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Interview Sula Comyenti – Main character of Fantasy ‘Call Off The Search’ Book One (Free novel on Amazon until the 20th of February)

I have a confession to make: this is something I don’t normally do; talk to my characters. Usually it’s the other way round; they tell their story to me and I listen, and at best write it down. I don’t make myself known to them, but rather lurk in the back ground. I am an observer.

Therefore this is very new to me, but exciting all the same. I feel it is a privilege to be able to finally ‘meet’ Sula Comyenti, the main character from my ‘Comyenti Series’.

She first appeared in ‘Call Off The Search’ and again in the sequel ‘Children Of The Sun’. Both full novels are available in e-book and paperback.

This is my interview with her.

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I’m slightly nervous as Sula comes closer. I haven’t seen her in a while so I’m thrilled. We agreed to meet in a clearing in the woods near her house, just outside of Rosinhill. It is a sunny afternoon and the low rays shine through the spruce and pine trees down onto Sula’s face. Her dark long hair shines and appears more honey coloured brown at one side and black on the other. Her cheekbones are high and feminine, her skin is bronze and flawless as ever, but her almond shaped eyes are the most intriguing thing about her; they are a vivid green, like that of new leaves, but when I look again they are darker; jade. Is she reading me?

We greet and sit down on a fallen tree. She appears strong and charismatic and I understand why both Felix and Feline fell for her.

After the initial stage of awkwardness we begin to feel more comfortable and I ask her if she is ready for my questions. She smiles lightly and nods.

How do you feel about your mother, now that you’re an adult?

My mother, rest her soul, I still miss her dearly. She did what she had to do for the continuance of our species and later she had my best interest at heart, I know that, but at the same time it hasn’t been easy to accept that I had to do the same thing; especially when I thought time was running out. Had I known, I perhaps would have waited. She knew so little about our kind, our physics; only from what she was taught as a child before the killings.

So you’re saying you regret meeting Felix and having Fay?

No, not at all. I regret acting so soon whilst, in hindsight, I could have waited. I didn’t think straight when I met Felix, all I could think of, after saving his village, was him and how special he was. He wasn’t like any human I’d ever met. The promise I had made to my mother came to my mind and a decision was easily made. Felix knew of course, I had no secrets, but he didn’t object. In fact I believe he even suggested it, not with so many words but still.

What would have happened do you think if you hadn’t met Felix?

If I hadn’t crashed into him that day you mean, ha ha? No seriously, I would have done the same thing with someone else. That was the promise I was nearly forty after all. I might not have stayed though. Now I know of course that comyenti women are fertile until they are seventy, so yes I think I would have rather waited. But then again it’s no use speculating. What’s done is done and I’m happy with how things have turned out.

But do you have any other regrets? Do you regret staying with him?

Yes and no, sometimes.

That’s too vague. Can you explain?

I’m a half-breed and I still don’t really know much about my species. What I’m sometimes feeling; that need for freedom and solitude: is it me or is it the comyenti in me? Feline understood, but Felix is not ready to find out about her and my feelings for her. I will tell him one day, but not now.

Alright. How do you feel about Shazar? He could have told you more since he is a full comyenti?

Don’t get me started on him. He has his own hidden agenda. I’m sure he is a nice person underneath, but he lets his personal feelings and his task of ‘saving our species’ cloud his judgements. Even though I can read his mind, literally, I still don’t trust him completely. He is definitely blocking things from me, but it’s not comyenti things as he told me everything I needed to know. I’m not entirely sure what it is he’s hiding, but I will find out somehow.

What is your greatest fear?

That something will happen to my children. Especially since we suffered those attacks from the mysterious shapeshifting ypaka I don’t know if we’re safe here. All we can do is prepare our children to be more powerful and train them.

What do you want from life?

What everyone else wants; a peaceful simple life whereby we can all live in harmony and safety. Perpetual happiness.

What, in yourself, is preventing you from getting it?

Like I mentioned before; I very much need my freedom and solitude, and sometimes I struggle with the right balance between being happy by myself and being there for everyone else and at the same time keeping them safe.

What, in the outside world, is preventing you from getting it?

I can’t wait for my children to grow up and leave the house, ha ha! No, I love them dearly and we are very close, but sometimes it gets too much and I need space. They accept the way I am and that is the best thing I could ask from them. I try to give them all the tools they need for life but somehow I fear it might not be enough. The ypaka and even Shazar might prevent our happiness, our safety.

How do you fall in love? At first sight? Over a long period?

Oh, another personal question. Ahem, well, I think with Felix I was quite taken from the moment I saw that single strand of blonde hair of his underneath his dark hood fluttering in the wind. It was quite a poetic moment. And when I met his eyes…and when he started talking… Er, so yes I suppose it was love at first sight, although I tried to deny it of course at first and was a bit harsh on him.

