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INTERVIEW: Davi Rhii and Lord Xalivar from Bryan Thomas Schmidt’s THE WORKER PRINCE

In an attempt to mediate a peace between them, author Bryan Thomas Schmidt sat down with his protagonist Davi Rhii and antagonist Lord Xalivar, deposed High Lord Counselor of the Borali Alliance. The meeting took place in a neutral location this morning. Here’s how it went.

Bryan Thomas Schmidt: OK, well after my interview with Xalivar on Nicole Peeler’s blog the other day, I thought it would be good if we could get together—

Xalivar: What’s he doing here?!

BTS: He’s here to try and make peace between you.

Xalivar: Peace?! He destroyed my life. Stole my palace, my life, everything I worked for!

Davi: Seems to me you did a pretty good job destroying things on your own.

Xalivar: Oh really? You think so, do you? In all your wisdom and experience? AND YOU! Why should I trust you after you wrote scandalous lies about me?

BTS: At the time I wrote it you approved the story.

Xalivar: I gave you notes on changes.

BTS: I couldn’t swap Davi’s part with yours and make you the hero. Your requests were ridiculous.

Xalivar: You’re ridiculous! Both of you! (crosses arms)

Davi: You see? I told you he’s impossible.

BTS: You both need to recognize that my intention was to record the truth of your incredible history, not harm anyone. I really did my research and tried very hard to represent it accurately and truthfully.

Xalivar: (laughs)

BTS: I’m serious, Xalivar.

Xalivar: At least have the respect to call me Lord!

BTS: Sorry—

Davi: Lord of what? You aren’t a Lord anywhere I know of anymore. Lord of your own mind, maybe, although a lot of us suspect you lost that long ago—

Xalivar: How dare you?! After all I’ve done for you—

BTS: Look! This isn’t helping. Can we try and be respectful to each other at the very least?

Xalivar: (Chuckles) He long ago proved incapable of that!

BTS: Davi?

Davi: (sighs and nods) I’ll try.

BTS: Good. Lord Xalivar?

Xalivar: (rolls eyes and nods, refusing to look at Davi)

BTS: All this animosity has torn your family apart.

Xalivar: What family? He’s not my family. He’s an imposter! Adopted secretly by my crazy sister! Generations my father and grandfather worked to make the Borali Alliance what it is! To put those treasonous, criminals in their place and keep them there! Then he comes along and destroys everything!

Davi: They’re human beings who deserve freedom as much as we do. They’ve worked hard for us, and they’re good citizens now.

Xalivar: (scoffs) They won’t stay that way. Always comes trouble with their kind. Always! It’s historical.

BTS: Maybe they’ve changed? Younger generations and older generations often do things differently.

Xalivar: I followed in the footsteps of my father and grandfather.

Davi: Beating the slaves. Abusing people. Manipulating. Lying…

Xalivar: Don’t disrespect my family! They’re honorable men who served well!

Davi: Not if they served like you.

BTS: What happened to respecting each other?

Xalivar: (stands) I told you it was impossible for him. I told you I never should have come! Now leave me be! Both of you! (storms out)

Davi: (shrugs) Well, hey, we tried. Can’t help it if he’s in denial.

BTS: It was not a very sincere attempt.

Davi: Look, Xalivar is delusional. About everything—his place in history, how his father and grandfather acted, who he is. He can’t handle being confronted with obvious weaknesses. I’m just being honest. What can I do? (offers hand) Thanks for trying, ok? Looking forward to the second book.

What if everything you thought you knew about yourself and the world turned out to be wrong?

For Davi Rhii, Prince of the Boralian people, that nightmare has become a reality. Freshly graduated from the prestigious Borali Military Academy, now he’s discovered he was secretly adopted and born a worker. Ancient enemies of the Boralians, enslaved now for generations, the workers of Vertullis live lives harder than Davi had ever imagined. To make matters worse, Davi’s discovered that the High Lord Counselor of the Alliance, his uncle Xalivar, is responsible for years of abuse and suppression against the workers Davi now knows as his own people.

His quest to rediscover himself brings him into conflict with Xalivar and his friends and family, calling into question his cultural values and assumptions, and putting in jeopardy all he’s worked for his whole life. Davi’s never felt more confused and alone. Will he stand and watch the workers face continued mistreatment or turn his back on his loved ones and fight for what’s right? Whatever he decides is sure to change his life forever.

Read an EXCLUSIVE EXCERPT from The Worker Prince at GFTW.

322 pp · ISBN 978‐0‐9840209‐0‐4 ·Trade Paperback/Epub/Mobi · $14.95 tpb $3.99 Ebook · Publication: October 4, 2011

Bryan Thomas Schmidt is the author of the forthcoming space opera novel The Worker Prince, the collection The North Star Serial, and has several short stories forthcoming in anthologies and magazines. He’s also the host of Science Fiction and Fantasy Writer’s Chat every Wednesday at 9 pm EST on Twitter, where he interviews people like Mike Resnick, AC Crispin, Kevin J. Anderson and Kristine Kathryn Rusch. He can be found online as @BryanThomasS on Twitter or via his website. Excerpts from The Worker Prince can be found on his blog.