I love character interviews! Today author TammyJo Eckhart is interviewing Lord Enki from her book Day Unto Night. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do. There's also an excerpt to read before you download your copy. Remember to let the author know what you think as you follow the tour for even more AND ask Lord Enki your own questions. Best of luck in the giveaway!
A Sumerian child named Ningai survives the murder of her entire family and cries out to her people’s gods, who answer her prayer in an unexpected way. Now, as the first of the Akhkharu, the living dead, Ningai embarks on a journey across the millennia to rebuild what she lost. The best of her offspring must maintain some shred of goodness to prove worthy to their Child-Mother while fighting the deadly impulses of their kind. Join their journeys across time in a series of interconnected stories from the earliest cities to a brutal future where humans are mere pawns in the hands of near gods. Like all of us, Ningai and the best of her children will stop at nothing to protect her family. Can they succeed before they lose what’s left of their humanity, or will all of humanity become enslaved to the Akhkharu forever?
Read an excerpt:
I remember running.
I ran between their bodies as they did things to her that I didn’t even have words for. I ran over the cold stone floor, slipping on the cooling sticky substance that dripped from my mother’s still body. I ran over the door and my brother’s cold mass trying to block it. I ran over the earth and grass, matted from my father’s slaughter.
I remember running.
I ran until I fell into the Great Water, what you call the Euphrates, but we only called Puranum, and was carried until I could grasp a branch with my hands, tearing at it until my blood also covered the ground as I pulled myself up.
I remember my pain.
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Q: First, for our readers, would you tell us your name?
A: I have answered to many names.
Q: Do you have a favorite?
A: My original, though you could not pronounce it.
Q: I see. What is it best to refer to you as?
A: (long pause) You may call me as she knows me: Enki. Respectfully.
Q: Lord Enki, then?
A: That will be fine.
Q: Who are you? Where are you from?
A: (Smiles slowly but widely before purposely letting that smile fade into a serious, neutral expression.) Everywhere there is water, there I am. Where there is creativity, there I am. Where there are ideas or cunning, there I will surely be.
Q: Are you confirming the rumors that you are a god?
A: What are gods?
Q: Lord Enki, please, you did agree to answer our questions.
A: I did. I didn’t agree not to ask some of my own.
Q: Touché. I believe that gods are entities that have had a hand in the creation of the universe and in the continual running of that universe. By that definition, are you a god?
A: Ah, by that definition, I’d be a half-god.
A: I certainly am!
Q: How long have you existed?
A: For longer than humans, but not as long as the universe.
Q: Even half-gods existed before humans?
A: By your definition, I’m half-god.
Q: May I move on to more immediate questions?
A: That is really why you wanted to talk with me, after all … Ask your question.
Q: You seem to have a close relation with one of the vampires …
A: No, that’s not the correct term.
Q: Sorry. The Akhkharu. You seem to have a close relationship with one of the Akhkharu. She goes by various names. Ningai, Charity, Ummum. Our readers would like to be respectful and use the best term for her. What should we call her?
A: (Frowns, and the air around the interviewer turns chilly as frozen snowflakes mysteriously form on her clothing and the studio.) Nice try. Ask a different question.
Q: You do have a relationship with this one child. This is correct?
A: I do. I have been her god for many millennia now.
Q: How? Why?
A: She cried out for help. Many of us came. I stayed.
Q: Why did you decide to help this one little girl?
A: She was sincere in her belief and her need. That’s a rare combination.
Q: Did you ever answer to a mortal’s cries before?
A: Once before. The ingrate.
Q: Have you helped anyone since?
A: (Leans forward and gives the interviewer a sad smile.) This isn’t directed at you as an individual. Please understand that. This is about humans now, even after all you’ve seen and heard. None of you have that rare combination. Not even all your insincere prayers together can equal hers.
Q: Might … other gods or half-gods answer our prayers?
A: Answer humans’ prayers? To do what? Take back the world?
Q: I didn’t say that …
A: (They look at each other directly until Enki’s hard stare makes the interviewer turn away from him and the audience.) If there are other gods or half-gods, by your definition, they haven’t helped you yet, so no, I seriously doubt it.
Q: (She starts to shake and weep. Several members of the audience gasp or start to cry softly as well.)
A: (Reaches over and puts a gentle hand on the interviewer’s shaking shoulder.) Come, come. You were allowed to come here because you aren’t one of those fake news blowhards or overly sentimental. Pull yourself together. Ask your final questions.
Q: (Takes a few deep breaths.) Thank you, Lord Enki. Will you stay with the Akhkharu now that they have revealed themselves to the world?
A: (Snorts, but turns from the camera for a moment.) I have never stayed with either them or her. I come when I choose.
Q: One final question, Lord Enki. Is there anything we can do to, ah, appease them?
A: Them? No. (He stands, pushing back his chair, revealing that water has pooled beneath it.)
Q: How do we appease her?
A: No, no, no. You’ve already asked your final question. But I might take questions from the audience. (He turns his storm-colored eyes to you.)
Dr. TammyJo Eckhart’s Edgy World @thetammyjo
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