This is a real treat having Lainie from The Sentinels of Eden talk to us about her journey through Nalong and into Eden. See what secrets she reveals, even though it is forbidden!! 😇 🌕
Please tell us a bit about yourself. What is your power? Why is it so important to you?
I’m really not supposed to talk about it, but I guess given that I’m somehow able to even type these words it must mean that it’s okay. If there’s one thing I’ve learned, it’s to trust my supernatural prompts, aka, my instincts. I’m not exactly human. I’m a Cherub in human form. That gives me instincts that the rest of you don’t have. In terms of power, what power don’t I have? I can do anything – under the right circumstances.
My aunt once gave me the bank card for our business account so I could buy a new chainsaw when our old one carked it. It’s linked to a line of credit that would have allowed me to spend tens of thousands of dollars if I wanted to. It felt kind of weird passing by the saddlery store where I could see the jumping saddle I’d been saving for over the last three years. Of course I knew I would never put our farm into further debt for that. Then I stepped into the mower repair shop and looked around at all the beautiful new equipment for sale. All the new ride-on mowers, and brush cutters and post hole diggers and I thought about how much easier our work would be if I could replace all our old crappy equipment with all those shiny new things. In the end I bought a sensible mid-range chainsaw with a good warranty. I think if my aunt had sent me there with $1200, I would have spent $1200. Instead she trusted me with a lot more than that and I only spent $850. This power I have feels a bit like that. The line of credit on my supernatural abilities is unlimited and yet somehow that is exactly why it’s so limited. I can only access it when I honestly believe I need to. Yeah, it can be torture. It also makes me feel incredibly honoured.
What was it like growing up on the farm with your Aunt Lily and Harry, not knowing your true identity? If you could, would you choose to go back to that ignorant bliss?
That’s a tricky question. I can’t leave Nalong. I’ve been ordained into a job I never asked for and that feels pretty unfair. Not to mention there’s an awful lot of pressure. The stakes are pretty high and at any point in my life I might well stuff everything up. I’m apparently a heavenly creature of tremendous power, but what does that really mean for me in practical terms? I’m still stuck on a farm with dodgy internet and I still get pimples.
On the other hand, I’ve seen Eden. Eden…
Yeah, even if I’d only ever glimpsed that place for the briefest moment, it would have made everything worth it. I would give anything to retain the memory of that moment. Ignorance of it could never be bliss.
How did you first feel when learning about your special inherited traits? How did you change throughout the first book?
When Harry explained who I was and what I could do, I felt really confused. I’d spent quite a lot of time trying to come to terms with the foundational truth that supernatural occurrences were real, which was already hard enough. Then to be told that I was a supernatural occurrence – that was just insane. Of course, these ‘special powers’ I was apparently gifted with sounded kind of boring. They were things that I’d always more or less known I could do, I just hadn’t really paid them much attention. That might sound unbelievable to you. I mean, how could someone not notice they had a super power? For me, it was like being told that I was the only one that could really see the colour blue, and everyone else only saw a different shade of grey and they all called it blue. I thought everyone got déja-vu. How was I to know that my version of it was something special? To be honest, I was left feeling a bit disappointed, until, of course, I discovered the powers that Harry had played down – presumably so I wouldn’t run away screaming. He knows me so well.
By the way, when you hold a glass of tonic water up to the light, does it look blue to you? Is it the same blue as the sky or something different? I’m a bit worried now…
What gave you the drive to uncover the truths behind your heritage and your mum’s disappearance, despite all the challenges and tragedies that occurred?
I have only the barest of memories of my parents. I’m not even certain if they’re real, or just memories I made up because I badly wanted them. In fact, they aren’t even memories I can describe, more like feelings and impressions. One of them is a feeling of excitement. No. That’s too simple a word for that thrill and anticipation. Perhaps it’s a memory of Eden. Whatever it is, it was enough to hold on to. Enough to drop everything and chase it down, no matter the risk. Who wouldn’t?
What would you consider to be the biggest hurdle, emotionally or physically, that you faced on your journey? What was the most rewarding?
Well, there’s that thing that my best friend did, but I can’t really discuss that. Noah has done a lot of shocking things in his time, but that was another level altogether. It really threw me, and took me longer to come to terms with than it should have. A lot has happened to me since all this started, and everything seemed to come at me at once. Finishing school is already enough of a quest for survival without adding all the other drama. Also, as my gifts and powers became more apparent, it kind of felt like I was going through a new form of puberty. Flipping between this confident, capable Cherub one minute and then back to a girl who forgets where she left her phone charger the next. This must be how guys feel when their voice is breaking, only for me I don’t think that phase will ever end. Still, both my family and my home found new depths this year. Nothing could be more rewarding than that.
You experienced many kinds and levels of relationships with several people in the book. Which one/s stood out as most significant to you, and why?
That’s easy, Aunt Lily. She’s everything to me, and now I’m finally starting to realise just how much she’s sacrificed for me. She could have had a very different life, and yet she chose to stick it out in Nalong for me. The other relationships that have developed this year are all still kind of new and exciting, but it’s always been me and my aunt, and without that foundation I never would have made it through this year. To be honest, my first fumbling journey through puberty put enough of a strain on our relationship, so mostly I’m just grateful she’s still around after the second one.
What does the future hold for you, the land of Eden, and Nalong?
Just how many super-powers do you think I have?
Sorry. Noah’s been asking me the same thing almost every day lately.
Short term – I think we’re okay. Eden and Nalong have done just fine for the last few millennia so I’m pretty confident I can’t stuff things up too badly there. My future is a complete unknown.
Long term – I’m pretty sure the plan is to return humanity to Eden one day, don’t ask me how. I can’t wait to show it off to everyone. Especially the underground…yeah, there it goes. I feel a bit ill so it must be time for me to put a zip in it. You’ll just have to wait and see.
What other secrets can you share about your upcoming Eden endeavours?
Hmm. I’ll give it a go, although you know how guilty it makes me feel to talk about it. Let’s just say it involves music, dancing, fruit carving, a lunar eclipse, a tourist, a metaphysical GPS, rock climbing, air-bending and vegemite crumpets.
All the very best with your journey. Thanks for talking with us, Lainie! 😊
#YAFantasy #mythology # UrbanYA #LoveOzYA #Fiction
This blog post originally appeared on “Just Write for Kids” and was reprinted with permission.
Romi Sharp is a freelance and children’s story writer, and avid reader, particularly in the picture book arena. Being qualified as an Early Childhood and Primary Teacher, and having additional roles in Reading Intervention, ESL, Art and graphic design, means she is particularly fond of language, playing with words, artistic endeavours, and how all these marry together.