Today is pretty exciting. Author Gail Delaney was nice enough to put me in touch with one of her main characters from the Phoenix Rebellion Series, Michael. I love this series and as Gail knows, have fallen in love with the Michael character. Let's get started!
Michael, tell us a little bit about yourself:
"I don't know who I am quite yet, so it's difficult for me to answer that question. I know the titles I wear, or that have been placed on me -- son, father, friend, lover, doctor -- but until I believe I've earned them, I don't want to claim them. For the first twenty-five years of my life, I was nothing. Fuel for insurmountable hatred, I was tortured and tormented and prayed for death. Things are different now. None of that answers your question, I apologize."
How did it make you feel when after finally meeting your father he had to leave?
"I was afraid. As much as I wanted to embrace the freedom and new life he had given me, I knew nothing of the world or the people around me. I feared I would do something wrong, or cause anger unintentionally. And I was sad, an emotion I had yet to grasp. Anger, I knew. Fear... I lived that. Confusion. Acceptance and resolution. But never sadness. I believe to experience sadness, you must understand happiness, and happiness was foreign to me until the night my father came for me and took me home."
What kind of emotions are you dealing with in regards to your birth mother's actions?
"I once confused Jacqueline when I told her Caitlin Montgomery was my mother, but for any reason that counts, she is the woman I now give that honor. As for Kathleen, I have long since moved past hatred for the woman who birthed me with her stolen body.
Once, I thought anger and hatred were one in the same but I know now they are very different. So, I can say that while I no longer harbor hatred for her, I am enraged by the things she did. Not just to me, but to so many others. I'm angry at what she left behind. And I'm angry to be left behind to deal with the ramifications."
After being raised in containment, how do you feel about all these new experiences in the world? What is your favorite discovery?
"For a brief time in what I believe they call my 'teens', my captors allowed me books and through them I created a shallow and two-dimensional imagery of the world. Once I lived it, experienced it, nothing else could ever compare.
The taste of snow on my tongue. The realization that I may come and go as I please, that I may learn and study and become something more. But, by far my favorite discovery is pancakes. With maple syrup and butter. And bacon.
No, I correct that. My favorite discovery is the sweet taste when I'm kissing the woman I love."
How is your outlook changing with the new experiences in life?
"I have been given a chance at a whole and beautiful life. I have my father, and I have a mother in Caitlin I never could have dreamed. I have Jacqueline's love, though I can't understand it. I have my daughter. I have a career, a home, and a people. I have a purpose. Once, my greatest hope was for death. Now, I seek life."
What is your biggest hope for the future of you and your people?
"As my father said in his speech to the planet, we are as the Phoenix rising from the ashes. We are only a fraction of the people we once were. Our planet is in ruins, but our eyes now see past the horizon to the universe beyond. My hope is that mankind can find unification and strength together, and for myself, I hope to make myself worthy of all I've been given."
Who is your favorite friend in the rebellion?
* small laugh and blush *
"Friend... a word that can mean many things. A friend can be a confidant. A friend can be your strength. A friend can be a lover. A friend can be the one person you'd lay down your life to save. I have many friend, many people I hold dear. But the one I hold dearest is so much more than my friend... Jacqueline."
Anything else you would like to tell us about yourself?
"I know my answers are wholly inadequate, but in truth, I don't know what else I might say. I am a mystery, even to myself, so how can I tell you what I don't know."
Thank you, Gail, for giving us a little insight into Michael. For those of you who haven't had a chance to meet Michael here's an excerpt that truly shows the introverted vulnerability he starts out with...you'll have to read the series to see his personal growth *wink*:
Michael had been so lost in his thoughts, he hadn't seen Nick Tanner walk into the infirmary or approach his bedside. Or, apparently, drop a pile of clothing on the bed near his feet. He looked up, still processing how he should regard the man. Father? Colonel? Nick? In answer to the question, his stomach rumbled.
"Yes," he answered simply.
Nick, which would do for now, checked his watch. "I think they're still serving breakfast in the mess hall."
Michael stared at him, waiting.
"Do you want to go eat?" Nick asked after several moments of silence.
Understanding then, Michael nodded and shifted to lower his bare feet to the floor. "I apologize. I didn't realize I needed to go elsewhere to obtain my own food."
"Didn't they feed you yet?"
The sharp edge to Nick's voice drew Michael's immediate attention, and he tried to gauge the situation. He had spent the majority of the morning studying the other people of the 'base' as they moved about their work, and found each of them fascinating. Already, he knew Colonel Nick Tanner was a different person than any of them, with a force of character that seemed to drown out others around him. He was powerful and respected, a leader among all of them. Among the Areth, personalities weren't widely varied except for the extremesand Victor. Whom, he supposed, some might consider an extreme.
"Never mind. Let's just get breakfast. I'm starving," Nick said before Michael could try to form an answer. "I brought you some clothes. Figured you'd want to get out of the stuff they had you in there."
Michael looked at the clothing on the bed, picking up the first garment. It was a shirt much like the one Nick himself wore, with short sleeves and a round neck in a deep blue color. The fabric was soft and carried a clean, soapy scent in the weave. Also in the pile was a long sleeved shirt in a rich burgundy color that buttoned down the front. A pair of heavy pants, faded to white in spots like the pair Nick wore, was at the bottom of the pile. Michael ran his hands over the shirts, enjoying the soft feel. They were nothing like any clothing ever provided for him.
"I'll get you some new things when I can. I just figured we're about the same size and we can share for now."
Michael looked up. "These are yours?"
Nick shrugged. "Yeah. If you don't like them--"
"No," Michael said quickly, but tamped down his eagerness before he said more than he should. "These are fine. May I wear them now?"
About the Author
Gail R. Delaney has been actively writing 'for publication' since 1996. The first novel she ever wrote is still sitting on her computer, waiting for the major rewrite that will make it acceptable. She says she has learned a great deal since writing that book, and it shows when she looks back at that rough draft.
Gail has had several novels published in the genres of contemporary romance, romantic suspense and futuristic romance. Her novels have received several nominations and awards since she was first published in 2005.
Gail and her family recently moved from the cold and blustry east coast to Southern California, and is loving every moment of sunshine she can soak in.
Get In Touch and/or Get the Book
If you're interested in more information on either Gail or the Rebellion Series, check out the links below. I strongly suggest reading The Pheonix Rebellion. It's great SF and great Romance.