Library of Characters: Merie

Hello folksies, Merie here! I am so very excited to join this blog tour. It seems I missed the protagonist one, which would have been helpful for adding context to this interview, but this will still be fun! Thank you, Lucy, for putting it together 🙂

Introduce your antagonist to me—who is he? What story is he from?

Meet Prince Kazuru Skybright of Terilion, the main antagonist of the Skybright Chronicle! (Wahh! *claps in Korean*)

What is his personality?

Kazzie (I always call him Kazzie) is calm, independent, and free-spirited. So no, he’s not really a villain. On the contrary, he’s quite good-natured; he just has the tendency to not do what he is told to do, as I have learned through years of wrangling him through story. *smiles angrily at piles of dusty documents and messy notebooks*

But anyway. He enjoys observing the world around him and living in the moment, which he doesn’t get to do often as a royal. Instead, he has to be a proper prince and maintain all the demanding rules of social etiquette, even though he doesn’t really care about that stuff. So you could say that he has a refined air about him. Refined… chillness.

Give a synopsis of his past.

It is customary for the ruling family’s heir to grow up in the Summer Palace, south of the capital, attended by a veritable village of servants, tutors, and courtiers’ children. Kazuru’s childhood was no exception—the one difference being that he had a twin sister, which means he wouldn’t be alone. (Because even though the Summer Palace practically has its own economy, its many people don’t just hang out with the crown prince.) He grew up in luxury, of course, but no amount of gold or jewels can hide the unflattering prejudices of more powerful people. The transgressions of his parents, it seems, still cast long shadows over his future.

What gave/gives you inspiration for him?

My first idea for him was directly connected to the character Kay in Andersen’s “The Snow Queen”—the boy who was taken by the Snow Queen, and whom the heroine of the story seeks to save—which meant he was going to be cold and hard and driven purely by logic. But then I was inspired by the Ever After High trilogy by Shannon Hale, a glowing fixture in my childhood and a series that features the same “royal and a rebel” archetypes I’m using here—but instead  of pitting them against each other turns them into close friends. With that inspiration, I set out to develop an antagonist who would be not only sympathetic but also driven almost entirely by his feelings. It gave me so much more to work with for his personality, his arc, and his relationship with the protagonist.

Reading poetry inspires me to work on Kazzie too, because he loves poetry.

Ryah nodded, remembering how easy it was to tell when her brother tired of company. He had never seemed to like hanging around her friends, though she had tried on numerous occasions to explain that they were only nervous, cowed by the weight of his presence. So they tended to talk too much or not at all, neither of which ever lent much to conversation; but he would rather believe they could in fact conduct themselves with perfect ease and simply were incapable of caring. He could be, at times, a little obtuse.

How has his past shaped the villain he is now?

Even in the secluded Summer Palace, the shadow court’s politics are always at play. Though dissatisfied with the relegation of power and the treatment of his family, Kazzie let his doubts fester too long in order to keep the peace. So when the tipping point came, no one expected him to take the actions that he did.

(*audience oohs in the background*)

Does he see himself as a villain? 

Haha, no. Actually, depending on the angle of the story, it’s really hard to mark him as the antagonist, even.

(*audience ahhs in the background*)

Does he work alone? Or does he have ‘henchmen.’

The former, I’m afraid. Which he doesn’t really mind.

(*audience erupts into whispers*)

Who is his arch nemesis, and why?

That’s a SPOILER. And someone please get the minions out of here—how did they even get in??

What is his favorite and least favorite part of being a villain?

Kazzie would like to protest being labeled as such, but we can’t let antagonists always have it their way. In light of this, he has just informed me that his “least favorite part of being a villain is not actually being allowed to do whatever I want to do, contrary to popular opinion.” His favorite part about being a villain is having more free time to waste. His words, not mine.

Later, Ryah asked Kazuru if he really wanted a camel for educational purposes only. “They’re ugly and cranky and someone will have to take care of them.”

He said, “Yes, but they’re funny to look at. I’ll train mine to only like me so it can spit at anyone else who comes nearby.”

[NOTE FROM AUTHOR: Camels are actually very gentle and friendly creatures that only “spit” (it’s really more like dramatically throwing up) when they feel threatened. Do not let the naïve teenaged royalty’s misconceptions deceive you.]

What is his greatest struggle or fear?

As the designated heir of Terilion, he fears leading his kingdom into doom; but from his point of view, they are already walking in that direction. So more specifically, he worries that he’ll remain as he always has, under the thumb of more powerful authorities and the shadow of the sins of those who came before him.

Above all, he fears living trapped in other people’s schemes, unable to make a difference in his family and kingdom’s future.

Oh no the minions are back—can someone please?? Why are there bananas in this room??

What is he most afraid of losing?

His freedom. Seeing it slowly sapped out of his life is what caused him to take “such drastic measures” in the first place.

*disposes of bananas*

What does he want most? What is his ultimate motive?

In the culturally, politically, and historically complex world which he inhabits, he wants things to be simpler, less fussy. In a deeper part of himself, he wants people to listen to him—and to respect him and his family.

… It sounds typical but it’s a real problem, no? Also there is no such thing as true originality anyway so there.

“Your Highnesses are bound to this kingdom by the highest form of duty. His is of a different nature from yours, but your love is the same.”

Character Appearance: 


Blond, shoulder-length but normally tied back in some way because I don’t like imagining it left down.


Yellow gold.


Around 179 cm, or 5’10. He could have been taller, but his growth was stunted by angst.

Opinions on ice cream vs. cake? Other?

ICE CREAM!! Yes, Terilion is a fantasy kingdom, and yes, it does have ice cream. (Why? Because I say so. And also because it is possible, and I’m an opportunist.) Kazzie and his sister both love ice cream more than any cakey dessert. And I might have to agree with them on that.

Here’s the most Kazuru quote I could find in my WIP, which is sadly rather lacking in Kazuru quotes at the moment:

“Why? That’s not fair.”

4 responses to “Library of Characters: Merie”

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