Okay so that's SORT of a lie since we took the weekend off ... and then took a day off since our last post ... but we had a march to go to, signs to paint, letters to deliver--you know, the stuff you do when you want to make your voice heard. The last week has been an awful lot of work for those of us who like to be involved! We're watching our country go through a historic change--and whether you have optimism for our new president or not, no one can argue that the country is facing a challenging moment. Last week we started an Inauguration Blitz—not annual, since this only happens once every four to eight years! Our … once-every-four-to-eight-years Inauguration Blitz, then. And this week we're finishing up, since we had so many authors involved that we couldn't fit them all in. We're focusing on government, how the country was born, presidential and congressional behavior and ethics, and—most importantly—the idea of revolution. With that in mind, we’ve gathered some of our favorite revolutionary characters for some down-and-dirty answers about their fights, who they’re fighting against, and when they know it's time to stand up and fight for the right side.

This week, we're focusing on some of our newer authors--and their main characters, who are fighting for their right to survive. Next up is RK Brainerd, who writes about an alternative future based on environmental success ... and social chaos. We took a moment to interview her main character about her world, the government's secrets, and how she's fighting for her rights. 

1.     So first, the obvious. Tell us about your world. Where do you live? What’s the story there?

I live in the Independent City of Farfalla, in the Northwestern tip of Spain. My father moved us here because there were better prospects for his business. An Independent City is essentially just what it sounds like—a city not associated with a country. Basically, when the environment collapsed a few hundred years ago, a lot of cities said ‘hey, let’s live on our own,’ and figured out how manage themselves self-sufficiently. Yes, it did take a combined coalition of countries to fix the planet as a whole—but it was the independent cities that figured out the secret to self-sufficient environmental care: focusing at the community level to grow food, create power, and live. You know, your basic starting-from-the-ground-up principle.

I live in one of the cities famous for that. And as the planet got better, and the countries became stronger, Spain did try to get Farfalla back. But it never really happened. Farfalla is now an epicenter of industry and Capitalism (an economic method I’m not so sure about yet, though my father is ga-ga about it) … and also has one of the biggest concentrations of demons I’ve ever encountered. I don’t know the why on that, but you better bet I’m going to figure it out.

2.    Got it. And now, the bad guy. Who are you fighting against? And why?

Well firstly, there’s my mother. She’s convinced that if I don’t get my act together soon, I’m never going to be marriageable. Oh darn. As if that wasn’t my intent or something. *cough *

The real story is that my battle is with the culture as a whole. Farfalla may be moving ahead, technologically … but in most of the world, women can’t even vote unless they’re married. Forget running a business. Or surviving without a ‘patron’ of some sort, as if we can’t make decisions for ourselves. And of course no one wants to talk about it. Everyone is too concerned about keeping up appearances and returning to old ways of doing things and not talking about anything real. And there’s something off about the whole thing. If I could just figure out what it was…

And speaking of real. Let’s get back to those demons. You want to talk about antagonists? Let’s talk about my sneaky Mr. Mysterious, who I KNOW has dirt on the demons and what they’re doing here. I saw the way he dealt with that strigoi, and the weird thing he had in his pocket. I’ve been searching for answers for years—for a lot of good reasons that I could go on and on about, not the least of which is my sister’s death—and I’m NOT about to let him get away.

So you ask who I’m fighting against? I’m rebelling against my mother. I’m seriously considering a rebellion against our social strata. And I’m fighting against what the government says I can or can’t learn about. I refuse to let them dictate what I know – like about demons. And figuring out why they’re here … and why the government works so hard to keep them a secret.

3.    What’s the government like in your world?

Well, Farfalla is overseen by a coalition of businessmen and interested parties. So far it seems to be going okay, but there’s a lot of worry about what they’ll turn into … because there aren’t really any checks or balances. In Britain, where I was born, they have a constitutional monarchy. That’s working better. But I’m not really pleased with it either. Lots of stupid laws and norms … and very little choice for the people. Which rubs me the wrong way.

4.    Right. So it seems you’re not a big fan of government, really—at least not the ones in your world. And I’m picking up that you’re inclined to revolution. So if you come across a corrupt government or system, do you think it’s your responsibility to fight them?

I mean, if you want to live in a fascist state or dictatorship or monarchy, it’s not your responsibility to fight corruption. But if you want something more than that, you’re going to have to do something about it. It’s not going to do it itself. Unfortunately, human nature is prone to sitting around and hoping for the best … which has its place, for sure.

But not here. That’s not me. I’m not going to sit around like a good girl and watch the world happen around me. I want more. I want answers. And I’m going to get them—even if it means fighting the people in charge.

5.    That sounds ominous. Can you tell us more?

It is ominous. And I’m starting to draw too much attention to myself, I can tell you that much. I’ve had my phone shut off and privileges revoked when I’ve gotten too close to answers about the magic in our world (remember the demons?)—and the Council for Defense Against Magic (CDAM) has been sniffing around again, so I know they’re watching me. That doesn’t scare me, though. Nothing scares me much anymore. Not after what happened. Well, maybe being forced into marriage—that does terrify me. But this thing with the government? Nah. I’m getting my answers about magic whether CDAM, the British Government, or the world as a whole like it or not.

Something is going on, and I want to know what it is. I think we all deserve to know what it is.

But I know my time is running out. I’m going to have to start fighting to live the way I want to, and try to make changes. I just … don’t know where to start.

6.    All right then, what’s your goal with your fight? What do you hope to see happen?

I’m going to discover secrets. I’m going to find out the truth about magic—and that freaking Mr. Mysterious running around—and maybe I’ll actually find a place I belong. There have to be others like me, wanting truth over fiction. There have to be others who want to fight for it. I can’t be the only one. And if we end up changing the world while we’re at it—even saving it—well, everyone wants to be a hero, right?

7.    Do you think you’ll succeed?

That or die trying.

8.    Final question. What do you think of being a heroine rather than a hero? Does it matter? Can a girl be just as revolutionary as a boy?

*bangs head repeatedly against wall * I’ll show you that girls can be just as revolutionary as boys. Just watch. 

Follow RK for updates about her process, her books, and her upcoming news!

FB: @RKBrainerd 
Twitter: @awakedragon 
Instagram: @rkbrainerd 

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