Piranha Katy Haye releases her second novel, The Last Dreamseer today. We threw her into the piranha tank to answer a few questions (it’s okay, no piranhas were injured in the making of this interview).
PP: So, a new book. How does that feel?
KH: Wonderful – and terrifying. I love writing and I’m so pleased to have a follow-up to The Last Gatekeeper out in the wild. It wasn’t easy to write, so there’s also an element of being pleased to be done with it, and hoping the end result will be worth all the pain!
PP: Why would readers want to spend a few hours in the company of your characters?
KH: Ah, well you get to spend time on Fane, which is one of my favourite places in the many made-up worlds I’ve visited as a reader and writer. You also get to rub shoulders with sarcastic rebel Cal, who’s trying to adjust to not being in the middle of a war. And my main character, Deena, spends the story learning she’s a lot stronger than anyone has ever let her believe.
PP: Is there an extract you’d like to share with us?
KH: Okay. I love meetings. so here’s something from early in Cal and Deena’s relationship. Neither likes the other – for good and bad reasons – which is always fun! We’re in Deena’s point of view.
My irritation grew, with myself for letting him send me back to memories of the past, and with him for standing there like a great, mute gobbin. If he had no purpose in being here, why didn’t he leave? “Shouldn’t you be inside, guarding the gatekeeper?”
Cal turned to look at me, as though he’d forgotten I was there until I spoke. His tone matched mine. “Shouldn’t you be foreseeing something useful to her?”
“I’m taking the night off.” I looked along the path back to the tent. Part of me wanted to move away, but I still didn’t want to return to sit down and be gawped at. At least he was honest. I responded in kind. “Are you this rude with everyone?”
He smiled. I was silenced by the change the gesture wrought in his appearance. He was handsome when he wasn’t scowling. It was a better sight than my memories gave me of him. His reply pulled me out of my remembrances. “No, it’s just you, mostly.”
Did he know what I’d done to him? He couldn’t. If he did, he wouldn’t be talking to me; his hands would be around my throat choking the life out of me. I forced myself to face him. “And what’s the matter with me – in your opinion?”
He folded his arms, appearing relaxed as he leaned back. I wasn’t fooled, I’d seen him in action. His gaze was watchful. If anything happened he’d snap out of his indolence in an instant. “Nothing personal, I just happen to think the crown of Fane would be better off if it didn’t pay attention to the incomprehensible ramblings of a reclusive druggie.”
Wow, he was direct. No wonder the old queen had wanted rid of him. I kept my tone level. “I can’t say I disagree. I’ll look for another job in the morning.”
PP: And where can we go if we want to read more?
Deena endured her first dreamseer vision at the age of six. Now sixteen and having seen how her mother’s abilities were abused by Fane’s rulers, she would do anything to avoid the future that lies ahead when her mother dies and Deena inherits her role.
When she meets Zan, Fane’s last gatekeeper, Deena sees a chance to gain her freedom. But Zan is accompanied by Cal, rebel thorn in the old queen’s side. Deena can’t risk Cal discovering that she was once forced to betray him – but she needs him if she’s ever to escape.