Author: Today we meet someone from the land of Mirador. Delen Calybrid is a handmaid at Castle Mirador. Welcome Delen.
Delen: Thank you for the askin’. I never been interviewed before. Who will want to read an interview with me?
Author: Lots of people, I hope. I am interviewing characters that I’ve written about in my books. You appear in MARABELLA, QUEST FOR MAGICS.
Delen: I am honored, I am. Ask whatever you like. Just don’t ask about the Royals. I don’t talk about my employers except to say they are fair and kind.
Author: That is good to know. But I want to know about you. How long have you worked at Castle Mirador? And how did you get the job?
Delen: I’ve only been at the castle for two full seasons. We are lake folk. My Mam and Pap hunt and fish and we trade with everyone, including the castle kitchen. When I neared fourteen seasons of age, it came time for me to decide what I wanted to do. As a Common, I could choose employment, academics or marriage.
Author: Common as in Common Valley? Can you explain the choices?
Delen: Yeah. Common are humans with no magics. At fourteen we begin to train for whatever employment we want to pursue or we can go on to higher education and be a scholar or teacher. Some girls just want to have a family and lots of babies so it’s when they start looking for a suitable mate.
Author: Marriage or school didn’t appeal to you?
Delen: I liked school well enough. I learnt to read and write and do sums. I still read quite a bit. I just didn’t want to do that for the rest of my life. I’ll marry when I find the right mate but I’m in no hurry.
Author: So you became a handmaid then?
Delen: Oh no. I started in the kennels caring for the pups. I love the pups. It is a dirty job some days but a lot of fun. I worked in the kitchen as a scullery for a time, then the laundry. Just over a season ago I began as a chamber maid after a couple of the girls left. Lady Marabella was the first person I was assigned to as a handmaid.
Author: What’s the difference between a chamber maid and a handmaid?
Delen: I don’t know how they do things where you come from but in Mirador chamber maids clean and handmaids assist with dressing, bathing and whatever else a Lady needs. Handmaids are literally another pair of hands for the gentry they serve.
Author: Did you like being handmaid to Marabella?
Delen: Lady Marabella was both difficult and a joy. The difficulty was that she knew less about castle protocol and proper dress than anyone I’d ever met. You see, because of the festivities at the castle, there weren’t enough handmaids to assist all the ladies. I was still a chamber maid but was assigned to help with Lady Marabella. She said she only needed one and chose me. I was both honored and concerned. It turned out well. I am happy to call her friend.
Author: Thank you for talking with me, Delen.
Delen: Glad to do it.