Mary from the Sun Born Series
by Cecily Flynn
Mary smiled politely, folding her thin fingers together on the tabletop, grey eyes narrowed just a little. “Who are you, again?” she asked me.
I couldn’t help but be nervous, meeting her for the first time. “I—” I stammered, “—I’m the author.” I quickly looked down at my notes, pretending to search them, though my hands shook too much to even try.
“Oh, I see,” she replied.
I glanced up, and could tell by the tiny crease between her brows that she was still confused. I couldn’t blame her. After all, she probably thought she was the author.
“And you wish me to speak of…?” She let the question hang.
“Yes,” I said. “If that’s okay?”
She didn’t say anything for a moment, eyeing me thoughtfully. And then a smile unfolded across her lips, and she laughed, that sparkling sound that lit up whole rooms. “Yes,” she said. “Let’s speak of him.”
Phew! I relaxed a little after that laugh, looking down at my notes again.
“Okay, um, so…” I’d never interviewed anyone before, let alone someone of her stature. I didn’t even know where to start. “What would you say is his most notable characteristic?” I read straight from the page.
“Most notable…” she said, gaze lifting over my shoulder
as she considered. “I suppose I could say his eyes. They are unlike any other. But that’s not very interesting, is it? His eyes.” She frowned as she said it, leaning forward to rest her elbows on the table between us. She still didn’t meet my look. “In truth,” she continued, “He is the handsomest man I’ve ever seen.
“So, maybe, like…” I was grasping, tapping my pen against my notebook. Her eyes fell to the pen. I stopped.
“His ambiguity,” she said firmly. “One is never quite able to decide whether he is anything, for he seems to encompass all things: good and evil, man and boy, lover, enemy, victim, and betrayer.
Viewed from each angle, he is a different creature altogether."
I scribbled as she spoke, blushing a little as her affection for him tinted her tone. Good answer, though. She was totally right, of course.
“Okay, next one,” I said, feeling bolder. “What is his greatest indulgence?"
Now her eyes met mine. “Do you expect me to say something salacious? That he is decadent? He is, you know. He likes the finest things, though he cares so little for them.”
I nodded, considering. “So, his indulgences are sort of meaningless?”
“He is the sort of man who is always hunting,” she corrected. “However, I’m not sure even he knows what it is he truly seeks. Fine things bring him comfort, but they do not sate his kind of hunger.”
“Right,” I said, nodding.
She leaned toward me then, putting her fingers on the edge of my notebook. “Forgive me,” she said, “but if you are the author, shouldn’t you already know these things?”
“Oh, yes,” I laughed nervously. “I do, it’s just, well…you know him so much better than I do.”
She smiled. “I suppose you’re right. I have known him a very long time.”
I leaned toward her then, feeling gossipy. “Don’t you find him a little, you know,” I said, voice low, “a little arrogant? I mean, he wants every scene to be about him, doesn’t he?”
Her smile curled wryly. I could tell she knew exactly what I meant.
“In addition to being the handsomest, he is also the most arrogant man I’ve ever met,” she said. “Such a petulant boy, always sulking when he’s not written in.”
“Ugh, I know!” I rolled my eyes exaggeratedly. “He’s sabotaged so many chapters, derailed the story so many times. And I constantly have to go back and shoo him out of scenes!”
“And yet, he is impossible to dislike.” She shrugged.
My pen slipped from my fingers, and skittered across the table. Cheeks pink, I leaned to pick it up. She was right. As bad as he was—as arrogant and petulant and annoyingly handsome—I was still a little bit in love with him. And I think she was too.
“So…” I cleared my throat, trying to bury my embarrassment. “What is your greatest regret?”
“Mine?” She rested her fingers on her collar. “Oh, that is easy. Simply that he has been so misunderstood.”
“But aren’t you…sort of responsible for that?”
“Because I did not dwell upon his physical beauty?”
“Uh, that’s putting it mildly,” I noted. “I mean, I was shocked when I met him. Not at all what I was expecting.”
“I personally chose to concentrate on the beauty of his soul,” she said, a little primly. “The rest is merely metaphor.”
“Yes, okay, that makes sense. And the metaphor is also sort of a warning, right?”
She pursed her lips as she thought about this. Then she said, “Despite his many alluring physical gifts, there is, in him, an easy capacity for great evil. So, yes, I suppose it is a warning.”
“I’m sure it’s very frustrating,” I said. “To be so misunderstood.”
She shrugged, not committing either way.
“But, I guess that’s what happens to people with dubious morals.”
She nodded. “Yes, I think you’re right. If he defies looking at straight on, he must come to expect a few unfair interpretations.”
I nodded. It really was his own fault, in the end, not hers. His flimsy moral compass made him very hard to pin down. He hadn’t even responded to my request for an interview! When I pointed this out, Mary just laughed at me.
“Did you really expect him to?” Her eyes were wide with mock surprise.
“Well,” I said, flushing red again. “I thought he’d like to set the record straight, maybe?”
Mary shook her head, smiling. “He doesn’t care what you think of him,” she said. “Or what anyone thinks of him, for that matter. Interpret him as you wish.”
