Dropping in today as part of Cate Tiernan's Immortal, Beloved blog tour is Nastasya, the immortal the book centers around.
Given your age, and all the events you've witnessed as a result, which had been the hardest to endure? The most interesting?
Whoa. Good one. I’ve certainly lived through some totally sucky times. For the record, I hated being a peasant, and being, like, a servant and a farm worker and the lower kitchen help. I did a whole lot of that, and I never want to do it again. So that was bad. And living through scary things is hard, like when raiders come and kill the people around you, and you’re left with the desolate, bloody aftermath. That can really stomp on any personal cheer you might have had. Weirdly, some of the times that I’ve felt the worst were times when I wasn’t actually in danger, wasn’t dodging death and ruination. Just feeling hopeless is about the worst thing I’ve endured. When nothing huge is really wrong in your life, but it still feels totally pointless and stupid. That’s an awful feeling.
New things are interesting. Like electricity. That was a wonder. And indoor plumbing. And cars. And radiators. God, when new things come out, and you know it’s going to change everything forever—it’s incredibly exciting. Plus, the Renaissance was exciting. And the 1960s. Fun, fun, fun.
What is the one party trick you'd like to be able to do smoothly with magick?
Oh, geez. Let me think. I’d love to be a party, and messing with someone who’s imbibed a little too much. Like, make a cat talk to them, watch them freak out. And I’d love to be able to eat tomatoes without squishing something down the front of my shirt. Apparently, that will require magickal intervention on my part.
If you could start over, and not have the last 450+ years of experience, where would you want to grow up?
Oh my god, where did you get these questions? Ugh. Thinking . . . the quick answer would be to grow up in some fabulous, fascinating place with lots of cultural enrichment possibilities. Like Paris, or New York, or London. (Please do not write in with offended suggestions about other cities. I’m just naming stuff off the top of my head. I’m sure there are other great cities.) Anyway, that would be the quick answer. But lately I’ve been wondering if it wouldn’t be better to grow up in a small, relatively unsophisticated town, where everyone knows each other, and there’s lot of time and space to do nothing, and like everyone helps each other build a barn or something. That might be a healthier choice for me. Possibly.
What character from any other book do you think would be your ideal or preferred match?
You mean besides Legolas?
How does it feel now that your story is starting to get out there to people?
Incredibly embarrassing. Let’s just put all my flaws and mistakes and stupidity and lameness out there, shall we? Yeah, because I’m sure all of you are perfect and have never done anything you regret.
What are some books that you've enjoyed over the years? What about recent books?
Mostly I grew up reading the bible. It was in Icelandic, translated from German. We had a big, beautiful one, bound with blue leather and hold leaf. My brothers and sisters and I were allowed to read it and look at the pictures. The people in it seemed so different from us, and all the descriptions—the hot lands and the olives. It was all so foreign, and seemed like really weighty fairy tales. But we took it seriously, had to learn verses and so on. Once I left my father’s house I didn’t have a whole lot of access to books for a long time. In the mid-1700s, the volumes of Tristram Shandy were fun and scandalous. To tell you the truth, I’ve never been a huge reader—it’s hard for me to sit still that long. I made it through all of Harry Potter, though.
What kind of cake would you describe yourself as?
Ooh. There’s this weird traditional Polish cake made up of layers of dry, crisp meringue, with coffee mousse sandwiched in between them, and then topped with whipped cream. It’s the kind of thing you look forward to, but then once you’re actually eating it you wonder why you had looked forward to it, and then later, you remember it as being much better than it was. That seems like me.
Thanks so much, Nastasya, for dropping in, and thanks to Cate as well! Immortal, Beloved is in stores now, so check it out!