And with Feline?

That was different because I was already with Felix, so she was out of the question. I’m faithful when I’m with someone, but I’ve always felt an amazing attraction towards her and we soon became best friends. At first I thought it was because she was his twin sister and because I had a Heartmerge with her brother that it, somehow, stretched out to her. Now I know that it was more than just that and if it weren’t for Felix-

How do you decide whether you can trust someone? Is it from experience? Can you tell from first impressions? Is it more intuition? Do you test the person somehow? Or are you just generally disposed to trust or not to trust?

Before I met Felix, who is human of course, I generally distrusted every human. I had every right to as they almost exterminated my entire species. But it was an instilled distrust. Whether it was in my genes or if my mother is to blame I don’t know, but over time I learned to see not all people have bad intentions. That mistrust has kept me safe for years. My intuition is quite spot on, but if I’m not sure about someone, I will read their minds, not always literally their thoughts, as that’s beyond my limits with humans I haven’t merged with, but their intentions. They are easy to read for me. Body language is very important but also the images they send out, like any other animal does.

Is one sense more highly developed than another?

When I’m in a Mindmode it depends on what animal skills I have borrowed. If it’s just me; half-comyenti, half-human, I would say my sixth sense takes over. My vision and hearing are superb, but looking is not the same thing as seeing and listening is not the same thing as hearing.

What do you consider are your strengths?

I don’t give up easily. I try to get to the bottom of things to find out the truth, and try to set things right if I can.

What do you consider are your weaknesses?

I feel too much. All those triggers sometimes cause an overload on my senses and the world around me starts to spin. I am powerless in situations like that. It is the curse of the comyenti and we still haven’t found a way to beat it.

What’s the worst thing you’ve ever done? And why?

I lied to Felix. It is not in my nature and it feels really wrong.

If you could change into any animal, which would it be?

Why would I with my abilities? However, if I could literally change shape I would like to know what if feels like to have wings, so perhaps an albatross or goose.

When we say our goodbyes I can’t help but feel sorry for her somehow. I don’t know why. She is such a strong woman, but also vulnerable and sensitive. Only I know what will happen next, but I can’t tell her that. She knows it and doesn’t ask. I’m more than an observer of course. I can influence everything, for I’m the author after all; the author of her story; of both her and her family and of her kind. I am their judge and executioner. But even I don’t know the details yet. I first have to sit down and open my mind to it.

But I save that for another time.

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Book 3 in the series, ‘Controller of The Senses’ is expected later in 2015, so stay tuned.

The e-book of ‘Call Off The Search’ (book 1) is currently free until the 20th of February. Keep reading in Book 2, ‘Children Of The Sun’, or get ‘The Comyenti Book Bundle Volume 1&2’ for an easy reading experience.

My books can be found here: www.amazon.com/author/natasjahellenthal

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Symbolism and thoughts on short story ‘Chained Freedom’ by Natasja Hellenthal

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“This is not a fairytale, but a true story,” storyteller Tana Woodwolf tells the audience at the start of ‘Chained Freedom’.

This is some more information, symbolism and random thoughts about ‘Chained Freedom’, a thought-provoking fantasy. I’ve written the story some years ago whilst being stuck in a rather, suffocating relationship. I always had the choice to step out sooner than I did, but I didn’t feel ‘free’ enough, or ‘ready’ enough, or even ‘strong’ enough to do so but moreover full of guilt.
Instead, I wrote this story, as all my stories are based on my own life and experiences to some degree. I’m not Tana, mind you, but I feel like I know her really well!
But it’s not just relationships, of any kind, we can relate this story to, and apply it to our lives; it’s any kind of loss of freedom really. Freedom; everyone’s birthright, but so very fragile and easily swept away from us, whether we let it happen consciously, or more than often not. It could also be through religion, our upbringing, conditioning and social dogma’s that we get trapped without giving it a second thought.
When are we really free?

Chained Freedom’ is a short story featuring Fay Comyenti, first daughter of Sula and Felix from the first book in a Fantasy drama series, ‘Call Off The Search’ (Comyenti Series), and how she helps a woman break free from a magical entrapment.
Fay is not the main character, but an important side-character, who reminds the main character of Chained Freedom, Tana Woodwold, of her own inner strength.

Short synopsis:

Tana Woodwolf wakes to find herself trapped within a strange land. She learns quickly from the faces of the others that this is no paradise she has been transported to; it is a prison.
Unable to escape, Tana soon discovers that a dark and malignant force is dragging them, one-by-one, to unreachable higher rooms of the tower from which they never return.
If she is to ever escape from there then she will need to use all the guile and strength she has within her. Does one of the others hold the key? Or is it something else within the prison that she needs to study?
As the darkness comes nearer, a strange voice whispers, ‘Look and be free… You have to let go of what you know.’
Should she trust the voice? Should she trust the others? Does she even have a choice?
As despair and terror closes in around them all, only one person can discover the truth and save them…

Symbolism of Chained Freedom (spoiler alert!)

