Hello, and thanks for having me! You asked me if I've learned anything from my protagonist, which I'll admit isn't something I'd thought about before. Given that Harry isn't real, I can't exactly say yes – but given what he and I have had to work through, I can't say no, either.
My protagonist, Harry Iskinder, is in a pretty bad place. He's inherited a burden, a quest to find something that might not be real, while trying to lead a troop of sidekicks who view him as little more than a child. Harry believes that if he fails, all of mankind will die. He isn't wrong. He's also just nineteen years old. That's an unhappy combination.
As Harry flails his way through everything from life-threatening weather to city-wide terrorism, his core beliefs are challenged in strange ways. His inhuman slaves are not what he was taught they would be, and as he learns to empathize with them, the world as he knows it shatters. Everything Harry took for granted as "right" and "wrong" turns unfamiliar and frightening… especially when his new understanding becomes the lynchpin between the human and Sundered species, determining who lives and who dies.
While I can say I've never had the fate of the world in my hands, I have been in the position of realizing some of my presuppositions were wrong. A wise man I know uses the word "idol" for some of these things - principles on which we rest everything else, foundational pillars which, if toppled, bring everything else tumbling down.
In the last few years, plenty of my idols have been smashed to nasty, chalk-flavored dust. It's not a fun experience, but it is survivable. I know what happens to Harry even after this book, years and years down the road, and I can say that in time, he will learn to share a critical belief of mine: even though it hurts, we are always healthier when we exchange "idols" for true and strong foundations.
Life and growth are worth the struggle. Wherever you are in your life, my advice is to hang in there. It really does get better.
About the Author:Ruthanne Reid was raised in the woods, but fortunately, her isolation was offset by regular visits to New York City. She pursued music for years before realizing she wanted to tell stories rather than sing them.
Ruthanne writes in and around Seattle, owns dust-covered degrees in music and religion, and is generally considered dangerous around household electronics. Her favorite authors tend to be dramatic (J. R. R. Tolkien, Neil Gaiman, Patrick Rothfuss), but she doesn’t see this as a bad thing. She belongs to a husband, a housemate, and a cat, respectively.
The Sundered is her first novel.
Find her online at:
Harry Iskinder knows the rules.
Don’t touch the water, or it will pull you under. Conserve food, because there’s no arable land. Use Sundered slaves gently, or they die too quickly to be worthwhile.
With extinction on the horizon and a world lost to deadly flood, Harry searches for a cure: the Hope of Humanity, the mysterious artifact that gave humans control over the Sundered centuries ago. According to legend, the Hope can fix the planet.
But the Hope holds more secrets than Harry knows. Powerful Sundered Ones willingly bow to him just to get near it. Ambitious enemies pursue him, sure that the Hope is a weapon. Friends turn their backs, afraid Harry will choose wrong.
And Harry has a choice to make. The time for sharing the Earth is done. Either the Sundered survive and humanity ends, or humanity lives for a while, but the Sundered are wiped out.
He never wanted this choice. He still has to make it. In his broken, flooded world, Hope comes with a price.