“Didn’t you just say it was your greatest regret…?”
“Mine,” she clarified. “Not his.”
I squeaked. “But—he’s so vain!”
She tipped her head back, laughing delightedly. “Yes, he is. Utterly. But it is precisely his vanity that lifts him above the interpretation of others. No opinion matters more to him than his own!”
Wow, I thought. She really does know him better than anyone. I was beginning to see why he liked her so much.
“Okay, last question,” I said, running my pen down the page. “How would you define a perfect love?”
When I glanced up for her answer, I could see the glint of something pass through her eye. Was it surprise? And then her whole face changed, somehow. Her expression remained light, but seemed suddenly like a loosely affixed façade, ready to fall away.
“There is no such thing as a perfect love,” she said quietly, eyes lowering. Her thin fingers traced the faux-marble tabletop. “But imperfection is far more beautiful. Doomed lovers are, by their very nature, more precious and rare, wouldn’t you say?”
I swallowed. I opened my mouth to respond, but could think of nothing to follow her words. Looking down at my notes to avoid what seemed like a very private moment for her, I decided it was probably time to go.
“Thank you, Mary,” I said. “For meeting me today. It really has been such a pleasure to talk with you, finally.”
She met my eye again, and smiled, then inclined her head. There was such sadness in the gesture, my chest nearly squeezed shut. I stood and tossed my bag over my shoulder, stuffing all my notes inside. I hesitated, but she seemed lost in her thoughts, and I hated to break their spell.
As I made for the door of the Olympia, a boy passed me on his way in—or was it a man? From the corner of my eye, it was impossible to tell his age. His shoulder brushed mine as he passed, and an electric charge snagged my breath, goose bumps sparking out across my skin.
I turned, confused. He strode directly to Mary, touching her shoulder, and leaning down to murmur in her ear. Strange, I thought. He looks so familiar…
About the Books
Vespertine, book #1
Now Available on Amazon
Ana lost her breath. This was happening. This beautiful, strange, silver-eyed boy was actually asking her to believe he was her fate. She gazed at him, his pale skin even paler in the gathering dark, his eyes shining like wolves’ eyes, his rosy lips… Something about him did seem a little familiar. But if she kissed him now, she’d only be giving him an answer she wasn't yet ready to give...
From the pretty river cutting through it, to its grand old houses, and Delaquire Hall – the elite boys’ private school up on the ridge – Cold Water is pretty much the perfect, sleepy small town. But sixteen year old Holly has known her whole life that something just isn’t right in Cold Water, and when new girl Ana arrives – and quickly wins the heart of a handsome Dela boy – Holly starts to realize that her hometown’s secrets run much deeper, and much, much darker than she could have ever imagined.
As Ana gets swept away by the perfect romance, and Holly edges closer to the truth, a terrifying portrait begins to unfold. One that ties Cold Water to a summer in Geneva two centuries ago, and puts the girls in the path of a creature whose appetite for love – and vengeance – is legendary.
Woven from the real lives of the authors who created them, THE SUN BORN is the chilling, heartbreaking, true story behind the monsters we think we know.
Read our review for Vespertine, by clicking here!
Nightshade, book #2
Releasing October 23rd!
Available for Pre-order on Amazon
“You’re only a dream,” Ana said sadly. His eyes changed from teasing and sweet to serious, dark stones, worry creasing his brow. Their swirling dance slowed to a stop, and he held her for a moment at arm’s length. “Ana,” he said, his voice smooth and resonant, as familiar as the low moan of a cello. The tiny hairs on her arms and neck rose electrically as he spoke: “Nothing is as it seems."
Lately, Ana Lanoway has been remembering her dreams. A mishap in the woods by the lake house over winter holidays has left her seeing vivid, beautiful visions of an oddly familiar stranger, whose dream-messages both confuse and bewitch.
But when the visions turn darkly sinister, Ana knows only one person will take her fears seriously. And Holly is more than happy to help her best friend decipher them—on one condition: Ana must help Holly gain access to Dela Hall's guarded secret archives, and to Thomas Delaquire's infamous machine.
As both girls plunge deeper into Cold Water’s dark depths, a two hundred year old tragedy unfolds in the shadows of Venice and London, painting a portrait of Ana’s dream-stranger—and her perfect boyfriend—that even mad, bad Lord Byron himself finds too dangerous to know…
About the Author
A vivid imagination as a child meant vivid nightmares; frightening images that stayed in the mind hours, days - sometimes years - after waking. And though the nightmares haven’t gone away, Cecily has learned that the only way to conquer them is by embracing them.
Cecily studied Creative Writing and Film at the University of Victoria, with a focus on contemporary poetry and horror. From true Noir to The Shining, slasher flicks to classic monsters, Cecily loves the things that go bump in the night!
Although she has spent many years writing poetry and short stories, The Sun Born is her first series of novels. Volume one is available through Amazon, Smashwords, B&N and iTunes; volume two will hit the e-shelves Oct 23rd!
Cecily lives and writes in Toronto.
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