Tana, once free, is determined to also help free the other slaves. She won’t rest until she has found a way to do so. She cannot be completely free, until then she is still chained. Little does she know that the Wizard is the very embodiment of Evil and can never be defeated. It’s the balance of life, of light and dark, of right and wrong. It is more than that: as long as men continue to do evil, hurt other people, the Wizard will live. Only people with dark thoughts are being transported! That’s the first rule.
As for the other slaves, they are people like Tana, who cannot be broken free from the outside, but themselves will have to try to find a way from the inside.
Some people aren’t ready yet and live with a curtain (the magic wall), closed over their eyes. Others, like Tana, with a little help, can see an opening and find a way to lift the veil to let the light in again; a way to see the world in its true light and find goodness. Hope is the key that can open the heart which is the way. Compassion and love are the door(s).

Tower: Patriarchal dominance and world-leader ship. The prisoners end up there (close to the evil wizard) as a first warning and to actually been given a second choice. Not the real criminals are being put here, as they get a harder punishment, but people, like Tana, with minor crimes.
Prisoners: that’s what we all are unless we break through. Also a reference to ‘free range’ animals, or caged domesticated animals, who can’t escape at all. The prisoners know, like farmed animals, that they will end up dead and live in fear (both have been proven).
Wizard: Pure evil. But really it’s not about him, he is just a symbol. That’s why he has no face, no name, no voice and no real role in the story, because it’s about the slaves and their own inner wizard, their own evil inside of themselves. You can choose to do either good or bad. But you cannot be good to others if you’re not good to yourself first.
Disbelieve of their fate: What have they done wrong to deserve this? That’s a real life question of many people in ‘chained’ or difficult situations.
The Magic wall: the curtain or veil that is drawn over our eyes, making us forget our innocence and to be in touch with the real world around us.
Fay: the helper, someone who believes in Tana, for we all need someone to have faith in us; to do what seems the impossible.
Chains: invisible, but they’re still there. Also our responsibility to help others. We can never be truly free unless the whole world is. Until then we are still half-chained or with
one hand.

The message that Tana is trying to give to other people is: Be good, do good, be kind to one another. If you don’t, you’ll end up in the tower. Because she had found kindness and a love in her own heart, hope and a lightness in her being, maybe by doing good, helping others, she found a way out and the wizard ‘let’ her escape, because she was changed and no longer evil.
I believe that with the right mind-set and help people indeed can change.
This story to me is the ultimate story of good and evil, right and wrong and how we can all fight our own evil in ourselves and help others. Surely by helping others you reduce the evil in your heart. The opening in the wall in the end was bigger and felt easier for Tana to find.

Quotes:

“If you cannot change a situation why not improve the quality of life around you?”

“You see, you’re only chained if you allow yourself to be chained. Your soul, the real you, cannot be put in shackles and will always be free.”

“You can’t possibly make holes in the wall for everyone. I don’t think it works that way,’ Fay said. ‘You’ve seen it with your own eyes. They have to, like you did, create their own doorway.’
‘So, I’ll show them how. I can teach them how to escape, I’m sure I can.’
I had a feeling she didn’t agree with me.
‘I’m not saying you can’t, but how does the old saying go; prevention is better than a cure?”

“The other prisoners and I had one thing in common: our enslavement, chains or not, and there surely would be more people after my leaving, perhaps I had been replaced already.
Am I free?
Even though I could have easily walked away and forgotten all about the mysterious evil wizard and his slaves, I just couldn’t. Until then, my freedom was still in chains.”

End Note:

After nearly ten years of being thrown backwards and forwards, of living in doubt and insecurities, of a life half lived in freedom, half in chains, I managed to free myself from my own forged shackles. But, complete freedom is of course a big word. I will always have my responsibilities as we do, some I created, but since then I’m much stronger and aware and am no longer shackled. The chains I wear these days or made of invisible soft silver cords.
I’m even more conscious of the meaning of freedom and what we are all doing with it once we have it, or what we do to get it back when we don’t.
Every day in freedom is a gift. Many don’t have it and are still fighting that struggle, some have lost their lives.
We are all bound to each other through invisible, silver lines as I call them. They are not just those attached to our family and friends, but to everyone. I believe we owe it to others who are less fortunate and need our help, even if we don’t know them.
We cannot help everyone, but everyone can help someone.

