Hi, Aadi here. Today I’m chatting with Deryl Stephens about Mind over Mind by Karina Fabian.
[Aadi] Let’s get started. Tell me about yourself. Who or what are you? What are your vitals?
[Deryl] I’m Deryl Stephens, known to some as the Ydrel, and I’m human- Terran. Mostly, I think. I don’t know who my father is, and unless you can show me another Terran with bona fide psychic abilities, I have to assume part of me is not.
Whatever. The point is I am from Earth, I’m psychic, and at least two alien species think I’m going to save their worlds, probably by killing everyone on the opposing planet. And people wonder why I’m messed up.
[Aadi] What part do you play in the story?
[Deryl] I accidentally kidnap by best friend and strand us on an alien planet. I meet one of the aliens I mentioned who think I’m going to help her kill everyone on the other planet. To give her credit, the Barin are invading her world. I fall in love with her, save her from losing her own sanity to a dangerous plant that can make you experience someone else’s memories, and defeated the other alien who wanted to turn me into a psychic killer.
[Aadi] How would you describe your book?
[Deryl] I would describe it as biography. You would call it fantasy.
[Aadi] Tell me about where you live? Who do you live with?
[Deryl] At the time of this book? That’s a little hard to pin down. I lived in a mental institution, but escaped to Kanaan, another world with people who are psychic like me. I wanted to live there, especially to be with Tasmae, but I didn’t know if I was going to be accepted. They knew me as Ydrel, a kind of supernatural force that spoke to the Miscria from generations, over millennia. Like telepathic time travel, I was talking to Kannan who lived thousands of years ago. It wasn’t so easy for anyone to believe, so the Kanaan thought I was some kind of imposter.
Tasmae is a Miscria, and as such one of the most important people on her world. In fact, the survival of the Kanaan depended on her. And if I was an imposter trying to get into her mind – literally – then… Well, there were quite a few people who wanted to see me dead.
So I didn’t know if I could stay, where I felt like I had a chance of belonging, or if I’d have to escape back to Earth and figure out how to hide myself and keep my sanity in a world where no one can shield their thoughts from me.
[Aadi] What’s the most important thing in your life right now?
[Deryl] Finding a place where I belong, where I don’t have to constantly shield myself from the thoughts of others, where no one thinks I’m lying about my telepathic abilities, wants to study my abilities or use my abilities to hurt others. I want to find somewhere where I can relax, figure myself out, and live like a normal person, whatever normal means for me.
And Tasmae. If I can do this and be with Tasmae, that’s what I want.
[Aadi] What do you hope nobody ever finds out about you?
[Deryl] …and if I told you, people would find out. No thanks.
[Aadi]What’s the worst thing someone ever did to you?
[Deryl] There’s an alien, Alugiac. Traitor to Tasmae’s world, warrior prophet to its enemies – and I was his Avenging Angel. I didn’t know. He came to me in dreams and taught me to fight – swords and stuff. I was a kid. I’d lost my mom, been taken away from my friends. I didn’t have anyone. So I lapped it up. For a while, it was good. I grew in confidence as well as skill. I didn’t notice how he was twisting my mind until I started feeling the bloodlust when I was awake.
Then, he wanted me to kill. Even after all his training, I didn’t want to kill anyone. That’s when the torture began. No more sparring practice. Instead, I fought monsters, and if I refused or didn’t fight well enough, they hurt me, and my wounds followed me to the waking world.
That’s bad enough, but now that I understand more about my abilities and this dream world he trained me in, I can’t help but wonder. What were those monsters? Were they really just figments of the imagination, or did they represent something – someone – else? How many people did I hurt, not knowing I fought real people?
[Aadi] What’s the most beautiful thing you’ve ever seen?
[Deryl] Tasmae. She’s not beautiful in a conventional sense. Her features are too strong, but she has these deep, dark eyes, and her hair is amazing. And when you’re psychic, there’s a whole other level to beauty. Her mind is strong, and tangled, and focused…and it fits so perfectly with mine.
[Aadi] What time of day is your favorite?
[Deryl] There’s those few moments, when you’re first waking up, when you’re not in your dreams and not in the real world. If you try, you can float there, not beholden to either, just existing. There were times when I was in the asylum that those were the only moments when I felt free.
[Aadi] Thanks for stopping by and chatting with me.
[Aadi] Oh shoot. I forgot to ask him who would play him in the movie. Maybe I can have him come back another time and I can ask then.