Remember that time when E.B. Dawson interviewed me for her blog? As amazing as it was, it was only the beginning of our friendship. Since then, I’ve gotten to know Beth more (yes, we’ve bonded over sharing the same name), and let me tell you: She’s incredible!
Furthermore, and probably of more interest to you, she writes amazing books. I’ve loved reading her Out of Darkness and Into the Void (read my review of the former here). And now, I’m eagerly anticipating the release of The Traveler. You can read the synopsis of The Traveler on Dawson’s website or at the bottom of this post, but I have something exciting for us to read first. Here is an “interview” I conducted with Anissa Robson, the main character of The Traveler.
(Yes, I know it’s technically impossible to meet a fictional character, but please extend your disbelief long enough to fall in love with this one :) )
Me: Anissa, it’s such a pleasure to meet you. I’ve heard hints about your story, and am intrigued to learn more about you. To start off, I’m not very familiar with the name “Anissa.” Can you tell us a little about the meaning behind your name? Did your parents pick it for any particular reason?
Anissa: I have no idea why they named me what they did. I guess I never thought about it. But I wouldn’t be surprised if it had some sort of meaning. They would do something like that. When I was a kid I used to think that everything happened for a reason and life was one big story, because they were always framing things that way. But that was a long time ago.
Me: Your parents sound interesting! It sounds like your life has taken a turn for the uncertain. In this time, what are three of your favorite things?
Anissa: I love it when my house doesn’t talk back to me. I love walking. And I love the lower levels of the library where the old literature books are. But those aren’t available to the public anymore.
Me: How dreadful! I share your love of old literature books. I’m sorry they’ve been banned for you. Since I’ve come from a distant region to talk to you, could you tell me a little about your homeland?
Anissa: I live in the Democratic Republic of Riyen. It’s a nation-state bordered by mountains on one side and the ocean on another. It’s not a terrible place to live. It just seems like lately everyone’s obsessed with technological advancement and efficiency. And sometimes the people in government pass these laws (like closing up the lower levels of the library) that make it seem like they are afraid of something.
Me: Interesting. If you could choose (or invent) any career, what would you choose?
Anissa: Why is everyone so preoccupied with careers? That’s another thing my country is obsessed with: training people up for careers. Everyone works in offices all day to come up with new inventions to take care of our basic needs so that we have more time to come up with new inventions. It doesn’t make much sense to me. It almost feels like we have forgotten our purpose in living. My dad would probably say I should be a philosopher. But I don’t want to sit around talking about ideas. I guess I don’t know what I want.
Me: That…is surprisingly relatable. Maybe our homelands aren’t so different, after all. Well, to wrap up our interview, what do you think makes something an adventure?
Anissa: The best adventures happen with people who don’t judge you, are set in new and exciting places, involve a little bit of danger, make you cry and laugh, and they always leave you forever changed.
Me: That sounds amazing! I hope you get to experience just such an adventure. Thank you for taking the time to talk with me today.
Anissa Robson is becoming an adult in a society she never really identified with. Forced to choose her career path, she becomes an apprentice to a young, headstrong politician who seems to stand for everything she disagrees with. The dreams she has refused to report grow more alluring to her as she becomes disillusioned with her job. But the lines between reality and her dreamland begin to blur and cross over, launching her onto a path she would never have chosen for herself. Is the government medicating dreamers to protect them? Or to hide something from them?