‘Chained Freedom’ is available here:

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00IK4OWXE

Listen to the book here:http://www.booktrack.com/read/d9408688c713442e8476cf3a46693f5a

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Books that inspired me as a person and writer, part 1 Manfred Kyber

Inspirational Books Part 1: Manfred Kyber

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Manfred Kyber

Manfred Kyber, born on March 1, 1880 in Riga, Latvia (then under Russian rule), grew up on his father’s estate. He studied philosophy in Leipzig and later moved to Berlin, where he lived for ten years and published his first works. He lived in Löwenstein, Württemberg (southern Germany) since 1923. In addition to poems, a novel, plays, theater criticism and an introduction to occultism, he primarily wrote fairy tales and animal stories – partially humorous, partially serious – which, reminiscent of La Fontaine, humanize animals to a certain degree to convey their feelings and elaborate on philosophical questions. He became famous for his stories “Unter Tieren” (“Among Animals”). He was a pacifist and advocate of animals’ rights. He died on March 10, 1933 in Löwenstein.

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As a child I was lucky to have discovered this wonderful writer who in more than one ways has helped me sooth, uplift and strengthen me at the start of my life and inspired me as a person and as a writer.

There are two books that stand out for me: ‘Die drei Lichter der kleinen Veronika’ (Engl. translation: The Three Candles of Little Veronica: The Story of a Child’s Soul in This World and the Other), novel, 1920 and ‘Tiergeschichten’.

‘Veronika’s Drievoudig Licht’ as it’s called in my native Dutch, is a beautiful profound and insightful story about the spiritual connection we are all having with one another and the burdens we are carrying in this life. It’s about a sensitive little girl with an old soul who can still see and hear the things around us, that most of us can’t any longer. She can talk to animals and sees elves, gnomes(who can be black or white) and spirits and angels in her favourite garden. She is protected on her life’s journey by her uncle, Johannes, who is connected to her through out many lives as a sort of guardian angel.

“-Worst of all is that you people understand less and less of it all when your body ages and it entangles itself with you.- ‘Have we come to this earth to become stupid?’, Veronika asked, ‘that would be strange?’‘No,’ said the elf, ‘you only become stupid because it grows darker around you and then you’ll have to find the light to understand everything again. And if you have found the light in the darkness then your understanding of life has improved. God has given this task to humanity to find the light. They shouldn’t just look for it and find it for themselves, but also for the animals, the plants and the rocks, and for the elves and the gnomes and for all that lives with them.”

“We have to do this voluntarily, Veronica. We have to try to help each other with carrying the burdens, for people, animals and all that lives. That is the way to the light.”

This emotional story will touch almost everyone that reads it, as the mysticism that is embedded in it is understood and sensed. It is a story of the heart; that cannot be reached by the thought process.

I have until now only read it two or three times in my life, but I often thought back about it and it made me want to re-read it. It has certainly helped and changed me.

“There is a distance that once was, that’s where we come from. There is distance, that once will be, that’s where we’re going to. Yet every distance is close by if we think about it. Build your temples and light works, light your candles, you who live in the now and remember: midnight is over and morning has arrived.”

‘Tiergeschiften’ (collected animal stories) is an anthology of fables with depth and insight where animals are the main characters. It’s written at the beginning of the last century but can still be read as freshly as then. Subjects such as anti-vivisection, anti-hunting, vegetarianism and animal love are as modern as ever.

Manfred Kyber is a master storyteller and animal activist who uses a combination of the show and tell technique without ever being long winded or preachy. His characters touches your heart and are as real as people with the same emotions and pain.

“Animals, just like us, have their own sense of humour and tragedy. Between us and them are similarities and mutual affairs. People often believe that between them and other animals there is a deep abyss. It’s only a minor rotation of the wheel of life. Because all of us are children of a unity. To understand nature, we have to understand her creatures. To understand a creature, we have to look upon it as our sibling.”

“The world is full of unheard cries for help. There are people that don’t hear them. It seems impossible to count all those in vain unheard calls. There are that many. But they are all counted. They are written down in the book of life.”

Bibliography

Der Schmied vom Eiland, poems, 1908
Unter Tieren, animal stories, 1912
Genius astri [Engl. translation: Genius astri: thirty-three poems], poems, 1918
Märchen, fairy tales, 1920 
Im Gang der Uhr, novellas, 1922
Einführung in das Gesamtgebiet des Okkultismus, 1923
Neue Tiergeschichten, animal stories, 1926
Puppenspiel, fairy tale, 1928
Die drei Lichter der kleinen Veronika [Engl. translation: The Three Candles of Little Veronica: The Story of a Child’s Soul in This World and the Other], novel, 1920
Gesammelte Tiergeschichten, collected animal stories (combines Unter Tieren and Neue Tiergeschichten; the collection won the Literature Award of the Bureau International Humanitaire Zoophile in Geneva in 1930), 1934
Gesammelte Märchen, collected fairy tales, 1935

Other English translations (all out of print)
The Mouseball
The Little Slipper Man

 

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