Beautiful People is a monthly blog meme hosted by Cait @ Paper Fury and Sky @ Further Up and Further In. Every month they pose 10 questions for writers to answer about their writing and give readers the opportunity to learn more about the writer’s characters.
First of all, this post marks 1 year since I started doing Beautiful People! 😀
Since it’s February, Cait and Sky have asked another round of Valentine-inspired questions. The thing is, I’ve already covered the one romantic couple I’ve been writing about for the past year… and this year’s questions aren’t much different from last year’s. So, into the BP archives I went, and dug up a set of questions that were perfect for a character from The Keeper’s Curse whom I haven’t introduced to you yet.
Some quick facts about Doni: He’s 14 years old, with blonde-streaked light brown hair and light brown eyes. He’s also the youngest and most recently appointed member of the Council of Selanaan (which Eva, TKC’s protagonist, is also part of), and is their chief healer. Now, onto the questions!
(Don’t forget to submit your question(s) for Aurek’s upcoming character interview! I’ve extended the submitting period until Tuesday, February 23rd. So, if you’re anxious to learn more about another character from TKC, click here for more details.)
1. What is Doni’s full name?
Doni’s full name is Doniyevisar. The Fei don’t have last names in TKC’s world, and each Feiri’s unique name is tracked in their people’s Great Book of Names. In other words, no other Feiri has had or will ever have Doni’s distinct full name.
If anyone’s wondering: Yes, I purposely refer to my Fei characters’ nicknames instead of their full names. (Shorter Fei names like Vandar and Gidion won’t be shortened further.) While I know how to pronounce their full names comfortably, it’s important to make things as easy as possible for readers.
2. Does his name have a special meaning?
Yes! Doniyevisar roughly translates as “dragonfly boy” in Fei. In fact, all Fei names carry special meaning. In TKC’s Fei culture, name-givers are tasked with naming infants shortly after they’re born. Name-givers are naturally gifted with foresight; and when they hold a newborn, they can see glimpses of the child’s future and personality traits. Based on those visions, the name-giver creates a name for the child by combing two or three Fei words that represent what was seen in that vision.
Why was Doni named after dragonflies? Well, he’s a healer, and uses herbs, plants, and other natural products for his remedies. This includes insects – to the disgust of many characters. (*hee hee*) There’s also a symbolic connection, but I can’t share it for spoiler-ish reasons. 😉
3. Does he have a methodical or disorganized personality?
Methodical. Being organized has helped Doni with his healing work immensely. For example, he writes his remedy “recipes” in journals and maintains an inventory of his herb and insect supply. He also keeps his bedroom and study / workroom tidy. Knowing Doni, he’d probably panic or feel like a failure if he neglected to maintain some sense of order.
4. Does he keep his thoughts inside more than he talks out loud to his friends? (More importantly, does he actually have friends?)
Doni is more of an extrovert, as well as kind, honest, and friendly. So, he tends to be more of a “talker” than a “thinker,” and he’s happy to share his thoughts with others.
As for friends, Doni’s going through a bit of a transitional period. He was elected to the Council of Selanaan about 6 months before TKC begins, so he was allowed an early graduation to focus on the Council’s diplomacy tasks. As a result, Doni now spends more time with his Council brothers and sister than his former schoolmates.
Does he miss his friends? Of course. He makes a point to see them during the seasonal festivals, and goes to their birthday parties if his schedule allows. However, Doni’s at a different stage in his life than his old friends are, and he’s starting to realize that following his dreams (joining the Council, helping to make the world a better place) means leaving part of his old life behind. Yet he doesn’t resent it. In fact, Doni likes his fellow Councilors a lot, especially Keli (who cracks Doni up and has been “showing him the ropes,” so to speak) and Eva (who offered to teach Doni archery).
5. Is there something he is afraid of?
Yes. Doni’s biggest fear is failing other people, especially having a patient die in his care. He’s therefore determined to do whatever he can to help others, even if he doesn’t benefit from that effort.
6. Does he write, dream, dance, sing, or photograph?
Singing, music, and dancing is a big part of Fei culture due to their seasonal festivals. (See Keli’s Beautiful People post for more details.) So, Doni grew up learning his people’s songs and traditional dances. As for other creative talents, he knows how to play hand drums, and he draws sketches of the herbs, insects, and other goods in his journal as part of keeping an inventory of his “healer’s stash.”
7. What is his favorite book (or genre of books)?
Being an outdoorsy, social Feiri, Doni doesn’t have a lot of time for reading. If he does read, it’s most likely reference or historical texts for self-education’s sake. The topics he enjoys learning about most are anything pertaining to his healing work (remedies, nature, insects, etc.), the history of Fei magic, and significant figures of Fei’s past.
8. Who does he look up to or admire?
Doni looks up to all of his fellow Councilors, and not just because they’re older and of higher rank than he is. He especially admires Gidion for his fairness and Vandar for his maturity and fighting skills; and he thinks of Keli and Eva as his “adopted” older siblings. (Doni is the second-youngest of four children, two boys and two girls.) He gets along with Remi, too… but they tend to butt heads. Remi often disregards Doni’s ideas because he’s “still a new Councilor,” while Doni thinks Remi’s a know-it-all.
Apart from the Council, Doni looks up to Lady Govaridva, his former healing teacher and now his benefactor. (Doni had a falling-out with his father when he was elected to the Council because they disagreed on his career choice and life aspirations.) Obviously Doni has learned a lot of his expertise from her. However, he also appreciates her gentle, compassionate manner, which he’s seen through her teaching and general interactions with others. He thinks Lady Govaridva is one of the most generous people he’s ever known, and knows that he’d be lost without her.
9. What is his favorite flavor of ice cream?
Ice cream doesn’t exist in Doni’s world. If it did… I don’t think he’d eat it, actually. Doni is fairly health-conscious, since he considers diet to be part of his healing work. If push came to shove, he’d go for frozen yogurt, most likely vanilla or something fruity like peach (his favorite fruit), strawberry, or raspberry.
10. What is his favorite season of the year?
Spring! It’s the time of year when Doni can start collecting herbs again to refresh his supply. He’s also a gardener, so the beginning of spring also means he can plant seeds and start tending to his own small crops of vegetables and herbs. He enjoys summer, too… but spring is when he’s busiest doing the things he loves most. 🙂
That’s it for this month’s edition of Beautiful People. What do you think of Doni now that you’ve “met” him?