns beneath the mountain. Will Zadeki, Zara and the twins (Retza and Delvina) find a way to save the Glittering Realms and secure a better future?
Set in the world of Nardva, Caverns of the Deep is the fifth and final book in the Under the Mountain series.
Caverns of the Deep now available on Amazon Here.