A. L. Buehrer What I Write and Why

Friday, August 3, 2018

Halcyon Speaks

The next two blog posts will be a two-part interview with none other than the main character of the Dronefall series, Halcyon Slavic. Today’s post focuses mainly on Halcyon herself, giving you a chance to meet her if you haven’t yet, and learn more about her if you have read Dronefall.

Tell us three things about yourself.
1) The first time I jumped off a train, I was seventeen. My technique was so bad, it was a miracle I didn’t break anything. 2) My favorite book of the Bible is probably Revelation. 3) I like to feed pigeons, and it makes me unreasonably resentful when people try to enforce rules against it.

Did you have friends growing up?
They would draw names at random and herd us into new “socialization groups” every week at school. This clever strategy almost destroyed any opportunity to make any friends at all, especially as we got older and slower at connecting. I hardly remember the names of any of the kids I grew up with.

Have you ever played any sports?
I played chess. Not that I was particularly good at that, either.

Can you play any musical instruments?
A rather plunky bit of piano. Music wasn’t emphasized in our educational programs, and I didn’t have the drive to become good. I can sing some, but I have kind of a rough voice.

What was your strongest school subject?
I did well in science, especially chemistry. Biology disappointed me, because we never actually got to dissect anything. I didn’t love math, but I could make it work.

Tell us three things you’re good at and three things you don’t do well.
I’m kind of good at criticizing myself—but then again, I don’t think I try hard enough. Anyway, I think I’m pretty good at holding my ground once I’ve got something figured out. I’m good at resisting peer pressure. I also have a knack for avoiding people I don’t like.
I’m kind of bad at finalizing things. I get overwhelmed with options and possibilities. I can kind of ruin my resolve by looking at situations from too many perspectives—which kind of cancels out my ground-holding skills sometimes. I can’t talk very well. I think that part of my brain must be slow. And I also can’t do anything with my own hair. My braids are terrible, and I end up with a frizzy, knotted mess if I try anything new.

Who’s your best friend?
Reveille Jacobs. She introduced me to train jumping and drone-tracking and Jesus Christ. In other words, she ruined my chances to live a normal life. I appreciated that. I might be stuck in mundanity without her influence.

Describe your relationship with God.
It’s there. Sometimes I question it, but it doesn’t disappear. It’s a quiet relationship. Nothing’s dramatic. Everything grows slowly. I get impatient sometimes, but I don’t know what more I’m expecting, when I think about it. He’s never asked me to do anything crazy, and I find that a little disconcerting, maybe.

Stay tuned for part two, in which Halcyon discusses her upbringing, her culture, and the powers under the surface of 2040's Budapest.

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