I’m back with another author spotlight, this time with one of my good friends, Rebekah DeVall, in honor of her newest release, Iron Core.
Iron Core acts as prologue to Rebekah’s Lunetta series. At only five chapters long, this little story packs a huge punch. The Lunetta series follows the life of eighteen year old Lunetta, who was born in prison in the fictional, fantasy world of clashing kingdoms. Her mother was pregnant at the time of her own arrest for the betrayal of her military comrades and her kingdom as a whole, and Lunetta consequently finds herself growing up as a prisoner, a convict for just being alive.
Iron Core prefaces the first novel in the series called Sky Above, showing what Lunetta’s life in prison was like, and how she gained her freedom. Because of its small size, the reader isn’t left with a massive emotional come-away, but rather left with the promise of it. It’s a small story that instantly sticks in the front of your mind, reminding you just how much you want to see the true story unfold in the next book.
I’m truly impressed with Rebekah’s writing in this story. She makes it feel so real. The darkness, the despair, the harsh reality of knowing nothing of life outside the walls of the prison, and yet she spins it in such a way that Lunetta is almost casual to it — it’s all she’s ever known, so she doesn’t even really know how to long for anything else. Rebekah takes the realism a step further when Lunetta is finally released, pulling you along on a journey that’s almost more frightening than the prison was, as Lunetta, completely alone in the world, walks into a village for the first time and has no idea what to do with herself or how to interact with the people around her.
For this blog post, I have the opportunity to do an actual character interview, which is where I get to ask questions of one of the characters in the book, and have them answered by Rebekah in the character’s voice. So much fun!
For this interview, I’ve chosen to interview Lunetta’s mother, Benessa. Benessa has been in prison for almost twenty years, and in a way, her life is almost harder than Lunetta’s, because she actually knows what freedom is like and how to grieve for it.
Give us a short description of your current life.
I sit in solitary confinement, in absolute darkness, rubbing a manacle up and down my arm to distract myself. I pray for hours and hours of every day. What else can a woman do? But I don’t regret being here. I deserve it, and given the chance would make the same choices and suffer the same punishments.
Before your life in prison, you served your kingdom by becoming one of the Vela. Can you explain to us what the Vela are and how important they are to the kingdom?
The Vela are a group of women soldiers dedicated to protecting and serving our queen. As bodyguards are to the king, so the Vela are to the queen. More than that, the Vela are a family. Once a part of the Vela, forever part of the Vela. I miss it.
What made you want to join the Vela and how old were you when you joined? How many years were you a member?
My late husband, Orson, died a young man. Sickness spread through our family, first taking him, then attacking our daughter, Persa. Orson died regretting that he had no more time to serve his country and his king. What could I do but go to the palace and help to protect the kingdom as he did?
I was twenty-nine years old at the time; older than most Vela, but my enthusiasm made up for my physical faults. I served with the Vela for two years before moving on as a personal bodyguard to the princess Calmaria, and another year behind enemy lines before the events that brought me to Brancaleone.
How do you become a member of the Vela?
Entrance to the Vela is a more simple process than many of the kingdom are aware. As a first step, I met with the leader of the Vela and her second in command. Once their approval was reached, I was then submitted to a period of “probation” per se. I trained with the Vela, but was only declared one of them after a strenuous training exercise at the end of two months.
Who was your closest friend in the Vela?
Ah, how you bring up old memories! In my time with the Vela, there was a young woman named Fen, the second-in-command. Though several years younger than me, she took me in hand and trained me from the beginning. While she was very blunt and abrasive, she taught me well. We were a good team. Her fighting style was brutal and swift, while mine was consistent. We worked well together.
Did you have family outside of your military duties and did you get to see them often?
I left my children – then fifteen and twelve years old – back at home. When the opportunity arose, I would return to see Persa at least. Zane was a vagrant spirit from the beginning, spending much time away from home. I have only seen him once, since his father’s death. The Vela were my family. That is why I deserve this, my time in prison. They trusted me and I betrayed them.
What did you do with your free time?
Fen and I would wander the city. On other days, I would meet with my friend Erec, who at the time was a bodyguard to Prince Gascon. He taught me much, and I daresay I taught him much as well.
Your faith is very important to you and really carries you through your life in prison. When did you meet God and how has your relationship with Him been kept alive day to day, even in solitary confinement?
Where else can I turn when there are no other human beings? I met my God in my childhood and though I betrayed him many times, He has never betrayed me. Other people have turned their backs. He never has.
What are your hopes for the future? If not your own personal hopes, then what are your hopes for Lunetta?
I will spend the rest of my life in this prison, and rightly so. I can only hope that Lunetta will someday walk free. I hope that someday she will live the life I once lived. She needs a father, oh so desperately. She needs someone to care for her and nurture her through life – give her the care I cannot.
Wow. Heavy but awesome stuff, and that’s what this series is all about. I truly loved this story, and it’s got me all amped up to see the official novels. (No spoilers, but it definitely ends on a heart-wrenching cliffhanger!)
Head over to Amazon and download your copy of Iron Core which is free — today only!
Rebekah DeVall prides herself on being the girl who wrote 200,000 words in 21 days. She’s a Christian author with a penchant for killing characters and a love for writing real female protagonists described as “the example of a Christian hero that young readers need to see”.