Elektra Tate here is from The Bride Chronicles, Book One by P.I. Barrington. Elektra, how old are you?

11-19

Do you have any family? If so, what’s your family like?  

“My family…got lost from me. But they’ll come back soon; when they see that I’m gone from them. They’re prob’ly looking for me right now.”

How’s your relationship with your parents? Do you love them? Hate them? How have they influenced you? 

“I don’t remember too much. I was very little when I got lost. Garbage City is not a very nice place to live and they make you work if you’re a little kid. So I know it was an accident that they got lost from me.  But when they come back, I’ll make sure I tell them that I love them and missed them. And that I’m glad that I waited for them.”

What about your siblings? Do you get along?

“I don’t have sisters or brothers that I know about or even remember. I’ll probably get along with them very well if I have any brothers—or sisters. That would be fun, having a family to live with and eat real food and buy things like clothes or shoes and have birthdays and parties.”

How would you describe your childhood?

Looking back, answering as an adult now, it was horrible. I had to survive any way that I could, no matter if that meant lying, cheating, or stealing just to eat and clothe myself. I had to learn to defend myself as an infant. Once I was abducted and to get away I stole the man’s gun and figured out how to shoot without killing him, just to make him get the hell away from me which he did. He wasn’t very happy about any of it especially when I used his own gun on him. I kept the gun. That was all before I saw Alekzander Brede. He sort of changed everything for me—or I changed myself for him. Both, I think. I followed him around and tried everything I could think to make him like me. I lied a lot when I was young, but Alekzander saw through every one of them. He’s the one person I could never lie to; he knows me too well. Whether that’s good or bad, I don’t know.

What’s your greatest fear?

That I’ll die and Alekzander will never know that I love him. Or, that I’ll die and he’ll never realize that he maybe loves me, even a little.

What do you hate most about yourself?

I hate that no one thinks I’m worthy of being loved—and not just Alekzander—that no one ever came looking for me, that no one cared. I’m just not lovable I guess. Well, there are two people who love me—my sons Zander Brede and Arrian Brede. I’d do anything for them, kill if I had to; mothers are capable of that. They need me and they love me too.

What is your greatest strength? (can be intellectual)

My love for my children is my great strength. I love them completely and fiercely.  Alekzander thinks I’m nuts and maybe I am, but I want them to be happy and if I can do that, make them happy, I’ll be happy.

Do you have a weakness?

Alekzander Brede.  He’s my addiction. Has been since I was eleven and there isn’t a damned thing I could ever do about it. At times he’s been horrible to me, but he always protected me whenever he could. I think he hates his human side and I remind him of it so he gets angry and maybe a little afraid. He hates that humans have so many emotions and that he’s got them too. So he grinds them down and gives full-rein to his alien half, the half that doesn’t have emotions. That half gets things done—without any regrets.

Have you traveled? If so, what’s your favorite place? Can you describe it for us?

I’ve really only been to two planets—Earth and Amphidia. I only know Egypt on Earth, that’s where I grew up an orphan and I could never travel even in Egypt. I never had any money, certainly not enough to travel anywhere. Amphidia is Alekzander’s home planet and he took me there once on some job. I think I was sixteen or so. I loved that planet! It was green with giant powerful rivers that were so clean you could see the bottom and the fish and some creature Alekzander hated that he called water devils. Everything was big there; big trees and big plants and flowers and as I said, big rivers—all of it pristine. And it was cold there at times and other times it was cool but not uncomfortable. I thought it was a wonderful place, even when Alekzander told me it was violent and there were laws but no one obeyed them. It was the exact opposite of Egypt. New Cairo was hot and dry, though the sea lapped against the feet of the pyramids in Giza, especially after the first half of the century. It was pretty much the only place left in that area that was both habitable and had a society of sorts. There was also Thebes Two—that was much more sophisticated. But as I said I never had money to leave New Cairo let alone take an interstellar vacation!

Is there something from the past that haunts you, keeps you awake at night?

Something happened to me when I was fourteen. I was out walking by the sandstone formations one night and some guys followed me. I couldn’t get to my gun in time and they beat me up, among other things. They dragged me pretty far and then dumped me like a bag of garbage.  Alekzander wasn’t too far away and found me covered in blood and vomit and literally forced me to go into a hospital. I was more afraid of the hospital. Someone told me that they never wanted to go into a hospital because people didn’t come out alive. The nurse laughed at me when I told her that. I asked Alekzander if he would get my gun back and he did. We never spoke about it again.

What is your biggest secret?

My biggest secret is that I love Alekzander desperately. I’ve never told him though I came close a few times. I always hoped that he’d one day realize it on his own and maybe love me back. I’ve always been too afraid to say it out loud in case he laughs at me. That’s paralyzing.

What’s your favorite animal and why? (can be a mythical creature)

I love camels. I don’t know why because they’re surly & bad tempered but they just somehow represent what is truly Egypt—eternal. Of course, these days the animals are mechcamels, mechanical camels not real live ones. I don’t even know if there are any live camels anymore. That’s very upsetting and sad.

When and why did you realize that you love Alekzander Brede?

Pretty much the first second I saw him! I was eleven years old I think, (I never knew my age or birthday) I just happened to look up as he walked by. I tossed my cigarette over my shoulder and slid down the two-story mountain of garbage to run alongside him. Why did I love him? I don’t know. He was just big and strong and tough and could kick the ass of anybody in Garbage City or New Cairo! I thought he was very handsome too. I knew that he could protect me from anyone—if he liked me—and I tried every trick I knew to make people like me; I learned them to survive. Chances are—at least I thought so—that if people like you they won’t kill you. Alekzander didn’t kill me, even though there were times he wanted to!

That’s all we have time for today, make sure you check out P.I. Barrington’s website here